I despise Gary Johnson… but I voted for him.

petersen and johnson
Austin Petersen/Gary Johnson

by Austin Petersen, The Libertarian Republic

No one has more cause to dislike Gary Johnson than myself. After this man tossed my gift pistol in the trash when I refused to endorse his VP pick Bill Weld (in retrospect a smart decision), it took all the fortitude I possessed not to ignite a full-blown civil war against the ticket. Rebellion is in my nature after all, but when handed my first opportunity to do righteous violence…

I chose peace.

As the tears welled up in the eyes of my volunteers when they handed me back the gun they pulled from the trash(a replica of George Washington’s flintlock), I was faced with a critical decision. My people were looking at me for direction, many of them young, barely even voting age. Their faces stoic, but downtrodden, their first political defeat still fresh. I bit back my own hot tears, and told everyone to remain calm. We didn’t know the full story yet.

But the full story would come out sooner than I expected, and the news was worse than I could have ever imagined. After suffering a year of brutal attacks on my character, my motives for running, and accusations that I was nothing more than an overgrown child, the truth was revealed. Johnson was the man-child. A spoiled, entitled brat, prone to public fits (which he claimed were not out of character), and someone who has no tact, or diplomacy. Desperate to salvage their fading political capital due to Johnson’s behavior, the campaign mistakenly approached my surrogates, begging to buy back the pistol, at first $50, then $150, then $1,500. Name your price they said.

But like I said in my concession speech“I cannot be bought. And I cannot be bullied.”

In the fall of 2015, I entered the race for the White House out of sheer desperation and despair. Having watched the fall of libertarian Republican Rand Paul, I realized that if he dropped out of the race in 2016, we would be left with no pro-life, pro-liberty, and pro-constitution candidate, other than perhaps Ted Cruz being the closest to that.

That wasn’t good enough for me. I filed to run…

To read the full article, click here

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