I did some soul-searching recently asking myself, “Is it true what they say? Do I just go out of my way to tear down the best chance for liberty in this election cycle?”
And no, that’s not what I’m doing. In my professional outlets, I don’t engage in libertarian catfighting. I have a podcast (co-hosted of course) devoted to taking down Paul Krugman. I write books hoisting up Mises.
But, on social media and my personal blog, yes I am going to point out when I think people on “my team” are engaging in the same qualitative (not quantitative) behavior that they recognize as ridiculous when it’s a Hillary or Trump supporter doing it.
Case in point: I have seen lots of Gary Johnson fans respond to his latest flub with the following excuses (listed after the video):
(1) “The mainstream media is lying, as usual. It wasn’t a “brain fart,” give me a break.”
(2) “It wasn’t an Aleppo moment, lying mainstream media. With Aleppo, Johnson was admittedly off, but this was a case of a gotcha question that no libertarian should answer.”
(3) “Johnson did the principled libertarian thing. *I* don’t respect any foreign leaders, do you Murphy?!!”
OK, the only problem with the defenses above, are that Johnson himself:
(1*) Was in the process of saying he was having a brain fart (see :30 – :40 in the video).
(2*) Explicitly said he was having an Aleppo moment (25 seconds in the video).
(3*) Tried to name a foreign leader he respected (former president of Mexico), but blanked out on the name. Then said “FOX!” when his running mate rescued him.
But other than that, yes, it was a mainstream lie.
P.S. Johnson himself, afterwards, perpetuated this false narrative–sort of like George Costanza and the Jerk Store. So the one thing he had going for him–that he was a straight shooter who admitted when he screwed up–is now gone too.
P.P.S. For those of you mad at me for not jumping on the Johnson-Weld bandwagon, be honest with yourself: Did you ever think it was remotely possible that you would have to explain your guy saying this?
P.P.P.S. Of COURSE if I had to pick between President Johnson and President Trump, I’d prefer Johnson. But I don’t have that power, go figure. What I can and will do is point out when Libertarians are doing the same type of thing that they so easily recognize and ridicule in Trump supporters. (“Ha ha, look at them squirm and try to explain away the latest ridiculous thing he said!”)