Gary Johnson, or Change Dartmouth Students Can Believe In

Now well into my fourth year at the College, no change seems more marked to me than how libertarianism—once a disreputable philosophy reserved for Ron Paul nuts and Randroids—is now in the ascendant among the student body. This fact is hardly surprising, given the abysmal performance of Obama and the Democrats, plus a GOP full of folksy, quasi-educated social conservatives (Palin, Huckabee, &c.) and short on good guys willing to run for President (Mitch Daniels, we’re looking at you.)

Enter Gary Johnson. The New Republic recently published a marvelous interview with the former New Mexico governor, and even that staunchly left publication couldn’t mask its grudging respect for the man. That is, a man who bragged that he “never exhaled,” doesn’t care for churchgoing, and, in addition to completing an Iron Man triathlon, summited Mount Everest with a broken leg. Johnson’s record proves that he strongly supports school vouchers, ending the disastrous War on Drugs as we know it, and a “common-sense business approach” to government. Most distinct in Johnson’s platform is what it lacks: there is no trace of the God, Guns, ‘n’ Gays agenda that has come to dominate other parts of the Republican Party. (I say this as an avid markswoman with a purely originalist understanding of the Second Amendment.)

At any rate, Mr. Johnson is a breath of fresh air indeed, and he’s announced that he’s running in 2012. He hasn’t a chance of being elected, of course. But when the primaries take place, he’s got my vote—and, I’d wager, the votes of quite a few Dartmouth students for whom Romney just isn’t cutting it.

Katherine Murray