The Ron Paul vs. Gary Johnson Edition

This is the transcript of episode sixteen of The LAVA Spurt podcast. You can listen to the audio of this Podcast episode here:



Is Gary Johnson libertarian enough for Ron Paul? Thank you for joining me on the sixteenth episode of The LAVA Spurt, The Ron Paul vs. Gary Johnson Edition.

I am still catching a lot of flak, even from many voluntaryists, for my stance on the Johnson Weld campaign. I don’t get it. I can understand minarchists giving me flak on this, but not voluntaryists. Minarchists love to throw the word “purist” at me like it’s some sort of albatross, so I just throw it back and them and call them “party purists,” because they believe the Libertarian Party can do no wrong, and we should follow LP candidates no matter what. This is party over principles, and there is no party that is more important to me than my principles.

Ron Paul on Gary Johnson

I now have some backup in my message, and it is pretty solid backup, in my opinion. Ron Paul came out on October 2nd saying that he won’t vote for Gary Johnson either. Paul said he doesn’t feel that Johnson embodies a libertarian message. He also doesn’t feel there’s anyone in the 2016 field who people that want to vote “for liberty” can feel good about supporting. And this is exactly the reason I have said I won’t be voting in that race this year.

Ron Paul did have some very good things to say about Jill Stein, interestingly enough, and I can’t really disagree with the points he made. He said:

“(Stein’s) probably the best on foreign policy at the moment. On Gary Johnson, he does not come across with a crisp libertarian message. If you want to express yourself—I am voting for the non-aggressive principles that create the libertarian message. And that is, nobody can commit aggression. Individuals cannot, nor the government. Unfortunately, there’s not a crisp answer— this individual represents liberty and if you vote for this person, you will be voting for liberty and truly expressing yourself.”

Ron Paul on our current political system

Ron Paul also talked about how our current political system is not good for liberty at all. He said, “Liberty is all chopped to pieces. Liberals defend some parts of liberty and conservatives other parts and progressives are pretty good too on foreign policy.”

This is exactly why the Libertarian Party should not sacrifice their principles for votes like they are right now. Without a principled Libertarian Party, there really is no place for those, like me, who value full, 100%, liberty.

And, if Ron Paul thinks so little of Gary Johnson, who is closer to being a libertarian than his running mate, I would love to hear what Ron Paul thinks of Weld. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had anything to say about Weld that I can find, but I can only imagine his silence is not an endorsement.

I have been told countless times lately that perfection is the enemy of the good. Perfection is the enemy of the good, but the initiation of force is the enemy of libertarianism. And Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have called for the initiation of violence over and over again. This is something I can’t, in good conscience, vote for.

My promise to myself

I made a promise to myself in 2014 that I would never vote for another candidate who advocated for the initiation of force. I stood by that in November of 2014, and I plan to stand by it a month from now as well. This is why I’ve said many times I would leave that race blank this year. There is not a single declared candidate who will be on the ballot that isn’t calling for the initiation of violence.

But, for people like me who are looking for a principled candidate to vote for, there is some good news. Darryl W. Perry has ruffled some feathers and declared a limited write-in campaign, meaning that 17 states, including New Hampshire, will have the option to vote for a philosophical libertarian in November. I, for one, will be writing his name in.

I’m certainly not telling you that you should do the same. You should vote your conscience. If you can in good conscience vote for Johnson and Weld, then more power to you, it’s just not for me.

New Hampshire gubernatorial race

Funnily enough, because of my stance, I won’t even be voting for the LP New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate. The reason is simple. On his about page of his campaign website, it says this:

Representative Max Abramson took on lobbyists from MONSANTO and other powerful firms in sponsoring GMO Labeling in New Hampshire.  Already the law in Vermont, Maine, and other New England states, at least 91% of consumers support mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

So, the LP New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate supports forced labelling of GMO’s, even to the point where he initiated legislation that would have made this mandatory. What the actual fuck? There is absolutely no way I am going to vote for a candidate who would send men with guns into a business if they decided not to label their products as being GMO or not.

Fortunately, there are a couple of good Libertarian Party candidates running for Senate and Congress that I can vote for in New Hampshire, candidates that are actually libertarian. I hope you have some down-ticket races you can support in your state as well.

Until next time… keep striking the root!


For more podcasts episodes and to subscribe to The LAVA Flow and The LAVA Spurt, go to


Rodger Paxton
Rodger Paxton
Rodger, who runs the LAVA Flow Podcast, is a long-time libertarian activist and former Chairman and Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas. Rodger and his wife Jessica are Free State Project movers who unschool their children at home.