I'm not going to lie: As a lefty-left-wing progressive liberal, I have an agenda in directing [Ron Paul supporters] to [support Gary] Johnson. I think that a strong Libertarian Party would pull votes from the Republican Party and make it easier for Democrats to win. But as I said in my piece about the Libertarian convention, I think the Republican Party is pretending to be Libertarian right now because George W. Bush destroyed their brand. I would rather see Libertarians take the place of Republicans in the long run, because I think elections would be real, meaningful discussions between two real, meaningful worldviews. I think my message is better than yours. But I think your message deserves to be heard, and I think the way Republicans have pretended to be Libertarians while still endorsing huge military spending and diminishing civil liberties is shameful. I think the best way to promote your message is by supporting Gary Johnson, and I think the best time to join up with Johnson is right now, before Ron Paul throws his support behind the Republican Party for the sake of a few talking points at the RNC this summer.Among my friends, family, and acquaintances inclined to vote Republican--or at least this year, disinclined to vote for Mr. Obama--I am reasonably certain that not a one of them is motivated by a desire to oppress gay people or outlaw contraception, or by an abiding suspicion that Mr. Obama is some sort of crypto-Muslim Manchurian
(If they are, they at least know me well enough to keep that shit to themselves.)
I'm not saying that they're all libertarians, but I think it's high time my Republican friends started to realize that the people Andrew Sullivan has so aptly named "Christianists" aren't a faction of the Republican Party. In 2012, they are the Republican Party. How else do you explain the fact that a candidate like Mitt Romney--a successful governor of a blue state who is so wholesome he makes Pat Boone look like Kei$ha and has more money than god to spend on campaigning--can't seal the deal over a theocrat that lost his Senate seat by 18 points?
Ron Paul has done more in this primary season than anyone--including me--realistically expected him to do. My hat is off to him. He's exposed a deep and real discontent on the right. But it simply isn't enough to change the GOP from within.
I, too, would like to see the Libertarians (or a libertarian party, if not the Libertarian Party) replace the Republican Party. I've been arguing for years that the LP's focus on the presidency is mostly a waste of time, and that what they really ought to be doing is working on becoming the second political party in places (like, for instance, Seattle) that are essentially one-party towns.
But Paul (Constant) is right, here. This is a fine time for disaffected Republicans to jump ship. The GOP hasn't had a candidate as weak as Romney in a long time. He isn't going to be president. The LP has never had a candidate as good as Johnson (assuming they have the good sense to actually nominate him, which is not a given.) Libertarians and fiscal conservatives who say they don't care about the moral issues (and especially those that actively disagree with the GOP line on them) ought to realize that they don't have a natural home in the GOP anymore.
If they ever did.