I haven’t talked too much about the political candidates out there lately, but it’s been a pretty good year for us — having both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the race (even though Johnson has been excluded from most of the debates) has meant that drug policy reform and legalization has hit the news as part of a Presidential campaign more often than usual.
Now it appears that Gary Johnson will be seeking the Libertarian Party nomination (to be announced next week), and Ron Paul is now the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses.
Ron Paul’s climb has been something to watch, despite the attempts by both the media and the GOP to discount him. In years past, it was easier for them to marginalize him as “the crazy one” or by re-airing things like the newsletter he published back in the 80s (something that’s now re-surfacing for the umpteenth time as Obama supporters get nervous). But this year, the rest of the GOP field is so completely wacked-out certifiably nuts that someone with an actual brain is seen as a refreshing change. And whether or not you agree with all his policies or past practices, there’s no doubt that Paul is smart and consistent, with a solid track record. You know what you’re getting.
Gary Johnson has lacked the established grass-roots machine that Ron Paul has – something that was absolutely necessary to get past the marginalization efforts of the establishment parties who are completely opposed to any kind of actual (as opposed to professed) limited government candidates.
As the Libertarian candidate, he’ll have another opportunity to get his message across. It’s a shame that he’s been left out so much. I have a number of Republican friends – sane ones – usually fiscally conservative, but socially open-minded – and when they’ve been introduced to Gary Johnson, they’ve immediately embraced his views and usually said, “Why isn’t he running for President?” Sigh.
I have absolutely no idea how this will all play out, but love the notion of two Presidential candidates seriously talking about drug policy reform.