A Libertarian response to the vice presidential debate


Wes Benedict

A Libertarian response to the vice presidential debate

AUSTIN – October 12, 2012 – Paul Ryan and Joe Biden are equally bad on every major policy. It’s no wonder they were too cowardly to let Libertarian vice presidential nominee Jim Gray join the debate last night.

With the media and the two major parties keeping Libertarians out of the debates, Libertarian Action Super PAC (LASPAC) will be reaching out to voters directly during the last few weeks by mailing and robocalling hundreds of thousands of voters in a few key states to let them know about the Libertarian presidential ticket.

Judge Jim Gray could have wiped that smirk off Joe Biden’s face by simply calling him out for supporting the foolish wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by calling the Biden-supported PATRIOT Act another gross violation of civil liberties.

While more and more voters support decriminalizing marijuana, Joe Biden helped create the White House Drug Czar’s office in 1988. In contrast, Libertarian Jim Gray, a former judge and  outspoken critic of the War on Drugs, co-sponsored the 2011 California initiative “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine.”

In reaching out to the Tea Party, Jim Gray could have slapped Paul Ryan across the face with Ryan’s votes for the TARP bailouts, GM and Chrysler bailouts, the 2003 Republican Medicare expansion, and wasteful ethanol subsidies. We know what Paul Ryan would be like as vice president, because we have his horrible voting record after 14 years in Congress.

The vice presidential debate last night reaffirmed one thing: on all big issues, the Republicans and Democrats are in complete agreement.

Both the presidential and vice presidential debates have squandered their time on silly semantic arguments and insignificant details. Obama and Romney’s positions are so similar that they have to play stupid semantic games to create the illusion of a difference. The same goes for Paul Ryan and Joe Biden.

The only noteworthy thing about the debate was that Libertarian candidate Jim Gray was not allowed to participate. If Jim Gray had tried to attend, he would have been arrested. Why? Because the Commission on Presidential Debates has only one goal: promoting and perpetuating the Republican and Democratic Parties. This has become so evident that major sponsors like the YWCA and Philips Electronics have recently withdrawn their support from the debates.

Here’s an example of the comical semantics: Paul Ryan said, “Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.” In other words, instead of spending $716 billion on health care, the feds will spend $716 billion on health care. But Joe Biden denies it: he insists that the feds will actually spend $716 billion on health care.

That’s why Americans needed to see Jim Gray up there, cutting through the nonsense and explaining that Medicare is an inefficient and unjust system that needs to be changed. Americans ought to be able to provide for their health care through voluntary choices, not massive taxation and government spending. But Jim Gray was prohibited from participating.

Paul Ryan loves big government, and he is apparently no longer hiding it. That might be a good thing — after all, Americans deserve to know that Paul Ryan supported the hugely expensive TARP bailouts, GM and Chrysler bailouts, No Child Left Behind Act, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq, 2003 Republican Medicare expansion, and even wasteful ethanol subsidies.

Joe Biden has no interest in protecting civil liberties. He supported the PATRIOT Act and has voted to renew it. He wants to build a Mexican border fence. He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. He has steadfastly supported the War on Drugs.

Both candidates spent lots of time talking about how they wanted to increase or “not cut” military spending. Unfortunately, the millions of Americans who want to cut military spending are left out in the cold. If Libertarian Jim Gray had been there, he could have talked about the benefits of non-interventionism and cutting military spending. But Jim Gray was prohibited from participating.

The Gary Johnson-Jim Gray ticket plan for peace and prosperity is simple: end marijuana prohibition, bring the troops home from Afghanistan tomorrow, and cut spending by 43%. Do those three things, and American job opportunities will flourish.

Wes Benedict, president of LASPAC, served as Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee from 2009 to 2011.



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