Friday, September 9, 2016

Gary Johnson Passes The Moronic Wannabe Leader Test

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It was startling to see a major third party candidate on live television instantly converted into a clueless  moron. In this case, Gary Johnson - the Libertarian candidate- yesterday  on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe', got this question from Mike Barnacle: "What would you do, if elected President, about Aleppo?"

Johnson suddenly appeared pop-eyed and asked: "What's Aleppo?"

To which Barnacle replied:  "Are you serious?"

Because every sentient being with a consciousness somewhat higher than a kindergartner's knows Aleppo is a besieged city in Syria  and the epicenter of a humanitarian crisis. Indeed, tens of thousands have been killed there after five years of the Syrian Civil War.  Yet Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, and the Libertarians' presidential hopeful - didn't know that.

On the dooofus scale for presidential disqualification, Johnson's answer puts him on a par with Ben Carson, who in one forum (in 2015) suggested the Baltic states (Croatia, Slovenia etc.) were not part of NATO.  His faux pas also rivals that of Rick Perry who - in a 2012 debate, failed to recall the DOE (Dept. of Energy)  as one  of the main federal agencies.

Let us agree then, that for any given forum - whether formal presidential debate, or even informal appearance on cable TV, there are certain "deal breakers" in terms of  candidate's fitness for office. One of these is failing to exhibit knowledge of basic current events especially in relation to existing world problems, crises or global policies. On this score, Johnson failed the leadership test just as Carson and Perry did earlier.

Johnson attempted to explain his reaction by later saying he "understood the significance of Aleppo but blanked out".  Now, let's process this, please. He is claiming that in an informal setting, on an early morning cable TV  show - usually watched by fewer than 1 million - he lost command of his brain for the duration and reverted to a default zombie condition..

One is then led to ask, assuming Johnson were to actually become President, what we might expect if he had a face off with Vladimir Putin at a high powered meeting on one crisis or other. And let's say Putin asked him point blank what he and his administration intended to do about the Chechen terrorists? Would Johnson "blank out" just then and ask "What's a Chechen?"  Subsequently correcting himself and saying "I know the significance of Chechnya but I blanked out?"  What do you suppose Mr. Putin would think? (Apart from wondering how Americans could be so stupid as to elect this guy to be President.)

Or, suddenly the nation is under nuclear threat from China and the Joint Chiefs advise going to Defcon 2. Will Johnson then blank out and ask: "What's Defcon 2?"  Then, after it's too late blurt out "I REALLY did understand the significance of defcon 2  but blanked out!"

You see where I am going with this? The excuse of blanking out is no excuse at all, period, because anyone in the position of commander -in -chief simply can't afford to do that. You are no longer an average Joe Citizen allowed the luxury of blanking out, forgetting key information, or falling asleep on the job.  You are now responsible directly for the nation's security as that commander -in -chief so can no longer have the luxury of lapses that might be afforded anyone else.

Johnson's spin is not satisfactory, therefore, and that means while he passes the "moron wannabe leader test' he fails the real leader test.  This comes at a time when Johnson has been trying to raise his profile and meet the 15 percent poll threshold (based on 5 national polls) to secure a spot with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the debates. Currently, he is hovering at nine percent. One certainly is left to argue  that Johnson's blanking out was perhaps a "mercy killing" for his debate chances. This is given how he'd look blanking out in front of tens of millions if asked, say by Martha Raddatz: "Mr. Johnson, how would you propose to resolve the Spratly Islands dispute with China?"

Even Johnson has acknowledged how he brought himself to such a precarious position. In a different interview yesterday he acknowledged the consequences for a candidate seeming to lack a basic understanding of a major foreign policy issue. He actually  said:

"For those who believe this is a disqualifier, so be it."

Of course, the blatant missteps and interview blunders of one Libertarian presidential candidate will hardly dissuade the high IQ members of Mensa and Intertel from continuing to glamorize Libertarianism as the choice of the brilliant cognoscenti (i.e. that they fancy themselves to be.)  They fetishize this misbegotten ideology because they are anti-statist at the core, and use it as a convenient economic vehicle to denounce everything from taxes for support of social insurance, to climate change. (Not wanting taxes to support gov't research, or have any carbon taxes or rationing.)

But bright though they are, these same high IQ Libbies can't seem to see the paradox of their positions in terms of national governance.  To wit, their entire premise is opposed to any rational and practical governance.  Recall the Libertarian Party Principles state:

We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”

This has been further amplified via Charles Murray's statement in What it means to be a Libertarian (p. 6):

“It is wrong for me to use force against you, because it violates your right to control of your person....I may have the purest motive in the world. I may even have the best idea in the world. But even these give me no right to make you do something just because I think it's a good idea. This truth translates into the first libertarian principle of governance: In a free society individuals may not initiate the use of force against any other individual or group

But if one considers the context,  such a “libertarian principle of governance" emerges as an oxymoron! Governance presumes and demands the non-passive act of governing, which means the projection of force for enforcement of laws including for national security.  Someone is invariably and actively setting standards of expected action, and also providing the means to uphold the standards. In other words, force inevitably backs up governance. Why do you think cities maintain police forces, and the nation a large volunteer standing army - along with assorted weapons to control crowds?  It is to sustain coherent and FORCE-ful governance. The libertarians, then, espouse a philosophy which cannot possibly work in the real world - because that world implicitly recognizes and declares government the primary agent of force, i.e. to enforce laws. Look around for a "force-less" government, i.e. which retains adherence and respect for its laws with no use of force.

If governments aren't enabled to enforce their laws , what’s the point? It’s all an exercise in mental masturbation. People can do whatever the hell they want!  Set up sex store emporiums or pot shops next to schools, or sell cocaine  and semi-automatic weapons in open stalls on the sidewalks of major cities!  Freedom thereby becomes perverted into a veritable "free for ALL". In other words, unless governance declares limits to actions - and someone (coercively) enforces governance, a functional society becomes  impossible.

All of this shows that the high IQ Libertarians inhabit a sheltered world of their own with no practical touch points to reality.  In this sense Johnson's blank out breakdown ought to have been a wake up call, but more than likely will just elicit more rationalizations - just as those they've used to defend Ayn Rand.

Thankfully, the chances of Gary Johnson becoming the first Libertarian president are about the same as his forlorn party ever becoming competitive in national politics.

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