“It all depends on whose ox is getting gored.” — Wilbur Beach, my grandfather.
There are those that are pretty insulting towards anyone with an inclination to support Johnson/Weld. How could I, they say.
Well it’s about my oxen. My politics are based on my life, just as everyone else’s is based on theirs. I presume those who are 100% behind Hillary haven’t had their oxen put in danger by her.
First Ox: My Company
My parents were Republicans, so by default, without thinking much, so was I. This continued up until the point in my life when I finally realized a long time dream, to have my own software company.
There’s nothing like trying to run a company to make you a Republican. Or at least, a Republican as they used to be. (We were treated like criminals in Democratic Massachusetts.)
So now, 1991, I’m finally living my dream, self employed with my own small venture just beginning.
Bill Clinton is elected, and wants to overhaul health care (great idea!) and puts Hillary in charge. She comes up with all sorts of (good) ideas. But how is she going to pay for it? No problem she says, fees charged to corporations.
Well we couldn’t afford those, it would put our small concern right out of business. And many others like us. When it was pointed out that her plan would bankrupt hundreds, maybe thousands of small companies, she commented: “I can’t be held responsible for under capitalized corporations.”
I remember the quote. Do you understand how scary a time that was for me? Here’s a health care system in the making that is threatening to crush our dreams. Force me out of my own business and back to working for some large, sufficiently capitalized company. Everything we had been working to build would have been destroyed had her plan gone through.
She, a lawyer, had no idea about the concerns of small business. Fortunately for my small business, her plan didn’t materialize.
OK, that was a while ago, I can let bygones be bygones. Now I’m listening to the 2016 debate. Hillary is calm, in control, and has all sorts of great ideas for her vision of America. But, how is she going to pay for it?
Tax the corporations.
That phrase went through me worse than anything Trump said. She still doesn’t get it, still sees corporations as maple trees with infinite sap to be tapped.
Gary Johnson built a business from the bottom up. He understands. He points out that companies create jobs, not government. (Our two person company went on to create jobs for three others.)
Well what about those large corporations? They can afford it, right? A recent article in the Economist, not about the election, was talking about Apple being fined for tax avoidance strategies overseas.
The Economist points out that the problem isn’t just Apple, and that many large corporations have moved around $2 trillion out of this country. They point out that the reason companies are doing this is because our corporate tax laws are creating the incentives for them to move that money out of the country.
Consider that lost $2 trillion when Hillary says corporate taxes can fund the vision she has for America.
She is as clueless about companies and taxes as Gary Johnson is about the Middle East.
Second Ox: my son and grandchildren
I have an ox in the Middle East as well.
There is no question that there is probably no one on the planet who knows more about the Middle East than Hillary, Secretary of State. It’s her job to know.
It was not Gary Johnson’s job. His job was running his company, and then running New Mexico, both of which he did very well.
So no, he doesn’t understand the Middle East, or any foreign issues to the depth that Hillary does.
BUT, he has broad brush views, that would shape his policy as he came up to speed (and yes he would come up to speed if elected as every new president has had to). He is for a strong national defense and against unnecessary foreign involvement.
Why? because for one, he feels it hasn’t worked. He thinks what we did in Iraq has gone terribly wrong, for example.
And how does this get to be my ox? Well my son was in the military, and he was driving trucks down Iraqi roads with IEDs. He’s fine thanks, and I’m proud of his service to this country, but did I sleep well those nights?
Do I want him, and now maybe not too far in the future, my grandboys going to war in foreign countries for ill conceived goals?
(And I’ve got history, I’m of the Viet Nam generation. I didn’t go (another story) but friends of mine came back maimed, for what?)
I’d rather have Gary Johnson, who won’t deploy our troops unless necessary, than someone who will, even if she knows more about Aleppo.
A Goat: attitude
This isn’t an ox, but rather something that gets my goat. I really hated how Hillary summarily dismissed the concerns of small business back then.
OK, bygones be bygones again.
And then she comes out and dismisses half of Trump supporters as deplorable. She hasn’t changed. Zero empathy for those that aren’t with her program.
I have great fear of a president that has so little regard for the issues of such a large voting block. That has so little political skill for reaching across the divide.
Gary Johnson is in the center. He understands the Trump supporters, and he understands the Bernie supporters, who align with Hillary.
He will not be the target of dysfunctional Republicans like Obama was, and as Hillary is sure to be.
My Heart: Bernie’s minions
Well I said I was a Republican. True, until George W. Bush. When the Republicans decided to woo the Christian Right, when they decided to take on all those social issues, when they decided the government should make key personal decisions for people, like whether they can have an abortion or not,
Well they lost me. This isn’t an ox, but my personal belief in individual freedom.
I don’t want the government telling people who they can marry and who they can’t. (OK, so this an ox as well. I hate the fact that any decision I might make to marry, at my age, is overwhelmingly influenced, and in fact discouraged, by tax, insurance, and legal regulations regarding marriage.)
Gary Johnson, and the Libertarians in general, support individual freedom.
So, for me, what’s to think about?
The Libertarians will encourage my business to grow, to hire others, to continue the work (and it’s done some good work) it has done.
The Libertarians will not send my grandchildren off to war without a really good reason.
The Libertarians will not tell my gay friends they can’t marry, or put my pot smoking friends in jail. (Heroin is a different story, they’re not crazy.)
Of course I’m excited to see Johnson/Weld as a viable choice. Of course I encourage all to at least take a look at them. Of course I want to see them in the national dialog, on the stage in the debates.
The Trump Card
I’m as afraid of Donald Trump as anyone. And I live in Florida, the swingingest of swing states.
I cannot tell you how much I hate the idea that to prevent Trump I have to vote against all my self interest, to risk the future of my company (smaller than it ever was), and the lives of my grandchildren.
I have to vote against what I believe to be the future path for our country, the one that WILL continue America’s greatness. (Millenials support Johnson/Weld, and their number one job aspiration is entrepreneur. How can Hillary bring them back with her attitude towards small business?)
That I have to vote for the dysfunctional two party system, that used to work, when both sides could negotiate. That I have to chose between, on the one hand, fiscal irresponsibility and social justice, and on the other, well in this case, fiscal irresponsibility without social justice.
I will continue to support the Johnson/Weld ticket, I will encourage everyone to see what they have to offer. I will understand that each of us will be voting for what makes the most sense to them, and their situation in life.