A Politician I Actually Like

The only thing more disappointing than most libertarian candidates for office are Republican and Democratic candidates for office.  So my list of politicians I like and would be willing to actively support is pretty short, encompassing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and I am not sure who else  (I had been moderately comfortable with my the House Representative John Shadeg, but his retirement has led to his replacement by Ben Quayle -- yes, of that Quayle family -- of whom I am pretty skeptical.)

A while back at a Reason Foundation cocktail party I met former NM governor Gary Johnson.  I liked what I saw of him there, and I still like him as I have learned more about him.   Check out this profile in the New Republic.


  1. Jon:

    I'm a fan of Jeff Flake too. Except he did opine for a national ID card in the form of picture ID, etc on our SS cards. He refused to call it national ID but that's what it amounts to since you would be using it for even more stuff (of course, an SS card by it's very nature is a national ID already, he just wanted more out of it). I guess when it comes to politicians no one is perfect (even when Jefferson was in office). I guess the circumstances get to people's heads, rather than the principles.

    Here's the quote:


    Caleb Brown (B): You talked a little about the necessity to have a biometric identifier for people who are coming into this country to work.

    Representative Jeff Flake (F): Yes.

    B: Legally does that not in your view invite that type of federal document for all workers in the United States.

    F: I don't think so. We have in theory a national identifier now in terms of work as it relates to work and that's a social security card. The problem is it is simply not secure. So we're not proposing legislation that we introduced does not propose a national ID it simply says that if you want to work then you should have a social security number that is tamper proof and biometric. And that would certainly help substantially employers who really don't know when they are presented with a document if it is genuine or not.

    End @5:03

    Or listen to the whole quote here:

  2. caseyboy:

    Should we ever succeed in getting the toothpaste back into the tube, i.e., restore the government to its original, limited role then the impact from poor government would be limited as well. Since you really cannot trust politicians you must limit the damage they can do.

  3. Elliot:

    I don't vote, on principle, and I don't respect any elected officials. But Ron Paul is the least odious that I'm aware of. He's got plenty of warts, but he was also the only presidential candidate of the big two who had the balls to say he'd bring the troops home tomorrow. And, he's opposed to the costly, unethical war on drugs.

    It's sad that such sane positions were roundly mocked as "kooky".

  4. MJ:

    It’s sad that such sane positions were roundly mocked as “kooky”.

    "In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king".

  5. John Moore:

    I also was a fan of Flake. This year I had a chance to talk with Ben Quayle, and was very favorably impressed - he's a smart guy with good small-government ideas, and even a reasonable approach to Coyote's favorite problem - illegal immigration. We shall see how he actually performs.

    Quayle's approach: set up private (not government) certifying companies that would validate eligibility for work visa's (criminal record check, etc) and provide a very fast way for illegals to become legal guest workers. He has personal experience with this sort of screening from a business he founded and runs.

    Of course, he isn't a Libertarian, which is IMHO a good thing. But he is at least able to simulate small government thinking (something his father was pretty good at too).

  6. Henry Bowman:

    Gary Johnson was, in my view, a good governor of New Mexico. The Dems, who control both legislative bodies, loathed him, as he vetoed lots (perhaps most) of their pork bills. I believe he vetoed 749 bills in his eight years as governor. He has a practical approach to many problems. The most common complaint was that he didn't behave like a politician.

    After he won his 2nd term, he came out publicly for what he termed "decriminalizing" some drugs, notably marijuana. The Republican establishment went bonkers and backtracked from him as fast as it could. I don't think he cared. Johnson saw a lot of suffering due to drug addiction (parts of northern NM have the highest per capita heroin use in the US!) and felt it was better to treat addicts rather than imprison them.

  7. Russ R.:

    I'd probably include Ron Paul on my list of politicians I like (even if I don't always agree with them).

    Paul's not perfect, but he's quite possibly the most consistent individual in Congress on questions of Constitutionality, and is reliably the lone dissenter any time you see a House vote pass 434-1.

    I'm hoping his son Rand will adopt the same uncompromising approach in the Senate (but with the filibuster at his disposal).