The Libertarian’s presidential candidacy poses a problem for Barack Obama.Gary Johnson is, in some important ways, the candidate that the Left once hoped Barack Obama would be. He vocally opposes the death penalty, the use of torture by the U.S. military, and the indefinite detention of people charged with a crime–even suspects charged with terrorism. He’s pro-choice. He calls for deep cuts in the defense budget and an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and from many of our military bases around the world. He unequivocally supports marriage rights for gays and believes that legalizing marijuana–rather than building a wall–is the key to solving illegal immigration. He also favors a two-year grace period for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, so that they can obtain work visas and continue living and working here....What’s striking about Johnson isn’t just the fact that he’s to the left of Obama and most other elected Democrats on many issues. It’s also his boldness in comparison with the Democrats’ timidity. He’s been a fierce critic, for example, of the warmongering and civil-liberties abuses by both major parties over the past decade. In January, when he spoke the ACLU’s National Staff Conference, he called for repeal of the Patriot Act.
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In These Times