I used to consider myself a libertarian. Not in that I'd ever registered with the party or donated to them or anything like that. But the base beliefs resonated with me, and I got caught up in the Ron Paul campaigns in both 2008 and 2012. And I still think it's tragic that he was not able to beat the system and get the Republican nomination.
Ron Paul may not be the most gifted politician. To evaluate a politician's performance in something like a debate, you really have to strip the information content out of things, and instead look at stage presence, state control, and the reactions of others to them. Do that and he's pretty underwhelming. But if you look beyond the rhetoric, I don't think that there's another candidate I've ever heard who radiated knowledge and wisdom as he did. Here was a man who not only subscribed to libertarianism, but had read and understood the founding thinkers such as Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard. And not only did he have that deep understanding, but he'd applied it to his entire career as a congressman. He both understood and lived his beliefs.
It would have been interesting to see how things played out, if he'd made it to the White House.
But while I believe that libertarianism is a belief system that has a lot of good things to say, it also is fatally flawed. This is because it fails to see people as anything but individuals. While it's true that people are individuals, they are also part of groups, and those groups have a very real and separate existence. We can see this very clearly if we look at other species. Take ants for example. Ants exist as individual creatures. But it makes a lot of sense to look at an entire ant colony as it's own single organism. Ant colonies are capable of solving path finding problems that are beyond even human intelligence, yet a single ant does not have an IQ to speak of. And ant colonies are distinct. If you take an ant from one colony and place it in another, unless they are very close colonies the local ants will kill it, same as your body would reject an organ from a donor that has a different blood type.
As humans, we are like ants, and nations are like ant colonies. Ants take group action through use of scents and hormones, we do this with money, social customs, politics... and scents and hormones. And so a nation really can be thought of as a super organism. Libertarianism is flawed because it does not account for these super organisms.
Even more importantly, libertarianism is flawed because it doesn't work. We had two runs with a candidate that was pretty much the Platonic Form of a Libertarian, from his platform, to his record, to the way he ran his campaign. And he was crushed. Twice.
What's ugly is what is now left of the Libertarian party and the political ideology. There has been a pretty large shift of Libertarians moving to the Alt-Right. Even the proprietor of ronpaul.com came out and endorsed Trump. And when I go and look at pictures of the Libertarian Party convention, what it looks almost the same as the pedofest known as World Con. It's filled with ugly, misshapen, self mutilating people. And that's aside from the disgustingly overweight man who used his time on stage to dance around in a tux speedo. In other words, these people don't appear to want to be free, but to be free to be degenerate.
And then there's Gary Johnson. For starters his entire campaign seems to be based on lying about his fiscal track record as governor. For every year he governed, both spending and debt increased. And then there is his general impression. Whereas Ron Paul, if you strip the information content, doesn't give much of an impression at all, Gary Johnson gives the impression that he should not be left alone with small children. And if you do consider the information content, he sounds like a man whose education comes from some libertarian forums, and occasionally says something crazy and has to be corrected by his handlers. Even if you ignore the fact that he lies about his record, his physical presence is of a man who's very sorry and unsure about what he's saying, and that if you actually listen to what he says he sounds like an idiot, his actual advertised policy positions are awful. He believes in forced vaccinations, forcing business to serve clients that would violate their conscience, supports black lives matter, and supports TTP.
That is why I find it odd when I see conservatives supporting Gary Johnson. He is a man who is more awkward and autistic than Jeb Bush. And if anything he's to the left of Jeb. Jeb is a candidate that these same conservatives would refuse to vote for. So why they would vote for someone even worse as a protest vote is something I find very odd.