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Gary Johnson Earns Chicago Tribune Endorsement

Gary Johnson Earns Chicago Tribune Endorsement

“We reject the cliche that a citizen who chooses a principled third-party candidate is squandering his or her vote.”

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson earned another high-end endorsement when the Chicago Tribune editorial board picked him as their choice for president. The board wrote:

This year neither major party presents a good option. So the Chicago Tribune today endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson for president of the United States. Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles — and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016.

The editorial board did not want to hold their nose and pick a candidate based on the lesser of two evils and refused to do that for their readers:

We choose not to do that. We would rather recommend a principled candidate for president — regardless of his or her prospects for victory — than suggest that voters cast ballots for such disappointing major-party candidates.

With that demand for a principled president paramount, we turn to the candidate we can recommend. One party has two moderate Republicans — veteran governors who successfully led Democratic states — atop its ticket. Libertarians Gary Johnson of New Mexico and running mate William Weld of Massachusetts are agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments. They offer an agenda that appeals not only to the Tribune’s principles but to those of the many Americans who say they are socially tolerant but fiscally responsible. “Most people are Libertarian,” Johnson told the Tribune Editorial Board when he and Weld met with us in July. “It’s just that they don’t know it.”

As a libertarian from liberal Chicago this makes my heart skip a few beats.

Yes, Chicago is liberal, but the Tribune is usually on the conservative side unlike the Sun-Times. The board usually endorses Republican candidates (they endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012) and even endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in the primary. But in March, the board members said they would never endorse Trump. They kept their promise.

The board provides specific examples why Johnson provides the country a better choice than Trump or Hillary Clinton:

Theirs [Johnson and Weld] is small-L libertarianism, built on individual freedom and convinced that, at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, official Washington is clumsy, expensive and demonstrably unable to solve this nation’s problems. They speak of reunifying an America now balkanized into identity and economic groups — and of avoiding their opponents’ bullying behavior and sanctimonious lectures. Johnson and Weld are even-keeled — provided they aren’t discussing the injustice of trapping young black children in this nation’s worst-performing schools. On that and other galling injustices, they’re animated.

The Chicago Tribune is Johnson’s biggest newspaper endorsement so far. The Detroit News, also known for endorsing Republicans, endorsed Johnson this week.

Johnson and Weld also received endorsements from the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the Winston-Salem Journal.

The Tribune has shown a kinder side to Johnson in the past, urging the debate committees to allow him on the debate stage.


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Detroit News endorsed him also. Laughed at the hateful hitlery description until they finally got around to her “character”.

Since its founding in 1873, The Detroit News has backed a Republican every time it has made a presidential endorsement (three times we have sat on the sidelines — twice during the Franklin Roosevelt elections and in the 2004 Bush/Kerry contest).

We abandon that long and estimable tradition this year for one reason: Donald J. Trump.

The 2016 nominee offered by the Republican Party rubs hard against the editorial board’s values as conservatives and Americans. Donald Trump is unprincipled, unstable and quite possibly dangerous. He can not be president.

His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, has an impressive resume and a presidential bearing. And although we disagree with her nearly across the board on the issues, we acknowledge she has the temperament to be commander-in-chief and leader of both a diverse nation and the free world.

But character matters. Her career-long struggles with honesty and ethics and calculating, self-serving approach to politics trouble us deeply.

So we find ourselves in the same position as a vast number of voters in looking for an option other than skipping the presidential portion of the ballot.

    n.n in reply to 4fun. | September 30, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    she has the temperament to be commander-in-chief and leader of both a diverse nation and the free world

    Yeah, Clinton, as Obama before her, likes her progressive wars, refugee crises, and anti-native policies generally.

    Diverse as in class (e.g. race, sex) or individual?

    Judge people by the “color of their skin” (e.g. Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral philosophy), not the content of their character (e.g. principles).

    How far they have fallen.

I would have said that Hillary Clinton earned it for him. They just couldn’t bring themselves to endorse her — and fell into Johnson by default since they obviously weren’t going to endorse Trump.

Fascinating that they never even mention the Green Party candidate.

Was this before the “who is Harriet Tubman” remark and after the “what’s Aleppo” question? Poor Governor Weld looks like he’s being held hostage by the KGB.

Is James Warren still head of the Tribs editorial board?
Been a long time since I looked.

What a joke. Of course endorsing a 3rd party candidate is not NECESSARILY wasting your vote.

But at this stage of the election, with this candidate? Yes, you are a joke wasting your vote.

And spare me the ‘principled’ BS. If it was about principles they would have endorsed Johnson months ago.

Really? What’s Aleppo?

Picked an elite Republican as his running mate.

Fatal flaw