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Gary Johnson: GOP lost the youth vote over social conservatism

Gary JohnsonAccording to former libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, social conservatism is the only reason the GOP lost the youth vote in 2012, calling it a “disconnect” from the way “the world is.”

“You can live your life as a social conservative and affect other people’s lives by example, but that’s how you do it — not through government policy,” Johnson told Red Alert Politics.

Wrapping up his “Live Free Tour” at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, Johnson labeled himself as “socially accepting” during his speech.

“Now, I use the term accepting not tolerant, because really I don’t give a crap on how you live your life as long as your life doesn’t adversely affect mine,” he said, receiving cheers from the mostly Libertarian audience.

The former New Mexico governor also addressed the growing student debt problem during his speech and suggested the federal government eradicate guaranteed student loans completely.

“I know a lot of you have incurred a lot of debt,” he told the room full of college students. “It’s a kind of chicken and egg thing. Why is college tuition so high? College tuition is so high, because of guaranteed government student loans…I guarantee you if guaranteed government student loans did not exist, college and universities would dramatically lower the cost tuition because they want to fill these seats.”

After concluding his speech, Johnson explained to RAP that eliminating guaranteed government students loans would only help, not hurt, students who currently can’t afford college tuition. According to Johnson, if the government stopped giving guaranteed student loans, prospective students would only have to wait one year to see tuition costs decrease.

“Wherever they would be looking to go would be lower,” he said. “I don’t know how much lower, but lower.”

“College and universities are immune from normal pricing, from a free market,” he continued. “They just keep raising tuitions because of guaranteed student loans.”

Johnson said the point of visiting college campuses during his “Live Free Tour” was to build “momentum” for liberty-minded initiatives, like ending government student loans.

Over the past month, the former governor has visited nine universities for his “Live Free Tour,” a nationwide tour funded by his political advocacy group Our America Initiative.

“If you go back three years ago, I would have been at  a college or university and there would have been 5 or 7 people that showed up,” he said. “This is different.”



  1. sda53 says:

    Now that we know you have been a pot head and want to legalize heroin you think we will vote for you? The vote was decided before it happened. Where have you been?

  2. sda53 says:

    It was taken from us. obama committed fraud to be on ballot first time which makes him unqualified for office. We as a country have been infiltrated by muslim. That is what must be dealt with for the survival of our freedom and God.

  3. Katy says:

    Wow…the above comments are so rampantly ignorant and racist…I’m definitely proud I don’t call myself a Republican anymore. Though I can’t say I’m too proud to be a Libertarian right now either. Colleges want money. If they can’t get it from those who get loans, they’ll just get it from those who qualify for grants. So only the extremely poor and extremely rich get to go to school now?

    1. sda53 says:

      Gary wants to legalize heroin to be socially acceptable with youth. I do not need to know anymore than that about him. I am not republican and most certainly not liberal. I am the worst kind a southern conservative who believes and depends on God and loves America and Freedom.

      1. jes says:

        sda53 depends on God for everything. Don’t think I need to know anymore than that about him.

      2. Kyle says:

        “I believe in heroin maintenance and other harm reduction measures. But when you talk about legalizing heroin, it takes the focus away from the issues. People freak out, their brain banks power off. To talk in terms of legalizing heroin is not useful” – Gary Johnson

        Also, Bush and Obama both said they smoked pot, and Bush used cocaine and admitted to being an alcoholic. Marijuana is also now legal in 3 states and that number will only go up. It’s time to start living in the present.

        1. sda53 says:

          So now we are to judge ourselves by others and not try to live by laws God set forth. Flawed thinking at it’s best. Why do you want to be more dependent on government? Just because obama was a dope head it is okay for the rest of us? Have you seen what he has done to our country? We deserve our downfall with this type of immature thinking. Government in our schools programming our children and parents doped up so they don’t notice let alone care. Is this what we really want? God protect us from ourselves, that free will is going to fill the pit.

      3. Chad says:

        sda53, you’re logic is horrendous. You assume because something is legal people will want to do it. I don’t smoke pot, nor do I do heroin, but just because the government lifts the invisible barrier of “illegality” off drugs doesn’t mean the population will start getting high. The people that want to get high will get high regardless of the law. You can’t legislate morality.

        1. RKae says:

          Legislation IS morality. The very concept of law is a moral standing.

        2. sda53 says:

          I am amazed at how shallow some are that they don’t see it will affect our youth. Immature young people will for the most part follow the crowd maybe just once but for some that is all it will take. I will do none of these things but it is not about me. Maybe I have lived a bit longer than some of you and have seen what condoning dangerous things can do to our youth. This social acceptable crap is our downfall and helps in creating a more immature reckless society not to mention the one who become addicted.Of course we then need to depend on the government to take care of us. Correct me if I am wrong but don’t we already have clinics that help ones with addiction? This is not a new concept people. Manipulation at it’s finest. More destruction of families, this is the sixties all over again. Give people enough rope to hang themselves. But again it makes government more important.

      4. Maximilian Anderson says:

        I used to be a member of the republican party, in fact my father ran twice as a republican for a congressionally district seat in Minnesota. I have always found moral ground in the republican party as christianity is at the base of my decisions.
        But what I see wrong with republicans like sda53 is that Conservative Christians completely undermine the idea of freedom. Extreme judgement like yours make christians look terrible and your the reason christianity appears so unattractive. Sure, almost all drugs are not beneficially healthy and just because the bible tells us not to do these, doesn’t mean we should pay billions for non violent “criminals” to stay in jail, inevitable black markets to rise allowing violence over high profit underground sales, torn apart families paid for by welfare, wasted government policy and DEA interventions WHEN JESUS TELLS US TO BE GOOD EXAMPLES AND NOT PASS JUDGEMENT ON THOSE WHO NEED CLINICS AND A WAY OUT. Sure common sense would be to be intolerant of drugs, but your ignorance not only stumbles you in recognizing a great man like Gary Johnson just because you think he loves heroine now but also seeing the taboo of your own judgement.

        1. sda53 says:

          Oh how cute you are for Gary regardless of right and wrong. There is no gray area only black and white and until we stop being idiots that are like reeds blowing in the wind to what is popular we will not do well. I hope I do give today’s Christianity a bad name for they need to get back to the discipline of God’s laws and not just teach love to fill the churches. The ways of man will always led us astray. As far as my ignorance I would have to take that with a grain of salt after your comment. Younger and younger will start drugs and our problem will triple. How old are you? Nineteen?? I have never belonged to any party for I vote solely on the individual. Think of the broken homes and violence when it is no longer a crime to do heroine and many will not want a clinic or help. The solution is to raise our children with discipline and quit expecting the school system to teach them right from wrong for we are now on the verge of the government determining if a child should stay in the home with his parents. Parents are the first teachers a child has and when they drop the ball all is lost. Too many are too busy to be parents or it is easier to give them whatever so they don’t have to spend time with them. We as a society have failed our future but making less laws is not the answer. For children brought up as demigods will do drugs if too easy. Raise children by teaching them to work and build confidence so they will be leaders and not followers. And Max you vote for who you will and I will do the same. In my opinion your comment is void of truth or what is right and good for our children.

  4. Perceiver says:

    So the reason that the most moderate candidate that we have had in recent history for the Republicans lost is because of Social Conservatism? Is that the same reason that Bob Dole and John “lay off the social issues” McCain lost?

    1. conservative says:

      McCain lost because he laid off fiscal conservatism too. You didn’t hear the bit about him wanting to re-import drugs from Canada? He is a socialist, just like Romney. I am a fiscal conservative (almost Libertarian) and Agnostic and I am EXTREMELY turned off whenever a Republican talks about social issues. They will go after your freedoms as fast as any liberal. Most Republicans are not fiscally conservative. They will grow government, favor big business over small, not reform the tax code, only reduce a fraction of spending, and viciously attack social freedoms. People like Sean Hannity sicken me when they say military spending cuts are off-limits. Are you kidding? The military wastes billions, just like any government entity. There are hundreds of thousands of extremely wasteful examples all over the military when it comes to spending. He and most Republican voices are demagoguing blowhards who piss off millions of independents and libertarians whenever they talk about there weak fiscal policy and social issues.

      Obama got re-elected due to low turnout. Why exactly should I vote for a candidate who attacks freedoms and is very irresponsibly fiscally? Because the other candidate attacks more freedoms and is even more fiscally irresponsible? Sorry, not a convincing argument to tens of millions of voters like myself.

  5. MeMikeT says:

    Out politicians seem to have an uncanny ability to spin bad to appear good. And We the people can’t seem to wait to except it. Go figure.

    1. sda53 says:

      Thank you, I got blasted for my conservative views. I don’t fee government needs any more control.

  6. RKae says:

    When the culture keeps creating more and more Kermit Gosnells I rather feel social conservatism is the MAIN goal.

  7. Seipherd says:

    Yep, Social Conservatives (and Republicans by association) want to use the force of big gubermint to control other people’s lady parts. Like it or not, that’s the sucessful spin the Democrats put on the typical social conservative prolife approach. The Dem’s message is an easy sell to many.

    Ditto with “Defunding Planned Parenthood” being an easy Dem political sell about how the Social Conservatives and the GOP are against women. A common sense option for Social Conservatives would be to “Privatize Planned Parenthood” so that those who want to support abortion can do so with their own resources. This is the same result as “Defunding PP”, but it’s likely to be a positive marketing mantra that is much more difficult for the Dems to spin against the Social Conservatives.

    Seems to me, Gary has it right, this issue is best left to living by example and letting God (not government mandate) be the ultimate judge of what is right or wrong about abortion.

    It also seems that Social Conservatives in general like to cherry pick what Commandments they wish to focus upon. They typically say very little when it comes to not coveting other people’s wealth — taxing the wealthy to pay for handouts to yourself is just fine, or not worth attention. Teaching someone to fish is not a important as handing out free fish…

  8. Dan says:

    I’ve been following Gary Johnson for a while, and I believe that his intentions are to eliminate incarcerating people for the use of heroin, not making it completely legal. It would likely be illegal to sell it and even posess it. My understanding is that instead of incarcerating people who were caught using heroin, they’d be treated using synthetics that mimic the effect of heroin in order to wean them off of it. They would still be legally liable for any harm or damage done while on the drug. So if you were high and robbing a gas station, you’d go to jail for robbery, but you wouldn’t be charged solely because you were found to be using heroin.

  9. Dan says:

    Will Rogers made a statement many years ago that is analogous today; “as long as Oklahomans can stagger to the polls Oklahoma will remain a dry state” religious conservatives, police departments and drug cartels all have the same goal, to keep drugs illegal. It is beyond belief that people, good people, still believe that we should have these laws even in the face of escalating drug use, violence and the highest prison population per capita on the damn planet! Gary Johnson believes, and rightly so, that what you do with your body is your business as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else’s ability to do the same.. Sme of you don’t like that for the simple reason that you believe that you have the right to force others to bend to your will. You are a psychopathic statist! And your position is evil, every bit as evil as the drug pusher you are enabling with ultra hi profits!

    1. sda53 says:

      The government does not care about the people they just want the money the drug dealers are making for themselves.

  10. RS says:

    I dropped in as I am researching how freedom and liberty is being lost. My family was the second largest group of revolutionaries in the American revolution, many died. I also had family members who became socialist traitors from 1900 to 2001. You people make me ashamed of your selfishness and arrogance. You bicker and fight while the true enemy is cutting your children’s throats. You point at one another and call names because you haven’t a clue who the real enemy is. My grandfather was recruited by trotsky at age 15 and murdered for the socialist party until he was 40. My uncle did the same from 1935 until his death. Both were evil men. A million strong these are your enemies. More than 12 large parties socialist parties have had power over the last 100+ yrs and they will bring down America because you people fight among yourselves. When the parties finally come to power they will kill half the population. This will be the fault of you, arrogant people who refuse to work together to keep our freedom for our children. A friend of my 8th great grandfather stated,

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see!”

    Thomas Jefferson

    1. sda53 says:

      Amen. Everyone is correct in their arrogant minds. Rather bicker than come together to protect the future. Ones that choose to see no evil now to go with the flow are beyond reaching. I never thought I would live to see the day my country’s freedom was so close to being lost and I feel so helpless.