A Christian vote for Gary Johnson

Editor's note: Our series on the U.S. presidential candidates also includes endorsements of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Jill Stein.

Republicans and Democrats seem infatuated with policies that should work instead of policies that do work.

Democrats generally support a public-welfare program, a system that has had 47 years to prove that redistributing wealth lifts the poor out of poverty. It should work, but it doesn’t.

Republicans support a drug war that spends $500 every second, yet cartels still make billions from United States citizens, drug use has increased, one-fourth of inmates are nonviolent drug offenders and pot is easier for kids to obtain than alcohol.

Democrats demand more gun control because it should reduce gun crime. However, murder, rape and robberies are down to a 48-year low alongside a rise in privately owned firearms.

Republicans want to add more troops to the country’s longest war, a war that wasn’t approved by Congress, costs $50 billion and 290 lives per year, lacks a clear goal and fails to make us safer.

In all four examples, we sacrifice our freedom for partisan devotion to faulty logic.

Luckily, there is a third candidate whose name will be on the ballot in nearly every state in the upcoming presidential election. He represents a party that strives for liberty instead of unattainable partisan ideals. His name is Gary Johnson.

As governor of New Mexico, Johnson lowered taxes 14 times. This shouldn’t have created a $1 billion surplus for the state, but it did.

Since libertarianism is not yet a household term, I should clarify the stance. The Libertarian Party is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Libertarians believe it is the government’s job to ensure that no one - especially the government - takes away the liberty of another American. They demand states’ rights, a free market, declaration of purposeful wars, the freedom to make their own decisions regarding their bodies and health and little-to-no income tax.

In other words, it isn’t the government’s business if you choose to carry a gun. But it is the government's business if you use a gun to jeopardize another person’s liberty.

The consistency of the Libertarian stance is a beautiful thing. I never need to justify why my candidate was pro-choice last year and pro-life today. I never need to defend a candidate who denounces homosexuality when it serves his political interest, only to reverse that stand when it helps his re-election campaign.

But how does a Christian endorse a candidate who won’t punish personal vices or force charity through taxation?

It seems the conservative Christian’s duty is to elect a morally acceptable president, then bestow him the power to enforce Christian values. But in a pluralistic society where Christianity is just as credible as Hinduism or Islam, we need to remember that we do not know who our next commander in chief will be. If we bestow a Christian leader the power to enforce his religion, how do we remove that power when we elect a president of a different faith?

The solution is simple: keep the government small and spread Christian morality on an individual basis.

Christ lived in a political climate that makes Obama and Romney’s America look like Candy Land, yet Christ never told the Romans to force Christian values on its people. Christ worked with individuals.

It seems the liberal Christian’s duty is to elect a president who will ensure Christians are paying their share of charity. As a moderate Christian, I’m disturbed when liberal Christians equate taxation with philanthropy. By paying a set amount of money to the government, have we pleased Christ? If we smile when we pay taxes, does God exempt us from tithing?

To sum up my support for Gary Johnson: I refuse to lower my standards by choosing “the lesser of two evils.” I want a candidate who will give Christians the freedom to spread the Gospel on their own terms. I want a candidate who gets booed during debates because he refuses to spin unpopular views. I want a candidate who will implement policies that do work instead of policies that should work.

I want Gary Johnson for president.

What Do You Think?

  • How do you think Gary Johnson would perform as president?
  • How does your faith play a part in that evaluation?


Jake Vander Ark grew up in Michigan before earning his BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has written four novels over the past three years and shares his thoughts about books, movies, TV and politics at www.jakevanderark.com. / Illustration by Schuyler Roozeboom.

Comments (19)

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Is one party better than another, or one candidate than another? Perhaps, but I can’t tell from this article.

I don’t know anything about Mr. Johnson, but I do know that the vilification of the Democratic and Republican parties in these opening paragraphs misrepresents what those parties stand for as a whole. Selectively picking out some problems without attempting to balance them against what the parties do well unfairly magnifies those problems out of proportion.

The real danger is that if we as Christians feel free to engage in this type of rhetoric about political parties (point out faults and demonize from there), it is tantamount to doing the same about the people in those parties. Those people, whether fellow Christians or not, deserve better as those made by God in his image.

That said, Jake, libertarianism as a political philosophy has some very attractive aspects and you have depiceted them well at some points in this article. Thanks for your thoughts on that.


Beautifully put! I think so many people are put off by the idea of voting for someone who “can’t win,” but that’s such a simple and dangerous way of looking at it. Right now, if you vote Republican or Democrat you ARE choosing between “the lesser of two evils.” But there is a movement that’s pulling away from that, and we can be a part of it. If I decide to vote for one of the two candidates that are the most likely to win, I may feel a little more like my vote ‘counted,’ but that’s such a small-minded way to look at things. The ultimate goal is that this system will change, become less corrupt, allow people like Gary Johnson or Ron Paul to actually matter in the conversation… I am working toward the bettering our government and political system. Am I doing that by voting for the slightly less bad candidate who might win year after year? Am I really contributing anything? I’m voting for Gary Johnson not because I think he’s the most likely to win, but because i know that my vote counts toward the movement. It counts toward the ultimate goal. I’m not okay with things staying the same. People need to wake up and start looking at the bigger picture. You may look at me and see a vote that didn’t count. But in a few years when candidates that stand (consistently!) for what I believe in start mattering to all voters… when they actually CAN win, I will know my vote did count.

Thanks for your well-articulated thoughts, Tim!

Although I wouldn’t call it “vilification,” I do agree that pointing out the flaws in a party’s stance misrepresents what the parties stand for. But if we only discuss a party’s good intentions without looking at their epic failures, how can we have a meaningful, progressive discourse? Obama has proven that what he stands for and what he does are very different… to focus only on his stance would not accurately portray his success as a president.

I’m not sure I understand your second point. Are you suggesting that nobody should ever speak poorly about a political stance because we might be including other people in our criticism? Yes, people are made in God’s image… but they’re also flawed humans with the potential to do harm. Let’s push it to the extreme: If Obama randomly kills a US citizen in the name of democracy, do we bite our tongues because condemning Obama is the same as condemning all of God’s children who call themselves Democrats?

Just some thoughts : ) Thanks again for taking the time to respond to the blog!


Thanks for your great article so eleoquantly written.  Believe you summed everything up in exactly the way things are and will be if
Gov. Gary Johnson IS NOT Elected as our President!!


Libby Madar

Thanks for the dialog, Jake.

My second point flowed from the first. Unfair vilification of a party is the problem. As I put it above, “this type of rhetoric about political parties (point out faults and demonize from there), ... is tantamount to doing the same about the people in those parties.”

Criticism can be fair and called for. Unfair criticism is never called for. That was my second point.


If the accusations are false, I understand your problem with the first half of the post.

If they’re true, I think most people would agree that it isn’t “unfair” or “uncalled for” to criticize them.

It seems we only disagree on the validity of my accusations. If not, maybe I’m not sure what you mean by “fair and called for.”

Either way, thanks for the response!

You said, “But how does a Christian endorse a candidate who won’t punish personal vices or force charity through taxation?”

What is considered a personal vice to you?
Abortion? Same-sex Marriage? War?

At some point we need to, as a country, define what and where our morality is grounded. Until we do that, we can not be unified.
Seems to me that the Declaration of Independence spells that out clearly. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Where do the rights of a mother override the rights of her unborn child? Where do the rights of homosexuals as a group override the rights of the individual? Where does it say that we should not defend our soil from tyranny and terrorists?

At some point we must look to what is morally best for this country or let it go.

Is Gary Johnson the best candidate for the job? I’m not convinced. And I live in New Mexico where he did a great job fiscally speaking. But there is a lot that wasn’t done, that could have been done if a Godly moral grounding was considered.

So when you vote for our next President just remember, We all are free to make the choices we choose to make. But none of us are free from the consequences of those choices.

But my point is that accusations taken in isolation, even if true, can also be unfair if presented out of the overall context. Here’s an example.

“That man is horrible at managing his finances. That means he has horrible judgment. His ideas must be horrible too. He might even be a horrible person. Let’s not listen to anything he says.”

Is that oversimplified and extreme? Sure, but it makes the point that even a fact-based criticism can be presented unfairly. I bet God would rather we don’t do that.


“We all are free to make the choices we choose to make. But none of us are free from the consequences of those choices.”

Best comment I’ve read on a blog in a long time, Albert.


Ah, that makes more sense. So you agree that the facts are straight, but they weren’t placed in context with the good things each candidate has done.

I did my best to keep the post short and readable, and in this effort, lost the positive aspects of both Obama and Romney. To clarify (if it’s not too late), I think both candidates have many good qualities in addition to their problems.

However, I never suggested that either candidate was a horrible person, or made assumptions beyond the initial claims. The example you gave wasn’t just “presented out of the overall context” as this article may have been, but goes as far as to call a person horrible, which this article doesn’t do. I will defend my point that, no matter what nice things these children of God have done, their actions (or proposed actions) are hurting over 300 million people.

My biggest fear is that we continue to tip-toe around these problems. If we balance every broken promise, well-intended bad idea, or breach of liberty with a loving reminder that “candidates are people too,” we reinforce the “lesser of two evils” mindset. It’s great that Obama has good qualities, but he also lied, chased fake ideals to the detriment of our country, and sacrificed our liberties. I don’t think we should sugarcoat that.

Regarding your last statement, I’m pretty sure I can find examples of God’s scathing accusations against cities and individuals where he too ignores the good…

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