Gary Johnson: On fire for freedom in third party Larry King debate

Larry King's third party debate was a stellar moment for Gary Johnson. Photo: Jim Mone/AP

WAIKIKI, October 23, 2012 — America owes Larry King a debt of gratitude for giving an audience to third parties tonight. Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson all come from differing ideologies and have vastly contrasting visions of reform, but share the united belief that America deserves better than the two party system.

Tonight, everyone who participated in the third party debate was truly a winner. We witnessed a perestroika of American politics as candidates who had been suppressed by partisan stratification and media lockout spoke with palpable emotion and deep seated sincerity. As someone who voted absentee for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, I was especially moved by the former New Mexico governor’s incredible tour de force rebuke of the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the post-9/11 security state, the inability of the two parties to balance the budget and cut spending and the need to put morals back in the lap of families and local communities instead of government.

Johnson has always been an inspiring public figure and an adept orator, but tonight we saw the “bingo” moment for the Libertarian Party with him on fire for freedom and speaking boldly and unrestrained about the need to vote on principle. So stunning was Johnson’s debate performance that I was quickly reminded of Ron Bloom’s epic 1988 liberty anthem In Your Eyes - tonight, America could clearly see the love of freedom shining in his eyes.

So many today have settled into the dividing belief of left or right, but tonight Johnson and the other three debate participants were united in the pursuit and restoration of American freedoms.

It’s been a long time since America has heard a presidential candidate truly worth cheering for, but Gary Johnson delivered a powerful liberty message that deserves not only our applause but a click of our heels to attention and a razor sharp hand salute.  

“Wasting your vote,” Johnson said, “is voting for someone you don’t believe in.” His words should be the rallying call of this election. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” the Declaration of Independence says, teaching us that America began not with government, but with faith and personal conviction. For too long America has allowed her beliefs to be put on hold for the momentary expedience of choosing between the lesser of two evils. It’s time to restore America’s fallen tent of faith and go back to voting for principle, not for party, not for candidate egos, not for the sake of stopping one angry mob with another angry mob.

I consider myself very blessed to have not only the privilege of voting for Gary Johnson, but to have seen him participate tonight in a national debate hosted by Larry King. This is a step in the right direction. Let us not despise the day of small beginnings. This is America’s time to stand and be counted for principle, for honor, for liberty and for justice for all.

I voted for Gary Johnson as my first ever Libertarian presidential candidate – and I hope you will too. 


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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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