Is Gary Johnson The New Ralph Nader?
He drew ridicule from the Republican mainstream when he sought the presidential nomination. He's frozen out of the debates and ignored by most mainstream media. Whether Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson really believes that he can win is not as important as whether he believes he can influence the outcome. He's on the ballots in 48 states.
Ralph Nader, whose scathing expose of automotive safety standards Unsafe At Any Speed a half-century ago led to seat-belt laws whose echoes can still be heard in distracted-driving legislation, led the Green Party presidential ticket in 2000 and became a worry for both major parties in hotly-contested states.
Johnson's persistence gives him the potential for the same spoiler effect. He won't be in tonight's Obama-Romney debate, but he's instructed followers to raise their voices and hold signs supporting him in high-visibility spots all over the country tomorrow and Friday.
Libertarian organizers are using social media such as Facebook to launch "Sign Waving Day." The cleverest signs sent to CampaignTrailPics@GaryJohnson2012.com will wind up in a campaign video.
The former New Mexico governor's admittedly radical platform includes legalization of marijuana, massive cuts in defense spending, immediate troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq, and mutual sacrifice by all Americans to restart the economy. With limited resources and no matching Federal funds, he's trying to reach disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats who don't see substantial differences between Obama and Romney.