The New Republicans, or Gary Johnson is Running for President

“Watch out for the piss.”

The man in the American flag monster truck trucker hat put his hand around my waist so delicately that, for a moment, I didn’t know if I’d ended up in the wrong living room of sweaty strangers. “Just walk on the tarp,” said Ben, 62, a retired trucker, whose spare house seemed more like a DMV than a home. “We have an incontinent dog. Betty. She’s a German. My wife won’t do the diapers anymore, so the tarp is one big diaper for the house now. You drink Bud?” I don’t, but I did.

In a sunny split-level ranch on a Sunday afternoon, a small group of California Libertarians met to discuss former two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, currently running for president as a Libertarian. I was curious to learn more and this was my first meeting.

“We just wanna be left alone!” yelled Stan, 51, a freelance business consultant, blowing out bubble-gum weed smoke from his vapor pen. “Lemme be me in the privacy of my own home and let the government fix the roads. Okay? We need a manager-in-chief, not an activist-in-chief.”

“Yes! Exactly,” exclaimed Tara, 27, a sex worker with an old school ‘40s burlesque dancer tattoo on her forearm. She leaned in. “I feel like our basic humanity is punished for political points. Freedom is criminalized. Pleasure is criminalized. Liberty is so regulated. That’s why Johnson is so important.”

Gary Johnson’s campaign is about as exciting as staring at a wall for four hours. Times a campaign. But if there has ever been a time for the Libertarian movement, it’s now. The Republican Party has abandoned its right to govern, putting party before principle, power over patriotism, and nationalism over nation, essentially becoming a cult. And today, at this very moment, the Republican Party has become a political Heaven’s Gate, led by a fanatic who has convinced his eager followers to slurp the phenobarbital-laced applesauce in one of the most stunning murder-suicides we have ever seen on reality TV. But there is no spaceship at the tail of this comet either, and by the time his minions figure that out, the Democrats will be counting the bodies in the Trump Tower bunk beds. So a good question to be asking right now is this: Is the Republican Party America’s history or America’s future? And who will be left in charge of answering that?

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Read the rest of Matthew-Lee Erlbach’s powerful piece in the next issue of Sheriff Nottingham, SN8: Nightmoon, coming out November 12th, 2016.

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