I’ve come to find out that without mandatory vaccines, that the vaccines that would in fact be issued would not be effective. – Gary Johnson, Vermont Public Radio, August 24th, 2016
Like Green Party candidate for president Jill Stein, former New Mexico governor and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has said he supports mandatory vaccination. In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, Johnson said he supports government mandates of vaccines – a stark reversal from a tweet from five years ago. He went even further to say that if the issue of vaccine mandates became a federal one, he would “side with science” and require vaccination as president.
Ridiculously, some vaccine skeptics actually said they would vote for Johnson over GOP nominee Donald Trump despite the fact that he had spoken out for years about the dangers of vaccines. He reiterated those concerns both in the second GOP presidential debate as well as in an interview just four months ago. Johnson – in stark contrast – only had a tweet to suggest a somewhat reformed position on vaccines, and now he has even reversed himself on that.
Perhaps worst about Johnson’s reversal is the hypocrisy inherent to his libertarian politics. Libertarians pride themselves on protecting individual liberties, yet Johnson has now said he would allow the government to make decisions for its citizens about what can or cannot be put into their bodies. Such a position would at least follow a certain logic within the socialist philosophies of Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders and Crooked Hillary Clinton, but not in the philosophy of a candidate trying to sell himself as the third-party, liberty-loving alternative to the two-party system.
Yet he has heaped praise on the most prominent politicians of the political elite/progressive left while heaping smears on Donald Trump. Earlier this summer, Johnson called Barack Obama a “good guy” and Crooked Hillary a “wonderful public servant.” In contrast, Johnson said he could never support Trump because of “all the things he had said” – presumably including his remarks on vaccination. Johnson’s running mate Bill Weld was even more nauseating, calling Trump a “huckster” while describing a “bond” with Crooked Hillary. And in an apparent effort to pander to Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Johnson said he agreed with 73% of what the socialist senator says. The political divide characteristic of this election cycle is not between two-party and third-party candidates, but between the political establishment and Donald Trump.
If the choice was not clear enough before, it could not be clearer now. Johnson would sell out your rights and require vaccinations while Trump has said he would push for safer vaccinations as president. Apart from the fact that Johnson has no realistic chance of becoming president anyway, the only candidate for whom a vote would truly be a vote for vaccine safety is Republican nominee Donald Trump. A vote cast for a candidate other than Trump is a vote that helps enable a Crooked Hillary win, and that would be the worst possible outcome of all.