It's a funny story, you see...
I've been a registered Republican since before I turned 18. As a teenager I'd gone through my leftist Che Guevara t-shirt wearing phase, primarily because of my moral and logical opposition to the Iraq War. By the time I was old enough to vote I was heavily into politics and was personally invited by my local Republican Congressman to volunteer for his campaign. I did so and was influenced by great folks who were older and much wiser than I was. I wholeheartedly embraced the values of conservatism (or what I thought was true conservatism at the time) and was actually proud to call myself a Republican. After all, the Grand Old Party was the party that preserved the Union, freed the slaves, oversaw the giant economic boom of the 1800s laissez-faire era, stared down the Soviet Union, and spearheaded the great civil rights movement. I was an outspoken supporter of John McCain in 2008, though I had a healthy professional respect for then-Senator Obama. I believed McCain would be able to establish Peace With Honor in Iraq and Afghanistan the way Nixon did with Vietnam. I obviously hadn't read the Constitution yet...
However, in January of 2009 I happened to be doing research that truly changed my perspective forever. I began to read Ron Paul and Barry Goldwater, as well as heavily delving into the writings of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and other founding-era classics like Common Sense, The American Crisis, and The Federalist Papers. I began to see that I'd not only supported the wrong candidate (I should have voted for Ron Paul), but that our government was committing many of the same grievous acts as the British Crown during the 1700s. Worse yet, the Republican Party was taxing, regulating minutiae of daily life, and waging war just as much as the Democrat Party! (Don't forget who got us into World War I and Vietnam!) I knew then that I'd been fooled, and so had most of America, ever-clinging to the idolatry of one or the other party in the rigged two-party system.
Over the last three years I'd researched, read, and written heavily. I'd developed a strong grasp of U.S. and modern world history, as well as a general understanding of the Austrian school of economics (the only school of economics that accurately predicted the 2007-08 collapse and current economic recession) while the Keynesian economists in both parties said in 2007 that everything would be just fine. In this election cycle I was appalled at the stuffed shirts and useless has-beens with non-solutions that were considered Republican Presidential material. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and all the other wannabes didn't fool me with their ultra-conservative rhetoric; their big spending, big government, anti-Constitution records lay open before me. It's one thing to say "I voted wrong and I'm sorry" another thing to keep lying and insult my intelligence! Didn't my Party have any better candidates?
Yes, it did. There were the Republicans Ron Paul, who fought tooth-and-nail til the very end, and Gary Johnson, who was quickly and shamefully swept aside by the Party establishment. I campaigned heavily for Ron Paul, even joining the campaign in Iowa getting out the vote for the Iowa Caucuses. After that, any group of activists could see me traveling up and down my home state of California for the statesman who was most like our Founding Fathers and who actually had REAL solutions to balance our budget, pay down the debt, fix the economy, and end the unconstitutional wars.
Unfortunately my Party's establishment did everything in its power to sideline Ron Paul. It was appalling. They printed and broadcast lies about him. They minimized his speaking time at debates. They excluded him from candidate forums. Then they changed the rules multiple times before and during the 2012 Republican National Convention. What my Party did to the only man who actually had a chance of beating Obama was nothing less than appallingly mean, vulgar, and shameful to its core. Were it not for great Republicans forefathers like Barry Goldwater and Dwight Eisenhower, I would have been ashamed to call myself a Republican.
I will not vote for Mitt Romney. He designed the blueprint for ObamaCare, he left Massachusetts a shambles after his tenure as Governor, he has no plan for either victory or homecoming in the current wars, he believes the TARP bailouts were the right thing to do, and he agrees with the Keynesian school of economics (just like Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton). Other than a handful of superficial details, Romney and Obama are practically the same.
Luckily there's one candidate who still mirrors the philosophy of true conservatism, rugged individualism, fiscal responsibility, and Constitutionally limited government: Gary Johnson.
As Republican governor of New Mexico, he vetoed over 750 wasteful spending bills, greatly cut state taxes, reduced the size of the state's inefficient bureaucracy, and after 2 terms left New Mexico with a BILLION dollar budget surplus, new schools, and hundreds of miles of new highways. As a college student, Johnson was a handyman who started a small business and grew it to over a thousand employees. Mitt Romney was given millions of dollars by his father with which to start businesses and make money, whereas Johnson actually built a large business from the ground up. Yes, Barack (and you too Mitt!), Gary Johnson did build that!
Though I don't agree 100% with Johnson's platform (heck, I didn't even agree 100% with Ron Paul), Gary Johnson is a good candidate. He's not "the lesser of two evils" but rather another good. Republicans for Gary Johnson realize and understand this.
If you're a frustrated Republican like I am, who isn't fooled by Mitt Romney's phony conservatism and phony populism, who is looking for a candidate who can truly represent the ideals of our country's founders and the VERY THINGS WE HOLD SACRED, I encourage you to join this coalition. I encourage you to join me and to join Governor Johnson. Governor Johnson asked us, "Be libertarian with me for ONE election." I can do that. After all, it's about PRINCIPLE, not Party!
My name is Zach Foster, and I'm a Republican for Gary Johnson.