Dear Gary


Dear Gary Johnson,

I am sure you’re very busy picking out your next mountain to climb or next marathon to run, but I wanted to write to you anyway.

I wanted to write to you to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the Libertarian Party has trouble picking worthy candidates for their seats. Michael Badnarik was too obscure and radical to really represent the “mainstream” libertarian. I personally try to forget that Bob Barr even exists most days. You are the first candidate we have chosen in my lifetime—perhaps who has even been available to us—with a distinguished record, sound, consistent principles, and the charisma to walk the line between the radicals in our party and the ever-growing population of people who are ready for freedom. Thank you for being a credit to our party, our ideas, and our movement.

Unlike other Libertarians who have run in the past, your campaign was focused on the big picture. You focused on a tangible goal: 5 percent of the vote. In doing so, you sought to anchor Libertarians in the political landscape for the future.  You also showed that the campaign was not about your own ego but rather about the liberty movement and the best way to further it. You embodied the one thing that libertarians most respect, admire, and are known for: principle.

You inspired people to vote their conscience. You told people that doing so was not a waste of their vote. You were charismatic. You communicated moderate libertarian positions to people who were not familiar with them. You stood up for women’s reproductive rights and their right to make their own healthcare decisions. You stood up against drone strikes, aggressive wars, and currency manipulation. You took the best of us and gave it to the country to see.

And it paid off. Because, you see, I’m also writing to congratulate you on what you already know: You are (arguably) the most successful Libertarian candidate in the history of the party. With just under 1% of the vote (1,139,562 votes), you clearly made an impression on this country. I do not think it’s a coincidence that the year you ran is also the year that voters legalized marijuana in two states and gay marriage initiatives were passed in three (in a fourth an anti-gay marriage legislation was denied). These initiatives remind us that even when our politicians don’t win (however much we may like them to), our efforts are still worthwhile as long as liberty reigns.

So, thank you, Governor Johnson, for impacting the 2012 race in ways that far exceed merely being elected president. You gave a group of disaffected libertarians a candidate that they could believe in and a chance to participate in the democratic process. You stood for liberty, and, even though you did not win, liberty did.

Thank you for helping us get the message out.  Thank you for representing libertarians with honor, dignity, and conviction. And, for what it’s worth, I’ll help you get to 5% again in 2016 if you’d like to keep working for it.


Gina Luttrell
Editor, Thoughts on Liberty

P.S. I recommend Stone Mountain, myself. 😉

  • I guarantee, if he reads this, he will sit back and feel that every mountain he had to climb to run this campaign was worth it.

  • drgeeforce

    Thank you Mr.Johnson. Thank you for giving me a candidate, someone that I could vote for and keep a clear conscience. Thanks for being honest that I didn’t have to defend my choice by lying. Thanks for allowing me to be proud to say I voted for neither of those two. For when the time comes when our country will become so disgusted with the two major parties, I hope you will take up the banner and lead our great country back onto the path of Freedom and Liberty.

  • This is well written and certainly expresses my feelings and my gratitude for arguably the best candidate (I will say candidates because Judge Jim Gray is a win/win for us, too) the Libertarian Party has ever been able to claim. My only disagreement with what you have said comes in your last paragraph where you speak of the 5% figure, once again. We cannot limit our focus nor our dreams to that 5%. We need to hold the vision of victory and make it come to fruition if we are going to deserve for Gary Johnson to put his life on hold, again, to save not only liberty, but our country. We cannot think small, certainly Gary does not. We each need to make it our mission to find the best people to organize, fund raise and beat the pavement for Gary Johnson if we intend to ask him to represent us again and we need to start now. Frankly, his campaign has probably shown Gary’s passion in a way that the Republicans might be interested in enlisting him to be on their team in 2016 and after the way we failed to step up to the plate for him, I would not blame him if he accepted their offer. To this I say GREAT for Gary and for liberty but not so great for the Libertarian Party. We NEED Gary Johnson if we are going to succeed but we need to be the ones who make him successful, too. We need to show how we can be a credible party and how we can stand up, in every way, to the big two. We can no longer stand on the sidelines and expect to win the game with cheering and pom-poms. We need to be the TEAM who elects Gary Johnson. We had Willie Nelson on our team, for heaven’s sake. Did we even ask him if he would carry the ball for us or help us raise a little money? I think we missed that touchdown, too, because if he offered his name in support, he probably would have been willing to make an appearance with Gary, also. Okay…stepping down from my soap box now. Thank you for this opportunity to express my feelings and thank you for this beautiful open letter to Gary Johnson.

  • Madfoot713

    In 2008 I was sad I was too young to vote, but in 2012 I realize that’s a blessing because I’m glad I can say my first vote was for Gary Johnson and not Bob Barr.