Gary Johnson: “We need another Declaration of Independence”

As I’ve traveled the country over the past many months, I have been known on occasion to ask crowds, given what’s going on in Washington, DC, if they want a Revolution. Now that I am a declared candidate for president, I’ve tried to cut down on the references to revolution – with the amount of travel I do, it would be really inconvenient to end up on a government watch list.

But as we celebrate Independence Day, it is entirely appropriate to consider the possibility that we need another Declaration of Independence. There’s nothing wrong with the old one. I just think we perhaps need another one.

While the list of grievances that prompted the original Declaration was quite long, and included much that doesn’t apply — yet — when it comes to our relationship with our own federal government, there are a couple that jump off the page when you look at them today.

Consider this: Much of the motivation behind the Declaration of Independence in 1776 stemmed from repressive taxation. The Tea Act, the Stamp Act…..we all remember the history lesson. What we sometimes forget, though, is what brought those taxes about: Britain was heavily in debt. Much of that debt was the consequence of having engaged in several costly wars in a short period of time – including the French and Indian War.

Lacking financing options, Britain turned to taxing the Colonies to erase the red ink – justifying it in part on the basis that the colonists were made more secure by that war. With a debt ceiling about to be breached and the government’s financing options becoming more limited, and some of the rhetoric we are hearing from the White House and others, does that scenario sound familiar or what?

Also chief among the grievances which prompted the Declaration was the chronic abuse by monarchy in Britain of its right to “Assent to Laws”. Laws passed by the colonies, before they could take effect or be enforced, had to be “assented” to by the Crown – and the Crown used that right to block the colonies from governing themselves and adapting their own laws to their own needs, innovations and best interests.

While the governance structure is a little different, is there any real dispute that our federal government has quite successfully created its own right of “Assent” in far too many areas of our lives and economy? Go to any state in the union, and you will find innovations, ideas and priorities that have the support of the legislature or governor, but which are blocked by the Feds. Health care, Medicaid, highway construction, gun rights, education, drug laws – the list goes on and on of issues in which the states are not even remotely free to act without the permission of an all-knowing federal government. Just this week, the Department of Justice once again reminded the states that implementing medicinal marijuana laws could bring the full weight of the federal government down on them. All across the country, states are having to submit health care and Medicaid plans to Washington for permission to innovate, save money, and fashion programs that might actually work without bankrupting us.

Let there be no mistake; our government in Washington has done a masterful job of reestablishing the right to Assent of Laws. We may not have to wait for the King’s blessing any more, but if you are a governor or state legislature, just try doing something innovative or important with the Assent of Washington.

And of course, there is whole notion of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Washington’s interference in those would require a book.

Yes, perhaps the time has come for a new Declaration of Independence – or at least a refresher course on the old one. The good news: As I travel the land and talk with Americans of all political persuasions and walks of life, it is clear that the same spirit of independence, the same desire for liberty, and the same willingness to push back against over-reaching government that created this great nation is alive and well today.

Americans are once again demanding Independence – and I am confident we will once again prevail.

source: Gary Johnson 2012 website

3 Comments
  1. Paul/Johnson would be a powerful ticket for an independent run when they both get oppressed by GOP establishment primary shenanigans (come on, we all know it’s going to happen).

    1. Paul doesn’t have the goods to attract votes from all sides of the spectrum. Also, he’s a congressman and not very experienced in executive politics. Johnson has the presidential credentials as a governor, and his story is one of success by any means necessary under any adversity. Gary Johnson is the ticket to fixing the U.S.

  2. Gary Johnson is a breath of fresh air compared to the other republican candidates. He is honest and smart! Its so nice not to be pandered to by slick talking sound bite politicians. I believe Governor Gary Johnson is Obamas biggest threat. Its really hard for Obummers re-election team to paint a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, anti war GOP candidate who wants to legalize marijuana as a right wing extremist. His socially liberal stances will be attractive to democrat and independent voters. Not to mention he was a very successful two term(that’s one more term than mitt romney) republican Governor in new mexico a state that is 2 to 1 democrat. He left office with a billion dollar surplus and was arguably the most fiscally conservative governor ever. He is a true Statesman and practices good stewardship of your tax dollars.He also will not engage in mud slinging or name calling. He ran two campaigns in NM where he never mentioned his opponent. He will stick to the issues and not try to blame obama. I met Gary Johnson twice last year in my state of MO.. Once when he spoke at UMKC and another event he spoke at Missouri Southern State University. in Joplin Mo. He took the time to answer all my questions and sincerely listened to my concerns.. He is obviously working harder than the other candidates! For this he has earned my vote and support!