They did it! Gary Johnson and Bill Weld brought libertarianism to the masses. For the first time the Libertarian Party was given a full hour of primetime television to take their message to the public. The ratings haven’t been announced yet but it’s certain that millions of voters from all over the country tuned in last night. Although, there were millions more that didn’t have cable. For those people, and for those of you looking to see it again, we recorded the entire segment. You can watch the full CNN Libertarian Presidential Town Hall with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld right here.
For those that have already watched, you already know that the Governors hit it out of the park. They talked about every issue from drug legalization to abolishing the income tax. The CNN Libertarian Town Hall was the best showing of libertarian ideas that the party has ever seen. One of the most important moments was when Johnson explained the difference between isolationism and non-interventionism – a major sticking point. Another highlight was Johnson artfully disarming the shooting and heroin victims’ prickly questions. Bill Weld impressed as well as he brought to bear his ideas for tackling ISIS. Weld had Johnson’s back throughout the show and it really came off as a team effort. It’s an equal ticket through and through.
Besides the issue advocacy, the greatest achievement that the Governors pulled off was making libertarianism not seem as radical as the two parties have made it out to be. Until now, the media had been pushing the narrative that libertarians were crazy but both Johnson and Weld shot that canard down. They Governors moderated libertarian views to make them palatable for the CNN Town Hall audience. That was a Herculean achievement in its own right. Instead of being dismissed by former Bernie Sanders voters who were tuning in, the Governors put their best foot forward and likely came away with the lion’s share of support.
The CNN Libertarian Presidential Town Hall was not about preaching to the choir and the Governors knew that going in. They did their best to convert new voters and expand the Libertarian Party base. Thanks to their painstaking efforts to take the highroad they made a great impression that independent voters will appreciate. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld’s appearance was a major success and will greatly contribute to getting them to the 15% needed for Presidential debate access.