Teen Wolf and Gary Johnson
Teen Wolf & Gary Johnson: I hear a lot of people saying, “Gary Johnson ran in 2012 and got less than 1%. Why do you think he can win now?” For Libertarians, that’s a loaded question.
First, understand that we know the difference between who should win and who is likely to win. For a Libertarian who believes in limited government, it’s easy to say our guy (Johnson) should win. We believe it passionately. We’ve been keeping score on Republicans and Democrats for a long time and we see them both as growers of government.
Democrats want the government to be so big that they can say, “Hey! You’re too rich. I need to take more of what you earn so someone else will be better off. P.S. We’re not asking. We’re telling.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be rich some day. Like Mr. Deeds, I think I’d use my money for good, but I’m turned off by the idea that the more I make, the more they take.
Republicans want the government to be so big that they can tell you what bathroom to relieve yourself in. I think that’s a shitty position. But that’s neither here nor there.
When someone makes the argument that Gary Johnson’s shortcomings in 2012 (still about one million votes) should mean he can’t win in 2016 I say, “Consider Teen Wolf.”
Remember Teen Wolf? It was the 1985 comedy in which Michael J. Fox played Scott Howard, an angst filled teenager whose uncertainty on the basketball court and lack of confidence with the ladies made him a veritable nobody in high school. That is, until he discovered his family curse, which also turned out to be a blessing, which then turned out to be a curse, and then a blessing again. Still with me?
Now that you’ve been refreshed, replace Scott Howard with Gov. Gary Johnson in the thick of the Teen Wolf saga. First, forget about Scott’s time in the closet with Boof. Second, the wolf is irrelevant, so forget about that too. And finally, don’t think about Gov. Johnson backstage with Pamela during dress rehearsal.
As a matter of fact, let’s limit this analogy to Scott’s time on the basketball court. In the opening scene, the winning point comes down to Scott. Insert inaudible onlookers, amplify the sound of the ball being dribbled, highlight the immense amount of sweat dripping down Michael J. Fox’s forehead, and put it all in slow motion. But, despite the theatrics, Scott misses from the free throw line and falls short of victory, which was a metaphor (I think) for the whole of Scott’s story at the time.
For the record, had he been successful, it would have been a really short movie.
As the film progresses, Scott Howard realizes he’s a werewolf with extraordinary abilities. As the wolf, he’s a star on the basketball court. He’s invited to be in the school play and is arguably the most popular guy in high school. But he realizes (eventually) that all of his successes are cheapened because it’s not actually him that has fallen into social acceptance. It’s his alter ego, and he’s determined to turn the tables and win on his own.
Some think he’s crazy, like the invisible man opting out of invisibility and walking into the bank vault for a quick withdrawal. But, it’s what he wants.
Fast forward to the end of the film (and spoiler alert?). Scott (not the wolf) is back at the free throw line. The game winning shot is his to take yet again. But this time, after all of the theatrics have commenced, Scott makes the shot and wins the game. Everyone celebrates.
Why didn’t he win at the beginning of the film? He didn’t win because circumstances were different. Back then, he didn’t believe in himself. This time he knew what it was like to be a winner (thanks to the wolf), and it was his job to transition that from the wolf’s legacy, to his own.
Likewise, circumstances prevented a Gary Johnson victory in 2012. People weren’t ready for it. But after four years, the two term Governor of New Mexico has learned some valuable lessons, all of which have culminated at a time when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, perhaps the most unfavorable Republican and Democratic candidates ever, are offering little choice to fiscal conservatives and fans of less foreign conflict and intervention. And that could be Johnson’s golden ticket.
That, could be Johnson’s winning shot.
With another former Governor, William Weld at his side, 2016 could be the perfect storm, and at the very least the existence of a non-Trump/Clinton ticket will offer an option of conscience to more reasonable voters.
So, while he didn’t score the game winning shot in 2012, Gary Johnson’s final act is yet to be seen, and I for one want him to sink it.