Neither full-blooded libertarians nor allegedly liberty-loving tea-party enthusiasts really care much about governing. Libertarians, accustomed to dwelling on the margins of American politics, participate in elections without hope of electoral success, if they participate at all. For them, presidential campaigns offer at best an occasion to preach the libertarian gospel to the wary public, and the more table-pounding the better. As for the tea partiers, they seem less interested in practical policy solutions to America’s problems and rather more interested in fighting a culture war over what it means to be authentically American. Unless ostensibly liberty-loving conservative voters become convinced that the sensible liberalisation of drug and immigration policy is implied by the inspired language of the Constitution of Independence, the eagle will not soar for Mr Johnson.
I’d find this pessimistic take refreshing were I in a bad mood. But it occurs to me another approach would be to try to build momentum for Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign. Look, if you want to see a political candidate get elected because of X, Y, and Z, and you recognize that not enough other people care about X, Y, and Z to elect that candidate, then the best response would be to try to convince all those people that X, Y, and Z are important. I file this defeatism under failure of marketing creativity.