September 9, 2016

With "What is Aleppo?" gaffe, Johnson loses the smarter-than-thou protest vote (AKA all of his voters)

When questioned about his thoughts on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the Libertarian candidate simply responded "What is Aleppo?" with a blank stare on his face.

Within hours, all of the chattering classes slammed him for not knowing one of the factoids that the self-styled smartypants set is supposed to know. He can't possibly be a member of our cool club if he flunks such a basic test.

And with that intense and widespread ostracism, Gary Johnson is functionally no longer a candidate in this election.

His whole appeal to voters was to give them a way to vote -- don't want to be one of those low-info proles who sits the election out -- while still broadcasting their moral and intellectual superiority over the voters of both major parties.

Now that their candidate has the reputation of being publicly dumber than Dan "Potatoe" Quayle, they can no longer use him as their vehicle for signaling how much smarter and knowledgeable they are than the sheeple voting for Trump or Clinton.

His main block of support was younger voters, those who are most certain to have witnessed the tarring and feathering over social media. If they voice anything other than snark for their erstwhile candidate, their own social media accounts will get lit up with snarky comments questioning their own knowledge base. Nothing could be worse for the South Park intellectuals.

And it's even worse than that: having been revealed as just another goofy know-nothing stoner, Johnson has acquired the lowbrow-freakshow persona that his supporters had associated with "carnival barker" Trump, who has never felt more Presidential. Now it is they who would be voting for the Idiocracy candidate.

Of course, they weren't actually going to vote for him. In 2012, he got one-fifth of his poll numbers from just before the election -- polled at 5%, got just under 1%. He has not been running a campaign this time either, and is merely hoping for unearned protest votes.

Still, polling at around 10% in close races would have gotten him 2%, which we cannot afford in so crucial of an election, with a real difference for a change on the major issues between the two parties. My impression is that he was mostly drawing Bernie bros and moderate Republicans, which means when they go back to the major parties (or stay home), it will benefit Trump more than Clinton.

Don't be afraid to maintain the ostracism of this guy for "not knowing basic facts," which this crowd competes for status over. We can't have any holier-than-thou protest votes getting in the way of long-overdue change.


  1. Gary Johnson has written that he derives many of his libertarian beliefs from Ayn Rand. What would you expect from a guy who let a girl do his thinking for him, and an Ashkenazi Jewish one at that? Certainly not a well informed and sophisticated understanding of the world that serves white interests.

    It says a lot about the defects of American-style libertarianism that it derives from the writings of, and the examples set by, three damaged, sterile women in the last century who couldn’t form stable marriages, namely Johnson's guru Ayn Rand, along with Isabel Paterson and Rose Wilder Lane.

    These women, and especially Rand, understood “freedom” to mean liberation from patriarchal authority, the real basis for any society worth living in apart from its economic arrangements. Rand in particular promoted the agenda of feminist degeneracy: Women’s education and careers; women’s sexual freedom, abortion, contraception and sterility; open marriages, affairs and divorce.

    With an advocate for “freedom” like that, no wonder this kind of libertarianism has lost the war of the cradle, and especially in an era when massive migrations of diversity trash from the world's shit holes threaten to dispossess the white American population with our traditions of freedom, limited government and the rule of law. And no wonder that Rand cultists have to keep their movement in business through this creepy practice of trying to recruit teenagers from other people’s families by shoving copies of Rand’s novels into their hands; following the Randian model, Rand obsessives don’t replenish their ranks organically by marrying and forming their own families.

    An alternative kind of libertarianism that understood demography and the need to play a long game to succeed in transforming society would combine economic libertarianism with traditional patriarchy, white identitarianism, restricted immigration and high fertility. The future belongs to the people who show up for it, and with the demographic victory of this model over a few generations, women in an affluent and functional white America could, say, inherit sound money without having to pay inheritance taxes; but they would have little sexual freedom apart from the freedom to refuse marriage offers, and the ones who slept around or had illegitimate children would face social and legal sanctions to discourage such behavior. This would keep women dependent on private relationships with men instead of having to turn to the state for the coercive wealth redistribution promoted by feminists.

    No libertarian I know of advocates this kind of society as his long-term goal; but it makes more sense than the self-sabotaging feminist decadence promoted by Ayn Rand’s vision of a liberated world.

  2. Trump typically polls higher when third party candidates like Johnson and Stein are accounted for. What's your take on that?

  3. Could be that Clinton is getting drained by two alternatives, while Trump is only getting bled by Johnson. And since the difference isn't that much between 2-way and 4-way, it could all be due to Stein's siphoning of several points away from Clinton and none from Trump.

  4. Random Dude on the Internet9/9/16, 7:13 AM

    Most of Johnson's supporters are people who in the final moment in the voting booth will pull the lever for Trump. Same goes for Stein supporters and Clinton.

    I still think Johnson will end up getting somewhere around 1-1.5 percent of the vote and Jill Stein will end up somewhere around 0.5 percent; both sets of numbers are improvements over their 2012 performances but only marginally so. Egg McMuffin will be lucky to get 0.2 percent, mostly from Utah.

    The upside here is that Mitt Romney's reputation will be permanently damaged for ditching Trump in favor of Gary "dude weed lmao" Johnson. Same goes for the Bush dynasty, except for George Prescott Bush who was smart enough to support Trump in August. Of course, he is the only remaining Bush with a future. If there is one good thing Trump did that both sides can agree on, taking down the Bush political dynasty was a true work of art. Nearly a century of hard work that disappeared in a matter of months.

  5. Johnson is basically a liberal masquerading as a libertarian. See his stance on freedom of association, a "free market" carbon tax, and hissy fit over illegal immigrant being offensive.

  6. Excellent take, but like Anon, it seemed to me, too, that Johnson was draining from Clinton. I know a Johnson voter and he is *exactly* as you describe. Poor guy is so insecure. Goes on about his taste palette being so refined, must grind his own coffee beans for freshness and that kind of thing. He's a very average truck driver. Glommed onto the drug legalization movement, hence his support for Johnson. Otherwise, since he's a Socialist who always votes Dem, so I guess he might have gone to Clinton, but I don't know.
    My husband wanted to make fun of him for supporting Johnson, but I told him, "Don't you dare!" Can't risk a Clinton vote.

  7. "what is Aleppo?" is Johnson code for "dude weed"

  8. Very ironically, this incident has all the fingerprints on it of a Trump-hit.

    Back in 1999 when Bush 43 was in the early stages of running for office, I recall a reporter early on "quizzing" him on who certain medium-level world leaders were. W. stumbled, and the MSM took it as proof he was stupid and unfit for the job.

    Later, Trump, who was making noise in 2000 about running for Pres, got in an interview with another reporter who tried the same trick. But Trump turned on the reporter and said something to the effect of "you're not going to get me with that cheap parlor trick of a pop quiz that you did to George W., this isn't high school, chump" and put the reporter in his place. Trump looked strong, and the reporter looked foolish.

    Then Sarah Palin in 2008 again, with Gibson asking vague questions about the "Bush Doctrine".

    This smacks of it as well. On the surface, Johnson's answer wasn't crazy. Nobody nationally is calling the problems in Syria "Aleppo"; it's Assad and Syria who get namechecked. So Johnson's question to Barnicle was more for clarification---are you trying to start a new meme, or referencing something that just happened today in Aleppo?

    But, obviously, the visual/takeaway is that Johnson knows nothing about the world. Exactly the takeaway the Leftists would have in this situation.

    Which makes me think Trump/Roger Stone.

    First, Trump, wise to this lefty-media trick, would want to turn it on his opponents.

    Second, Barnicle, despite being a leftist plagiarizing twat, is still a cranky male, meaning he has a little bit of his ballsack left. He's probably half-convinced on Trump, or at least his immigration policies. Picture Mickey Kaus with a little more rudeness. So he'd be open to a "suggestion" from a Trump surrogate that Barnicle should ask Johnson that question.

    Third, obviously, Johnson is stealing potential votes from Trump. Trump wants him out to get them. And a Soros-supported Johnson getting screwed is music to Trump's ears.

    Fourth, this will allow Trump to pull the same move he did in the 2000 run-up: when a reporter tries it on him, he pivots hard, makes the reporter seem cheap for trying it, and thus makes Trump look presidential. "That's how a president deals with cheap parlor tricks!" is the takeaway.

    Fifth, it opens the door to some reporter asking a "cheap" question to Hillary about her health or email stealing. Now that the media has sanctioned the act in this election, it may embolden someone to corner the Sick SeaHag.

    I will bet even money Roger Stone got in Barnicle's ear and got him to ask this. He knew Johnson was less-up on foreign policy than domestic, and knew Johnson wouldn't have the presence on how to deflect, and knew the mainstream audience would take this as "proof" Johnson was an empty suit.

  9. I agree that it appeared planned, but Roger Stone doesn't have a direct line to anyone in MSNBC -- he's a notorious dirty trickster, former Trump campaign manager, and constantly on Alex Jones tearing everyone a new one.

    But, he could have talked to someone who talked to someone who talked to someone, and suddenly Barnicle thinks it's a brilliant idea. The best trickster leaves no fingerprints.

    You can't dodge the Rodge.

  10. "it seemed to me, too, that Johnson was draining from Clinton."

    He's pulling from both, but more from Trump at this point. Emerson has been putting out a series of polls that allow you to look at the characteristics of the different groups of voters.

    Johnson's voters are younger, white, mostly men, more educated, and suburban. Party-wise, they're more Republican than Democrat, more voted for Romney than Obama, they view their Republican Senate candidates more favorably than the Democrat, yet they dislike Clinton and Trump about equally.

    Translation: moderate Republicans mixed in with Bernie bros.

  11. The media may have been trying to surgically target only the Bernie bros, who would be more likely to return to Clinton, while leaving the moderate Republicans still in protest vote mode.

    Target the "I fucking love science!" crowd, blow it up on social media, and that would mainly dislodge the younger Dem-leaning supporters.

    Only trouble is that the older moderate Republicans are also educated professionals, and they also don't want to be known as supporting a publicly shamed ignoramus. They're on social media, too, they're not *that* old. And then Johnson went on an apology tour on the cable news channels, so they would have seen the shaming there too.

    Now they're going to feel like a vote for Johnson is a vote for the lazy stoner who forgot to do his homework and got called on by the teacher, to embarrass him in front of the whole class. Educated suburban professional adults don't want that reputation, so they do will be dumping Johnson, and given their Republican background, will be migrating back to Trump, however uneasily at first.

  12. I don't think the media appreciated that Johnson's voters were not only choosing him to broadcast their perceived intellectual superiority, but their moral superiority too.

    Intellectually superior choice -- because Trump is the lowbrow choice.

    Morally superior choice -- because Clinton is the corrupt lying evil choice.

    But now that Johnson has lost his value as intellectually superior to Trump, his voters will re-value Trump higher on that score, while still valuing Clinton at the bottom on the moral score.

    Johnson is now the morally superior, intellectually inferior choice. Clinton the morally inferior, intellectually moderate/superior choice. And Trump the morally superior, intellectually moderate/superior choice.

    In the Johnson voters' minds, only Trump doesn't have the mark of inferiority against him on either score. Maybe they now view him as mediocre -- but better than the other two, each having their own inferiority mark (know-nothing Johnson and Crooked Hillary).

    Among those who change candidates (as opposed to sticking with Johnson or staying home), more will go toward Trump than Clinton.

    1. Agree with your take, hopeful about putative outcome!

      By the way, I read the Scott Adams post about a "Shy" Trump effect, but couldn't help but wonder while reading it if there isn't also a shy Hillary effect because of the morally inferior taint you just mentioned. To be fair, lots of people have been positing the Shy Trump effect, but none a Shy Hillary one.

    2. No, there's not enough social pressure against voting for Hillary. She maxes out at 48-49% once "undecideds" are factored in. Rasmussen asked about this very thing and almost no D's felt ashamed/worried about revealing their preference, but 17% of R's and 25% of indies did. There's maybe a shy Hillary effect of 1% or less, while the shy Trump effect may be as high as 5%.

      Voting for Hillary isn't really about whether she can do the job, it's about all the credentials and checkboxes she's marked off as a totem and symbol. She's a figurehead, this is becoming increasingly obvious that there's an unstated assumption that it simply doesn't matter whether Hillary could do the presidential tasks/duties, she has a staff who racked up the right credentials and are all "subject matter experts", and therefore whatever, they'll take care of it. That we didn't vote for them is irrelevant, the D's are increasingly on team Expert/Mangerialist, with the politicians not expected to be hands-on, just figureheads/totems.

    3. Thanks so much for that info!


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