As a #NeverTrump center-right conservative Libertarian, I will support the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld this fall. But I’m also trying to convince my conservative friends that they don’t have to settle for Trump, and Johnson/Weld is worth a look.
However, the message Johnson continually delivers on appearances like last night’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert is making this more difficult for me.
Take a watch above, then check out my advice below.
Sure, there were definitely lots of applause lines which makes it an overall good appearance, but here are some tips for Gary Johnson to make this ticket more appealing to disenfranchised center-right conservatives like myself.
Be more prepared to deliver specific bite-sized talking points on ‘What is a Libertarian?’ Whether you’re discussing the personal freedom and fiscal responsibility championed by Libertarians, or the non-interventionist foreign policy, be ready to clearly deliver these points in bite-sized chunks that make your point. In the above interview, you were shaky at best.
STOP saying “socially liberal”! The word “liberal” is universally disliked by conservatives, and even most independent voters. Use the typical Libertarian phrase “socially tolerant” instead, and focus on the individual choice and anti-government intrusion aspects of Libertarianism when discussing marriage and abortion. Weld’s line of “I want the government out of your pocket and out of your bedroom” is a clearer message — go with that.
Quit with the “oh, totally fringe, totally fringe” joke. I know you’re trying to say “actually, we’re far from fringe and Trump was wrong to call us that.” But the way you deliver your response always sounds awkward. Just make your point clearly, and move on. Don’t embrace the “fringe” label – rebut it.
Wear friggin’ dress shoes. America is not ready for a president in a suit and sneakers. Sure, wear them on the campaign trail for comfort, but when appearing in a setting like the Late Show, take some fashion tips from Bill Weld and step it up a notch!