Huffington Post: American Military Personnel Looking In Libertarian Direction For The Election

ImageFrom Doug Bandow in the Huffington Post on August 9:

“Newly anointed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump wasted no time in criticizing the foreign policy legacy of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. For decades the GOP has claimed to uniquely represent American military personnel.

“It turns out that they favor neither Democrats nor Republicans. Rather, they lean libertarian. This campaign, a plurality is supporting the least militaristic of the candidates, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson.

“The LP is a perennial and distant third place contender. But this election might be different. Johnson has been polling in double digits and could hold the balance of power.

“Especially with the help of military personnel. For instance, a July poll found Johnson well ahead of the two major party candidates. Almost 39 percent of active duty members backed him. Just 31 percent supported Donald Trump and only 14 percent were for Hillary Clinton. Johnson carried every service except the Navy.

“He enjoyed the biggest margin in the Marines Corps, 44 percent to 27 percent for Trump. Second was the Air Force, 39 percent to 30 percent. Johnson also carried former members of the military and came close among retirees. Clinton typically lagged behind the other two candidates, sometimes receiving barely one-third the share of Johnson’s followers.

“This isn’t the first time a libertarian led the presidential race among military personnel. Republican Ron Paul, a congressman long known as “Dr. No,” was a consistent outlier on foreign policy. While the other Republicans consistently advocated more intervention and war, Paul highlighted the problems of “blowback” — terrorism as a response to Washington’s persistent willingness to bomb, invade, and occupy other nations and drone and bomb other peoples.”

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