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What Do Gary Johnson And Puff The Magic Dragon Have In Common?

October 1, 2016

Ok, boys and girls…..

Instead, for 50 seconds — which seemed more like 50 days on live TV — Johnson offered a dramatic rendition of a blank slate. Johnson couldn’t come up with a single name other than the late Israeli leader Shimon Peres, whose obituary was in the headlines. Finally, the Libertarian nominee said wanly, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment.”

At that moment, Johnson’s candidacy went from plausible protest vote to comic punchline. This was a mental short circuit so severe that it’s impossible to laugh off or tweet away with campaign lines like, “Detroit News endorses Johnson. Who’s endorsed Trump? Hmm … brain freeze.”

Voting for Johnson at this point seems about as sensible an option as writing in “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

The only other non-Trump option for principled conservatives is squandering a protest vote on behalf of the quixotic and nearly invisible candidacy of former covert CIA agent Evan McMullin.   

It is an indication of the desperation that many feel about this election that the Chicago Tribune endorsed Johnson on Friday morning without ever mentioning Aleppo or “brain freeze.” Instead, the Tribune hailed Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Bill Weld, as “agile, practical and … experienced at managing governments.”

Sorry, but after watching that Johnson interview with Chris Matthews, it seems a stretch to call him “agile.” The unavoidable truth is that the idea of Gary Johnson remains far more appealing than the reality.

This is — sadly enough for the nation — the most unequivocal “Which side are you on, boys?” election since the Civil War.

Monday night’s debate should have erased the last naive illusions that Donald Trump is anything other than an unhinged buffoon whose ignorance is only exceeded by his arrogance.

So which side are you on, boys and girls? Which side are you on? 

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