I am Gov. Gary Johnnson. I am the founder and Honorary Chairman of Our America Initiative. I was the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States in 2012, and the two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1995 - 2003.

I’ve been referred to as the 'most fiscally conservative Governor' in the country, and vetoed so many bills that I earned the nickname "Governor Veto." I bring a distinctly business-like mentality to governing, and believe that individual freedom and liberty should be preserved, not diminished, by government. I'm also an avid skier, adventurer, and bicyclist. I have currently reached the highest peaks on six of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.

For more information, please visit my organization's website: OurAmericaInitiative.com. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr.

You can also follow Our America Initiative on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Proof: https://twitter.com/GovGaryJohnson/status/504429035418443777

UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your excellent questions! I look forward to doing again this in the future.

Comments: 2694 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

OPDelivery_Service270 karma

Do you support a universal basic income or Negative Tax(as envisioned by economist Milton Friedman) as a replacement for the welfare system? What about as a supplement?

GovGaryJohnson976 karma

I kind of know what you’re asking, but not enough to answer this intelligently.

Ihavenocomments156 karma

Governor Johnson, getting the laws changed to make it easier for a third party candidate is only the first part of the battle. What do you think you could say to the general public to break through the noise from the 2 party hype machine if you were given that platform?

GovGaryJohnson357 karma

Just the opportunity to voice what I think is the sentiment of most americans: fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

yakboy4349 karma

Do you think Rand Paul running this election will post-pone any chance for libertarians to get recognized?

GovGaryJohnson285 karma

I hope not. My fear is that people associate Rand Paul’s social conservatism with libertarianism, when it’s not.

theduffster89146 karma

Do you ever think we will see a non Democrat/Republican president in the future?

GovGaryJohnson286 karma

In my lifetime, and I’m 61 years old, yes.

bruce_fenton143 karma

What do you think about Bitcoin from an economic and technical angle?

GovGaryJohnson203 karma

I’m becoming more and more sold on the notion of Bitcoin.

spruce112358136 karma

While I agree with the sentiment behind the lawsuit especially the 15% polling requirement, given that the Commission on Presidential Debates is a private institution, is it possible to sue them to change their own rules?

GovGaryJohnson156 karma

I believe so, or we wouldn’t be doing it.

Yehann113 karma

Gov. Johnson, how would you deal with the issue of poverty in America?

GovGaryJohnson221 karma

I think the only thing that government can do is create a level playing field, that right now does not exist. We are not capitalists, we are crony capitalists.

FrothySeepageCurdles82 karma

Realistically, where do you see the libertarian party going? I want them to be successful but I feel like the two party system completely stomps on any kind of competition.

Also, are you running in 2016?

GovGaryJohnson188 karma

I agree that the 2 party system stomps on any kind of competition. A great first step is to open the presidential debates to all qualified candidates, including the Libertarians. If that happens, the Libertarian party will experience unprecedented growth.

Awiz9065 karma

Gov Johnson, what subject will be your primary focus in the 2016 election (foreign policy, national debt, etc.)? Thank you!

GovGaryJohnson114 karma

Economic policy.

cvillemade63 karma

As a lifelong democrat, how can you convince me to vote libertarian?

GovGaryJohnson159 karma

All I can do is appeal is to your philosophy. The libertarian philosophy is flaming liberal when it comes to civil liberties and conservative when it comes to dollars & cents.

jesssim62 karma

Gov. Johnson, how do you plan to raise funds and media awareness as we near the actual debates themselves and how do we raise grassroots awareness of these activities?

GovGaryJohnson96 karma

Given our resources, this Reddit AMA is certainly one of those options. I’d like to think we’re tapping into everything we can in the most economical way possible.

cornponious60 karma

How many Rush albums do you own?

GovGaryJohnson47 karma

I don’t own any!

ecp3057 karma


GovGaryJohnson54 karma

I love it!

hammerjam50 karma

During the 2012 election, there were accusations that voting third party only took away votes from Republicans and Democrats. Some people in my close group of friends even said they firmly agreed with your platform but voted R or D anyway because they thought any third party candidate wouldn't stand a chance and they would rather have the lesser of two evils. What are your thoughts on third parties affecting votes between the two major parties and the lesser of two evils logic?

GovGaryJohnson51 karma

I think that, statistically, a third party garners votes from both parties equally.

yesimin45 karma

How do you think ammunition and suppressors fall in line with the 2nd amendment?

GovGaryJohnson86 karma

The Second Amendment is pretty clear. I don’t think suppressers or magazines should be legislated.

asgardianloki40 karma

What is your position on concealed carry permits?

GovGaryJohnson85 karma

I totally support.

echofourpapa39 karma

Do you feel that Republicans, especially the Christian-Right, are hurting or helping Libertarians politically?

GovGaryJohnson128 karma

Compared to Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians draw the clearest distinction between church and state. I think that Republicans, much more than Democrats, combine the two.

hive_worker34 karma

What is your opinion on ISIS and the threat they pose to more moderate governments and people in the middle east? What role do you think the United States should play in that region, if any?

GovGaryJohnson65 karma

Extremism is a clearly a threat to Muslims. Do we best address this, or do the governments of the countries involved best address this? I think the countries involved are best to address this issue.

NorbitGorbit31 karma

Best place to eat in NM?

GovGaryJohnson80 karma

Breakfast at the Frontier in Albuquerque.

topofthecc23 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

What do you think is the long-term solution to the type of tension between races and/or social strata that lead to the Ferguson riots?

In the short-term, what changes would you like to see implemented to safeguard against further police brutality and rioting?

GovGaryJohnson76 karma

Somebody needs to provide a voice for demilitarizing our police forces. I believe that’s a positive step in race relations.

thexn21 karma

Is it true that you saved a duck from a forest fire?

GovGaryJohnson35 karma

No, wasn't me.

rap_mein21 karma

Mr. Johnson,

Thanks so much for doing this AMA! I'm a big fan of yours and hope you choose to run again in 2016.

The 2016 election will be the first election in which I will be of legal age to vote, and I consider myself a moderate, liberal-leaning libertarian. All of my fellow libertarian friends would like to see a libertarian president, but most of them feel that voting for a third-party candidate in a national election is a waste of a vote. What would you say to those people, and what can I do to encourage people to take third-party candidates seriously in the future?

GovGaryJohnson154 karma

A wasted vote is voting for the lesser of two evils.

SethLevy18 karma

Who do you think is doing more to move the liberty agenda forward, politicians running on the Libertarian ticket (and most of the time ultimately failing) like Robert Sarvis or libertarian leaning minded Republicans (or Democrats) like Justin Amash?

GovGaryJohnson31 karma

Talking specifically about Justin Amash, I like what he has to say, but overall, Robert Sarvis rules the day.

jwidbin17 karma

Do you realistically believe the two party debate system can be changed before the next election?

What can 'regular people' do to help push this change?

GovGaryJohnson36 karma

Support us in our lawsuit against the Presidential Debate Commission with a donation.

rhapdimp16 karma


GovGaryJohnson56 karma

The military should only be used for defense. I think our current foreign policy has resulted in hundreds of millions of enemies to our country, that but for our military intervention that would otherwise not exist.

FrisketMcBisket13 karma

Governor Johnson, would you mind giving a fellow climber a bit of advice on the ascent of K-2 or Everest? How taxing is the trek on your mind and body?

GovGaryJohnson21 karma

I can’t comment on K-2, but I can tell you that Everest was a great experience and I never experienced “can’t go another step”. It all worked out really well.

diamondriggz8 karma

Thanks for doing this ama gov. Hope to see you on a ballot again very soon. We are being led to believe that Rand Paul is going to champion libertarian ideals much like his father did, but I can't help but wonder how he can do this while parading around with the republican establishment. Who, in your opinion, is best suited for the job and who would you vote for?

GovGaryJohnson11 karma

I’m going to vote Libertarian, and I share your same concerns. The Libertarian candidate will best accomplish what you’re asking.

sketchy1poker7 karma

thank you for taking the time to do this AMA. i feel as though the general attitude towards marijuana legalization has shifted drastically as of late, and am encouraged as to the direction we are headed with the war on marijuana. however, i have not heard nearly as much outrage on the war on drugs in general.

how long will it take to turn the tide on the general public's attitude towards changing laws for other drugs? there is a bit of a heroin crisis in some areas of the country, and no one seems outraged at the current laws in regards to other more severe and addictive drugs. i would like to see that happen sooner rather than later.

GovGaryJohnson13 karma

I think relative to what we’ve seen for over the past 40 years, what we will see in the next 10 years will be remarkable.

terattt2 karma

How many years do you think until we see a non-religious president?

GovGaryJohnson2 karma

I think that we’ve probably already had a couple of non-religious presidents.