ACLU: Johnson, Paul better than Obama on Defending Constitution
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Republican candidate Ron Paul have earned top scores on the recently released 2012 Liberty Watch Candidate Report Card from the American Civil Liberties Union. Many Democrats may be surprised to find that President Barack Obama has been ranked third, by an organization many accuse of a “liberal bias”.
“Barack Obama has disappointed many civil liberties advocates by keeping Guantanamo Bay open, continuing unconstitutional surveillance under the PATRIOT Act, and giving the US military the authority to detain American citizens indefinitely on American soil in the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Texas Libertarian, Robert Butler.
According to the ACLU:
“Over and over during debates, on TV ads and splashed across campaign websites and Twitter feeds, the candidates have invoked the Constitution as a means of undermining policies they oppose and promoting policies they support.
It’s a great political device to use a document revered as much as the flag itself. What sometimes gets lost, however, is that the Constitution wasn’t written as fodder for political campaigns. It was written to be the foundation for all our freedoms.
That’s why the American Civil Liberties Union launched a new campaign this year — ACLU Liberty Watch 2012 — to be a watchdog on the candidates of all parties so that the Constitution is defended throughout the election campaign.
Just in time for the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, we’re releasing a report card today, with the ACLU’s Constitution and civil liberties experts providing a critical assessment of the major candidates of all parties, grading them with four to zero constitutional “torches” on seven key issues, including national security, immigration, marriage equality and reproductive choice. More issues will be added.
Republican-turned-Libertarian Gary Johnson scored even better than Paul, Huntsman and Obama, earning four and three torches on most major issues. They stand in stark contrast to the other major GOP candidates, three of whom — Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — didn’t earn a single torch in any of the seven major categories.”
Critics of the ACLU, including both libertarians and conservatives, will note that the ACLU does not include property rights in their assessment of the candidates. If they included protection of the second amendment gun rights, and cutting taxes as civil liberties, some of the Republicans would have scored higher.
It should be noted that other Libertarian candidates such as R. Lee Wrights, Roger Gary, and R.J. Harris were not included in the ACLU report, and would likely have an equal or higher ranking than Gary Johnson.
No one but philosophical libertarians like Gary Johnson and Ron Paul protect and defend the complete US Constitution on a wide range of topics including both economic and personal issues. This ACLU report is an important acknowledgement from the American left that Libertarians consistently do a better job in protecting civil liberties than elected Democrats and most Republicans.
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