Thursday, September 01, 2011

More on Gary Johnson, the poker players' candidate

I assume it is pure coincidence that two profiles of Gary Johnson have appeared in the poker media within the last 48 hours. But it's a nice coincidence. Go read them.

The first piece points out a hint of contradiction, with Johnson and the PPA palling up to each other, when actually they probably differ quite markedly in their goals. The PPA lobbies for federal licensing, regulation, and taxation of online poker. Unless Johnson's true views on the subject are well out of philosophical line with his other positions, he surely favors a completely hands-off approach: simply decriminalize everything about online gaming (not just poker)--the playing, the provision of the games by sites, and the financial transactions. Let grown-ups decide how to spend their own time and money as long as it isn't hurting anybody else, and let the free market decide what the rake should be, where the servers are located, how rigorous anti-cheating enforcement is, and a thousand other such decisions that would simply be decided by fiat--one size fits all--under a federal licensing scheme.

My guess is that while meeting players and industry leaders at the WSOP, Johnson decided simply to paper over such differences for purposes of making nice with the PPA. But it would shock me if either of them were not fully aware of the ideological, policy, and pragmatic differences between their respective goals.

I like Johnson a lot. He has quickly risen to a status in my eyes as favorable as Ron Paul. He is certainly more electable. His general demeanor comes across as less kooky. To my ears, Paul nearly always sounds like he's talking down to people, ridiculing and insulting positions he disagrees with and people with whom he disagrees. Johnson, conversely, seems more polite and respectful, choosing simply to explain why he takes the positions he does without denigrating contrary views. That approach is likely to be easier for the great unwashed to cozy up to.


NT (aka Cardgrrl) said...

"That approach is likely to be easier for the great unwashed to cozy up to."

And not just the great unwashed: really, anyone who values civility, reasoned discourse, common courtesy, and mutual respect.

Until we get away from demonizing or cartoonizing those with whom we disagree, our politics will be as hamfisted as Popeye, and just as practical and effective..

Grange95 said...

Ron Paul sounds like a kook because he is one. Plus, he's not particularly libertarian on social issues. Johnson is far superior to Ron Paul as a candidate, which is why Johnson(like Jon Huntsman) has no chance of actually being the Republican nominee.

Sad state of affairs.

sevencard2003 said...

im surprised most arent going with ron paul since hes so much more well known and has a much better shot although i personally dont want him to run or win because i dont like how he feels about legalizing drugs or his position on iran. some things are far more important than online poker. Ron paul is way too libertarian on social issues, im supporting bachmann myself.

Aaron said...

Great post. I am with the GJ 2012 campaign. Could you contact me at ? Thanks, Aaron