Ron Paul's announcement that he will be running for President for a third time by forming an exploratory committee is no surprise. However, even though Ron Paul has ran for President a few times, many people are not aware of who Ron Paul really is and what his positions are.
Not only will Ron Paul be competing in a very crowded field of Republican candidates, but he will be also competing against Gary Johnson. Both men are libertarians and share many of the same domestic and foreign policy views.
They also think highly of each other and have had a short history together:
"Johnson and Paul first met in 2004 and Paul invited the former governor, who made waves during his second term calling for the decriminalization of drugs, to Washington to speak to his Liberty Caucus about drug policy."
A dove in the mold of 2008 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, Johnson says, “I don't think that we should be in Iraq or Afghanistan.” But the extent of his non-interventionism isn’t quite clear. On one hand, he isn’t even sure if U.S. troops should have been stationed in Europe to confront the Soviets following World War II. “I don't think I have the expertise to be able to say that it was good or bad, it just seems to me that today, it doesn’t really seem warranted,” he says. Johnson also says Iran’s nuclear program isn’t a threat to the United States because the principle of “mutually assured destruction” would keep the Iranians from attacking.On the other hand, Johnson is open, in principle, to waging humanitarian wars. “If there’s a clear genocide somewhere, don’t we really want to positively impact that kind of a situation?” he says. “Isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what we’ve always been about? But just this notion of nation building—I think the current policy is making us more enemies than more friends.”
Many libertarians are excited that Ron Paul and Gary Johnson will be competing against each other in 2012. They see this as an opportunity to promote the libertarian philosophy to the general public. The downside to having two libertarians running in 2012 is that there will be a lot of infighting between libertarians as they debate each other who is the more "true "libertarian.
Moreover, instead of having libertarians rally around Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, it will split the libertarian vote between these two men even though either of these men don't have chance of winning the Republican nomination or defeating Obama in 2012.
However, the fact that there are two libertarians running in 2012 should make the election interesting and exciting for everyone as these men compete and debate one another in this election.