Marginalized by Media, Gary Johnson Goes Rogue—and Pagan

By Jed Bickman 10/19/11

The GOP candidate, who boasts progressive drug-reform positions and a sense of humor, makes news by courting the Occult vote.

Johnson shuns Christers for Pagans. photo via

If you’re a pagan or a wikkan voting in the GOP primaries next year, Gary Johnson wants your vote. The former Republican governor of New Mexico—and proud moderate-libertarian—is running for president but, facing hardship attracting the gaze of the mainstream media, he has begun to appeal to the Occult vote, giving interviews to the “Pagan Media." Johnson, whose iconoclastic positions include support for legalizing marijuana, said, “I don’t expect the social conservative vote"—and he might have added the Tea Party–controlled GOP base. Speaking to representatives of, Pagan Newswire Collective, and ModernWitch Podcast, he ventured to suggest that “I think the world looks down on Republicans for their socially conservative views, which includes religion in government,” Johnson said. “I think that should not play a role in any of this. When Republicans talk about values—you know what? I bet you and I have the same values.” He explained his message witchery in this way: “This whole campaign is about talking to anyone who will listen.” Johnson has struggled to stay in the primary process, having difficulty meeting the minimum level of popular support to be included in the debates. Speaking about marijuana legalization, Gary Johnson said, “This may be the only issue on the political scene where half the American people support something, but zero percent…of elected politicians will publicly agree with them.”

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Jed Bickman is a journalist and copywriter living in the greater New York City area. He is the associate editor at The New Press. You can find him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.