Gary Johnson, 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee, listens to questions from audience members during a campaign event at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. Johnson said he was 'incredibly frustrated' with himself after failing to recognize the name of the Syrian city of Aleppo in a TV interview last week. (Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
"What is Aleppo?" said Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson when asked about the Syrian city's refugee crisis by Mike Barnicle on the MSNBC show Morning Joe.
If there was ever any doubt about Mr. Johnson's suitability for the office of the president of the United States, that response sealed the deal. If a candidate is that unaware of one of the most basic foreign policy issues of the day, he shouldn't be running for dog catcher, much less president.
The biggest surprise is that so many were shocked to find that Gary Johnson was clued out on the issue of Syria. After all, he's not some third-party crackpot candidate; this man was a two-term governor of New Mexico.
Whether he realizes it or not, Johnson's regular pot ingestion is probably hampering not only his memory but also his learning ability.
But why should any of us have been surprised by this turn of events? Johnson is not only a marijuana retailer, he's also an avid recreational user of the drug.
Thus, it's not surprising that Johnson didn't know what Aleppo is, particularly if he had recently ingested Cheeba Chews, a marijuana-infused taffy that is his favourite means of getting high. Frankly, it's impressive that he even made it to the interview and remained fairly coherent throughout.
Then again, his post-interview performance did little to firm up his position. After his gaffe, Johnson said: "I'm incredibly frustrated with myself; I have to get smarter and that's just part of the process."
Another part of the process is to get off the weed. Whether he realizes it or not, Johnson's regular pot ingestion is probably hampering not only his memory but also his learning ability.
That's not to say that Gary Johnson is totally out to lunch respecting this matter. In fact, he recently took the marijuana "high" road and said that if he did become president, he would give up dope .
Luckily for him, thanks to his recent performance, Johnson will not have to honour that promise as his chances of winning the presidency are now about the same as a stoner's chance of remembering his home phone number.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this most recent campaign development. Although I take issue with a number of Gary Johnson's positions, it was fun speculating as to how the White House would operate if, in fact, Mr. Johnson did not give up weed while in office, assuming it was at least decriminalized federally.
Imagine what a typical cabinet meeting would look like in a Johnson administration. In all likelihood, the meeting table would feature a hookah, a bong and some rolling papers and would be laden with all manner of munchies including potato chips, M&M's and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
No doubt issues would have to be raised more than once and many would likely end up being tabled, perhaps several times. Who knows? Such repeated deliberation might actually result in more carefully considered decisions, assuming, of course, that the process ultimately led to actual decisions at all.
The downside of having a Stoner in Chief is when an urgent matter of national security arises such as, for example, a nuclear missile launched at Washington or New York. The last thing you want a leader asking at that point is "What's a nuclear missile?"
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