I feel bad getting down on Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian presidential candidate. For one, he’s a pot-smoking New Mexican, which practically makes us family. For another, as an erstwhile subscriber to Reason magazine, I feel for those ideological sticklers among them who haven’t yet accepted that their movement only values them as future Republicans and current useful idiots who can spread the Koch gospel that bureaucracy is somehow worse than plutocracy.
But the details have to be discussed. Everybody loves this cuddly Johnson/Weld ’16 video, and I do too, but the card at the end has to disqualify the ticket for being unable to delegate tasks to competent people.
The fucking slogan below the logo—I want to slap the shit out of it. Check out the word spacing: of five chances to put proper spacing between words, it never uses the same spacing twice. You can’t get shitty, inconsistent spacing like this by leaving “Justified Text” on, you have to do it by hand, deliberately. Which means they paid someone to fuck this line up. Furthermore, our liberty-loving graphic artist only comes close to visually balanced spacing once, between “America,” and “yet”.
And that spot is exactly where the huge fucking problem happens. Some dipshit soi disant wordsmith—whom we may presume made enough of a show of valuing language to wear a blue blazer to high school forensics events—somehow wasn’t fucking aware that plopping that dumbass comma down there ruins the entire sentiment the sentence is trying to convey.
Because without the comma, “Our best America yet” means “the best America that we have been part of so far,” which is generic but hopeful and peppy in the spirit of the spot. However, with the comma it suddenly means “the best America that we have been part of—except [unstated reasons that the reader is welcome to fill in or just accept the innuendo of].” It becomes a leading unfinished thought pointedly hanging out an unattached conjunction that rhetorically says “Our best America—NOT.”
This isn’t difficult stuff to get right. Any competent editor is trained to blue-pencil both of these things, and libertarians should know that editors—their wages depressed by free-market disruption of their industries—come cheap.
I don’t even want to get into who thought “You in?” in two different colors made any sense at all.
There’s no excuse for this in big-kid politics. Libertarians, you might ask that your organization try to look a little less like a feckless third party. Or at least don’t put this stuff where I can see it. I’m embarrassed for you.