Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson is undertaking the Tour Divide bike race. Ezra Black/The Free Press

Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson is undertaking the Tour Divide bike race. Ezra Black/The Free Press

Gary Johnson: super fit

Gary Johnson may well be the fittest U.S. presidential candidate of all time.

He is an avid triathlete who bikes extensively. During his governorship of the state of New Mexico, he competed in several triathlons, marathons and bike races.

He once ran 100 miles (160 kilometres) in 30 consecutive hours through the Rocky Mountains for an ultramarathon.

He’s also climbed all seven of the Seven Summits, which are the tallest peaks in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania.

There have been other fit U.S. presidential candidates. During his tenure as president, Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed sparring sessions with championship boxers, wrestlers and martial artists. It would be like if Trump called in Jon (Bones) Jones into the Oval Office to go a few rounds.

Thomas Jefferson was also a health nut who once said, “Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”

But I doubt any of these former presidents could match Johnson in terms of fitness.

When he rolled through town the other day on a cross-country mountain biking race along the spine of the Continental Divide, it made perfect sense that Johnson was the Libertarian presidential candidate.

The man can clearly take care of himself. He is a self-made millionaire and ultra-fit, so of course he would run for a party that endorses the survival of the fittest. If you’re wealthy and fit, Libertarianism works but if you are not, it doesn’t.

Here in B.C. the local Libertarian candidate was by far the most affable in the East Kootenays but it is important to remember the problems that would result if his party were actually ever allowed to form a government.

Their plan to cut regulations in transportation, accommodation and other sectors to cause the sharing economy (Uber, Air BNB, etc.) to destroy traditional businesses. Hotels and taxi companies would go bust, thousands would be left unemployed and short-term rentals would quickly erode the region’s dwindling stock of long-term rental accommodations.

Their plan to repeal the carbon tax would be detrimental to the environment.

Their desire to deregulate the economy would allow big corporations to run roughshod over communities. There would be no remediation after mines stripped the coal seams from mountains.

If they were in power, B.C.’s logging communities would be in a world of hurt with every softwood lumber dispute as they do not believe that government should subsidize or support any business.

Can the provincial government be inefficient? Absolutely. Will that change if the big-government Green-NDP alliance forms the next one? Probably not.

But without a bare minimum of regulation, there would be nothing to protect the people from the predations of private industries or foreign governments. The highly individualistic outlook of Libertarianism is dangerous and over-simplistic.