There is a time for idealism and a time for realism, and for me, the time for realism is now. I endorsed former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson back in December of 2011, when he was still seeking the Republican nomination for President. I continued to support him even after he left the Republican Party and became the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President.  Indeed, I am a DC elector for Gary Johnson.  On Tuesday November 6th, however, I will not be casting my vote for Gary Johnson – instead I will be casting it for Mitt Romney.

I still believe strongly that Gary Johnson would make the best President of the three candidates running, however, it is time to recognize he will not be President. The next President will either be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and without hesitation I can say that Mitt Romney will be a vastly better President than Barack Obama.

I had hoped that Governor Johnson’s campaign would be able to capture some of the energy and enthusiasm that Ron Paul’s campaign enjoyed during the Republican Primary. I had hoped that the media would cover Governor Johnson more, that his poll numbers would allow him to be a part of the debates, and that the American people could finally see what a real libertarian option for president looked like. That hasn’t happened and that’s not the fault of Governor Johnson. Governor Johnson has campaigned tirelessly and made the case for the liberty movement. The liberty movement will not end with this election, and I am confident that Governor Johnson, along with libertarians like Senator Rand Paul, will play an important role in growing the liberty movement in the years ahead.

While Mitt Romney is not perfect, the truth is that America simply cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama. On Obama’s watch, real unemployment is almost 15%, real wages have declined, the size and scope of government has grown, and we are staring at an unprecedented fiscal crisis in the form of a $16 trillion debt.

Barron: A Libertarian for Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves during a campaign rally at the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Sidney, Ohio.Credit: AP

The next president will oversee whether or not we extend the Bush-era tax cuts or, instead, raise taxes on millions of American families and small businesses. The next President will decide whether we balance our budget by shrinking government and reforming entitlements, orwe balance the budget on the backs of America’s job creators.

The next president will likely nominate two or more Justices to the Supreme Court. The next president will be charged with either implementing Obama’s federal healthcare takeover or fighting to end it.

In short, at least for me, the stakes are simply too high to not be a part of picking whether it is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney who will make these critical decisions; and on each one of these issues, Mitt Romney is light years better than Barack Obama.

While Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on millions of Americans, Mitt Romney is pledging to fight any tax increase and lower taxes on hard-working American families and businesses.

While Barack Obama will fight to maintain the status quo when it comes to entitlements, all but guaranteeing their insolvency for future generations, Mitt Romney will work to reform them.

While Barack Obama will seek to tax our way out of our $16 trillion fiscal crisis, Mitt Romney will seek to cut spending and decrease the size of the federal government.

While Barack Obama will continue to nominate Supreme Court Justices who see no limits to the power of the federal government, Mitt Romney has pledged to nominate Justices who strictly follow the Constitution and put limits on the power of Washington to control our lives.

While Barack Obama will work to fully implement and complete his federal takeover of the healthcare system, Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free market healthcare reforms that will expand access and lower costs across the system.

When it comes to other issues of importance to libertarians – like civil liberties, ending nation-building, and the failed war on drugs – there isn’t an ounce of difference between the two candidates.

For libertarians who want to have a say in electing the next President the choice is clear. Where there are differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the positions advocated by Mitt Romney are far superior to those of Barack Obama.

The Liberty movement is growing every day, and I firmly believe that libertarianism is the greatest single hope for America’s future.  While libertarians will not get the chance to elect a libertarian president in 2012, we can begin to right the ship by electing the candidate who most closely represents our values and our vision of government.

The work of transforming America and putting libertarian ideals to work will be a long and hard fight, but one well worth it. A few years ago, not many outside of Washington think tanks knew what libertarianism even was. Now, thanks to the campaigns of people like Ron Paul, we have taken a big step in educating voters and winning converts to our cause. Let’s take another step now by electing Mitt Romney, and ending Barack Obama’s big government reign of terror.