these are not positions johnson had taken a long time ago. he has said these things as early as this year. the point is, if he was a libertarian, and followed the non-aggression axiom like any good libertarian, he would not have these ideas that conflict with libertarianism. to make things worse, i don't think he's even back-pedaled on these issues.
as for ron, he has changed his position on the death penalty, yes. however, it does not conflict with the non-aggression axiom. the death penalty would be justified in a free society. however, later on (a long time ago), ron came to the realization that the ability to decide on who should live and who should die is too serious a responsibility for the state to handle, because they have and do make mistakes.
and ron didn't write the newsletters, but gary johnson actually did say the things that i mentioned. so they're absolutely not the same thing.
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