For the Libertarian Party, this could be a revolutionary year. For decades, the party has been the largest third party but still the subject of many jokes. It’s appeared more like a dysfunctional gathering of amateur philosophers and closet anarchists until this year, when the ticket actually appears more professional than the two main parties. The Republicans are preparing to nominate a bombastic and loudmouth businessman while the Democrats have come together behind a former Secretary of State under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Libertarian Party has a unique opportunity here to establish itself.
With all of that said, the presidential ticket has faced a lot of criticism from libertarians and conservatives who want a viable alternate to the Republican Party. Their problem lies with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson’s left-leaning brand of libertarianism. Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is his USA PATRIOT Act-supporting running mate who registered as a Libertarian just days ahead of the National Convention.
There certainly are problems, but at least they’re not Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Right?
That would certainly be the case, if the candidates could prove it’s true. Johnson and Weld are firmly entrenched on the Trump hate bandwagon that the left has all hitched a ride on. This is not to say Trump shouldn’t be criticized, he should be. The number of positions he’s taken are concerning, such as wanting to deprive gun rights from individuals appearing on a government watchlist.
For this and a number of other reasons, whether Trump should be President or not is a legitimate question.
On that point, it’s also a legitimate question to ask if Hillary Clinton should be President as well.
The problem the Libertarian Party ticket is running into is a resistance to saying anything bad about the Associated Press-nominated Democratic candidate. Despite Johnson polling ahead of Clinton with Independents and having potential to pull from the left, the two Libertarians refuse to engage her.
Are the Libertarian candidates running to be elected or protect Clinton from losing?
Bill Weld himself stated he believed Clinton had engaged in no criminal activity and would even refuse to say that she acted in poor judgment with her e-mail usage. Clinton is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the usage of a private e-mail server and how classified information may have been used in unsecured communications.
A neutral approach would have been to suggest that it was not the best judgment, but the criminal point would be left to the government. But Weld didn’t even go there, he just backed Clinton.
More recently, Weld further stated he believed there would be no indictment because there wasn’t anything wrong. Beyond that, he even went as far as to say he’s not a “stone-thrower” when it comes to Hillary Clinton.
All the criticisms about Gary Johnson aside, he could have at least picked a running mate who isn’t going to protect one of their opponents. Johnson is consistently polling ahead of Hillary Clinton with Independents and thus has pull with those who lean liberal. But in order to secure these votes, Johnson needs to be competitive with Clinton and not playing friendly with her. To this point, Weld is a terrible choice for a running mate.
Bill Weld is probably better off being Hillary Clinton’s running mate, instead.