The liberty movement is more divided now than it has been in recent memory during a presidential election. 2008 saw the rise of a Congressman from Texas who united the libertarian movement, despite not making it far in the primary itself. 2012 saw a second attempt by then-Congressman Paul to secure the Republican nomination, this time putting up a heavy fight. Things are different now.
Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, was widely expected to go even further this election cycle. Bearing his father’s name while maneuvering the political game seemed like a formula for success–but it fell apart.
Now the liberty movement is divided in the election cycle. Congressman Justin Amash upset many libertarians when he endorsed Senator Ted Cruz during the Republican primary, and he has since refused to support Donald Trump even after he secured the nomination. Senator Paul, on the other hand, points to his pledge to support the Republican nominee, without mentioning the candidate’s name. But what about Congressman Thomas Massie?
Congressman Massie has perhaps one of the most daring and interesting takes on how to approach this election cycle.
Some voters are supporting Gary Johnson in order to get the Libertarian Party ballot access or because they belong to the #NeverTrump coalition — although some of these voters may vote Johnson simply because they like him. Some voters are supporting Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party because they can’t stand Johnson or either of the two party candidates. And some voters are supporting Trump because they actually do like him.
Others support Trump because he’s a disruption to the system.
Congressman Massie said recently that Trump was better than 90% of the Congressmen he works with. Considering all those who actually hold seats in the chamber, it’s not a farfetched statement. They may not speak bluntly or hurt people’s feelings quite like the unfiltered Donald Trump, but they are still horrible on the issues.
On that point, even the Kentucky Congressman concedes the change Trump brings may not be good, but at least it’s change. In a recent interview, he specifically stated “I think you’re more likely to get change. I don’t know if it’s gonna be a good change, but you gotta break eggs to make an omelette.”
He’s absolutely correct.
The problem with American politics is it has become too watered down. Politicians are more concerned with polls than maintaining a moral compass, putting people’s feelings ahead of the right or constitutional decision. The difference between political solutions and reality itself is much like the difference between a theatrical release and the unedited cut of many modern films. When movies are made, there’s often content that won’t be shown in movie theaters. Whether it be intense violence, excessive swearing, or sexual activity that crosses boundaries, they will be cut from the film. Why? Because even if it has artistic value, people can’t handle it. We water it down.
The truth about the world is it is a dark and unfair place. This doesn’t mean we can’t make it better, we absolutely can. But if we’re going to get to this point, we have to be honest about the world that we live in. Furthermore, we have to be honest about the problems we face. Solutions aren’t going to help everyone equally, because life itself isn’t fair.
The debate about whether Trump is good or not for America is one thing, but his shock value is a separate conversation. Johnson is experiencing high poll numbers for a third party because he is being a better moderate Republican than the Republicans, but in terms of principles, he offers nothing groundbreaking as far as personality or principles, as libertarians are typically accustomed to.
At that point, if nobody is good, shouldn’t your goal be just to break eggs?