Liberty activists associated with the anti-establishment political action committee, UnWashington PAC dropped a rhetorical bomb on the senatorial aspirations of Missouri clickbait artist and 2016 Libertarian Presidential wannabe Austin Petersen at the first night of YALCon last week. This organization circulated literature shining suspicion upon Petersen’s longstanding claims of being pro-life and profiled a documented trend of cringe-worthy behavior on social media. The literature was distributed as Petersen attempts a shift from the Libertarian to Republican Party, seeking to project a conservative and wholesome image in his efforts to win over Missouri’s Republican Primary voters.
In spite of serving as the de facto “conservative” challenger for the 2016 Libertarian Presidential nominee–in which he was defeated handily by Gov. Gary Johnson. Johnson would go on to wage a disastrous campaign in which his own Vice Presidential Candidate endorsed Hillary Clinton while Johnson was still in the race presumably to win it. Petersen’s credibility remains far from established among conservative and right-wing figures within the Liberty Movement, much less the GOP as a whole. Referencing his own words–in which he mocked the sincerely held beliefs of Pro-Life Christians in a manner reminiscent of an utterly puerile new atheist fan boy–the literature brought into question his claims of being pro-life.
A liberty activist associated with this effort to raise awareness of AP’s troubling remarks described his objections to his candidacy on the basis of it potentially wasting the time and talents of liberty activists. They said, “I can understand why someone might support Austin based on his policies, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good candidate. We’re trying to save people from wasting their time. Good people from being used by a con man.”
Skepticism of AP’s candidacy has led many well-intentioned libertarians and conservatives to consider the potential rival candidacy of Paul Curtman–a Missouri State Representative, Marine Corps Veteran, and longtime Ron Paul supporter. He actually has a record of solid leadership and has built credibility over many years in the Missouri House. Those are qualifications that AP could only dream of.