You only have one vote every two years. A liberty-leaning voter only has two options. Which party in 2014 would best advance a self-governing society? Would voting and supporting Libertarian candidates, at the expense of Constitutional and Libertarian-leaning Republicans, help advance a minimal state more efficiently? Has it ever even been successful? Did former Congressman Ron Paul stick with the Libertarian Party because it achieved the goals of producing a limited government?
Last year, former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, narrowly lost the governor’s race in Virginia. The Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, who is now running for Senate gained 6.6% of the vote even after being criticized by Ron Paul for supporting more taxes. Sarvis had his liberty credentials tested on multiple occasions and ultimately, at best, was a small government social liberal. Meanwhile, Ken, although not claiming to be a Libertarian, still did a decent job at advancing a variety of our goals. On fiscal issues, Ken leaned closer to the Austrian School than Sarvis by far. If the Libertarian Party had embraced Ken, despite some of his social issues, Virginia would be off.
Former Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah Mia Love, will likely win her Congressional Race and be the first Black Republican women in Congress. In 2012, she ran for Congress and lost by a small margin. Love has received a variety of endorsements from organizations such as FreedomWorks and constitutionalists like Senator Mike Lee. If elected, she most likely will be the most Libertarian women in the House of Representatives. If large-“L” Libertarians had supported her initially, we would have another ally and most importantly, an ally that comes from a different background. Minorities deserve to hear the philosophy of liberty and what better way to bring it than from a minority perspective. Mia Love displayed her credentials in an interview where she openly had good things to say about Bastiat and Ron Paul.
Even when Richard Tisei ran in 2012, Libertarians refused to rally behind him.
Recently, the large-“L” Libertarians have argued seven reasons for why libertarians should support the Libertarian Party.
1. The Libertarian Party supports all of your freedoms, all of the time.
The Libertarian Party has always had dissenting opinions on various issues. For starters, there are many social Libertarians that are sympathetic to regulations when it comes to economic issues. The Libertarian Party is just like any other party except it fails to win elections. All parties have different factions within them. Within the Libertarian Party, there are Anarchists, Social libertarians, Paleoconservatives, and many more that divide the Libertarian Party on a lot of issues. They are no different and do not always support your freedom.
2. The Libertarian Party is consistent and principled
This is blatantly false. The Libertarian Party is consistently inconsistent. Many members have criticized Rand for his positions on various issues and have tried to say he isn’t for more limited government, or not enough. However, in the past two presidential elections, the Libertarian Party nominated candidates that aren’t even close to purism or any form of limited government similar to what Ron Paul advocated for. In 2008, Bob Barr was laughable and in 2012, Gary Johnson was not really Libertarian either. The Libertarian Party is consistent in opposing the status quo, but when it comes it’s supposed “Libertarian” stance overall, the Libertarian Party is only willing to focus on a few social issues that they put over fiscal issues. The party seems more opportunist than the two-party system in various
3. Voting for old party politicians tells them that you want to keep government big
This really doesn’t make any sense since A party itself is just a label. When people voted for Ron Paul, did they want to keep government big? No. Voters are supposed to vote for a candidate. It doesn’t matter what party they are from. Pick the candidate that best represents your views. Ultimately, in 2014, there are a variety of candidates such as Joni Ernst, Clint Didler, Mark Walker,and Richard Tisei that will attempt to massively shrink the size of government. Most importantly, on an economic level, which ultimately, will help us push for more social reform.
4. Voting Libertarian is the only clear message you can send
A message isn’t sent when the status quo still remains.
5. Voting Libertarian forces the old parties to take the libertarian positions
The GOP is already stable and their base is already willing to embrace limited government even if older GOP voters do not realize it. In some cases, even more than libertarian voters.
6. Because the old parties don‘t want you to
7. Voting Libertarian helps your favorite “libertarian-leaning“ old party politician.
So does supporting “libertarian-leaning” Republicans
When evaluating a variety of libertarians vs. Republicans, a legitimate case can be made that Constitutional Republicans are for a smaller government than Libertarians. Although politicians like Senator Paul and Congressman Amash do not fully or openly embrace social libertarianism, have they ever strayed away from fiscal libertarianism? Both are arguably economically aligned much more with the Austrian School than many members of the libertarian party running for office such as Gary Johnson. Both have taken tougher stances on more controversial issues that some Libertarians are willing to accept. This would produce a smaller government even if socially, we still needed progress. Both have taken a devout non-interventionist stance and want to reduce foreign involvement, while people like Gary Johnson did not rule out the possibility of humanitarian intervention. Furthermore, even if members of the liberty caucus are not socially tolerant or as tolerant as the Libertarian Party, they still promote positions libertarians advocate for. We shouldn’t create divisions at the expense of hypocrisy and purism. We should expand our base and bring a broader message in order to dismantle big government.
Finally, in the defense of Rand Paul, who is trying to push for more libertarian-leaning figures to run, vote and expand the Republican Party, The Libertarian Party has failed brand out for minorities. The Libertarian Party hasn’t tried to appeal to social conservatives on a variety of issues. If the lack of outreach has failed both Republicans and Democrats, what causes the Libertarian Party excluded from the same failure? There are many issues Conservatives, Independents, and Libertarians will disagree on. That’s perfectly fine. Disagreement and dissent is healthy for intellectuals. However, that doesn’t mean coalitions are not possible and we must fully promote purism. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich formed a non-interventionist and constitutional war coalition in Congress during the Bush-era although being on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Murray Rothbard realized that social issues or sins could be the death of Libertarians and ultimately modified his position on social issues by criticizing them. Lew Rockwell did the same. Both were devout anti-statist libertarians and far more anti-government than anyone the Libertarian Party would consider nominating for the 2016 Presidential Election. In the end, Rothbard formed a coalition with Pat Buchanan, a Paleoconservative who has always been a valuable ally and sympathetic towards Libertarianism. People aren’t looking for a different party. People are looking for different political servants. Those political servants lie within the Liberty Caucus, which consist of Constitutional and anti-statist Republicans representing the messages of thinkers like Calvin Coolidge, Barry Goldwater, Robert A. Taft, and even Claude Frédéric Bastiat. If political action is the way to achieve limited government, voters ought to vote Republican. We must always remember the end goal: A push for a free society.