Austin Petersen – A New Hope


Screen-Shot-2015-12-14-at-10.12.00-AM-1150x653Being a libertarian these days is not easy. On one side we have Donald Trump, and on the other side we have Hillary Clinton, as the frontrunners of their parties. With Rand Paul not doing well in numerous polls, it does not look good for us libertarians.

“But we have the Libertarian Party!” you say? Yes, this is true, and we have some great candidates competing for the spot of the official nominee.  “We can win this time if we just nominate Gary Johnson!” you may say now. I disagree. What if I tell you that we libertarians have a better, younger and more dynamic candidate? Yes, I am talking about Austin Petersen!

Austin announced his candidacy in September 2015 and gained a huge amount of followers and donors since then. He can put a remarkable grassroots campaign together and reach out to new people. The Libertarian Party needs new, and especially young people to carry the movement way past this century. I think (as many others) that Austin can do this. Gary Johnson is the Jeb Bush of the LP. He is old and definitely won’t be the next Ron Paul. Johnson was a good candidate for 2012 but now in 2016 we need someone new and fresh for our libertarian label. He made a statement on supporting the Burqa ban that actually would be against the 1st Amendment, and yes, he did withdraw that statement a few days later. That does not change the fact that he isn’t the chosen one.

There are 12 candidates declared in the LP, but I still see Gary and Austin tied for 1st place right now. However that could change again very soon, as Austin’s campaign is about to grow bigger and bigger. Number 3 would be John McAfee but again, that’s because he is a celebrity and I doubt that he takes it seriously. Maybe we see a new McAfee product coming out soon because of that.

Let’s get back to Austin Petersen.
People complain that, because he doesn’t follow the NAP, he is a ‘fake libertarian’ or a LINO (Libertarian In Name Only). In my honest opinion, I think you can’t win anything if you hold on to the NAP too tightly. Regular voters who do not care about politics until Election Day don’t have time for that philosophy. The NAP may sound noble, but it wouldn’t work. That doesn’t mean we can’t be libertarians, or are bad libertarians. It’s just something that is not needed to win the election or raise awareness for our cause. I am not saying that people who follow the NAP are bad; all I hope to see is that we band together.

Shouldn’t it be our goal to advance our ideas instead of fight among each other? Austin would be a great candidate who is giving toe and nails for this cause. Shouldn’t we want the most-libertarian in this race to have a shot at the White House? Why are some people so idealistic and hold to party guidelines? I always thought it was principle over party. We are just making it easier for the real evil out there, which is Trump, Hillary, Sanders and 90% of the other GOP and Democratic candidates. Some people in the LP (especially AnCaps) said that they will not vote if Austin will be the nominee. Luckily this is just the minority, and I am glad Austin brought many new people who care about their liberty into the party. For the sake of liberty, we need someone like Austin who can bring people together. I don’t see that passion with the other LP candidates. If we don’t bring new people in, the whole libertarian thing will die out sooner or later. America needs more libertarian politicians and not just writers, editors and publicists. You cannot change the system to anarchy in just one term.

* Editor: the text above has been reviewed for readability, but not content. The opinion(s) reflected therein are those of the author, and not of the website or Being Libertarian LLC.

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Sandro Waechter

Sandro Waechter is a libertarian activist, freelancer and entrepreneur from Switzerland, a pro-life minarchist and expert in civil liberties, gun rights, and economics. It is Sandro's goal to spread the ideas of libertarianism in Switzerland and the rest of the world.