Libertarian Party of 2020 (Part 1): What Happens If Trump Wins?
I’d like to talk about the future.
And by future, I mean those things assholes will be posting about on Facebook 18 times a day, in the year 2020. However, this article will address the question of what happens to the Libertarian Party.
For myself, I was a Republican before Donald Trump. I voted Gary Johnson in 2012 and I would say I was the fairly typical Ron Paul supporter. However, the Rand campaign bombed like my dogecoin value and Donald Trump took the GOP to such levels of stupidity that I would allow someone to break my legs in order to get Mitt Romney back.
Let’s talk about the future of the Libertarian Party if Donald Trump actually wins.
I’m absolutely voting for Johnson/Weld and I think this ticket is the best. But I would rather see a Clinton/Kaine White House over a Trump/Pence presidency. I feel that what Trump has proposed on trade, immigration, and new spending is a direct violation of the Republican brand and just a general violation of freedom. I acknowledge the damage which will be caused by Clinton/Kaine will be bad, but Trump/Pence just exceeds those levels of bad in every single way.
However, this isn’t political opinion on those guys. This is just a look at what will probably happen in the LP, and what should happen.
On the political front, Trump winning is probably a very good thing for the Libertarian Party. He collapses the GOP brand while the Democrats have the Bernie Sanders-influence take it to the far left. Both parties go insane and the result is Paul Ryan developing a hard liquor habit dealing with Trump, while Cory Booker and Tim Kaine try to take the establishment and Liz Warren raises millions from the allowance money of her supporters. It’s not good for them or America, but good for the LP.
But who the hell is picked in 2020?
One name that comes to mind, is Gary Johnson. It will be his third time running for president and he would at age 67, still younger than Hillary and Donald are now. He holds a much better name recognition now than in 2012, and I’d argue he is the most commonly-known libertarian in the world at this point. He was a great governor and businessman, and even if he were to close this election with 3% of the vote, he’d still have done 3 times better than any nominee besides himself and Ed Clark. If there’s no one better, and he wants to do it; why not?
I think there are some obvious improvements to be made, though, if Johnson runs again.
The first is that he should remain a national name and possibly do a weekly podcast or videos summing up the news. Next, I’ll be honest and say he needs a speaking class. He can come off a tad boring and I think he does have a good style to it, but he needs to own it and dry out some obvious nervousness he has. I like how he talks, but I’m not everyone. The third thing is his campaign should probably launch in early 2019 and allow him time to prepare, instead of doing a May 2016 “Holy shit, it’s Trump vs. Clinton! We are relevant!”
Gary Johnson is my dream president, but from speaking to him personally, I doubt he’d do it again unless this election is a very clear success (breaking 10%) and there’s a real plan to win in 2020 where an actual 30% chance exists of him getting it.
So, if not Gary, who else?
The first name that comes to mind is Governor Bill Weld.
The simplest thing I can say about Bill Weld is that if in 2020 Donald Trump runs against Elizabeth Warren, Weld with a running mate such as Jeff Flake, Mike Lee, or Matt Bevin, would undeniably win. He’d be a great nominee and he’s someone who I feel could win the award as the first person to join the Libertarian Party ever aware of how to actually win an election. I’m an undeniable fan and I think of any person discussed, he is the most interesting. However, he will be 74 years old, which isn’t that bad realizing he would be more or less the same age as Bernie Sanders is now, but it does create a problem. My gut feeling is he will run for president in 2020 as either a Republican or Libertarian if Trump wins, and I welcome both; but it’s a 50/50 thing and natural causes could stop it.
For the next step, I’d like to list names of people and tickets I could see seeking the LP nomination in 2020, who I believe are viable. I’ll weigh in the pros, cons, and a general description of each.
Senator Jeff Flake: I first met this man when I was 15 years old as he was a congressman. I told him he was my second favorite member of Congress next to Ron Paul and he said “I get that more often than what I’d expect.” As a senator he is very good on immigration, good on drug policy, not a warmonger, and was in the House one of the senators who later opposed the Iraq War. He also proved his great foreign policy experience when he went to Cuba when Barack Obama made the decision to end the embargo.
- Pros: He would be the least socially-awkward man to ever identify as a Libertarian. He is extremely relaxed, presentable, and well maintained. In the Senate, he also has been a popular force for conservatives, libertarians, moderates, and Democrats. With no hesitation, I would place him as my first choice for president in 2020 if he seeks it under the GOP or LP. And he is perhaps the only person who could get my support, before Gary Johnson.
- Cons: He could be a bit more Libertarian. On fiscal issues I would give him an A-, foreign policy a B, and on social issues a B-. I do however feel in a presidential campaign, he could formally back marijuana legalization, detail more of his fiscal plans and so on. I also would want him to reverse his decision to keep the Patriot Act, which he’s been very mixed on.
Senator Rand Paul: My favorite US senator who I supported in 2015 for president. He is awesome, and while he’s never been the biggest fan of the LP, I think the age of Trump could change that.
- Pros: His career in the Senate.
- Cons: His career as a presidential candidate.
Governor Mitch Daniels: This guy is as good as it gets on fiscal issues. He is also well-educated to the extreme and was, as a governor, the only one I’d say could have been better than Gary Johnson. John Stossel did a show talking ‘who will build the roads’ and Daniels talks about the roads he privatized as Governor of Indiana. He set up a fundraiser and forum for Gary Johnson in 2016 and seems that his contract running Purdue being the only thing that held him back from a formal endorsement.
- Pros: His entire career. His immense popularity with Republicans and the State of Indiana. His intelligence. His credibility.
- Cons: He’s only been very open on economic policy and proven to not be a Santorum social conservative. Let’s learn a bit more on him before begging him to run.
Those are the top three.
Now the rest.
Justin Amash: Not bad, but I doubt he can break 1%.
Chris Gibson: Would be good if he wasn’t horribly unknown; but a great vice presidential option.
Thomas Massie: I just doubt he’ll do it.
Susan Collins: She would never win the LP primary.
JC Watts: More of a VP pick.
Mark Sanford: Holy shit, yes.
There are options, and I do see a Trump victory as an opening where GOP names of all kinds will join the LP. Let’s just, for the love of God, hope something good happens!