This is the first time I’ve written an article after the election and, for anyone reading who knows me, here is some news from my life: I have decided to formally become an independent, not re-register with the national Libertarian Party nationally, hold my Republican registration in the state of New York, and certainly not register as a Democrat.
I’m doing this because I am not decided on the strategy of the liberty movement going forward, but I do believe there’s a clear need for a reboot.
With this reboot, allow me to vent my frustrations with the Libertarian Party.
Its members are too engaged in a battle for purism, trying to sell the importance of ending the Civil Rights Act to defend liberties which make no difference, at all, to issues that actually matter. Seriously, if you could survey Libertarian Party members and ask them to take a candidate who disagrees with them on 10% of issues who’d actually end up winning, I bet a solid 25% of the party would reject said person.
It’s a shit show to become King of the Nobodies.
I ran for Chairman of the LP in 2016 to potentially bring in some fresh ideas. The fact that there was evidence that I was pulling over 10%, being the 20-something guy from New York who wrote articles bashing candidates who were then running for the party’s nomination for president, saying they were Walmart greeters who ran due to getting employee of the month, is amazing.
The worst part of it being that some of my bigger supporters were literally people who were working for or backing one of the candidates I was bashed. I just don’t think these guys vet candidates or take things seriously. I’d also argue that the LP just seems to want zippy messages, purist rants, and adding a candidate running on Facebook. I literally had a dozen people at the Orlando Convention say they planned on voting for me, just because I accepted their friend request.
The Libertarian Party people tend to be the dumbest people in the liberty movement. I hate to say it, but it’s true.
Go to the Cato Institute, Students For Liberty, Reason, the Ayn Rand Institute, and many other groups in the movement to find PhDs, academics and well-versed people with positive perceptions of the world that get out often, work hard, are open to compromise, and view things with math and history as their rational basis. The Libertarian Party… Is kind of home to people who share memes and go “Well, what about the NAP?”
A lot of these people are totally fucking nuts. The fact that James Weeks has people in the party calling him a hero for stripping down and embarrassing the party to 50 million people, is insane. The fact that people think a guy from Missouri with no education, job or credibility, who can be found calling women sluts or bitches on Facebook, is a viable candidate, is insane. The fact that Augustus Invictus, basically running as this clown KKK sympathizer, gets support, is insane. With this and other character like John McAfee in mind, the LP is a madhouse.
I can go on ranting, but I’ll just say I don’t think the LP is very mature, and I feel it’s genuinely filled with people who want the vanity spot of being a nominee for something in order to feel special. I don’t think many people there believe they will win or make a difference in society. Instead, they are interested in creating a false party loyalty, which is actually just a loyalty to themselves. People could go out and devote time to real local races, but, instead, say “Oh, I want to run for senator and governor!” when they have no money, resume, national name, or skill for the post.
Finally, the fact that we nominated two popular former governors who were polling well and the fear of the two parties clinched people to use the line “Wasted vote” in order to stick them under 5%, is depressing. I love Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, but I think they lost 100% due to this two party-perception, and unless someone who can write a check such as Tim Draper, Patrick Byrne, Michael Bloomberg or Mark Cuban for anywhere between $30 and 250 million, I don’t see an opportunity to win.
With that, I’ll probably end up rejoining the LP after the GOP and Democrats screw up again in 2020 if they have a good nominee, but I just can’t hold loyalties. I genuinely want to win and I am not looking to be the big fish in the small pond, similar to many of these Libertarian Party people.
Next up: the Republican Party.
I’ll be honest: I would love to be an active Republican again. If I was told I’d be in a battle between Jeb Bush, advocating moderate conservatism, and Rand Paul, advocating libertarian-type views, and Ted Cruz, being a hardcore social and fiscal conservative talking about the Smoot-Hawley tariff again, I’d be happy; even if I lost!
I genuinely didn’t mind Jeb Bush that much. I thought he was excellent on immigration, and with regards to fiscal issues and education, he was a pretty damn good candidate. With regards to Ted Cruz, while I have some concerns about how trustworthy he is, I think he’d have probably been the best president in a century if elected, due to his understanding of economics and great intelligence. For Rand Paul… to see that epic man become president, I’d shave the hair off my head and let Liberty Hangout auction it off so they can purchase more ‘Taxation is Theft’ hats. However… the GOP has Donald Trump.
Trump is not a capitalist, and I’d argue, due to his bizarre views on trade, immigration and history of economic policy flip flops, he’s basically as bad as Bernie Sanders.
On foreign policy, Trump just doesn’t know what he’s doing. I’m glad he seems game to be more non-interventionist, but with no experience at all and allies such as Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, and John Bolton, I think I’ll pass.
As an anti vaxxer who started rumors that our president didn’t go to college or that he lied about his birth, disgusts me. He’s an Alex Jones flunky, and that also disgusts me.
I’d only rejoin the Republican Party if in 2019 there’s a real sign that someone such as Rand Paul, Bill Weld, Ben Sasse, Mitch Daniels, Nikki Haley, Jeff Flake, Bruce Rauner, or Mitt Romney are game to go into the primaries. I want a free trade candidate. I want a free market candidate. I want a conservative who isn’t an in your face jackass on social issues. I am fine to compromise on many issues if it means taking down Trump, and would be happy to join that fight. It’s a fight I believe can happen, and it’s a fight I’d want to be active in.
However, I won’t be a Republican with Trump in power, and I have no intention to support this new president. However, there’s one other option, and it’s a bizarre one: Become a Democrat.
When it comes to the idea of becoming a Democrat, I’ll just say the only rare instance I could see it happening in. The Republicans don’t want to primary Trump and the Democratic Party has someone like Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, or ideally, Mark Cuban seeking the nomination. The chance to take a moderate in who can realistically beat Trump is enticing, and I’d hold no issues voting for, supporting, and donating to a candidate intent on doing that.
I also look at the left and hold a feeling that if I worded libertarianism to them in a way they could understand, they’d end up voting. The truth behind political parties is they are people surrounding themselves on problems over solutions. If I were to become a presidential candidate as a Democrat saying how black lives matter, the middle class is getting screwed, and did so with a well-worded platform, I could probably promise to abolish welfare and have half of them not even notice if I got a rapper to introduce me at rallies.
And that, to me, seems like the most exciting case to become a Democrat.
So far with the liberty movement, it’s mostly preaching to the choir. Ron Paul got up to talk about economics and really no disagreements were found. He talks foreign policy fairly disqualify him for being rational. This possibly being due to the fact that libertarians tend to be pretty bad at debating foreign policy. To the point I can’t really name a single legitimate foreign policy expert who labels themselves as a libertarian. However, economics is packed. We have tons of PhDs in economics who are well-versed and intelligent and know how to argue. This case exists where we can say “Let’s have a government expanding the social safety net off of compassionately cutting existing departments and make an economic effort to deregulate occupational licensing, trade and more” is something I think if it made it to a Democratic debate, would sell with a more intelligent group of people.
I’ll just close on the note that I wrote this article not knowing the answer.
I’d like everyone reading to comment below and give a stance. Stay in the Libertarian Party? Go try and get the GOP fixed up? Or go do something radical in introducing fiscal conservatism to the Democratic Party and dancing the Bernie on social and forcing issues? Please comment below and share!
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Charles Peralo, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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