Tag: libertarian party

The Rime of the Ancient Libertarian

 

“I used to be a registered Libertarian and I have the Gary Johnson yard signs to prove it.” 

Think back into the past with me, back to the dark days of April, 2016. Bernie Sanders has become the first (and I believe only) American Presidential candidate to receive an invitation to meet with the Roman Pope, Hillary Clinton is lapping up primary elections like an old dog about to die, and that joke candidate from the 2012 Presidential election, Donald J. Trump, just won’t stop winning.

Stacking the Deck: How Ballot Access Laws Are Written to Disadvantage Minor Parties

 

 

If the 2016 election was good for anything, it reminded us that controlled markets produce garbage products. In 2016, we saw the two most disliked presidential candidates in American history go head to head. That might explain why nearly nine million people voted for third-party candidates and another 5 million (or more) stayed home.

I call it a “controlled market” because third parties are intentionally excluded. There are several structural barriers inherent to our system of government, but two additional barriers are put in place by major parties to make sure third parties don’t muck things up for them: debates and ballot access.

Member Post

 

I can’t remember if we have folks who are members of the Libertarian Party and who are active commenting here on Ricochet, but I’m curious what the overall feel is in the Libertarian Party is about the campaign and electoral performance of their ticket. It seems like the performed well relative to all of the […]

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Member Post

 

I know we’ve discussed this subject a time or two this election cycle; but, I thought I’d take a little closer look at the Libertarian parties’ presidential ticket and their relative success so far. The Libertarian Party (hereinafter to be referred to as LP) looks to be headed toward their best finish ever in their […]

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The Good News and Bad News in Gary Johnson’s Polls

 
Click to expand.

Click to expand.

Gary Johnson’s campaign for President has lately had a mix of bad and good news in the polls — more on that in a moment — but the poll on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post definitely is one he will be talking about. Using SurveyMonkey online methodology, the survey measured voter opinion in each of the 50 states over the past month. And it finds the Libertarian candidate to be a serious factor in the race.

The headline finding for Johnson is that he reaches 15 percent of the vote or better in 15 states, and 10 percent or better in 42 states, that is, all but eight. The states where he makes the strongest showing are his own New Mexico (25 percent); Utah (23 percent); Alaska, Idaho, and South Dakota (19 percent); Kansas (17 percent); Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota, and Washington (16 percent); and Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Wyoming (15 percent).

Scared Straight at the Libertarian Convention

 
Libertarian Convention

James Weeks, candidate for Libertarian Party chair, danced and stripped down to his thong before leaving the stage amid a chorus of boos.

By dinner time Saturday I was a bit disappointed with how my experience at the Libertarian Convention had progressed. Part of me was eager to bask in the craziness that I had assumed such a gathering would inevitably draw out. Yet to that point, I had encountered little out of the ordinary. We met with numerous campaign workers, all of whom seemed polite, professional, and possessing a full measure of sanity. Discussions with various delegates turned out many people who seemed eminently reasonable and thoughtful. As James of England and I sat down to eat before the debate, we each expressed a bit of surprise out just how uneventful the entire affair had been thus far.

The Establishment Libertarians?

 
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Possible slogan: “Vote for the cannabis dealer; it’s important.”

​As recently as four years ago, Ron Paul was the face of American libertarianism: the wild-eyed old uncle with uncompromising ideas who got all the kids excited, stayed just within one of the two major  party, and who was on the receiving end of convention shenanigans (seriously, how did I miss the obvious parallels between the elder Paul and Senator Bernie Sanders?). But Paul decided against a third-party run in the previous two cycles and Gary Johnson stepped in to the leadership void, earning a solid million votes as the 2012 Libertarian candidate. Just over the weekend, Johnson won the parties’ nomination again.

The Case for Voting Libertarian for President

 

Libertarian_Party_Porcupine_(USA).svgOur own James of England wrote an excellent article — and, I can only imagine, the first of many — for NRO. In it, he details why voting for Gary Johnson would be a mistake and he lists a variety of sins Johnson committed while governor of New Mexico. In increasing severity, James’s list included Johnson using state money to hobnob with celebrities, the state’s budget explosion under his watch, and the debacle that is Johnson’s stated position on forced cake baking.

To put it mildly, this is not a libertarian record or evidence of libertarian positions. The only one I might try to defend is for spending increases, since someone had to send him those bills. But either way, I’m not really here to defend Johnson. These are obvious sins and argue strongly against him. But at the end of the day, they don’t hold a candle to the anti-liberty positions of the two major party candidates. This brings me to what I believe is the biggest motivation behind James’s piece: The potential for Libertarian Party to do well enough this year to earn public financing in future elections.

Not only does Johnson’s faction seek the anti-libertarian objective of public campaign funding, but it tilts elections to Democrats. The potential negative impact of the Libertarian party can be clearly seen in the election for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota in 2008. Al Franken beat Norm Coleman by 215 votes, with the Libertarian party netting 13,916 votes for a candidate focused on economic issues, particularly drilling. A little more than a year later, Obamacare passed with 60 votes, Franken providing the 60th. With public funds and a professional ground game diverting votes, who knows what Congress might pass?