Why Not Libertarian?

Since the Republican Party has lost in a rout to Trumpism, with everyone running headlong for their own personal safe space, or surrendering on the spot to the victors, I feel liberated to cast an eye toward many other options. One of these is the Libertarian ticket.

In essence, the presumptive Libertarian ticket is an incubated creation of the GOP. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson has teamed up with former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld–both of them former Republicans. On the surface, these two can’t possibly be worse than Donald Trump and whatever cipher he picks as his running mate. And they are certainly universes ahead of Hillary.

Instead of a #NeverTrump third party desperation run, the purpose of which is to punish the GOP, it’s worth a look at the Libertarian Party. First, the Libertarian Party is a real “thing.” It’s been around for some years, and has a fairly well-developed political space. Small government (so tiny you won’t notice), tight finances, and maximizing personal liberty are their hallmarks. Many in the GOP agree with those planks.

I have to admit, it’s attractive. Matt Welch at the Los Angeles Times opined:

Get over it, #NeverTrumpers. No amount of praying for a political unicorn to inhabit Bill Kristol’s www.renegadeparty.com can overcome the cruel logic of the electoral calendar, with its expired filing deadlines and hopelessly uphill signature-gathering requirements. There’s only one non-Republican or Democratic entity likely to be on the ballot in all 50 states come November, and that’s the Libertarian Party, which selects its presidential nominee in Orlando next weekend.

I had already read Matthew Walther’s piece from two weeks ago at the Washington Free Beacon. It paints a visceral picture of a bunch of overgrown teenagers spending their first weekend away from home at a wargaming and role-playing convention. Except it’s at a Biloxi casino.

The Beau Rivage is tacky. Everything about it is in bad taste. It was sad and demoralizing in a way that made me pity everyone there. It was also, I think, the perfect venue for the debate featuring 11 candidates seeking the 2016 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party held in the Camellia Ballroom on February 27.

The only candidates that aren’t half-baked are the ones predicted to be on the ballot (Johnson and Weld). Seriously, read the whole article. But, half-baked or not (many fit the profile to be Trump or Sanders supporters), these guys are at least honest. I mean John McAfee, creator of the anti-virus genre of software, openly talked about selling drugs, and being locked up in Belize, where he was suspected of murder. Neither Hillary nor Donald would ever get that close to the truth. Ever.

Truthfulness is refreshing, especially when two of the top liars in America will be competing for our votes. Neither of them will get mine. A serious look at Johnson is certainly in order.

I didn’t get far before rejecting him out of hand. The best thing about Libertarians is that they’re honest about their views. Gary Johnson’s website made no bones about his. The first place I went was his position on abortion. That’s a die-on-this-hill issue for me.


Unfortunately, I don’t agree with Johnson’s position of being fiercely pro-choice. I respect that he feels that way, but my conscience won’t allow me to vote for a pro-choice candidate. People tell me that Trump is pro-life, but I’m sorry, he’s a liar and I don’t believe him. I hope I’m wrong but I can’t vote on a hope, and all the other reasons I’m #NeverTrump don’t help.

Your mileage may vary. I wouldn’t stop anyone from checking out the Libertarian Party and their candidates. In fact, I would expect an exodus from the GOP after this election, with hopefully quite a few Libertarians running for Congress. They should be taken seriously.

By the way, there was a rumor flying around Washington circles that David Koch has pledged millions to the Johnson campaign. It’s untrue.

Perhaps a future version of the Libertarians will field candidates that don’t violate my core issues. Or maybe not. As a Christian conservative, I used to count on the Republican Party to be reliably in  step with my values. I can no longer do that. I encourage the Libertarians to drop the “manbuns, ponytails, goatees, and fedoras” image and ratchet up the seriousness. Even now, it was worth a look.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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