Libertarians, Let’s Grow Up

Libertarians have always been plagued by Purity Tests. An Anarcho-Capitalist will scream at a Minarchist: You want me to be 10% a slave? You Have No Morals! A 90% libertarian is evil and needs to be reeducated, but only after being subjected to heaps of ridicule. We measure each other, arguing over who has the biggest L. In the process, potential allies are alienated.

The top three presidential candidates for the Libertarian party were Austin Petersen, John McAfee, and the winner, Gary Johnson.

Austin has no political experience, is barely old enough to run, and his primary claim to fame is being extremity nasty on Twitter. (“You tubby piece of shit, you couldn’t even approach 1/4 of the pyramid of pussy that I swim in on a regular basis. It’s because I have class, motherfucke”) How presidential! He is, however, more libertarian than Johnson.

McAfee, a cybersecurity expert, pioneered anti-virus software, then sold his company for an estimated 100 million dollars. He moved to Belize, and after getting involved in some shady operations, became a paranoid hermit. He got over it, returned to the US, and ran for the Libertarian party’s nomination. He is also more libertarian than Johnson.

If the LP had nominated either of them, there would be much rejoicing, but it would only be audible to the party faithful. The mass media would ignore it, with the exception of a little, quickly forgotten paragraph here and there. But it’s been a little more than a week since Johnson’s nomination and we’ve already seen extensive articles about him all over the media. The Wall Street Journal, Time, GQ, Investors Business Daily and USA Today (to name a few) have published extensive articles on him. And we’re just getting started.

Which makes a lot of libertarians very angry. In blogs and social medial, they rant about what a lousy choice he is, how the party has lost its soul, how his supporters have no morals or integrity, and wah wah wha and blah blah blah.

I’ve been following politics forever, and I’ve never seen a national election like this. Voters usually get behind their party’s nominees, even if they have some reservations. Not this time. Most Democrats despise Hillary. Most Republicans hate Trump. And who can blame them? Hillary is a engorged pussbag of corruption and fraud. Trump is a dung-flinging howler monkey. They are both vile.

And then along comes Gary, with a great back story. As a young man, he started his own door-to-door handyman business and built it into a successful company with more than a thousand employees. (How’s that for job creation?) He sold it, and then went on to get elected as a Republican governor in New Mexico, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. He was enthusiastically re-elected four years later. He left the state with a billion dollar surplus, and a job growth rate that was the envy of just about every other state.

Oh, and for fun he climbs mountains (he’s climbed the highest mountain on every continent) and does Iron Man triathlons, making him even manlier than Hillary. Or Trump, for that matter. Voters like having someone manly in the oval office.

I’m not blind to his faults. He’s great in one-on-one conversations, but in the Libertarian debates he stumbled on some of the difficult questions. He’s about 89% libertarian – I wish the number were higher. But that’s 89% more libertarian than the other two skid-marks we’re being offered.

Libertarians have been a footnote in American politics since the party was formed way back in 1971. Finally, we have an opportunity to get our ideas out there in front of the masses. There’s even a slim chance he could win, although it would take some unlikely circumstances. Best of all, the increased publicity for the party will make it possible for other Libertarians to win smaller offices all over the country, and that could start a slow but fundamental change in the way we do government. But for that to happen, we need the complainers and saboteurs calling themselves libertarians to put on their big-boy pants and stop whining like a petulant children. Yes, there were more Pure libertarian’s available. But unlike The Pure, this guy has a chance to make a real difference. Fellow libertarians, unless you’re still enamored with losing and Purity tests, it’s time to grow up.

5 Comment(s)

  1. I concur. He’s not my first choice, but he is a far shot better than anyone else still running.
    I even made my own bumper stickers (which I make no money off of whatsoever).

    Rock Cowles | Jun 7, 2016 | Reply

  2. The Libertarians that are fighting against Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. Weld are only shooting themselves in the foot. If they want to continue having sites against our nominees then when 2020 gets here it will be much worse against their candidate. People that are acting this way really do not care about the Libertarian Party at all….

    Libby Madar | Jun 17, 2016 | Reply

  3. How can the libertarians ever come together behind one candidate? The problem with the No True Libertarian fallacy isn’t that we can’t grow up. It has more to do with having grown up. If we were able to align ourselves behind one candidate successfully, we would no longer be libertarians. There is an independent cussedness behind the majority of libertarians. We would all have to extract that cussedness to come together…

    Brad Tittle | Sep 27, 2016 | Reply

  4. I can only respond that it isn’t entirely necessary to be 100% behind a candidate to cast a vote for them. I’ve skipped watching the debates this year because Johnson already has my vote. The debates won’t change this. I might watch if they added Tom-Servo and Crow silhouettes….. Oh man… I think I’m on to something!

    Kama Kairade | Sep 28, 2016 | Reply

  5. Honestly, I think the Libertarian party is done. The ideals survive…as a wing of the Republican Party. The last decade has taught us that the only way to affect change in a two party system is to infiltrate and change the most amicable major party from the inside.

    Brian | Nov 22, 2016 | Reply

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