I have kept my mouth shut about the elections for a while, but in light of this weekend’s Libertarian Party National Convention I think it’s time to share my thoughts.
First, for the uninformed, there is a large difference between the libertarian philosophy (Anti-state, anti-authoritarian, individual) that goes back hundreds of years, and the Libertarian Party. (Sorry AnCaps, libertarianism didn’t start with Rothbard). Second, although the LP espouses more intelligent ideas than any of the other parties they have largely been irrelevant in their 45 year history.
In order to overcome their irrelevance the party has twice nominated a former Republican Governor who does not seem to truly understand the philosophy. And now, they have added a former Republican governor as the Vice Presidential pick. That’s right, two “former” Republicans are now the nominees for the “party of principle”. From what I have gathered this move was made so the LP could get funding from Super PACs and be added to polls necessary to get on national debates.
Some might call this a wise, pragmatic move – elect the guys with experience and name recognition so the party can be respected by the mainstream and MAYBE get enough votes to have a bigger voice in 2016 and beyond.
I, however, consider this to be the end of any sort of principle that may have existed within that party’s framework. Now, millions of people who might discover the LP are going to get a distorted view of libertarianism. I imagine the party will only become more mainstream and less important to the radical, principled individuals who are fighting for a more free world.
Why is this important? Because Americans are dissatisfied with both the Republican nominee and the expected Democratic nominee. This means people are looking for another option, possibly a third party. Well, the powers that be and individuals without principle are weakening and corrupting whatever good might have been in the LP. It will either continue to be useless or will become more popular but less principled.
The choices are extremely lacking and I can barely recommend voting, even for a third party. I know some will say that a vote for the LP could push it over the 15% needed to get in the national debates in 2020 and then maybe by 2024, or 2028, or 2032 “we” will get enough votes to be a formidable force. Sorry guys, I don’t have that long.
So what’s the solution? As you may know I do not vote, but if you must vote – VOTE WITH YOUR CONSCIENCE AND YOUR PRINCIPLES! Whether you are a libertarian or not, you do not have to feel guilty if you do not participate. Think of non-voting as a strategy, not apathy. I do recommend that every individual find ways to live by their principles and get involved in your local community to build the world you want. The presidential election of 2016 should be a clear sign that real change will not come from the ballot box.