Is the Libertarian Party about to Die or About to Explode?

This morning, this was what on my heart. I want to do more than what I am doing to spread Libertarianism. Libertarianism for me is more than a political philosophy. It’s a way of life for me and I try to share it in the way I live my life. Most people don’t have a clue what a Libertarian is or why we love Liberty.

How I found the Libertarian Party.

I joined the Libertarian party over ten years ago.  I was supporting Hillary Clinton at the time. Go ahead and laugh. I didn’t know anything about politics at the time, other than what I was taught – that Democrats are for the poor and Republicans are for the rich. The concept of Libertarianism was a completely foreign idea to me.

My eyes were opened in 2008 when I looked at the two Democrat presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I compared both candidates’ websites and what I realized was that Barack Obama’s website said virtually the same thing as Hilary’s except he had a few more freebies on his list of promises.

This is when I realized that politicians are doing nothing more than marketing!

They are selling us empty promises, ones they know they can’t deliver on. The Democrats are offering hope to working-class people. If you just trust us, we will do all these things for you – FREE health care, FREE education, a FREE basic income.  And, I was one of the believers. 

I thought Republicans were all wealthy, judgemental people who had advantages. I thought that most of them didn’t understand what it was like to be poor. Most of the Republicans I knew at the time had a chip on their shoulder about poor people. Instead of being compassionate, all I ever heard was complaining about how poor people were using the system, how they were lazy, and collecting food stamps because they just didn’t want to work.

That was kind of my take on politics at the time. Republicans were greedy capitalist pigs with no compassion for poor people and Democrats were kind people that wanted to help the poor. Sorry if this offends people, but this is what I thought at the time.

Boy was I wrong. 

I didn’t realize that campaigning is all about marketing, not about actually changing anything.

I started looking into a third party when I became so sick of the options. None of the candidates in the Republican party or Democrat party spoke to me.

The simple concept of letting people live and let live is what initially attracted me to the Libertarian Party. I didn’t fully understand Libertarian economics, or smaller government, or the principles of Libertarianism. I just liked the idea of letting people live their lives the way they wanted to without the government deciding things for people.  And that’s how my journey into Libertariasm began. To be perfectly honest, had I been met by some of the keyboard warrior Libertarians I know today, I might not ever become a Libertarian.

The Libertarians I discovered met me where I was at. They didn’t expect me to embrace the entire Libertarian platform, or understand why personal responsibility and a smaller government made more sense than growing a bigger and bigger government.  

Many Libertarians don’t share or market Libertarianism very well.

Many people have a complete misunderstanding about what a Libertarian is.  That’s because we don’t explain what a Libertarian is very well. In fact, many Libertarians don’t even know what a Libertarian is

The basic definition of a Libertarian is someone who believes in a small limited government where people have the freedom to decide what they want to do with their own lives. Libertarians believe the purpose of government should be limited to protecting us from harm or fraud – not the million other things the government does.

When I ran for office, I didn’t try to make Libertarianism complicated. It’s not. We believe in running our government efficiently. We believe in staying out of people’s lives and businesses. Before you think this is anarchy, this is not at all what a Libertarian is. Libertarians are not extremists, although like any political party we have a few. We are reasonable, peaceful people who believe that we know how to run our lives better, and more efficiently than the government. It’s as simple as that.

This concept of peacefulness, of tolerance, and of freedom is appealing to so many people. Many of us are sick of the divisive politics and are looking for something different. The concept of a smaller, less overreaching government appeals to everyone.

Libertarians, let’s not give up!  Let’s not quit on this party. Let’s make it explode!

What I see going on in the Libertarian Party right now is there is a battle going on between the left-leaning Libertarians and the right-leaning Libertarians – The “Ron Paul Libertarians” and the “Gary Johnson Libertarians”.  And, of course, ya know the “real Libertarians” who don’t like the left or the right in the party. 

We are a growing party and this is a good thing. The fact that we have a party worth fighting for excites me.

Last month I went to the Libertarian Convention in Reno. The entire Libertarian party is an uproar because the Mises Caucus pretty much took over the Libertarian Party. And, what did the Libertarians do in reaction to this – what they always do. They quit!

Let’s stop quitting Libertarians!

This is my message to every Libertarian, but especially the Libertarians I have known for the last decade that have come into the party, gotten frustrated, and left. We are on the verge of something big. Our principles, our platform, it’s bigger than the individual fighting. People want to move us in a Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Spike Kohen, or Vernin Supreme direction. Our platform, our philosophy is bigger than all of them.  We have the room in our party for widespread growth and diversity.

If you quit on the party now, what happens to all the work we’ve put in over the last 50 years? Do we all just quit because we don’t like the leadership that was elected?  It’s two years!  Can you imagine what would happen to the Democrat party if all of Bernie Sander’s camp just quit? Nobody likes Joe Biden, but the Democrat party didn’t just fall apart because of a disagreement on who should lead the party.

In two years we will have another convention where the Libertarian party will hopefully select a great candidate to represent us in the 2024 election. I am incredibly excited about 2024. We have had nothing but terrible choices for the last several presidential elections. I think this could be the year of the Libertarian.

So I urge my Libertarian friends who love the message of Libertarianism, to stick around. Don’t quit. The Mises Caucus, whether you like it or not, organized well, fundraised well and was victorious at the last convention. 

The Reno Convention was one of the best ones I have been to since I joined the party. I might have my issues with the leadership team that was chosen, but quite frankly Angela McArdle was the first Libertarian I have ever heard speak at a convention with ideas for marketing and growing this party. 

The Mises “takeover” marketing was appalling.  But, when it comes down to it I think we have some real opportunities and if all the Libertarians just take their ball and go home, what happens to all the work we’ve put in. 

I am looking forward to 2024. I want to be one of the Libertarians that keeps you from quitting. We have a great party and a lot of room for growth. Be patient because growing pains are often necessary. Let’s keep growing Liberty in each of our states and go into 2024 as a solid party with some great Libertarian messaging and leadership. 

If you’re thinking of quitting, or have quit the party, talk to me. What do you need to have faith in Libertarianism again?  I hope I can be a voice of reason and get some of my Liberty friends to stay invested in the best political party that exists today.

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