Libertarians and Republicans Need Some Couples Therapy

After every election, Libertarians and Republicans find themselves furious with one another over a Democrat win. Interestingly, Democrats never get mad at Libertarians if they lose.

The reason why is obvious. Republicans and Libertarians are far more closely related to one another. Libertarians are an anti-authoritarian group that celebrates minarchism. Republicans are a small government group with leanings toward capitalist economics, which Libertarians also covet. Both share a lot in common when it comes to the way healthcare should be run, and both largely share a disdain for radical leftist concepts like social justice.

For all intents and purposes, the two groups should get along great, but they don’t. They tear at each other like wild animals and then point fingers at one another when Democrats take office. Republicans, tend to blame Libertarians for taking the handful of votes away from Republicans that would have helped them beat Democrats.

For instance, Herschel Walker would have beaten Raphael Warnock if Libertarians had voted alongside Republicans.

The reaction from Libertarians has been “get better candidates.”

This inevitably leads to a never-ending argument where Republicans tell Libertarians that they should just vote for the Republican candidate regardless of his imperfection since the alternative is an authoritarian Democrat. They tell Libertarians that they all but sided with Democrats by voting for a Libertarian Party candidate.

The thing is, both are right and simultaneously wrong.

Republicans do, indeed, need to pick better candidates. I’m not seeing a lot of Republicans looking at Mehmet Oz with adoration, and if Republicans can’t take the guy seriously then why should anyone else, especially Libertarians?

That said, Libertarians should probably know a losing battle when they see one and seek to oppose the Democrat Party with everything they have, even if it means holding their noses and voting for a Republican that doesn’t exactly represent everything they’d like them to. If Libertarians had done that on more than one occasion, Democrats wouldn’t have had half the successes they logged.

That’s not to say that Libertarians have put up too many candidates that people would take seriously. There has been a number, to be sure, but there’s a reason Republicans (and even many Libertarians) consider the Libertarian Party to be silly.

But, you can’t always ask people to just ignore their principles in order to get your guy to win. Libertarians have an understandably strict code and recognize the “slippery slope” when they see it far better than any other party. Republicans, on the other hand, have all the support and funding thanks to generations of being an establishment party.

So what’s the solve?

I think the answer is ultimately far more complicated than “let’s just sit down and talk about it” but it’s a good place to start. Waiting around for a magical moment that forces Republicans and Libertarians to understand each other is a long wait for a train that’s not coming. Like any couple in a strained relationship, communication comes first.

Libertarians and Republicans need to seriously sit down and begin discussing, not issues, but concepts. Both are freedom-oriented parties, and I think that’s become even more true for Republicans over the course of the past few elections.

The L and the R need to find a place they can meet between minarchism and law and order. They need to put effort into deciding where the middle ground is on what constitutes “freedom” and how much a government should be involved in any given situation on a scale of relatively involved to “wtf does Uncle Sam have to do with this?”

Once an acceptable middle ground has been agreed upon, then the issues can be discussed. Drug policies, crime, immigration, criminal justice, economics, abortion, and more need to get to be talked about until the two parties can find an acceptable compromise.

And compromising on some of these things is important since, at this point, hard-headed refusals to give an inch have resulted in nothing but giving Democrats power thanks to ho-hum candidates that elicit no confidence or excitement.

I realize that this is easier said than done but it’s actually more realistic than you might think. The arrival of the internet into the story of humanity has brought forward the ability for ideas to be exchanged at the speed of light, and these conversations between Libertarians and Republicans are happening all the time, and I don’t mean on social media.

Debates, discussions, and strategies are being formulated and fought on shows, podcasts, and forums at all times with both Libertarians and Republicans coming to the table. Some of the most famous podcasts have this very concept at their core. Agreements are reached all the time.

The probability that Republicans and Libertarians can reconcile isn’t high but improbable doesn’t mean impossible.

Ultimately, a more Libertarian society is the end goal for Republicans. It’s what they strive for, even if they don’t call it that. Libertarians would do well to be more of an influence than a foil. If Libertarianism was more in vogue for Republicans then there likely would have never been an Oz, Romney, or Cheney. Democrat frustrations would be at an all-time high, not just because they’re losing elections to a united force, but because their own supporters are beginning to bleed off as their authoritarianism fails to appeal to anyone but the idealistic young and dyed-in-the-wool party loyalists.

This requires both parties to make changes, and for that to happen, both parties need to change themselves internally to be more receptive to one another. My optimism says this is slowly but surely happening, but as it stands we’re a house divided that continues to fall.


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