Recently, both Leon & Erick (over at the Resurgent) posted articles discussing the possibility of the Libertarian Party as a vehicle for Conservative resistance to Trumpisim….
As the sort of conservative who has, in the past, heaped scorn on Libertarians for what I believe is a naieve ideology on the subject of drugs, prostitution & military policy… I have to say, it makes sense.
For the first time in my life, I am considering voting Libertarian.
Libertarians support free trade.
This is both an ideological imperative, AND a personal-lifestyle issue for me:
I do not have 35% of my income to ‘donate’ to Trump’s ‘adopt-a-union-member’ crusade: I cannot afford the price increases that ‘bringing jobs back’ would produce, AND I also firmly believe that the US economy is better off when it is built on ruthless-but-legal competition, rather than government cronyisim.
Whoever runs as the LP candidate, they will be the ONLY person in the race who supports free trade in all cases without question, unless Hillary ‘pivots’.
2) Pork Projects
Trump wants to build a wall on the border, which is a massive waste of money that will have no impact on illegal immigration.
Hillary wants to waste a fortune on green-energy & building passenger rail that no one actually wants to ride.
An LP candidate, based on their track record, will oppose both.
3) An intellectual case for smaller government, personal freedom & personal responsibility.
Normally the Republican Party’s platform, small government will not be on stage this year, unless a 3rd party puts it there.
4) Supreme Court
While it is unlikely that a libertarian would actually win (It would take throwing the election to the House, and hoping Paul Ryan hates Trump enough to deliver a majority of states), if this could be accomplished then it would give us a decent shot at a Scalia replacement.
If not, there’s always Garland the day after the election (Along with TPP ratification, just as a ‘screw you’ to the Trumpkins).
With that said, a handful of Conservatives crossing over to the LP is not going to have the full impact that a more purposeful alliance would.
To that, I would propose that Libertarians & Conservatives should work together this election, to present a 3rd-way alternative to the anti-intellectual rubbish of Trump, or the raw race/class/gender-pandering of Clinton.
To make this work, the Libertarians would need to modify their messaging (not change their beliefs, but rather change what they emphasize) a little – focusing on economic freedom, rather than drugs & anti-war campaigning, and treating social issues (Drugs, prostitution, abortion & gay marraige) as a federalist/freedom-of-state-choice subject (thus sweeping them under the rug, for now).
In return for that, conservatives could provide the Libertarian Party with the activists & door-knockers needed to get them NATIONWIDE ballot access (which they could then use to actually *have* a down-ballot in future elections) – something that has been a bit of a catch-22 as many states require good performance in presidential elections to get ‘Major’ party status, but you can’t have good performance in a Presidential without a functioning party/down-ballot…
We could also preemptively help them get high enough poll numbers to get on the debate stage with the HRC & the Chump…
And if a LP/ex-GOP alliance could win one or two states, we might just toss the election to the House (Far more likely than running Perry or any of our other wonderful but sidelined Conservative candidates).
All it takes is a little cooperation…