We’ve had a lot of stories over the last month or so here at RedState about the Libertarian Party, which should tell you all you really need to know about the humongous opportunity the Libertarian Party has this year to increase their size and influence. We’ve had articles about Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen, but I’ve avoided really taking a firm side in the intra-party squabbles of the LP because I don’t really want to presume to tell the Libertarians how to do their business.
Personally, I just feel like I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party, I don’t really pretend to be and I never have, and I don’t want to carpetbag on their convention because my own party has nominated an unfit orange-faced clown who I can’t support even over Hillary Clinton in the general election. This is the exact sort of hostile takeover the Trumpkins managed on the Republicans, and I won’t participate in it with respect to the Libertarians.
It is clear, however, that the Libertarian Party is the last political party that even pretends to stand for reducing the size and scope of the Federal government anymore. And although I’m not advocating for the Libertarians to pick any particular candidate, I will be watching their convention with interest, because the sort of candidate they select will have a lot to say about whether I can consider finding a more permanent home in the Libertarian Party and whether I will consider throwing them a vote in November instead of just leaving the Presidential ballot blank.
I think the Libertarians would do a great deal to woo people like me to nominate someone like Austin Petersen – who is not really a social conservative himself, but who at least does not display the casual, hostile contempt for social conservatives that has become a hallmark of some Libertarian Party candidates of times past. I think an intellectually honest Libertarian would be forced to concede that, even though they might not agree with social conservatives on a lot of the social issues that have come down the pike lately, what liberals are doing to force their agenda on the whole country by using the force of government is the most un-Libertarian thing possible and should be opposed.
Libertarians, of all people, should be the most committed to principles like religious liberty and the freedom of the marketplace; sadly, however, many Libertarians have so much contempt for the religious that they cannot force themselves to defend the principles of freedom even for those they don’t agree with. This willingness to stand on principle – even to an unreasonable degree – used to be a hallmark of Libertarian politics. Recently, the pendulum within Libertarian circles has swung to such a degree that many Libertarians are functionally indistinguishable from the liberal fascists who want to force everyone to conform to a given belief about social issues at the point of a gun (or, at the very least, a court order).
The Libertarian Party has at least a chance this weekend to show that they are a genuine option for disaffected conservatives, as opposed to merely liberals who want lower taxes. Whether they take it or not is completely up to them.