How to Unite the Libertarian Party
I am a candidate for the 2020 Libertarian Party presidential nomination. If you would like to support my campaign, please go to www.jacobforliberty.com.
At the risk of stating the obvious, there is considerable strife and conflict within the Libertarian Party. But there is a good way to unite the Party — an exciting Libertarian Party presidential campaign, one that relies strictly on libertarian principles to oppose both Republicans and Democrats.
The standard L.P. presidential campaign cannot do that. That’s because it’s boring. It doesn’t get Libertarian hearts thumping. It doesn’t get L.P. members excited.
And why should it? The standard Libertarian Party presidential campaign relies on welfare-warfare state reform measures, all of which violate the core principle of the libertarian philosophy — the non-aggression principle — as well as the Pledge that all members of the Libertarian Party take to not support the initiation of force against others. It also adopts Republican-Lite positions from the Republican Party and simply labels them as “Libertarian.”
It’s hard to get overly excited about a presidential campaign that calls for such things as: securing the border; saving Social Security with privatization, opting out, or phasing out over the next 50 years; preserving Medicare with health-savings accounts; ending mask and vaccine mandates but keeping government in charge of healthcare; legalizing only marijuana but not hard drugs; selective foreign intervention — i.e., only when it’s in our “national interest”; reforming the CIA and the NSA; keeping the government in charge of money; improving public schools with “choice” and school vouchers; criminal-justice reform; reducing military spending; reducing government spending; reducing government debt; reducing the size of government; and downsizing government.
Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Like I say, the standard Libertarian Party presidential campaign is boring, boring, boring. It is incapable of uniting the Party precisely because it is so boring.
For around 30 years, the mindset has been among some Libertarians that our Libertarian principles and positions are liabilities or albatrosses. “We are a political party, Jacob, and, therefore, our job is to win votes and get people elected to public office. Voters will never accept Libertarian positions like opening borders to the free movements of goods, services and people; repealing Social Security and Medicare: separating healthcare, education, and money from the state; legalizing all drugs; dismantling the entire national-security establishment (i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI) and restoring a limited-government republic; and ending all foreign interventionism.”
And they are right, but only because they are still hoping that the “Ron Paul voters” in the Republican Party are finally — finally! — going to come over and vote for the Libertarian Party presidential candidate — but only if he abandons Libertarian principles and adopts the welfare-warfare state reform positions and Republican-Lite positions that are palatable to Republican voters. It’s that hope — the hope of bringing the “Ron Paul revolution” to the Libertarian Party — that continues to motivate some Libertarians even today to placate and please Republican voters with endorsements, attaboys, recruitment, and adoption of Republican principles and positions.
It has never worked, and it will never work. It is an inherently defective political strategy. Republican voters will never cross party lines in large numbers to vote for a Libertarian presidential candidate. Their loyalty to their party will predominate. Otherwise, they would have crossed over en masse in 2012 and 2016 to vote for Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a Republican who became the L.P. presidential candidate (while maintaining the same positions he held when he was vying for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination).
For some 30 years, I have been contending that our Libertarian positions are actually our greatest asset. No, not with respect to Republicans or, for that matter, Democrats. Neither Republicans nor Democrats will ever embrace our genuine Libertarian positions.
But there are three groups of people out there who will vote for a Libertarian presidential candidate: (1) people who don’t vote; (2) Black people; and (3) Hispanics.
People who don’t vote sometimes encompass 50 percent of eligible voters. That’s an enormous gold mine of votes for Libertarians. A large number of them are not voting because they know that the entire welfare-warfare state system is rotten to the core and stinks to high heaven. They also know that it doesn’t matter whether they vote for a Republican or a Democrat. The result is the same.
But they will come out and vote for a Libertarian presidential candidate, but only one who is adhering to Libertarian principles. They will never come out and vote for a Libertarian presidential candidate who is sounding like a Republican.
For decades, Black people have been harassed, abused, incarcerated, and even killed by law-enforcement personnel and judges who enforce the war on drugs, the most racially bigoted government program since segregation. We Libertarians are the only ones who want to legalize drugs — all drugs. When Black people figure out that we are the ones who will bring an end to the mass incarceration, the inordinately long jail sentences, the asset-forfeiture laws, the no-knock raids, the violence, the harassment, the humiliation, the extra-judicial killings, and the abuse that comes with drug prohibition, a large number of them will come out and vote for our presidential candidate, but not if he or she is sounding like a Republican.
If a poll were taken today, there is little doubt that most Hispanics would oppose the Libertarian concept of open borders. But that’s only because they have never heard the principled moral, economic, and religious case for open borders. If they were to hear that case, a large number of them would vote for for a Libertarian presidential candidate, given their natural sympathy for illegal immigrants who have suffered death, humiliation, abuse, or injury at the hands of the Republican-Democrat socialist system of immigration controls. But that will never happen if the Libertarian Party presidential candidate is taking the Republican-Democrat position in favor of “securing” or “enforcing” the border.
Most important, we are not Republicans and we are not Democrats. We are Libertarians. We need to fight as Libertarians. Our principles are our weapons and our shields as we go into battle against both Republicans and Democrats.
And that is precisely what we must do — we need to go after both Republicans and Democrats for what they have jointly done to destroy the rights, liberties, and well-being of the American people. No more endorsing, attaboying, recruiting, or placating Republicans by adopting their statist positions. Instead, a presidential campaign based on pure Libertarian principles.
Now, that would be an exciting Libertarian Party presidential campaign, especially if it begins garnering the support of a large number of voters outside the two major political parties. It’s that type of presidential campaign that would unite the Libertarian Party.
Jacob Hornberger for President