Why Can’t Libertarians Run A Popular Candidate?

Any time I go on Twitter and poke a little fun at libertarians, especially Gary Johnson, I usually get a flood of angry responses from triggered fans of the LP candidate. For the record, I consider libertarians to be Republicans who want to smoke weed and get gay married, and certainly not the threat to America like the GOP is.

Like Gary Johnson, I also consider Jill Stein to be a joke candidate, much to the unbridled anger of the far-left. Both Libertarians and the Green Party have very little state-level organization, and show up every 4 years hoping to gather enough votes to get federal funding in the next election.

The Green Party has zero lawmakers at the state level, and the people I usually get angry hate mail from believe in alternative medicine woo or even chemtrail conspiracies. The libertarians respond with the usual insults of “sheeple” and “statist” – Ron Paul memes about taxation being theft – and then they wonder why the mainstream media doesn’t give their candidate much attention.

The delightfully hypocritical argument from libertarians that tickles my funny bone is the one where they demand that private media corporations give equal time to Gary Johnson. You know, because the free market should be able to do whatever it wants, unless that means not taking the Libertarian Party seriously and promoting their candidate.

Yes, the same people who rail about the Constitution and government overreach want private media businesses to spotlight a candidate who can’t break double digits in the national polls.

I’m not against third parties at all. While our government was set up early on for a two-party system and reinforced by the 12th Amendment, I’d welcome a center-right alternative to the Republican Party. That is a void that the Libertarian Party could fill, but they simply do not have a serious candidate who understands foreign policy, or basic economics. It’s nice that they claim to support gay marriage and reproductive rights, but proposing a flat tax or further deregulation of corporations makes no sense at all.

Libertarians don’t understand that you can’t just show up every four years with a protest candidate and expect to be taken seriously. You can’t have people running for party chairman who strip onstage or candidates like Austin Petersen who get booed by the audience for stating that drug laws should prohibit people from selling heroin to little kids.

I believe that there are well-meaning people who call themselves libertarians. Sometimes, especially on the issues of police brutality, criminal justice, and civil rights, progressives and libertarians find themselves on common ground. If they stuck to these issues instead of arguing for eliminating taxes or letting the free market run unbridled, perhaps they could gain a little more traction in the polls.



About Manny Schewitz 462 Articles
Manny Schewitz is a progressive and registered Democrat currently living in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is a co-founder of Modern Liberals and an unapologetic liberal who supports gun regulations, abortion rights, and Bernie Sanders. Manny is on Facebook, Instagram and you can follow him on Twitter as well.
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