FLORIDA, September 15, 2012 — Libertarians are good people, by and large.
They care about the size of government because they care about the American public. They support candidates who go up against all odds because they truly believe in their philosophy. They argue seemingly obscure points because they see them as vital to the future of our country.
With this being said, they are often so fervent in their beliefs that they cannot see reality for what it is.
Of course, such a thing can be a tremendous problem. Especially in an election season like this, when the polls seem to sway back and forth each day. This November, every vote will be absolutely vital. On at least fifty percent of the issues, any given libertarian probably disagrees with President Obama very strongly.
The same, at least from my perspective, cannot be said about Mitt Romney.
I realize that many libertarians, specifically those who strongly supported Ron Paul, are not at all happy with the former Massachusetts governor right now. After the brouhaha at the Republican National Convention, this is completely understandable.
However, this does not change the immutable fact that only one of two people will be living in the White House at this time next year. Hard as it might be to admit, Gary Johnson is not one of them.
Not even close.
Johnson, setting aside his views on immigration, is a man that I would be proud to vote for. However, voting for someone who has no chance of winning simply makes no sense. It is apparent that Johnson’s supporters are casting their ballots for him on the basis of emotion and nothing more.
While emotions surely are a driving force in politics, they can only carry a campaign so far.
A reasonable plan for libertarians would be to support Romney and continue their work on building a liberty-oriented coalition inside of the Republican Party. Unfortunate as it might be, America is essentially a partisan duopoly. Even if a third party came about during the none too distant future, it almost definitely will have nothing to do with the Libertarian National Committee.
If libertarians seriously want to build their philosophy into a political force, then they have to understand the rules of the game. Wishing our nation’s partisan norms away will not help the situation a single iota.
In the event that libertarians continue to pursue their collective pipe dream of a nationally viable third party, then they will forever remain in the shadows of America’s body politic. It doesn’t have to be this way, of course. The Republican Party, after years of being dominated by ideological neoconservatives and hardline theo-conservatives, is more than ready for a change.
The only question is this: will libertarians step up to the challenge? I earnestly hope that they will. A good starting point for them would be to vote for Mitt Romney.
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