I’ll be honest: I’ve never understood the purpose of the Libertarian Party in the United States. And although I’ve read Atlas Shrugged, I’ve never understood the appeal of Ayn Rand, either. I mean, I skipped hundreds of pages of the redundant and transparent justifications for what I call “I Got Mine” because they were both stupid and boring.
In the same vein, I’ve never understood how you could reconcile a belief in limited government with support for civil rights. Civil rights are defended through a robust judicial process, and are undergirded by an informed citizenry. All of that requires funding. The idea that you can just wish it into existence without a plan to sustain and nurture it is yet another example of the magical thinking that is embedded in the American political right.
To be fair, for a while there magical thinking was the basis of the Libertarian Party over the last decade or so. There was a real belief that Americans would support a party with no actual way to implement or sustain its policies simply because the Libertarian Party was an alternative somewhat familiar to Americans. This conveniently ignored the fact that a Libertarian president would not have a natural coalition to support their legislative policies.
The biggest issue I had though was with how a third party with zero ability to make any actual legislative difference took votes away from viable candidates. We saw this with Gary Johnson in the 2016 election. People who fell for the anti-Hillary propaganda had a place to park their vote, and thus disaster was born.
The GOP was paying attention to this pool of voters, too. You may have noticed this tweet from the New Hampshire Libertarian Party:
The Libertarian Party of NH deleted their tweet, but not fast enough. pic.twitter.com/jQZpVKejx5
— Ethan Grey (@_EthanGrey) January 17, 2022
The Libertarian Party vote cost the GOP 3 states in 2020, per J.T. Young, and the GOP decided its best course was to destroy the Libertarian Party from within via a scorched earth policy. Members of the far right extremist Mises Caucus—named after Ludwig von Mises—have taken over the Libertarian Party and have ousted more moderate leadership.
Per the Southern Poverty Center Law, the effects are already being felt:
LP donations have missed targets and members are fleeing the party, according to David Valente, a former alternate member of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and LP member since 2012.
“The purpose of what is going on with the MC … is to sabotage the LP to sideline it over the next few years for Donald Trump,” Valente told Hatewatch.
Valente resigned from the LNC on Oct. 2, 2021, citing health concerns. Rising bigotry and harassment inside the LP, stemming from the MC, also contributed to his resignation, he said.
What I find even more alarming is that these Mises Caucus members have ties to TFG and his henchmen:
Byrne [former CEO of Overstock.com] was a regular visitor to the White House in the waning days of the Trump administration. He spoke at the Jan. 6, 2021, Trump rally in D.C. that preceded the insurrection. He authored a book based on spurious claims that election fraud cost Trump the 2020 election and was the main financier of the audit of the Arizona’s Maricopa County election results.
In one screenshot, Heise announced a “private meeting” with Byrne and others on July 11, 2018.
Heise claimed in a Sept. 12, 2019, post that Byrne donated $5,000 to the caucus in 2017 after the two met at the Nexus conference, a gathering dedicated to a cryptocurrency Collin Cantrell founded. Cantrell’s father, Jim, is on the Mises political action committee advisory board and the Mises Caucus board. Jim Cantrell was on the founding team of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Libertarians are no longer just Republicans who want to legalize pot. Vote and donate accordingly.
I’ll leave you with this warning: