By Austin Anderholt | United States
In the 2016 election, the libertarian party would have transformed from an irrelevant third party, into a huge, powerhouse party that would’ve even had a candidate participate in the presidential debates. So what went wrong? Our presidential candidate market had run dry.
Don’t get me wrong, out of the candidates that were running for the libertarian ticket, Gary Johnson got more votes than anyone else could have. Did he say stupid things? Sure. Did he make mistakes? Of course. However, most of these mishaps resulted in either more publicity for the party or made no large effect in favor of Johnson in the polls. So why did Johnson do the best?
Gary Johnson had two things that any other candidate lacked:
First, he had popularity. Johnson was a real politician who had won actual positions. Did any other candidate for president hold an actual large political office? No. Johnson was the only person who actually could be recognized by current American voters.
Second, Johnson had a simple “political charm” that other candidates lacked. Sure, other candidates were quite appealing as actual people. For example, Austin Petersen was very personally active on social media during the election and made himself seem very human by posting things that the everyday person would post, such as memes and selfies. Maybe this will pay off for him in Missouri. However, Johnson brought so many voters over from the mainstream that just couldn’t have been accomplished by another candidate who lacked his recognizability.
So what does this have to do with Adam Kokesh? Kokesh is and will be the only, candidate to have both of these vital qualities for a libertarian presidential candidate, and he doesn’t make the stupid outbursts that Johnson does.
For example, popularity? Although he is Kokesh swims in popularity. While he has never run for a political office, he’s a huge, well known libertarian activist. Let’s be honest: 2016 was the year of political outsiders, and Kokesh was the perfect 2016 politician that wasn’t. His balance of “well known” but “not some old politician” make him a valuable player in the 2020 libertarian primaries. I personally would go so far as to say that he is the pioneer of libertarian and voluntarist concepts in the 21st century. His book has reached and influence an incredibly vast audience. His youtube videos and podcasts are revered by the libertarian community. They’ve reached millions of views, and more importantly, brought everyday Americans down to voluntarism.
Charm? Kokesh has the best of both worlds. He has Petersen’s “every-day meme and selfie poster” quality that makes him an actual human, but he also has Johnson’s “Strong level of political understanding”. This “best of both worlds” is best illustrated in his “Adam Versus The Man” podcast. When asked questions by supporters, does he dodge the question or give vague answers like most politicians do? Does he make incoherent arguments like a random, unprofessional pseudo-intellectual? No. Kokesh has the intelligent professionalism of a politician and the genuine care of a well-intentioned human being. I can almost guarantee that anyone else’s running in 2020 will lack one of these crucial qualities.
Kokesh has also gone the extra mile in his political activism, which further shows his passion for liberty. While Johnson and Petersen were making speeches, what was Kokesh doing? He was out there on the streets! He was filming videos of himself talking to everyday Americans! He was confronting authority with his many videos of cop encounters! Not only did he hold oh so many libertarian rallies (with topics ranging from war to marijuana legalization), he has been arrested twice during his campaign. What did he do during these arrests? Did he say “Maybe I’m in over my head. Maybe I should just give up.” No! Adam Kokesh kept fighting! In fact, one of his recent podcast episodes was recorded from his cell! That’s what I call dedication to liberty!
In the first edition of this article, I made an incorrect inference.: I assumed that Kokesh had little to no social media team. I stand corrected, but this only further proves the point I am about to make: Although this may not pertain to Adam Kokesh himself, his campaign team has done an excellent job at not only humanizing him (to the point where it seems like he is the sole creator on his social media accounts) but showcasing his work in a professional way. This is something that (much like the candidates themselves), both the Johnson and Petersen team failed to do.
In conclusion, Adam Kokesh is three things: First of all, he’s a human. He resonates with crowds. He doesn’t bow down to political norms. He doesn’t dodge questions. He doesn’t act like a higher being that knows the answers to all of your problems. Second, Adam Kokesh is a professional. He knows what he’s talking about. He doesn’t give incoherent answers. He differentiates himself from irrelevant, libertarian nobodies in his strong activist campaigns, speeches, and media. But most importantly, Adam a Kokesh is a fighter. If he has to hold a controversial gun rally to protect your right to bear arms, he’ll do it. If he has to take time out of his day to protect rights and stand up to law enforcement, he’ll do it. If he has to go to prison to stand up to big government, he’ll do it.
This is an opinion piece. The views reflected in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of 71 Republic.
Image from Hang The Bankers.