Tim Silfies was one of the highest quality individuals the Libertarian Party has ever put forward as a congressional candidate. He ran for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District as a born-and-raised local with national media experience. He demonstrated a strong understanding of the district and invested a full-time commitment to winning. Silfies even quit his job as a business reporter to run his race.
Jack Shields | @Jack_Shields20
Beginning this Congressional term, Senator Cruz (R-TX) proposed a constitutional amendment creating term limits. He did this at the beginning of the last congressional term. Although 82% of Americans support the idea of congressional term limits, it is a mostly symbolic proposal. Reaffirming Cruz’s principles to his supporters, the amendment has no chance of even making it to the floor for debate. People don’t enjoy banning themselves from their own job it turns out. Despite there being no practical path to term limits at the moment, it is worth examining and debating. We should explore the libertarian idea that people should have their freedom to elect authority kept intact. After all, 18% of Americans are not in favor of term limits.
In the world’s climate of division and hatred, the Alt-Right has found its perfect breeding ground. The Alt-Right is the name that various collections of white nationalists, “identitarians” and neo-nazis have given themselves. They are in no way run of the mill conservatives or Republicans. They are radical statists who fetishize the idea of a supremacist government with absolute power. It is the antithesis of libertarianism. Yet, there is a trend that is becoming more and more obvious; the so-called “Libertarian to Alt-Right Pipeline”.
In a blow to third parties’ ballot access, the Libertarian and Green Parties of Maryland were both de-recognized by the Maryland Board of Elections. Both parties failed to reach the party recognition threshold in the 2018 general election.
Jack Parkos | United States
The mainstream libertarian movement is dying. It could be speculated that libertarianism will never come to significance under today’s system. Mainstream libertarians have abandoned private property rights and decentralization for a so-called “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” platform focused on “tolerance” and weed.
Bill Weld puts the final nail in the coffin. Bill Weld was the vice presidential candidate under Gary Johnson in the 2016 Presidential Election and has joined the Republican Party in a possible attempt to primary Trump in 2020.
As a libertarian, I can only stand back and laugh at what’s happening. If Bill Weld is the best we can do, then is libertarianism dead? While he is running in the Republican Party, he no doubt has the views of the Libertarian Party. Many of his views are an insult to libertarianism.
Admittedly, Bill Weld does hold some good views, such as decentralizing education and being more dovish on foreign policy. However, he does have some views that many libertarians cannot get behind.
Weld’s Blatant Anti-Libertarian Agenda
Bill Weld has been quoted as comparing AR-15’s to “weapons of mass destruction,” and is indeed pro-gun control. Even many mainstream Republicans are fine with the AR-15. In an interview, he was quoted as saying,
“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle. The problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon. And those are independent criminal offenses. That’s when they become essentially a weapon of mass destruction. The problem of handguns is probably even worse than the AR-15.”
That statement sounds more like something one would hear from the Democratic Party, but this is coming from a so-called “libertarian” running in the Republican party. It’s an embarrassment to all libertarian whether they support the party or not.
A Right to Abortion
There is plenty more he can be criticized for. Bill Weld has little respect for property rights or the Constitution. On the issue of abortion, he stated that the federal government must ensure everyone has access to abortion.
“I think it’s OK for the government to be involved in ensuring clinic access because that’s guarding a fundamental constitutional right of the individual. So that’s not the nanny state; that’s good government, not bad government.” However, Weld is wrong, this is a nanny state. Furthermore, nowhere in the Constitution does it state abortion as a right. Weld is buying into the leftist lie that abortion is somehow a “right”.
Endorsing a Violation of Property Rights
Weld and Johnson ran a campaign in 2016 that seemed to be simply social liberalism and not libertarianism. Weld’s running mate Gary Johnson supported forcing a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding, furthermore, explaining that he would force a Jewish baker to bake a cake for a Nazi. This is a complete violation of property rights, a key tenet of libertarianism. Much speculation points to Bill Weld holding similar views to Johnson based on his past rhetoric, one, in particular, being his support for affirmative action.
Furthermore, Weld supports an open borders policy. Right now, under a massive welfare state and the current state of politics, immigration restrictions are needed. This isn’t an anti-libertarian stance but rather an overall net gain for liberty. Moreover, he compared Trump’s immigration plans to Nazi Germany, making holocaust references and comparing Trump’s wall to the Berlin wall. This is all from the leftist playbook.
An Endorsement of the Opposing Side
Perhaps worst of all was when Bill Weld practically endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
“Having said that, I’m not taking back anything I said about the massive difference between the two establishment party candidates. One would be chaos for the country, I think. And the other would be a very business-like and capable and competent approach to our affairs.”
In this interview, Bill Weld explains how Trump would be chaos for the country and that Hillary would run it better. Furthermore, he endorsed Obama for president as well. No libertarian in their right mind would endorse Hillary or Obama, so why did Weld support them? It could be said that Trump was maybe the better option for libertarians as many thought that way. However, he did not have to support either of the candidates in any elections. After all, Ron Paul didn’t.
Ron Paul is retired from politics, and right now there does not appear to be another charismatic libertarian to lead the movement. Rand Paul will likely not run for president either. However, libertarians should not look to Bill Weld to be a leader of the movement.
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