Tag: lpusa

The Libertarian Party Won’t Win, and Here’s Why

By Josh Hughes | United States

In 2018 alone, a sizable 833 Libertarian candidates ran for various offices in the election. From school board seats to national races, the party had many solid chances to grow this year. However, they only managed 27 victories. Depending on one’s perspective, that may be a success, especially including prosperous losses such as Larry Sharpe’s in New York.

On the pessimistic side, however,  3.4% of candidates winning their respective elections, with the overwhelming majority of the spots being relatively non-partisan such as “Soil Conservation Board” and “School District Board,” isn’t exactly a huge accomplishment for the liberty movement. 2018 was a prime opportunity for the Libertarian Party to make gains. But with this defeat, they will likely now have to wait until at least 2022, as voters are more likely to vote for the two major parties during the presidential election.

With all of this being said, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the status of the LP. Since its conception in 1971, the party has yet to consistently be a factor in any meaningful elections. While this isn’t entirely the party’s fault, it is certainly startling.

Poor Recognition

Unfortunately, the two party system has periled the fringe third party for its entirety. While their platform is certainly appealing to many on the right and left, many do not know about it. The sad reality is that the Libertarian Party simply doesn’t have the funding to advertise on the same scale as the Republicans or Democrats. From not being able to debate during the presidential election, to not being able to fund commercials for races, the party will frankly never be a contender if they don’t get access to more money.

Poor Reputation

People who know just a little about the party usually know one thing: “Didn’t their presidential candidate not know what Aleppo was?” The inept leadership and not-so-great candidates they choose to run usually shed a terrible image of what the party really stands for. What’s more, the party has moved more to the left recently. Taking the stance of open immigration and a very noisy anti-Trump policy certainly will not help draw in right-wing voters on the fence.

Another reason voters will be apprehensive is an unfortunate byproduct of America’s voting system. Unlike in a system of alternative voting, where voters can rank candidates without fear of wasting a vote, the U.S. only allows one vote. Suppose a Democratic candidate has 45% of support in a race, a Republican has 40%, and a Libertarian has 15%. Hypothetically, a majority of the 15% of LP voters, if given the choice between the two, would rather a Republican win than a Democrat.

Knowing the Libertarian candidate won’t win with only 15% of the vote, the voters often compromise their beliefs and vote for the Republican rather than let the Democrat win. In this instance, the Republican wins. However, the Libertarian supporters still aren’t satisfied because neither party matches their views. This idea of “choose the lesser of two evils or waste your vote, possibly helping a worse candidate win” is a horrible flaw in America’s system, and largely contributes to the unpopularity of third parties.

The Unfortunate Reality

As good of an idea as the Libertarian Party is, it frankly can’t win. The system makes it virtually impossible for any third party to be a major contender. Voters see (R) or (D) next to a candidates name and will make their choices based on that. “Libertarian” simply doesn’t have the name recognition or funding to compete. The best course of action for liberty-minded individuals, at least for now, would be to run as independents or liberty-minded Republicans, such as Austin Petersen of Missouri. Running on the Republican ticket without compromising one’s values is the best way to start winning major elections for the liberty movement. 


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Why the 2018 Midterms are Important to the Libertarian Party

By Josh Hughes | United States

This year’s midterm elections are sure to be a lot of things. In the hectic, chaotic world of politics today, a lot of people find themselves confused and without a platform. There are hundreds of thousands of Republicans unhappy with President Trump and the current state of the GOP-controlled Congress. On the flip side, there are just as many moderate Democrats that are tired of the extreme direction the Democratic Party is headed towards. For this reason, the Libertarian Party needs to step up.

Average Voter Turnout Issues

It’s no secret that eligible voters are far less likely to vote in the midterms. In a FairVote poll, the 2014 midterm had about 25% less turnout than the 2016 Presidential election. Voter apathy in the United States is also a very large issue, with statistics that nationwide, eligible voter turnout rarely reaches 63%, at best. While there are many programs that work hard to get people to register to vote, the truth is no one can force voters to come out in November. With almost two-thirds of voters staying home in 2014, there is a large cache of untapped support.

If Libertarians were to launch a campaign from the bottom up, trying to sway voters to come out and support them this fall, there could be a large swing in favor of America’s third largest party. Convincing just 15% of the 65% of people who usually don’t vote would be huge. Without a doubt, it would lead to record support for local libertarian candidates.

The Libertarian Party can Gain Votes

While the media pushes the polarized agenda of today’s politics, the fact of the matter is the majority of voters are fairly moderate. That said, a lot of people on both sides are unhappy with the current state of their respective parties. In a Pew Research study of voters, 34% said their vote would be primarily a vote against President Trump. That’s 34% of people who would vote purely against Trump and his Republican agenda.

Admittedly, the majority of those votes will probably be in favor of a Democratic candidate. However, the reality is a large percentage of traditional Republicans aren’t happy with Trump. So, many of these votes will likely turn into non-voters this fall.

This does not have to be the case. A lot of voters are ignorant of the legitimacy of third parties. If the Libertarian Party put more resources into garnering attention at the local level, a lot of Republicans would turn in their favor. With the fall season coming up, it would be wise if Libertarians would advertise with a booth containing party platform points. Running ads in papers, on TV, on radio stations, would also help. American voters are notoriously ignorant, and tunnel vision plagues them. Thus, if Libertarians want to become serious contenders, they must make the effort to show voters their message.

What Liberty-minded Individuals can Do

Everyday people can make real changes. The idea that your voice can’t make a difference is far outdated. In this era of social media, one can reach out to hundreds with the click of a button. It can also be as simple as starting a conversation at your job or school. It’s amazing how much a five-minute conversation can do to someone who is already on the fence. Simply showing others your voice can spark an interest that could turn into votes.

If we genuinely want to see this year’s midterm be different from the rest, it’ll take an effort from all of us. The truth is, the Libertarian Party doesn’t have the resources to reach out to people like the Democrats or the GOP do. Donate to your local candidate. Volunteer to help on a campaign. Also, spread the idea of individualism and liberty in your community. This year could be huge for the Libertarian Party, and it would be terrible to waste an opportunity like this.


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Libertarian Party LNC Secretary Denounces Socialist Entryism

By Mason Mohon@mohonofficial

On Sunday Libertarian Party LNC Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos made a post to her public Facebook page denouncing Socialist entryism into the party. It can be seen below:

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