Libertarians choose electability over purity, immediately reap rewards


If nothing else (and there’s a lot else), 2016 has been a story of the struggle between sanity and any number of other alternatives.

Republicans chose…well, you know. With the biggest, deepest bench of fresh-faced, experienced, diverse candidates in a generation, maybe ever, Republicans instead have chosen…again, you know. Not sanity, that’s for sure.

Democrats, forced to choose between a fire-breathing democratic socialist and a very experienced but very under-investigation stick of margarine. Everyone tells you it’s better than the alternative, but it’ll probably end up the opposite. Ironically, as the corruptocrat has neared her inevitable nomination, it’s the socialist who’s become more electable.


Libertarians faced a similar choice this past weekend at their national convention. Gary Johnson was the frontrunner for president, and Bill Weld his choice for vice president, both experienced former Republican governors. Ironically it was exactly their extensive experience that became a liability at the convention.

More radical delegates vocally opposed Johnson and Weld in favor of ideological pure and consequently less well-known candidates. One of those candidates, Darryl Perry, who actually favors the dissolution of the United States, argued that increased media exposure and election funding for the Libertarian Party would kill it.

After two ballots for each office, sanity prevailed, and Johnson and Weld were both chosen by a majority of party delegates as the presidential and vice presidential nominees. The response was immediate.

Johnson was on Fox News the next morning and CNN this one.

The Johnson and Weld ticket, while not perfect candidates for party purists, will bring the most media attention for the party by far. And if we’ve learned anything from 2016 it’s that free media is crucial.

Beyond that, even reliably Republican media outlets are not only covering the Libertarian ticket but suggesting voters actually consider them. The Wall Street Journal even describes Johnson/Weld as “honorable”.

Mr. Trump seems to think he can say whatever he wants because millions of voters are repelled by Mrs. Clinton. The Libertarians give these voters an honorable alternative if Mr. Trump makes himself unacceptable.

This is exactly why it was so crucial that they do and so massive that Johnson and Weld won. Beyond their considerable executive experience advantage, only voters have to get to know them now - the media already has. They’ll be covered like the major candidates they are, rather than as fringe ideologues like other more “pure” Libertarians would have been. That’s the best chance the party has to make the presidential debates and have a shot in November. The party faithful should be relieved, not angry.

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