After reading “The Libertarian Party Might Survive 2016” by Rob Loggia, I realized the main issue with the nomination of Johnson and Weld. While the mainstream establishment no longer has the support of the people, the moderate wing of the Libertarian Party still seeks the approval of what was the mainstream.
Rob Loggia appears to be correct in his assessment that the moderate wing of the Libertarian Party has developed a “belief in the system.” Gary Johnson is using the campaign slogan “Good Government is Easy.” Gary Johnson and Bill Weld also refuse to “attack the very system itself.” Bill Weld’s attack on Trump’s policies defends such institutions as NAFTA and the WTO. Their attitude about Hillary’s emails does not demonstrate the outrage against a system that does not work, a system that punishes whistleblowers who release information to defend liberty and The Constitution but ignores those who release information out of carelessness. However, the moderate wing’s quest for approval does not seem to mesh with the pulse of America, who appears to be sick of political conformity.
Whether you like Trump or not, he represents a divergence from establishment politics. Furthermore, the popularity of Bernie Sanders also demonstrates a divergence from establishment politics. Hillary Clinton may be the one exception in this race. However, her approval rating is low and more people are supporting her to oppose Trump than those who actually support her. But if you ask establishment Republicans like Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney, they say they cannot vote for Hillary or Trump. The only candidate that establishment Republicans can vote for appears to be Gary Johnson.
It appears the Libertarian Party may have almost nearly won over the establishment, but if winning over the establishment could win an election, the establishment would have been doing better in the race. Jeb Bush and Chris Christie wouldn’t have dropped out early in the race. The rules of the game are changing, and yet, the Libertarian Party wants to play by the old rules. Perhaps this is the very idea that James Weeks was rebelling against with his display at the LP convention. Perhaps that’s the reason that #VoteDifferent has decided to fight for his membership to be restored. The reason Weeks was dismissed is because the LP seeks approval, and this notion must be challenged.
As Rob Loggia points out, approval should not be the mission of the Libertarian Party. If we look at what has been successful, and no one can deny that Ron Paul has been the most successful liberty-minded candidate. Ron Paul did not seek approval. At every turn, he spoke his mind, even when it was unpopular. Even when the news was flooded with propaganda about what Iran might do, Ron Paul stood by his principles. The Libertarian Party is no longer relevant if it foregoes principles and embraces pragmatism. Furthermore, it is not even pragmatic.
However, I disagree with Rob Loggia in his statement that working with #VoteDifferent has been discouraging. While working with the Libertarian Party has been discouraging, working with #VoteDifferent has been anything but. #VoteDifferent empowers individuals to take charge and be the elements of change and do the things that need to be done that the Libertarian Party has not done. Yes, there is a lot of work to do. However, #VoteDifferent perseveres when others bulk. #VoteDifferent rises to the challenge when others stagnate. #VoteDifferent thinks different when others try to play the game the same way it’s always been played.
Rob Loggia is right that the biggest challenge facing the Libertarian Party is activating the liberty-minded members and non-members to be more involved and stand against detrimental campaign strategies such as seeking approval. You can’t please all the people all the time, nor should you try.
The everything to everyone strategy always fails. John Kerry should have had an easy time defeating Bush in 2004 but didn’t because he tried too hard to appease more people and not only did fewer people not like him, no one knew where he stood.
Gary Johnson needs to decide if he wants to be a true protest candidate or an alternative choice for the mainstream. He cannot be both.You cannot fight the system by sucking up to it for votes. And worse, it will not win actual votes. People no longer want a mainstream candidate.