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Libertarian Party shows true colors



The Libertarian Party, at their weekend convention in Washington, D.C., demonstrated why they do not deserve any patriot’s endorsement. At the same time, Donald Trump sharpened his rhetorical sword on them, and tempered his armor, for the next time he speaks under fire. Only in this way could he have eliminated the one possible spoiler of his reelection chances.

What the Libertarian Party stands for

The Libertarian Party (home page) has always represented an amoral, almost anarchistic, flavor of individual liberty – or rather, license.

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Origin of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth….’” Revelation 3:15-16, NASB

As one may infer from their platform, they attract:

  • Business owners and small-to-medium-portfolio investors fed up with the typical tax and regulatory regime, and
  • Would-be prostitutes, “johns,” recreational drug merchants, addicts and other habitues, hedonists, and Alphabet Soup adherents.

Furthermore, Libertarian Party activists and fanatical adherents can’t appreciate the inconsistency – because they don’t recognize the concept civilization. Moreover they weaken the concept minor. This time-honored sticker would never appear on cigarette vending machines:

Sales of cigarettes to MINORS are FORBIDDEN by Law. We support this law. Parents are urged to help prevent violations. The Management

Moreover they want to see those vending machines offer marijuana, not merely tobacco. True, they do mention parental rights, including an absolute educative power, subject to:

the rights of children to be free from abuse and neglect

which, sadly, they do not define. They qualify some rights by speaking of “adult[s].” But offering for sale to a minor, a product no sane parent would permit their minor child to have, isn’t a crime. Not according to the platform.


Abortion on demand? Surgical mutilation and hormonal poisoning? Sure. But! Under no circumstances would they recognize the authority of any government to support such activity through taxation. They give a nod to Thomas Jefferson’s notion that no government may ever force its subject(s) to support that which makes them shudder to contemplate, violating as it does their deepest moral precepts. But the real reason they oppose such taxpayer support is that they don’t believe in taxes.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a [peck-]basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven…. Matthew 5:13-16, NASB

International relations and the use of force

The platform offers a decidedly mixed position on international relations and national defense. On one hand, they recognize that government should have only enough military to repel invasions. The concept “military secret” is foreign to them. On this alone they would agree with Donald Trump: America should not wage war for the sake of war.

But they do not define the concept invasion, and would never recognize a surge of migrants as an invading force. The Libertarian Party would defend that position by saying that they would abolish many government “handout” policies (“welfare”) that make America uniquely attractive so such hordes. Nevertheless they propose no system to “vet” a prospective voter. Again, their distinction between adult and child is sloppy. (For instance, they specify no age of majority.) Beyond that, to them, absolutely anyone may vote. Their article on “adult rights and responsibilities” creates confusion:

Once individuals are presumed to have adequate judgment to vote and serve on a jury or in the military, they should also be presumed to have sufficient judgment to decide their own purchase and use of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, cannabis, and engage in other activities currently restricted by government due to age.

Who makes that “presumption” of “adequate judgment to vote and serve on a jury or in the military”? Upon what basis does said authority so “presume”? Their platform doesn’t say. As it should, because political authority is force.

They also forbid the death penalty – even for murder in the first degree (i.e., premeditated). But they also demand respect for the right of any person to keep or bear arms. May a judge enjoin an individual from bearing arms on any grounds? Again, their platform doesn’t say. Expect self-defense, in a “libertarian” society, to include shoot-to-kill rules of engagement.


What happened at the Libertarian Party convention?

Reports of events at the Libertarian Party convention are sketchy, although this livestream replay is available:

Apparently the very idea of Donald Trump addressing their convention, mortified many attendees. A throng of delegates walked into the main convention hall, only to find several Trump supporters seated in front. A Party official politely asked them to relinquish their seats to the delegates – which, by all accounts, they did. But someone shouted something to them to the effect that they didn’t belong there. In answer, the Trump supporters began a chant of,

Trump! Trump! Trump!

This provoked the regulars to bellow things like:

This is not your convention!

When Trump did speak, most of the attendees present cried “Boo!” on him, and use unprintable language. Trump let that go on, and when it was at its height, he actually challenged them to nominate him, or else give him “lots of votes.”

The quality of coverage of his speech is uneven. David Smith of The Guardian emphasized the booing and catcalling – and said nothing of the cheers Trump got later. Right Side Broadcasting Network emphasized the areas of agreement.



Other influencers selected their own highlights. Chief among these: Trump, who has already announced that people can make cryptocurrency donations to his campaign, pledged to commute the life sentence of Ross Ulbricht, creator of the Silk Road marketplace, to time already served (presumably as of Trump’s inauguration). According to Anthony Scott at The Gateway Pundit most sales on Silk Road were of illegal drugs. Nevertheless Trump announced his intention to commute Ulbricht’s sentence, and that drew loud cheers.

Jim Hoft reported that Trump quoted Patrick Henry’s famous closing line:

Give me liberty, or give me death!

In fact he spent most of his speech emphasizing points of mutual agreement:

  • Respect for freedom of speech, and rights to property, and
  • Rejection of “endless wars.”

Libertarians reject the concept hell. So his criticism of Marxism (“from the ashes of hell”) might have struck many attendees as over-the-top. When he said, “teaching [Marxism] to our children is … child abuse,” that’s consistent with the Libertarian Party plank that parents, and only parents, decide their children’s education. And perhaps they recognize that Marxism violates most (if not all) of their platform. But having recognized the absolute authority of parents over education, would they necessarily agree that teaching particular political principles, even faulty ones, is child abuse?

He did say that the greatest enemies of America are not from without, but from within. But that applies mainly to crime, to which a Libertarian’s solution is: vigilantism.


Finally, Jim Hoft observed that Trump, shouting over the “Boo” chorus, shot back:


The Libertarian Party should nominate Trump for the President of the United States, [but o]nly if you want to win. Maybe you don’t want to win. Keep getting your 3% every four years.

Not only was he only half kidding, but in fact he is correct. Three percent is the typical popular vote share the Libertarian Party receives. Trump spoke further to that, as this post shows:

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) made this tart observation:

Of course Trump didn’t get the nomination – and indeed didn’t appear on the ballot. But he admitted that he filed no papers for that; thus he harbored no resentment. In fact the law does not allow a major Party nominee to have the nomination of any other national Party.

The reason I didn’t file paperwork for the Libertarian Nomination, which I would have absolutely gotten if I wanted it (as everyone could tell by the enthusiasm of the Crowd last night!), was the fact that, as the Republican Nominee, I am not allowed to have the Nomination of another Party. Regardless, I believe I will get a Majority of the Libertarian Votes. “Junior” Kennedy is a Radical Left Democrat, who’s destroyed everything he’s touched, especially in New York and New England, and in particular, as it relates to the Cost and Practicality of Energy. He’s not a Libertarian. Only a FOOL would vote for him! Donald J. Trump

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. did register for the Libertarian Party nomination. Delegates eliminated him in the first round. This X post shows the results:

Instead, according to TGP’s Ben Kew, the Libertarian Party nominated Chase Oliver, formerly a Democrat, and definitely an Alphabet Soup adherent and promoter – after eight rounds of balloting.


In accepting the nomination, Oliver railed against Israel and its conduct of the Gaza war, according to The Washington Examiner.

Reaction: has the Libertarian Party flipped its collective lid?

Reaction to his candidacy was immediate and, to a surprising extent, negative. Tim Pool accused Oliver of being “pro-vaccine mandate.”

That might not be fair. Two and a half years ago, Oliver suggested property owners had the right to require vaccination of their visitors. That’s not quite the same as saying the government may require such a thing.

These two posts were less gentlemanly:

Nick Sortor had a point: Chase Oliver appears in a campaign poster, wearing a mask. Another user pointed out that Chase Oliver accepted every recommendation any health authority made about coronavirus. This included the six-foot social-distance rule, a rule many authorities now admit had no evidence to support it.


Many X users signaled their agreement with Sortor that the Libertarian Party might have betrayed all their principles. Maybe, or maybe not; after all, Libertarians have always included a large proportion of libertines. But this one fact remains: for the first time, the Libertarian Party nominated a positively repulsive candidate. In so doing, they threw away any chance at spoiling the election for Donald Trump. The only way they’re going to get even their habitual three percent, is at Biden’s expense, not Trump’s.

Speaking under fire

On the other hand, Trump now stands out as the bravest (though some would say most reckless) candidate in history. Presidential candidates especially do not speak before hostile audiences, if they can avoid it. Trump seems to think it worth it, if he can turn even one head – and he is most probably correct. After all, he is such a polarizing figure that a few people – verifiable from actual, personal interviews – did vote for Biden over Trump, while voting straight Republican down-ticket, in 2020. Not nearly as many as the margin of victory, given new evidence of electronic vote-switching. But Trump did lose enough genuine, verifiable, exit-polled votes to get his attention.

In any event, “speaking under fire” is a skill every seeker of elective office must master. Donald Trump is breaking new ground – and couldn’t have chosen a better time. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is actually exhorting people to “vote against Biden” for his wishy-washy stance on the Israel-Gaza War. This matches a wider “Abandon Biden” campaign among Muslims. They will probably suggest voting for another “spoiler.” Maybe Chase Oliver will get their votes, and maybe he was seeking them in his acceptance speech. Elsewhere, James Carville despairs of victory now – and blames his fellow Democrats for not staying on-message.

In sum, Donald Trump need not worry about the Libertarian Party anymore. He gave them their chance to redeem themselves, and they blew it. Trump didn’t – so expect him to do it again, before more hostile audiences.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.


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