Liberty and the Election


I am first honored to be asked to write a few words on liberty in the 2016 election:


Liberty is clearly on the march in 2016.  Starting with the "upset" win in Great Britain to leave the EU and recent elections such as the rerun of the Austrian Presidential election and excellent showings of the Alternative for Germany shows a constituency for liberty and national sovereignty.  (Not all those European parties are libertarian but some have liberty aspects to it, especially UKIP.)  UKIP has reached out to disaffected Labourites (I call them Farage Labourites - a echo to the Reagan Democrat of the 80s.) and won a national election (the EU MPs) and unofficially helped with the Leave campaign.  

Sovereignty is important because the Constitution can only be the supreme law of the land (As I like to say, next to the Bible most dear) if it truly is supreme.  So these Brexit style efforts are important.  The UK is a long way from liberty and the US needs work as well.

Actually there are three aspects of the rise of liberty and libertarian candidates (not all in the LP):  The "America First" non interventionist foreign policy positions of the GOP nominee hearken back to the 2008 and 2012 Ron Paul candidacies.  And Cong. Paul brought out millions of liberty minded individuals into the political process.  Millennials are rising and many see liberty as the answer.  When mainstream conservative/tea party run articles are the abuse of eminent domain or civil forfeiture or audit the Fed - it was Cong. Paul that started that.  Of course Trump has positions that are obnoxious to liberty but libertarian ideals are being heard and bearing fruit.  

It is likely the LP team of Johnson and Weld will win millions of voters, many of whom never voted for a Libertarian before.  That can only encourage others to seek local and state offices (as well as Congress and US Senate, too) either as a liberty-minded Republican or under the LP banner.  Millions are ready to consider a third party alternative.  

The third aspect of the 2016 election ought to be a look to the future.  I would say to you:  Consider a future run for a local or state office.  School Boards and local governments need liberty-minded officeholders.  Be a voice in the wilderness.  Call out profligate spending.  Stop useless regulations like business licenses, permits not needed for public safety, and bad land use planning.  As the wonderful agitator and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison once wrote (I paraphrase a bit), be the village Hampden - raising the ideals of liberty in your community.  Sometimes you might be providing needed competition when many political races are unopposed in Virginia and the US.  Nearly 50% of the legislative seats in the Commonwealth were unopposed in the general election.  The LP ought to consider in 2017 running their best candidate not for Governor but for Lt. Governor - less likely to be a "lesser of two evils" ballot choice and sometimes the leading parties get ideological for that office.  The terrible and constitutionally suspect ten percent ballot access requirement is easier to get in the LG race. 

Whether in the GOP or the LP, this election can be a victory for liberty if people vote and participate in the political process.  

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