It’s very interesting to read so much on the web about the buzz Ron Paul is creating in his presidential run. Sure, it’s early still, and I’m not unrealistic about his chances, but I’ve heard more people mention his name already this year than I heard discussing Badnarik in 2004. Although many hardline libertarians would disagree, the fact that he’s a libertarian (basically) running as a Republican is all the more encouraging to me. I believe the Libertarian Party should cease pursuing offices at the national level.Like it or not, a great number of Americans think that there are only two political parties in this country, and that they are diametrically opposed to one another. Even those who are aware that other parties exist seem partial to believing that “other” parties are full of nuts/extremists. Most of those who don’t share this belief think that voting for anything other than a Democrat or a Republican is a wasted vote, since this vote cannot possibly contribute to a potential win for a candidate.
By running as a Republican, Ron Paul will do more for the libertarian movement than he could ever do by running as a libertarian candidate. First of all, he will not be shut out of nationally broadcast debates. This will give him the opportunity to not only get his own ideas across, but also give him the opportunity to call other candidates on their BS to be seen by a large audience. Remember when Alan Keyes got the opportunity to say this on Fox News in 1999:
And so what are we supposed to do again, get down on our knees and thank “Master Bush” now because he’s going to let us keep a little bit more of our own money? And we’ll thank “Master So-and-so” when they do it.
I think it’s time we realized that that kind of thinking is for slaves.
My ancestors were slaves. I abhor to think like one today.
The tax system for a free people is not a tax that gives the government a preemptive claim to a single penny of your income, and the right reform of this system is to get rid of the 16th Amendment, abolish the income tax, and return to the original Constitution of our country which funded the federal government with tariffs, duties, and excise taxes.
It would be tough to get a statement such as this out to such a broad audience without being affiliated with one of the two major parties.Â Keyes didn’t get the nomination, but he did get that message across and made an attempt to push the tax debate in the right direction.
Another problem the LP has to overcome to win a national election is that this is a big nation with lots of people. Even if several libertarian strongholds like the Free State Project were established, it would be very difficult to win even one state, much less enough to compete for the presidency.Â While some would argue that it is important to get the message out at the national level, wouldn’t it make more sense to concentrate efforts at the local level where the possibility of winning is reasonable?