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Peace and Prosperity

Making the Best of Running a ‘Sure to Lose’ Libertarian Presidential Campaign


Even most libertarians would probably agree that it is just about a sure bet that none of the current candidates or commonly discussed potential candidates for the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination would, if he becomes the party’s nominee, defeat the Republican and Democratic nominees in the upcoming November general election and win the presidency.

Given the presidential nominee chosen at the Libertarian Party’s national convention in May is “sure to lose” come the general election, how can he make the best of his run? With winning taken off the table, an avenue for maximizing the campaign’s benefit would be for the candidate to take advantage of opportunities presented to express clearly a comprehensive libertarian approach to government. In this manner, the nominee would use the campaign to communicate a clear and strong libertarian message, thereby helping increase the number of committed supporters of the libertarian philosophy.

A candidate pursuing this approach would propose roll-backs in the United States government’s activities far beyond those proposed by President Donald Trump, as well as by any candidates in any of the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination debates, in regard to broad areas of policy.

Libertarian presidential candidate Jacob Hornberger provided on Saturday a clear example of such an approach in regard to US military policy. Speaking at the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party state convention, Hornberger stated:
Yeah, I agree, bring the troops home from these so-called forever wars. But, it’s not enough. Bring them home from everywhere: Korea, Europe — World War II’s over, Latin America, wherever. And that’s not all. Discharge them as they hit American shores. Put them in the private sector. And then start concentrating on dismantling this alien form of governmental structure called a national security state. Get rid of the CIA. Get rid of the NSA. Get rid of the Pentagon, this whole military-industrial complex. Restore a limited-government republic with a basic military force.
To the extent other candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination are not focusing on advocating such major roll-backs of the US government’s power in this and other policy areas, one question must be asked: How would their nomination help advance libertarianism?
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