Election 2016 could have been the year that the Libertarian Party became a viable voice and advocate for freedom.
Their consistent message was destroyed with their Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who was a horrible spokesman and candidate. Vice-Presidential nominee William Weld, the former liberal Republican of Massachusetts, made matters worse.
Johnson’s abysmal candidacy was compounded by his liberal, statist stances, including on religious liberty (see here).
While disappointing, Johnson did help the Libertarian Party grow:
- He received 4.46 million votes (or 3.28% of the total vote). This result was a major improvement from Election 2012, when Johnson received 1.28 million votes, or 1.66% of the total vote.
- The Libertarian Party was listed on all 50 states, and Washington DC.
- They out-performed Green Party candidate Jill Stein in every state.
- The Libertarian Party registration is now ½ million votes
- The Johnson/Weld ticket raised $12 million, beating its $3.5 million haul in 1980.
The party has had powerful advocates for free enterprise and individual liberty—my friends Harry Browne, Ron Paul, and John Hospers.
But their latest convention really blew the party’s chances for influence in 2016.
I am not convinced that the Libertarian Party will emerge as a major party within our political system.
I do believe at the party can serve as a pressuring force on the Republican Party to stay true to their limited government, individual liberty principles.
What do you think? Email me at [email protected].