The Atlantic: Is This the Libertarian Party’s Moment?

The Atlantic Monthly logoThe Atlantic ran an article about the Libertarian Party on May 9:

“To the uninitiated, which is to say, most everyone, the Libertarian Party has been a political nonentity. Sure, voters might know a few of the top-line principles—limited government, limited economic regulation, a lot of individual liberty—but chances are they have not given much thought to a party that has never put a candidate in Congress. Or nominated a presidential contender who is truly competitive nationally.

“After a hostile primary season on the Democratic and Republican sides, though, Libertarians hope that might start to change. Especially the three candidates with the most viable chance for the nomination at the party’s convention later this month.

“‘It’s really a mixed bag,’ said Gary Johnson, the former two-term New Mexico governor who was the party’s nominee last cycle, on his reaction to Donald Trump’s presumptive Republican nomination. ‘Sorry for America,’ but it could give ‘the libertarian nominee a real shot.’”

“The Libertarian Party will soon consolidate around a nominee at its meeting in Orlando, Florida, over Memorial Day weekend. Three candidates are considered front-runners. There’s Johnson, who first ran for president as a Republican in 2012, before switching parties mid-cycle. He’s often described as the presumptive nominee, which he does not deny. There’s also John McAfee, as famous for his antiviral software as he is for an admittedly ‘checkered’ past, including his stint as an international fugitive. And there’s Austin Petersen. He owns a video and photography consulting company, founded a libertarian website, and once worked for the Libertarian National Committee and on a Fox Business show. If there were a contest for the best campaign slogan this cycle, two of these guys might be contenders. McAfee bills himself as ‘The Most Interesting Candidate in the World’ (sans any mention of Dos Equis), while Petersen’s motto stays on message: ‘Taking Over the Government, to Leave Everyone Alone.’”

“‘Win or lose, the party has had an effect on the country,’ Benedict said. ‘People laughed at us for many years’ when Libertarians talked about ending the War on Drugs or legalizing same-sex marriage. But now, ‘those are becoming policy.’ For the candidates, the challenge is to convert those successes into a place at the table in Washington.”

Click here to read the full article.