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Perfect Libertarian Candidate?   Leave a comment

I looked at the Democratic field from a libertarian perspective.

The Libertarian Party of American is not my party. I say I’m a libertarian (note the small “l”), but I’ve never been a member of the party or, frankly, any party. I might have become a member of the Alaska Independence Party had it lasted for any length of time, but frankly, I’m just not loyal to political parties.

The LPA has a long history of nominating nuts who can’t win for losing. Whoa, did I say that aloud? It’s true. Some of the candidates just seemed — uh, crazy might be too harsh a word, but I’ve had a hard time viewing them seriously. And the current field of Libertarian potentials is not inspiring my confidence.

Justin Amash official photo.jpg

The last two cycles they selected Gary Johnson as their nominee and I voted for him. He had a depth of experience as well as solid libertarian principles and he had shown them at work in New Mexico. I didn’t like his VP candidate, Weld. He was a progressive Republican who didn’t even pretend to be a libertarian. And, it made me kind of think that the LPA was finally looking for candidates who could actually win an election — not that I thought Weld was a good choice for that.

So now they’re trying to get Justin Amash to run as President as a Libertarian. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) stirred the two-party political soup when he declared “President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.” That’ll make you a darling of the left these days, and gain respectful treatment from the likes of Mark Hamill, while journalists puzzle over how an alleged former “gadfly” could suddenly seem so resistance-y. Naturally, the Libertarian Party more or less begs him to switch teams.

Amash takes his job with a seriousness that is almost non-existent in the legislative branch of the US government. He holds the modern day congressional record for most consecutive votes not missed, 4,289 over six-plus years. I doubt most members of Congress have even read the Mueller report (I’m still slogging my way through it). Their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation. Who needs facts when you’ve party unity to keep you warm at night?

Amash is that nerd who insists on reading entire bills before voting on them, then explaining every vote on social media. And as an honest-to-goodness constitutional conservative, he gets stubborn when his own team violates its stated principles, or when Congress willingly abdicates its role as a co-equal branch of government.

Amash has gone out on a limb to oppose the president in past. He condemned Trump’s initial travel ban of residents from predominantly Muslim countries, helped doom Republican efforts to repeal/replace Obamacare, opposed the president’s emergency declaration along the southern border, called Trump’s comments about murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “repugnant,” and was one of the only Republicans on Capitol Hill to support setting up a special counsel investigation after the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey.

Despite what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) claims, Amash votes more with him than with Nancy Pelosi. He has an 88 percent score from the American Conservative Union and a 100 percent score from FreedomWorks. He’s anti-abortion, more anti-interventionist than the average Democrat (which isn’t really that hard since Democrats are interventionists when it suits their purposes), and he votes no on bills that contribute to the federal government’s red ink.

In other words, Amash sounds a lot like a libertarian (some of us are anti-abortion). He has been publicly mulling a third-party run at the White House all year. Meanwhile, the Libertarian presidential field is looking nutty again, and even two years ago Amash was saying things like, “Hopefully, over time, these two parties start to fall apart.” He was speaking of the Republican and Democratic parties.

Michigan’s straight-ticket voting system, whereby voters can choose a party’s entire slate of candidates by checking just one box, has probably kept Amash from jumping the Republican ship before this, but now that he has a primary challenger, and the House Freedom Caucus he co-founded unanimously voted to condemn him, the temptation to abandon Congress entirely and run for president as a Libertarian may prove irresistible.

The Libertarians don’t pick a nominee until May 2020. And, I don’t know—the chance that he would become president is small, but he could certainly derail either the Republican or Democratic candidate since Libertarians are fiscal conservatives and social (classical) liberal. Unlike Johnson, Amash knows about the city of Aleppo, as his mother is a Syrian immigrant and his father a Palestinian immigrant. And unlike Trump, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, Amash is not a septuagenarian, but a 39-year-old fitness enthusiast who actually grasps basic technology and market economics.

I personally haven’t found enough in the Mueller report to support impeachment, but I’m not a single issue voter. I think in these polarized time, it’s unlikely the voters would swing for a third-party candidate, but Johnson did get more than 3% of the vote in 2016, so I might vote for Amash and hope others consider it as well.

Posted June 28, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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