A friend shared this interesting post with me the other day. Basically, with Romney losing the election and the Republicans trying to blame everybody but themselves, the question of the party having a “libertarian problem” arises. The author makes a couple of points that are worth considering.
Mitt Romney ran against libertarian ideals.
There was almost literally nothing libertarian about the GOP’s presidential ticket. They ran on a platform of government a little smaller than the Democrats would prefer. Expand the war on drugs. Expand globally with aggressive (“preventative”) war. Expand spending. Balance the budget at some point in the distant future. None of that sounds libertarian because none of that is libertarian.
The GOP has to have libertarians before it can have a libertarian problem.
In the Senate, they’ve got Rand Paul. Mike Lee isn’t so bad, either. In the House, there are a handful of decent members, but only 1 that I’d trust to make the right stand, no matter what. (I’m looking at you, Justin Amash.) That’s not much of a libertarian presence in Congress.
In the presidential race, there were two libertarians. One, the Good Doctor, was mocked and ridiculed. Ironically, that was still a better than his treatment in the 2008 campaign. The other candidate, Gary Johnson, wasn’t just pushed to the side; he was shoved all the way into the Libertarian Party. He was a two-term Republican governor with a history of cutting government, balancing budgets, and vetoing stupid bills. And the GOP wanted nothing to do with him.
Truly, before they can have a libertarian problem, the GOP needs to have libertarians. Maybe they’ll come around for 2014 and 2016. Should we hold our breath while we wait?