Are libertarians welcome in the GOP?
One of the biggest struggles between conservatives and libertarians isn’t over gay marriage, abortion, or even the War on Drugs. No, its whether libertarians should be faithful to the Republican Party. This discussion has gotten even louder in recent weeks after Mitt Romney’s defeat at the hands of President Obama.
However, the question I personally have is whether or not libertarians would be even welcome within the party. My fellow United Liberty contributor, Kevin Boyd, wrote this regarding his thoughts on what libertarians should do:
The solution is simple, we must launch a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. We need encourage our libertarian friends to abandon the Libertarian Party, which has accomplished a grand total of nothing in its 40 years of existence. Conservatives and libertarians need to get involved in the Republican party, especially on the local level. Work your way up the party ranks and eventually become the establishment.
I see what Kevin is saying, and he’s right about the Libertarian Party’s lack of accomplishment. As a member of that party, I’m extremely frustrated with the poor showing during the last election by Gary Johnson, who I felt was a very solid candidate.
However, Johnson’s appearance on the LP ticket ties into my concerns about whether libertarians would be welcomed within the GOP. Johnson was a two term governor of New Mexico, a clear fiscal conservative, and a man with solid “small government” credentials. He was shut out.
Ron Paul made some waves this time around, and much of the derision he faced within the GOP could be argued to be the result of his fanatical supporters and their actions. However, four years ago, he was right where Johnson was this time around.
Now, genuine fiscal conservatives are being removed from committee appointments by the Speaker of the House. These include libertarians like Justin Amash. Is this a signal that we are welcomed within the party?
Now, I have no doubt that folks like Kevin would welcome us, even if he disagrees with us on some issues. I also agree that what he outlines above would be the best way to make a move into the GOP. One can’t just waltz into a party and expect to run the show. You have to work your way up.
The question I have, and it still remains unanswered and is probably unanswerable, is whether it would accomplish a thing except kill the libertarian party. I ask this to all Republican readers: Please, tell me how moving from the LP to the GOP would accomplish anything within the next 20 years? Convince me. My mind is open, but skeptical.