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In Every Crisis… An Opportunity!

As the nation turns its eyes towards my home state of Missouri to analyze President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit, the Republican Party faces an ideological and factional fork in the road. The conservative and libertarian movements have suffered grievous setbacks over the past few years, both ideologically, and one electorally. Mainstream conservative figures took a backseat to populist factions in the GOP, which spurred a modest but historic vote outcome in the much smaller Libertarian Party in 2016 under Governor Gary Johnson. Still, registration for America’s largest third-party has predictably declined post election, a trend which occurs after nearly every presidential election cycle.

President Trump threw a mammoth sized bone to the traditional conservative wing of the GOP in his recent foreign policy address to the nation, where he declared that he would increase the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan to fight terrorism. But that will be very unlikely to be enough to boost his flagging support amongst senate and house Republicans who, despite their love for armed conflict, would much prefer it be done under their watch.

In a newly rare stand, Trump’s base stood arm in arm with libertarian Republicans in near total opposition to the troop increase. Trump’s base being composed mostly of paleoconservatives and populists found common cause again in a brief moment that reminded this liberty activist of the old coalitions of the Old Right, and the Remnant, when paleocons and libertarians worked together to denounce unfettered militarism. Now, paleocons and Alt-Right activists found themselves standing outside the halls of power once again, as their leader Steve Bannon exited the White House, rejoining Breitbart and ostensibly leading the charge against the embrace of neoconservative foreign policy ideals. Sebastian Gorka soon followed, declaring that the MAGA movement inside the White House was over. And while that may be true inside the White House, the Trump movement within the GOP itself is still very strong.

So what’s the way forward for libertarians and conservatives? Do recent developments mean that the traditional paleoconservatives will once again make common cause with libertarians? Is the neoconservative wing again in ascendance? Which factions will make common cause in order to build a coalition of

I’ve made it clear in recent years that I hold figures such as Ben Shapiro and Glenn Beck in high regard. Though they may not pass a libertarian purity test (and let’s be honest, who does?) they are to me the gatekeepers of a larger movement that I have believed for some time should be natural allies of the liberty movement in the United States. Shapiro has somewhat signaled something similar, while also expressing reasonable frustration over the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential ticket. But then, what rational person wasn’t upset over that ticket?

But while Shapiro has remained steadfastly Republican, Glenn Beck has effectively declared “a pox on both their houses,” eschewing traditional mainstream party politics and looking elsewhere for solace from the chaos of the current ideological maelstrom at play. When I approached Glenn Beck, as I did thousands of other friends and supporters before my senate run, to ask which party I should choose to run under, Beck responded “none of them, run independent,” with no further advice or instruction.

I was a tad befuddled.

Independent? As if running third-party with at least some semblance of organization for ballot access were worse than running alone. I’m not some Jon Snow-like character of politics, able to take the repeated stabbings from former allies and capable of being risen from the dead. I barely survived being openly stabbed in the back in the last election, and for that cycle I was a legitimate contender for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nod. No, Independent is not a viable option for me to seek the Iron Throne upon which Claire McCaskill currently resides.

But will figures such as Shapiro and Beck be willing to come together for one last try at holding off the White Walkers of the DNC? I’m hesitant to believe that a new coalition can be formed. The liberty movement itself seems unwilling to coalesce around popular candidates even in races where they are only contested by big government Republicans and Democrats. I’ve reached out to Shapiro several times, but have been unable to get a response on whether he’d be interested in discussing such a new coalition. I hope that a public conversation between us can happen soon so that we can discuss such an endeavor. For the country’s sake, for liberty’s sake, it’s past time.

Is there anyone else that you think would be a good figure to spearhead such a movement? Joe Rogan? Dave Smith? Leave your comments below.

  • Joe Conti

    Penn and Teller?

    Vince Vaughn?

  • Mike Kohn

    Mark levin.

    • HuskyFanPodcast

      Levin? Are you serious? He was very nasty to Ron Paul. Levin is a right wing nut job not a libertarian.

  • meh130

    A robust “Liberty Caucus” within the Republican Party would benefit both the GOP and both small-l and large-L libertarians. The current Liberty Caucus is small (9 members) compared to the Freedom Caucus (31). There are 5 overlapping members, so there are 26 non-Liberty Caucus members of the Freedom Caucus.

    To me, the biggest conflict between the Liberty and Freedom caucuses is defense spending. Liberty is federal budget reducing while being non-interventionist and DoD reformist, Freedom is federal budget reducing without being non-interventionist and DoD reformist. The conflict between wanting to reduce the federal budget and not being foreign-policy reformist and DoD reformist will eventually come to a head, that will serve as the opportunity to bring more members into the Liberty Caucus.

    A robust caucus can be a standard bearer that others can rally to. Think of what YAF and Ronald Reagan were in the 1970s to the GOP, which was lost after Watergate. Look at the “moderates” and “unity” candidates who don’t stand for anything, but stand against the establishment parties–they sometimes win office. Give them a platform they could adopt, and they could be more successful.

    A robust caucus can be a kingmaker. The Blue Dog Democrats for years were a moderating force for both the Democrat party and the nation. When many of them moved from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party they made the GOP kings in many former Democrat Party strongholds, and gave the GOP a near-permanent majority in the House.

    A strong, robust, and growing Liberty Caucus could be the next kingmaker. They could win Senate seats in purple states, House seats in swing districts, etc. They could grow beyond the federal offices to state offices and win in suburbs. And like the Blue Dogs did to the Democrats, if the party the caucus serves eventually can no longer be served, the caucus can move to another party. While it would be difficult to the point of political suicide for an individual GOP member to defect to the Libertarian Party, a mass defection could be very different.

    • Matt Woody 2018

      An interesting idea, but I’d have to look into the Liberty Caucus members a bit more before deciding. Amash is pretty independent, and I respect him greatly, but the others less so. Part of me thinks it odd there are no Dem liberty reps either. Anyway, I respect AP, but I’ve chosen the independent route for my campaign (well, I’ve been indie my whole life). I feel it’s more true to my principles, especially the liberty ones, a la George Washington.

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