Pragmatism Won the Day at the Libertarian National Convention in Orlando
Forgive me for not genuflecting and groveling in the dust to give obeisance to the newly minted Libertarian presidential ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld.
No, while I am a Libertarian, I am simply not impressed with Johnson and Weld and as far as I am concerned pragmatism, not principle, won the day at the Libertarian convention in Orlando this past weekend.
My hero, the late, great conservative gadfly, William F. Buckley, in his lexicon and cornucopia of wonderful words, defined libertarianism as the political philosophy that stresses the absolute right of the individual to make his own decisions, unobstructed by the state.
If Buckley was right about the essence of libertarianism centering on non-interventionism and opposition to the statist notion that the federal government knows what is best for the American citizenry, then the Johnson-Weld ticket fails abjectly at projecting an authentic message that is consistent with libertarian political philosophy.
Sadly, the party has chosen to ignore principle and embrace pragmatism. A pragmatic approach concerns itself more with practical application of ideas than the merit of those ideas. That is, Libertarians nationwide chose Gary Johnson and William Weld not based on any notion of libertarian ideology, but simply because they believe the Johnson and Weld ticket would be the most respected by the national media out of the LP field.
It is sad that the Libertarian Party, known for its limited government principles chose as its presidential nominee a man who said during the primary season that he would use the coercive power of the federal government to force an individual state to perform gay marriages and punitively compel a Jewish baker to make a cake for an abhorrent Nazi.
Tragically, William Weld is even further from libertarian orthodoxy than Gary Johnson and only joined the Libertarian Party a couple of weeks ago. Weld’s record as a moderate Republican governor of Massachusetts on gun control and eminent domain should concern libertarians.
No, this Libertarian will not be voting for Gary Johnson and William Weld irrespective of how well they are doing in the national polls. For my libertarianism is predicated on principle and not pragmatism.
Truth be told, if I wanted to take a pragmatic approach to this year’s presidential election cycle, I would vote for Donald Trump since he has the best chance of defeating the abominable Hillary Clinton in November.