2016 Presidential Race

Ron Paul on Trump and Clinton: “I’m still looking for my third candidate”

Paul Not Satisfied with 2016 Candidates

by Josh Guckert

In an interview with Futures Now on CNBC, Ron Paul said that he will not vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. He further insisted that he remains on the lookout for a third candidate.

During the interview, Paul was asked who would be better for markets. He stated that although Trump may perhaps minimize regulations and taxes, he is no sure bet for financial stability. Paul pointed out that he had been burned by past Republican candidates. Accordingly, he remains hesitant to believe the promises which Trump has made in regard to free markets.

An ideal candidate for the libertarian legend? “I want just to move in the direction of less spending, less taxes, less regulations, less pruning of money, less power in the financial system, less power from the Federal Reserve and I don’t see that candidate that will do that.”

Strangely, the interview centered did not make mention of third-party candidates like Gary Johnson. The 2016 Libertarian nominee who would seem to be exactly the kind of candidate which Paul described.  Paul, the 1988 Libertarian nominee has been very non-committal about his 2016 choice. He stated that while he supports the Libertarian Party, he takes some issue with Johnson and running-mate William Weld as individual candidates.

Paul has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate (other than his son) since Pat Buchanan in 1992. He served as an adviser to Buchanan’s long-shot primary challenge to incumbent George HW Bush. In 2008, Paul endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. It is worth noting that Baldwin’s running-mate, Darrell Castle, is the party’s nominee this year.

It is unclear whether the iconic former Congressman will articulate a more precise 2016 endorsement. One must wonder if Paul is hesitant to endorse any candidate. Any imperfections in that candidate could be used to sully his fairly pure libertarian reputation.

Nonetheless, an endorsement could be enough to generate excitement for any third-party candidate. His revolution has lived on far beyond his two most recent bids at the presidency. Despite his failures as a candidate, Paul’s reach will likely be felt for many generations to come.

For example, without Ron Paul, it is unlikely that groups like Students for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty would have ever taken off or had the impact which they do today. Additionally, sites like The Libertarian Republic, Rare Liberty, and Reason would not have their same base of reader support.

In the same way, elected representatives like Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash have carried on the legacy of the libertarian revolution in Congress. Other candidates have scooped up this banner as well to establish excitement for their campaigns.

Now, libertarians must pick up the pieces so that libertarian ideas may prosper. This involves not only a successful November for Gary Johnson, but also an attempt to appeal to those disaffected voters within both parties. This may involve those who supported Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz who felt betrayed that their party would stray so far from their principles. It could also relate to new voters who are just getting involved. Either way, libertarians must reach to those of all stripes.

Ron Paul’s firsthand impact on American politics may be seemingly fleeting to most onlookers. However, his followers have the opportunity to make his influence felt through generations to come. That being said, it will take hard work and long hours to ensure that the Ron Paul revolution was not in vain. Should libertarians someday gain successes, it will be due in no small part to the efforts of Paul and those whom he inspired.

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