by Ian Tartt
What’s the best way for libertarian politicians to be able to affect change from within the government? Run on the Republican ticket. Here are three reasons as to why.
1. Republicans have a long history of electoral success
Since their first victory in 1860, Republicans have won 24 presidential elections out of forty. Additionally, they currently control both houses of Congress and will again control the White House in January once Trump is sworn in. And they have control of many state and local positions as well. In contrast, the Libertarian Party has never seen a presidential candidate take the White House, nor has it ever won a seat in Congress, although it has had some success at the state and local levels. This election saw the greatest amount of popular support for a presidential candidate in the history of the Libertarian Party, and it still wasn’t anywhere near close enough to win.
Even Republican candidates who lost still got much closer to winning than Libertarian Party candidates have. Barry Goldwater, who was libertarian in many ways, was the Republican presidential nominee in 1964. He lost to Lyndon Johnson in one of the biggest landslides in U.S. history, winning just six states, 27,175,754 votes, 52 electoral votes, and 38.47% of the popular vote. Despite his massive loss, he still drew in more support in every area than every Libertarian Party presidential candidate thus far combined, meaning that the 1964 Goldwater campaign came closer to electing a libertarian president than the Libertarian Party ever has.
While it is admirable to see libertarians offering a different political ideology and party to the people, at some point, we should step back and ask if we’re going about this the right way. We see our ideas as essential for saving people from the iron fist of tyranny and the near-certainty of economic collapse. With that in mind, why not acknowledge the superior track record of the Republican Party and consider running as Republicans? A doctor trying to heal a sick patient will try what he thinks will best help the patient, but if it doesn’t work, he will try something else. And we should too.