I read a fascinating article the other day over at Vox, where a reporter interviewed a “republican intellectual” Avik Roy who explained why the “the republican party is going to die.” (Link: http://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12256510/republican-party-trump-avik-roy) In the article, the person being interviewed mentions how he thinks that the two possibilities for the Republican party are that
“Either the disruption will come from the Republican Party representing cranky old white people and a new right-of-center party emerging in its place, or a third party will emerge, à la the Republicans emerging from the Whigs in the [1850s]”
After reading this, a light bulb went off in my head, and the light bulb was saying that the Libertarian Party could be that 3rd party. With presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who is projecting to capture nearly 9% of the popular vote, according to an election forecast by famed political predictor, Nate Silver (http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/) already in play, I’d say that the Libertarian Party is already on its way to becoming that 3rd party emerging. Now what actually happens in the election, is of course another story but it is a very promising sign so far. Johnson has recently been polling in the low to mid teens in some polls, which is much better compared to the last presidential election, which Johnson also ran in, where he garnered only around 1% of the popular vote. I think that the higher poll numbers this election are due to the unprecedented unpopularity of the two presidential candidates and especially of the unpopularity of the republican candidate, Donald Trump.
Many Republicans are angry at Trump, not only because of his comments, but because he doesn’t necessarily having the strongest record on being a conservative. As recently as 2004, he told a CNN reporter that he identified as a Democrat (http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/21/politics/donald-trump-election-democrat/). I realize that party affiliations do change over time, as Gary Johnson was a two term Republican governor, and his VP candidate Bill Weld was a two term Republican governor as well. However, I think that switching between two parties that, as of recently, have very different policies is not someone that necessarily believes in their parties ideals.
I think that Libertarianism can be the new conservative party because of the economic principles that the party espouses. According to a recent Gallup poll, three of the top issues that Republicans or republican leaning persons find more important than average are:
- The federal budget deficit
- The size and efficiency of the federal government
Libertarians agree precisely with Republicans on these issues. Both want a smaller deficit, smaller government, and lower taxes.
In the Vox article, Roy mentions:
“I think it’s incredibly important to take stock,” he says, “and build a new conservative movement that is genuinely about individual liberty.”
That, Mr. Roy, is what the Libertarian Party is all about, and why I think that the Libertarian Party can be the conservative movement of the future.