I’m been observing the Libertarian Party since 1980 when Ed Clark ran against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan (and John Anderson), although I only belonged to the party for a brief period in the early 90s. I even voted for the Libertarian candidate in 1992, the year of the Clinton-Bush Sr.-Perot election, only one of two times I have voted for a presidential candidate (the other was for Walter Mondale in 1984), although I was a fan of Harry Browne.
In recent years, I have written the party off as hopeless when it started running figures like Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, and other Republican flunk outs as their candidates. My preferred third party over the last 20 years has been the Greens with figures like Ralph Nader and Jill Stein as their candidates. The Greens are milquetoast social-democratic reformists with some SJWish shit thrown in on domestic policy, but I’m a “foreign policy first” guy and in recent years the Green candidates like Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka have taken “far-left,” almost Marxist-Leninist or “third position”-like stances on foreign policy, which is excellent. My politics are fairly similar to what Murray Rothbard’s were during his New Left phase in the 1960s, i.e. anti-imperialism first, align with the far-left on foreign policy, pragmatic on everything else.
But there is some evidence the LP may be coming around:
“It looks like the Libertarian National Convention this year (if it still happens amid the coronavirus hoopla) could be pretty interesting.
The only ex-pol interloper in the race (Lincoln Chafee) dropped out a week ago, so this may end up being the first LP ticket since 2004 that hasn’t been composed of washed-up Republicans chasing relevancy. I may be speaking too soon, since Justin Amash may end up running, but I guess we’ll see.
Tom Knapp tells me the current favorite to win is Jacob Hornberger (whom he supports, if I’m not mistaken), and it looks to me like the person more or less in second at the moment is Vermin Supreme (who joined the LP back in 2016).
The LP old guard of beltway libertarians has egg on its face in the wake of Bill Weld’s betrayal of the party and return to the GOP (good riddance), and the party since 2016 has also been experiencing an influx of new members from two different insurgencies — the Mises Caucus (paleo-libertarians, conservative-libertarians, Toms Woods types) which has aligned behind Hornberger — and the Libertarian Socialist Caucus, which has aligned behind Supreme.
I’m not sure where other factions in the LP fall (I imagine the radicals that have been there all along would split for various reasons between Hornberger and Supreme, as well as the other candidates, like Kokesh, Jorgensen, etc. But the absence of a professional politician coming in (or, “shiny thing” as it was derogatorily known among those in the party skeptical of interlopers) might at least make things interesting.
Whatever the shortcomings of either camp, at least Ron Paulians vs. libsocs / Merry Prankster anarchists seems preferable to the party just allowing itself to become the vehicle for yet another Republican scumbag like Bill Weld.”
A world where Jacob Hornberger represented the Right and Vermin Supreme represented the Left would be a wonderful place. Hopefully, this trend in the LP will continue.