What the hell is going on with the Libertarian Party?

Some folks are saying the Libertarian Party is loosing precious ground as many would-be supporters are throwing in with the Trump crowd. And while that may not be completely accurate, the party does appear to be suffering a sort of identity crisis.

One of the most interesting evidences of the LP’s changing tune, is the apparent decision by some of its leaders that former Congressman Ron Paul no longer serves the party’s interests.

That feeling came about because Paul, in a piece published in December, criticized the LP’s handling of its message during the 2016 presidential election.

He wrote:

Unfortunately the Libertarian Party has failed to live up to what should have been its role as an ideological alternative to Washington’s one-party system. As was quite obvious in the 2016 presidential election, the Libertarians yielded to prevailing attitudes on war, welfare, the Federal Reserve, and more. In believing that winning was more important than standing for something, they ended up achieving neither.

I would still like to have some hope for the Libertarian Party, but to really fill its role as a challenger to our two party system (that is actually a one party system) it would need a major overhaul. It would need to actually embrace the core libertarian principles of non-aggression and non-intervention in the affairs of others.

Sounds a lot like, constructive criticism… especially if you’ve been paying attention to the party for any of the past few years.

Unfortunately, LP insiders didn’t take it as such. The party’s convention coordinator Daniel Hayes was particularly peeved by Paul’s piece.

That came in response to the LP’s Mises Caucus founder Michael Heise’s suggestion that Paul be included at the party’s convention this year.

As Heise explained:

Having established this working relationship with Mr. Hayes, I decided to follow up and inquire about what we would have to do to get Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano to the convention as speakers, it doesn’t get more libertarian than that! I had the pleasure of discussing the caucus and our goals with both Dr. Paul and the judge at the Nexus Conference in September, both expressed interest and support, so the potential was there. Mr. Hayes made it clear that the party would not be willing to pay any potential fees that may come with such AAA speakers. I told him that we would work on taking care of the fees. He was very interested in having the judge out, but oddly seemed to be lukewarm about having Ron Paul speaking at all, regardless of fees, without having expressly denied him at that point. Dr. Paul and Judge Napolitano are long time friends; if the party is going to disrespect Ron Paul, it is highly likely that the judge would not show up and stand with his friend. They have the same representative and I wouldn’t even bother to make such a request in that event. Knowing this, I pressed on. After all, what self described libertarian who is motivated to sell tickets and put on a successful libertarian event would actually turn down Ron Paul as a speaker if handed to them on a silver platter?

Evidently, the Libertarian Party would.

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