Libertarian(ish) Candidates

If you want to find a few liberty-loving politicos, look lower on the ballot

(Page 2 of 5)

Massie is running in a heavily Republican district, so his election is all but a lock against Grant County Democratic Party chairman Bill Adkins, who once compared the Tea Party to “terrorist suicide bombers.” The Democratic Party spent big national money on the district in the heavily Democratic year of 2006 and still failed to win. The Republican incumbent, outgoing Rep. Geoff Davis, won the next two races with at least two-thirds of the vote. 

Justin Amash

U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan’s Third District

The man most frequently touted as “the next Ron Paul” and “Congress’s only libertarian,” Michigan Rep. Justin Amash is seen by many in the libertarian community as their modern legislative standard bearer. Amash, a 32-year-old graduate of the University of Michigan and former Michigan state representative, was elected to Congress during the Tea Party wave in 2010 after running on a very libertarian platform. He has kept his word in office, becoming one of just three Tea Partiers to have earned a 100 percent rating from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth. He has picked up endorsements from the Republican Liberty Caucus and Young Americans for Liberty.

Amash’s opposition to the Federal Reserve, military intervention, the PATRIOT Act, and ridiculous government subsidies like the National Capital Area Performing Arts program are all well documented. He’s a deficit hawk who votes “no” on nearly every bill that comes before him. And unusually in Washington, Amash uses social media to explain in detail every single vote he makes.

Like many Republicans in the Ron Paul mold, Amash is a social conservative, opposing marriage equality and abortion rights. (Amash did lose the endorsement of Right to Life earlier this year due to a handful of “No” votes on abortion legislation.) He is on record saying he supports the Defense of Marriage Act.

“I consider myself a libertarian, traditional conservative, classical liberal,” he told reason in an interview. “I think all those names are applicable.”

“The reason I use those interchangeably, I think, is traditional conservatism as I view it is conserving the founding principles of our country and those founding principles are classical liberal, libertarian principles,” he said.

Even though Amash’s seat appears safe (Cook rates it as “likely Republican”), he will need to work the pavement because his district has been redrawn and his Democratic opponent, a former state representative and circuit court judge Steve Pestka, has the ability to self-fund his campaign. With the help of Ron Paul and his vast political organization Amash has developed a national following, allowing him to quickly raise large sums of money from beyond the district. His libertarian views and unorthodox engagement with constituents have helped him grow a diverse base of support in his home district. 

MAYBE 

Mia Love

U.S. House of Representatives, Utah’s Fourth District

Mitt Romney has extremely limited appeal to serious libertarians, but Utah freedom-lovers may thank him for helping to carry Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love to victory in her race for Congress. Love, a fast riser in Utah politics, has attracted the support of establishment and anti-establishment Republicans alike not just because of her potential to make history as the first African-American Republican woman to be elected to Congress, but because of her clear western Republican views.

Love was born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut by her Haitian parents before moving to Utah and getting married. She started her political career in 2003 when she was elected to the Saratoga Springs City Council. In 2009 she successfully ran for mayor.

Love has been positively described as a “Trojan horse libertarian” by some conservative bloggers for her positions on homeschooling, federal control of land, and other issues. Liberals have attacked her for her backing entitlement reform and the privatization of student loans. Libertarians should enjoy Love’s serious talk about eliminating the federal Department of Education and Department of Energy.

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  • R C Dean||

    I do want Mia Love to win, solely for the lulz she will bring to the Congressional Black Caucus.

  • Sudden||

    You actually think they'll invite her to join?

  • ||

    I think it's the hemming and hawing and throat clearing and renaming that he looks forward to.

  • R C Dean||

    They turned down the white guy from a black district because he was white.

    As far as I know, they've never turned down black person. I just want to see them either (a) twist in the wind trying to justify keeping a bona fide black person out of the black caucus or (b) put up with her harassing their crony/welfare state asses at every meeting.

  • pmains||

    They invited Allen West and Tim Scott.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Why? She's not "really" Black.

  • Raistlin Majere||

    I still think they should re-name it "the big, black caucus."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A pure libertarian would leave a seat vacant.

  • Paul.||

    Bows to this.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Why? Isn't a -1 vote better than a 0?

  • Paul.||

    I took it as a good joke. The roadmap to the joke being: A real libertarian eschews power and tries to reduce the size of government. Therefore, Congress has one less person seeking power and ordering other people around. If the government holds a legislative session to pass new laws and nobody shows up...

    But on the serious side, of course a -1 vote is better than 0.

  • BigT||

    Does this make Obama a libertarian? - he's an empty chair.

  • Ryan60657||

    "make the big jump from Congress to the U.S. Senate"

    Is the Senate no longer part of the United States Congress?

  • T||

    They seceded in 1861, but were forcibly reintegrated in 1865.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Would to God it wasn't...

  • Randian||

    Is the Senate no longer part of the United States Congress?

    THANK YOU

  • Paul.||

    Congress is often used as a euphemism for The House of Representatives. Because we call guys in The House "congressmen/persons" and people in the Senate "senators".

    Stephen Fry is watching.

  • Azathoth!!||

    We call people in the House 'Representative'. Congressman is inclusive of both the House and the Senate.

  • R C Dean||

    For the polling junkies:

    The Houston Chronicle Blog ‘Texas on the Potomac’ took a look at the polls after the election four years ago and found out which ones were the most accurate. Topping the list was Rasmussen (hated by the left) and Pew (discredited by the left this year.) Ranked very low was the IBD/TIPP polling firm, right behind it was NBC/WSJ. Even further down was Gallup.

    Taking all of that into consideration, the top two polls to consider then would be Rasmussen and GWU. Take out Gallup as an outlier on the Romney side and IBD/TIPP as an outlier favoring the president, and you come out with a Romney +2 margin at 49/47.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012.....for-votes/

  • Paul.||

    Whatever happened to Zogby?

  • Brett L||

    He basically got out of political polling after '08. I'm still unclear as a former Zogby online poll participant if this was because he was bought out or what.

  • Paul.||

    Pew (discredited by the left this year.)

    What does this mean?

  • John||

    But Gallup had the last three Presidential races almost exactly right. They had Obama at 53% in 08, Bush ahead by 2 in 04, and Gore and Bush in a dead heat in 00.

  • JW||

    (ish)

    I'm making this my new party designation.

  • CE||

    What are "abortion rights"? How can you have a right to kill someone else?

  • Moe Effingood||

    What are "abortion rights"?

    Abortion rights = the right to kill you in self-defense if you try to physically restrain a woman and force her to do something she does not want to do.

    Your jurisdiction ends when someone else's body begins. Comprehende?

  • Robert||

    If that's what people decide is right, it's a right. How else can you possibly determine what's right other than by people thinking about it?

  • ||

    You're confusing the moral question "What is right?" With the question "What are my rights?"

    Abortion rights = the right to kill you in self-defense if you try to physically restrain a woman and force her to do something she does not want to do.

    This is utterly and completely incoherent.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Raise your hand if you'd bang the chick in the picture.

    *raises hand*

    And some WONDER why there are no libertardian wimmins...

  • ||

    Oh hell yes I came here to say that

  • Big 'Orra||

    Overall, the GOP has an edge when it comes to good looking women.

  • Auscifer||

    Justin Amash - Best Congressman ever?

    The explanation on each vote is the single best tool out there for following the daily activity in the House. I don't even live in his district.

    Plus, his tweeter feed is really amusing. A few months ago he tweeted a pic from his office window, with view of a chair that was thrown onto the roof of the adajecent building. So random, yet so funny. Worth following.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    That pic would be worth it -

    *heads over to The Tweeting...*

  • Drake||

    My Congressman, Scott Garrett is definitely Libertarian(ish) and a member of the Liberty Caucus. He hates internet gambling for some reason, but is otherwise pretty good.

  • DarrenM||

    He hates internet gambling for some reason

    So what? The question is whether he supports legislation to do anything abou it. I wasn't aware being libertarian meant approving of anything anyone else does.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Interesting how every single libertarianish candidate is a Republican. Just like Ron paul--and Rand Paul. Why, so is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for President.

    Go figger.

    And yet we can't seem to kick liberaltarians and the liberals that hold their leashes to the curb.

  • Proprietist||

    Interesting that the LP has candidates running in most of these races that are even better. Go figure.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Honestly, the same thing struck me.

  • Robert||

    I was glad to see Mr. Quinn didn't reach for some bogus balance by bending over backwards to include some Democratic nominee. I'd be very pleased if there were some, of course.

  • Lisa||

    "Interesting how every single libertarianish candidate is a Republican."

    But it's not surprising. Republicans tend to support the free market more and they also tend to support freedom of choice more. Democrats don't like school choice, food choice, private property. Even in areas of "social" freedom, like gay marriage....they end up finding some way to assert control - like with the ban on gay therapy in California.

    That's not to say that Republicans are consistent in supporting freedom, but Democrats are pretty consistently against freedom.

  • buddhastalin||

    Republicans tend to support the free market more

    except when they put forth a farm bill that includes crop insurance and price support programs that artificially distort the market

    and they also tend to support freedom of choice more

    except if you're a pregnant woman making a choice concerning her own body or if you choose an Islam-based school or if you're anyone choosing what substances to inhale

    Let's please put an end to this falsehood that Republicans are libertarian or even libertarianish.

  • Drake||

    Well - Many of us were raised on Republican small-government promises dating back to Reagan or even Goldwater.

    Unfortunately, those promises rarely resulted in actual small-government. That's how I ended up here.

  • Lisa||

    I challenge you to find an elected politician in history that has done everything a libertarian should do, according to everyone who calls themselves a libertarian. You can't. So I guess every elected politician is a freedom-hating statist. That puts the burden on you to prove why libertarians shouldn't be dismissed as crazy people with no clue how the real world works. Or you could admit that, in reality, things are only true in degrees.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    To expand my point, there is a reason for this. As much as they argue vehemently about the specifics of policy, conservatives and libertarians largely share the same underlying philosophy of government. The general principle that defines libertarian thought - that the government should exist solely to protect people's rights - wouldn't be wildly out of place in a conservative's creed. The modern, progressive left, on the other hand actively believes the government exists as a means of creating a utopian society.

  • Lisa||

    I agree with this. Although I think a lot of libertarians have a pretty utopian outlook. Maybe there's a split among libertarians between the tragic and utopian views.

  • ||

    A real libertarian eschews power and tries to reduce the size of government. Therefore, Congress has one less person seeking power and ordering other people around. If the government holds a legislative session to pass new laws and nobody shows up...

    A very libertarian elected official would show up, vote no on just about everything, and lambast the other officials in floor speeches pointing out the illiberality of the laws and spending they were trying to pass.

  • Drake||

    I'll know we are close when they start holding sessions to repeal laws.

  • AlgerHiss||

    Minnesota is one of the most schizophrenic, mentally deficient states. These ass holes have produced nothing but soft, gooey non-leftists such as Tim Pawlenty and Rudy Boschwitz. Hell, go ahead and throw in that ignorant wrestler as governor. (Good God, that wrestler was such a nothing-gasbag.)

    But in their hearts, Minnesota is pure Karl Marx. They won’t admit it, but they cream their jeans when they recall their favorite son, Gus Hall.

    When you hear Minnesota, think Gus Hall.

    Minnesota can go screw themselves.

    Oh, and by the way, Minnesota, twice, voted to NOT allow Black Americans the right to vote.

  • Moe Effingood||

    I live in Minnesota, you simplistic judgmental dipshi..

    It is a diverse state that produced both Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann. And Gov. Ventura is pretty libertarian. He endorsed and campaigned for Gary Johnson here.

    Kurt Bills is not quite libertarian. He voted to send the gay marriage amendment to the voters. A libertarian stance would have been no. He voted to send the voter ID amendment to the voters. Not quite libertarian again.

    I want Klobuchar fired, but don't know what the hell Bills is going to do once in power at the federal level. The 3rd party alternative wants medicare for all. The LP has no US Senate candidate. I have no idea who to vote for.

  • Shmurphy||

    Man, fuck Ted Cruz. John Jay Myers is the real libertarian running for senate in Texas.

  • ||

    He opposes [extending] marriage equality privileges for to gays and lesbians

    FTFY. "Marriage equality" will be when nobody asks me which of my 24 spouses I want to file jointly with on my tax return, because they no longer dole out government benefits to people in monogamous relationships because they are so much more special than single people, and people in other types of relationships.

    Also, since "gay" refers generically to homosexuals, "gays and lesbians" is kind of redundant. If you're going to go PC, go for the gold: "gay and lesbian same-gender-attracted homosexual persons".

  • BMFPitt||

    Unless he is proposing a repeal of all the current spousal benefits, he's against equality.

  • ||

    Because inequality isn't really inequality as long as you extend the institution of inequality to include 1 more group than it presently does. Makes perfect sense.

  • BMFPitt||

    So you're too angry about this to understand when someone agrees with you, huh?

  • BMFPitt||

    libertarianish, Tea Party-approved Republicans

    I find that anyone who is Tea-Party approved is much more -ish than libertarian.

  • Shmurphy||

    This man speaks the truth.

  • GrizzlyAdam||

    "make history as the first African-American Republican woman.... Love was born in Brooklyn and raised in Connecticut by her Haitian parents...."

    She's not African-American. If we must hyphenate her heritage, it would be Haitian-American.

    I live in the Matheson/Love district, and it's a tight, feisty, race. Love says the right things, but then, that's easy. But I do think she actually believes most of what she says, and that's encouraging.

  • buddhastalin||

    Too many social conservatives on this list. Stop pretending that Republicans are "libertarianish".

  • ||

    True Scotsmen or not, they do beat the alternative in most cases.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    Nice purity test. Take the half-a-loaf before you starve to death.

  • galtgulch||

    If you are living in a state where your vote for either major party candidate will not be likely to make much difference you might prefer to make your vote count by voting for the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

    He already is showing 4% in national polls and if he can garner 5% will assure that in 2016 the LP will be eligible to get 90M dollars in matching funds which would enable their candidate to enlighten the electorate with libertarian perspective on issues.

    That might be a turning point, if not the end, for the two party dominance in American politics

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