Libertarian Party

Former Vice Presidential Candidate Wayne Root Leaves the Libertarian Party

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Wayne Root, the controversial 2008 vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, announces that he's leaving the Party and his position on the Libertarian National Committee and Libertarian National Campaign Committee to pursue his political goals outside of third parties. He intends to seek a federal Senate seat in the "near future" of the Tea Party persuasion, but within the Republican Party.

Independent Political Report runs his announcement. An excerpt:

Today I'm announcing the most important decision of my political career. Today I am stepping down from my roles in the LP, LNC, and LNCC . After six years of giving my heart and soul to our party, this decision does not come lightly. I leave with nothing but fond memories. I leave awed by the intensity, love, and loyalty of Libertarians, LP political candidates, LNC members, and LP leaders….

Like some of my political heroes who have fought the good fight for smaller government — Ron Paul, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Jim DeMint, and in earlier generations Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater — I have come to the conclusion that I'll have more opportunity to elect good people and change the direction of this country outside of a third party.

It is the exact same decision that Ron Paul (our former LP Presidential nominee) and his son U.S. Senator Rand Paul made. It is the decision that many libertarians have made- from David Koch (our former LP Vice Presidential nominee), to the founders of CATO…..

But regardless of any differences there might be in matters of strategy, I will always have fond memories of my six years with the Libertarian Party. I salute all of my colleagues as heroes fighting for liberty. The hard work you do day in and day out is nothing short of remarkable. I remain amazed and stunned at your level of loyalty and work ethic. I leave with only positive things to say about my LP experience.

But I'm not really leaving. I am a Lifetime Libertarian Party member and will always call myself a REAGAN Libertarian, or Libertarian conservative. Just like a Congressman Ron Paul or U.S. Senator Rand Paul, I have simply decided to move my Libertarian beliefs and the fight for smaller government to a different battlefield….

To save our country and restore liberty, I have come to realize that I need to take practical steps to win office myself, so I can have a direct effect on the future of America. I plan to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.

Root has been criticized quite a bit in these pages, for indulging in Obama college conspiracy mongering, praising Mubarak, and advising votes for Romney, among other things.

Matt Welch talked to Root for Reason.tv at FreedomFest in Las Vegas in 2011, talking (among other things) about how libertarians need to focus only on economic issues, not social ones:

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54 responses to “Former Vice Presidential Candidate Wayne Root Leaves the Libertarian Party

  1. So the LP gets marginally less insane then?

  2. How’s the LP possibly going to win in November without Root?

  3. I would have preferred it if he had been booted (in both the ordinary and Simpsonian senses), but I’ll take what I can get.

    1. This was probably a compromise.

  4. The fact that the LP tolerated this piece of shit is indicative of both their irrelevance and their stupidity. They’re lucky to have him leave voluntarily.

  5. Just look at the video screen cap and you know everything you need to about Root.

  6. I am a Lifetime Libertarian Party member and will always call myself a REAGAN Libertarian, or Libertarian conservative.

    Less LP lulz 🙁

  7. I’m hard pressed to find a better example of addition by subtraction than this.

  8. Next up for WAR: Presidential candidate for the ADHD Party.

  9. Don’t let the door hit you, WAR.

  10. I see the same thing in my state’s LP. It’s a revolving cast between the LP and the Republican Party.

    The straw that finally did it for me was when the state LP became the enforcement arm forf Republican party discipline. There was a tax increase that the R leadership came out against but several lawmakers crossed to vote for it. LP announced they would run candidates against those R lawmakers in the general on that vote. Against Democrats who voted for the tax, nope. Against Repubs that voted for a raft of other shit counter to LP’s platform, nope.

  11. It’s a rare stroke of genius whereby both the LP and the GOP can become marginally better through WAR’s switching affiliation. That says something very sad about the GOP though.

    1. Wayne Allyn Root would make a great GOP Nevada US Senator.

    2. As much as I didn’t care for him as an LP candidate, he would be one of the better (R) politicians out there.

  12. So can we have nice things now?

    1. NO

  13. Can someone remind me of how he got nominated in the first place? Surely, there are better candidates. I know the ones we have now aren’t perfect libertarians, but at least they have some track record.

    1. It was a quid pro quo between his people and Barr’s people, combined with their main opponent sinking themselves by publicly coming out in favor of legalizing child pronography.

      1. You’re way oversimplifying Mary Ruwart here, Stormy.

      2. The more pure of a libertarian you are, the more tone deaf you become. I’m not dissing ideological purity, it’s very important, but if you want any hope at all of winning an election you have to show some tact. Mary Ruwart may be the epitome of sweetness and civility, but she’s as tactless as Walter Block when it comes to defending the undefendable.

  14. Regardless of your feelings about Root, his point about focusing on economic issues primarily as opposed to social ones has merit.

    I’m not sure I agree with it, but right now, considering the complete fiscal disaster that is the US economy, it does appear that concentrating the best arguments for libertarianism in a Friedman-like manner might bring in more voters and eyeballs.

    1. I think libertarians have mostly focused on fiscal and economic issues. Now if only conservatives and liberals would do the same …

      1. For years, the LP mostly focused on ending the drug war.

        Which was a good idea, and probably their biggest success so far — a significant percentage of Americans agree with them now.

    2. Unfortunately, the GOP seems to think that “focusing on economic issues” doesn’t mean they stop trying to push the social conservative agenda, just that libertarians aren’t allowed to complain about it.

      1. But more ironically they don’t think it means stopping the never ending massive expansion of the federal government, which means – MOAR spending.

  15. He’s gonna wear out his neck before he gets elected to anything.

  16. Good Riddance one of two reasons I didn’t vote LP last presidential election

  17. He intends to seek a federal Senate seat in the “near future” of the Tea Party persuasion, but within the Republican Party.

    Well, that’s certainly a relief!

  18. Hey WAR, don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya!

  19. That may be the coolest thing I have ever seen .Wow.

    http://www.IP-Masking.tk


    1. Dazzle camo for a honeypot?
      (Note: URL via spamlink above)

  20. I plan to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio

    WTF? Rubio is even slightly Libertarian leaning? I sure don’t get that. DeMint maybe, but Rubio?

    1. Root is name-dropping. despite Nick “Mr Liberaltarian” Gillespie’s protestations DeMint is pretty damn libertarian by elected official standards

      1. I have a lot more respect for DeMint after he agreed to an interview with Reason, took quite the beating, but remained a good sport about the entire thing. At least he acknowledged that the GOP ignores Libertarians at their own peril. His voting record has been pretty good also, compared to most GOP.

      2. Nick “Mr Liberaltarian” Gillespie

        Oh brother.

        DeMint is pretty damn libertarian by elected official standards

        Which is to say he’s not libertarian at all. Economically, he’s fairly conservative. Socially? REALLY, REALLY conservative. There’s not an ounce of social libertarianism in DeMint’s body.

      3. Being pretty damn libertarian by elected official standards doesn’t mean much. DeMint is relatively good, but he is the same guy that said one cannot be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative, so let’s not pretend the only reason a libertarian would criticize him is to be a Democratic shill or a “liberaltarian”

        1. “but he is the same guy that said one cannot be a fiscal conservative without being a social conservative”

          Regardless of that opinion, if he’s not forcing so-con legislation on anybody, what difference does it make?

          1. I couldn’t find any socially conservative legislation DeMint supported in the Library of Congress website, but I did find these two awesomely named pieces of legislation: the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act and the Financial Takeover Repeal Act of 2011.

      4. Nick “Mr Liberaltarian” Gillespie’s

        I wonder what it is that drives SIV to go full retard on every thread.

        Lead paint? Something in the water?

  21. I detested the idea of Root on the LNC (essentially promoting Romney while on the LNC?), but don’t mind him at all cut free from it. If the worst thing in the world was that we had 50 million Wayne Roots running around the USA, policy would be miles better, and the sellers of ear plugs would vacation more in the Caymans.

    1. Agreed and good luck to Wayne. Perhaps in Nevada it is an easier row to hoe (or lion to tow) for a libertarian to have influence in the GOP. In many states, they’ll be happy to take your money and let you lick envelopes but you just ain’t getting near any levers of influence.

  22. Libertarians taking over the GOP. Its not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

  23. Too bad he promises to be another Reagan RINO. I’ll have to pass on this one.

  24. Fuck yeah, best news I’ve read all day.

  25. I actually agree with Wayne that the LP needs to focus on building a conservative-libertarian coalition party, and if that means laying off the social issues, then so be it. Our economy and govt spending is in such a mess; social issues should be an after thought.

    1. Lay off the social issues? Until when?
      Don’t you think there will be a bunch of pissed off people when libertarians reveal their true colors? So, the argument will become, “we can’t ever reveal our true colors or we will lose power.” Then we will be as bad as the GOP reformers who get co-opted once they get a taste of power and money.

      1. Actually, “laying off the social issues” is good advice for ALL political parties. A huge part of the problem is how much damage the Teams have caused by fucking with trying to “fix” this country by passing laws concerning private behavior.

  26. At least Root wasn’t a liberaltarian…

    1. …that’s called “damning with faint praise”.

  27. Mary Ruwart may be the epitome of sweetness and civility, but she’s as tactless as Walter Block when it comes to defending the undefendable.

    Mary Ruwart would have made an awesome President. Bob Barr — meh.

    I’ll take a little crazy on some issues, versus hardcore statists like Obamney, any day.

  28. Actually, “laying off the social issues” is good advice for ALL political parties.

    That is different from “leaving the status quo unchanged”.

  29. Wayne Root is a poser who took up residence in the Libertarian Party, not for the party’s benefit but for his own personal gain. And now, for his 30 pieces of silver from the GOP, he’s supporting Romney.

  30. Root was no Libertarian. He was using the LP as a stage for personal gain. He was easy pickin’s for the Romney team, who, alarmed at the growing popularity of Gary Johnson in Nevada, bought off Root to pitch for Romney. What the hell was Root doing supporting Romney while in the Libertarian Party anyway? I’m glad he’s gone.

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