Election 2012

What's Next For Libertarians


The election postmortem has been heavily concentrated on where the Republicans go after a second straight presidential race defeat, as well as what the legacy building term for the Obama administration will look like. But after Gary Johnson failed to reach the popular vote one percent threshold, it is also worth asking where libertarians go from here.

Reason's Anthony Randazzo recently sat down with New York-based nonprofit 92nd Street Y to discuss the future of the libertarian movement following the 2012 election. Despite the way Johnson loss, Randazzo has a positive outlook, and argues that the near future of libertarianism is not based in electoral politics but in grassroots and education based focus on expanding ideas of liberty. On the flip side, libertarians are not hopeful that a balanced budget can be accomplished, as Randazzo details his own failed efforts to find a way to a balanced budget through a round table of people with different political ideologies.

Approx 3:50 minutes

For more coverage on this topic see Can the Libertarian Party Get 1 Percent of the Vote?Why Mitt Romney Lost—and the GOP Will Continue to Lose, and Success, Libertarian Party-Style (Or, the Glory of Low Expectations).

Also see Damon Root's video discussing libertarian views of the Constitution with the 92nd Street Y and their "Campaign for the American Conversation" from July.

Where do you think the libertarian movement will go from here?

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  1. Is Gary Johnson on Jeopardy in that picture? War on Drugs for $400, Alex.

  2. Well 2014 is before 2016.

    Perhaps it should focus on local elections instead of waiting for 4 years.

    1. ^ Ideally, THIS

      I will begin working on local elections here now.

  3. What’s Next For Libertarians

    Re-education camps?

    1. ^ Unfortunately, I am afraid this will come to be.

      1. I see the basic problem is that governments worldwide have education camps. It can’t find a way to pay for staffing at re-education camps.

  4. Everyone knows that the only true hope libertarians have is to mold one of the two big parties into resembling something that respects individual liberty and fiscal responsibility. Anywayz, a third party candidate will become just as corrupted by the reality of Washington as any other politician once in office.

  5. “What’s Next For Libertarians”

    The ovens.

    1. I don’t think that ovens at all likely. There are plenty of people who believe what their government teachers tell them. Add this to the number of people who believe what ABC/CBS/CNN/NBC tell them and they don’t need to worry about Libertarians.

  6. The first thing:
    Convince voters in non-swing states to vote 3rd party because their votes don’t count toward the generals anyway.

  7. Voting for “the lesser of two evils” wasted votes, in that so doing sent the errant message that over 100-million people believed that the collective values suggested by Obama and Romney represent what voting Americans considered as the most important values. I would further argue that any type of election-to-election thinking that results in voting for candidates with whom people fundamentally disagree has centrally contributed to our elected officials settling for short term compromises, rather than striving for long term collaborations.

    1. “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

      John Quincy Adams

  8. It is time to rethink the tactical alliance between libertarians and Republicans. The Republican Party absolutely despises much of the libertarian agenda, including individual liberty, limited overseas interventions, and women’s rights. And the whiff of Republicanism poisons the libertarian philosophy to many young and non-white people. The alliance between Republicans and libertarians has had a much greater influence on the latter than the former, all of it bad.

    Are the Democrats any closer to the libertarian philosophy? Of course not, but if you look at all the issues they are not any farther either.

    The libertarian way forward is to focus on a very limited, popular set of issues–ending the drug war, opposing the prison-industrial and military-industrial complexes, supporting gay marriage. Hook people with principled stands on these issues, and then try to sell the rest of the package.

    1. There is a tactical alliance? Wha-wha-wha?!?

      1. ‘The whiff of Republicanism poisons the libertarian philosophy to many young and non-white people.’

        I’m pretty sure the desire those two groups have for endless amounts of free shit is more likely to poison them towards libertarianism than anything else.

  9. Oh, and dump Ayn Rand! Seeing a grown person reading The Fountainhead is like seeing an adult reading one of the Twilight books. You are embarrassed for them and wish they would at least have the self-respect to hide the volume, perhaps with a copy of People magazine or something.

  10. and women’s rights.

    WARNING! WARNING! Danger, Will Robinson!

  11. Well, they have to stop begging to get 5% of the vote for matching federal funds.

    Any additional advertising they might garner from that is lost by selling out on their principles.

  12. “But after Gary Johnson failed to reach the popular vote one percent threshold…”

    Whose spreadsheet are YOU using? Mine says 1.01%, nationwide. Still undecided is the final, actual national turnout count, so it is possible that Johnson may yet fall below 1%. But perhaps not… don’t be so pessimistic! 😉

    1. Also, we don’t know how many write-in votes that Johnson received in Michigan, although my 1.01% was based on a national turnout estimate (AP’s) that included Michigan. In other words, I assumed that Johnson got 0 in Michigan, which is almost certainly not true, so the likelihood of his percentage going down is low, while the likelihood that it will end up at least slightly higher is very good. We’ll see what happens.

  13. The total failure of the Ron Paul fans to support Gary Johnson shows that there is no libertarian movement in this country … only an electorally ineffective Ron Paul cult.

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