Will the Libertarian Party Turn the Trump-Hillary Race Into More Than 1%?

These questions and more debated on the new episode of The Fifth Column


Get a job, hippie! ||| Reason

Six months from today the United States will hold a presidential election that we now know will be between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (barring some unforeseen miracle from Bernie Sanders and/or the Department of Justice). The Libertarian Party candidate is still TK, despite the media treating 2012 nominee Gary Johnson as the presumptive nominee, but the major-party stage is set for a half-year.

How long is six months during this unfathomable presidential campaign? To get a sense, look backward six months at these blasto-from-el-pasto headlines:

* Yes, Donald Trump Is Still Ahead in the Polls, But It's Not Time to Panic Yet

* Trump Calls for Complete End to Muslim Immigration

* Rand Paul Introduces Bill Banning Refugees From "High-Risk Countries"

* Ted Cruz Joins Rand Paul in Bashing Marco Rubio's Reckless Foreign Policy

It was a more innocent time, really.

John Kasich was averaging just 2 percent in national GOP polls last December, well behind Marco Rubio (12%), Ben Carson (11%), Jeb Bush, Chris Christie (both 4%), and even laggardly ol' Rand Paul 3%). Go six months before that and your consistent front-runner is Jeb!, with Scott Walker not far behind. What I am saying here is that six months is an awful long time in this presidential campaign.

No wonder people are lunging around desperately for a third-party candidate to ease the next half-year of abject pain, while also bringing out the long knives for those who let themselves believe that there was some limited-government upside in the Tea Party generation of Republican politicians.

These topics and more–including the N-word, obviously–are chewed on in the shiny new episode of The Fifth Column, the newish weekly podcast featuring Kmele Foster, Michael C. Moynihan and myself. Due to the miracle of podcast lead times, it was taped before the Indiana results were in, yet eerily prescient, or something. Listen right here:

Also mentioned within: Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Andrew Sullivan, Penn Jillette, Nick Gillespie, George Will, Michael Brendan Dougherty, and Moynihan's questionable career management. You can listen to last week's episode, in which I was replaced by TV's Andy Levy, here. And head over to the podcast website for info on how to subscribe, and also listen using iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.