Justin Amash

Justin Amash on How To End the Civil War in the Libertarian Party

The only L.P. member to ever hold national office says the party needs to stop being gratuitously shocking and start making the principled case for limited government.

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Can the Libertarian Party (L.P.) become "a major contender that consistently wins elections?"

If the organization's dismal, 50-year track record in winning elections isn't discouraging enough, now the L.P. is in disarray after its chairman and two members of its national committee resigned in the wake of an attempt to decertify the New Hampshire affiliate due to conflicts over its social media presence. 

This episode has revealed an organization at war with itself over vision, tactics, and messaging.

To get a better sense of what's going on, Nick Gillespie spoke with former Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.), who finished his five terms in office as the first and only Libertarian to hold national office. He had been elected as a Republican, became an Independent, and affiliated with the L.P. for the last few months of his tenure. Amash flirted with a run for the L.P.'s presidential nomination in 2020 before choosing to drop out of consideration. Despite not holding an official position in the party's leadership, he is its best-known member.

In the wake of the recent scandal, he chastised the New Hampshire affiliate for its "horrible messaging" even as he said attempts to remove its leadership were illegitimate. "I'm committed to making [the L.P.] a major contender that consistently wins elections," he wrote. "We must work together to build a big-tent party that can take on the old parties and defend the rights of the people."

Narrated by Nick Gillespie, edited by Regan Taylor and John Osterhoudt, additional graphics by Lex Villena

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