David Ridley of the Ridley Report gives his thoughts on the Libertarian Party as well as the New Hampshire Free Staters’ half-decent treatment by the NH GOP.
Andy Craig responds:
It’s a lot easier to be dismissive of the LP if you live in the one state where the LP isn’t the only game in town for libertarians. As with so many other lowercase-l projects and institutions, the FSP probably wouldn’t even exist if the LP hadn’t existed first, and the LP is the *only* organized presence for libertarians on the ground in most of the rest of the country. And no, the RLC stumping to elect more folks like Ted Cuz doesn’t count.
It’s great that some libertarian-leaning Republicans and Democrats got elected in NH (to the easiest state legislature in the nation to get elected to, something multiple Libertarians had accomplished in NH pre-FSP), but in most states the chances of a libertarian winning a major-party primary is even less than their chance of winning as a Libertarian. And Ridley vastly overstates the degree of “success” the Paul family have had in “working within the GOP,” particularly the younger and less-successful (and less-libertarian) one. Rand is, if anything, the archetypal case against working within the GOP: he watered down his libertarianism to near-homeopathic levels in an attempt to be “acceptable” to establishment Republicans and social-conservatives, and is still poised to get a lot fewer votes than Gary Johnson did in the general election in 2012.