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Op-Ed Richard Fast- In my opinion: Ditch the two major parties — register Libertarian

From The Maroon (Loyola University):

Back in October, I wrote an editorial urging the Loyola community to check out Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. The successful entrepreneur turned two-term governor of New Mexico garnered nearly 10 percent of the vote in his home state and 3.3 percent nationally, the most a third party presidential candidate has received since independent Ross Perot 20 years earlier.

OK, Johnson still didn’t win and never had a chance—what’s your point, Ricardo?

I’m so glad you asked.

In 2008, the Libertarian candidate got 523,715 votes or 0.40 percent of the popular vote. In 2012, Gary Johnson’s first run for the presidency saw 1,275,971 votes or one percent of the popular vote. And this past election cycle, 4,488,931 American voters thought a Libertarian was a better choice than the Democrat under F.B.I. investigation and the Republican who was a reality TV star Cheeto.

One of the main reasons Johnson didn’t have a fair chance was because he, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein, was excluded from the nationally televised presidential debates. The official reason is that he and Stein didn’t have the polling numbers to be admitted.

But the bar gets raised higher and higher. Third party candidates are virtually always excluded.

The debate commission calls itself non-partisan and yet the way it operates benefits the two major parties to the detriment of the American people who deserve to hear another voice—one that might actually reflect what they think and feel.

Many voters are afraid to vote for a third party candidate because of what’s called “the spoiler effect.” They fear that by voting for a less popular candidate who actually represents a majority of their views, they are taking away votes from a more popular candidate who doesn’t represent a lot of what they want but is better than another major party candidate who is the polar opposite.

Ralph Nader, who ran as a Green in 2000, is often criticized as stealing the election from Al Gore and enabling George H.W. Bush to win, despite evidence to the contrary.
The takeaway message: research the philosophy of libertarianism, see if you agree and when you’re ready to fight the two-party system and promote policies of freedom, register to vote as a Libertarian.

Our national platform states that Libertarians stand for the political freedom of everyone, including our ideological opponents.

For more information, visit the College Libertarians at Loyola University New Orleans Facebook page.

About Post Author

Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.


  1. George Phillies George Phillies February 11, 2017

    Super-Liberty. A super image!

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | February 12, 2017

    Thank you George! Our LPCO graphics team made it.

  3. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 12, 2017

    Unfortunately, I’m about to do the exact opposite. With the ridiculous amount of alt-right people that are affiliating with the party, I can’t in good conscious stay affiliated.

  4. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos February 12, 2017

    You can’t oppose them effectively here if you leave.

  5. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 12, 2017

    Well honestly, I see the Libertarian brand as far too tainted. It’s really un-salvageable. The media has had far too much time to get out in-front of the party’s messaging and define libertarianism in the minds of the public, before the party could. Just like the movement lost the term liberal to leftists, it’s losing the libertarian term to the social conservatives and alt-right. We may have to go to the term Individualist or Classical Liberal, or just try to peel back the term Liberal from leftists.

    For me, the Libertarian and Republican parties are dead, and the (moderate) Democrats are on ridiculously thin ice.

  6. George Phillies George Phillies February 12, 2017

    I am missing signs of Alt-Right types.

    Not that I am complaining, mind you.

  7. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly February 12, 2017

    Agreed at exiting the duopoly. I #VoteGreen — the correct alternative to the duopoly — all the time. Join me.

    “Be the hero the American people need.”

  8. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 12, 2017

    Just head over to the LP FaceBook page…. every other comment is somebody far-right, bitching that the libertarian party isn’t libertarian. And that the admins of the page aren’t libertarians, and Trump is a libertarian, and that Mexicans are the problem, or Muslims are the problem, and etc, etc, etc.

    For example, quote straight from the FB page:
    “So Trump is evil? Wow I’m really beginning to dislike libertarians! I have lots of libertarian leanings but you are sounding a lot like democrats in that you can’t see Trump is fighting republicans also, just not as publicly”

    “The 9th circuit didn’t look at constitutional law when deciding this case. The Congress and president have athority to set immigration law. What the court did was try to look into trumps mind to determine his intent rather than the wording of the order. Nowhere in the EO does it ban Muslims but that is what they determined . Even if it were a specific ban on Muslims the president and Congress have the athority to do it. They have the athority to ban anyone from entering the US. The Liberatarian party has again proved that they are willing to use big government to its advantage regardless of the Constitution if it fits into their world view of Peace love and drugs.”

    “im a purist libertarian…. sorry but your wrong in this one. there is nothing in the constitution that states constitutional rights apply to people on foriegn soil. if it was the airlines would be required to let me travel with my firearm to europe and ither gun free countrys. you may think trumps eo was wrong and that’s debatable but it was 100% constitutional.”

    “The constitution protects American citizens, not immigrants. Trump’s ban is neither illegal nor unconstitutional and the court has taken a political stance and not an legal one. I wish I could be fully Libertarian but posts like this just show me that I’m a little too far to the right to be truly Libertarian.”

    These are the average commenters over on the Facebook page. The FB page gets inundated daily with this crap.

  9. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 12, 2017

    Not to mention there’s a member (Kurt Stevens) of the St. Charles LP party in Louisiana who has been posting Anti-Muslim and Anti-Immigration stuff on a regular basis.

  10. George Phillies George Phillies February 12, 2017

    You can certainly find isolated alt right and white racist types on the fringes of the LP, but they have been there for a long time. The largest group is probably the Confederate apologists who claim that the War of the Slaveholders’ Rebellion, was not about slavery, in the face of mush testimony of the actual slaveholders who rebelled. Facebook is full of all sorts of characters on whom the question is ‘why do we think this person is a Libertarian’

  11. Jim Jim February 13, 2017

    AMcCarrick – 2 of those 4 examples said that *they* were not libertarians because libertarians opposed Trump’s EO. Only 1 of them claimed they are a libertarian.

  12. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 13, 2017

    Jim… Seriously, all you have to do is go to the FB page ( and read the shit comments under the post with this text:
    “Do you feel safer when a US born NASA scientist has his NASA issued phone grabbed and accessed by US Customs and Border Patrol? This is what’s happening at airports. Tell us your thoughts!”

    I think you’ll easily see why I think the Libertarian brand is absolutely dead. All you have is a wall of neo-cons thinking they’re libertarian…. and intermixed you have a shit load of disheartening comments that clearly prove the entire country is fucking brainwashed….. Ron Paul did us a disservice by running under the Libertarian name, and the media has done a great disservice by calling the likes of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and even Trump, Libertarians. Without changing branding NOW the movement is screwed.

  13. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 13, 2017

    Of course, most of this stems from the fact that most of the fucktards in the country watch a far-right authoritarian news network (aka Fox) to get their “facts”. I’m convinced if we get nuked, it will be the direct result of something provoked by Fox News.

  14. AMcCarrick AMcCarrick February 13, 2017

    And by “changing branding” I mean changing the party’s name, and never use the term Libertarian again…. Change it to Individualist, and Individualism.

  15. DJ DJ February 20, 2017

    Libertarians I know are all about individual rights not “state” (or group) mandated grouping (collective) thought processes.

    By labeling groups are pre-purposed and define the label. Who labels? Media and their counter parts in DC and state capitols.

    I call myself libertarian (former Republican) but I’ve yet to see a politician (except Ron Paul) that I’d support under ANY circumstance, BUT, I don’t “support” ANY party. And I refuse to keep voting for the lesser of 2 evils.
    I’m 69 y/o and the lesser of 2 evils is the ONLY choice I’ve been given by the “collective” which includes BOTH major party’s and the complicit media on all the channels, not just FOX.

    All this alt-right BS is just media driven (and sore loser politicians on BOTH sides) crap to justify it’s existence and hoping to re-gain some sort of relevance since it was handed its collective ass with this past election.

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