June 24, 2022

Libertarians should not support any of the major political parties

The following is a slightly edited transcript of remarks made by Nick Gillespie during a News week podcast debate on US political realignment. You can listen to the podcast here:

One of the things Democrats and Republicans agree on is to come up with electoral rules and campaign finance rules, and things like that that make it harder for any kind of insurgent. There’s a reason Ron Paul, in 2008 and 2012, ran as a Republican and got more traction. There’s a reason Bernie Sanders, who is an independent, is a perennial Democratic Party candidate. This is how you are going to get it. What happens, however, in American politics, and it happens perhaps once in a century or once in every 50 years, is that parties dissolve – which has not happened for a long time. , for example, the Whigs and the Democratic Republicans, or the Federalists – or they drastically change what they stand for. It’s part of what’s happening: The coalitions that today’s Republicans and Democrats represent date back to the 1980s, maybe the 1990s, and those coalitions don’t really exist anymore.

They don’t have the voice to put people above. They are not consistent internally and they can no longer pretend. Milton Friedman said that ultimately the level of government is determined by the size of the spending, because that’s the tax they end up paying. And under Democrats and Republicans, with different mixes of majorities in the House and Senate, in the 21st century, all you’ve seen is increased spending. The two parties are therefore more alike than they are different, and they block the other parties, but they can change. I mean, it seemed to be in the 2010s the Republican Party had a Tea Party uprising – people like Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Thomas Massie and even Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, they seem to be devoted to even more Reaganism. bare .

Former U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a cryptocurrency conference held at the Mana Convention Center in Wynwood on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

It was really more like Ron Paul’s vision of government – that government should do less for the people. He should be less concerned with the outside world and try to occupy every country in the world, and stuff like that. This gesture has totally disappeared now in the Republican Party. Now you don’t hear anybody talking like that. It was transformed by Trump into a party that at the presidential level has shown in the last two presidential elections that it cannot win a majority. The Democratic Party is transforming from a more centrist sort of thing, going back to someone like Bill Clinton, into a massive, increasingly hard-left government party that Joe Biden and the people around him want. the government is involved in virtually all transactions at all levels. So that’s where we are.

Nick Gillespie is the host of “The Reason Interview” podcast.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.