On the 4th of July, Congressman Justin Amash declared his independence from the GOP in a Washington op ed for the Washington Post, writing that “The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
He went on to channel George Washington’s farewell address, in which he warned against the consolidation of political power in the parties:
“The founders envisioned Congress as a deliberative body in which outcomes are discovered. We are fast approaching the point, however, where Congress exists as little more than a formality to legitimize outcomes dictated by the president, the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader.”
Given that he was always a “liberty Republican,” it would seem obvious for Amash to join the Libertarian Party — the closest thing to a serious challenger to the two-party system.
Unfortunately, there are major systemic obstacles to third parties gaining traction in the U.S.
Third party candidates have trouble getting on ballots, getting on stage for debates, and generally getting a fair hearing from the public. Furthermore, they are often accused of siphoning off votes from the candidate who would otherwise be most favorable to liberty.
Nicholas Sarwark is the 19th and current chair of the Libertarian Party. He wants to distinguish it as the party of free markets (including free trade), open borders to peaceful immigrants, and civil liberties for all.
Next year, some of the biggest names in the liberty movement will gather in Austin for the 2020 Libertarian Convention, including California’s own Jeff Hewitt. Hewitt is a county supervisor in Riverside, CA, which makes him the most powerful libertarian elected to public office in the U.S. according to the LA Times. Could this be a model for a libertarian Realpolitik of the future?
Nicholas joined the show to discuss a practical strategy for growing the party and making political inroads at the state and local level.
We’ talk about what distinguishes Libertarians from Republicans, the difference between big “L” and small “l” libertarians, and why some libertarians (rightly or wrongly) feel more at home in the Republican Party than with the Democrats.
Join us, and call in with your questions – live this Sunday — 8–9am PACIFIC — on the show of ideas, not attitude.
I’m also giving away a copy of my book Power to the States to three random new email subscribers this week. It contains a philosophy of liberty (federalism) and a political strategy to realize it – combining insights of some of my smartest guests.
Don’t miss it.
- Nicholas Sarwark (@nsarwark) on Twitter
- 2018 Platform | Libertarian Party
- VIDEO - Nicholas Sarwark with Nick Gillespie on The Future of the Libertarian Party
- Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP. - The Washington Post, July 4, 2019
- Avalon Project - Washington's Farewell Address 1796
- Trump is the true socialist - The Washington Post, by Catherine Rampell, July 25, 2019
- Get your tickets - 2020 Libertarian National Convention, Austin, TX. May 21 - 25, 2020 https://libertarianconvention.org/