Not sure if this thread will last, but William Weld, hoping to become VP on the LP ticket, made an inflammatory statement about Donald Trump’s deportation plan, comparing it to Nazism.
But what interests me more is the strength of the likely LP ticket. This is a party that used to aspire to getting a Congressman and usually didn’t even do that much. Now they’ve got two legit former governors on the ticket, assuming the delegates to the convention do the sane thing.
The crazy thing is that the LP ticket might be able to do something they’ve never been able to do before: claim an experience edge over the major party candidates. Trump will be easy, Clinton a little harder to do, but even in her case, none of her experience is executive. Johnson and Weld enjoy 14 years of executive experience between them.
This is no fringe ticket. These are two former popular governors with a proven record of success. If the media is truly appalled by Donald Trump, they should really be focusing on Johnson/Weld. Give them all the free media Trump got during the primaries and see what happens.
It’s still an irrelevant third party ticket. Both men out of office for over ten years. Neither a major player in Republican politics. They’ll have a debate with the other 3rd party candidates on C-Span 2 at 3:00 AM on a Saturday and be ignored.
I hadn’t bothered to seek him out, but I always wondered what happened to Weld after leaving the MA governor’s mansion. He always seemed to be a Republican who flirted with reasonableness from time to time; probably because he worked with such an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature.
It would be nice to see them gain some traction as a Trump alternative for the conservatives, but that seems like wishful thinking.
Thing is, there’s nowhere else to look. It’s either the LP ticket or Trump or Clinton for right-wingers. You hate the LP’s foreign policy, then vote for Clinton, she agrees with us on foreign policy for the most part.
I think they have a good chance to get 5-10%, and an outside chance to get >15% (this would probably require a major scandal/meltdown for Trump).
In the long run, I think the country would be better off if the Libertarian party actually gains steam – this would probably motivate other third parties and help break the 2 party duopoly. But in the short and medium term, I hope they do well because it will hurt the Republican party, which, IMO, has become extremely damaging and threatening to the country .
I’ll be shocked if they break 1%. I don’t see many disaffected Democrats gong Libertarian and the kind of Republicans that are turned off by Trump will more than likely hold their noses and vote for HRC (e.g., PJ O’Rourke types).
I think this year is likely to be the best chance the Libertarian Party have to get some traction amongst voters. Sure, they’ll be extremely lucky to break 10% but as Jonathan Chance noted above they need to play the long game here and aim for a seat at the big table next time - all they need is to demonstrate credibility. If they’re canny they might also land one or two downticket wins if they can get the publicity for their candidates.
I’ve seen Johnson do a few interviews and he’s come across as reasonable in those; I remember nothing about Weld at all.
The LP seems to have taken a different approach the last couple of cycles. They used to really nominate fairly strong Libertarian types: Ron Paul, Andre Marrou, Harry Browne, and Michael Badnarik. They all did horribly. Then, they switched to nominating Republican-sorta-more-libertarian-than-most types who had had successful careers as Republican politicians: Bob Barr and Gary Johnson. Johnson, in particular, was much more successful, breaching the 1% threshold, and may do even better this year. So they’ve sort of sold out their soul for a tiny, tiny taste of getting 1% of the votes. Good job, guys!
I don’t think it’s selling out, so much as recognizing that there’s almost no support for that old LP platform, but there is massive potential support for a “small-l” libertarian movement. What they need to be is a moderate party that is liberal on social issues and conservative on economic issues, with a foreign policy that is biased towards non-intervention, although not dogmatic about any of those positions. THat’s how major parties attract wide support and it’s how the LP best takes advantage of the GOP meltdown.
I heard an interview with Johnson on NPR and he does indeed come across initially as fairly reasonable (compared to most Republicans, anyway)… until he talked about taxes, where he said he would “eliminate income tax, corporate tax, because we would do that, we could also abolish the IRS.”