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Should Republicans Blame Libertarians For Their Losses?
Who is to blame for the Republican Party's failures?
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a Republican whine about Libertarians “stealing” votes from GOP candidates, I’d be able to buy Twitter from Elon Musk.
Okay, I might be exaggerating a little, but the point remains. Many in the conservative movement have blamed the Libertarian Party for helping Democrats get elected by siphoning votes from Republican candidates, who are supposedly the rightful owners of these votes.
On Tuesday, I sat in on a Twitter Space session in which the host was making this very argument. As proof, he presented a screenshot showing voter totals for Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian candidates in swings states during the 2020 presidential election.
Here is a screenshot of the table:
I’m not sure if these numbers are accurate because I don’t know where the individual got the data. But let’s say for the sake of argument that this is credible data. In that case, it seems clear that if Jo Jorgensen had not run for president, Trump would have won enough electoral votes to defeat Joe Biden.
Before addressing this, I can’t help but point out that after losing in 2020, the Republican Party has blamed everyone but themselves for their losses. Indeed, when they weren’t busy blaming voter fraud for the outcome, they were blaming Libertarians and others. So which was it? Voter fraud or Libertarians?
They don’t seem to have a good answer to this.
But let’s move on.
The bottom line is that the reason Trump and Republicans did not perform is simply because they did not do what needed to be done to win. Trump’s campaign was a far cry from what it was during his successful 2016 campaign. He spent most of the time complaining about Democrats and not enough time touting his achievements and showing the American public what he would do to continue his progress.
Trump also faced a global pandemic that his administration could not have foreseen in time to prepare. He made some serious missteps in his handling of the matter, but it was not nearly as disastrous as the left has tried to argue.
Moreover, the GOP made its typical mistakes. They once again ran a “Hey America, we’re not Democrats” campaign believing this would somehow lead them to victory. They failed to articulate a winning vision for the future of American and did not explain how they would work with Trump to usher in a better season.
To put it simply, the GOP employed the same strategy that it has in the past and then acted shocked when they lost the House and Senate.
None of this is the fault of Libertarians. Nobody in the liberty movement or Libertarian Party forced the GOP to embrace incompetence. Jo Jorgenson didn’t tell the Republican Party to refuse to make inroads with black and Hispanic voters. I’m pretty sure Spike Cohen didn’t trick the GOP into being nothing more than mindless reactionaries.
But none of this matters to either the MAGA or establishment factions of the GOP. Instead of getting their act together, they decided it’s easier to find a scapegoat.
The bottom line is that Republicans are NOT entitled to anyone’s vote. Its candidates have to earn the support just like everyone else. If they refuse to do what it takes, they deserve to lose.
It is also important to note that these numbers reflect a growing dissatisfaction with the Republican Party, which long ago abandoned its stated values and relied on lying to their constituency. They pretend to support limited government while going along with Democrats in their effort to expand the state. They say they oppose statism while applauding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis when he uses the state to attack his political opposition. They say they want to fix the problem at the border while resisting Trump’s attempt to address the situation.
The harsh reality that Republicans do not want to face is that more people are realizing that electing a GOP candidate does not yield results much different from when a Democrat is in office. The two parties are not different enough for it to matter. So the whole “vote for me or a Democrat wins” fearmongering tactic is starting to lose its efficacy.
When Republican lawmakers refuse to shrink the size of government, they do not deserve to win because they have shown themselves to be the same as those they claim to oppose. As anarchist commentator Michael Malice says: “conservatism is progressivism driving the speed limit.”
Except nowadays, so-called conservatives appear to be applying more pressure to the gas pedal. Republicans cannot reasonably expect those like myself, who defected to the liberty movement, to support them when they clearly do not have our best interests at heart. If they are unwilling to do what it takes to win folks like myself, then yes, we will take our votes elsewhere. The onus is on them to earn our votes, not on us to blindly give them.
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