FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Rumors of the GOP’s Demise are Exaggerated, but There’s Still Good News

As a callow youth, I cast my first vote in a presidential election for Michael Dukakis, the Democratic Party’s 1988 nominee. Since then, I’ve never again voted for a Democrat or Republican for president. If George HW Bush had bothered to read his own lips in 1992, he’d have had my vote and I might never have ended up as a Libertarian Party member, activist and candidate. Thanks, George.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, 160 years into its life as a national political organization and 156 years after it became the most recent new party to put up a winning presidential candidate, the Grand Old Party seems to be coming apart at the seams thanks to Donald Trump.

That’s probably an illusion. Fifty years from now this year will most likely have been, in retrospect, just another inflection point. It would be far from the first. Eisenhower’s defeat of Taft in 1952 made the Republicans the party of Cold War instead of non-interventionism. The period connecting Goldwater and Reagan spanned several major changes including but not limited to a rhetorical co-option of libertarianism at those end points and Nixon’s actual co-option of the formerly Democratic “Solid South.”

The Republican Party may be imploding, or it may just be shifting gears. Either way, I’m relieved. Not because I necessarily think New GOP will be any better than Classic GOP. But at least it will be less vexing on one front:

For my entire adult life, Republicans have campaigned as libertarians and governed as Democrats. I doubt we’ll see any major change on the latter point. But it will make my year (heck, my decade) if this election cycle means America stops running off to bed with a beer-goggles-induced Thomas Jefferson on the first Tuesday night every fourth November and waking up next to Hubert Humphrey the following morning.

If you’re a conservative or a progressive, okay. Just be that, take pride in it, and openly act on it instead of trying to convince yourself (and everyone around you) that you’re something else.

If you love freedom, though, this election cycle should be the point where you stop screwing around and get serious. You’ve GOT a political party, the Libertarian Party. We’ve been around for nearly half a century. We’re America’s third largest political party. We’ve elected hundreds of local officials and even some state legislators. Let’s hit the next level together. And welcome home.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail