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Libertarians Should Take a Political Lesson From Donald Trump

Anyone wondering why the Libertarian Party didn’t get the second look from the public that it hoped for after the COVID era should take a look at how they campaigned in Georgia.

Living up to the reputation of the Libertarian Party, gubernatorial nominee Shane Hazel used an entire debate to berate, not Stacey Abrams, but incumbent GOP governor Brian Kemp for his brief support of lockdowns — despite Georgia’s status as one of the freest states throughout COVID. Libertarians’ Secretary of State nominee Ted Metz pushed election denial narratives and a pure paper-ballot system. David Raudabaugh, the party’s candidate for agricultural commissioner, campaigned not on deregulating the over-subsidized agriculture sector, but on legalizing weed and taxing it to fund big-government programs. Chase Oliver, the Libertarian Party nominee for U.S. Senate, is making media rounds bragging about causing a costly runoff between GOP nominee Herschel Walker and incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock. Oliver has already formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run, despite no evidence that his campaign changed the views of the electorate or the major party candidates in the runoff.In short, Libertarian Party nominees did little in Georgia beyond electoral trolling. None of this makes persuadable voters want to pull the lever for Libertarian Party candidates over the major parties.If libertarians are looking for a way to launch their political movement into the mainstream, they should wake up and realize a model already exists in the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump. 
His questionable character and various departures from prior Republican policies notwithstanding, Trump understood that it was easier to advance his vision for America by changing minds within an established political party, rather than by breaking out on his own. This year’s midterm elections show that candidates who reflect Donald Trump’s excesses can no longer win, creating an opening for disciplined libertarian candidates to make an aggressive play for the direction of the Republican Party. The GOP has long agreed with libertarians on several issues — economics, education, the Second …

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