With Cruz dropping out of the Republican presidential race last night, and Kasich dropping out today, Donald Trump has an easy path to the nomination. He is unopposed. Unless one of the previously-withdrawn candidates foolishly steps back in, the nomination is Trump’s; there is no longer any doubt.
With the host of superdelegates at her back, there is similarly no doubt (and never has been) that Hillary is going to secure the Democratic nomination. We are now certain that we face Trump v. Hillary in the 2016 presidential election.
It’s time for Libertarians to get serious.
There’s been a lot of talk among people recently, and they are saying the very same thing–except they seem to presume that all of this campaigning, debating, and discussion is irrelevant, and that it’s time to just hand Gary Johnson the nomination. This typically comes in three flavors.
First, there is the argument from tradition–“He was the nominee last time!” This, of course, works just as well as a reason why he shouldn’t be the nominee this year.
Second, there is the argument from experience–“He was a governor, so has credibility in politics.” Yes, at a time when Trump steamrolled the Republican Party, this is clearly an election where “political experience” is a primary deciding factor. Whatever experience Johnson has in politics is dwarfed by Hillary’s–the experience route is not one any wise Libertarian would take. If “experience in politics” is what matters, then Hillary is, by a long shot, the one deserving the presidency.
Third, there is the argument that he’s been a Libertarian the longest. This is probably the silliest of the reasons, and is another argument from tradition taken in a different way. The amount of time someone has been a Libertarian isn’t really a factor. It’s about as much of a non-issue as a thing can get.
The real question we’re faced with is much simpler:
Who can stand against Trump and Hillary?
As I wrote yesterday, the only answer to that question is: John McAfee. McAfee has a history of standing up to bullies, in addition to being “a real motherfucker.” It’s a documented fact that John McAfee has stood up to a bully, on the streets of South America, strong and unafraid. Do you think Trump stands a chance against McAfee?
There’s little doubt that Trump is a bully. He’s a political bully, but a bully nonetheless. And when you’re confronted by a bully, you don’t send someone like Austin Petersen or Gary Johnson. You send someone like John McAfee. If the situation was different, I would agree that this isn’t an important factor, but Trump’s bullying tactics work. Trump has toppled giants. Petersen would be nothing more than a speedbump at best to Trump.
And while I think Johnson would fare better against Trump, he simply lacks the fortitude necessary to take on Hillary. Hillary is a professional squirmer; she’s been squirming out of things a la Bill Clinton for two decades, basically repeating for twenty years the silly statement, “That depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”
The Libertarian candidate has his work cut out for him. He doesn’t just have to stand up to Trump; he has to nail down the notoriously slippery Hillary Clinton. It’s time we sent in the big guns. It’s time we sent in someone known to stand up, to not be afraid, and to put bullies in their place. It’s time we stopped being so focused on internal politics of the Libertarian Party and instead gave serious consideration to the next six months, and the fact that whoever we nominate is going to have to take on the biggest bully in politics and the slipperiest weasel in politics.
Just consider that. That’s all I’m saying. Do you really think that Austin Petersen, whether you agree with his politics or not, stands a freaking chance against Donald Trump? The man who left Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and more lying on the ground behind him? This man took on the Republican Establishment and won in a way that made the Ron Paul rEVOLution look weak and silly in comparison.
Don’t forget, Libertarians–we tried this in 2012. We tried to pull a coup on the Republican Party. Never forget. We tried to take on the Establishment, and the Establishment knocked us down repeatedly. We never stood a chance. We know what that Establishment is capable of. We know first-hand the lows to which it will stoop to protect itself. We know better than anyone. We watched them neglect to mention Ron Paul’s well-placed third in Iowa. We watched them fail to mention his victory. We watched them change the freaking rules specifically to shut out Ron Paul. We watched them retire Ron Paul and not invite him to his own retirement party. We watched this happen. We saw the Establishment’s power.
Trump took on that very same Establishment AND WON. Underestimate this man at your own peril. Trump succeeded gloriously where we failed abysmally only four years ago. Do not–I repeat: DO NOT forget that.
This man is a force to be reckoned with. He crushed the evangelical right. He crushed the evangelical right! Think about that! Process that! Understand it. Grasp it. Because he did it. He crushed the Tea Party. Understand that. He did all of this at a time when the Establishment fought tooth and nail against him, and when roughly half of his own party fought against him. And… he… won. That is NOT something to laugh at. That is not something to mock.
Respect what Donald Trump has done, because we know–we know firsthand–what it took for him to do it. We tried and failed with Ron Paul. And Trump swooped in and crushed the enemies that we fought against. If we fail to respect the magnitude of what Trump has accomplished, we are handing him the White House. The man is clever. I would even say “brilliant.” He knows exactly what he’s doing, and if we send in someone like Petersen…
Don’t be silly.
Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich–these people all had way more support than the Libertarian candidate will. Be honest. At best–at absolute best–we are about 10% of the population. Whoever we send in to square off with this man that conquered the Republican Party won’t have nearly as much support as Trump’s victims did when he left them lying in the dirt.
If we send in Johnson or Petersen, we are squandering this historic opportunity.
Look into these people, I implore you. Watch their videos. Look into them as people, as human beings, as individuals. Look into what they have done, what they have accomplished, and what they’ve done in their personal lives. And then ask yourself:
Which of these can stand against the man who just overthrew the Republican Establishment?