Editorials

The Libertarian Trajectory

NeverTrump really means “forever war.”  Proof of this could be seen in the 2016 election, where anti-Trump Republicans fielded a candidate of their own, ex-CIA man Evan McMullin, rather than casting their votes for a third-party ticket with two non-Trump Republicans on it.  That ticket was the Libertarian Party’s, with former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson at its head and former Massachusetts governor William Weld in the vice-presidential slot.  Weld had even endorsed George W. Bush’s foreign policy in the midst of the Iraq War, saying in 2004 that Bush had “risen to the international challenge.”  But the Libertarian Party has a reputation for being an antiwar party—even as it is surely an anti-Trump party—so the neocon protest vote went to McMullin, who received less than a sixth of the 3.27-percent share of the popular vote that went to Johnson-Weld.

Now Weld looks set to become the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 2020.  Will this lead to a grand four-percent alliance between Libertarians and NeverTrump?  The numbers are marginal, but marginal political agents often imagine they can make the difference in a close race.  Yet even with Weld as the face of the LP, a marriage seems implausible.  Bill Kristol dreams instead of a Republican challenger to Trump in the primaries, perhaps Nikki Haley, one of the few Trump administration figures...

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