2016. Oh what a year it has been. The Democratic Party nominated a brain dead criminal. The Republican Party nominated a crony capitalist protectionist. The Libertarian Party nominated an authoritarian, with a CFR member and lifelong friend of Hillary Clinton as his running mate. And the Green Party nominated a candidate that thinks Wi-Fi kills, with a running mate who thinks Bernie Sanders is a white supremacist.
Despite this, people who once stood firmly on principles are eagerly supporting these candidates for the sake of their respective parties. Bernie supporters who viciously oppose corporatism will cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, the queen of corporatism. Conservatives who value the Constitution will cast a vote for Donald Trump, who seems to believe all power is vested in the executive branch. Libertarians who value property rights and self-defense will cast a vote for Gary Johnson, who holds many views antithetical to the theory of private property rights and has a running mate who is pro gun control. And leftists who despise bailouts will cast a vote for Jill Stein, who wants the Federal Reserve to print more money in order to bail out student loan debt.
The word sellout is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a betrayal of one’s principles for reasons of expedience.” To vote for a candidate whose views are vastly contrary to yours for the sake of political expedience is by definition selling out.
As for the Libertarian and Green Parties, many plan on voting for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein for no other reason than to grow these parties. This too is by definition selling out. Why bother growing a party if it’s not going to stand on principle?
This leads me to my next point, that the 2016 election has brought about an utter annihilation of our republic. While it is true that the republic was lost long ago, what has beat the dead horse into the ground is that so many are now embracing national democracy, and this seems to be their main reason for supporting third party candidates this election cycle. They want to end the two-party system more than they want to stand on principle. They want to give the voters more options rather than more liberty.
But how is this working out for Europe? The voters have dozens of political parties to choose from, and yet their problems are far worse than ours. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe has illustriously pointed out, “political democracy is often incompatible with human liberty. True democracy is instead found in the marketplace, with voluntary actors free of the threat of government force.”
It is for this reason that our goal should not be to expand political democracy, but rather grow what Hoppe refers to as the true democracy found in the marketplace, where people can vote with their dollars. The idea that a decentralization of power will best represent the interests of the people and protect their liberties is precisely what once made the American republic great, and ought to be restored.
Growing a third party for the sake of having a seat at the cool kids table will only extinguish our resources and lead us down a black hole to nowhere. Our goal ought to be to decentralize matters to the states, and furthermore to their localities, and then to the individuals.
There is no need for us to sellout on our principles and embrace an expanded political democracy at the national stage. The federal government is never going to abolish itself and has one incentive; to grow. We can fight tooth and nail to obtain seats in the federal government, but it will all be to no avail. A monopoly as large as the state has no interest in letting someone who threatens to shrink their power join their ranks. The only thing that will bring about a monopoly’s demise is competition.
As Tom Woods stated in a speech given to the Mises Circle in Houston, Texas a year ago, “The more territorial units you have, the more pressure there is on the political leaders of these places not to oppress the public, because the power of exit is very easy when there’s another political unit right next door. It’s easy to go there, and these leaders will lose their tax – well, suckers – if they impose too many unjust burdens on the people. So they are restrained by the presence of competition.” He continued, “It is impossible, as it’s been said, to imagine the horrors of the Soviet Union being inflicted by the mayor of a small village.”
Secession is then the only way we can achieve liberty. All other efforts have been, and will continue to be futile.