Austin Petersen is a true champion of liberty. During his presidential campaign a year ago, he made it well known that he was a true man of principle. Unfortunately, the delegates chose Governor Gary Johnson and just like that, it was over. Or is it?
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is due to defend her Senate seat next year. But who happened to be born in Independence, Missouri? You guessed it, the OG freedom ninja himself, Austin Petersen.
This is not a guarantee that he will run, but with heavy speculation (including a Wikipedia page covering the 2018 Missouri Senate race), he must be at least flirting with the idea of a run at office, but under what party?
Libertarians shouted throughout the election to follow principle over party. They were the “fiscally conservative, socially inclusive” pair that would “make America sane again”. The Libertarian Party talked up a big game, and even hit poll numbers as high as 12%, but in the end were failures.
I am not taking away any credit for what they did. Yes, they shattered records. But in an election like we had with the most corrupt candidate ever (Hillary Clinton) and the most unpopular candidate ever (Donald Trump), it should be no surprise Libertarians broke records. They were expected to do so. And even with such a “successful” run, they failed to meet the one goal the Libertarian Party wanted; 5%.
3.27% was “good enough” for some in the party. That is exactly what I fear with Austin running as a Libertarian. He can put out historic numbers, but unless you are winning, it is not good enough for the liberty movement.
Whether we like it or not, the two-party system is still thriving in American politics. The GOP has its flaws and is not an ideal path for liberty minded conservatives, but it is the only viable route to Washington. We must ask ourselves, where would Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, and Rand Paul be if they ran as Libertarians? Not the hill.
Austin Petersen is primed to be the next star of the Republican Liberty Caucus. His pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Audit the Fed, and pro-liberty stances in general nearly guarantees endorsements from the greatest liberty minded people in politics today. Running as a Libertarian will shy away those same people, because in reality, there is still a political stigma to being a Libertarian.
Running under the GOP has its problems too. He will need to fight a highly contested primary that will hurt the bank account. This can be solved though, because more PACs and other donors will be more willing to throw cash his way as a Republican. If he can overcome the obstacle of a primary, he will have an amazing shot to take a seat away from the Democrats, and more importantly, bring some freedom to Washington.
As much as I love the idea of having our first Libertarian Senator elected, it’s just not feasible. The only true way to Washington, right now, is to run as a Republican. Austin’s policies will not change. Do not refuse this just because you are a party over principle thinker. If you are truly a fan of liberty, individual rights, fiscal conservatism, or libertarianism, then support Austin Petersen’s run as a Republican in 2018.