Austin Petersen is one of the several candidates seeking the Libertarian Party presidential nomination this year. He isn’t the frontrunner, but he has all of the momentum going into the convention. However, many people do not realize how desperately the libertarian movement needs Austin Petersen to win this nomination.
Not only does the Libertarian Party need an Austin Petersen nomination, but the liberty/voluntaryist/capitalist movement as a whole needs representation in the form of Austin Petersen. His biggest competition is currently Gary Johnson – who, if he won the nomination, would singlehandedly crush any future hopes of the liberty movement.
While Gary Johnson is, in fact, suing the debate commission (yes, we’ve all heard it at least 15 times), his debate performance is very poor. This is the first reason that I believe Johnson would destroy the liberty movement. He has shown time and time again that he is a poor debater. He stumbles on words and is clearly confused 45% of the time. Please realize that this is during Libertarian debates with libertarian topics.
Imagine Gary Johnson trying to debate Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Being confused and without a logical answer throughout nearly half of the debate will NOT help expand the libertarian ideological base, or the Libertarian Party as a whole. There will be more people laughing at Gary Johnson than actually considering his ideas. People would say things like “Who is this nut?” or “What is this man going on about?”.
I do not want that representing the Libertarian Party or our libertarian ideals. The most important first step of a growing movement or ideology is a good speaker. Ron Paul led a political revolution in 2008 and 2012, and was able to open up millions to libertarian philosophy. Like Austin, Ron Paul was also a great public speaker. Throughout history, leaders of great movements have been excellent speakers and conveyers of information.
Unlike Johnson, these attributes can, however, be seen in candidate Austin Petersen. Petersen is a great speaker if nothing else. Petersen can convey his ideas better than most libertarians I have seen throughout history (though Tom Woods is also a very good speaker). Petersen is a great debater as well. Austin on stage with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is actually something I would want to see. He would do a magnificent job, and individuals around the United States would start looking into libertarianism and the Libertarian Party.
It’s something that I look forward to watching if Austin Petersen can get the Libertarian Nomination. So libertarians, think about the debates. Gary Johnson is sub-par at best in terms of his debating abilities. Petersen keeps composure and actually fights for liberty in a way all of us can understand. He can garner the support of unhappy Republicans and unhappy Democrats, and effectively grow the party. Not only can he grow the libertarian base in this way, but his libertarian ideas would flourish among the masses who are sick of the status quo and looking to think outside of the box.
Understanding of Classic Liberalism
Gary Johnson has a clear misunderstanding of classic liberal economic philosophy. In fact, I would argue that Gary Johnson has very likely never read an economics book. His understanding of free markets are not that of Austrian Economics. When I think of the number one initiative of the liberty movement, I think of Austrian Economics. Although I do not see an understanding of Austrian economics as a fundamental “requirement” for a representative of libertarianism, I do see an understanding of Adam Smith’s laissez-faire capitalism as a “requirement” for a representative of our philosophy.
Gary Johnson does NOT represent libertarianism on an economic level. The most evident example of this is Gary Johnson’s cake comment. Gary Johnson, a “representative of libertarianism” actually said that a Jew should be forced to bake a cake for a Nazi. If this isn’t a clear misunderstanding of voluntary exchanges in the marketplace, I don’t know what is. He has also made other comments pertaining to his “fair tax” program.
Gary needs to finally realize that taxation is always theft, and so is inflation. Gary hasn’t even determined his position on the Federal Reserve and, quite frankly, probably doesn’t even understand what fractional reserve banking is. Among these economic fallacies, Gary has also said that he doesn’t understand the NAP (non-aggression principle). I believe that an understanding of the NAP is important for any leader of the liberty movement because it is a common debate among libertarians. In fact, this goes hand in hand with a debate performance of Gary’s. He said “All of that goes over my head” in terms of the NAP. Debate 101, Gary: Never say “I don’t know” or “It goes over my head”. It makes you look weak among libertarians because you are.
Other potential nominees in the libertarian race have a thorough understanding of classic liberal economics. Particularly Austin Petersen, John McAfee, and Daryl Perry. Austin Petersen is, of course, is the leader of those three in terms of likelihood of winning the Libertarian Party nomination. John McAfee hasn’t shown extensive knowledge of capitalism and economic theory, but he understands the fundamentals. Daryl Perry is very affluent on the NAP, Austrian Economics, and Laissez-faire capitalism. Austin Petersen is also very knowledgeable about these topics. Petersen has several YouTube and Facebook videos explaining economic concepts and how they pertain to leading a country. Any leader of a state like the United States should have a deep understanding of economics, so they can minimize interferences into the free market and create an environment suitable for business and capitalism.
While Austin is well known for his stance against NAP Absolutism, he still understands it to great depth. Petersen has explained his view of the NAP numerous times. He believes that it has no place in politics because any form of politics is a violation of the NAP, which is absolutely true! We need somebody with a fair background in economic theory, especially capitalist economic theory, to represent libertarianism on a large scale.
Austin Petersen also knows how to appeal to large crowds. He knows how to appeal to both the conservatives and liberals. He knows how to appeal to pro-lifers and pro-choicers. He knows how to appeal to the religious and nonreligious. Gary Johnson has proven time and time again that he cannot appeal to anybody but pragmatic libertarians. We need a candidate and advocate for liberty that can really bring people together into the philosophy of freedom and liberty. This is the optimum year and it should not be wasted by electing Gary Johnson.
I will concede that Gary Johnson is much better than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but the other candidates running for the Libertarian nomination are much better and give me much more hope for the future of the liberty movement. Electing Austin Petersen for the Libertarian nomination is critical to the development and spread of liberty across this country.
If the Libertarian Party wants to do well this year, it must elect Austin to be its presidential nominee. If anyone can ignite a much needed intellectual revolution in this country, it’s going to be Austin Petersen. Love him or hate him, it’s time for libertarians of all wakes of life to realize that electing Austin Petersen to represent the Libertarian Party in the 2016 presidential election is the best shot we have at growing our movement tenfold.