The USA is Having A Political Revolution
Updated: Nov 20
The United States of America is having another revolution, not of violence, but of political thought.
Since 2009, more voters have identified as Independent than Republican or Democrat.
This is particularly bad news for Joe Biden as a Nov.10-14 NBC poll shows 63% of independents disapprove of Mr. Biden.
The Forward Party, No-Labels, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Dr. Cornel West are all looking to capitalize on the moment. Mr. Kennedy and Dr. West have left the parties that they’ve been associated with while Forward and No-Labels work towards ballot access.
No Labels may have a candidate in Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. In early November, Mr. Manchin announced he would not seek reelection. This past week, he reaffirmed to NBC's Meet the Press host Kristen Welker that he "absolutely" would consider running for president in 2024. Sen. Manchin represents West Virginia; he is considered a moderate, it is no secret that he and the No Labels have a kinship.
For Mr. Kennedy, the move has proven beneficial. A Quinnipiac University survey conducted in late October shows him to be in the running, head-to-head, with Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
It plays out this way: Biden 39%, Trump 36%, and Kennedy 22%.
Some folk are wondering if Vivek Ramaswamy will leave the Republican Party. You can see why they'd come to that conclusion. He had considered pulling out of the Nov. 8 Republican debate, voted for Libertarian presidential nominee Michael Badnarik in 2004, and informed Sean Hannity on Fox News, "I'm not a partisan hack. I'm an independent-minded patriot."
Clearly, there is change in the air. It is a change that bends less toward a left or right paradigm and more towards anti-establishment.
However, there is one group of people who haven’t had to change a thing: the Libertarian Party. Tracing their founding to 1971, they have been decades ahead of the curve on this thought revolution.
More recently, on October 21, five of the nine candidates hoping to be the Libertarian presidential nominee attended the Blue Sky Golf Club in Jacksonville, Florida, to make the case that they are the best choice to be the Libertarian presidential nominee. The event was hosted by the Libertarian Party of Duval County.
What follows are some of the main points from each candidate’s opening statement and links to more information via a click on their picture.
The candidates are presented in the order in which they spoke.
First to the microphone was Lars Mapstead, a tech entrepreneur living in California. He focused a good deal of his introductory statement on how elections in the United States are rigged. "We don't have a choice in America. We are foisted these two candidates, and that is our choice that we get, and we don't really have free and fair elections.”
Mr. Mapstead places the blame for this state of affairs on ballot access laws, winner-take-all laws, straight-ticket ballot voting and gerrymandering. He has a plan to rectify the situation by getting the Libertarian message out to a broader group of people.
He explained, “So my campaign is all about unrigging the system, restoring the basic fundamental rights of people's voting and essentially helping the Libertarian Party grow.”
Michael Rectenwald was second in line. The Pennsylvanian is a distinguished fellow at Hillsdale College, former New York University professor, and an author.
"My campaign is premised on the idea of expanding liberty. It's very consistent with the founding principles of the Libertarian Party, as outlined by David Nolan,” Mr. Rectenwald told attendees and those watching via the livestream. He said the way to accomplish this is by “getting liberty into the lives of people and grasping it away from the central government.”
Mr. Rectenwald notes that his campaign does not have any pretensions of winning. “So why am I running,” he asked. “I'm running not a campaign but a movement. And this movement is aimed at increasing liberty on the ground. Decentralization, decentralized revolution. Resting power from the federal government, at the state and local level, and investing in the people on the ground.”
He wants to increase liberty by changing the culture, educating the public and increasing the reach of libertarian circles, which will help bring people to the liberty movement.
In the three spot was Joshua Smith. Hailing from Iowa, the self-described blue-collar worker stated his goal is to reach out to the populist, middle-class, blue-collar working class.
He said these are the people most affected by inflation and the possibility of war. “Our sons and daughters are being taken to these wars, and they think they're doing something patriotic, but they're dying for corporate interests. And it’s got to stop.” Mr. Smith continued, “We need somebody who is a blue-collar working-class person, that’s what I am.”
He explained that “a major plan” of his platform is to get rid of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. (Established in 1975…it categorically states that every State in the US should have a child support enforcement program.) He believes this law has “tore apart more families than any other policy in America.” Stating that fatherless homes are tenfold since its enactment.
Chase Oliver was the fourth candidate to speak. A senior account manager living in Georgia when not campaigning, he called the libertarian party “his political home” after first being a “gun-loving democrat” and a “cut the taxes democrat.”
Mr. Oliver described a string of broken campaign promises by President Barack Obama as the impetus for him to dissociate from the Democratic Party. That left him “politically homeless” until he discovered the liberty movement.
He believes the Libertarian Party needs a candidate who will be “preaching outward” beyond simply addressing “the choir.” Because “the truth is, if you're not hurting anybody, if you're not causing any violence, theft, fraud or coercion, (then) your life is your life, your business is your business, and it shouldn't be the government’s.” He said that he has the results from prior campaigns to be the person to do that preaching.
As far as his message, “first and foremost, I got in this party to be an anti-war messenger and I will continue to be an anti-war messenger.”
Fifth to speak was Mike ter Maat. A former businessman, professor and policeman who resides in Virginia.
He noted his campaign is not about him. “It’s about people around the world and especially people inside the United States we call brothers and sisters for no other damn good reason than the fact that they are fellow Americans.” He indicated that he wants to help people who are “the least able to stand up to the power of the federal government, the state government, the local government.” Because “As libertarians we are the philosophical descendants of people that put together the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, that put our government together for only one legitimate reason. And that is to protect your liberty our individual rights.”
A final note on the liberty movement. It is beginning to take root outside the United States. Argentina elected LIbertarian Javier Milei as their next president on Nov. 19. Argentina is seeking change against a backdrop of high debt and 150% inflation.
Will the US wait until disaster is at their doorstep, or will an Argentinian-style change be coming in 2024?
Click to watch Libertarian Presidential Candidates Visit Jax.
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Photo Credit: Candidate's websites