Everyone knew some husky chap in college who smelled like onions and called himself a libertarian. He may or may not have worn a fedora. He wasn’t cool enough to do drugs but he figured that, if he never stopped talking about how much he wanted to legalize them, he’d get a bit of second-hand cool.
This fellow was never seen without a copy of The Road to Serfdom tucked beneath his sweaty armpit. He never missed a seminar (again, lame) and would say the name of Ayn Rand out loud at least once per class. Sometimes he wouldn’t even raise his hand first; he’d just whisper it lovingly under his breath.
The minute you laid eyes on this specimen, you thought to yourself, ‘Wow, here’s a guy I could easily see ruining my life someday.’ At last, that day has come.
According to the latest figures, the Libertarian candidate for president, Jo Jorgensen (pronounced Yo Your-gun-sin), has spoiled the election. The number of votes Yo-Yo received in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania exceeds Joe Biden’s margin over Donald Trump in all those states. In other words, had the libertarians in each of those states voted for Mr Trump, he would have been reelected handily.
Of course, some of these neckbeards may be pleased with the result. They surely knew Ms Jorgensen wouldn’t win, but might have felt that Mr Biden came nearer to the libertarian ideal than Mr Trump. Some people also drink gasoline. And they all get a vote.
Let’s be clear about one thing: voting is not a right. ‘Rights’ are just something a bunch of poor Frenchmen made up as an excuse to kill a bunch of rich Frenchmen. They’re not real; they don’t exist. Voting is a duty. It’s an odious one, to be sure. We’d all be much happier if ruled by a king, like the ignorant peasants we are. Yet it’s a duty nonetheless.
Libertarians didn’t do their duty. They didn’t exercise their vote for the good of the country. I’m sure they felt very good about themselves, casting a vote for a candidate they can ‘really believe in’. They’re not like us statist sheeple, who voted for the lesser of two evils. They proudly voted for Ms Jorgensen, and let Cthulhu decide which evil he’d unleash on the country. He chose the greater.
I get it: everyone hates the ‘two-party system’. And third parties are fun! I’m partial to the Constitution party myself — especially after it nominated Don Blankenship, the only man willing to tell the truth about Cocaine Mitch and his China family. But, like human rights, the two-party system doesn’t really exist. Republicans are not a party in any meaningful sense of the term. We’re a loose coalition of people who hate the Democrats.
Put it this way: Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum shared a debate stage during the 2012 GOP primary. These two men have virtually nothing in common, except that neither was Barack Obama. When they lost, both Santorum and Huntsman did the sporting thing and endorsed Mitt Romney. Why? Because he, too, was not Barack Obama.
You know who didn’t endorse Romney? Ron Paul. Why? Because libertarians are dummies. Now, in 2020, they’ve handed the election to Joe Biden in a gift bag. The feeling of contempt we all harbor for them is now totally justified. It’s cold comfort, but still.
The Biden administration will be the greatest setback to the libertarian movement since Napoleon tricked Thomas Jefferson into buying Louisiana. If they were smart, the libertarians would fight to remake the GOP in their own image, as the paleoconservatives did in 1992. That was the year Pat Buchanan primaried the incumbent, George Bush, and received nearly one-quarter of the Republican vote. When he lost, he endorsed Bush. Buchanan had proved his point, and the paleocons lived to fight another day.
Twenty-four years later, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States on a platform virtually identical to Buchanan’s. The right’s most influential commentators are all paleocons, from Tucker Carlson to Steve Bannon. That was a real, grassroots takeover of the Anti-Democrat party.
Apparently, libertarians are too impatient for a guerrilla war against the Trumpists. Maybe it’s because they have no constituency. Libertarians only represent a tiny fraction of the American electorate — no more than 5 percent. Their fusion of fiscal conservatism with social liberalism went out of vogue in 1964, when Barry Goldwater whipped Nelson Rockefeller in the Republican primary.
That, I suspect, is their dirty little secret. Most of Yo-Yo’s voters are not libertarian ideologues: they’re liberal ‘Rockefeller Republicans’. The Libertarian party’s activists loathed Bill Weld, their vice-presidential nominee in 2016, and with good reason. And yet Mr Weld is the nearest thing the Libertarians have to a natural base.
Like their then-presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, Mr Weld was a liberal Republican governor before rebranding himself as a porcupine. Likewise, the only libertarians in public office today are New England’s liberal Republican governors: Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Chris Sununu in New Hampshire and Phil Scott in Vermont.
The election wasn’t spoiled by principled champions of small government and personal freedom. It was spoiled by entitled, elitist brats who still read George Will unironically. They couldn’t tell their friends at bridge club they were voting for Orange Bad Man, but they couldn’t bring themselves to pull the lever for Mr Biden either. So, they split the difference. They railroaded President Badman while keeping their hands clean of the Biden-Harris regime. I’m sure it’ll be a real lark when we’re all standing in a breadline waiting for our ration of gluten-free sprouted- grain vegan brioche. ‘Don’t blame me,’ they’ll chuckle. ‘I voted for Jo!’
Liberal Republicans have no future in the Trumpified GOP and the Libertarian party has no future, period. They might be able to join forces and create a milquetoast centrist party, like Britain’s Liberal Democrats. They could embrace their role as pampered vandals and content themselves with suicide bombing conservatives every four years.
Or they can come back to the Anti-Democrat party. They can do what the rest of us do: choke down our cocktails and pretend we don’t hate each other just long enough to prevent the Democrats from taking the White House. They can do the hard work of winning hearts and minds in the GOP, as Goldwater did in 1964 and Buchanan in 1992.
But they’re not going to do that, because they suck. Sorry, Jorgensen voters, but you should know what the rest of us are thinking. To quote the bard, ‘You don’t have any friends. Nobody likes you.’
This article was originally published in The Spectator’s December 2020 US edition.