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Mises Caucus Blasts Kennedy-Libertarian Campaign

In a statement from Aaron Harris, the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus denounced the proposal that the Libertarian Party should nominate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as its Presidential candidate.  We quote in full the statement:

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been considerable speculation about whether Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be seeking our party’s nomination for president—and about the Mises Caucus’ position on the matter.

RFK himself raised the possibility first during a Jan. 27 interview on a very failed cable news network and later on an episode of Dave Smith’s Part of the Problem (Ep. 1088).

Then, when discussing the matter on the Feb. 5 Timcast, Josh Smith intimated that the Mises Caucus leadership favored a plan to back an RFK Libertarian bid as a means to gain higher vote totals and thus better ballot access for the LP going forward.

This is simply false. The Mises Caucus has endorsed Michael Rectenwald for president and Clint Russell for vice president and we are working hard to see that they are nominated by our party at the Libertarian National Convention (May 23–26 in Washington, DC).

We firmly oppose any strategy that would “rent out” our party’s place on any state’s ballot to RFK, or indeed any candidate who has so many disqualifying deviations from the essential principles of libertarianism. (In fact, it was not us, but a former LNC chair and strong opponent of the Mises Caucus and the Ron Paul Revolution who said that Libertarians would be duty-bound to vote for the likes of Dick Cheney—or even Adolf Hitler—if it would secure minor party status for the LP.)

We in the LP bill ourselves as “The Party of Principle” for a reason: We are in this because we passionately favor individual liberty and believe that the State is the greatest threat to peace and freedom. Mises explained, in so many words, that the people get the State that they are willing to put up with; therefore our goal as Libertarians must be to convince as many of our fellow men as possible of the moral and practical superiority of liberty. We can’t do that if we muddy our message to chase votes.

History supports this analysis: Gary Johnson’s strong electoral showings harmed our brand and left our active membership stagnant, while Harry Browne’s anemic vote totals resulted in the greatest period of sustained growth in the LP’s history.

Another reason that the RFK gambit is a foolish idea is that it might actually work. If he did occupy the Libertarian ballot line and win five or even ten percent of the popular vote, millions of Americans will forever associate the LP with RFK’s policies. This would empty the LP of a large number of its most committed activists while attracting an influx of those with little or no regard for the Non-Aggression Principle.

For this election cycle and the foreseeable future, the only sound presidential election strategy for the LP must be to nominate candidates who will present an undiluted decentralist libertarian message in hopes of awakening the remnant who favor liberty over tyranny. Among those presently willing to take up that task, Michael Rectenwald and Clint Russell are clearly the most capable.

We’ve been sold on compromising principles in exchange for more votes and media coverage before—Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, Bob Barr, etc.—and it’s gotten us nowhere. A case could be made that the RFK scenario is more attractive than those failed gambits, but we still reject the premise wholesale. We know there are no shortcuts or cheat codes in our mission to unmake the American Empire—and that to have any hope of success we must be willing to put in the work as outlined in our Project Decentralized Revolution document.

8 Comments

  1. Jeff Mike Jeff Mike March 26, 2024

    Where is the mention of CNN?

    • Jim Jim March 27, 2024

      Parroting Donald Trump, they referred to CNN as “a very failed cable news network”.

      • Stan Stan March 27, 2024

        It’s not? I’d have thought that would be one point where Republicans and Libertarians might agree. Their numbers are circling the drain, and their level of on air objectivity is approaching MSNBC.

        • Jim Jim March 28, 2024

          Has CNN filed bankruptcy? No. So it is not a failed network. FoxNews gets about double the prime time viewers in the 25-54 demographic. Looking at averages for February, FoxNews averaged 231,000, MSNBC 122,000, and CNN 116,000. NewsMax averaged 18,000 in that demo.

          So Fox is larger, but it is hardly blowing CNN away. And NewsMax is still tiny, yet Republicans never refer to that as a failed network.

          As for objectivity…. it was Fox which argued in court that Tucker Carlson’s words should “not have been taken by reasonable listeners as factual pronouncements”. To which the judge agreed, saying “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer arrives with an appropriate amount of skepticism about the statement he makes.” Carlson’s statements in question began with “Remember the facts of the story. These are undisputed”, followed by a string of indisputable lies.

          Personally, I think the judge gave Fox viewers far too much credit for being able to sift fact from fiction.

          • Ed Ed March 28, 2024

            I don’t think anyone said it was bankrupt, and you seem to think that people who are sick of CNN must love Fox or Newsmax. That would be like saying that of you criticized the Democratic Party, you must be a fan of Republicans. I can criticize both, and all of the failed cable networks you mentioned. Failed, in terms of their overall viewrship trendline and credibility.

          • Ed Ed March 28, 2024

            What were those numbers 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago? Failing networks should be judged by how well they perform over time. Lack of objectivity at Fox doesn’t add to objectivity at CNN, much like Trump being unfit for office doesn’t make Biden any more fit for office.

          • Ian Ian March 28, 2024

            The combined viewership of all these failed cable networks is what, under 5% of the eligible population? Their failure is more utter than I dared hope. Huzzah!

  2. Jim Jim March 26, 2024

    It was a simple task. Instead they chose to:

    1. Parrot Trump regarding CNN
    2. Lie about Sarwark
    3. Lie about the aftermath of the Browne campaigns
    4. Lie about the aftermath of the Johnson campaigns

    Rectenwald wants to ban voluntary ESG investing because he doesn’t like the social outcome it pushes and investigate covid vaccine manufacturers for non-existent crimes. He isn’t a libertarian, just a dumb, right wing conspiracy theorist. He’s the perfect MC candidate. I wouldn’t vote for him.

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