The Republican Party needs to have a serious conversation with the Libertarian Party. If they don’t, it will be increasingly difficult to win a statewide election in Montana.
The experts did their post-election analysis and came up with the usual suspects as to why the Republicans lost: The Democrats were better organized; they reached out to the single women; they captured the Indian vote; they got the independent vote, and so forth. All well and good except this is not the reason for the loss.
The Republicans lost because of the Libertarian candidates on the ballot. Consider. Mr. Hill was defeated by some 6000 votes, yet the Libertarian captured some 18,000 votes. Guess where those votes go if there is no Libertarian on the ballot. Same thing for the Senate race. Mr. Rehberg lost by some 18,000 votes; the Libertarian candidate captured some 30,000 votes. Figure it out.
This happens because a third party drains votes from the coalition party to which it is closest and helps elect the coalition party that is further removed from its interests.
Put it another way: The Libertarian Party’s effort will attract more libertarian voters away from the candidate who is marginally less hostile to liberty, and help hand the election to the candidate who is more hostile to liberty.
Libertarian activists must choose the party they feel more comfortable working within. It is an obvious call that libertarian activists should be working WITHIN the Republican Party. Get involved in the nominating election, not the general election. Work to get your candidates nominated, then carry the battle forward.
Despite all this, some libertarians continue to insist that, because the Republicans and Democrats are equally bad for liberty, it makes no difference who gets elected. The libertarians better re-think that message. In recent years Republicans have been far better for liberty and the Democrats have been worse.
When it comes to voting, libertarians need to get serious about liberty and give up on the Libertarian Party. Libertarianism has a message that needs to be heard. Now it is time to work within the existing system to get the message out and elect liberty-loving Montanans.
The alternative is an increasingly far-left coalition that will dominate Montana politics for many years to come.