What to make of the neo-left Libertarian Party?

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Libertarian Party Chairman Chase Oliver. Photo credit: ChaseforGeorgia.com

By JONATHAN DRAEGER | REAL CLEAR WIRE

Throughout former President Donald Trump’s speech at the Libertarian National Convention last week, he was booed more than cheered. Multiple shouting matches erupted between Libertarians protesting Trump (their signs included “MAGA = Socialist” and “No More Dictators”) and Trump supporters there to cheer on their hero. As the protests and boos continued, Trump shot back at the Libertarians, telling them if they didn’t nominate him as their candidate, they would “keep getting your 3% every four years.”

On Sunday, the Libertarians didn’t choose the former president as their nominee, opting instead for one of their own, 38-year-old party activist Chase Oliver, who represents the socially progressive wing of the Libertarian Party. In his home state of Georgia, Oliver previously ran for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District special election to replace the late John Lewis and then in the 2022 Georgia Senate election where he amassed enough votes to force a run-off between the GOP and Democratic candidates.

Reflecting the sentiments of the Trump-booing libertarians, Oliver expressed his disdain for the former president in a RealClearPolitics interview Tuesday.

“I think if Donald Trump was really a candidate worth his salt, he wouldn’t have to worry about 3%. But he knows he has to worry about it because his base has been shrinking,” Oliver said. Although he explained he didn’t approve of how Twitter coordinated with federal agencies to censor speech, he stood by his Jan. 8, 2021, tweet where he wrote, “Bye @realDonaldTrump glad you are banned,” telling RCP that “Twitter has been a lot better without him.”

Oliver’s socially liberal views are most pronounced on the issues of abortion and transgender rights for minors.

In an interview with 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Peterson, Oliver said he is against irreversible surgery but favors other “gender-affirming” treatments such as puberty blockers. On abortion, his website states he will work with states to “decriminalize abortions, as these decisions should rest in the hands of individuals and their doctors.” RCP sent a follow-up email to clarify his positions on whether abortion should be illegal at any stage of fetal development and “gender-affirming care” but has not received a response.

Dr. Michael Rectenwald, the runner-up Libertarian presidential candidate endorsed by the Mises Caucus – which emphasizes libertarian free-market economics over social policy – told RCP that all libertarians do not share Oliver’s social positions. For example, Rectenwald argued that babies in the womb also have rights: “I believe that abortion violates the Non-Aggression Principle against the most helpless people in society, those in the womb, and so those people have the right to live just like everybody else.” He also said that he and other Libertarian Mises Caucus members are opposed to trans surgeries and puberty blockers because they don’t believe children can “meaningfully consent” to such life-altering drugs and procedures.

Immigration, Economics, and Foreign Policy

Another example of Oliver’s more liberal views is the top issue on his campaign website: immigration. Oliver’s primary position on the issue is that he wants an “Ellis Island”-style immigration system, where immigrants can come to a border crossing, and as long as they’re not wanted for a crime that requires extradition, are welcomed and given government IDs. His running mate, Mike ter Maat, echoed Oliver’s support for more accessible paths for legal immigration, saying in the Libertarian presidential debate on Saturday, “I’m here to invite the entire nation of Cuba into my state.”

Some other Libertarians, including presidential candidate, Joshua Smith, advocated instead for a closed border. Smith, who defines himself as an “America First Libertarian,” said in the debate, “We’ve got to worry about Americans first, it’s very important. If you want to be a sovereign nation, you cannot flood the borders.” Rectenwald also advocates for a more restrictive immigration policy than Oliver, telling RCP that he favors a privatized “invitation-based” system of immigration, where someone can only immigrate if they have an invitation, and the organization that invited them is liable for the actions of the people they invite.

On the issue of the border and drug smuggling, Oliver told RCP that to end the drug trade, the best solution would be to legalize all drugs so that they are standardized and not contaminated with fentanyl and other unknown substances. “You don’t need somebody telling you that heroin is a bad idea,” he argued. “You don’t need a government being your nanny to tell you that. You have society and culture that can inform you of the dangers of drugs without creating a police state.”

On foreign policy, Oliver says the United States should be a “beacon of peace” to the world. He clarified in the interview with RCP that this means he believes we should stop giving aid to nations and territories currently at war, including Israel, Ukraine, and Gaza. One central sticking point was that we should eliminate “permanent entangling alliances,” such as NATO, and instead handle our alliances with foreign countries on a “case-by-case basis.”

He went a step further and said that “anybody in Ukraine who’s being currently conscripted to fight in that war should be allowed to come to the United States in an asylum claim because conscription is basically servitude.” Oliver continued, saying that if Israel also had a volunteer army instead of mandatory service as they do now, they would have to “abide by what the majority of their population wants.”

Some issues, such as how to handle the economy and inflation, were in line with mainstream Libertarian Party thought. Although he doesn’t claim the position on his website, he clarified with RCP that he believes “we need to end the monetary abuse of the Fed, and the best way to do that is end the Fed outright.” Oliver says instead of using the Federal Reserve to print money, we should base our currency on something finite like gold or silver so that the Federal Reserve can’t continue to “create fiat currency out of thin air.”

He also wasn’t afraid to criticize the way he thought Democrats, including President Biden, create too many social programs that cost taxpayers too much. “Joe Biden is the standard-issue, big government liberal who thinks that every problem has to be solved through some sort of program and some sort of bureaucrat or some sort of process or department. And the truth is, the world will work better when we get government out of our lives,” he said.

Future of the Libertarian Party

Although Chase Oliver is running for president, he acknowledges that he would have to live in some other “multiverse” to win the presidential campaign in 2024. Instead of focusing on the objective of winning the presidential election in November, Oliver said that they are focusing on other metrics of victory, such as “helping local electable Libertarian races all over the country get across the finish line to victory” and “growing the membership ranks.”

“There are so many young voters who are looking for options and looking for alternatives, particularly in the anti-war space. I’m hoping we can capture that energy and enthusiasm and bring a lot of new members in and really start a foundation building, so that way, in the future, we have more activists, more candidates, and more ability to get our word out there, and of course, win more elections. We can’t do that if we don’t build a solid party foundation structure that’s ready for growth. This is a growth election,” Oliver explained.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Liberty without God is simply anarchy.
    Liberty never survives a society that doesn’t have self government which is NOT what you think it means. Self government is governing YOURSELF. People are inherently selfish and corrupt and can’t govern themselves without the Grace of God…and the fear of retribution upon death.
    If a society can’t govern themselves, then government will have to govern it and thus, you lose your liberties.

    The Libertarian party is, by default, anti liberty.
    It will be of no surprise that Chase Oliver will, at some point, be convicted of child rape. Hopefully in Florida where they now execute child rapist. Which is another reminder of why DeSantis should have been the nominee…🤦‍♂️.

    • You’re a slave to your death cult and proud of your chains. No thanks. We couldn’t have survived as a species for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of monotheism without an innate sense of right and wrong, which comes from our evolution as a species and not from a pact with the devil. Live your life like a sheep if you want to, but leave other unwilling participants out of your delusion.

    • Well said, North to Alaska. Self governance requires an internal morality. Without moral guidelines and self discipline, social order would have to be maintained by an authoritarian government.

  2. Many many years ago, being quite Conservative myself, I checked out the Libertarian party.
    At that time I came to the conclusion that they went so far Right, that they actually came full circle…..and reappeared from the Left.
    Now, it seems that they are simply anarchists.
    They want to live like children, with no rules or societal norms to abide by.
    They’re simply childish Anarchists…..

  3. Why waste the time? They are a fringe party who will never accomplish anything.

    Why? After weed legalization, they have no real purpose.

    • I dont agree on your last sentence…
      They still have the task of removing all criminal charges for possession of heroin meth crack and what ever else that can be concocted from toilet bowl cleaner.

  4. There’s no such thing as a “Socially progressive Libertarian.” You can’t be fiscally conservative and socially liberal at the same time. Social liberalism requires government intervention, which Libertarians are supposed to eschew.

    The primary plank of the Libertarian party is that people should allowed to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t adversely affect anyone else. Here’s the problem. They support abortion, which definitely adversely affects on the baby.

  5. A reminder of the evil plan: ‘Laura Aboli Delivers Epic Speech on the Transhumanist PsyOp of ‘Transgenderism’ (3 min long)
    ‘https://rumble.com/v3w6xla-must-watch-laura-aboli-delivers-epic-speech-on-the-transhumanist-psyop-of-t.html

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