Ron Paul Retires: Where the Liberty Movement Goes From Here

Now that all the dust has settled and we mostly know the results of November 6, we need to look forward to the future. Most importantly, we need to look into what the libertarian/liberty movement should be doing to get ready for 2016.

Specifically we need to learn from our mistakes and need to embrace our inner cynic. The Republican Party will not make it comfortable for the liberty movement. It will do all it can to crush it under its jack-boot. The liberty movement needs to let the GOP know that it cannot be taken for granted and that there are options outside the party for those wishing to push the liberty agenda.

One of the key takeaways is that it needs to be more than about one person. The fact that those who supported Gary Johnson were called “traitors to liberty” by some of the more hardcore Ron Paul supporters does not bode well for the movement’s future. It was also foolish to “write-in” Ron Paul in any state that had Johnson on the ballot. That said, Johnson did very well nationwide, and the liberty movement needs to build on that for next time around.

One of the other problems with the obsession with one person is that many good liberty candidates were left on their own when they might have had a chance. Opportunities were missed in the over-arching obsession to right the wrongs done to the Ron Paul campaign. In fact it would not be the slightest bit surprising if the GOP was ultimately overly harsh on Ron Paul supporters so their ire would be directed at the GOP, and not used to help push Johnson.

All too often, and I speak from experience, candidates are left to feel they are being hung out to dry by the various PAC and national groups (including the Libertarian Party). When I ran for U.S. Senate in Maine, I got no help whatsoever financially or logistically from the LP and I am sure I am not alone in saying that. Why would anyone take the time and spend the money to run for the cause of liberty if they get no help from any of the movers and shakers in the liberty movement?

The ultimate job of the liberty and libertarian movement is to move away from parties and support liberty candidates of whatever kind in whatever race. Ultimately too much is at stake for us to drop the ball and ignore good candidates all over the nation. We need to create PACs and start raising money now to support all liberty candidates. There needs to be coordination between libertarians and GOP-based liberty groups so as not to step on each other’s toes.

As with this time round the GOP will seek to rip us asunder and create infighting to limit the potential. We have all been guilty of it at one time or another, and we must not fall for it.

The future of the liberty movement is in our hands and no one else’s. We either grasp the nettle or see our freedom whittled away by the establishment.