SocraticGadfly: Justin Amash: The Jesse Ventura of Libertarians pulls politicus interruptus and ends his prez plans

May 16, 2020

Justin Amash: The Jesse Ventura of Libertarians
pulls politicus interruptus and ends his prez plans

Justin Amash pulled a Jesse Ventura today. Less than a month after announcing an "exploratory committee" for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, he pulled back out. Politicus interruptus. His claimed reasons — political polarization at an all time high, and COVID-related issues — were true three weeks ago, and sound as specious as Ventura's.

Independent Political Report has some very good comments after taking text from a set of Amash Tweets. Many of the commenters are fairly active in the Libertarian Party. They note that Amash might have been able to get the nomination, but that he and his backers were surprised by the degree of resistance. 

Per the politicus interruptus, if Amash thinks that polarization between duopoly parties will die down in the next four years, he's an idiot.

As for being surprised by the resistance? He was trying to jump in the game as late as Jesse, and unlike Jesse, until recently had been a member of a duopoly party. The fact that he didn't check on the level of animosity by some Libertarians toward recent ex-Republicans reflects poorly.

Now, if he seriously wants a Libertarian prez run in 2024, and assuming that his independent (not-identified-as-Libertarian, AFAIK) bid for Congressional re-election fails, what's he do to keep visible over the next four years? What's he do to become more Libertarian?

As for being a Congresscritter? The Freep notes he has two months to file as an independent, or he can be nominated as a state Libertarian candidate in early August. That said, his comments indicate that his ship has sailed for good from the Republican Party.

I should add that I don't see Amash as being a publicity hound, unlike Ventura. I think his interest was sincere, even if his lack of foresight was problematic.

That said, per the "seriously" three paragraphs above? He has to decide if he's a Capital-L Libertarian, or more of a Never-Trumper Republican with some actual libertarian leanings. (At least he's not like Squirrel Hair, Rand Paul, a big fake on both halves.)

In addition, some Libertarians thought Amash has been too supportive of government economic prop-ups during the current coronavirus crisis. On the other hand, party purists ignore that many L's and l's support basic income, not just Amash.

That, in turn, I think gets back to the "opposition" issue.

Gary Johnson was also a former Republican. BUT ... like the majority of capital-L's, he was pro-choice. He also didn't try to straddle pro-gay marriange/anti-gay marriage lines with the "let's not have the gummint regulate marriage," when it's not just regulation, it's tax benefits and other things. Any small-l or Capital-L who doesn't address ALL of that, or didn't, and also didn't note state law differences on domestic partner rights, was/is a hypocrite.

As for Capital-L's, especially, on no help for anybody, not just no help for Wall Street, at this time? American libertarianism is politicized Social Darwinism, pure and simple.

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