During election years, attention tends to turn to “swing state” races that might affect which “major” party ends up with majorities in the US House or US Senate.
Earlier this year, Arizona was widely considered one of those “swing states.” Incumbent US Senator Mark Kelly (D) is looking vulnerable for re-election. Arizona is a state that President Joe Biden carried by barely 10,000 votes two years ago.
The “swing state” perception dissipated as Republicans descended into civil war over their choice of a nominee to oppose Kelly. They settled on Blake Masters, a Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” flack. Masters is a protege of right-wing venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
At the moment, Kelly looks safe for re-election, polling 46 percent to Masters’ 33% among likely voters in an OH Predictive Insights Poll.
The real news from the poll is that the remaining 21% of voters who responded to the poll aren’t “undecided.” Nearly three-quarters of them, 15%, plan to pull the lever for Libertarian candidate Marc Victor and his traditional libertarian platform of “live and let live.” Victor’s chunk of the vote more than covers the difference between Kelly and Masters.
And therein lies a story of a political party gone astray.
I’ve mostly avoided writing about the Libertarian Party for the last few months. Although I’ve been an ideological libertarian for 30 years and involved with the Libertarian Party since 1996, I changed my Florida voter registration to “No Party Affiliation” earlier this year. I ceased my (admittedly not hefty) financial support for the party’s national committee in May.
Why? Because at the party’s national convention, something called the “Libertarian Party Mises Caucus” took over the party’s national apparatus. All they are is a Republican “infiltrate and neuter” PAC.
The Mises PAC’s demonstrated raisson d’etre is to ensure that Libertarian candidates for public office are so toxic. So toxic, for that matter, that “liberty-leaning Republican” voters recoil in horror from the Libertarian brand. They will even decide that even Trumpism is preferable to voting third party.
Among their successes in that mission is a gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire. Karlyn Borysenko claims that Jews chose to die in the Holocaust and that Adolf Hitler went to heaven. Another is Daryl Brooks, a former gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania, who was removed for ineligibility. His claims to fame are his sex offense conviction. In addition, he made an appearance at a Rudy Giuliani press conference stating that Joe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election.
Non-toxic LP veteran Victor is one of the Mises PAC’s failures. He got around the corrupted party apparatus and onto the ballot by petitioning for signatures, prompting comedian/podcaster Dave Smith (a Mises PAC supporter and prospective 2024 Libertarian Party presidential candidate) to publicly whine about the unfairness of it all and proclaim his support for, you guessed it, Blake Masters.
I strongly encourage those who vote to never, ever vote Republican or Democrat. However, this year, I also urge you to take a close and careful look at Libertarian candidates before voting for them. Support the genuine article, but accept no Mises PAC substitutes.
Thomas L. Knapp is the director and senior news analyst for the Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism. Knapp is a journalism veteran of over 35 years and a full-time libertarian writer, editor and publisher since 2000.