Friday, June 3, 2016

Was Gov. Weld's defection a watershed event?

Was Governor Weld's defection a watershed event? - Keith Komar, special to GDPA:

June 2, 2016 - The events leading up to the nomination of Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld this past weekend were, in my eyes, nothing short of extraordinary. For Johnson to land an A-list VP candidate like Bill Weld was a political coup of legendary purportions. And this is only the beginning.

Quietly, as Johnson and Weld were giving acceptance speeches for the Libertarian party nominations, Senator Laura Ebke from Nebraska announced that she was leaving the Republican party after a life long party affiliation. In a statement written to her constituents she stated: "The notion that the Governor (of Nebraska) should be able to tell legislators how to vote because they are registered in the same party ... does a disservice to the role of the legislature and to the intention of the founders". She attributed her switch in parties to her realization that "the Republican party of 2016 is fundamentally different [from] the Republican party that (she) grew up in.". She also quoted Ronald Reagan to the effect that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is Libertarianism."

Earlier today, Montgomery County (Indiana) GOP chair John Pickerill stepped down to join the Libertarian Party as well. At a press conference he stated that "I don't see the Republican Party representing me anymore." His concern with local and statewide politicians accepting donations from contractors they are conducting business with was among the reasons for the switch. When asked if he was comfortable with Trump he responded: "Not at all. I think Trump is a roll of the dice.... He could be the worst thing since Hitler." State Libertarian party chair Joe Hauptmann, also at the conference, added: "We think the Libertarian party is the adult at the table this election."

I contend that these defections are the beginning of a mass exodus from the archaic ideals of a dying socially conservative platform, brought on in large part by the vision of Gary Johnson to seek out a very credible running mate in Bill Weld, and the courage of Governor Weld to step forward and lead the way to a more principled approach to Government. As more prominent politicians come on board with the ideals of liberty and join the Libertarian party it will get easier for the others to follow along.

What remains to be seen is whether the purists within the Libertarian Party are willing to welcome the influx of political refugees left in the wake of a Clinton - Trump nomination.

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