The Illinois Libertarian Party has supported me and treated me very well since my run for president, and they invited me to speak at their state convention in Bloomington, Illinois last weekend. It is always good to renew friendships after many months, which makes the pain of Parliamentary procedure more bearable. On Saturday evening, five Libertarian candidates for President of the United States participated in a forum, answering questions written by the convention staff, and offered verbally from members of the audience. All of the convention delegates I spoke to were very pleased with the event.
Five candidates were on hand to share their views: R.J. Harris, R.Lee Wrights, Roger Gary, Carl Person, and Bill Still. All of the candidates gave candid, straightforward answers that were mostly Libertarian. At least, nobody gave any answers that were blatantly socialist, or supporting the idea of government control. What I didn't realize until doing some research for this article is that FOURTEEN people have thrown their hat into the Libertarian ring seeking the Party's nomination for this quadrennial political race. The other nine candidates are: Ralph Allen Beach, Jim Burns, Jim Duensing, Thomas Knapp, Robert Milnes, James Orlando, Dave Redick, Wayne Allen Root, and Joy Waymire. [In the spirit of full disclosure, I am personal friends with R. Lee Wrights and Jim Duensing.]
There is also one other name that Libertarians will inevitably consider: Ron Paul. One of the questions asked of the candidates was (paraphrased) "What will you do if Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination?" The general consensus of the candidates (if I understood them correctly) was that they would not drop out of the race. At least one candidate labeled it a fallacy to suggest that staying on the ballot would be a strategic mistake. They insisted that there was nothing wrong with having more than one good candidate on the ballot for people to choose from. There is also the possibility that Ron Paul will run as an independant, or less likely, seek the Libertarian nomination at the last minute. I don't know if this is even feasible, but I will bet dollars to donuts that it will be the focus of more than one Libertarian late night debate.
So now I'm asking you what you think are all the possible permutations of this dilema? Do you think Ron will win the Republican nomination, in spite of the media blatantly ignoring him? If he wins the nomination, does he have a chance of winning the election? (And if so, how long before the assasination attempt on his life?) If he wins the nomination, should the Libertarian nominee step down to avoid splitting the vote? Or should Libertarians vote for the Party's nominee whether or not Ron "Republican Lite" Paul gets the Republican nod?
Be advised, I plan to stay far away from this political vortex, which means I'm unlikely to endorse anyone for president. I have so little faith in our electoral system at this time that I would rather risk my money predicting the dice at the crap tables in Vegas. I will leave it to my readers to offer their prognostications. The only comments rejected with be those expressing impolite ad hominem attacks.
Let the games begin!