A Revolution Squandered: National Libertarian Events Show a Moribund Movement on its Last Legs

in Culture/Politics

Back in 2013, Ron Paul had recently retired from Congress, and spirits were high. Libertarians felt that Ron Paul would be remembered as a historical figure after his Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 with his legacy lasting for generations to come. Optimism permeated through the movement, and it was widely believed that his son, Rand, would realize its full promise. His anti-drone filibuster was a huge hit to pretty much everybody, and the sky was seemingly the limit.

It took less than four years for all of those gains to be completely pissed away. All of the credibility, the respect, the momentum that Ron Paul built singlehandedly for libertarians was gone in a flash. It is almost like none of it ever happened. How could this movement fall to pieces so fast? The answer to this distressing question becomes self-evident when you pay attention to the actions of the Republican Liberty Caucus and the Libertarian Party. Both organizations held separate conventions this past weekend.

The bulk of each conference consisted of nobodies telling other nobodies how not to achieve any tangible success. Reminiscent of chickens running around with their heads cut off, it is difficult to fathom what value a libertarian could possibly gain from attending one of these conferences. There was no stir on social media about any of it either. Without a lively movement to parasitically leech off of, these groups now have to rest on their own organizational talents. The results are not pretty.


The RLC holds its convention every two years. With two years to plan, there is no excuse for having a dull, listless event. Nevertheless, the schedule was particularly underwhelming compared to the previous biennial convention held in 2015. That convention was keynoted by Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. This time, the only elected official on the docket was Congressman Ted Yoho. Yoho, a Freedom Caucus member, was presumably chosen because the organization did not have the resources to fly out-of-state public officials to the Orlando event. This obvious lack of resources and functionality in the RLC is due to the gross mismanagement of the organization by the entrenched leadership.

Of course, there was no change in the status quo for the RLC at this conference. In true libertarian fashion, nobody was held accountable and excuses were made for failed leadership. The same officials returned to their spots despite chronic malfeasance. Most shamefully, liberaltarian crybaby Dave Nalle was retained as an “At Large” board member of the RLC. Although he abandoned the organization and the Republican Party publicly last year, he was rewarded with a spot in leadership anyway. He brazenly worked to bleed the Liberty Caucus dry to support his “Republicans for Gary Johnson” organization, which, like all of Nalle’s endeavors, achieved bupkis for the cause of liberty.

The Gary Johnson Presidential campaign that was, of course, an incredible embarrassment that set the movement back immeasurably. It was the icing on the cake of an abysmal year for the liberty movement, and Nalle quite literally trashed the Liberty Caucus on behalf of this wretched campaign. So what better a time to take out the trash once and for all? Nalle has accomplished literally nothing throughout his decades of activism. He failed at growing the movement. He forged no alliances. He routinely makes utter fools of libertarians on social media. He alienates anyone with basic courage, and always gets down on his knees to serve any mainstream political hack willing to entertain him. That’s why he loved the latte-sipping Massachusetts leftist, Bill Weld so much. Nalle got a thrill up his leg for a couple of boring establishment has-beens because he realizes that the only way he will ever accomplish anything politically is riding on the coattails of a stronger man.

The RLC felt it necessary to reward Nalle with a position of power for his record of continuous failure, serial ineptitude, and selling out. There weren’t many pictures from the RLC’s national conference released publicly this year, and there was absolutely zero buzz about the event on social media. This is because the magic is completely gone. The allure of the Ron Paul revolution has totally faded. Nobody wants to see a bunch of boring losers pontificate about principles they cannot even come close to living up to anymore. The act rings hollow. It is no longer resonating. The productive folks of the liberty movement have already moved on to bigger and better things. All that is left is the afterbirth of a once-proud movement turned inside out.

As bad as the RLC may be, that organization still cannot hold a candle to the Libertarian Party when it comes to shaming the cause.


The Libertarian Party held its Libertarian State Leadership Association this past weekend as well. This even is where the best and brightest, the cream of the crop, gather to share strategy and tips they have learned from the field. Keep in mind, this is not some ordinary event where any old Tom, Dick and Harry can just strut in and participate. These are the leaders from all throughout America. These are the folks who are fully responsible for shaping the LP into what it has become today. This is the heart and soul of the party. Always aching to put its best foot forward, here is what the official party posted on Twitter from the conference:

 I’m sure the alt-right is itching to join their ranks!
 Never fear, minorities! These white people are coming to save you.

LP members, it is time for a reality check. The organization is already doing a good enough job of keeping people out of the party. That is the last thing the LP needs to focus upon. Nobody with any dignity or self-respect wants to be anywhere near your clown show. Nobody wants to organize with repulsive, awkward gadflies who possess no charisma, no serious plan of action, no original ideas, and no vision. Nobody wants to contribute to an organization with no conceivable prospects for success in the foreseeable future. None of these alt-right bogeymen are ever showing up. They are already part of an interesting and vibrant movement that is gaining steam, so why would they ever want to trade down to some laughable freak show? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Really, this is just another exercise in futility by the nobodies of Libertarian Party to feign relevance. They like to imagine that they are taking on big bad Nazis. They like to LARP that they are fighting the alt-right, but in actuality, they aren’t on anyone’s radar screen that matters. The alt-right (and alt-light) are emerging as valiant warriors fighting the good fight against the totalitarian left in the streets. They don’t care about political correctness, only taking the fight directly to the enemy. This is the kind of leadership that appeals to the American public. Americans want brash, strong, fearless leaders with the gall to lead them back to freedom. They don’t want to be led by neckbeards, bookworms, and morbidly-obese degenerates with questionable hygiene. Unfortunately, that’s about all the LP has to offer. Next time, they really ought to just save the trouble and not even bother booking the always shabby, second-rate convention center to conduct its pointless event.

While there were certain people at these conferences who do substantiative work such as podcaster and historian Tom Woods, Tenth Amendment Center founder Michael Boldin, and Angela Keaton of Antiwar.com, they were far from the norm. Sadly, worthwhile libertarians like these folks are losing momentum for their important work because of hapless organizations like the LP and RLC. A serious re-evaluation is clearly in order for the libertarian movement at this moment, but is it even worth trying at this point? With the populist right taking off to the stratosphere, perhaps it is best to leave the libertarian movement as it is. There is no crying over spilled milk, and it just might be time to slam the door shut on this failed movement for good. Liberty-minded folks would be wise to start seeking out greener pastures.

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