• Libertarian Party In Chaos: Trump And Kennedy Invitations Spark Outrage

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    By Dr. Aaron Lewis

    The Libertarian Party's biennial convention is currently underway in the nation's capital, Washington D.C. Known for its outspoken and bold stances on issues such as the legalization of marijuana, opposition to high levels of taxation and government spending on health, welfare, and education, and a foreign policy of non-interventionism, the party now finds itself embroiled in internal controversy.

    Recently, many adherents have voiced strong opposition to a bold and, according to them, unwarranted move by their current chair, Angela McArdle. McArdle, who has held the chair since the last convention in Reno, Nevada—a gathering reportedly dominated by the Mises Caucus, which endorses far-right MAGA and pro-Trump political sentiments—has invited former President Donald Trump and independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to be keynote speakers at this year's convention. This decision has stirred significant unrest within the party, with many claiming that McArdle was unauthorized to extend such invitations, leading to a fractious and contentious atmosphere ahead of the convention.

    Former National Chair of the Libertarian Party and Attorney Nicholas Sarwark shared, "In the 53-year history of the libertarian party as a political party in the United States, giving our convention over to be a rally for competing candidates for president is something that's never been done, and it's never actually happened in American history that a political party has put a candidate from another party on the stage. It is the greatest betrayal that has ever occurred and is part of the reason that Angela McArdle is being sued for her removal for violating her fiduciary duty to the membership and breaking both DC law and party bylaws."

    Dan Reale, the former Libertarian Chair for the State of Connecticut, claims that McArdle made the unilateral decision to invite both Kennedy and Trump without consulting fellow libertarians. Reale contends that her actions damaged the ballot access for libertarians and suppressed their votes in the process. He remarked that it was unfair to the candidates who worked diligently, traveling to all 50 states and spending millions of dollars to build the party, only to be met with what he described as her gross mismanagement. Reale, along with 43 other delegates, co-sponsored a resolution that, according to Reale, should have been voted on per the bylaws but was entirely ignored by the chair.

    Mike Ter Maat, one of the Libertarian hopefuls vying for the Presidential nomination, is personally worried about how some people might look at the Libertarian party and not knowing too much about the libertarian party and not knowing too much about libertarianism, people might say, oh, I guess, libertarians like Donald Trump. Libertarians are MAGA; maybe that's what the libertarian party is about, or maybe it's similar or akin to the Republican Party, all of which would be completely false. Of Kennedy he says that although there are some areas where we agree, that fundamentally Robert F. Kennedy is not Libertarian.

    However, not all Libertarians saw the move as a bad thing.  Clint Russell and Larry Sharpe, both aiming for the Vice Presidential nomination, shared different yet favorable viewpoints on McArdle's stance. Russell stated, "I'll be honest, I was thrilled. I have felt as if this party has languished in obscurity, and I say that with all love and no animosity whatsoever, I want more attention, eyeballs, interest, think pieces, and opinion pieces. I want all of that. I want more attention on our ideas." 

    Larry Sharpe, former Gubernatorial candidate for the State of New York, admits that he was worried and concerned. He thought things would go quite poorly, and the media would use that opportunity to destroy the party. He had a change of heart after watching a clip on Fox News that accurately portrayed the sentiments of many Libertarians, not just McArdle's viewpoint.  Sarwark claims that ever since the leadership changed in 2022, every metric has failed since Angela McArdle took over. "We have lost revenue, voters, staffers, and an office. We no longer have a newspaper; we have been dragged through the mud. It's a failure on every account, and the consequences for failure are a change in leadership and a change in direction, and that's what's going to happen this weekend."

    While Sarwark stands in stark opposition to the current leadership, he remains openly hopeful about the party's future. Sarwark states, “I believe the future is bright for a solid Libertarian Party. Our message aligns most closely with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the values upon which this country—the greatest the world has ever seen—was founded.”

    He believes that Mark Rutherford, former Vice Chair of the National Party and current Chairman of the Indiana Public Defenders Commission, will not only be elected as the next Chair but will also lead the third-largest party into a new era of worthiness. Rutherford, who avoids factional or ideological fights and knows how to build a political party capable of significant change, will enable the Libertarian Party to stand firmly on its own merits.

    Aaron Lewis is a sought-after writer, publisher, and former Gubernatorial Candidate for Connecticut under the Libertarian Party.

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    Very interesting to read about the different perspectives on this controversial decision. Great article!


    All news is not good news or beneficial. Having non libertarians speak at the Libertarian convention is useless to the Libertarian party. It does not promote the party, it disrupts the party. It’s more on the lines of divide and conquer.

    Nicholas Sarwark

    Thank you for covering this pivotal moment in American politics.

    Dan Reale

    The chair operated under Angela's Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. We are political party, not her sixteenth birthday party. Shameful.


    It will be remarkable to see if this has a positive effect on the party. Focus on the libertarian candidate only seems like it would make more sense.


    How can a chair make such a decision that undermines the foundation of their own party?


    It doesn't "undermine" anything! Such is the fragility & immaturity of today's L. Party.

    The old-style L.s I hung out with in my youth were very well-read, understood & could articulate why they believed what they did, and had a strong foundation for their beliefs.

    Not so today. Most current L.s are about 2 things... 1) decriminalization of drugs, and 2) no taxes. They couldn't quote Rothbard, Hazlitt, Hayek, Bastiat to save their lives!


    Damn, I knew of Hayek in 4th grade! (1968)


    I was a active libertarian for 5 years. I always felt that the simple definition of a libertarian was a person that treats others the way they would like to be treated. I found that the party platform represented this view, but many of those in the curent leadership do not. That is why I left the party two years ago.

    My concerns are being confirmed at this year's convention.

    foot in the forest

    The party died with the words; "What's an Aleppo"?

    Daniel Donnelly

    This is an insightful and fair take on the Libertarian Party’s national convention. For the better, the LP represents a wide swath of the American public, from all walks of life and creeds, which means that what happens at this convention is a bellwether of how this electoral cycle will play out. Many thanks to Dr. Aaron Lewis for writing this!


    "...the Mises Caucus, which endorses far-right MAGA and pro-Trump political sentiments..." How preposterous! If you love America you're "far right."

    Mad Celt

    Great job there, ya morons


    "Angela", was where I stopped, I need no more information....

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