Tragically, Pragmatism and not Principle Won the Day at the Libertarian National Convention in Orlando this Past Weekend
by Lee Enochs
The Libertarian Shaman
Forgive me for not genuflecting and groveling in the dust to give obeisance to the newly minted Libertarian presidential ticket Gary Johnson and William Weld.
No, while I am a Libertarian, I am simply not impressed with Johnson and Weld and as far as I am concerned pragmatism, not principle won the day at the Libertarian convention in Orlando this past weekend.
My hero, the late great conservative gadfly, William F. Buckley, in his Lexicon and cornucopia of wonderful words, defined “Libertarianism” as the political philosophy that stresses the absolute right of the individual to make his own decisions, unobstructed by the state.
If Buckley was right about the essence of Libertarianism being concerned with non-interventionism and the statist notion that the federal government knows what is best for the American citizenry, then the Johnson / Weld ticket fails abjectly at projecting an authentic and consistent Libertarian political philosophy.
Sadly, I am afraid pragmatism has won the day in the Libertarian Party, not principle. The pragmatic approach assesses the truth of meaning of a theory or belief in terms of the success of their practical application.
That is, Libertarians nationwide chose Gary Johnson and William Weld, not based on any notion of Libertarian ideological purity, but simply out of the notion that the Johnson and Weld ticket would be the most respected by the national media.
It is sad that the Libertarian Party, known for its anti-interventionist principles chose as its Presidential nominee a man who said during the primary season that he would use the coercive power of the federal government to force an individual state to perform gay marriages and punitively compel a Jewish baker to make a cake for an abhorrent Nazi.
Tragically, William Weld is even further from Libertarian orthodoxy than Gary Johnson and only joined the Libertarian Party a couple of weeks ago. Weld’s record as a moderate Republican governor of Massachusetts on gun control, eminent domain and other issues important to Libertarians was simply abysmal.
No, this Libertarian will not be voting for Gary Johnson and William Weld irrespective of how well they are doing in the national polls. For my Libertarianism is predicated on principle and not pragmatism.
Truth be told, if I wanted to take a pragmatic approach to this year’s Presidential election cycle, I would vote for Donald Trump since he has the best chance of defeating the abominable Hillary Clinton in November.
Lee Enochs (B.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), is the Editor-In-Chief of the Libertarian Shaman and the author of the books, “The Case for Rand Paul” and “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism.” Lee is also a graduate student at Princeton Theological Seminary and resides in New Jersey.