Ronald Reagan once said that the very heart of conservatism is libertarianism. When conservatives talk about how they believe in limited government and the natural rights of human beings, they are echoing the ideas proposed by the great Enlightenment thinkers and classical liberals of the 17th and 18th centuries. Libertarians derive their political ideas from the same source, therefore, they are naturally good allies of the conservative movement.
The conservative movement has failed to place a candidate who reflects their values in the nomination slot of the Republican party. Now that this election cycle will be between two New York, “the government can fix that,” liberals, it’s time that conservatives look to options outside of the traditional two-party system for this presidential election. As of today, Austin Petersen is the best of these options.
Austin Petersen describes himself as “pro-liberty, pro-life, and pro-constitution.” In other words, the core of his ideology is everything that a conservative could ask for. Fiscally, he wants a flat tax, spending cuts across the board, and a breakup of the Federal Reserve. With regards to foreign policy, he wants a strong national defense without getting caught up in nation building or sending foreign aid to countries that hate us. Socially, he wants to protect the life of all human beings, unborn or not, and he wants to protect religious liberty even though he is an atheist. He also wants to end the drug war, which has been a failure.
Some conservatives may look to his comparatively weak stance on immigration, his support of gay marriage, or some other areas of his platform as reasons not to vote for Petersen, but even if they do find disagreement with Petersen, he still aligns with the ideology of true conservatism about 80-90% of the time. His most important attribute is that he is an avid supporter of limited government, which is the most fundamental tenet of conservatism, and it puts him in direct contrast with the nominees of the two major parties. His slogan is “taking over government to leave everyone alone.” Picture Donald Trump saying these words… I’ll wait for your laughter to die down for a second.
Moving on. “But Trevor, isn’t voting third party going to hand the election to Hillary.” Most likely, yes, but the alternative is to hand the election to Trump, and the catch is that he’s technically on your side. Austin Petersen himself has this to say to you: “Which is worse: throwing away your vote or throwing away your principles?” If a reflexive authoritarian can count on the vote of principled conservatives, then a reflexive authoritarian is who principled conservatives are going to get.
So, my fellow conservatives, vote for Austin Petersen in the general election if he can pull off the Libertarian nomination. He might not win even with your support, but without your support, liberty is sure to lose.