Here’s Why The Libertarian Presidential Nominee Isn’t Even Libertarian

If conservatives and constitutionalists were hoping that the Libertarian Party would give them a third-party alternative to Hillary and Trump, they are going to be sorely disappointed. The Libertarian Party is a Pro-Abortion and anti-freedom of association party.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson won the 2016 Libertarian Party nomination for president at the party’s convention on May 29th.

The New American reports:

“[A]lthough many of Johnson’s positions will appeal to conservatives, he will have great (if not insurmountable) difficulty winning the support of conservative voters in the area popularly known as ‘social issues,’ particularly abortion. In this regard, Johnson’s views differ only slightly from the typical liberal Democrat. In fact, Johnson himself says the politician he most aligns with, of the current political field, is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.”

While Johnson takes a “states’ rights” position on abortion (would he have advocated for the same position on slavery?), “when it comes to same-sex ‘marriage,’ he favors a federal law legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ across the United States. He even signed onto an amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage.”

Former Congressman Ron Paul, who was the Libertarian candidate for President in 1988, expressed his opposition to abortion:

  • “People ask an expectant mother how her baby is doing. They do not ask how her fetus is doing, or her blob of tissue, or her parasite. But that is what her baby becomes as soon as the child is declared to be unwanted.”1
  • Liberty is the most important thing, because if we have our liberties, we have our freedoms, we can have our lives. But it’s academic to talk about civil liberties if you don’t talk about the true protection of all life. So if you’re going to protect liberty, you have to protect the life of the unborn just as well. Today, we are seeing a piecemeal destruction of individual freedom. And in abortion, the statists have found a most effective method of obliterating freedom: obliterating the individual. Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law. The State protects the ‘right’ of some people to kill others, just as the courts protected the ‘property rights’ of slave masters in their slaves.”2

One of the primary liberty issues of Libertarians is freedom of association. Once again, Johnson’s position defies Libertarian logic. His views on the right of businesses to refuse to do business with points of view with which they disagree are surprising. Johnson claims that “religious freedom laws are really just a way to discriminate against gay individuals, the LGBT community. That’s what they are about. I don’t think that the Libertarian Party should be engaged in any way in endorsing discrimination.’”

Forcing a baker, printer, or florist to participant in an event they find to be immoral, irrational, and contrary to their personal beliefs (religious nor not), is something we all should support. When asked by “Austin Petersen (who finished second to Johnson in the balloting) during a recent debate” if a Jewish baker should be forced to bake a Nazi cake, “Johnson took the position that the government should compel bakers to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples” Johnson “dodged a question as to whether priests should be forced to participate in same-sex weddings.”

Johnson’s position, and the position of the Libertarian Party that nominated him, would force people to promote views that run contrary to their deepest beliefs (religious or otherwise).

“When later asked about this anti-liberty view, Johnson made the standard liberal conflation between selling off-the-shelf cupcakes to a gay customer (which is straight-up discrimination against a person) and refusal to participate in a ceremony (which is a freedom of conscience issue, a freedom of association issue, and often a free speech issue).” (Source)

It’s the message that’s at issue. No one should be forced to promote an idea they disagree with. Are we to believe that a pro-abortion advertising agency would accept the business of an anti-abortion group? Should a bakery be forced to made a cake for a pro-abortion group that celebrates the killing of unborn babies? There’s a good chance that any number of people who support abortion buy cakes from bakers who do not support abortion.

So if you are looking for a Hillary-Trump alternative, the Libertarian Party is not a viable option.


  1. Ron Paul, The Revolution: A Manifesto, 59-60. 

  2. Ron Paul, “Being Pro-Life Is Necessary to Defend Liberty,” Libertarians for Life (1981). 

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Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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