What do Jesse Ventura, Rand Paul, and Hillary Clinton all have in common?
Answer: They are all potential candidates for the 2016 presidential election. That is about the only thing that all 3 have in common.
I recently watched an interview with Jesse Ventura. The interviewer was trying to nail down Jesse Ventura on whether he would run for the presidency in 2016. Ventura could not be coaxed into saying he would run, but he also wouldn't deny that he was considering it. If he ran, he would definitely not run as a Republican or Democrat. I don't know if he would consider running on the Libertarian Party ticket (if he could even get the nomination), but I think the most likely scenario is that he would run as an independent or "no party affiliation".
And there is a really good chance that Rand Paul and Hillary Clinton could run and possibly be the nominees of their parties. Rand Paul has been positioning himself as the Tea Party conservative of his party. He has taken watered-down positions of his dad, or sometimes worse. He is trying to get the conservatives and he likely feels he needs to not take too strong of a peace stance.
Hillary Clinton has been planning her move into the White House since before she left it. Her run for the Senator in New York was part of her stepping stone strategy. Barack Obama derailed her plans a bit in 2008, but she is still determined to get back to the White House.
So what is a libertarian to do in 2016? Let's say that these three people are running in the general election. Should a libertarian vote for any of them, and if so, which one?
I am not here to tell anyone how they should vote or if they should vote. I just want to share my thoughts on the possibility and what I will consider.
First, I don't think I need to talk about Hillary Clinton much. I doubt there is one person on this earth who would vote for Hillary and still call themselves a libertarian. There is probably an exception somewhere, but it isn't worth the discussion.
Second, I am not directing this at people who refuse to vote. I understand your position, but there is no point on discussing whether libertarians should even vote, at least for this discussion. But I would like to point out that there are some people who refuse to vote who still supported Ron Paul's candidacy just to spread the word of liberty, even if they didn't actually cast a vote for him. So these people may still be interested in this topic.
Third, I have no idea what will happen with the Libertarian Party or any other third party. If the LP nominates a strong, principled candidate, this may alter the results.
So what about Ventura vs. Paul? Who should a libertarian support, if either? If it were Ron Paul, I think the choice would be easy. But this is Rand Paul.
I have not been happy with many things Rand Paul has said and done. He has not been as bad as the hardcore war hawks in the Republican Party establishment, but he does not have the peace tone of his father either. He has supported big spending on the U.S. military and he has been only a light critic, if at all, on civil liberty invasions and U.S. wars and occupations. I have no idea what a president Rand Paul would do, but I'm not convinced he would bring the troops home.
Rand Paul is somewhat good on economic issues, but even here, he is not nearly as strong as his father. And, of course, if he continues to support the U.S. empire overseas, it is hard to be a fiscal conservative.
Jesse Ventura is a lot different. He definitely has a libertarian streak when it comes to foreign policy and civil liberties. But the things I like best about Ventura is that he is seemingly honest and he is not afraid to stand against the establishment. This is a man who hosted a television show about conspiracy theories. He will question the government on almost anything and he seems fearless at times. I think Ventura would be excellent in being his own man and trying to take down the establishment, if he could survive.
There is a downside to Ventura. He is ignorant when it comes to economics. He doesn't understand Austrian economics at all. I am not saying he is comparable to Barack Obama in his understanding of economics. He understands far more than Obama. He probably understands far more than the average politician. But libertarians should not fool themselves on this. Jesse Ventura, even though he has a libertarian streak, is rather poor when it comes to free market economics.
As it stands right now, if Jesse Ventura and Rand Paul were both running in the general election, I think I would favor Ventura. While his economics are poor at times, he is honest and he has a better chance of upsetting the establishment. He has a better chance at exposing all of the government lies.
I do not trust Rand Paul at this point. I am not saying he is bad. I just don't trust that he will stand up to the establishment. He is trying too hard to fit in right now. I could see him being like Reagan. He would be good in much of his rhetoric, but we would still get more big government.
This is what made Ron Paul so unique as a candidate. He is honest and he understands free market economics better than almost anyone. He has both the character and the competency.
If there is a matchup between Ventura, Paul, and Clinton in 2016, it will be one for the record books. I slightly favor Ventura right now, but I could easily decide to support the LP candidate or nobody at all. It will depend on what the candidates are saying and how believable they are. I would not be able to support Rand Paul unless he repudiated much of what he has said and done over the last couple of years. I don't know if his father would keep him straight, but I can't depend on that happening.
Of course, the biggest fear would be Hillary winning with a plurality, much the way her husband did. Hillary could get 40% of the vote and easily win with the other candidates getting around 30% each.
I hope Jesse Ventura does run. If nothing else, he will call attention issues to the American people that they should be aware of. And he would certainly make the debates interesting.