Regardless of what “flavor” of Libertarianism you gravitate towards, former Congressman Ron Paul is the father of the modern Libertarian movement. Paul’s 1988 Libertarian presidential run is arguably the most-principled representation of the ideology to date. That’s why it is both flamboyantly ignorant and unabashedly absurd that the Libertarian Party has chosen to reject an opportunity to have both Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano speak at the Libertarian National Convention in July.
As for Napolitano, the unprecedented growth of the ideology, and the party who mockingly bears its name, is largely due to his advocacy of Libertarian ideals on Fox Business. This is why it must have seemed only fitting to Michael Heise, leader of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus, to invite Paul and Napolitano to speak at the convention. How silly of him.
Heise, and the voters who the “Libertarian” Party pretends to represent, were surprised to find out that the LP convention committee chair, Daniel Hayes, rejected both Paul and Napolitano. Hayes cited an article dated December 4, 2017, as his reasoning. In the article, Paul bluntly criticizes the Libertarian Party for its failings with the delicacy of a sledgehammer:
The Libertarian Party has failed to live up to what should have been its role as an ideological alternative to Washington’s one-party system. As was quite obvious in the 2016 presidential election, the Libertarians yielded to prevailing attitudes on war, welfare, the Federal Reserve, and more. In believing that winning was more important than standing for something, they ended up achieving neither.
As the LP’s leadership is accustomed to do, they chose to respond to these facts by not responding at all. Instead of embracing the principles of Free Speech and civil discourse, they have opted to silence the two most powerful voices in the Libertarian movement.
LP chair Nicholas Sarwark posted a triggered response to Liberty Hangout, claiming Paul was welcome at the LNC, but that the notion of him being a speaker wasn’t considered due to the high cost of his speaking fee ($35,000). Never mind the fact that the Mises Caucus stated they would pay the fees for either Paul or Napolitano, depending on which agreed to speak at the convention.
Sarwark further alleges that the message exchange between Heise and Hayes was taken out of context, and framed as a snub of Paul to undermine LP leadership. That would be an easier justification to make if there weren’t screenshots of the conversation.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say the context of that statement is as clear as triple-distilled vodka. Paul gave his own response, asking if he could “get his gold coin back,” a reference to his LP lifetime membership fee, which he paid with a single gold coin in 1988.