Bill Weld amongst libertarians isn’t a person- he’s a stance.
You either hate him or love him but you can’t be middle ground. I’m not going to lie, before he was announced as Gary Johnson’s running mate, I had no clue who he was. Quickly things went left field and the internet was bombarded with hatred of him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but as time continued, I realized that I still didn’t like the choice Johnson made.
My criteria to be considered a libertarian is kinda slim to begin with since it is a big tent philosophy, but Weld falls short of that criteria. The “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” slogan Weld and Johnson run with don’t do much convincing since their primary principled core is not based on individual liberty, just a different shade of compassionate conservatism mixed with social progressivism.
Bill Weld does not have a good track record with pro liberty positions, but that’s a rabbit hole I don’t want to travel down today. What no one is asking is this, why would someone who is not a (Big “L”)Libertarian want to represent the party? This isn’t something you do simply because you have much to gain. Think about it, this party holds no major office (not counting the state representatives as of late who switched party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian) and will not be able to win the White House. So why would Weld spend time campaigning? Ego? Some kind of self-gratification? Certainly not money.
Perhaps Weld wants to be part of the national conversation again? It’s obvious he won’t be running for some other office after this race, but perhaps a TV gig? Book deal? Weld has the clout to do that without running for vice president of a major party.
Unlike other candidates such as Virginia congressional candidate J.D. Thorpe running for office in November, Weld wasn’t simply a party man who had failed aspirations of running for office as a Republican. Having been a two-term governor already, running as a Libertarian candidate isn’t something that would fit the profile of someone looking for power.
So what can we go off of as of now, simply based off what we know? What we know is that Weld is bringing the party national attention that it has never seen before. Weld, unlike Trump of Clinton, isn’t trying to creative an administration that would make fascism a reality. While he does say things that are just completely stupid (like the time he said Hillary did no wrong in the server scandal), some of his recent rhetoric regarding domestic policy is seen as sane in the age of insanity.
I’m not the type of person that won’t vote because I don’t like any of the options. In fact, some of the people who make great politicians are sometimes, really, really, crappy people. We don’t vote for people though, we vote for results. Callous I know, but that’s the reality of politics and the state. I’m voting for Gov. Johnson and Gov. Weld in November not because I like them (this ticket was at the bottom of my list) but because I want Libertarians to have ballot access and a shot at shaking things up. I know Weld won’t be Vice President of the United States, but what I do know also is that he’s not my enemy either.
Is Bill Weld the best communicator of the ideals of liberty? No, but what that means is that we have to be even better at doing so, because now America has some questions they’re going to want us to answer.
*This blog has been reposted with the permission of the author