This story is a Halsey News exclusive.
Poll data suggests that the during the 2016 presidential election Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump were two of the most unpopular candidates to come from the major parties. If there was a time to strike for the nation’s third largest political party, it was then. Instead, the Libertarian Party fell far below expectations. Like the Democratic Party, the Libertarian party has failed to assess why they did so poorly and what they can do to bridge the disconnect between themselves and the people.
One reason for the disconnect is the party’s policy on open borders, says Sal Traina the managing editor of New Media Central. In 2013, Sal offered his volunteer services to the Libertarian Party. people like Ron Paul got him interested in the movement. With primaries just around the corner, he hoped the Libertarian Party would pick a candidate like Ron Paul. They instead got Gary Johnson.
Sal was officially operating as a “researcher” for the Libertarian Party. He worked under Senior Political Director Carla Howell. What he was asked to do, made his stomach turn. He was asked to do the impossible task of finding data that shows “open borders are beneficial to the economy.” Sal claims that based on Carla’s tone and her demeanor that this was a talking point not even she believed, and was told by a higher-up to get that point some backing.
“Find data that shows open borders are beneficial to the economy.”
-Carla Howell, Senior Political Director at the Libertarian Party
Up until 2006, the Libertarian Party’s official platform called for no restrictions on immigration and even abolition of Customs & Border Patrol. Today, their stance is somewhat more modern. From LP.org
Libertarians believe that if someone is peaceful, they should be welcome to immigrate to the United States.
Libertarians believe that people should be able to travel freely as long as they are peaceful. We welcome immigrants who come seeking a better life. The vast majority of immigrants are very peaceful and highly productive.
Indeed, the United States is a country of immigrants, of all backgrounds and walks of life…some families have just been here for more generations than others. Newcomers bring great vitality to our society.
A truly free market requires the free movement of people, not just products and ideas.
Whether they are from India or Mexico, whether they have advanced degrees or very little education, immigrants have one great thing in common: they bravely left their familiar surroundings in search of a better life. Many are fleeing extreme poverty and violence and are searching for a free and safe place to try to build their lives. We respect and admire their courage and be proud that they see the United States as a place of freedom, stability, and prosperity.
Of course, if someone has a record of violence, credible plans for violence, or acts violently, then Libertarians support blocking their entry, deporting, and/or prosecuting and imprisoning them, depending on the offense.
Libertarians do not support classifying undocumented immigrants as criminals. Our current immigration system is an embarrassment. People who would like to follow the legal procedures are unable to because these procedures are so complex and expensive and lengthy. If Americans want immigrants to enter through legal channels, we need to make those channels fair, reasonable, and accessible.
Their stance on President Trump’s proposed border wall is doesn’t say much for their apparent care for making sure those who enter our country are peaceful.
“When we erect barriers to peaceful immigration or contemplate restricting immigration based on characteristics such as religious beliefs, we desecrate the noblest of principles this country was founded upon.” said Libertarian Party Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, “This isn’t just about immigrants and refugees. This is about who we are as Americans.”
As well as being asked to research open borders, Sal was asked to dig up dirt on Republicans in small districts and track where they got their campaign money from. The logic behind this was that the Libertarian Party could pick off a few right-leaning voters. Sal had an issue with this, he found that most of these Republican candidates had fewer than 10,000 constituents and were mostly self-funding. He said that this is not where the Libertarian Party’s priorities should be.
Sal Traina lost his brother on 9/11 and therefore holds national security as an issue close to his heart. He says for a party that cares so much about “individual liberty,” the Libertarian Party’s stances on social issues, the border, national security, and federal regulations say otherwise. Sal was given many packets and pamphlets in his time volunteering for the Libertarian Party, and he says that the candidates the party runs often contradict the party’s own principles.
Sal has left the Libertarian Party, on his way out calling presidential candidate Gary Johnson a “Globalist SJW” (Social Justice Warrior). I too was a libertarian, seeking to volunteer with the party and losing hope, eventually turning to candidate, now President, Donald Trump. People have left the Democratic Party in droves, even getting the #DemExit hashtag trending. Could there be a similar movement of irked Libertarians from the Libertarian Party?
If you’re a former Libertarian party member and have a story to tell, please contact us, this story may become a series. If you are part of the Libertarian Party and have a perspective on the inside, and even see potential and hope for the future of the party, please contact us as well.
I can be reached at Justin@HalseyNews.com for you to tell of your Libertarian Party experiences.
Thank you to Sal Traina of New Media Central for contributing to this story.