Here at Think Liberty, we have some interesting debates scheduled – the first of them is between Stephen Babka, and Andrew Bartholomew. They will be debating the topic: Is the Libertarian Party good for the Liberty Movement? In preparation for this debate, which will be published soon via our RSS feed (available on all podcast platforms,) we’ve posted a few questions to the participants. Here is what they had to say:

 

Stephen Babka

Arguing that the Libertarian Party is good for the Liberty Movement

What is your political affiliation?
I am a member of the Libertarian Party

Give us a brief summary of your political history:
I’m a second-generation libertarian. I’ve been ingrained in the philosophy from a young age. There are obviously many different types of libertarians, and at the moment, I consider myself a voluntaryist

What led you to take the position that you’re taking in this debate?
My position is simple. The Libertarian Party (LP), is a benefit to the liberty movement, and the best vehicle for advancing the ideas of limited government and individual liberty. While I believe that it is certainly possible for an individual to advance libertarian ideas through the two major parties (most notably done by the Republican Liberty Caucus), I believe that only the Libertarian Party can promote an uncensored message of liberty. What really persuaded me to this way of thinking was when sitting New Hampshire state legislator Caleb Dyer announced that he would change his party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian, noting that the party leadership did not care about the issues on which Dyer campaigned, and was becoming increasingly partisan. Rather than be told how to vote, Dyer is too a huge risk and instead joined the party that best represented his views.

What arguments do you assume the other participant in this debate will make?
My opponent, Andrew Bartholomew, is a libertarian Republican. He will make an argument about the LP’s ineffectiveness in electoral politics, and how all our current state legislators were elected as either Republicans or Democrats. He will also argue that the LP damages the liberty movement by acting as a spoiler in close elections where there is a liberty Republican on the ballot. Depending on how deep we go, he might also reference Duverger’s Law, which states that first-past-the-post elections in single-member districts tend to produce a two-party system (this is the structure of congressional elections within the United States).

What is your favorite menu item from taco bell?
5-layer Burrito

 

Andrew Bartholomew

Arguing that the Libertarian Party is not good for the Liberty Movement

 

What is your political affiliation?
I am a Republican. 

Give us a brief summary of your political history:
I’m from a very moderate household; I’m not sure what my parents ever were. However, I was always pretty political. I was a conservative until about middle school, where I started to realize that social issues were neither a just nor winnable cause. I think moved piece by piece until the 2016 election when I realized I was a libertarian. I moved during the election and registered as a Libertarian for the first time. After the disappointing election, I looked a little more into our political system. Around the same time, I started working for a congressional candidate in the GOP.

What led you to take the position that you’re taking in this debate?
I came to the conclusion that there is more for libertarians to gain in the major parties than on their own, because of the way our system operates.

What arguments do you assume the other participant in this debate will make?
I expect Stephen to argue that the LP serves to spread the message of liberty, rather than win elections, so I have to counter either that or its effectiveness.

What is your favorite menu item from taco bell?
Standard, it’s the beef quesarito, but modified, it’s the shredded chicken burrito with grilled chicken instead and avocado ranch sauce.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Think Liberty podcast on Soundcloud or iTunes to get notified when this debate is published!