The Libertarian Party is often used by Democrats to siphon votes away from Republican candidates. Republicans and Libertarians differ on many issues, but both tend to share concerns about privacy, limiting government, and individual responsibility. They often fight for the same freedoms that Democrats want to take away.
Montana’s Libertarian candidate for Senator, Rick Breckenridge, dropped out of the race and endorsed Republican Matt Rosendale following a campaign mailer that went out touting the Libertarian as the “true conservative” in the race. The mailer was not claimed by any group and did not have a return address.
Jon Tester, the Democratic incumbent in the race, claims to have no knowledge of the mailer. But a similar tactic was used on his behalf six years ago.
Breckenridge does not agree with some of Rosendale’s beliefs, but they share a distaste for “dark money” influencing elections. The use of dark money on his behalf to derail the Republican candidate was the last straw that prompted him to endorse Rosendale.
Libertarian Rick Breckenridge has virtually no chance of winning. But his participation has threatened to peel away votes that might otherwise go toward the Republican and boost Tester’s chances next week.
The mailer comes two days before President Donald Trump plans to hold a campaign rally in Bozeman supporting Rosendale — the president’s fourth visit to the state and an indication of how much the White House wants to unseat Tester. Trump has blamed the Democrat for derailing the nomination of his first choice to head the Veterans Affairs department.
There’s a desperate need for a valid third party in the United States. It appears unlikely the Libertarian Party can do it after failing for so many decades. Is it time for a new one to arise?