There was a time, going back no further than a couple of years ago, when the Libertarian Party of Georgia was irrelevant in determining who was going to get elected to statewide office. Occasionally its candidates would garner enough votes to prevent the Republican candidate from winning outright in the general election, but that only served to delay the inevitable Republican win during the runoff in what was once a solid red state.
All that was to change in 2020 when U.S. Sen. David Perdue received 88,098 more votes than his Democrat challenger in the general election but fell short by .27 percent of the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff. Meanwhile the Libertarian candidate received 2.32 percent of the vote, thereby forcing a runoff. We all know how that turned out.
To make matters worse, this same Libertarian Party candidate plans to run for governor in 2022 and the party will undoubtedly run a U.S. senatorial candidate against incumbent Raphael Warnock.
As a former Libertarian Party activist, I never thought I would see the day when the existence of the Libertarian Party on the ballot would play such a destructive role in advancing the agenda of the far left. The Libertarian Party of Georgia has succeeded in tipping the scales in favor of Democrats on the national level due to the recent demographic changes in the state, combined with the small but critical vote it has taken away from the GOP. As such, the Libertarian Party of Georgia has become the best thing that could ever happen… to Democrats.
With the election of two Democrat senators in Georgia the Democrats control all the levers of power in the national government. We are already reaping the whirlwind only three months into the new administration. The situation reminds me of a line from Gone with the Wind where a panicked matron cries out: “Yankees in Georgia! Why who let them in?” The answer, dear lady, is the Libertarian Party of Georgia, bless their hearts.
As bad as the erosion of political power has been for Republicans in Georgia last year, 2022 holds forth the prospect of opening the floodgates. Just imagine radical demagogue Raphael Warnock gets elected to serve six more years, which may keep the Senate in Democrat hands. On the state level, the LP could play a pivotal role in making Stacey Abrams our next governor. That, combined with a Democrat legislature, would enable her turn Georgia into the bluest of states.
As a taxpayer refugee from the Northeast, I don’t relish the prospect. In my native New York, local and state taxes are dramatically higher than they are in Georgia yet the quality of services– vital public services ranging from public safety to roads– are not better than they are here. In fact, they are worse. So, combined with a regulatory regime hostile to the private sector, is it any wonder that jobs and people have been leaving the Northeast and Midwest and relocating to the South?
Georgia has been a direct beneficiary of this movement of people and capital. Unfortunately, many of these Yankee transplants (present company excluded) bring with them their progressive voting patterns. It threatens to make Georgia a progressive stronghold.
The growth of the Atlanta area is the primary driver of this change, which explains why Georgia and not our neighboring states are threatened with a blue wave. The solution to this problem, if indeed you view it as a problem, is to convince the Libertarian faithful that their vote for the LP is a harbinger for a political change in the status quo that I would think anyone who professes to care about the size and scope of government would be against.
The laundry list of progressive proposals grows with each passing day, and the Republican Party barely has enough votes to keep most of it in check as an electorate grows accustomed to more free stuff (without thought for where the fiscal hens of this spending orgy will eventually roost).
Libertarians need to realize that while they have substantive differences with much of the Republican agenda as put forth by the populist wing of that party, they have far more in common with conservatives than they do with progressives. Hopefully, enough of them will wake up to that salient fact in Georgia before it is too late.
Lance Lamberton is the Chairman and Founder of the Cobb Taxpayers Association. As a recovering Libertarian Party activist, he once served on the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Georgia.