By Micah Fleck, May 5th, 2016, LibertyConservatives.com:
On the night of the first ever nationally televised Libertarian Party presidential debate, myself and a small group of fellow writers, editors, and activists were invited by Libertarian Party candidate Austin Petersen to an after party of sorts in downtown New York City. It was history in the making – for the first time, national news had covered a debate between candidates seeking a nomination for this party, which was not one of the two viable political parties in the Republicans and Democrats (though if the state of those factions as of 2016 counts as “viable” today, I’m not sure how much credence we should give that definition). What this meant was that the mainstream news media was finally willing to take a third party ticket seriously, or at the very least, seriously enough to bother paying attention to us.
This should have been a cause for celebration for us, and yet, an attitude of cautious optimism seemed to permeate the air in the room instead. Austin Petersen made his case to me – for the first time in-person – about how and why he truly believed an appeal to disenfranchised Republican voters was more of an imminent priority for him this election due to the crumbling state of the GOP. I’ve always said that liberals should be taken more seriously as allies to the liberty movement than they currently are, and Austin knows this. But he was so passionate about his campaign being the only one in the race left that could serve as a sensible alternative to true conservatives after Trump’s impending nomination, and he was so genuine in his view that such an alternative needed to exist, that for the first time, I took the Petersen campaign 100% seriously.