On Tuesday, NeverTrump “liberty Republicans” Mark Sanford and Nick Freitas lost their primaries to Trumpian candidates.
Mark Sanford, the former Governor of South Carolina and the incumbent Congressman in his district, lost to Trump-endorsed primary challenger Katie Arrington. Sanford, who was once beloved as a libertarian-leaning conservative and Tea Party stalwart, lost in large part due to his vocal criticisms of Trump for being “intolerant,” “unprepared,” and so on (you know, the usual NeverTrump schtick). Now Sanford joins Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and other incumbents who are being driven out of Republican politics by Trump.
Nick Freitas, a state delegate in Virginia with a history of spewing NeverTrump rhetoric (which he tried to run from), ran for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race. His main opponent, Corey Stewart, a former Trump campaign state chair and former gubernatorial candidate, is famous for his strong stances against illegal immigration and for keeping Confederate monuments. Much like how Sanford criticized Trump for being “intolerant,” Freitas criticized Stewart for allegedly being a “racist” who didn’t sufficiently denounce the participants at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and who palled around with “anti-Semites” like Paul Nehlen.
Despite this (or because of it) Corey Stewart was able to raise more money than Nick Freitas, roughly $840,000 to Freitas’s $500,000. This was largely thanks to the high name ID and large grassroots network that Stewart was able to build up during his run for Virginia Governor in 2017. However, in addition to the roughly $500,000 that the Freitas campaign raised, Freitas received nearly $400,000 in outside support from groups, compared to Stewart’s measly $500 from “Courageous Conservatives” PAC. So, overall, Freitas outspent Stewart by some $50,000.
Most of that $400,000 outside spending came from “America’s Liberty PAC,” a libertarian group run by John Tate, the former President of Campaign for Liberty who was previously convicted for “conspiracy, causing false records to obstruct a contemplated investigation, causing the submission of false campaign expenditure reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and engaging in a scheme to make false statements to the FEC.” The Koch-funded groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks also spent a significant amount of money supporting Freitas. Lastly, “Americans Together,” a shady group that has not disclosed its donors, spent $24,000 on ads supporting Freitas and opposing Stewart.
In addition to being outspent, Corey Stewart was opposed by the mainstream media and beltway conservatives alike—everyone from Bill Kristol to John Podhoretz to Jewish-run neoconservative publications like PJ Media and the Daily Wire.
Yet in the end, all of that outside financial and media support did no good for Freitas. Ultimately he lost to Stewart in a slim race.
The Lesson for Libertarian-Leaning Republicans
The truth is neither Sanford nor Freitas had terrible voting records. They were pretty good, from a dissident right point-of-view, on a number of issues ranging from taxes and spending to privacy from government surveillance. However, they were both weak on immigration: Sanford supported increased legal immigration while Freitas opposed stricter legal measures against Sanctuary Cities. Worse yet, they were chronic virtue-signalers who just couldn’t help themselves: they had to call Trump intolerant, call supporters of Confederate monuments “racist,” and so on.
Meanwhile, libertarian-leaning Republicans like Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio who haven’t fallen victim to this same mindset of virtue-signaling to the mainstream media and beltway conservatives, are all secure in their seats.
So what lesson can we glean here?
Simple: if you cuck on immigration you lose. If you cuck on Trump you lose. If you try to run by smearing your opponent for “racism” and “anti-Semitism,” you lose.
Republican operatives who seek to help libertarian-leaning candidates could do well to learn from these examples—or even Ron Paul, who himself was smeared by many Jewish neoconservatives and beltway libertarians as a “racist” for his newsletters and as an “anti-Semite” for his opposition to never-ending Zionist wars—if they want to “make liberty win.”
Virtue-signaling, cucking, and running interference for the neoliberal establishment has done you no favors. Come join the right side if you want to be politically viable. Together, we can overthrow the political establishment and change American politics forever.