Just two years after gaining major party status for the first time, Iowa Libertarians have lost that status after failing to win at least 2 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s gubernatorial race.
Libertarian candidate Jake Porter received 1.6 percent of the vote. He was polling at more than 6 percent a few weeks ago.
“And it just dropped down at the very end as people saw the race tightening between [Fred] Hubbell and [Kim] Reynolds,” he said.
Porter says Libertarians in the state will organize more at the local level with the goal of re-gaining major party status in the 2020 presidential election.
“We’re going to use this time to rebuild to build a lot of county organizations to build a lot of infrastructure,” he said. “That way we can get the party status back in 2020 which I expect we will.”
Libertarians gained major party status after Gary Johnson won 3.8 percent of the Iowa vote in the 2016 presidential election.
The Iowa secretary of state’s office reported about 13,000 voters were registered as Libertarians as of November 1. That’s up from about 9,700 last May. Last summer in a speech at the State Fair, Porter said he’d hoped to grow the party’s voter rolls to 20,000.
Libertarians ran in about three dozen races in Iowa on Tuesday, including all six statewide races and the four congressional contests. http://www.iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-libertarians-lose-major-pa...
Jake Porter—ignorant of the fact that Iowa is already Libertarian because Charles Koch is libertarian, complained about a half-percent drop in votes. Mayer posits that Charles and David Koch have been Libertarians since early manhood. And that Charles Koch's trajectory had been a long climb and it was hard not to marvel at how far he, had come from the days when he had haunted the John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita and teetered with the Freedom School and the Libertarian Party. The force of his will, combined with his fortune, had made him one of the most formidable figures in modern American politics. Few had waged a more relentless or more effective assault on American's belief in government.
Sarah Smarsh in Heartland : A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth (2018) explains why the White working-class and middle-classes idolize Donald Trump. Smarsh writes of her own childhood and Midwest poverty in Heartland and the shame of being White and poor.
She states that in the United States, the shaming of the poor is a unique form of bigotry in that it's not necessarily about who or what you are—your skin color, the gender you're attracted to, having a womb. Rather, it's about what your actions have failed to accomplish—financial success within capitalism—and the related implications about your worth in a supposed meritocracy.
Poor whiteness is a peculiar offense in that society imbues whiteness with power—not just by making it the racial norm next to which the rest are “others” but by using it as shorthand for economic stability. So while white people of all classes hate or fear people of color for their otherness, better-off whites hate poor whites because they are physically the same—a homeless white person uncomfortably close to a look in the mirror.
A higher percentage of people of color are poor. Meanwhile, population numbers being what they are, in the United States there are more white people in poverty than any other group. These two facts exist simultaneously and are not in competition, but the way our country talks about class and race would have you believe that only one of them can be true. For my family, the advantage of our race was embedded into our existence but hard for us to perceive amid daily economic struggle.
It was hard to see in the news and pop culture, too. The books I most identified with as a child were written in the nineteenth century. I saw many white girls on television, but I rarely recognized myself in their stories. When I did see my place or people, they were usually represented as caricatures.
To be made invisible as a class is an invalidation. With invalidation comes shame. A shame that deep—being poor in a place full of narratives about middle and upper classes—can make you feel like what you are is a failure.
No one around me articulated these things, let alone complained about them. The worker who feels her poor circumstances result from some personal failure is less likely to have a grievance with a boss, policy, or system and is less likely to protest, strike, or demand a raise. Further, the Midwestern Catholic ethos that surrounded me as a child defaulted to silence. Our sense that our struggles were our own fault, our acceptance of the way things were, helped keep American industry humming to the benefit of the wealthy.
White rural working-class voters tired of being treated like negroes and rebelled. “No one can ride your back, unless you're bending over,” Martin Luther King. The White working-class has never in any great number been introspective when it comes to economics because it is too easy for politicians to persuade them to be Other-Blamers. They don't see unemployment as being endemic in capitalism but are quick to blame familiar scapegoats Blacks and other people-of-color, like immigrants doing work that Americans are no longer willing to do with alacrity. White employers prefer illegal immigrants because of cheap wages and no Unionized complaint. And immigrants come north because of the inefficiencies in NAFTA. It never occurs to the White Working-class that African Americans have always faced employment problems that now is driving them to support a Fascist narcissistic demagogue like Trump, whose political spiel is constant Other-blaming for the destruction of the American Dream.
The majority of Americans, White, black, red, yellow and brown, don't know what happened to them economically. The greatest explanation, I feel, can be found in John Higgs' Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th Century (2015). The answer is that we were sold-out by our own American corporations.
Saturday Politics: Midterm Elections And Jeff Sessions Ouster