The biggest challenge for libertarians is getting the media coverage required to explain our ideas to the public. It takes a long time to explain our complicated economic and social positions to people. Whenever any of the Libertarian Party candidates gets an opportunity to sit down and lay out our ideas it’s a big deal. We can all appreciate that Austin Petersen did well explaining libertarian positions on NowThis Election’s Facebook page. They have nearly one million likes and so far the video has had about 50,000 views as of this post. That’s great exposure that all libertarians can use to promote our cause.
While Austin Petersen did start out joking with the oft-repeated trope ‘I want gay married couples to be able to defend their marijuana plans with machine guns’ the interview did get more serious later on. In fact, that line was probably a good icebreaker for the younger age group that NowThis targets. After his intro and brief description of libertarianism they talked about a variety of issues from the minimum wage to foreign policy. It was a great primer on many libertarian ideas that the NowThis audience probably hasn’t been exposed to yet.
It was also nice to see the audience engaging with a Libertarian Presidential candidate. When people got the Facebook notification that NowThis was live with Austin Petersen they actually tuned in and interacted. They asked questions instead of just ignoring the notification which is a good sign on its own. Although some of the questions demonstrated the clearly liberal audience that NowThis has, the fact that they are curious about libertarianism is promising.
Appealing to both liberals and conservatives is something that the Libertarian Presidential nominee will have to do this November. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have caused an exodus of conservatives and liberals from their parties. Media exposure like this is what will introduce them to the Libertarian Party for the first time. Hopefully NowThis will continue to cover Libertarian Party candidates in the future.