Austin Petersen; A Genuine & Policy Focused Libertarian Republican is Shaking Up The Senate Race In Missouri & Might Just Win

Written by Stephen Sage |

 

Austin Petersen has done a great job shaking up the senate race in Missouri. The former Libertarian presidential candidate has presented a different form of conservatism to the people of the state, one based on principle rather than popularity. Providing the same politically libertarian philosophy to the senate race which he believes could have curtailed the populism that has been present since the 2016 presidential election.

Petersen has genuine Conservatarian beliefs which he genuinely believes and sticks to. For example, Austin has hardlined in the race against frontrunner for Republican nomination Josh Hawley on issues such as guns. He’s called out Hawley’s support for Trump’s proposed ban on bumpstocks. Maybe more interestingly, his supporters organized two AR-15 giveaways, both of which got Petersen temporarily banned from Facebook. He said shortly after the ban that the first shutdown, in Fall 2017, had been followed by the revelation Facebook’s chief operating operator, Sheryl Sandberg had made the maximum donation to Claire McCaskill. Facebook explained it did not violate their terms and conditions. However, the second Facebook ban after the second giveaway in March was not explained at the time other than violations of terms and conditions. Interesting, right?

Petersen has amassed a huge and loyal Twitter following, and in today’s political world, where headlines are made on tweets, that speaks for something. He’s providing a fairly different brand of conservatism that seems to be embraced more and more by Generation Z. One major criticism of Hawley is his compliance to GOP norms and expectations, while Petersen offers a fresh take on the issues with nuanced and unique perspectives. Petersen hardlines against Hawley, especially on guns, pointing to Hawley’s support of the proposed bump stock ban.

Newsmax writer Christopher Reid describes Petersen’s career history this way: “In addition to running for Senate, Petersen is the owner and CEO of a photo and video consulting firm called Stonegait LLC, named after the family farm, and is founder of The Libertarian Republic and Liberty Viral — libertarian news and commentary websites. So really, he is just your everyday musical theater buff turned model, turned operative, turned television producer, turned media consultant, turned Senate candidate.”

Reid describes well that Petersen brings a non-ideological membership to the Republican Party, having left the institutional libertarians of the Libertarian Party that have very much become a sideshow of those who go out of their way to be irreverent.

His campaign however as an agnostic in a heavily Christian state has drawn scrutiny. But his beliefs represent an interesting intersectionalism, being a secular pro-lifer. The history of the pro-life movement has been connected to the religious, but the union of Petersen’s view that the lives of the unborn are precious in a purely scientific sense could prove important for a change in the country’s abortion policy. If it’s no longer the Christian demographic alone that wants to end abortion, maybe it will come full circle.

Petersen represented his views in a Twitter post: Liberals argue that if we found a single cell on Mars that would be evidence of life… and yet a clump of cells inside the womb is not?

Petersen’s agnostic pro-life values ironically might offer more credence to the stance than against it. In a world where those without faith hold the most traction in the intellectual community, it might be that his unique point in the overlap of voter beliefs that can help to advance pro-life values to the entire community. He touts himself as a “pro-life, pro-liberty, pro-Constitution candidate.” He even has the story of his sister, Jodi, who was adopted by his parents from an expectant mother considering abortion. Other deviations Petersen acknowledges from the Republican mainstream is his immigration beliefs, which he likens to the Old Right. As mentioned, Petersen has a zealous Twitter following. He’s been vocal on issues that haven’t quite peaked the mainstream debate, such as bitcoin. Moreover, he’s taken fervent stances about which few conservatives have been truly vocal, such as Net Neutrality. It’s a pretty thick race from the Right in Missouri, with other candidates including ex-bomber pilot Tony Monetti and controversial anti-feminist Courtland Sykes.

Petersen’s recent rally call has been in view of the recent poll in which Missouri voters favor him far more than incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the general election. Hawley has been criticized for barely campaigning and possibly resting on his laurels as a standard candidate with statewide notoriety from his current Attorney General position. Petersen has suggested his chance to sway a former 6% Libertarian pool of voters, as well as independents, to his side.The former Libertarian Presidential candidate is thinking the strong grassroots support he enjoyed in 2016 from libertarian voters will help him win in 2018. As well unlike Hawley, no one can say Petersen is just shipping this race in as he travels county to county in an RV visiting VFWs, fairs and generally anywhere people will listen like a good candidate should.


In the era of Donald J. Trump it seems Petersen is moving politics back from just what’s popular and planting a flag on the hill of firm policy. Much like Trump though, Austin is not shy to speak his mind and is certainly a bombastic candidate. When our liberty needs a voice it will be Senator Petersen who will stand up regardless of the circumstance. But to be clear this does not put him at odds with our President but rather side by side in an actual relationship. Expect Austin to be much like Rand, one of Trump’s best friend who pushes him in the right direction when it’s needed. He will support the good and help mend away the bad.
As someone with a national following, Petersen offers an interesting opportunity to draw attention to his very Paulite cause (even having worked in Ron Paul’s presidential campaign) in a significant light. In an era when populism seems to be driving politicians, the population ends up dissatisfied with over their compromise, Petersen’s campaign may offer an opportunity to provide a unique, non-ideological voice to the conversation happening on the Right.