Article Image


Donald Trump, the National LP convention, and the LP Fundraising Scheme

Written by Subject: Politics: Libertarian Campaigns

I announced my candidacy for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination more than a year ago — in February 2023. Since then, I have attended around 20 state conventions in person, where I gave a talk or participated in a debate. I also sent video messages to around 10 more state conventions that I was unable to attend owing to conflicts in the convention schedules.

Now, owing to an unusual fundraising scheme implemented by the national Libertarian Party hierarchy, I will not be participating in the presidential debate at the national presidential nominating convention this month in Washington, D.C. Under this fundraising scheme, the L.P. hierarchy has decided that only the top five fundraisers for the Libertarian Party (that is, not for our individual presidential campaigns) will be permitted to participate in the presidential debate. The other three presidential candidates will be prohibited from sharing their perspectives in the presidential debate. (My presidential campaign has garnered the second-largest amount of donations in the race for the L.P. presidential nomination.)

It is my conviction that this is a horrendous scheme for selecting a presidential candidate and that it actually makes a mockery of the L.P. presidential race.

A rudderless ship

For the past three years, I have been deeply displeased and disappointed with the direction that the L.P. hierarchy has taken the Libertarian Party. As I have been emphasizing throughout my campaign for the L.P. presidential nomination, the L.P. has become a rudderless ship — meandering left toward a big-government, power-loving Democrat like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., but mostly meandering right toward big-government, power-loving Republicans like Donald Trump, who the L.P. hierarchy has just invited to be a featured speaker at this month's national convention.

Yes, you read that right: Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for president, has been honored with a featured speaking slot at the Libertarian Party national convention … while, at the same time, three Libertarian Party presidential candidates who are actively vying for the presidential nomination will be prohibited from sharing their perspectives with the delegates at the L.P. presidential debate.

Donald Trump, master statist

Don't forget, Trump is the rightwing authoritarian:

1. Who wants to complete his Berlin Wall along the border through more eminent-domain stealing of people's property as part of the U.S. government's 90-year-old socialist immigration-control system.

2. Who wants to wreak more death, misery, and suffering on immigrants through expansion of the immigration police state along the border.

3. Who wants to militarize our southern border in an effort to seal it as effectively as North Korea seals its border.

4. Who intends to unleash an FBI-led rein of terror and a national snitch campaign among the American people to ferret out and deport every illegal immigrant in the United States.

5. Who intends to bomb Mexico and kill or jail more people in an effort to win the federal wars on drugs and immigrants.

6. Who kowtowed to the national-security establishment and refused to pardon Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Ross Ulbricht before he left office.

7. Who acceded to the CIA's demands to keep its JFK assassination-related records secret from the American people, in direct violation of the JFK Records Act.

8. Who favors keeping and reforming, not dismantling, America's welfare state, including Social Security, Medicare, and other socialist programs.

9. Who favors keeping in existence America's national-security state, the greatest destroyer of life, liberty, privacy, peace, and harmony in U.S. history.

10. Who favors the federal killing machine that has succeeded in killing millions of people around the world, including through invasions, wars of aggression, occupations, state-sponsored assassinations, sanctions, and embargoes.

11. Who supports trade wars between nations.

12. Who favors school vouchers and other socialist educational reform measures. 

13.  Who intends to use the federal criminal-justice system to unleash a rein of judicial revenge against his political enemies.

Yes, this is the big-government, authoritarian-minded Republican who the L.P. hierarchy is according the honor of sharing his statist views at the Libertarian Party national convention …  even while using a fundraising scheme that prevents three Libertarian presidential candidates from sharing their libertarian views in the presidential debate.

Does all this make any sense at all? Not as far as I am concerned. Trump's appearance at our convention is only going to reinforce the image that many people already have of the L.P. as a rightwing or Republican-Lite political party, which, unfortunately, is fine with the L.P. hierarchy. Moreover, Trump's appearance at our convention will inevitably alienate the millions of voters who have a deep antipathy toward him, which is simply bad politics for our party and for our eventual L.P. presidential candidate.

Don't forget Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Moreover, don't count out RFK, Jr., the big-government, gun-grabbing leftist with whom the L.P. hierarchy just recently was engaged in a strange flirtatious political dance. Even though that he has formally removed himself from the race for the L.P. presidential nomination, there is little doubt that the L.P. hierarchy is beseeching him to share his statist views with our convention along with Trump … even while preventing L.P. presidential candidates from sharing their views in the presidential debate.

The Reno Reset

I had high hopes for the Reno Reset two years ago. In 2020 I sought the L.P. presidential nomination based on the same principled message on which my current campaign for the 2024 nomination is based, including open borders, the immediate abolition of Social Security, Medicare, and other socialist programs, and my fervent opposition to school vouchers and public schooling in general. Since the Mises Caucus endorsed me in the 2020 presidential race knowing full well what my positions were, I naturally believed that the new regime was going to restore the founding libertarian brand of principled libertarianism to the party. I was so excited about the prospect for positive and principled change that I purchased a lifetime membership to the Libertarian Party.

Unfortunately, my hopes were quickly dashed, much to my deep disappointment. From the very beginning, the new Reno Reset regime made it clear that they were dead-set on moving the party in a rightwing direction, especially with respect to the issue of immigration, which has only reinforced the image that many people have acquired of the Libertarian Party as a "rightwing" or "Republican-Lite" political party. See my September 24, 2022, article "The L.P. Leadership and the 'Party of Principle.'"

I cannot in good conscience support this wrongful direction in which the party hierarchy has led our party. Given such, I cannot in good conscience ask others to support my entry into the L.P. presidential debate by making donations to the party on my behalf. If people wish to make donations to the party on their own account, that's fine, but I firmly believe that it is wrong to manipulate donors into supporting the party, which is what their debate fundraising scheme does. 

I also believe that it's wrong and counterproductive to use fundraising expertise to the party as a measuring rod to determine the presidential candidate who can best present the genuine principles of the Libertarian Party to the American people.

Therefore, I advised the L.P. hierarchy to remove my name from their debate fundraising scheme, even though I fully realize that this will unfortunately preclude me from sharing my perspectives with the delegates as a candidate for the L.P. presidential nomination. 

***By the way, I believe it is worth noting that at the Louisiana L.P. convention debate, ALL of my opponents for the L.P. presidential nomination declared their firm opposition to the party hierarchy's debate fundraising scheme. Nonetheless, despite this unanimous opposition, the L.P. hierarchy chose to continue its debate fundraising scheme.***

I need your help 

Nonetheless, I naturally still wish to share my perspectives with the delegates at the national convention. I wish to do this in a video message that I want send to the delegates before the start of the convention.

I am writing to see if you would help me with a last-minute donation to my campaign ( to help me send that video message to the delegates (as well as with other expenses relating to the convention itself). The following is the essence of the message I would have delivered at the Libertarian Party presidential debate at our national convention, which I have been delivering to state conventions for the past year:

My message for liberty and principle

Our job in the Libertarian Party is to lead America to freedom and, in the process, garner a large number of votes, but not at the expense of our principles. It is my contention that the reform-oriented message that has come to define our party and our presidential campaigns cannot achieve either goal. It cannot lead America to freedom and it cannot garner a large number of votes. That's because a message that embraces welfare-warfare state reform is not freedom. At best, such a message can improve the serfdom under which we live, but it cannot bring us freedom.

Social Security reform. Healthcare reform. Education reform. Immigration reform. Drug-war reform. Regulatory reform. Military reform. CIA reform. Surveillance reform. Tax reform. Monetary reform. Reform. Reform. Reform. 

Freedom necessarily entails the dismantling, not the reform, of socialism and all other infringements on freedom. If all that we do is reform the socialism and interventionism under which we live, we give up on freedom and resign ourselves to a continual, permanent life of serfdom. That's not for me. I want to be free!

It is only genuine libertarian principles that can lead America to freedom and out of the statist morass that Democrats and Republicans have plunged our nation. It is only genuine libertarian principles that can extricate our nation from the massive death, suffering, destruction, spending, debt, and inflation that come with socialism, interventionism, militarism, and empire.

The founding libertarian brand

Genuine libertarian principles include:

• The immediate repeal of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other socialist programs and a restoration of faith in freedom, free markets, and voluntary charity.

• Open borders, which would mean the end of immigration socialism and the decades-old deadly and destructive immigration police state that comes with it.

• The legalization of all drugs, not just marijuana, which would mean the end of drug cartels and the violence that comes with them.

• The dismantling of the national-security state and the restoration of our founding system under the Constitution of a limited-government republic — that is, the dismantling of the Pentagon, military-industrial complex, CIA, and NSA and an end to their invasions, occupations, assassinations, torture, sanctions, embargoes, foreign military bases, wars of aggression, crises, trade wars, and secret surveillance.

• The separation of school and state, healthcare and state, economy and state, and money and state.

• The repeal of all restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. Gun rights are the lynchpin of a free society, especially as a means to resist tyranny.

That's the message of freedom that I wish to take to the American people as the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate. I want the Libertarian Party to lead America to a renewed faith in freedom, free markets, and voluntary charity rather than a continued faith in the coercive apparatus of the welfare-warfare state and the Internal Revenue Service.

Targeting different groups for votes

For years, our presidential candidates have primarily targeted Republicans for votes (the so-called Ron Paul voters), especially by favoring" such popular Republican positions as immigration controls, school vouchers, Social Security reform (e.g., "off-ramp" plans to continue Social Security for at least one generation), healthcare reform (e.g., repealing Obamacare and adopting health savings accounts), and tax reform (e.g. lowering income taxes or simplifying the tax code). That has never worked and will never work to garner votes. That's because Republicans are always going to remain loyal to their party. Moreover, why should a Republican waste his vote on a L.P. presidential candidate who favors Republican positions (such as immigration controls or school vouchers) when he can vote for a real Republican — Donald Trump — who favors those same positions? 

Today, we are are 0-1 percent in the presidential polls, which is worse than the 1.1 percent we garnered im the 2020 presidential election. That's because there is no big constituency for a L.P. presidential candidate with a reform-oriented message. Voters who are interested in reform are always going to vote Republican, not Libertarian.

I say: Let's move in a totally different direction by (1) running a presidential campaign based on a message of pure libertarian principles, and (2) changing the groups we target for voters, as follows:

(1) Migrant families. Let's use our libertarian position in favor of open borders to target the millions of migrant families across America who have been impacted adversely by the 100-year horror story of immigration deaths, suffering, injuries, rapes, kidnapping, humiliation, abuse, a Berlin Wall, concertina wire, and a massive immigration police state.

(2) Blacks. Let's target American blacks by emphasizing our commitment to end the drug war, the most racist government program since segregation, as well as our fierce opposition to occupational licensure, another Democrat-Republican Jim Crow program of our time. 

(3) Non-voters. Let's target the 50 percent of people who don't vote because they know that voting for Trump or Biden gives them the same crooked and corrupt system regardless of which one of them wins. This group will never take the time and effort to register and vote for the sake of a L.P. welfare-warfare state reformer. But a large percentage of them will do so for a L.P. presidential candidate who advocates a dismantling of the welfare-warfare state programs and the taxes that fund them.

(4) The poor. Let's target the poor, the people who are suffering the ravages of inflation, by emphasizing our commitment to restoring sound money through the separation of money and the state. When they see that we are committed to ending inflation permanently, they will join us. 

Those four groups of voters are our voters. It is these four groups that can vault us into the 10-15 percent vote category with a message of pure principle for the "Party of Principle." But they will only vote for a principled message of freedom, not a message of welfare-warfare state reform.

My 2002 campaign for U.S. Senate

Twenty years ago, I ran for U.S. Senate in Virginia with the same principled libertarian message I am running on today. I was running against one of the most popular governors in the history of the state, John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I knew that I wouldn't get one Republican vote, and I didn't care. The Democrats weren't running a candidate but I knew that I wouldn't get one Democrat protest vote because I was calling for the immediate repeal of their favorite socialist programs — Social Security, Medicare, and public schooling. I didn't care about that either.

I didn't have much money and so I ran a guerrilla type of campaign. I targeted primarily Hispanics and blacks, with my positions calling for open borders and the end of the drug war, the most racist government program since segregation. I went to Hispanic neighborhoods and asked people to spread the word that there was a U.S. Senate candidate who was committed to the concept of open borders. I also went to black concerts and picnics and expressed my fierce opposition to the drug war to the people with whom I conversed.

During my campaign, I met with Pastor John O. Peterson of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, one of the most prominent ministers in the country. He was later elected to the African-American Hall of Fame. I emphasized what the drug war was doing to blacks. I stated that what our government was doing to immigrants was contrary to God's second-greatest commandment—Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. I talked about the mindset of dependency that the welfare state had produced in the American people, including many blacks. I talked about how the federal government had conscripted blacks to fight for "freedom" in Vietnam while they returned to a segregated society here at home. One of the biggest honors I have ever received was receiving the endorsement of Pastor Peterson. He told me to take his letter of endorsement to every black minister in the state, and I did.

I ended up garnering 7 percent of the statewide vote with a message of pure libertarian principle. I am more convinced than ever that that constituency is still out there and has actually doubled or tripled in size. That's why I have contended throughout this campaign that we don't have to settle for 0-1 percent in the presidential race. I'm convinced that we can double what I did 20 years ago and achieve a major breakout of 10-15 percent, But it can only be done with a campaign of pure principle.

The 2020 North Carolina L.P. primary

Three years ago, I campaigned heavily in the North Carolina L.P. presidential primary. I visited black neighborhoods, newspapers, and radio stations and even participated in a Martin Luther Day parade in my vehicle. The response was phenomenally positive. One black newspaper in Raleigh, which was fiercely opposed to the long jail sentences meted out to blacks in drug cases, wrote an exceedingly positive article about my campaign. The reception I and other Libertarians received in the poorest black neighborhood in Wilmington was unbelievably enthusiastic. I also visited a number of Hispanic newspapers, one of which did an extensive interview with me on open borders. I ended up winning that primary. 

A campaign of principle for the Party of Principle

This is the type of presidential campaign I wish to run as the 2024 Libertarian Party presidential nominee.

In fact, one of the first things I would do as the L.P. presidential nominee is organize a borderlands tour starting in Brownsville, Texas, and working my way up the border, town by town and city by city, ending in San Diego, California, and making the moral, economic, religious, and ethical case for open borders, where I would give talks, speak to newspaper editors, and appear on local talk radio shows.

I also would immediately reach out to black newspapers and talk radio shows across the land to express my fierce opposition to the drug war, the Jim Crow of our time.  

If you would like to help me win the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, I hope you will make a generous last-minute donation today to my campaign.

You can donate at or by sending a check to Jacob Hornberger for President, P.O. Box 4147, Broadlands, VA 20148. Please include occupation and the name of your employer. 

Let's lead America to freedom—and to peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world. 

Yours for liberty,


P.S. If you have already donated to my campaign, you can do so again, up to a limit of $3,300.