The Libertarian Party of Pike-Barbour County issued a statement Saturday condemning the rioting at the Capitol and calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
“We, as Libertarians, oppose the initiation of force for political gain and in general,” said the statement, which was agreed upon unanimously by the group’s committee.
“Whereas Libertarians condemn aggression and seek peace, and whereas Donald Trump has incited his supporters to violent protest in the Capitol, the Libertarian Party of Pike-Barbour supports his impeachment, swift removal, and disqualification from holding future public office,” the group stated.
Among the various flags flown by rioters who stormed the Capitol Building was the yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” standard, known as the Gadsden flag, which is often associated with libertarianism.
Richard Fast, vice-chair of the LPPBC, said his group has been trying to move away from the symbol in favor of another that says, “Don’t Tread On Anybody.”
Fast said there is a divide among Libertarians about what should come next. His group is among those who support moving forward with impeachment to disqualify Trump from running for president in 2024. Others think Trump’s influence will fade and he’ll become irrelevant over the next 10 days, Fast said.
He said that in his view, the president has done “tremendous damage” to the image of the U.S. at home and abroad and behaves in contrast to libertarian ideals.
“Trump’s vision is perhaps the most dangerous thing about him and puts him at odds with libertarianism. His vision is one of America against the world. It is a win-or-lose vision. Libertarians don’t see life that way. Libertarians want people to live their lives as they see fit as long as they don’t harm others,” Fast said.
While his party is generally skeptical about the policy agenda of the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, those who want Trump removed hold him responsible for allowing the Capitol riot to happen. They want Congress to limit what he can do in the future.
“It’s just intolerable,” Fast said. “So, we need to make an example of that.”