Since Austin Petersen’s announcement to run for US Senate as a Republican, one of the more common concerns I have seen on social media revolve around Austin being agnostic in a party that usually caters towards Christian voters.
While this may seem like a big hurdle for a candidate to overcome, I feel it will not be as difficult for the former Liberterian presidential candidate as it seems for a number of reasons:
During the 2016 campaign, Austin was the sole frontrunner who considered himself pro-life. With 50% of voters considering themselves pro-life, Austin already has an advantage that could circumvent his religious beliefs.
He’s Anti-Bake the Cake
One of the more ridiculous topics during Austin’s presidential campaign was whether or not a business should be required to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Austin was in full support of the business being able to refuse service if it was against their religious beliefs. He reinforced this in an interview with A Libertarian Future where he stated “The fundamental libertarian foundation is private property rights. Freedom of association is in the First Amendment. People should not be forced to provide a service if they don’t wish to.”
He Appeals to Ted Cruz Voters
When Ted Cruz announced that he would dropping out of the presidential race, Austin released a Facebook video inviting Cruz’s supporters to take a look at him because he was the only pro-life constitutionalist should he receive the Libertarian Party’s nomination. The platform that Austin ran on was only very similar to Ted Cruz’s with the highlight being the 10% flat tax that Cruz championed.
He Supports Gay Marriage, but Wants the Government Out of it
Austin stated during one of the presidential debates on the topic of gay marriage “I am happy when anyone finds love. It’s a private contract. Get the government out of it completely.” So while his views on homosexual marriage may seem in contradiction with religious voters, his desire to remove the government from the marriage equation entirely may be a solid compromise that these voters can get behind.
The now Republican gives libertarians an amazing opportunity to have another liberty minded Senator to assist Rand Paul and the members of the House Freedom Caucus in keeping the government small and our budget from skyrocketing. I hope this article will provide some useful arguing points should he receive opposition from religious voters or for a libertarian who needs to convince a colleague.