Could Joe Miller actually give conservatives a choice in Alaska?

· September 7, 2016  
    Font Size A A A
In this Aug. 10, 2014, file photo, then-Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller speaks during a debate in Anchorage, Alaska. Mark Theissen | AP Photo

Is there one constitutional conservative actually running in a statewide election, who can excite the grassroots? Thus far, almost every conservative running for Congress has lost, but Joe Miller is about to change the rules of the game by delivering some just desserts to RINO Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska (F, 20%) in Alaska.

Conservatives know they need a new party to represent them on the national scene, but for now it’s important just to elect individuals down ballot in individual states — on any party line that grants them legitimate ballot access. After Lisa Murkowski, the Queen of all RINOs, ran a successful write-in candidacy against the GOP nominee, Joe Miller, in 2010, wouldn’t it be poetic justice for Joe Miller to knock her off in a general election? While the tables are turned this time, and she is technically the GOP nominee, he will actually be on the ballot as a Libertarian, and didn’t lose to her in the primary.

Our republic will not rise or fall on your vote for president alone, but whether you acquiesce to this corrupt system or take your own destiny into your hands.

In many respects, Lisa Murkowski is the ultimate Republican-in-name-only, but in another respect she epitomizes what the party has become.  A party that stands for nothing but a less enthusiastic expression of the other side’s agenda. Murkowski has a 20% Liberty Score®, making a typical failing grade seem conservative! Here is what we wrote on her official CR Member Profile:

Murkowski is one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress and has moved even further to the left ever since winning re-election outside of the Republican party. Her votes align with liberals on spending, immigration, energy, subsidies, and foreign affairs. She is pro-choice and a member of “Republicans for Choice,” and has publicly stated her support for the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. She is also a supporter of same-sex marriage and has a mixed record on gun rights, even though she hails from a strong hunting state.

Over her Senate career, Murkowski has time and again provided Harry Reid a critical vote to achieve cloture on Democrat priorities. Even on basic Republican values, such as right to work and welfare reform, Murkowski has consistently voted with the Democrats.

Murkowski makes John McCain look conservative. In recent years she has voted to fund Obama’s amnesty, supported every radical Obama judicial and executive nominee, opposed school choice (while claiming to be “pro-choice”), and sided with Democrats on religious liberty to mandate that private companies fund abortifacients.

If this golden calf of supporting “the lesser of two evils” in a general election extends to this individual as well, count me out. As it is, the GOP Senate roster this year includes such luminaries as John McCain, R-Ariz. (F, 34%) Jonny Isakson, R-Ga. (F, 32%) Mark Kirk, R-Ill (F, 17%) Todd Young, R-Ind. (F, 53%) Rob Portman, R-Ohio (F, 49%) Kelly Ayotte, R, N.H. (F, 32%) and the transgender initiative-supporting Richard Burr, R-N.C. (F, 41%). Is there no floor to this failed binary approach, which has gotten us to where we are today? Imagine Democrats tolerating a slate of Senate candidates one year that is full of candidates exclusively in the mold of Zell Miller?

Thankfully, Alaska will actually get a choice, not an echo of the Democrat nominee. The nominee for the Libertarian Party in Alaska, Cean Stevens, stepped aside and the party selected Joe Miller to replace her on the statewide ballot for Senate in November. Unlike in other states, the Alaska Libertarian Party enjoys broad support, and coupled with Joe’s existing name ID, there is a chance for him to win a 4-person race. Democrats and Independents have had enough of Murkowski as well. Some of the more liberal ones will vote for a liberal independent candidate on the ballot, while others will vote for the Democrat nominee. Joe Miller has an excellent chance to pick up the independent-minded ones, along with conservative Republicans.

In a year when conservatives have failed to field a constitutionalist on the general election ballot in almost any state, here is one race where they can actually vote their conscience proudly. Joe is a strong liberty-minded candidate who also deeply cares about sovereignty, national security, religious liberty, a strong civil society, federalism, and has a profound understanding of the threat from civilization jihad. For those of you who are tired of banging your heads against the wall between the false choice of Chambercrats and “Alt-Right” nationalist/populists, we finally have a man on the field.

Miller recognizes that he made some novice campaign mistakes in 2010 when he was under fire from all sides in the general election. He bounced back in 2014, and with no outside help he came within a few points of winning against Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska F, 56%)who has disappointed conservatives on multiple fronts since defeating Democrat Mark Begich for the other Senate seat.

Constitutional conservatives are caught between a rock and a hard place with no political home and are out of options for this election cycle. However, our republic will not rise or fall on your vote for president alone, but whether you acquiesce to this corrupt system or take your own destiny into your hands. This is why we must look at an all-of-the-above approach on issues, strategies, and elections to advance our agenda. In the state of Alaska, that means looking at the Libertarian candidate, who is really a constitutional conservative, against a woman who calls herself a Republican, but is the furthest thing from it.  This is a race that should unite both those who are somewhat excited or disappointed about the presidential nominee.  

A half century after Phyllis Schlafly rallied for “a choice, not an echo” in American politics, we are stuck with faint echoes who can’t even hold the ground of the echoes of just one generation ago. It’s time we begin striving for better than the low expectation of voting for the evil of two lesser. On a national scale, that will have to wait until next cycle, but in Alaska the opportunity is right in front of us.     

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Cean Stevens as a man. CR apologizes for the error.  


The most interesting stories aren’t told in the headlines. They’re in the FOOTNOTES!

Get Conservative Review’s daily roundup of the most interesting, underreported, and unconventional news. Sign up today!

* indicates required


Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.