Wayne Root to Guest Host G. Gordon Liddy Show – Ron Paul to be a Guest

Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate, best-selling author, Fox News Channel regular guest, and outspoken Libertarian-conservative media personality, guest hosts the nationally-syndicated “G. Gordon Liddy Show” on Monday December 27th.

Root’s guests will include former Republican Presidential candidate, Chairman of “Campaign for Liberty,” and Best-Selling author of “End the Fed,” U.S. Congressman Ron Paul; nationally known economists John Mauldin and Kip Herriage; CEO and anti-union activist Dave Bego; and Tea Party Express Founder Sal Russo, among others.

Root is a high-profile speaker at Tea Party events across the USA, and serves as elected member of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC). His best-selling book, “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts” is now out in paperback. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.

244 thoughts on “Wayne Root to Guest Host G. Gordon Liddy Show – Ron Paul to be a Guest

  1. wolfefan

    Are Mauldin and Herriage economists in any traditional sense? Neither of them describes themselves as an economist, and just glancing at their bios on their respective websites, neither of them claim to have training or experience as an economist. They seem to be entrepreneurs, brokers and investment advisors, and Herriage is a Root busioness partner. Nothing wrong with any of that, but I’m not sure what makes them “economists”.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    dwp, is this a serious question?
    Think about it…guest hosting on a national show, IF he gets to arrange guests, what would make more sense…get a national figure, or get a guest who few know?

  3. Aaron Starr

    @ 2

    Advertisers pay the bills.

    Wayne Root has an obligation to put people on the air that G. Gordon Liddy’s audience will find interesting enough to listen to. That way the advertisers receive their money’s worth.

  4. Darryl W. Perry

    @Capozzi – so, you don’t think Wayne should use this as an opportunity to help spread the libertarian message?

    @Starr, I understand that advertisers pay the bills, but advertisers don’t select the guests.

    @Cohen, those were just two suggestions… I would’ve said Phillies; but he would make for boring radio

  5. Darryl W. Perry

    @Capozzi, I don’t know whether or not Wayne scheduled these guests or not. However when asked to guest host; the guest host is usually allowed to request conditions (i.e. picking guests, no guests, audience call-in only, etc).

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  7. Aaron Starr

    @6

    Radio is a business.

    Advertisers are the customers. They pay the bills because the radio program has listeners in the set of demographics those advertisers are seeking to reach.

    Wayne is being temporarily employed by the G. Gordon Liddy program.

    If Wayne picks guests unsuitable for those demographics, fewer among them will listen.

    If fewer listen, advertisers (i.e. the customers) will be upset.

    If advertisers are upset, they won’t pay to advertise.

    If advertisers won’t pay to advertise, there is no program.

    Wayne is the guest host. If he wants to be invited back as guest host, he largely needs to do what the regular host would do, in order to appeal to the regular host’s audience.

    This is what makes advertisers happy.

    Making advertisers happy is what the radio business is all about.

    While you are serving as an employee of a company, hopefully your primary concern should be making the company (and its customers) happy.

  8. Darryl W. Perry

    @Aaron, I have a degree in Broadcasting, I know how radio works.

    I guess for some people self-promotion is more important than the message of liberty. It also appears that he has at least 5 guests, I was only asking why none of the 5 were from the LP – but it appears one of them (Herriage) is on the LNCC; so my question is void.

  9. George Phillies

    @10

    You appear to have omitted a minor detail.

    What is the *product* that is being sold here? Football game score picking? Real Estate investing skills? Women’s cosmetics? Robert’s Rules, Ninth Edition?

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP @10,

    You write:

    “What is the *product* that is being sold here?”

    Multi-level marketing “success” training for a select niche — people who, through some random confluence of events, happen to be sitting on a ton of money and almost no sense at all.

    In other words, the people Root told the New York Times magazine he targeted with his gambling business: “High rollers who can afford to lose.”

    The other MLM company Root works with (CarbonCopyPro) is a “funnel” scam for WMI — it targets people with slightly less money and/or slightly more sense and tries to suck them into WMI with a lower-priced opening gambit.

    Herriage is to an “economist” as the guys who hawk perpetual motion machine plans/kits are to physicists.

  11. Thane Eichenauer

    I am happy to hear that I will soon be able to hear from two notable figures (Wayne Root and Ron Paul) on broadcast radio (and hopefully on the internet). I imagine there is plenty that a person can learn from both of them.

    I hope that everybody takes a minute to be thankful for the opportunity to listen to one member of the Libertarian party interview a member of the Republican party. If I walk away with a better understanding of what each of these men think about important issues such as government overreach, government secrecy and in what situations government action may be moral I would think that my time spent listening will have been well spent.

  12. John Jay Myers

    “Fame is proof that people are gullible”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    Congratulations to Wayne for interviewing Ron Paul, one of the few famous people that quote does not pertain to.

    Let us hope all who represent the party take such a principled stand on the tough issues like wikileaks, the TSA, our foreign policy, the banks, personal freedom and the wars.

    Those are the just a few of the issues that divide the men from the boys in the liberty movement.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    jjm: Those are the just a few of the issues that divide the men from the boys in the liberty movement.

    me: Hmm, how’s about the girls and women? 😉

    Aside from gender matters, why do you want to divide the men from the boys? People are where they are. People sometimes disagree about what “principles” means. Maybe that’s the most important principle: to respect that we sometimes disagree?

    My favorite Emerson quote, btw, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

  14. Be Rational

    Root and Ron Paul together. I’d like to listen in. Is there an online link that will let someone listen to this broadcast?

    It would be nice if Root could include Bob Barr and Lee Wrights as well. Past LP Presidential candidates and a potential future LP Presidential candidate interviewed by another potential future LP Presidential candidate.

    It would be quite clever for Root to interview a potential opponenet for the 2012 LP nomination on a nationwide radio show.

    Likely too late for changes, but good ideas for a future show.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    br: It would be quite clever for Root to interview a potential opponenet…

    me: Clever in what way? As a business decision? As a political ploy?

  16. John Jay Myers

    Robert, sometimes people are right, and sometimes people are wrong.

    As a strategy, the idea of the Libertarian Party becoming mainstream by acting mainstream fails.

    The question is simple, are we right?

    If we can show people we are right, regardless of the issue, people will begin to pay attention to us.

    If we water down our message, or change it to appeal to certain demographics, we don’t need to exist.

    I am not saying that we need to lead with “heroine should be legal!” There are definitely better ways to sell the message.

    But if we don’t focus on some of these other issues, if we let those slide, then we might as well just join the R or D parties, or in my case, just stop being involved in politics at all.

    I am not asking anyone to do anything more than the types of things Ron Paul does every day on every issue, stand up and be on the side of right.

    Making principled stands is exactly why we are talking about Ron Paul right now. It is also one of the Reason the party is starting to get more respect, thanks to Wes and Mark.

    Oh and Bruce Cohen, Mark Hinkle is not a nasty/rude person, but I do have my moments.

  17. Be Rational

    Oops: opponent …

    RC,

    I think it would be clever in both ways.

    From a career standpoint, it would likely create some tension and interest in his broadcast and improve ratings – which would make him more popular, so more marketable.

    From a political standpoint, if Root can show he is poised and fair to a guest who may be running against him, then he may be able to score points by being friendly with his opponent while being respectful, he and Wrights could even become friends, and Root could demonstrate how he is in friendly disagreement on some points, all useful in seeking the nomination. It would show that Root has the courage of his convictions and can still be polite, poised and fair. It would show that Root has the kind of personality needed to be an effective candidate. And, it would be good practice.

  18. Scott Lieberman

    ” Social Change and Friends of Liberty
    by Morton C. Blackwell
    Adapted from a speech delivered at the
    Mercatus Center, Arlington, VA
    July 16, 2001
    http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/resources/writing.cfm?w=18

    How many friends of liberty have learned how to create and direct emotion as well as our opponents do?

    How many friends of liberty know how to work effectively for common purposes with others who disagree on some issues? How does this compare with the skills demonstrated by socialists?

    How many friends of liberty make the perfect the enemy of the good by always rejecting incremental gains, insisting on all or nothing? How much would proponents of socialized medicine have achieved if they had rejected all incremental gains?

    Teaching skills and tactics is far easier than forming minds. And faster. And cheaper.

    If I am right that the winners in public policy contests over time are determined by the number and effectiveness of the activists on the respective sides, then teaching skills to like-minded people should be a high priority for every friend of liberty — an essential investment which will affect our society for the better in the short term and in the long run.

    Friends of liberty already invest heavily in education on issues and philosophy. That’s necessary but not sufficient.

    What if they spent as much of their resources of time, talent and money (or even 25% as much of their resources) teaching the right people how to take effective action? Society would then move rapidly and decisively in the right direction.

    Compared to the amounts spent on teaching good ideas, very little is invested in teaching sound people how to change society. Large contributions for these purposes would dramatically increase the number of skilled activists and leaders.

    Although my Leadership Institute is the only educational foundation focussed on finding philosophically sound people and teaching them how to be effective, the task is far greater than any single organization can accomplish.

    Friends of liberty should demand that pro-liberty groups they support put new emphasis on teaching practical skills as well as the right ideas — a request not easily accepted by otherwise brilliant intellectuals who still believe, in their heart of hearts, that victory should fall into their deserving hands like ripe fruit off a tree because their hearts are pure.

    I stress that there are already more than sufficient people who hold the right views to defend and expand liberty if they were identified, activated and properly led.

    The temptation to accumulate and keep power will never be eradicated as was smallpox. This malady is inextricable from human nature. The battle for liberty will never end in total victory. But it could be lost.

    All that friends of liberty have achieved could be lost as completely as all the ideas, history and literature lost in the destruction of the Ptolemys’ library in Alexandria.

    Whether the friends of liberty like it or not, the battle rages, the forces are closely matched and the result is uncertain.”

    **********************************

    The excerpt above is posted by me, Scott Lieberman

  19. Starchild

    Please note the response of Aaron Starr, a prominent member of the LP’s anti-radical faction, to the observation that W.A.R. has not invited Libertarian Party guests to appear when he hosts the G. Gordon Liddy show.

    Aaron doesn’t express regret. Instead, he gives us what boils down to a rationalization for why Root should put his role as a temporary employee of G. Gordon Liddy ahead of his longer-term role as a member of the Libertarian National Committee.

    Aaron publicly tells us, in so many words, why it’s fine for Root to invite his Multi-Level Marketing buddy on the show instead of someone from the LP.

    What happened to the Aaron Starr who is such a strong believer in going around asking people to donate money? In the past, that Aaron Starr even sought to *require* members of the California LP’s executive committee to give or raise money for the party (one of a number of policies he favors that would make the LP less hospitable to people who are not financially well off).

    I presume that W.A.R. is wealthy — he proclaimed it to the world in the title of his self-referential book (which he has to my knowledge still never disavowed) “Millionaire Republican”. He hosted an LNC event at his large home next to a golf course. He pays an expensive publicist to get him media appearances.

    So why is Aaron letting slip this opportunity to ask a wealthy LNC member to make an “in-kind donation” to the party in the form of using whatever authority he has as a guest host to get LP guests on the show? In fact Aaron does even more than let the opportunity slip — he provides W.A.R. with a custom-made excuse to brush off any other Libertarian suggestions that he use his media appearances to benefit the party of which he declares himself a leader (if not *the* leader).

    I’m sure plenty of mainstream media hosts can give equally good reasons related to their employment and career prospects, as to why they don’t invite Libertarians onto their shows.

    Can we next expect comments from Aaron encouraging them to keep acting like men and women of business rather than becoming activists for freedom?

    * * *

    A few words here also on my above references to “W.A.R.” During Wayne Allyn Root’s relatively brief history in the Libertarian Party, there was an early period in which he proudly referred to himself as “W.A.R.” I use the term not primarily because I mistrust Root’s claimed change of heart on extra-national military interventions by the U.S. government, although I do have some doubts about the extent to which he has embraced libertarianism. I mention the initials mainly because I believe the episode helps show us who Root is as a person.

    Martin Luther King said we should judge people not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character. Often people focus on the first half of that famous quote and forget the second half. I believe we ought to consider the character of people we elevate to prominence within the libertarian movement or the Libertarian Party that is part of that movement.

    War is a horrendous thing. When someone identifies himself by initials spelling a word referring to the mass killing of human beings, it gives me pause, especially since Root has also often referred to himself as a “son of a butcher”. Given my overall impression of Wayne Root, these labels he chose for himself make me wonder what they tell us about his character.

    Science News <a href=http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726094905.htm) reports that “Old or young, beautiful or sinister — the choices are endless when designing an avatar or a virtual alter ego. In the end, do people choose one that is really different from themselves? Usually not, according to new Concordia University research that shows in most cases, avatars reflect the personality of their creators.”

    I suspect that names or nicknames one uses function in a similar manner.

  20. Michael H. Wilson

    Mr Lieberman if I am not mistaken you have been on the LNC in one position or another for some time. I encourage you to take the time to develop a training program for the members of the LP. We need the people on that committee to be actual doers and set an example for the rest.
    Thank you,

  21. Aaron Starr

    @24

    Please note the response of Aaron Starr, a prominent member of the LP’s anti-radical faction, to the observation that W.A.R. has not invited Libertarian Party guests to appear when he hosts the G. Gordon Liddy show.

    Aaron doesn’t express regret. Instead, he gives us what boils down to a rationalization for why Root should put his role as a temporary employee of G. Gordon Liddy ahead of his longer-term role as a member of the Libertarian National Committee.

    Aaron publicly tells us, in so many words, why it’s fine for Root to invite his Multi-Level Marketing buddy on the show instead of someone from the LP.

    Since his friend Kip Herriage is a Life member of the LP, your statement is not accurate.

    Leaving that aside though, you are correct that I have absolutely no regrets with supporting Wayne’s (or anyone else’s) decision to honor the property and contractual rights of the owners of a syndicated radio show.

    For me to advocate otherwise would demonstrate a lack of understanding of basic principles underlying our libertarian ideals, which include recognizing the importance of honoring and enforcing private property and contractual rights within the confines of limited government.

  22. John Jay Myers

    Unfortunately that article does not address the problems the Libertarian Party faces, I don’t have a problem teaching Republicans, Independents, Democrats about liberty… and normally find them in agreement 0n a good chunk of our positions, but now…. we have to give them a reason to join the party (this party).

    That is the problem, we are seeing a large amount of former party members who are defecting, even defecting to just no involvement in any party. Why? Because they don’t trust our leadership.

    It’s hard to get people to join a movement and then say “oh… don’t worry about that guy”. When “that guy” is claiming to be the leader of the party.

    I don’t really bash anyone as much as Wayne Allyn Root, but there is a reason for that, I am deeply involved in the group, so when some ding dong comes along claiming to be the libertarian party magi and saying things to my face that contradict himself (and his book) I just can’t let it slide.

    Here are the two things that Wayne said to me that stoke my animosity:

    “John, you realize we have to be in the Middle East to protect Israel….right?”
    He often uses his book as a resource to say that he has changed his mind on our foreign policy. But he told me this after his book was in stores, and he was at my house.

    So basically his opinions on foreign policy are a complete fabrication. Or a false front.
    That is a huge strike against Wayne.

    Secondly he told me in Missouri… “John, you can not talk bad about Israel and expect to get in the media.”

    What? What does that even mean? I should be able to talk about whatever or whoever I want, this is America after all.

    If I personally believed that what Wayne was saying was true… then I would imagine that would be the most important piece of information you could know.

    He is basically saying there is a group of people so in control of our media, that freedom of speech is no longer an option…. that is a big deal.

    And if I believed this, as Wayne apparently does, I would be screaming it from the roof tops.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Scott Lieberman, quoting Morton C. Blackwell:

    “How many friends of liberty make the perfect the enemy of the good by always rejecting incremental gains, insisting on all or nothing?”

    None that I’ve ever met.

    None that I’ve ever even heard of.

    The “anarchy next week” boogeyman is 100% pure grade A made-up imaginary bullshit.

    Its usage is never honest — it is always an attempt to distract attention from, rather than attract attention to, the facts of whatever situation it’s being invoked with respect to.

    Those who use it should, as a matter of social etiquette, be treated in the same way — and for the same reasons — as people who set fires in store bathrooms in the hope that they’ll have a chance to rifle the cash register while the employees are distracted.

  24. Tom Blanton

    That is the problem, we are seeing a large amount of former party members who are defecting, even defecting to just no involvement in any party. Why? Because they don’t trust our leadership.

    Wrong. It’s because there has been NO leadership and in that vacuum, a fifth column emerged hell-bent on blurring the line between libertarianism and conservatism. They have been enormously successful over the last decade. As this happened, many good people in the LP looked the other way.

    The strong libertarian message that could/should have been promoted was sacrificed on the alter of “winning elections” that are unelectable in America. Note that despite all the “true conservative” bullshit and all the watered down campaigns of LP candidates in the past decade, not even ONE LP candidate has been elected to Congress.

    Wayne Root is just one of the most recent and most visible of the phony libertarians to come along intent on changing the face of libertarianism – and he has been rather honest about his intentions in this regard.

    As Mr. Myers points out, Root has also been rather dishonest in other areas.

    So, what remains as we go into 2011 is a political party that, like other 3rd parties, is not allowed to participate in the political system to any significant degree, and is divided internally between libertarianism and conservatism, not to mention some strains of neoconservatism.

    I don’t see why any self-respecting libertarian of either the anarchist or minarchist variety would want to be associated with a political party that makes little to no effort to promote real libertarianism and must endure the embarrassment of people like Root and Barr.

    I’m afraid the LP at this point is doing more harm to the libertarian movement than good, despite the fact that there are many good people who have devoted much to the movement who remain in the LP.

    I would suggest that libertarians who want to run for office run as independents.

    Those who want to spread the message of libertarianism should contribute to organizations like the Future of Freedom Foundation, the Foundation for Economic Education, C4SS, AntiWar.Com, the Mises Institute, Campaign for Liberty, the Independent Institute, or other groups working hard to promote libertarian memes in society. These groups are putting out good stuff and they are reaching people.

    As hard as Mark Hinkle and Wes Benedict may be trying, they might as well be pissing into the wind at this point.

    The opportunistic cult of the LP isn’t promoting liberty – it is promoting itself. Breakaway and be free of it and live free.

  25. JT

    JJM: “He is basically saying there is a group of people so in control of our media, that freedom of speech is no longer an option…. that is a big deal.”

    I don’t think he’s saying that. Whether or not his claim is true (and I’m not saying it is or isn’t), I think he’s saying you won’t get much media exposure if you hold that belief. The media not giving you publicity isn’t a violation of your free speech. Only government censorship is.

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    Tom Blanton @32 is right on the money. For the sake of winning elections some of the people who have gotten to positions of leadership have abandoned the basic idea.

    That idea is all about you! You have a right to live as you choose. You have a right to marry whom you choose. You have a right to ingest what you choose. You have a right to support that lifestyle in the manner that you choose. You just don’t have a right to deprive others of their rights to do as they wish.

    Over the last 20 years the LP has gotten away from the model that respects the right of others and instead narrowed the focus in a desire to win and has not achieved success with that model and won’t.

    If you think that model will win, then try drinking watered down whiskey.

  27. Gains

    The only interest this story has for any third parties is the mentioning of WAR’s position with the LP which is incidental at best.

    Why is this on IPR at all?

  28. Tom Blanton

    Has Root given up exploiting those who have a gambling addiction, or has he determined that his promotion of gambling isn’t catching on with the Sarah Palin crowd?

    His book has been renamed:

    “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts”

    The paperback edition has replaced “Gambling” with “Gold”, although Amazon is still using the photograph of the hardback – so it’s not quite down the memory hole, yet.

    I’m wondering if he took out the gambling chapter and replaced it with a chapter on gold.

  29. John Jay Myers

    JT, by example, if you lived in a society where puppies were killed in the public square daily.

    And you go to the media to tell them that this should stop. Only to find out that people who say “puppies shouldn’t be killed” are not allowed to speak out on TV…. that is not a violation of freedom of speech. (You are correct)

    But here is what you don’t see, it is still a big deal. It would be an important issue that people need to be aware of, their seemingly “fair and balanced” media or their supposedly “Free Press” is pro-puppy killing and not all that free.

    More of a case for activism than a political cause. But important none the less.

  30. Tom Blanton

    Michael writes:

    You have a right to live as you choose.

    Try watering that down.

    You have the right to live as you choose, but you can’t deprive those who wish to deprive you of your rights.

    or

    You have the right to live pretty much as you choose as long as you stay within government guidelines. If you don’t like those guidelines, well …. spend 30 or 40 years trying to work within the political system – and don’t forget to vote.

    or

    You have the right to live as you choose, within reason of course, as long as you have permission.

    or

    You have the right to live as you choose unless you make some people nervous because they disapprove of your lifestyle.

    or

    You have the right to live as you choose, just shut up about it because voters aren’t ready to hear that message.

    or

    You should have the right to live almost as you choose to – at some time in the future. After all, you shouldn’t expect to suddenly start living as you choose. Baby steps, baby steps.

    More freedom is what a parent gives a 12-year-old. Freedom is what adults should be demanding.

  31. Carol Moore

    Tom Blanton #32: “Wayne Root is just one of the most recent and most visible of the phony libertarians to come along intent on changing the face of libertarianism…” Having to fight wave after wave of these types has been one of the foremost things that has drive disgusted libertarians out of the party.

  32. Get Real

    People are tired of waiting for the LP to get real and get some people elected to something more than dog catcher or city council. And I love dogs.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    jjm21: The question is simple, are we right?

    me: Yes, that IS a “simple” question, but I can’t say that that question captures the issue.

    The LP platform pre-06 used to say — paraphrasing — that anyone could have any weapon he/she wanted, that there were no inherently dangerous weapons that could be regulated.

    Is that “right”?

    IMO, the answer is No.

    Being “principled” is wonderful, but sometimes “principle” breaks down.

    You might argue that an immediate abolition of SS is “principled.” I’d agree, but I would say that’s not a good idea for a lot of reasons. I’d say right/wrong is only one test. Another test is works/doesn’t work. Another peaceful/not peaceful.

    These all require evaluation, and then packaging and marketing. That’s politics, like it or not.

    Otherwise, we have sanctimony, not politics. There’s nothing per se “wrong” with sanctimony, but I personally prefer to move things in the direction of liberty, and I don’t think sanctimony alone accomplishes that. Politics requires engaging the population where they are, not just where we want to be. Keeping a sense of virtue is an important part of the equation, but not the ONLY part.

    Let’s keep in mind that Paul uses the Constitution as his shield. His standard answer is something like: “The Constitution doesn’t authorize X, but I support transition plans to Y.”

    That’s a pretty good approach, but I think it’s not the only approach.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    br22, perhaps. It assumes that a relatively unknown LPer would be interesting and capable of performing at that level.

    As for intra-L relations, my sense is that nothing that Root does will satisfy those who seem to despise him and what he represents. Witness the constant dredging up of his past. Root could read the pages of FOR A NEW LIBERTY and he’d still be pilloried. And imagine if he read ANARCHY, STATE, AND UTOPIA…he’d be a sell-out! And if he read from the Tao, imagine the disgust!

  35. DJW

    “As for intra-L relations, my sense is that nothing that Root does will satisfy those who seem to despise him and what he represents.”

    What does Root represent?

  36. Be Rational

    @42 RC,

    Yes. We really need to do the nuts and bolts of party building. Part of the problem with being dreamers is that it’s easy, and lazy, to just dream of what could be. Chatting, hypothesizing and whining on IPR is entertaining and easy. Going to monthly ex-com meetings of some party org that just talk, fight and quibble is easy.

    We need to do the hard, painful work of party building. We need to get out there and recruit members, build organizations, donate large amounts – a month’s pay for example, work at outreach events, run advertising, practice public speaking.

    We need to do the mature grown up things that include not whining, complaining, and attacking each other. We should be helpful and encourage our fellow Libertarians. This may be even harder than the work, and it is an obvious point of truth in the Christopher Beam article.

    Not every one can do every thing, we have to specialize in our party endeavors, but each of us should do the utmost.

    So, we need to get some of the LP members who have some moxie, poise, wit, and media presence out on the circuit with Root. They will learn, improve, and shine or be replaced. They will learn to perform at a professional level, Root’s level or better. If they are better than Root, they can take over his appearances.

  37. JT

    JJM: “But here is what you don’t see, it is still a big deal. It would be an important issue that people need to be aware of, their seemingly “fair and balanced” media or their supposedly “Free Press” is pro-puppy killing and not all that free.”

    It’s not that I don’t see that. Many issues aren’t given as much media exposure as they deserve. When they do, often the discussion is slanted toward bigger government. But “free press” refers to no government censorship of the media, not freedom to see any issue you think is important in the media. I don’t have a problem with libertarians criticizing media outlets under the rubric of objectivity or balance. But it shouldn’t be done under the rubric of a free press or freedom of speech unless certain media companies are lobbying for government interference with their competitors.

  38. paulie

    Congratulations to Wayne on another media opportunity.

    I haven’t read this comment thread, but I have read many other IPR comment threads about Wayne Root, and I’d be surprised if this one doesn’t contain some of the same sentiments that have been expressed in the past.

    So, here’s my little contribution to that discussion which I hope some will find useful.

    http://newslink.org/ contains links to numerous media outlets.

    Newspapers in the US and other countries, by state, by city; national papers; dailies, non-dailies, specialty, business, alternative and campus papers.

    Same for radio and TV.

    In my experience, media in smaller and mid-sized towns is easy to get, just contact them and ask – use both email and phone, and try to actually get someone on the line. Call back more than once if you need to.

    Try to have something relevant to a current event or somehow newsworthy.

    Many news outlets are pretty bored. They will give you coverage if you just ask.

    Campus papers and alternative weeklies are also pretty easy to get into. If they won’t interview you or print a column, they will usually – as in the vast majority of cases I have tried – print a letter to the editor.

    Try to use all your interviews to direct everyone to a website. Mention it several times in every interview. If possible, it should have a short and easy to remember URL.

    Once there, try to have a very prominent and easy way to get on your email list. And, have some large icons at the top and center that communicate your message in the simplest terms possible – for example, a peace symbol, a marijuana leaf and a gold dollar symbol would be three good icons to feature prominently at the top of a libertarian page, and a label for each – say, “PEACE, CIVIL LIBERTIES, ECONOMIC FREEDOM.” Optional: add a pistol and a rainbow for gun rights and GLBT rights.

    Have very prominent “book an interview” contact info near the top of your page with your ph# and email. Yes, this will get you spammed, so you’ll have to learn to use or add to your spam filters.

    Whenever you get interviews, Letters to the editor, columns etc, add them to a file and send them to other media outlets. The more coverage you’ve had, the more you can get, media people like to “follow the leader.” If other people are covering you that makes you more newsworthy.

    Make it interactive. Ask readers/viewers/listeners to send you their “how has government screwed me” or “how have you made voluntary alternatives to government “services” work.”

    Ask for money.

    Once you have some money, hire some help to do this when you are too busy.

    Wash, lather, repeat.

    I hope all this typing, which was more than I set out to do, helps someone somewhere get some coverage at some point.

    Unfortunately, I won’t have time to read followups in the near future, but feel free to give me a call about this or other IPR topics.

    Paulie
    415.690.6352
    Anti-TSA/Pro-WikiLeaks
    College Park, MD

  39. Thane Eichenauer

    I am pleased I took the time to listen to the segment although there was nothing explosive discussed… darn.

    The Ron Paul segment of this Liddy/Root radio show just wrapped up. Root was his usual polite and energetic self as was Paul. Paul gave his usual answers on reduced taxes and spending as well as the usual warning notice about Bernanke and his presumed continuing actions debasing the US dollar. Paul mentioned our expensive foreign occupations but they didn’t get into any specific examples. Paul mentioned liquidating Social Security which Root responded to by mentioning partial privatization of Social Security.

    He seems to still be referring to himself as “WAR” (at least twice so far). This bodes well for Ernest Hancock’s “Love not W.A.R.” t-shirt sales.

    http://ernesthancock.org/?page_id=127

  40. Thomas M. Sipos

    Aaron Starr: “I have absolutely no regrets with supporting Wayne’s (or anyone else’s) decision to honor the property and contractual rights of the owners of a syndicated radio show.”

    C’mon, Aaron, you’re smarter than that.

    You know the issue isn’t whether a media institution has the right to publish whatever it wants, or host whoever it wants. Of course it has that right.

    The issue Starchild raised was whether an LP official should use his influence to shift the media institution’s (in this case, a radio show) decisions in a more libertarian direction.

    Similarly, a privately owned radio show has the right to advocate socialized medicine. Yet I’m sure that you, Aaron, would nevertheless cheer LP officials trying to influence that radio show’s editorial direction toward libertarianism. So why let Root off the hook?

  41. Jill Pyeatt

    Robert Capozzi @ 42: “As for intra-L relations, my sense is that nothing that Root does will satisfy those who seem to despise him and what he represents.”

    I’m going to disagree with you here. Many of us who have spoken up against Root’s non-Libertarian positions are quick to respond positively when he properly represents us. Contrary to what Root’s supporters believe, many of Root’s critics are thinking, breathing individuals, not just part of a huge tidalwave of negativity.

    I’ve seen Root’s behavior to be much better in the last month. Perhaps he’s trying to move in the right direction.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    jp51, I’m sure there are many who are fair-minded about Root. I try to be, even when he takes views that I disagree with strongly.

    I’m thinking more about Sipos and Blanton. Their critiques of Root seem personal and/or hyperbolic to me.

    I hope I’m wrong, but if Root got Kubby’s brain implanted, I suspect Toms S&B would still be at him, hammer and tongs.

  43. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi, you ignore that Root’s critics give reasons for their dislike of Root.

    Instead, you talk as if people’s dislike of Root is some sort of mystery.

    Over the past months, perhaps years, you’ve been deluged with reasons for people’s dislike — and mistrust — of Root. And yet, still, you scratch your head as if it’s all a mystery.

    At this point, if you don’t understand, it’s because you don’t want to understand.

  44. Aaron Starr

    TS @ 49

    The issue Starchild raised was whether an LP official should use his influence to shift the media institution’s (in this case, a radio show) decisions in a more libertarian direction.

    Similarly, a privately owned radio show has the right to advocate socialized medicine. Yet I’m sure that you, Aaron, would nevertheless cheer LP officials trying to influence that radio show’s editorial direction toward libertarianism. So why let Root off the hook?

    Your implication is that Root doesn’t influence the direction of the program toward libertarianism.

    Think about that for a moment. Wayne Root was the guest host on the conservative G. Gordon Liddy show, where he interviewed libertarian Ron Paul.

    Are you seriously going to argue that had G. Gordon Liddy hosted the show instead that day, it would have been more libertarian sounding than Wayne Root?

  45. Thomas M. Sipos

    Aaron Starr: “Are you seriously going to argue that had G. Gordon Liddy hosted the show instead that day, it would have been more libertarian sounding than Wayne Root?”

    Liddy certainly would not have sounded less libertarian than Root.

    Not that Liddy is very libertarian. But then, Root sets the libertarian bar very low. Many socialists sound more libertarian than does Root, in that they at least oppose the empire.

  46. Aaron Starr

    RC @52
    I’m thinking more about Sipos and Blanton. Their critiques of Root seem personal and/or hyperbolic to me.

    AS @54
    Wayne Root was the guest host on the conservative G. Gordon Liddy show, where he interviewed libertarian Ron Paul.

    Are you [Sipos] seriously going to argue that had G. Gordon Liddy hosted the show instead that day, it would have been more libertarian sounding than Wayne Root?

    TS @55
    Liddy certainly would not have sounded less libertarian than Root.

    Not that Liddy is very libertarian. But then, Root sets the libertarian bar very low. Many socialists sound more libertarian than does Root, in that they at least oppose the empire.

    I imagine fair-minded readers will draw their own conclusions from the above exchange.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    TS@53,

    You write:

    “you talk as if people’s dislike of Root is some sort of mystery.”

    Actually, it is a mystery to a large portion of the LP.

    For some reason that I’ve never figured out, the LP tends to attract, as a high percentage of its membership, the extremely credulous — people who might agree or disagree over ideology, but can’t get their heads around the idea that they’re just plain being conned even when it’s being done in relatively plain sight.

    Root is not the first example of the phenomenon, nor will he likely be the last (unless he manages to suck the LP completely dry before abandoning it).

    I agree that it’s annoying, though.

  48. fair-minded reader

    I come to the conclusion that good or bad, right or wrong you will blindly support W.A.R. no matter what he does.

  49. Aaron Starr

    People who make it their modus operandi to publicly excoriate people while almost never extolling their virtues are rarely effective at influencing the targets of their ire.

    In the long run, I find it more effective to praise publicly and criticize privately. Plus, it’s just plain nice to do that.

  50. fair-minded reader

    @Aaron, does your “praise publicly and criticize privately” policy extent to people other than Wayne Root?

    Should no one criticize the GOP for big gov’t spending, wars of aggression & expanding the police state? Should no one criticize the Democrats for the same things?

  51. Starchild

    Aaron @27,

    I was not aware that the Multi Level Marketing guy I referred to Root bringing on the Getty show is an LP member. Evidently I should have read the comments more closely — I was simply going by what Daryl Perry asked @2.

    So I apologize for getting that wrong.

    I would be interested in hearing your responses to the rest of the points I raised @24 which you did not address in your response to me.

    BTW, if you want me to respond to you, I’ll be more likely to notice your comment if you include my name in it — I happened to see what you wrote to me this time, but I’m sure I miss some of the comments directed to me since I don’t always continue to follow these threads.

    * * *

    Regarding what you say @59, I can’t speak for any other (L)ibertarians, but *my* goal in speaking out publicly about W.A.R. is not to influence him. Rather it is to hopefully help others see that he should not have a leadership role in the Libertarian Party or movement.

    As noted previously, W.A.R.’s libertarianism (or lack thereof) isn’t even the main problem with him, imho; it’s character. So even if I thought I could influence his political views, and he started speaking and acting like a 100/100 libertarian on the Nolan Chart, I still wouldn’t want him serving as an LP leader, because I don’t trust him.

    My mistrust contains no personal malice, and I hope we are wrong, but I fear that Tom Knapp’s assessment of W.A.R. @57 may be correct, and I think the sooner the LP dumps him, the better it will be for the party.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    tms53: Over the past months, perhaps years, you’ve been deluged with reasons for people’s dislike — and mistrust — of Root. And yet, still, you scratch your head as if it’s all a mystery. At this point, if you don’t understand, it’s because you don’t want to understand.

    me: Yes, true, in a way. I choose not to dislike anyone. The only person that hurts is me. Hatred/dislike corrodes my experience. I’m skeptical that your experience differs, though I do hope I’m incorrect, for I do want only the best for you, too.

    There are, of course, reasons to disagree with Root’s VIEWS. I do it fairly often.

    When you see the difference, you should begin to see what’s meant by having an “adult conversation.”

  53. Robert Capozzi

    sc61: My mistrust contains no personal malice, and I hope we are wrong, but I fear that Tom Knapp’s assessment of W.A.R. @57 may be correct, and I think the sooner the LP dumps him, the better it will be for the party.

    me: OK, have you tested this against the Golden Rule? If the situation were reversed, and LPers were calling for YOUR ouster, because they felt YOUR character reflected poorly on the LP, would you be OK with that?

    What if another LPer felt yet another LP member was somehow so inappropriate, that yet another purge was launched?

    See where this all goes….

  54. Gains

    The Anti-WAR crowd again manages to bump another WAR thread to prominence. I have nothing specific against Root, but man, the irony is killing me.

  55. JT

    Gains: “The Anti-WAR crowd again manages to bump another WAR thread to prominence. I have nothing specific against Root, but man, the irony is killing me.”

    Root is the most visible and polarizing figure in the LP right now. So it’s normal that people who oppose him being a representative of the LP would want to publicly speak out on posts specifically about him. He’s not going to leave the LP because his critics don’t comment on him, so there’s no point to just keeping silent. Bumping a thread about Root to prominence isn’t a drawback for opponents of Root if their opinions can be stated openly and other people can consider them.

  56. Gains

    There is no better fame than infamy.

    You are a performer on stage. You are trying to get people to remember you. For the best chance to pick up more people at your next show, what kind of reaction would you prefer to get? Please enumerate your preference:

    1. Rousing Applause
    2. Gracious Clapping
    3. Half of the audience cheering and the other half booing.
    4. Disappointed Boos
    5. Angry Boos
    6. Silence

    My answer:
    3, 1, 5, 2, 4, 6

  57. Michael H. Wilson

    Wayne may have the stage but we can work just as effectively behind the stage if not more so.

    May I suggest that we take the time over the next few weeks to write the members of our state legislatures and politely suggest that they look at reforming some of the laws that restrict our opportunities in a number of areas.

    One primary area that I will suggest we tackle is opening up the urban transit market. In most American cities it is damn difficult if not impossible to own and operate a private bus, or taxi business. Lack of transit alternatives has a large impact on low income Americans and adds to the demand for government services. Opening that market might also lower the ambient pollution in a lot of cities.

    Pushing for more charter schools is another issue we should focus on.

    A third is changing the laws to allow greater access for midwives. In most of the world midwives deliver children. In the U.S. less that 10% of infants are born with the help of midwives. Midwives are also safer than MDs and costs less, which is important given that 40% of children born in the country come into the world at the benefit of Medicaid.

  58. JT

    Gains, you’re clearly not a stage performer. No stage performer I’ve ever known prefers to get half rousing applause and half booing over all rousing applause. Positive and enthusiastic word-of-mouth is perhaps the best advertisement that any such show could have and what all performers (actors, comics, singers, etc.) strive to get. Any reaction is often better than no reaction at all, however.

    Regardless, the point of Root’s critics isn’t to make him less “famous,” if you can really call him that to some degree. He’s ALREADY the most visible figure in the LP. Given that fact, what can opponents do? Being silent won’t alter that reality. But his opponents can offer an opposing view and explain why he shouldn’t hold a leadership position in the party. That’s an achievable goal.

  59. Thomas M. Sipos

    Aaron Starr: “People who make it their modus operandi to publicly excoriate people while almost never extolling their virtues are rarely effective…”

    If you sincerely believe that, you should be thrilled with the Root critics’ modus operandi, and not try to dissuade us.

    Gains: “There is no better fame than infamy.”

    If so, then again, Root’s supporters should be thrilled with Root’s critics.

    It’s odd, how Root’s supporters are so full of helpful advice for Root’s critics.

  60. Gains

    JT @68:

    Half rousing applause and half booing makes for lots of heated water cooler discussions and maybe, if you are lucky, a fist-fight in the parking lot that draws the attention of the local paper.

    You do accept my primary point however: The worst thing to happen to a performer is dead silence.

  61. JT

    Gains: “You do accept my primary point however: The worst thing to happen to a performer is dead silence.”

    You’re ignoring the context here by not getting what the aim of Root’s opponents is. Their approach is the right one if they want to stop Root: they have to speak out against certain things he says and does, not just be silent. If the opposite were true, then Libertarians shouldn’t criticize Republican or Democratic politicians either because silence is better than speaking out against what they’re doing. Do you think Libertarians are helping Rs and Ds by doing that and should stop? If so, that’s bizarre.

  62. Robert Capozzi

    JT: If the opposite were true, then Libertarians shouldn’t criticize Republican or Democratic politicians either because silence is better than speaking out against what they’re doing.

    ME: Huh? Ls are on the same team. Rs and Ds are the other teams. Criticizing other team’s players might be a good approach, but that’s quite different from attacking a teammate.

  63. Gains

    JT @71:

    You describe public criticism as the only way to “stop him” for WAR’s opponents. Would you please describe the mechanics of using public criticism to “stop him”. I would also like a description of what he is to be stopped from. Then, if you please, cite the authority for stopping said actions.

    Right now his opponents are stopping what? Him co-hosting a radio show?

    It seems like some are appealing to him to include more Libertarians in opportunities. I like that appeal but I am not sure of the methodology. It feels a little outside the moral framework to harass someone until they give you something when they don’t owe that which is demanded.

    Innocently drifting into force or fraud is one example of why attacking nominal allies is a very poor default strategy. When you attack, you should make sure you are on solid authority.

    So that being said, I like the idea of Lee Wrights up there representing the party. I think he would reach out to the right better than WAR reaches out to the left.

  64. Be Rational

    Other than Starr, Root has no apparent supporters here on IPR. However, the Root haters have aquired a number of critics for themselves. Attacking Root does nothing positive. Go out and show us what you can do that’s better and gets more support for Libertarian ideas. The divide here is between those who support a positive approach and those who whine but contibute nothing.

  65. Mik Robertson

    Thanks for the link to the show. I suspect there are more Roots supporters who read IPR than it may appear from the comments.

  66. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR@75,

    You write:

    “The divide here is between those who support a positive approach and those who whine but cont[r]ibute nothing.”

    In your imagination, that may perhaps indeed be the line.

    In the real world, however, I’m unaware of anyone who answers to the second description.

  67. Michael H. Wilson

    re # 75 getting on the radio or idiot box is one thing. Being able to articulate the Libertarian message of civil liberties, economic freedom and non intervention, without bashing someone else is another.

    From my point of view Mr. Root’s approach is not always positive.

  68. JT

    I see you’ve dropped your prior line of reasoning given my analogy, Gains. Okay, I’ll just respond to the odd questions and baseless assertions in your last post.

    Gains: “Would you please describe the mechanics of using public criticism to “stop him”.”

    The “mechanics” of it? Identify what he’s said/done that’s objectionable ideologically and/or strategically. Then communicate why it’s objectionable to others.

    Gains: “I would also like a description of what he is to be stopped from.”

    Have you been paying attention or no? From representing the LP and ostensibly its views to the public as a leader of the party, such as its next presidential nominee.

    Gains: “Then, if you please, cite the authority for stopping said actions.”

    What authority does a Libertarian need to try to convince others not to support him?

    Gains: “Right now his opponents are stopping what? Him co-hosting a radio show?”

    Obviously not.

    Gains: “It feels a little outside the moral framework to harass someone until they give you something when they don’t owe that which is demanded.”

    Who’s demanding Root give them something he doesn’t owe them?

    Gains: “Innocently drifting into force or fraud is one example of why attacking nominal allies is a very poor default strategy.”

    What are you talking about? No LP member should criticize another LP member regardless of the reasons because doing so means drifting into force or fraud?

    Gains: “When you attack, you should make sure you are on solid authority.”

    What authority do you need to criticize someone for what they’ve said/done?

    Gains: “I think [Wrights] would reach out to the right better than WAR reaches out to the left.”

    Given that Root doesn’t care about reaching out to the Left and has made no attempt to do so, I’d say you’re right on that count.

  69. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “Huh? Ls are on the same team.”

    Huh, yourself.

    You’re confusing shallow political party affiliations with ideals.

    “Libertarian idealists” who share the same concept of the libertarian philosophy are on the same team.

    In that sense, there are probably quite a few libertarian teams, with sometimes overlapping, and sometimes opposing, goals.

    As for “libertarian party members,” that’s a vapid group identity. It just means that you checked “Libertarian” on the State provided form.

    In that sense, there is no substantive “Libertarian team.” The R’s and D’s and L’s are not teams in any meaningful sense, other than that the State says that they’re teams.

    I’m on the same “team” as people who share my ideals, irrespective of the letter before their names.

    Others, I suppose, have a Sesame Street level of intellect, and identify with whichever muppet has a letter L on its sweater.

  70. Gains

    JT:

    You will find the following @49:

    “The issue Starchild raised was whether an LP official should use his influence to shift the media institution’s (in this case, a radio show) decisions in a more libertarian direction.”

    That is one aspect of the conversation and a large part of what I have been critiquing on effectiveness.

    The other is this: This criticism is not coming born of competition. Where is the election right now that WAR is running for? There seems to be no reason for the criticism at this time except spite and malice. “Seems” is enough for me when judging the effect on innocent bystanders.

    If they want to stop WAR from being the party spokesman, put someone else in that position based on their merits. Kicking down other peoples sand castles just because you don’t have a pail and shovel is definitely in Sipos’ Sesame Street level of behavior.

    Parties are coalition groups and like “teams” they exist in a common trust so that the whole can benefit from the many. What WAR’s opponents are doing with these tactics is destroying the network of trust that ALL of us are in in the party (Mr. Knapp and others excepted should go without saying).

    I know what teams are like, I know what coalitions are like. What is going on here, what has gone on with others on the LNC like Ruwart and Keaton are NOT how coalitions are built or maintained. It is how they are destroyed.

  71. Aaron Starr

    @60

    @Aaron, does your “praise publicly and criticize privately” policy extent to people other than Wayne Root?

    Should no one criticize the GOP for big gov’t spending, wars of aggression & expanding the police state? Should no one criticize the Democrats for the same things?

    I don’t spend much time criticizing people here, especially in a rude manner; it’s not productive.

    I can understand criticizing those who control government (i.e. the ones who pass laws, tax people and send non-violent people to prison). But is that actually done here? Not much.

    No, instead the harshest criticism here is reserved for vilifying Root – a man with no power to tax or imprison you – more effort than that spent criticizing people who actually DO have an impact on your day-to-day life.

    Wayne Root’s critics cannot accept the reality that he has many fans in the Libertarian Party.

    Think about it. Root almost became national chair, even though he had never served on the LNC. When he lost that bid, I observed delegates telling him that the only reason they didn’t vote for him for Chair was because he had not yet served on the LNC. They then urged him to run for an at-large position on the LNC.

    People in the LP were already quite familiar with Wayne Root and they found him attractive enough that they voted for him in large numbers. Running for an at-large position on the LNC, Wayne Root received the most votes of all the candidates running. In fact, only two candidates – Wayne Root and Immediate Past Chairman Bill Redpath – received support from a majority of the delegates voting for LNC At-Large.

    Or to put it another way, neither David Nolan nor Mary Ruwart could assemble a majority of the delegates to vote for them for LNC (and each delegate was entitled to vote for up to five people).

    This is not the Libertarian Party of the 1970s or 1980s. That’s long gone. Today’s Libertarian Party welcomes the likes of Wayne Root. Those who believe otherwise are living in the past.

  72. Michael H. Wilson

    One more comment before I go on to other things tonight. Back in 1983 I ran for City Council where I was living at the time. I got up in front of the Chamber of Commerce and spoke and got a big laugh when I suggested that people should receive their city services from private companies in a free market. It wasn’t great fun getting laughed at in that day and time, but today I can say that we don’t get laughed at any more. People take the libertarian message seriously. They may not like it but they understand it is serious and they have to deal with it.

    To put it bluntly. We are succeeding. Little bit by little bit.

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Aaron Starr @ 85:

    “This is not the Libertarian Party of the 1970s or 1980s. That’s long gone. Today’s Libertarian Party welcomes the likes of Wayne Root. Those who believe otherwise are living in the past.”

    Mr. Starr is 100% correct on this point.

    Whether the reality that he’s describing is a good thing or a bad thing is an entirely separate question, of course, as is the question of whether or not that reality is reversible (or, if so, worth the effort of reversing).

    I left the LP because I came to believe that electoral politics simply aren’t going to produce the results I want (which I guess would be a sort of orthogonal direction of arrival at the “no, it’s not worth the effort of reversing” position).

    My only real practical concern with the whole thing at this point, therefore, goes to the matter of how much damage Root & Co. may do to the libertarian “brand.”

    My assessment is that they’ve already fatally wounded the LP itself, but that they’re unlikely to severely damage the broader movement, especially before the party bleeds out and collapses beneath them.

    The best analogy for the LP’s relationship to the libertarian movement at this point is that of Lyndon LaRouche to the Democrats or David Duke to the Republicans: Somewhat embarrassing and occasionally requiring explanation, but not that damaging.

    From a non-practical standpoint — i.e. an emotional standpoint — I do deeply sympathize with those who are still trying to save the LP, but the following says it all:

    “only two candidates – Wayne Root and Immediate Past Chairman Bill Redpath – received support from a majority of the delegates voting for LNC At-Large.

    “Or to put it another way, neither David Nolan nor Mary Ruwart could assemble a majority of the delegates to vote for them for LNC”

    If that’s not an obit, it’s at least a diagnosis of an advanced, metastasized, and almost certainly incurable cancer.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    tms80: You’re confusing shallow political party affiliations with ideals. “Libertarian idealists” who share the same concept of the libertarian philosophy are on the same team. In that sense, there are probably quite a few libertarian teams, with sometimes overlapping, and sometimes opposing, goals.

    me: Yes, that’s a fair assessment. The bigger distinction that “goals” is “time horizons,” IMO. My political time horizon, for ex., is VERY short…I mostly think about the next year or 2, sometimes 5 or 10. Some Ls are thinking grandly (I’d suggest grandiosely) and very long term — 100 years or more.

    tms: As for “libertarian party members,” that’s a vapid group identity. It just means that you checked “Libertarian” on the State provided form.

    me: It may be “vapid” to the grand 100-year planners, but for short-term lessarchists like myself, it’s everything. As Starchild pointed out in his recent Reason.TV interview, political change requires masses of people to make a difference. Root, Hancock and myself are — for me — all on the same team, since we all want to go in the “less government” direction. All 3 of us probably have significant differences in strategy and perhaps goals.

    If you don’t want to do politics but something else, that’s your thing.

    tms: In that sense, there is no substantive “Libertarian team.” The R’s and D’s and L’s are not teams in any meaningful sense, other than that the State says that they’re teams. I’m on the same “team” as people who share my ideals, irrespective of the letter before their names.

    me: My feedback is if THAT’s your standard, Team Sipos likely has only one member. Depending on how granular one wants to be, no two people agree 100% of the time on anything.

    If the day comes when L-ism is generally the predominant political philosophy, the team might need to be divided.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    tk: If that’s not an obit, it’s at least a diagnosis of an advanced, metastasized, and almost certainly incurable cancer.

    me: Please clarify. Is it your view that 2 abolitionists not garnering a majority is “proof” that the party itself will perish, or simply that the abolitionist contingent dwindling makes the LP of no use to advance your values (i.e., advancing the notion of a stateless society)?

    Is it possible, IOW, that the apparent shift in sentiment in the LP away from specifically being abolitionist and toward the broader lessarchist view could actually drive growth in the LP over time? In your view, does the LP figuratively or literally “die” the moment it untethers from its abolitionist past?

  76. Robert Milnes

    @88 Thomas, agreed.
    I propose 2 possible solutions.
    1.The Milnes Resolution./The original unamended Nolan Resolution without the wishy washy.
    2. Radicals abandon LP en masse for BTP.
    Where did that amendment come from anyway? Who said the resolution needed amending? Who wrote the amendment?

  77. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob@90,

    You write:

    “Please clarify. Is it your view that 2 abolitionists not garnering a majority is ‘proof’ that the party itself will perish, or simply that the abolitionist contingent dwindling makes the LP of no use to advance your values (i.e., advancing the notion of a stateless society)?”

    Nice setup of false alternatives around your “abolitionist” strawman.

    Of the two false alternatives, the latter is most obviously right out, as I’ve already clearly stated multiple times.

    Again: My reason for leaving the LP was not its specific internal situation, but rather my conclusion that electoral politics in general cannot achieve my goals (which happen to map very closely to the LP’s stated primary purpose, implementation of its statement of principles).

    As to the first contention, a proper statement of it would be that majority party support for a known con artist who actively agitates for another party and against the party pursuing even its subsidiary purposes (like running US Senate candidates in Nevada), versus minority support for a putative founder of the party and a primary articulator of its stated principles, is a pretty goddamn visible symptom of terminal organizational cancer.

  78. Robert Capozzi

    tk, strawman? I’m sorry, I thought we’d agreed that “abolitionist” was a fair representation for Ls who take public positions far away from the mainstream. “Extremist” is too pejorative. “Radical” is inaccurate, as I contend I am more radical than the average abolitionist L. If you have a better term, I’ll certainly adopt it.

    As for Root wracking up more votes than Nolan or Ruwart as being “proof” of impending death, I don’t buy it. I doubt those who voted for Root at large agree he’s a “con artist.” It’s possible that the convention was ignorant of your seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Root’s history. I don’t consider him a “con artist,” but I do see why you do. I would not support the LP running a candidate against Ron Paul for congress, so while I don’t necessarily agree with Root’s strategy regarding which (generally Rs) we should not oppose, I think he’s directionally correct. OTOH, I respect the notion of running a full slate always, if possible, regardless of whether the R or D are L-leaning.

    If someone without Root’s history but holding his views were filling the role Root is filling, I wonder whether your diagnosis still holds for you.

    I agree that Ruwart is a good choice of “primary articulator” of “stated principles,” i.e., challenging the cult of the omnipotent state. Since I find the idea histrionic and overstated at best, and there is evidence that many — possibly most — in the LP apparently agree with me, it should be no surprise to anyone that she didn’t quite get the level of support that Root did.

    I’m sure you agree that forcefully supporting legacy millstones is not a great way to campaign for an organizational post. The millstone may exist, but if the majority would just as soon see it go away, that seems healthy to me…hardly terminal.

    IF you feel the LP needs to remain on the fringes, I can understand why you’d think it’s moving to the edges is tantamount to “death.” (I recognize that you believe in moving the center to the fringes is your goal, but I can’t imagine that you’d disagree that moving it to the edges is the more practical exercise.) As one who advocates that the LP should make a strong move to the edge, obviously I disagree with your diagnosis.

  79. JT

    Gains: “What WAR’s opponents are doing with these tactics is destroying the network of trust that ALL of us are in in the party (Mr. Knapp and others excepted should go without saying).”

    Destroying the “network of trust”? Trust in what? Never being criticized by other Libertarians regardless of the reasons? ALL Libertarians DON’T share your view. And why is Knapp excepted? Who are the “others” excepted and why?

    Aaron: “Wayne Root’s critics cannot accept the reality that he has many fans in the Libertarian Party.”

    I don’t know about that; that point is pretty obvious. I don’t think you can say his critics per se don’t accept that.

    But that’s all the more reason for people who DON’T think he’s a good spokesperson for the LP to speak out about it. If he had little to no popular support in the LP and weren’t so visible, then there wouldn’t be much point in objecting much to him (similar to how Republican and Democratic candidates mostly ignore Libertarian candidates. If they thought a Libertarian candidate was going to poll whatever Root polled in the election for national chairman, they’d be vociferous in their criticism).

    Aaron: “Today’s Libertarian Party welcomes the likes of Wayne Root. Those who believe otherwise are living in the past.”

    That’s not fair, Aaron. You want people to recognize that Root has a large percentage of supporters in the LP (he does), but you’re unwilling to admit that he has a large percentage of detractors as well.

    You point to the fact that he almost won the election for national chairman, but you just ignore the fact that most of the delegates DIDN’T want him. Most of the delegates who supported candidates who got knocked out of the running early didn’t swing their votes over to Root; they swung their votes over to people running against him. What percentage of votes did Root receive on the first ballot vs. percentage of votes Hinkle received on the first ballot? Root received substantially more, yet Hinkle eventually won.

    I think it’s clear he’s the most polarizing figure in the party. To say the Libertarian Party as such welcomes him and anyone who says otherwise is living in the past isn’t accurate. Many Libertarians welcome him, and many don’t.

  80. JT

    Tom: “…is a pretty goddamn visible symptom of terminal organizational cancer.”

    Whether or not it’s “terminal organizational cancer” remains to be seen. I don’t see why it would be considered impossible for the LP to change direction, regardless of whether someone thinks that’s desirable.

  81. Gains

    JT @94: “Destroying the “network of trust”? Trust in what? Never being criticized by other Libertarians regardless of the reasons? ALL Libertarians DON’T share your view. And why is Knapp excepted? Who are the “others” excepted and why?”

    You seem to be arguing this as if I am a jury to judge. There is nothing in my posts that assumes that type of authority.

    I am talking about principles in general, using the specific to illustrate application. I am not sure where your absolutist interpretations of my position comes from as I tend to be careful to use non-deterministic language.

    If one uses attack as their default or even oft employed tactics for dealing with nominal allies, they break trust. Soak it in the principle, apply it as you please, the consequences are natural and I do not attempt to point at any one person and damn them for not taking the advice.

    Karma will do the job adequately.

    Aaron: JT @94 is right. WAR is a VERY polarizing figure who (personally and through his supporters) has brushed up against that ablative tactic himself too often. It does seem like his “camp” is subtly and not-so-subtly trying to push out the social principles of the ethic and purge the radicals and left leaning LPers.

    These are my personal observations and opinions. They are opinions that I have also heard from a lot of people including many who were once more vocally supportive of Root before last year.

    If WAR does not adjust his attitude toward the larger LP community, his support will erode quietly, and one day, the ground will fall out taking him and his crew by surprise. This is also the natural consequence of nefarious deeds like misrepresenting people without care, purging your detractors and not paying your debts.

    Karma is a bitch and I would rather see WAR adjust and prosper with the LP than I would like to have to deal with the carnage else-wise.

  82. JT

    Gains: “If one uses attack as their default or even oft employed tactics for dealing with nominal allies, they break trust.”

    That’s an absolutist statement. I asked what you meant with specific questions. You didn’t answer me, unlike how I answered yours. No problem.

  83. Thomas M. Sipos

    Aaron Starr: “This is not the Libertarian Party of the 1970s or 1980s. That’s long gone.”

    Duh! Thank you for stating the obvious.

    It’s also not the 1990s, or the 1660s, or the 780s.

    “Today’s Libertarian Party welcomes the likes of Wayne Root. Those who believe otherwise are living in the past.”

    Wrong. Today’s LP both welcomes and repels him.

    Anyone alive today is living in the present, and is part of the present. The people who dislike and distrust Root are as much a part of the present as those who like Root.

    Starr spins it otherwise, but it’s still just spin and smoke and mirrors.

  84. Gains

    JT @97:

    Here it is again:
    “I am talking about principles in general, using the specific to illustrate application.”

    Let me restate it since you missed the tack when it played out and again when I stated it plainly:

    “I am talking about principles in general, using the specific to illustrate application.”

    “IF” raises the potential of multiple or uncertain outcome(s).

    The terms “default” and “oft employed” also point to non certain timing and frequency.

    So here are your questions answered:
    “Destroying the “network of trust”? Trust in what?”

    I thought that you were being rhetorically naive to avoid the point with this sorry to have not answered it.

    The “trust” is general. Here is ONE EXAMPLE in allegory: When I am circled in wagons with people fighting off the attacksof enemies, I trust that allies also in the circle are not going to shoot me in the back. If I cannot trust that, I have to spend time protecting myself; time better used aiming at the attackers.

    “Never being criticized by other Libertarians regardless of the reasons?”

    I did not say this. I am criticizing Libertarians myself in this forum. Most of my criticisms have to do with style and how it affects me in the context of the party and with warnings of natural consequence.

    “ALL Libertarians DON’T share your view. And why is Knapp excepted?”

    Huh?

    “Who are the “others” excepted and why?:

    Another “what are you talking about?” I have not spoken of exceptions or non-exceptions. There is a certain amount of trust necessary for a coalition organization to exist. The lack of social mores that protect that required trust is part of why the LP is a 0.5% loser rather than a 12% mover of elections. We eat our own for fun and people of determination will more often go elsewhere; some place where people have a clue about how to respect each other as a default.

    Personally, I have stopped recruiting people to the LP until there is a perceived see change. The biggest problem I have is that the people that are the worst offenders do not care. They celebrate the potential of the party going down the toilet and they seem far more interested in hurting people for fun than affecting social change.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    g96: …uses attack as their default or even oft employed tactics for dealing with nominal allies, they break trust.

    jt97: That’s an absolutist statement.

    me: JT, I’m not quite getting your point. Gains’s “default” and “oft employed” terms aren’t absolutist, near as I can tell. So, I guess you’re saying that attack doesn’t always “break trust,” is that right?

    Interesting point, if so. I can’t imagine an exception to that, since a perception of “attack” by its nature is trust breaking. OTOH, words that are intended to attack CAN be overlooked, in which case, “attack” is not perceived.

    For ex, @81, when Sipos said: “Others, I suppose, have a Sesame Street level of intellect, and identify with whichever muppet has a letter L on its sweater.” some might view that as an “attack.” To me, it was such an obviously ridiculous point that I didn’t both to address it. I know that my intellect is pretty OK, so whoever Sipos was projecting in his mind, it has nothing to do with me. His behavior appears to be that of someone who’s likely in a lot of pain, so perhaps the idea of being in a political party or coalition doesn’t work for him at the moment.

    Or, he could be Einstein, so the rest of us seem cognitively dwarfed compared with him. That IS possible, if unlikely.

  86. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @93,

    You write:

    “tk, strawman? I’m sorry, I thought we’d agreed that ‘abolitionist’ was a fair representation for Ls who take public positions far away from the mainstream.”

    While I’m unaware of any such agreement, that’s irrelevant. The strawman involved is your attempt to peg the distinction between Root and Nolan/Ruwart as being between “abolitionism” and “mainstreamism.”

    For one thing, Root is no closer to “mainstream” than Nolan or Root. Fox News is at the very right edge of the mainstream, and Root is their go-to guy when they want to marginalize the loony right fringe by damning it with faint implied praise.

    “I doubt those who voted for Root at large agree he’s a ‘con artist.'”

    You’re right. They probably don’t.

    Some people don’t agree that the earth is an oblate spheroid, but the known facts bear out the claim that it is.

    “If someone without Root’s history but holding his views were filling the role Root is filling, I wonder whether your diagnosis still holds for you.”

    I guess the answer to that depends on what Root’s views are this week.

    “IF you feel the LP needs to remain on the fringes, I can understand why you’d think it’s moving to the edges is tantamount to ‘death.'”

    Nice try at turning it into an ideological debate — but it’s not one and it’s not magically going to become one.

    While Root is very much a fringe character — and usually of a particular fringe that I don’t care too much for — that’s not what makes him poison to the LP.

    What makes him poison to the LP is that he damages its partisan political brand by a) associating that brand with its partisan political opponents and encouraging that brand’s promoters to step aside for those opponents in selected markets; and b) associating the party with whatever scam of the week he happens to be promoting by using his 2008 VP nomination as a marketing tool for those scams, and bringing his co-scammers on board the LNCC to become co-“faces of the party.”

    As to what I “feel” the LP needs to do, the answer is that I don’t particularly care what the LP does so long as its self-mutilation remains mostly an internal matter, which seems to be the case.

    For the moment at least, the LP is mostly just a mild embarrassment to the libertarian movement. It’s like the movement is standing there in a crowded elevator pretending not to be the one who farted. If the LP causes the movement seem more akin to some guy dropping trou and shitting on the elevator floor, then it will probably require formal ostracism instead of just amused tolerance.

  87. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@96,

    You write:

    “And why is Knapp excepted? Who are the ‘others’ excepted and why?”

    The answer is right there in the passage you’re responding to. Obviously those not “in the network of trust in the party” are excepted from the requirements of honorable membership in that network.

    To put it a different way, those of us who are not in the LP are under no obligation, moral or otherwise, to promote the “LP team spirit” that Gains is advocating for.

  88. Robert Capozzi

    tk: …Root is no closer to “mainstream” than Nolan or R[uwar]t.

    me: Stipulating that these sorts of assessments are subjective guesses, my sense is that Root is not an abolitionist, and his views would likely poll better than Nolan’s (RIP) or Ruwart’s. He generally takes more attainable positions than abolitionist Ls do.

    I would agree that some of his associations could tend to push him personally away from the edge and toward the fringes. And stylistically he can come off as bombastic at times, pushing him away from the edge toward the fringes.

    For the most part, most don’t know about Root’s business associations, so that’s likely containable. His sometimes bombastic style appeals to some people, though not to me so much.

    Ostracism may be necessary at times to cancel out embarrassment. My preferred approach is to engage in a dialog. For ex., I find “cult of the omnipotent state” an embarrassing phrase, and I do share my concerns about it from time to time. I also recognize that it’s protected by a nearly insurmountable bylaws provision. For me, it’s like the crazy uncle in the attic. As long as he stays up there in the attic, rarely to be seen or heard, I’m dealing with it.

  89. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob@103,

    You write:

    “Ostracism may be necessary at times to cancel out embarrassment. My preferred approach is to engage in a dialog.”

    True enough … but a dialog presupposes that all participants have something to bring to the table that’s worth discussing.

    What does the LP bring to the table to offer the libertarian movement?

    At one point, it could claim to be an effective instrument of outreach/education for libertarian ideas … but then the “our only goal should be to win elections” faction effectively took over the party, and that claim became less and less believable.

    The problem with the “our only goal should be to win elections” idea — aside from the fact that many in the libertarian movement don’t think it would accomplish much even if successfully implemented — is that turning the party over to it for the last 15-20 years (I seem to recall that the LNC’s “mission statement” adoption took place in 1992 or 1993) hasn’t resulted in any big gains in, um, actually winning elections.

    The only thing that really leaves for the party to offer the movement is its tendency to act as a conduit/pipeline — edgy libertarian-leaning mainstreamers get disgusted with the major parties, enter the LP at its “mainstreamish” front door, and emerge a few years later as radical abolitionists.

    That’s a pretty cool thing, but the party’s culture has changed so much that I suspect the flow of people learning libertarianism in the LP is slowing to a trickle. Now they learn about God, guns, gambling and tax cuts and how they should vote Libertarian … if it’s not a close race for the Republicans.

  90. Robert Capozzi

    TK, I dunno, that seems like a VERY broad brush to say that the L gateway-drug stops with Root’s book. I suspect as one gets into L-ism, newbies will read a wide variety of materials. Hopefully, they’ll pick up the classics like the Tao, Nozick, and Hayek, and read reason.com and cato-at-liberty. Some may even test-drive agorism, panarchism and other abolitionistic strains.

    Who knows? Maybe StarChild will get his dream and a L Che will emerge, first inspired by Root or Barr.

  91. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob@106,

    You write: “that seems like a VERY broad brush to say that the L gateway-drug stops with Root’s book.”

    Root’s book isn’t the cause of the LP’s decline. It’s just the latest symptom — but by analogy to AIDS, as a symptom it’s more like pneumonia than like Kaposi’s Sarcoma.

  92. Thomas L. Knapp

    Addendum to Michael @ 108,

    Additionally, I don’t think Capozzi is a key part of this particular problem.

    Maybe a small part — shockingly naive and impractical navel-gazing of the variety he prescribes does tend to weaken the fabric of a political party, making it more vulnerable to opportunistic infections — but not a major, or intentional, part.

  93. JT

    Gains: “Let me restate it since you missed the tack when it played out and again when I stated it plainly:”

    Don’t be an ass by repeating the same thing twice in the post, Gains. Seriously.

    Gains: ““IF” raises the potential of multiple or uncertain outcome(s).”

    Is that what “IF” does? Thanks!

    Do you and Robert understand that it’s still an absolutist statement to say that IF you “attack” (i.e., criticize) another Libertarian with OFT-employed tactics, THEN you destroy some network of trust is an absolutist statement? You’re saying one absolutely follows in the case of the prior. Whatever…I don’t think that’s important.

    Gains: “I have not spoken of exceptions or non-exceptions.”

    You in post 82: “What WAR’s opponents are doing with these tactics is destroying the network of trust that ALL of us are in in the party (Mr. Knapp and others EXCEPTED should go without saying).”

    I didn’t think you were paying close attention to what I was saying. But I had no idea you weren’t paying close attention to what YOU were saying.

    Gains: “They celebrate the potential of the party going down the toilet and they seem far more interested in hurting people for fun than affecting social change.”

    Maybe you’ve been associating with different Libertarians than I have. I haven’t met the ones who are interested in “hurting people for fun.” I’ve met Libertarians who have been very critical–sometimes mistakenly so, sometimes not. But that’s because they really believe something is a threat to what they value, not because they’re sadists.

    Robert: “So, I guess you’re saying that attack doesn’t always “break trust,” is that right?”

    Yes, but I wasn’t referring to the person being criticized. I was responding to the claim that Root’s opponents are “destroying the network of trust that ALL of us are in in the party.” I said that criticizing another LP member doesn’t destroy some collective “network of trust,” and I asked what that means in this context. If it doesn’t mean the alleged trust that Libertarians won’t be “attacked” (i.e., criticized) by other Libertarians, then it makes no sense.

    Is there something wrong with criticizing another Libertarian if you’re against what he says/does publicly because of how it reflects on the LP? I don’t think so.

  94. Thomas M. Sipos

    Re: @ 104

    I recall getting some national LP junk mail in the 1990s promising a Libertarian majority Congress in 2010.

    Not one Libertarian in Congress — but a Libertarian majority Congress.

    I guess 2010 seemed far off in the 1990s. Much like Root’s promise in 2008 of winning the presidency in 2024 (he said he had a 16-year plan) seems far off.

    That’s how scamsters work. Victory/success/the “end times” are always 15 or so years off in the future.

    Well, the LP has focused on “winning election” for over 15 years now, it’s 2010, and still no Libertarian majority Congress.

    Of course, the “vote getters” will blame the “radicals” or “abolitionists” or “anarchists” for keeping the LP a small debating society, because we’re “afraid of success.”

  95. Robert Capozzi

    tk111, hmm, sweet of you to say. Navel gazing I’ll cop to…highly recommended, actually. It could well be that I’m “naive,” but I’d like to think not. In truth, I find abolitionist L-ism to be naive in a political context, so I applaud your efforts to cease political/electoral efforts for more rarefied, philosophical endeavors like the CSS. That seems a more appropriate use of your talents and values.

    I don’t think I’m of any particular consequence in the LP per se…the only thing I might be held partially responsible for is deep-sixing (what I called) the private nukes clause from the platform.

    If I recall, though, you think I’m naive in my embrace of fusionists like Root and Barr, even though I’m clearly not a fusionist myself. I’m cognizant of the risks of being overwhelmed by these sorts, but I think it’s a risk worth taking…eyes wide open.

    btw, Kaposi is pronounced differently than Capozzi, and has a different ethnic heritage than mine. Still, while being associated with a disease could be viewed as a shameful thing, if you think about it, Kaposi’s work was instrumental in identifying and treating a horrible killer of many in the prime of their lives. Without his efforts, many more might have perished. Not such a negative association when viewed in that light, IMO.

  96. Robert Capozzi

    tms113: Much like Root’s promise in 2008 of winning the presidency in 2024 (he said he had a 16-year plan) seems far off.

    me: Agreed. When he was making those sorts of statements, I too winced. Grandiose, IMO.

    Would you agree that “playing as if one could win” differs from “predicting a win”?

  97. Robert Capozzi

    jt112, @97 you quoted,

    Gains: “If one uses attack as their default or even oft employed tactics for dealing with nominal allies, they break trust.”

    Then you said: “That’s an absolutist statement.”

    I contend it’s not, per se, but I admit I find it odd that you seem to have a problem with absolutes! It’s definitional..Attack DOES break trust, between the attacker and attackee, and therefore the network, too! How else should the attackee feel? How could someone be “attacked” and feel “trusting” at the same time?

    Attack is the opposite of respect, yes? Respectful disagreement is not attack, however.

    Do you see the difference?

    It’s my practice to respectfully disagree with Root when I do, but never to “attack” him. If I were to attack him, that means that I think his OPINIONS are “wrong” and that therefore HE is “wrong.” Of course, opinions are opinions, not facts, and as we know, opinions cannot be “wrong.”

    You may, of course, have a different opinion 😉

  98. Aaron Starr

    TS @ 98 writes: Wrong. Today’s LP both welcomes and repels him.

    Me: That’s not a particularly meaningful statement. It reminds me of an old Yogi Berra quote: “Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore. It’s too crowded.”

    You might as well say, “People in the LP can’t stand Wayne Root. You can tell because a majority of delegates voted for him. And considerably fewer delegates voted for Mary Ruwart, so that’s evidence she’s adored.”

  99. fair-minded reader

    @Aaron – that’s assuming the delegates proportionally represent the membership

  100. Thomas M. Sipos

    Aaron Starr: “That’s not a particularly meaningful statement.”

    Considering that you wrote the oh-so-obvious observation, “This is not the Libertarian Party of the 1970s or 1980s.”, I don’t think you’re in any position to criticize anyone else’s statement as being “not particularly meaningful.”

  101. JT

    Robert: “I contend it’s not, per se, but I admit I find it odd that you seem to have a problem with absolutes!”

    I don’t. I just said it was one.

    Robert: “It’s definitional..Attack DOES break trust, between the attacker and attackee, and therefore the network, too!”

    That’s not a definition, Robert. And it’s a non sequitur also.

    Robert: “How else should the attackee feel? How could someone be “attacked” and feel “trusting” at the same time?”

    Okay, so you just ignored what I clearly said in my last post. That’s kind of annoying.

    Again, I wasn’t talking about an individual’s reaction to being criticized for what he’s said/done. Nobody likes that. I was talking about some supposed collective pact in which a trust is broken if one member criticizes another one.

    Robert: “It’s my practice to respectfully disagree with Root when I do, but never to “attack” him.”

    I don’t call it “attack.” I call it criticism. Nobody’s immune from it–particularly not someone who puts himself in the spotlight as a public representative of an organization.

    Aaron: “You might as well say, “People in the LP can’t stand Wayne Root. You can tell because a majority of delegates voted for him…””

    A majority of delegates (the ones who voted at that point) voted for Root for an at-large seat on the LNC, but not for chair of the LNC. The reasonable inference there is that is most of them wanted him to raise money for the party and its candidates and have a vote in the party’s governance, but not to be its chief spokesman and agenda-setter.

  102. Thomas L. Knapp

    TS@113,

    You write:

    “I recall getting some national LP junk mail in the 1990s promising a Libertarian majority Congress in 2010.”

    Highly unlikely.

    Much more likely is that you got a pitch that asked you to IMAGINE a Libertarian majority in Congress in 2010.

    Perry Willis and Michael Cloud, particularly in their work for the Browne campaigns, were very careful with their language.

    They use phrases like “Imagine X!” and “If we had $X, we could do Y thing!”

    Then when X didn’t eventuate, or $X was used for non-Y thing, and donors and party members complained, they’d protest — truthfully, at least in the formal sense — that they hadn’t promised to deliver X, or to spend $X on Y thing.

    They were slicker than whale shit on an ice floe, and the amounts of money they milked out of the LP were probably what attracted the likes of Root.

  103. George Phillies

    @ 121

    The gentleman is recalling the late-1990s strategic plan, or so it sounds to me, which did match what was said of it.

    After the 1998 National Convention, the staffing at the National Party Headquarters and LNC had changed, with Bergland as national Chair, Dasbach as National Director (that title was about to change, and I don’t remember the year offhand), and Crickenberger as Political Director.

  104. Starchild

    Robert @63,

    You quote me saying, “My mistrust contains no personal malice, and I hope we are wrong, but I fear that Tom Knapp’s assessment of W.A.R. @57 may be correct, and I think the sooner the LP dumps him, the better it will be for the party

    and challenge,

    “OK, have you tested this against the Golden Rule? If the situation were reversed, and LPers were calling for YOUR ouster, because they felt YOUR character reflected poorly on the LP, would you be OK with that?

    What if another LPer felt yet another LP member was somehow so inappropriate, that yet another purge was launched?”

    I don’t think I can answer your question without you explaining precisely what you mean by “if the situations were reversed”.

    Do you mean if I were on the LNC and talking about seeking the LP’s presidential nomination, but otherwise the same person I am now with the same history I have, and people were calling for me to be ousted over character issues?

    Or do you mean if I were on the LNC and talking about seeking the LP’s presidential nomination, and I somehow hypothetically possessed W.A.R.’s character and history?

  105. Robert Capozzi

    jt120: The reasonable inference there is that is most of them wanted [Root] to raise money for the party and its candidates and have a vote in the party’s governance, but not to be its chief spokesman and agenda-setter.

    me: Not UNreasonable, but allow me to suggest another interpretation. Hinkle ran as a healing peacemaker. Root ran as a high-energy, high-risk fusionist. Given that choice, the convention went with the peacemaker.

    Root ran for at large as high-energy, high-risk fusionist. Nolan and Ruwart ran as old-school abolitionist stalwarts.

    The inference I take away is the convention wanted intra-LP peace first, dynamism (even fusionist dynamism) second, and old-school abolitionism third.

    Personalities, of course, matter a great deal in these sorts of elections. Hinkle, Nolan, and Ruwart come/came off as cool, calm and collected — affable. Root’s more of a “hot” personality — aggressive, impassioned, demonstrative. That’s the X factor, but Ls in my experience relate more to cool than hot (in person; in writing, they love to flame others).

    Back to your distinction between “attack” and “criticism,” while I’m no Reagan L, his 11th commandment is something for us to consider. “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow L” would be a good way to go. I can’t think of a bright-line test for such things, but I would say that Root is attacked more than criticized (or given feedback).

    TK121 seems to believe that former LP staff literally “milked” the party, and that this narrow sort of financial gain is what attracts “the likes of Root.” That’s not quite an attack technically, but effectively I’d say it was. Yet, I’ve seen no evidence that Root knew of the “milking” of the 90s prior to joining the LP, nor that his motive was to get on that gravy train. While some of Root’s personal business practices could be construed as borderline, possibly dubious, to say that this means he will “milk” the LP seems over-the-line unfair, even baseless. Yes, he sometimes mentions his association with the LP in his business dealings, but that’s not anything like “milking.”

    Ls — especially we dovish Ls — should be highly skeptical of calls for pre-emptive strikes of any sort. I’d suggest that over-the-line words or behavior can and should be challenged, like party leaders narcing to the FEC or siding with Gingrich on Cordoba House. Even these sorts of challenges should be rare and conducted in the spirit of “truth and reconciliation,” not punitive witch hunts.

    btw, in Root’s case, my sense is he’s far too dismissive of challenges to positions he takes. Respect is a 2 way street; if his response disses the challenger, I’d suggest his likely to receive even more bad karma.

  106. Robert Capozzi

    sc123, same person now. What position you hold doesn’t matter…you are already a leading figure in the LP, a strong voice with a high profile. Say someone watched your (well done) Reason.TV interview. Say your desire for a Che L to emerge set someone off. In an attempt to silence you, they viciously attacked you, including your chosen profession. They want to OUST you by any means necessary.

    Would that be OK with you? Would you say that your attacker is being fair and honorable?

    To be clear, I would not. I like you and what you stand for. You’re colorful and thoughtful. So is Root. I sometimes disagree with you both, though. Riffing off Voltaire, I would challenge anyone who wanted to oust you or Root.

    That’s how I roll. Seems kinda…I dunno…decent.

  107. JT

    Tom: “Then when X didn’t eventuate, or $X was used for non-Y thing, and donors and party members complained, they’d protest — truthfully, at least in the formal sense — that they hadn’t promised to deliver X, or to spend $X on Y thing.

    They were slicker than whale shit on an ice floe, and the amounts of money they milked out of the LP were probably what attracted the likes of Root.”

    Is there something sketchy about asking people to imagine something appealing and possible in an effort to get funds for a campaign? Is that different than Libertarian candidates asking people to picture a free society (or at least a society that’s more free than what we have now) in an effort to get votes in an election?

    If anyone takes that as a stamped guarantee it WILL happen, then that’s pretty stupid and his own problem.

    Robert: “Hinkle ran as a healing peacemaker. Root ran as a high-energy, high-risk fusionist. Given that choice, the convention went with the peacemaker.”

    Hinkle didn’t primarily run as a “healing peacemaker” but as a congenial, experienced party administrator. He wound up with the anti-Root votes–votes that kept swinging from one of Root’s opponents to another before the final ballot. You think those people disliked Root’s energy? I don’t. I do think they disliked his brand of conservative-libertarian fusionism and his outreach only to the Right. But that falls into what I said about not wanting him to be the chief spokesman and agenda-setter for the LP.

    Robert: ““Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow L” would be a good way to go.”

    And I disagree. It depends on what a fellow Libertarian says and does–particularly in public–and whether or not you think that’s reflecting poorly on the party.

    Robert: “I can’t think of a bright-line test for such things, but I would say that Root is attacked more than criticized (or given feedback).”

    I think an attack is vicious, violent abuse. Criticism is negative judgment from analysis. It can be strong criticism if the judgment is strongly negative, but it’s still not an attack.

    From what I’ve seen and heard, I don’t think he’s viciously, violently abused more than he’s negatively judged. I pointed that out because you used the word “attack” a bunch of times in your post to just insert the most negative connotation possible as if it were self-evident.

  108. Robert Capozzi

    jt126: Hinkle didn’t primarily run as a “healing peacemaker” but as a congenial, experienced party administrator. He wound up with the anti-Root votes–votes that kept swinging from one of Root’s opponents to another before the final ballot. You think those people disliked Root’s energy? I don’t. I do think they disliked his brand of conservative-libertarian fusionism and his outreach only to the Right.

    me: Hmm, “healing peacemaker” = “congenial,” so I’d say we agree. Good add about “administrator.” My point must not have been clear, so I’ll try again…Hinkle positioned himself differently that Nolan and Ruwart did. His was not an especially ideological campaign. Root’s was. The non-ideological competence issue won there.

    Root/Nolan/Ruwart was IMO the more strictly ideological test, and there Root did somewhat better than the stalwarts.

    As to Root’s energy, no, I didn’t mean to imply that the convention delegates don’t like his style, per se. I suspect that large percentages of Ls don’t RELATE to Root’s style. Ls tend to be more introverted generally. We can’t know, but it COULD be that an introverted Root-like candidate might have done better than Root himself for chair.

    In my case, I’d prefer to see a more centrist, non-absolutist L leading the party, but for the most part, we are a rare breed. Leadership is a complex and subjective thing, and leaders often have qualities that we as individuals consider to be a strength or a weakness.

    To oversimplify this (or any) process is to miss the salient factors in collective decision-making. IMO.

  109. JT

    Robert: “Hmm, “healing peacemaker” = “congenial,” so I’d say we agree.”

    I wouldn’t say that because they’re not equal terms. Congenial just means he has a pleasant temperament. It doesn’t mean he primarily ran as a “healing peacemaker.” He primarily ran as an experienced administrator in the party. That’s mostly what he talked about.

    Robert: “My point must not have been clear, so I’ll try again…Hinkle positioned himself differently that Nolan and Ruwart did. His was not an especially ideological campaign. Root’s was. The non-ideological competence issue won there.”

    But my point is that I don’t think the delegates primarily wanted someone who ran as a non-ideological administrator or as a “healing peacemaker.” I think most of them (by a slim majority) primarily just wanted to defeat Root because of his clear conservative-libertarian ideological and exclusively Right-focused strategic approach. Given that, most of them preferred ANY of his opponents to Root as the chief spokesman or agenda-setter of the party. And the evidence is that Root didn’t go up a lot in votes from the first ballot to the last, while most of the other votes kept swinging among his different opponents.

    But most of the delegates who voted on the last day for the at-large seats (and I don’t know how many of them were even left then) did vote for Root. It’s just one at-large seat on the LNC, and he can do things for the party such as raise money and improve candidates’ public speaking skills.

  110. Robert Capozzi

    JT, our opinions are informed in part by our biases, from which we develop narratives to explain what we observe. Since we don’t have any evidence other than perhaps hall talk, I would HOPE that your narrative is just your opinion based on your biases. I acknowledge that that’s the case with me.

    Yes, your narrative might be strengthened if there were a survey of the delegates, questioning why they voted as they did. It is possible that the winning sentiment was “anyone but Root.” I suspect many Hinkle voters felt that way. Odds are high that many Hinkle voters were actually Hinkle supporters. Some may have voted Hinkle as their second choice, and were not actually anti-Root.

    Or, you can stick with your narrative and its metaphysical certitude 😉 Perhaps you and Sipos should team up, with him providing the mind-reading capabilities, you guys’d be unstoppable! 😉

  111. Starchild

    Robert @125,

    If I were to be the same person in your hypothetical, then no dice for your proposition. While it’s obviously impossible for me to be an unbiased observer on this matter, I don’t see myself as having either the character issues or the propensity to take un-libertarian positions that W.A.R. does, and therefore our situations are in no way equivalent.

    If anyone complains about my reference to my comment about our movement needing a libertarian Che Guevara in my recent interview on Reason.tv (and thank you for your kind words on that), they would probably be reacting to the headline, which I obviously didn’t write, rather than to the actual content.

    Since I’m strongly anti-communist and believe that Guevara was a cold-blooded murderer who deserved his fate, I think I could probably explain myself to the satisfaction of anyone who took issue with my remarks out of a distaste for Guevara and what he stood for.

    If LP members hypothetically decided I was not libertarian enough to be a voting member of the Libertarian Party, I would actually be fine with that, as I believe I’ve explained in previous discussions on IPR. Such an action would be a strong proof that the party was strongly enough committed to libertarianism that I could strictly focus on activism and leave party governance to others, secure in the knowledge that while those leaders might diverge from my personal views on a few issues, the party was in the hands of people who were not going to water down our platform, adopt un-libertarian priorities, or buy into hype-filled candidates promising electoral success.

    And again to be clear, I am not talking about purging Wayne Allyn Root from the LP. I am for a big tent party, and welcome his participation as a registered Libertarian, donor and activist. However I believe that there needs to be a stronger litmus test for those involved in setting party policy or representing us as candidates or spokespersons, and I do not believe W.A.R. has the qualities that are desirable for persons in those positions.

  112. Robert Capozzi

    sc130: …I don’t see myself as having either the character issues or the propensity to take un-libertarian positions that W.A.R. does, and therefore our situations are in no way equivalent.

    me: Thanks for the thoughtful response. Seems reasonable to me. However, I would venture to say that Root himself would likely say that HE doesn’t have character issues and that HE doesn’t take un-L positions.

    What to do, what to do?

    Where do we want to be? Doctrinal, plumb line litmus testers? Pay to play ego stroking opportunists? Anything goes laissez fairists?

    Odds are high that the yin-yang of it all will continue, hopefully creating only a dull roar vs. a mind-numbing cacophony.

  113. Gains

    SC @130: “However I believe that there needs to be a stronger litmus test for those involved in setting party policy or representing us as candidates or spokespersons, and I do not believe W.A.R. has the qualities that are desirable for persons in those positions.”

    I think that this is a function of scale. Our pool is too small and milquetoast libs or pseudo libs are not a surprise to pull out when we fish it for leaders. There is not enough qualified people to fill the needs we have. We need more people.

    This is one of the reason why I think that the ablative tactics needs to be toned way down. Unless we increase our pool of members and activists, we are going to keep pulling undersized fish (so to speak). That pool is not going to grow as long as “send the other guy and his people packing” is an acceptable strategy for “success” in our party.

  114. Robert Capozzi

    FMR: [Root] “wants to redefine libertarianism”

    me: I hope so! Prior to 2006, the LP platform could easily be interpreted as being in favor of the “right” to private nukes. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and L-ism was redefined.

    Unless, of course, you think there are stone tablets atop some mountain somewhere that spells out the unequivocal, eternal, everlasting, immutable way, truth and light of metaphysically certain L-ism for all socioeconomic and political questions.

  115. JT

    Robert: “Or, you can stick with your narrative and its metaphysical certitude 😉 Perhaps you and Sipos should team up, with him providing the mind-reading capabilities, you guys’d be unstoppable! ;-)”

    No, I admittedly don’t have a survey of the delegates. But I did give a compelling reason for my view based on the delegate voting. I didn’t say it was mystically revealed to me. That insinuation is kind of insulting since it just sidesteps my reasoning, so I guess we’re done here.

  116. Thomas L. Knapp

    George @ 122,

    Actually, I didn’t have the strategic plan per se in mind.

    Bob @ 124,

    You write:

    “TK121 seems to believe that former LP staff literally ‘milked’ the party”

    I was very specific in whom I referenced and in what role I referenced them.

    Granted, one of the people is former LP staff, but I clearly referenced his work on a campaign, not his LP staff work (although there certainly were some obvious problems with that, given his subsequent confession to having used his position as national director of the LP to steal the 1996 presidential nomination).

    Some people seem to think that milking the LP financially and doing good things for the LP are mutually exclusive. I don’t. But neither do I think we should pretend that milking the party isn’t milking the party.

  117. JT

    Robert: “Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and L-ism was redefined.”

    That Platform was significantly changed in 2006, but you’ve already said there’s no definition of libertarianism, so libertarianism couldn’t have been redefined. Nevermind any contradictions.

  118. Darryl W. Perry

    @135 – you describe 1 position that was reworded. Libertarianism wasn’t “redefined” by that action.

    Root says he wants to “redefine libertarianism” by removing the “liberal positions” – do you support or oppose this? and why?

  119. Robert Capozzi

    jt138, touche’ my literalistic friend! My sentence would have read more clearly if it had quotes around “redefined.” The language generally and the meaning of words specifically are constantly evolving…that’s the nature of things. If Shakespeare himself was plopped down in Atlanta, GA today, I doubt he would understand the Atlantans, and they’d not understand him, though all would be speaking “English.”

    Of course, some might make the case that the pre-06 platform didn’t sanctify private nukes based on Walter Block’s “proof” to the contrary.

    Rather than looking (perhaps desperately) for precision in such matters, I’d suggest it’s far more useful to take one’s best guess as what Root meant by “redefine.” All things considered, I think he meant something like how the LP is perceived and generally considered to be in the range of political thought…where the brand is positioned. He’d position it right to hard right, with some exceptions on social and foreign policy is my shorthand take.

    His point is about image and association, not mathematically precise philosophical formations. If you interpret his words literally, I suggest you are missing his meaning.

    I don’t read his words literally, but I disagree with Root’s strategy, especially as a sole or even dominant strategy for the LP.

  120. Robert Capozzi

    tk137: But neither do I think we should pretend that milking the party isn’t milking the party.

    me: Agreed. The LP probably could be run entirely by volunteers, though it’d be less effective, most likely. If drawing a salary is milking, then we’re being milked right now. If a salary is “too much,” perhaps that’s your standard for milking…not sure.

    S’far as I know, Root hasn’t taken any “guap” from the party, so to associate him with those you feel have “milked” the party seems really unfair to me. But I’m sure you have your reasons and rationales, Thomas.

  121. JT

    Robert: “jt138, touche’ my literalistic friend! My sentence would have read more clearly if it had quotes around “redefined.”

    No, it would have read more clearly if you just left out that a changed LP Platform changed libertarianism.

    Robert: “The language generally and the meaning of words specifically are constantly evolving…that’s the nature of things.”

    Translation: I don’t necessarily say what I mean or mean what I say. Therefore, don’t think I do.

    Robert: “Rather than looking (perhaps desperately) for precision in such matters, I’d suggest it’s far more useful to take one’s best guess as what Root meant by “redefine.””

    Perhaps desperately! That’s funny, Robert.

    Robert: “If you interpret [Root’s] words literally, I suggest you are missing his meaning.”

    I wasn’t responding to what HE said. I was responding to what YOU said.

    You said: “I hope so! Prior to 2006, the LP platform could easily be interpreted as being in favor of the “right” to private nukes. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and L-ism was redefined.”

    That’s a statement there from someone who constantly says libertarianism has no objective meaning, so that just struck me as bizarre. But you don’t use words accurately, I guess. I won’t assume that anymore.

  122. Robert Capozzi

    dwp139: …removing the “liberal positions” – do you support or oppose this? and why?

    me: No, I don’t. I believe Root said something about “mixing in too many things that are liberal.” “Removing” would be something else.

    From a political POV, I think the LP should position itself as “liberal” on several important issues. IMO, economically conservative, socially liberal, works pretty well. Clear?

  123. JT

    On the other hand, Robert, you did (wrongly) tell me above that “healing peacemaker” has the same meaning as “congenial,” which contradicts your oft-stated view about the meanings of words. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. I suppose it only applies to words that you don’t want to have objective meanings. I get it now.

  124. Gains

    I strongly disagree with what I perceive as WAR’s strategy.

    When I was a young man, a newly voting Republican just like dad was, it was the social issues in the Nolan Chart that set libertarians apart for me. Concentrating on the social issues with conservatives is what attracts some libertarians as does playing up economic issues when the Republicans are blowing it even with their own supposed philosophic roots.

    There is a matter of style there. WAR has his style and that’s all good. They guy who got me with a Nolan chart was also doing a good shtick. I don’t care to criticize either of them. The only concern I have is when someone takes exclusive definition of libertarianism as theirs to own. It feels like some do that in criticizing WAR. It also feels like WAR does it in that article where he is quoted to say he is going to redefine libertarianism.

    I think that what Root did there was just the sort of attack that I think of as destructive. It noxifies the necessary atmosphere for a healthy coalition at the least.

  125. Darryl W. Perry

    @143 “From a political POV, I think the LP should position itself as “liberal” on several important issues. IMO, economically conservative, socially liberal, works pretty well. Clear?”

    I agree, however “the (self proclaimed) voice/spokesman/face” of the LP may not agree.

  126. Robert Capozzi

    jt142: But you don’t use words accurately, I guess.

    me: From your perspective, near as I can tell, perhaps I don’t. I assure you that I do my best to be accurate, which involves technical English as well as on a more metaphorical level. The shit of it is that that we ain’t robots, and in the movie I’m watching, context, nuance, what’s not said, etc., is where the juice of life is.

  127. Robert Capozzi

    jt144: …you did (wrongly) tell me above that “healing peacemaker” has the same meaning as “congenial,” …

    me: Sort of. The words are in the same direction. I don’t recall Hinkle using either term. But, yes, from a hyper-technical JT perspective, I agree, not synonyms. However, I would say that “healing peacemakers” are almost always “congenial,” and “congenial” people are almost always “healing peacemakers.” I could imagine, I guess, a hostile person somehow being a force for healing and peace.

    My guess is you have a good explanation for how the English language evolved to the point where “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing! 😉

  128. Hmmm ...

    “TK121 seems to believe that former LP staff literally “milked” the party, and that this narrow sort of financial gain is what attracts “the likes of Root.” – @24

    To “literally” do something means that you really did that thing.

    It’s hard to imagine that Willis and Cloud were able to find an udder or teets of some kind that allowed them to actually get any of the liquid produced by mammals to feed their young from some organ of the LP, so they could not have literally milked the party.

    However, they did take advantage of the LP and were highly overpaid for work of questionable value. They duped the party stewards into paying them enormous sums for worthless words and promises. There are volunteers available who can do far more for the LP than Willis and Cloud and who will do it without pay of any kind.

    So, “figuratively,” they milked the party. That is stating it kindly.

  129. Robert Capozzi

    Hmm149, well, it’s interpretative English day here at IPR. I see your point, but the word “milked” is in quotes. So, in this context, what I meant by “literally ‘milked'” was “literally taken financial advantage of .” I used “milked” as TK’d used “milked.”

    I trust that clears things up for you.

  130. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “What to do, what to do?”

    You always feign being perplexed, as if confronted by such mystifying conundrums.

    Really, there’s no need for hand-wringing over Root.

    What to do? Whatever we like.

    Those who want to criticize, can and will.

    Those who want to defend and spin, can and will.

    And those who want to feign some sort of impartial head-scratching, can and will.

    And life goes on.

  131. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “what I meant by ‘literally ‘milked’’ was ‘literally taken financial advantage of .'”

    Interesting.

    That’s not precisely what I meant by “milked.”

    My use of “milked was intended to reflect that they used their association with the party to make money in such a way that that tended to be the nature of their relationship with the party.

    In order to more clearly demonstrate what I’m talking about, and how it may not necessarily be all bad for the party, I’ll switch from talking about Willis and Cloud to talking about Harry Browne himself.

    Early in this decade, the late RW Bradford replayed a conversation he had with Harry.

    The question under discussion was, basically, “Harry, this is the second time you’re running for the LP’s presidential nomination — after 20+ years as a leading anarchist, preaching non-involvement in politics and telling people they shouldn’t even vote. What’s up with that?”

    Harry’s answer was, essentially that

    a) his investment newsletter was winding down, b) he wasn’t quite ready to retire yet,
    c) he needed to knock down about $100k per year for a few years in order to maintain his standard of living and prepare for his retirement, and
    d) Willis and Cloud had convinced him that he could do that by running for president.

    I don’t know if he managed to net $100k a year at it or not, but the nature of the relationship was that he was “milking the party” as a vehicle for book sales, speaking fees, etc. His presidential campaigns were just his way of getting his hands on the teats.

    Despite the problems I myself had with the conduct of his campaigns, I don’t think that many of Harry’s detractors would claim that they were bad in every way for the LP. Many would claim that the LP got a very good deal.

  132. George Whitfield

    I am glad Harry Browne became involved in the Libertarian Party for several reasons. In addition to his excellent communication of LP positions, I became aware of the mutual fund he helped create by reading about him during his campaigns. The fund’s name is the Permanent Portfolio Fund and I subsequently invested in it. It has done very well for me. You can see its performance at http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pm?s=PRPFX+Performance Among conservative allocation funds, it ranks #1 year to date, over the last 3 years and last 5 years.

  133. Matt Cholko

    It’s amazing to me – there is soooo much Root hating, but there are at least 10 times as many comments on the average IPR post involving Root than the average LP related post that doesn’t involve him. I’m not sure why, but I feel like this must say something good about Root’s involvement in our party.

    Personally, I’m indifferent to Root. I certainly don’t agree with a good number of his positions, but I don’t think he’s doing any harm to the party. There is a shitload of bitching about him, but WE ARE ALL STILL HERE bitching.

  134. Hmmm ...

    @ 150 The point was not the word milked, but the word “literally.”

    Many sportscasters make this mistake. For example: “Today, the Vikings literally killed the Jets ….” This would mean, of course, that the Jets’ players, at least some number of them, are actually dead, having been killed by the Vikings’ players.

    “Literally” means that you are using the literal, real meaning of the word and not some other figurative meaning, even if that figurative meaning is also a dictionary listed use of the word.

  135. Matt Cholko

    On the flipside, I don’t think it would make much difference if Root dissappeared from the LP scene tomorrow.

    It may hurt IPR’s page views a bit though. 😉

  136. JT

    Tom: “Harry’s answer was, essentially that

    a) his investment newsletter was winding down, b) he wasn’t quite ready to retire yet,
    c) he needed to knock down about $100k per year for a few years in order to maintain his standard of living and prepare for his retirement, and
    d) Willis and Cloud had convinced him that he could do that by running for president.”

    Despite that hearsay account, I heard him give a different response. He thought the political scene was far different from years before.

    One reason was that public opinion polls had been showing record levels of public distrust in government, which was true.

    Another was that the Republicans had taken the U.S. House handily after decades of minority status while campaigning on seriously downsizing the federal government (their “Revolution” was obviously stillborn).

    Another was that many millions of people had shown they were willing to vote for an alternative candidate for President as evidenced by Ross Perot’s showing in 1992 (his signature issue was slashing the national debt).

    Another was that the LP had grown a great deal since he wrote his 1974 book Freedom in an Unfree World, achieving ballot status in all 50 states.

    His explanation had nothing to do with knocking down $100k a year. In fact, he lost money from running for President, not gained it. He didn’t even get royalties from his campaign books.

    http://www.harrybrowne.org/2000/toc.htm

    Just some interesting reading from the 2000 campaign if anyone cares.

  137. Michael H. Wilson

    There is no Moses to lead us to the Promised Land and there is no Pied Piper. We’ll have to learn we need to grind this out on our own and until we learn that we won’t get far.

  138. Starchild

    Robert @132 writes,

    “Thanks for the thoughtful response. Seems reasonable to me. However, I would venture to say that Root himself would likely say that HE doesn’t have character issues and that HE doesn’t take un-L positions.”

    Of course he would! But there is an objective or consensus reality by which people and their actions can be evaluated. I’m sure you don’t really believe that all behavior and actions are equal, so why are you trying to pretend that Root’s are somehow no different than yours or mine?

    Imagine with me for a minute a Libertarian Party which unequivocally stood for libertarianism by applying the Non-Aggression Principle to public policy issues, and which had strict requirements for party leaders (decision-makers), candidates, and spokespersons to adhere to the NAP.

    In such a party, LP members would not be pressured to conform their personal beliefs to libertarianism, because it would be clearly understood that personal beliefs and what you do or say on behalf of the party are two different things.

    Since support for libertarian ideas are the only real thing that Libertarian Party members have in common, why not agree amongst ourselves to stop trying to get the party to adhere to our *personal* vision, and simply have it adhere to libertarianism?

    There are points on which I don’t believe that enforcing the Non-Aggression Principle would make the best public policy. However I am willing to say that the party should champion the Non-Aggression Principle 100% of the time, *even where I personally disagree*, because I would rather have a party I can rely on to be principled and to consistently support policies I mostly agree with, than a party that runs the risk of becoming inconsistent and unprincipled and abandoning libertarianism due to the pressures and temptations of electoral politics.

    If we all agreed to accept that the party would follow whatever the consensus interpretation of the Non-Aggression Principle called for with regard to a particular public policy issue, then our intra-party arguments could be limited to arguments about the proper meaning of the NAP, and much of the current criticism and controversy could be avoided.

    Those who wanted to unite and work together on goals and projects not in accord with the consensus interpretation of libertarianism (e.g. pro-life Libertarians in a party where most people felt that the proper interpretation of the Non-Aggression Principle was allowing women to choose whether or not to terminate their pregnancies) could still work together for their goal in other forums, and work to persuade other Libertarians that their interpretation was the correct one, but would agree not to seek to change Libertarian Party policy until they had the support of a plurality of LP members for their interpretation of the NAP.

  139. Robert Capozzi

    Tk152 and Hmm155, thanks. I take Hmm’s point that “literally” is often misused. In my case, I used “literally” this way: One could say that anyone who is paid as a professional to work for (in this case) liberty is “milking” the cause. I disagree. Someone who is paid EXORBITANTLY, however, could be viewed as “literally ‘milking'” the cause for financial gain. That’s what I meant. “Figuratively” would not have been appropriate. IOW, in using “literally,” I was contrasting reasonable pay with excessive pay. TK has begun to clarify why he thinks Browne and his associates were, I guess, motivated first by financial gain, then perhaps by advancing the cause of liberty. (I have no opinion on the matter.) They, he says, were “milking” the LP. I was trying to get a sense of what he meant, whether it was excessive pay, improper motivation, or something else. Sounds like Browne’s (and his associates’s) motive was the main concern, but frankly I’m still not clear on what his point is.

    I still have seen no evidence that Root has “milked” the LP. TK seems to believe that Root, by his *nature*, is like Willis, Cloud and Browne. My presumption of innocence stands on all counts. My presumption that they made mistakes also stands on all counts.

    Sc161: But there is an objective or consensus reality by which people and their actions can be evaluated.

    Me: Objective? No, I can’t say I agree. Consensus reality? No, ADR, but clearly there is no consensus, and never HAS been consensus. When we select someone in nomination, that could be viewed as consensus. Root has been…twice. The consensus seems to be he should be a leader in the party, as should Hinkle and Barr.

    Sc: Imagine with me for a minute a Libertarian Party which unequivocally stood for libertarianism by applying the Non-Aggression Principle…

    Me: There may have been such a meeting of the minds at the very founding, but since then, there has not. There was only 6 or so people there. With more people, we get more disagreement. Even at the founding, I bet there was no consensus, as the early party was even more Randian than it is now, and Randians are hyper-hawks generally. There were and is differences of opinion on what the NAP means, and how it could be applied. Personally, I find the NAP woefully inadequate on many levels, even though I like the sentiment it expresses.

    Sc: … the party should champion the Non-Aggression Principle 100% of the time, *even where I personally disagree*, because I would rather have a party I can rely on to be principled and to consistently support policies I mostly agree with, than a party that runs the risk of becoming inconsistent and unprincipled and abandoning libertarianism due to the pressures and temptations of electoral politics.

    Me: Yes, “risk” is the operative term here. Politics is risky. One can take a position X, but then new information arises and X looks like a mistake. That’s the nature of the beast, I’d say. I used to believe, for ex., that fetuses are “parasites.” Ayn and Murray told me that was the case. Looking back on that error in judgment, I could decide that I should never discuss politics, since sometimes I make mistakes. I choose, however, to continue to share my opinions, knowing that I am fallible. Human fallibility is a universal truth, IMO.

    Or, say, a L – armed with the NAP – campaigns saying: Smash the State. End government tomorrow. Another says Cut government 10% for the next 5 years. Another says Cut government by 3.8% the next 10 years. I’d say those are all L positions and all involve some calibration. It’s simplistic to say that the NAP implies any one “korrect line.” IMO.

    Sc: … intra-party arguments could be limited to arguments about the proper meaning of the NAP, and much of the current criticism and controversy could be avoided.

    Me: Can’t say I agree. Check that premise. Look at the record on things like private nukes, abortion, age of consent, and on and on. I’m confident you’ll find cacophonous arguments on many sides of these (bracing) issues. Even when we GET plurality, the arguments about what the plurality ITSELF means can involve decades of arguments!

    A L Che couldn’t work with that! 😉

  140. Robert Capozzi

    TMS151: And those who want to feign some sort of impartial head-scratching, can and will. And life goes on.

    ME: Yes, we agree! As I said @133: “Odds are high that the yin-yang of it all will continue, hopefully creating only a dull roar vs. a mind-numbing cacophony.”

    I’ll keep doing my Columbo routine when I sense a Chicken Little in our midst. Maybe you’re right…maybe the sky IS falling. I don’t happen to think so. In your mind, you seem to believe you’ve made an air-tight case against Root, and I remain unconvinced by your thesis. When you deflect challenges to your thesis, you weaken your case for fair-minded onlookers. You continue to confuse “fact” with “truth.” Root sometimes says things that many disagree with — including me — but you connect the dots in ways that spin these facts to meet your thesis. That, we all do. It’s your mind-reading certitude (which you SOMEHOW deny) that tends to expose you as a malcontent bent on destroying Root’s reputation. You offer your (apparently sincere) history as being anti-war as your motive, yet when evidence is presented that Root is evolving in a non-interventionist direction, you go ballistic and exclaim Root is NOT evolving, he’s a con man, in effect.

    A fair-minded person might conclude that your thesis is possible, but not proven. Since most Ls have THEMSELVES evolved from a non-L worldview, your certainty in your theory is very, very weak. None of us popped out of the womb shouting “taxation is theft!” or “End the Empire Now!”

    You may not have gotten that memo, so I’m sharing it with you now, for your consideration.

    So, in the meantime, Columbo’s job is to keep things to a dull roar. 😉

  141. Michael H. Wilson

    Starchild @161 writes; “There are points on which I don’t believe that enforcing the Non-Aggression Principle would make the best public policy. However I am willing to say that the party should champion the Non-Aggression Principle 100% of the time, *even where I personally disagree*, because I would rather have a party I can rely on to be principled and to consistently support policies I mostly agree with, than a party that runs the risk of becoming inconsistent and unprincipled and abandoning libertarianism due to the pressures and temptations of electoral politics.”

    Yes! I will often tell those on the left that I find it hard to believe they think we can build a peaceful society, one that reflects respect for others, by using the coercive powers of government.

    And while I think we need to rip down the barriers that keep people I poverty and say so, I also believe that it is not going to happen immediately. That in fact the system has to be rolled back or as I said above we have to grind it out.

    To those ends I am working to reduce the licensing fees that midwives pay and hopefully getting the word out on contracting out transit services, along with a couple of other issues.

  142. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “TK seems to believe that Root, by his *nature*, is like Willis, Cloud and Browne.”

    Oh, hell, no.

    Willis, Cloud and Browne were trying to do well while doing good. Sometimes when the two conflicted, the former won out.

    Compared to them, Root is an artless hack. He’s written entire books on his modus operandi, which comes down to “Get on the mule. Ride it until it falls over. Find another mule who hasn’t bothered to read your books …”

  143. Robert Capozzi

    TK165, ok, now you’ve really lost me.

    You’re saying that Willis, Cloud and Browne were trying to do well while doing good, and we know that at least Willis and Cloud received compensation. You seem to suggest that Browne wanted compensation, but you’re unsure whether he received any.

    Root has not received compensation, but you seem to suggest that he doesn’t care about doing good, just doing well financially.

    There seems to be an awfully big disconnect in your logic here. If I misunderstand, please help me understand your perspective, because while I generally understand what you write, in this case, I don’t.

  144. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “Root has not received compensation”

    Wow. I’d never have predicted that you’d wait for December 31st to make your most absurd claim of 2010.

    The Conscience of a Libertarian was an agented sale to a major publisher. If he didn’t receive at least a five-figure advance on it, he’s not much of a businessman.

    I suppose it’s possible that he hosted the Ruddy/Forbes “Emergency Dollar Summit” for free … and that that guy who keeps trying to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge actually owns it. But both seem exceedingly unlikely.

    Those are the first two things that come to mind as compensated exploitations of his 2008 LP VP nomination.

  145. Robert Capozzi

    TK167, is that a question or an accusation? Sounds like an accusation, and I would have thought that you, of all people, would recognize that when I say “compensation,” I meant from the party or a campaign. Whatever!

    So, I think I’m getting your point now. Root is monetizing his VP nominee status. He’s leveraging his LNCC and LNC slots a bit as well with radio and other events.

    In your mind, this is the record of an “artless hack,” compared with those who you believe WERE paid directly from LP donations IYO excessively and in a conflicted manner.

    Do I have that right? If so, that may be coherent for you. I find it, ah, not so much.

    Now, if what’s behind your point is that Browne, Willis, and Cloud’s political opinions were more in line with yours, that starts to lurch toward coherence for me. Nothing that Root was doing would be acceptable to you, since his opinions are insufficiently aligned with yours. Your critique of his monetizing activities appear more like a smokescreen/mask for your ideological disagreements with Root.

    (Unfortunately, I have to guess about what your REAL grievance with Root is, as you persist in being coy. If it’s something else, I would like to understand your critique.)

    My ideological disagreements with Root stop at critiquing his professional activities. I think it’s great that he’s getting published and getting radio gigs. I said early on I prefer him as a pundit than as a L candidate.

    I never have understood sadism.

  146. Jill Pyeatt

    I have a question about Root. He calls himself a politician ( a point I’m really not arguing with). Has he ever held an elected position, besides chair of the LNCC and At-Large Rep for the LNC?

  147. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “Do I have that right?”

    Whenever you ask that question, I’m always confused as to whether you really don’t know that you have it wrong, or whether you’re just being sarcastic.

    “Now, if what’s behind your point is that Browne, Willis, and Cloud’s political opinions were more in line with yours, that starts to lurch toward coherence for me. Nothing that Root was doing would be acceptable to you, since his opinions are insufficiently aligned with yours.”

    I don’t follow Root closely enough to know whether his opinions are aligned with mine at any given moment.

    His opinions are like the weather in St. Louis — if you don’t like them, wait ten minutes and check again.

    That, FYI, is the “artless hack” part.

    Willis/Cloud/Browne were generally pretty consistent in terms of messaging.

    They’d occasionally float trial balloons on fairly minor issues positions changes — the one that comes to mind is Harry’s brief entertainment of a low, flat income tax proposal versus his standard “eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing” line — but for the most part they stuck with the message they started with (and no, that message was not always aligned with my own views).

    “Unfortunately, I have to guess about what your REAL grievance with Root is”

    No you don’t.

    Hint: I don’t have a grievance with Root.

    When I was involved with the LP, I may have had a grievance with Root to the extent that I didn’t want it entangled in his schemes.

    But frankly, that was more a grievance with the LP for its perpetual gullibility than with Root. When you persist in picking up snakes, you must expect that one will eventually bite you.

  148. Starchild

    Robert @162, writes:

    “Personally, I find the NAP woefully inadequate on many levels, even though I like the sentiment it expresses.”

    Fine, then don’t follow the Non-Aggression Principle. But please let the Libertarian Party be libertarian.

    I said that “there is an objective or consensus reality by which people and their actions can be evaluated”. I was referring to the fact that Root denying any issues with his character or his failure to adhere to libertarian ideas when others clearly see those issues does not mean it’s impossible to reach a conclusion and you have to throw up your hands in helplessness, as your responses seemed to imply.

    Missing that point entirely, you instead seem to have latched onto the word “consensus” and used it to try to argue, again, that since libertarians have different views on things, the party can’t stand for libertarianism, or (contradicting your previous argument) that since a plurality of delegates nominated Barr and Root, or elected Root to the LNC, there must be a “consensus” that these results are correct.

    You also seem to entirely miss my main point of how Libertarians could achieve a large degree of harmony in our ranks by agreeing that regardless of our personal opinions, the goal of the *Libertarian Party* is to advocate *libertarianism* (the Non-Aggression Principle), although I suspect that you understand me better than you let on.

    When new people get involved in the Libertarian Party, they often retain some of the worldviews associated with their previous leftism or conservatism. The longer they stay involved with libertarianism, the more libertarian their views tend to become (you are evidently being an exception).

    Since the Libertarian Party allows people to immediately get involved in party leadership, setting policies and priorities, and representing the party publicly without any ideological qualifications other than signing the non-aggression pledge, it is natural that current libertarians will often immediately seek to get newcomers to change any non-libertarian views they may have, as a way of keeping the party libertarian.

    If we had stronger qualifications for being in party leadership, setting LP policies and priorities, and representing the party publicly, then much of the motive for this protectiveness would disappear. If someone expressed a desire to be in leadership, etc., then the current Libertarians would be like, “Okay, here are the standards you must meet for that”, and either the person would have sufficiently libertarian views to meet the standards, or not. No longer would we have to have the arguments of “this person isn’t libertarian enough” — there would be clear documentation of whether they were or not, and if their behavior later contradicted what they said in writing, there would be a simple procedure to remove them from office on those grounds.

    Much of the current problem stems from the fact that we tend to want to define libertarianism as whatever we *personally* believe, whether it is libertarian or not, because we have the idea, as Libertarians, that the libertarian solution must automatically be the *best* solution.

    I found the realization that the libertarian solution *isn’t* always necessarily the best solution to be very liberating. No longer do I feel the need to fight to define libertarianism as being whatever I personally believe.

    When we are each fighting to make the Libertarian Party reflect our personal beliefs as closely as possible, this is a recipe for endless conflict. If we simply let the Libertarian Party be libertarian, recognizing that few of us are 100% libertarian ourselves, but that it’s nevertheless good to have a party that is 100% libertarian, then we have a basis for consensus despite the inevitable personal philosophical differences.

  149. Starchild

    Robert @168 writes,

    “My ideological disagreements with Root stop at critiquing his professional activities. I think it’s great that he’s getting published and getting radio gigs. I said early on I prefer him as a pundit than as a L candidate. I never have understood sadism.”

    I can’t say I’ve really ever understood sadism either.

    However I do understand that without firm ideological principles and mechanisms ensuring it will stay true to those principles, the Libertarian Party is susceptible to the temptations presented by electoral politics to water down our ideas in order to pander to voters and achieve power.

    I do understand that allowing people like W.A.R., who elevate winning over principle, and seek to redefine libertarianism as something more like conservatism, to be leaders in the Libertarian Party, will be the party’s undoing.

    I do understand that you don’t have much of a problem with W.A.R., not because you are not a sadist, but because you don’t see the dangers of the Libertarian Party succumbing to the temptations of electoral politics, and thus you do not see the need to keep a strong focus on taking principled positions in accord with the Non-Aggression Principle even when they are unpopular with voters.

  150. Robert Capozzi

    TK170: Whenever you ask that question, I’m always confused as to whether you really don’t know that you have it wrong, or whether you’re just being sarcastic.

    ME: Not sarcasm, just me stumbling around trying to find truth. As a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, I am always open to the possibility that my premises, perceptions and narratives are incorrect or sub-optimal as the were in my absolutist days. I find the approach liberating. Others may feel the need for “consistency” over time, to be “right” and others “wrong.”

    tk: Hint: I don’t have a grievance with Root.

    me: My feedback is you do seem to spend a fair amount of energy criticizing him and critiquing his evolution. If that’s not a grievance, then I guess I don’t know what is one.

    tk: But frankly, that was more a grievance with the LP for its perpetual gullibility than with Root. When you persist in picking up snakes, you must expect that one will eventually bite you.

    me: This assumes that Root is a snake, and that the LP has a habit of picking up snakes. I don’t think either is true. Of course, it’s entirely possible that you and I don’t share the same outlook on humanity. I assume everyone is “good” at their core, although I acknowledge that we all make mistakes, and sometimes repeat the same mistake over and over again. It seems you have a different perspective on the human condition. That may explain in part why you and I often disagree.

  151. Robert Capozzi

    sc171: …the goal of the *Libertarian Party* is to advocate *libertarianism* (the Non-Aggression Principle)….

    me: ADR, but that’s your opinion that L-ism = NAP. I consider myself L, but I don’t think the NAP serves as nearly a rich enough basis for a political party or its ideas. So, we disagree on that. And that’s OK, I disagree with myself sometimes! I change my mind!

    I do think I more-or-less understand your perspective (NAP > L-ism > LP’s goal to advocate L-ism), but that’s an insufficient definition for me.

    sc: I do understand that you don’t have much of a problem with W.A.R., not because you are not a sadist, but because you don’t see the dangers of the Libertarian Party succumbing to the temptations of electoral politics, and thus you do not see the need to keep a strong focus on taking principled positions in accord with the Non-Aggression Principle even when they are unpopular with voters.

    me: I don’t have a problem with ANYONE because I’m not a sadist. We’re all brothers and sisters as far as I’m concerned. I disagree with my brothers and sisters at times, sure, including WAR.

    And, no, I DO see a “danger” (I prefer “the trap”) in pandering. I just don’t have an absolutist, all-or-nothing perspective on political change and political strategy. I don’t think it serves the purpose of advancing liberty to take an all-or-nothing outlook on the issues we should push. Marketing L ideas involves identifying salient issues, packaging them for maximum attractiveness, and selling them. Wisdom requires (IMO) tabling some of the more theoretical ideas that are likely to alienate and discredit our more popular ideas.

    In short, I don’t buy your set up. Either/or thinking buys into a dualistic mindset, and I don’t.

  152. JT

    Robert: “As a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery, I am always open to the possibility that my premises, perceptions and narratives are incorrect or sub-optimal as the were in my absolutist days.”

    You should become a Humean/Jamesian in recovery. It’s a serious illness, Robert, but here’s the good news: remission IS possible. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Only you can help yourself, but I’ll be here to support you every step of the way in that endeavor. Don’t be afraid, okay? I believe in you.

  153. Tom Blanton

    You know Capozzi, perhaps if you had children you might not find it so easy to love sleazy political hacks and the idiots that worship them as they conspire to pawn the future of your your own flesh and blood.

    War and peace may have a different significance when you see innocent children slaughtered thousands of miles away for the mere political considerations of asshole political hacks in America. Sane parents are reminded of their own children.

    You can have love in your heart for your brothers and sisters who have so-called honest disagreements about foreign policy, or so you claim, but not so much love in your heart for their victims – both in America and abroad.

    Root was in fact one the war-mongering neocon loving shit bags that supported much of madness that is still going on. I haven’t heard any mea culpa from this sorry sack of shit yet. You might love his jiving ass, but you show no remorse or love for the dead bodies and foregone futures of the living left in the quake of the horrors W.A.R. once advocated for.

    So, please excuse me if I think your claims of love for your fellow brothers and sisters ring hollow. Your moral superiority that allows you to unconditionally love political charlatans and forgive them when there has been no redemption – not even an acknowledgment that there has been a change of heart and thinking – is misguided at best, if it is in fact genuine.

    Root has blood on his hands, his business dealings are shady, there are legitimate reasons to question his general veracity, he has voiced his intention to change libertarianism, his pompous demeanor is a turnoff for many people, he is the poster child for brazen opportunism, and he is the most divisive person to agitate within the LP in some time. Love him, forgive him, encourage him, and support him all you want, but know it is a reflection on yourself and the LP.

  154. Robert Capozzi

    tb176: Root has blood on his hands…

    me: I’m still stunned by this statement. Do you stand by it?

    tb: …know it is a reflection on yourself and the LP.

    me: And the LM. Since I don’t do the “blame game,” and I have a difficult time understanding why others do, the “reflection” on me is not a notion I can relate to. Ls are a colorful, sometimes clownish, bunch. We’ve had many Ls say things I don’t agree with. It may embarrass the LM.

    Ls had NOTHING TO DO with the Iraq War, even Ls who supported it, including Root. I DID support some action (not this one) in Afghanistan, so perhaps in your mind, I too have blood on my hands. If so, that’s your (twisted) cross to bear — your issue, not mine.

    My feedback is that you have a novel sense of responsibility.

  155. Robert Capozzi

    oh yes, on this:

    tb176: …no redemption – not even an acknowledgment that there has been a change of heart and thinking…

    me: In some ways, I agree. Were I advising Barr and Root, I do think they both could have been more “contrite,” for lack of a better term, in making their transitions from R to L. Making this transition in this sort of environment is not easy. We live in a culture where forgiveness for past errors of thought and action often requires punishment (penance) of some kind.

    (Brother Blanton might have them either stuffing envelopes in the Watergate for 10 years or pouring blood on the steps of the Pentagon and being political prisoners for 5! 😉 )

    Here’s what may be going on here for consideration of the assembled: A theme of Ron Paul’s is that the GOP has left its “old right” roots, but he hasn’t. Barr and Root has kind of followed suit, saying, in effect, the Rs left them, so they had to leave the GOP.

    It kind of works for Paul, since he’s in the GOP, albeit as a maverick among the current line up. It does not work for Barr and Root, since they did leave the Rs. This positions them to appeal to Rs who are having doubts about the GOP, but almost no one else, including the LP!

    The next prominent R or D who joins the LP should view this as a cautionary tale. They need to make a cleaner break, IMO. They should not worry about saving face. Consider sticking to the truth, which is that you’ve changed your mind about several important issues and, now, the LP aligns more closely with your values. Share what those issues are, and why you changed your mind. Invite others who are having doubts about the Rs or Ds to reconsider their values, too.

    Others will judge your change of heart…that’s what they do. Remember, that’s THEIR problem, not yours.

  156. Robert Capozzi

    jt175: You should become a Humean/Jamesian in recovery.

    me: That would be a difficult trick to pull, since they are of no direct influence on me. Maybe Taoist/Hayekian in recovery, but it seems to be working for me at the moment. 🙂

  157. Robert Capozzi

    tk, great question. “Working” involves making sense to me, all things considered, and feels comfortable and reasonable to me. Another way to put it is that I do my best to advocate that which is virtuous, practical, and peaceful.

  158. Matt Cholko

    Here’s something kinda off-topic.

    I first learned of Starchild when watching the 2008 LP convention on C-Span. I believe he asked a question to the Chair candidates during their debate. I remember thinking to myself “how can a political party that wants to be taken seriously allow a freak like that to be associated with them.”

    Fast forward to 2009.

    I find myself agreeing with Starchild nearly 100% of the time (in his IPR posts, at least), and often think “how can a political party that wants to be taken seriously allow a freak like Root to be associated with them.”

    These days, I think we need a lot more Starchilds. I won’t go so far as to say we need fewer Roots (I learned through my stupid knee-jerk reaction to Starchild that I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss), but I no longer see any sense in trying to look/sound like the major parties. After all, does anybody take the Rs and Ds seriously?

  159. Matt Cholko

    Starchild – I know that you have been an active participant on this thread, so please accept my apology for talking about you like you’re not here.

  160. Robert Capozzi

    mc182: After all, does anybody take the Rs and Ds seriously?

    me: Yes, enough to keep getting them elected.

    And, yes, in more seriousness, lots and lots of people admire and align with Obama, Palin, etc. We kid OURSELVES if we think everyone has contempt for all R/D politicians. A lot surely do, of course, which represents opportunity for Ls.

  161. JT

    Me to Robert: “You should become a Humean/Jamesian in recovery.”

    Robert: “That would be a difficult trick to pull, since they are of no direct influence on me.”

    I’m sad to say they are, Robert. Your posts exactly reflect the philosophical ideas that they developed–Hume with skepticism and James with pragmatism. But I do believe you may have picked up those ideas along the way without knowing that. Most people adopt philosophical ideas without knowing the ultimate sources. The first step is admitting you have a problem though, which can only come from that realization and a desire to be healthy.

  162. Tom Blanton

    Oh yes, Mr. Capozzi, Root has some blood on his hands. Let’s not forget that he is a famous Millionaire Republican (according to him) who agitated and supported the Global War On Terror in a very public way. That makes him a tool of the War Party. He even sent cash to the Likud Party Senator, Joe Leiberman to promote death.

    Granted, Root does not not wade knee deep in blood, but he has blood on his hands – even as he whines about taxes, debt, and many of the other consequences of getting what he asked for.

    To some extent, any of us that vote in the staged elections run by a government that has no legitimacy and only partial consent to govern has a little blood on our hands.

    And to the extent that you love, forgive and defend Root, his slime attaches to you personally, Capozzi – not as a LP member or a libertarian, but as a human being.

    Why not spend half as much time defending those who have suffered from the policies of death, destruction and despair Root has advocated (and very well may still secretly advocate)?

    Note that I have never asked for penance from Root – only an explanation and refutation of his horrid past. Apparently you even agree with this. But, just like most sociopathic megalomaniacs, Root isn’t likely to publicly admit that he was ever wrong about the war crimes he cherishes.

    Pssst – how about that rhetorical gimmick of comparing Root to sociopathic megalomaniacs without actually calling him one. Pretty clever, huh?

    Happy New Year

    That’s not really a turd I threw in the punch bowl – it’s actually a bite-size Baby Ruth. You can eat it and see.

  163. Robert Capozzi

    jt185: Most people adopt philosophical ideas without knowing the ultimate sources. The first step is admitting you have a problem though, which can only come from that realization and a desire to be healthy.

    me: Yes, I’m aware that thought streams combine and are synthesized in non-apparent ways. Lao Tzu pre-dates Hume and James, though.

    We all make mistakes but there are no problems, only opportunities. It’s only a “problem” if you believe it is. I’d say we’re all a work in progress.

    tb186: Why not spend half as much time defending those who have suffered from the policies of death, destruction and despair Root has advocated (and very well may still secretly advocate)?

    me: Excellent question, my passionate friend. I find this conversation interesting. I’m refining my views and being challenged by people who more-or-less reflect my “passionate” views of some time ago. I’m seeing why passion easily degenerates into sanctimony, and why a passion for dispassion works better for me.

    I have no investment in this conversation being particularly consequential. Odds are very high that when my body dies in 20-30 years, there will be a State. It will likely be larger in absolute terms. There’s a chance it could be maybe half as big as a percentage of GDP. The odds of that progress goes up if the LP and LM rise in influence. The odds of the LP and LM becoming influential go up if we learn how to more gracefully accept former Rs and Ds, especially those who wish to run for office as a L.

    Joe Bast’s theory that the US will have 4 major parties — with one being either the LP or something like it — intrigues me. I’d like to see it happen, but if the savage attacks on Root are any indication, those who cling to the deontological absolutist schools of L-ism seem inclined to use any means necessary to exclude non-abolitionist Ls from having a voice in the LP.

    I find that dysfunctional and counter-productive. So, I play my tiny part in sharing ideas that get down to the Inception point to help heal the rift. Whether others will recognize that the entire dysfunction stems from one little misunderstanding remains to be seen.

    Or, think about the scene in The Matrix. In a moment of inspiration, Neo concludes that saving Morpheus is indicated, despite the rest of the crew’s assessment that it is a suicide mission. Neo gives no real rationale, other than he knows that it’s something he must do. He acknowledges that the odds of success are very long, but he proceeds to extract Morpheus from the Smiths.

    Or, as Kwai Chang Caine said in the original Kung Fu series: “I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.” IOW, if we don’t understand, we have no chance of knowing anything.

    Root — someone I sometimes strongly disagree with — is an emblem. It could be Tim Penny joining or Ron Paul re-entering the LP…anyone who wants to advance liberty but who does not toe the (most theoretical) plumb line seems to present an excellent opportunity to address check the premises of deontological absolutism. That would seem to be my highest and best use at the moment! 😉

  164. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert some of us have never seen The Matrix nor did we watch Kung Fu so may I suggest you speak in term people can relate to.

    Time to put this issue away and focus on real life. The GOP House Boys and Girls plan to vote to repeal the health legislation that was just passed. We might be interested in asking what do they propose as an alternative? Next we should have in place a Libertarian proposal that can be used as a discussion topic.

  165. Matt Cholko

    MW @188 said: We might be interested in asking what do they propose as an alternative? Next we should have in place a Libertarian proposal that can be used as a discussion topic.

    Me – I absolutely agree, and I think there are many loose libertarian plans in existence. However, we would do well to have something easy to explain/understand. In fact, this is a place where Root could really do some good – if he would get himself on TV news shows and put forth our Libertarian option.

  166. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, sorry you’ve missed those excellent offerings. Mythology, metaphysics, epistemology, some other literature, and ethical writings generally inform a person’s worldview and politics. How else would Brother Blanton conclude, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Blanton,”? 😉

    More seriously, his ability to judge Root is based on his deeper philosophical underpinnings, I’d venture to say, as we are all influenced by the philosophies we subscribe to, sometimes consciously, sometimes not as much.

    At this point, a L proposal will be heard by almost no one. There are simply too few Ls with too little influence. If you accept this, then it would follow that either we’d need to either widen our definition of L to allow more people to move into our tent or hope that Pied Pipers like Blanton are SO charismatic that they can convert millions upon millions to abolitionist L-ism via deontological absolutism.

    My take is the former is a stretch as it is; the latter is inconceivable. I of course stipulate that ANYTHING is possible.

    If we want to be relevant, then — dag gummit — we have to BE relevant.

    Or, perhaps, we can hang out on the fringes waiting for western civilization to collapse….

  167. JT

    Robert: “Lao Tzu pre-dates Hume and James, though.”

    Obviously. The dates aren’t relevant to what I said though. I’d see you aren’t ready yet to admit a problem–or take advantage of an opportunity to be healthy (if that’s how you want to view it). That’s okay; I’m not pushing you. You should indeed continue to find your way through the epistemic morass. Who knows when you’ll begin your recovery? It will be a wonderfully rewarding journey though!

  168. Tom Blanton

    Capozzi opines:

    tb186: Why not spend half as much time defending those who have suffered from the policies of death, destruction and despair Root has advocated (and very well may still secretly advocate)?

    me: Excellent question, my passionate friend. I find this conversation interesting. I’m refining my views and being challenged by people who more-or-less reflect my “passionate” views of some time ago. I’m seeing why passion easily degenerates into sanctimony, and why a passion for dispassion works better for me.

    OK, say I accept the premise that you are much more evolved than I am and that your passion for moderation has not dengenerated into sanctimony – and these are difficult premises to accept at face value – you still didn’t answer the question.

    Here’s another inquiry into your evolved logic, Bubby. The LP is filled with people who were once Republicans, Democrats, conservatives and liberals. Many of them are widely accepted and respected by libertarians. The reason for this is because they are respectable people who have become libertarians as opposed to being sketchy and sleazy braggarts that seek to transform libertarianism into something else. Why then do you seek to defend someone who might be considered among the worst individuals that seeks to be a prominent leader?

    While The Matrix and Kung Fu may be entertaining, I find movies such as A Face In The Crowd or Bob Roberts to be more relevant to Mr. Root.

    The song remains the same and, despite the evolution of thought into ever increasing levels of greatness and sophistication, the kabuki dance seems to remain the same also.

    I think I am starting to understand why people support the same corrupt politicians over and over regardless of the horrible things they have done in the past. It is because the voters have evolved way beyond me into a state of perpetual post-modern forgiveness that must be expressed by rewarding the worst among us, ignoring the suffering they cause.

    The old maxim that the past is the prologue to the future has become obsolete. To the evolved mind, the past has no bearing on the future and someone’s past should not cause concern when elevating that person to a position of authority or power.

  169. Robert Capozzi

    jt191, hmm, what’s more useful: epistemic “morass” or epistemic “closure”? If you think you’ve got knowledge nailed down in totality, then I’d say closure makes sense. If there’s a LOT more to know in a highly uncertain world, then morass seems the more reality-based stance. Choose your assumption carefully, I’d suggest. Closed-minded denial seems to be a really poor way to go in the search for truth.

    tb192, sorry, I thought I did answer why…I find this an interesting conversation. I’m refining my own views based on challenges by you and others. You’re helping me, whether you intend to or not!

    Root’s reputation is merely a canvass that we’re painting together. I do happen to believe that he’s a net positive for the cause of liberty, but — as I’ve repeatedly said — I share some of your concerns and I disagree with him a fair amount of the time. I do not agree that he’s anything like Bob Roberts.

    BTW, I don’t see this as a competition, so I can’t say what is the “evolved” viewpoint. There’s no measurement for such a thing, anyway.

  170. Starchild

    Matt @182-183 – Thank you for your vote of confidence. It’s always refreshing to hear that people in the LP are still becoming more radical over time, despite the party’s general failure to focus on this as an important goal, and the continuing presence of many who actively undermine it.

    Robert @174 – You write, “I DO see a ‘danger’ (I prefer ‘the trap’) in pandering.”

    Oh? Can you say more about the nature of this danger, and how you believe the Libertarian Party can effectively go about inoculating itself against it? I can’t recall hearing anything from “moderates” or “reformers” in the party to make me think that they take the danger seriously, or have any kind of plan to deal with it, and would very much like to hear how you propose to do so.

  171. JT

    Robert: “If there’s a LOT more to know in a highly uncertain world, then morass seems the more reality-based stance.”

    There’s always a lot more to know for anyone. But epistemology isn’t about what we know; it’s about how we know it–and if we can know it. Your denial is understandable, Robert. Becoming a recovering skeptic and pragmatist is a tough road to hoe. I’m sure it can be scary. I recognize that–and it’s not a weakness. I’d suggest more intellectual caution and living more optimally? Just some words of wisdom for when you’re ready to receive them.

  172. Michael H. Wilson

    What I want to know is why Robert used the word morass in that sentence?

    If there is a lot more to know then curiosity might work better, cautious curiosity at that.

  173. Robert Capozzi

    sc194, I offer no specific suggestions on inoculation. Of course, I don’t see pandering as the LP’s number one challenge. Growing our numbers is.

    Personally, I don’t need to pander, since the positions I take are reasonably popular. That’s because I consider the NAP-test insufficient. I also test an positions based on whether they work and are peaceful. In this case, I choose not to pander to NAP adherents. I sincerely find it of some use, but not the final word.

    jt195, yes, thanks. My sentence would have read better if it had read: If there’s a LOT more to know about how we know and whether we can know in a highly uncertain world, then morass seems the more reality-based stance.

    We’re always recovering from something, so thanks.

    mhw196, see 191 for your answer. JT seems to have gotten closure with A=A and that those who find that an insufficient inquiry have stepped in a morass. A, of course, is A for purposes of discussion, but I’d think that skepticism about how we know would have been validated many times over.

  174. Robert Capozzi

    Starchild, had a further thought on your desire to inoculate the LP from NAP deviationism…why not create a NAP PAC? NAP enthusiasts could develop a survey to test LP candidates and LNC candidates as to how consistent their views are with a “pure NAP” application.

    You could publish your findings, as well as pool resources to support Ls who you believe most align with your interpretation of the NAP and its import. This would be a more carrot, less stick approach, as you would reward NAP absolutists the most. Those generating low NAP ratings would speak for itself.

    You might consider using the Bryan Caplan L purity test, in total or as a model.

    http://www.bcaplan.com/cgi-bin/purity.cgi

  175. Gains

    Thomas Paine offered some interesting words of advice in this dedication to La Fayette for
    the second part of Rights of Man:

    “For my own part I think it equally as injurious to good principles to permit them to linger, as to push them on too fast. That which you suppose accomplishable in fourteen or fifteen years, I may believe practicable in a much shorter period. Mankind, as it appears to me, are always ripe enough to understand their true interest, provided it be presented clearly to their understanding, and that in a manner not to create suspicion by anything like self-design, nor offend by assuming too much. Where we would wish to reform we must not reproach.

  176. Robert Capozzi

    gains, Paine’s take is interesting and apropos. I’d say that tradition was reversed in 1980, when MNR flipped out over the Clark “low-tax liberal” incident. Since then, those who are “leaky” are considered part of the problem by the NAP High Command. For the High Command, “reproach” is far too tame. Like George Bush, they seem to believe “you’re either with us, or against us.” There seems to be no middle ground.

    Pity.

  177. JT

    Robert: “JT seems to have gotten closure with A=A and that those who find that an insufficient inquiry have stepped in a morass.”

    I understand your attempt to (perhaps desperately?) make it seem like my perspective is simplistic. But yes, I do subscribe to that axiom from the great Aristotle, as well as the law of the excluded middle and the law of non-contradiction. It’s obvious by your many contradictions that you don’t. But that will be part of your recovery!

    Robert: “A, of course, is A for purposes of discussion, but I’d think that skepticism about how we know would have been validated many times over.”

    You’d think that or you’d know that?

    “Validation” presupposes the validity of the logical laws mentioned above. Otherwise, nothing could be validated. You wouldn’t understand that though because of your Humean/Jamesian illness. That’s why it’s so pernicious.

    The first step is recognizing and admitting your problem (or opportunity for health). Unfortunately, I can’t help you do that, Robert. But when you’re ready, then you’re on your way to optimal living!

  178. Robert Capozzi

    jt201: “Validation” presupposes the validity of the logical laws mentioned above.

    me: Maybe yes, maybe no. Seems like it’s a world filled with paradoxes parading by us on a daily basis. So, your “validation” may differ from mine, although sometimes — perhaps often — they may also appear to be similar.

    If your approach works for you, then by all means ride that horse for as long as it will take you. Truly! It is all good. It’s even all good if you choose to say it’s NOT all good.

    Rather than pin the Hume/James label on me, call me a Lennonist…whatever gets you through the night, it’s all right.

  179. Gains

    RC @200: “I’d say that tradition was reversed in 1980, when MNR flipped out over the Clark “low-tax liberal” incident.”

    I was not around in 1980 (thank goodness it seems). As a member today, 30 years later, the behavior of many in that party is in contradiction to these sage words. It is not just the Rothbardians, nor just the “radicals”; it is not the lefties or the righties; nor do the grassroots or the suits that have a monopoly on being dirty, backstabbing, destructive, tunnel visioned, malingering fools hell bent on destroying their allies more than engaging the outside world.

    There are many people who think they have the one true answer to peace, justice and tolerance, that never seem to actually practice peace, justice or tolerance in their activity. THIS is the gestalt that if turned upside down, becomes the solution Starchild asked for.

    What role should the mature hard core libertarians play in the party? They should be the ones leading by example. They should be modeling what a society built on libertarians principles looks like. They should be embracing and fostering peace, justice and tolerance within our society.

    The radicals, should be our warriors against tyranny as we engage the government, but internally, they should be our peacemakers and our trusted judges and counselors as they, presumably, have a more refined understanding of the principles and their application.

  180. Robert Capozzi

    gains, while I’m not sure what a “hard core” L is, I assume you mean the abolitionist wing. Any theories on why they don’t lead by example? And do you think a NAP PAC would be such an example?

  181. Gains

    RC @204:

    I am also not sure what a “hard-core” L is either. I score 100/100 on the Nolan Chart myself, but I am perceived by suits as a radical, and by radicals as a suit much in the same way most Republicans think I am a liberal and most Democrats think I am a conservative… when we concentrate on differences that is…

    Why don’t they lead by example? Human beings like to be mean to each other with pecking order being one generally recognized behavior I would point to as an example. It takes practice and discipline to live in an ethical framework that denies us our “fun”, and talking a good game is much easier than living it.

    The NAP PAC idea might be one such example. Implementation is not something I would pretend to have the authority to spell out for any one or group of libs. The last thing I would propose is to create by-laws that encourage the structure for instance. The rules must be set by example and enforced by peer review and culture. Not a short task, but a libertarian society is impossible without social expectation being the key driver of public mores.

    BUT, the foundation of this is that if we presume that a libertarian society is possible, then let us get to emulating it. Our current culture is about as far away from that as you can get:

    People interfering with other people’s personal lives surreptitiously to knock them out of competition or office.

    Cops being called on members by other members or even state officers as ploys for their machinations.

    An unholy and unnatural worship of by-laws.

    Inappropriate criticism of other people’s work even when done on their own initiative and by their own expense.

    Shunning of the new and beratement of the unindoctrinated.

    I could go on, but much is documented over IPR and I probably do not have to reiterate them for oft readers or anyone that has been to a convention… ever.

    I think that before a NAP PAC can exist and be functional and trusted, there must first exist a culture that would spawn such an entity and let it survive.

    Creating that culture is what every libertarian, in their own way, should be diligently working on above all else they do internally. The first step is learning to recognize your fellows as allies and then learning to respect others despite any inadequacies you may perceive in them. After that, it should be a matter of individual style.

  182. Robert Capozzi

    gains: Human beings like to be mean to each other with pecking order being one generally recognized behavior I would point to as an example. …The NAP PAC idea might be one such example. Implementation is not something I would pretend to have the authority to spell out for any one or group of libs.

    me: Yes, the desire to stigmatize through pecking orders IS an unfortunate aspect of the human condition. For ex.:

    sc130: I am for a big tent party, and welcome [Root’s] participation as a registered Libertarian, donor and activist. However I believe that there needs to be a stronger litmus test for those involved in setting party policy or representing us as candidates or spokespersons….

    me: Starchild here seems to point to a kind of second-class L, one who can only support the true believers in NAP-ism. The NAP PAC, OTOH, would be a kind of reward system that positively encourages a certain kind of approach to L politics. Starchild’s litmus-test structure is a stick; I suggest a carrot.

    Perhaps we can take a page from the RLC or DFC, which are set up to encourage liberty-leaners in the Rs and Ds. Presumably, the LNCC is already doing that, positively. I’d have no problem with a NAP PAC also doing so, encouraging NAPsters to hold high the NAP banner.

  183. Matt Cholko

    Has anyone else noticed that Milnes has not been present on this thread? Though I find his trollness to be annoying, I am now a bit worried about him.

  184. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 206,

    Why should “NAP libertarians” need a PAC to “encourage” NAP adherence?

    Support for the NAP is a bylaws requirement of party membership, and the NAP is built into the party’s damn near unchangeable Statement of Principles.

    Non-NAP supporters in the LP are frauds (because they either lied when they signed the membership certification or the certification has since been voided, in which case they are no longer legitimate party members) and squatters (because the party was created by and for NAP adherents to the exclusion of non-NAP-adherents).

    Whether or not the NAP should be a membership requirement and a permanent, difficult to erase, part of the platform are interesting questions, but structurally only NAP adherents are qualified to answer those questions.

  185. Starchild

    Robert @198,

    Your suggestion of how the LP might avoid the temptation presented by electoral politics to pander to voters and water down our principles in order to win elections — by forming a political action committee to champion the Non-Aggression Principle — is revealing, considering that you have often spoken against the NAP (calling it “woefully inadequate”, etc.), and would presumably not want to support such a PAC yourself!

    This seems to me to confirm my original point — that “moderates” or anti-radicals in the LP generally fail to recognize the dangers that electoral politics pose to our party (or to any party of principle, for that matter).

    When you initially protested @174 that you “DO” (your caps) see the danger (or “trap” as you said you prefer to call it) of pandering, I challenged you @194 to say more about that danger, and to describe “how you believe the Libertarian Party can effectively go about inoculating itself against it”.

    Your first response, @197, again confirmed my impression that you (like others in your faction) simply don’t take the threat seriously:

    “I offer no specific suggestions on inoculation. Of course, I don’t see pandering as the LP’s number one challenge.”

    You went on to say,

    “Personally, I don’t need to pander, since the positions I take are reasonably popular.”

    Yet you have often *justified* those positions on the basis that they *are* popular, and attacked other more libertarian positions for *not* being popular, by describing them with terms like “fringe” or “extremist”. How do you distinguish that from pandering?

    The only way I can see in which it would *not* be pandering, is if the moderate, watered-down, “conservatarian” positions you advocate *more closely match your beliefs than do the more libertarian positions you attack as extreme and impractical*. After all, it isn’t pandering to advocate popular ideas, if the ideas you hold simply happen to be popular!

    But if that’s the case, then it is disingenuous for you to act as if you support moderate/watered-down/conservatarian positions because they are *more practical* than positions based on the Non-Aggression Principle, when in fact you support them because *you don’t believe in a more libertarian approach*.

  186. Robert Capozzi

    Tk and SC, yes, the NAP PAC is not necessarily the best name for what I’m suggesting. Perhaps it should be named the Spooner PAC or Abolitionist PAC to avoid the confusion you both describe. In my case, as a general proposition the NAP is an excellent, virtuous idea. However, I – and probably other – Ls find it inadequate…I find it woefully so. Some Ls recognize that practical steps need to be taken in rolling back the State, and that some aspects of the State are more ripe for rolling back.

    It’s my sense that abolitionist Ls don’t agree. That practical considerations (or peaceful – generally gradual – change) are not of much import. In my case, I do “support” the notion of the NAP, but as a very long term True North. In the meantime, the LP and some of the LM can and should engage the center from the edge of it. I don’t “water down” my principles, I apply them to reality.

    Sorry, Starchild, but I don’t agree that engaging the center from the edge is “pandering.” Politics can be complicated, though. Assessing what is practical and peaceful in the near term IS more prone to pandering than spouting pure theory, which involves simply striking a “radical pose” against the current state of affairs. Being a poseur is not something that interests me.

    Popularity and respectability are certainly considerations when assessing whether an issue is attainable and practical. For ex., in my heart of hearts, I think heroin should be legal. I would, however, not run on the issue and certainly not make it a headline issue in a L campaign. Why? Doing so would serve no useful purpose. (If you disagree, I’d like to hear your rationale.) It would likely ensure that most people would not listen to the rest of my message, some of which might actually be enactable. Being a L is not a prescription for putting a “Kick Me” sign on my back. Advocating liberalization of marijuana laws, on the other hand, serves the same NAP-advocacy purposes in a more appropriate and effective manner, IMO. Similarly, advocating polygamy is an unripe issue, IMO. Advocating domestic partnerships or gay marriage IS ripe. I see this ripeness assessment — practicality and peaceful gradualism – as distinctly different from pandering. You may not. Hence, the need for a Spooner PAC, to give voice to Ls who don’t consider the situation as it exists as especially germane to politics.

    I believe a Spooner PAC is a healthy alternative to your apparent call for a two-tiered, “separate but (in effect un)equal” LP: where some of us can be “registered Libertarian, donor and activist. However I believe that there needs to be a stronger litmus test for those involved in setting party policy or representing us as candidates or spokespersons….”

    ADR, but I find your view there to be arrogant. It seems that you are so fearful of “pandering” (or what I’d call effectiveness) that you wish to set up L shtetls, ghettos for non-abolitionist Ls to give money and support to the Master Race of abolitionist Ls. (I overstate here for effect, but the point directionally captures where your model goes.)

    SC asks: “After all, it isn’t pandering to advocate popular ideas, if the ideas you hold simply happen to be popular!”

    My answer is No. I have three tests for what I advocate: What is the virtuous direction to go in (that is, is coercion reduced)? Is what I advocate workable? Is what I advocate peaceful? Asking only the first question is what I consider to be woefully inadequate. If a position doesn’t consider whether it’s “practical,” I fail to see the point of advocating it! Silly me! In my case, my name is “Capozzi,” not “Quixote.”

    For more on this, read my essay: http://freeliberal.com/archives/003726.php

    As for the “conservatarian” charge, I would think that the fact that I edit a webzine named “Free Liberal” might cause you to retract such an insinuation.

    As for your accusation that I “don’t believe in a more libertarian approach….,” as a theoretical asymptotic anarchist/applied lessarchist, I will believe in a MORE L approach AFTER the first one is instituted. Sequencing matters! Process matters! Constructs only “matter” to the extent they inform our sense of virtue. In my approach, there are 2 other tests!

    Personally, I recognize that there is a place for theorizing, and a place for applying theory, just as there are scientists and engineers. Scientists come up with the theories, engineers apply them. Political theorists develop constructs about ethical and political virtues, politicians and activists apply those ideas. Recognizing this notion of a division of labor should come easily for Ls, though sometimes this conversation — whoa, whoa, whoa, “really makes me wonder.” The “Stairway to Heaven” is scaled one step at a time, maybe two! Leaping to the top doesn’t work when one lives in a world “weighed down” by gravity! Assuming gravity away is charming, but fantastical.

    Yes, there are two paths you can go by
    But in the long run
    There’s still time to change
    The road you’re on

  187. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I think you’re missing my point.

    My point is not that the NAP is the end-all, be-all of libertarianism. It isn’t, and in point of fact when I was in the LP I advocated getting rid of the anarchist pledge and possibly modifying the Statement of Principles (although not so far as to eliminate opposition to the Cult of the Omnipotent State).

    But, whether or not the NAP is the end-all, be-all of libertarianism, it is the end-all, be-all of the LP, to the extent that one cannot be an honest LP member and not endorse it.

    One thing that has always puzzled me is why non-NAP-adherent libertarians would want to belong to a party which is structured such that they are required to commit fraud to belong to it.

    If the NAP is that problematic, why not just start a non-NAP based party instead of 1) lying to get into or remain in an NAP-based party and 2) wailing and gnashing your teeth about language that takes 7/8ths of a membership pre-screened for support of that language (except for liars) to change?

    It’s like going through catechism class and getting baptized, confirmed or whatever in the Catholic church, then showing up every Sunday to piss and moan that they really ought to be Muslims.

  188. Robert Capozzi

    tk, actually I do believe I get your point. I’m not sure that I agree that the LP is a NAP be-all, end-all party; indeed, it’s an important concept, but a political party (as opposed to an ethical society) by definition cannot IMO just be about a construct. And there is other foundational language that suggests something MORE than an ethical society.

    When I joined the Catholic church (actually born into it), it was a sin to eat anything but fish for dinner on Fridays. Then, all of a sudden, with Vatican II, it was OK to eat meat on Fridays. The Cardinals and the Pope changed their minds! The LP can change its collective mind, too! If you can, we all can!

    And, no, I highly doubt most current members “pre-screened” the 7/8ths language. That’s buried in the fine print that I doubt few were cognizant of…I wasn’t in 1980, and even if I was, I was thoroughly brainwashed at the time in Randian/Rothbardianism, so I probably would have deferred to my Cardinals’ judgment at the time, being a mere altar boy! There is a case for this “priest” to establish a reformed church (celibacy wearies me!), but the dogma remains close enough to my values and I lack any “parishioners” or resources to strike it out alone. First rule of politics and political change: It’s a numbers game, stupid! 😉 Delete a few things, add a few things, and this particular “church” could grow like the Mormons! 😉 *

    Meat-eaters of the world: Unite! 7 days a week! 😉

    ____

    * All religious comments and allusions are tongue in cheek responses to TK’s post 211.

  189. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “The LP can change its collective mind, too!”

    Yes, it can — and when I was in it, I encouraged it to do so vis a vis the NAP.

    But, once again, you’re missing the point:

    There’s a poison pill at work here.

    Because only NAP adherents can be legitimate members of the LP, there’s a built-in bias against abandoning the NAP, either in terms of the membership pledge or its codification in the Statement of Principles.

    Some NAP adherents are interested in opening up the party to non-NAP adherents, but it’s unlikely that 2/3 of them (the number required to get rid of the pledge) or 7/8ths of them (the number required to modify the Statement of Principles) ever will be.

    So, the only likely way for the LP to change itself is for charlatans — people who are willing to lie to and/or defraud the party in order to get a vote on its structure — to constitute 2/3 to 7/8ths of its membership. And a party with a congenitally dishonest super-majority has bigger problems than dogmatism.

  190. Robert Capozzi

    TK 213: Because only NAP adherents can be legitimate members of the LP…

    ME: Unless Sipos’s apparently prodigious mind-reading skills are going to be put on full-time and over-time as counsel to the Judicial Committee, this is completely unenforceable. Determining this sort of “legitimacy” is a fool’s errand, IMO. There is no poison pill, just a red one and a blue one! 😉

    Again, I am not talking about “abandoning” the NAP. Who could be against non-aggression? I’m certainly not. This is an aggression-filled world, always has been, likely always will be to some extent. I certainly want to reduce aggression as quickly and to the lowest sustainable levels. Doing so mindful of practical considerations and without profound dislocations seems abundantly wise to me.

    I advocate tweaks of addition and subtraction. Even if my program were adopted, I would not — unlike Starchild — relegate abolitionists to second-class members. The proposed Spooner PAC could support candidates who don’t care about practical issues and peaceful, gradual means, only the theory of non-aggression, stated as boldly as they care to.

    Are abolitionists afraid of a little competition?

  191. Robert Capozzi

    REphrasing…

    …I would not — unlike Starchild — relegate some members to second-class category.

  192. JT

    Robert: “I wasn’t in 1980, and even if I was, I was thoroughly brainwashed at the time in Randian/Rothbardianism, so I probably would have deferred to my Cardinals’ judgment at the time, being a mere altar boy!”

    You weren’t forced into and confined to a religious cult. You chose to accept certain teachings on authority, because your posts lack understanding of what you claimed to adhere to. I’m very sorry you “brainwashed” yourself in that fashion. Oh well…such is the case with some people.

    Definitely better to be “brainwashed” in skepticism and pragmatism!*

    I wonder if you even realize that your terms are insulting. I’d guess not.

    *tongue in cheek response to Robert’s post 212.

  193. Robert Capozzi

    jt, sorry you take it that way. I would have assumed that everyone recognizes that all thought systems amount to brainwashing, in effect. Tabula rasa and all that. Randian/Rothbardianism worked for me for a while, reasonably well, I’d say. I didn’t get into the inner sanctum of Galt’s Gulch, where someone could explain to me why blowing up buildings over a contract dispute actually is justified, however, you’re quite right.

    Taoist/Hayekianism seems to be working better for me. I may have to try out Zorastrian/Friedmanism in the future to give it its due! 😉

  194. JT

    Robert: “I would have assumed that everyone recognizes that all thought systems amount to brainwashing, in effect.”

    Um, no. I’d assume everyone recognizes that brainwashing is a process that relies on a coercive method (or methods). Merely adopting certain beliefs by any means doesn’t imply “brainwashing.” If you honestly think everyone views it that way, then that’s bizarre, to put it mildly.

  195. Gains

    RC @206, 210, 212, 216:

    I hold the NAP in high regard and would keep it as a requirement to hold a position of trust in the party I might include membership just so there is no doubt about the strength of the maxim and no bait and switch.

    The NAP is the defining more of the party. I knew it when I joined. I had no objection to it. Out of all of the people that I have personally signed up, and that is about a half dozen a year over the last 6 alone. No one blinked.

    I have been asked why they need to sign the NAP, it is an odd requirement in this day of politics without firm social conscious. Because I have sold the party as one of principle, I easily explain that it is the one thing that reminds us of principle first and keeps us on track and away from becoming the same corrupted monster that the other parties are. That has always been an adequate answer.

    The only thing I have experienced turning people away from the party is people acting like complete dickheads to each other.

    Our local party is sizable and people get along despite the large number of newer members all with different and in some cases opposing social philosophy backgrounds. Why do they get along? Because we act like a coalition organization. People are welcome to work on what freedom issues are important to them. They are welcome to seek other to help them. Our officers are elected with the understanding that they are referees for the rest of us. While they serve, they put their personal agendas on the back burner and serve the group.

    We discourage people from getting involved at the state and national level because when they do, more often than not, they leave. It is your NAP purists and your suit wearing reformers that drive them away with pitchforks, not the NAP, not WAR and definitely not extreme views expressed in the platform. They are turned away by the wholesale disregard for principles, and the nastiness that is rife in our party.

    It happens when you mob a newbie like WAR.

    It happens one hundred times worse for all the people that watch you go after WAR.

    When you attack him, everyone that sees it internalizes the attack as well. You are playing the game of the terrorist, submit or live in fear of my wrath.

    Keaton’s head was on the LNC chopping block as the suits played the purge gambit in retaliation to her not towing the line. Again, the damage was not done just to Keaton and those who voted for her, it was done to everyone that watched or heard about it. That was the purpose wasn’t it?

    What do any of those playing these games really want? Power. They mistake their positions of trust for opportunities to force their personal agendas the party as a whole. When they don’t get the reaction they want, like petty tyrants everywhere they turn to the easiest and most available tool for control there is:

    Fear.

    That tactic, in its many and varied forms, is a direct, and terrible breach of the very principle all of us are sworn to uphold. That tactic is the very thing that any libertarian that claims any sort of purity should be stopping in its tracks.

    For the suits that could not give two wits about principle, you should care because the tactics are driving away your volunteer, voter and most important to you, your donor bases.

    The situation is so succinctly stupid, so deterministically destructive and so utterly without merit for any “side” involved, that it must just be a shoe slappin’ hoot and a holler for the people who perpetuate it.

  196. Robert Capozzi

    JT218, ya know, when the term brainwashing was first used, I do believe your meaning (under coercion) was the literal usage. In circles I run in, brainwashing’s meaning has widened to include non-North Korean-type brainwashing. It’s used to describe the indoctrination techniques used in the military, corporate cultures, and religions…again in the circles I run in.

    Sorry if the common usage I’m familiar with is not the same as your experience.

  197. Robert Capozzi

    gains, I certainly agree that we could use a heckuva lot more civility.

    You’re using the NAP in the pledge sense, it seems. I’d lose the pledge, but I don’t feel strongly about it.

    What I would lose is the use of the NAP as a concept to advance crypto-anarchism or outright anarchism to the attempt at excluding or blocking other approaches to L politics. My approach (theoretical asymptotic anarchism/applied lessarchism) is sometimes challenged by NAP absolutists who believe that I am not L since I do not toe the “plumb line.” They are of course entitled to their opinions, but I find their arguments tedious and counterproductive.

    And, yes, I agree, fear is at the root of most human dysfunction.

  198. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “It’s my sense that abolitionist Ls don’t agree.”

    I’ve yet to meet this mythical “abolitionist” L that Capozzi keeps complaining about.

  199. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “Unless Sipos’s apparently prodigious mind-reading skills are going to be put on full-time and over-time as counsel to the Judicial Committee,…”

    More dishonest ramblings from Capozzi.

    I’ve told him repeatedly (nothing ever sinks in) that…

    1. I have no mind-reading skills.

    2. I can read Root, because Root is transparent.

    3. I’ve proven this by repeatedly and accurately predicting Root’s actions.

    4. I’ve also noted that everyone, Capozzi included, can predict Root.

    Here are the rules:

    * Ignore anything Root has said in the past. That will only confuse you.

    * Instead, assume Root’s only out for personal gain and self-promotion. That will point you to his goals.

    * Ask yourself, what’s the closest prize within Root’s grasp (the presidential nomination, the LP chair, a book deal, a tea party talk), and then ask, what must he say to please his current audience on his way to that prize?

    It’s not mind-reading, Capozzi. It’s following the predictable antics of a shamelessly brazen egomaniac.

  200. Robert Capozzi

    tms: More dishonest ramblings from Capozzi.

    me: Yet another example of prodigious mind reading! Ya don’t know me, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you. And yet somehow you seem to know my state of mind, my beliefs, and my understandings.

    This would all be QUITE

  201. Robert Capozzi

    …FAT FINGER….

    …This would all be QUITE impressive, except that my candor and truthfulness is solid. I’d offer to get a polygraph for large stakes, but you may not actually be interested in truth. (I don’t read minds!) Too bad, if so…it really does set you free.

  202. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “Yet another example of prodigious mind reading! Ya don’t know me…”

    I’ve repeatedly seen you feigning ignorance about matters that I, and others, have repeatedly explained to you.

    To “feign ignorance” is a form of dishonesty. I’ve seen you do it often, online if not in person.

    Not mind-reading. Just seeing what’s plainly before me.

  203. Robert Capozzi

    TMS: Just seeing what’s plainly before me.

    me: Yes, many people would agree that “seeing is believing.” But when one begins to understand psychological projection, one realizes that the opposite is true: Believing is seeing! We carry our biases around with us, extrapolating — connecting the dots — from a few datapoints to interpret what we see with our eyes. Now THAT is eye-opening.

  204. Thomas M. Sipos

    You see what I mean about you, Capozzi, being disingenuous and dishonest?

    I’ve provided you with examples in the past, yet you pretend not to remember. Each discussion, you feign ignorance of the past, compelling people to begin the discussion anew.

    You’re not interested in honest discussion, but in grade school level “I know you are, but what am I?” nonsense babble. (It was in grade school when all the kids started accusing each other of “projecting,” which is still your level.)

    However, it’s not surprising that Root attracts many defenders who are dishonest, disingenuous, and slippery.

  205. Matt Cholko

    Since the next LP convention will be in Vegas, it seems only right that we hold the inaugural IPR MMA tournament in conjunction with it. All of the IPR arguers can fight it out, and the winner is automatically declared correct in every IPR argument until the next tournament.

    I’d pay good money to see it!

  206. Michael H. Wilson

    RC @ 217 writes; “Randian/Rothbardianism worked for me for a while, reasonably well, I’d say”.

    Interesting. I would have thought that anyone, once seeing the ideas presented by a libertarian, would quickly say to themself what else is available that I am missing and seek out new ideas.

  207. Robert Capozzi

    Tms228, I’m sorry. It appears you don’t understand my perspective. I certainly HAVE seen your examples. I just don’t connect the dots the way you do, that’s all. I’m always up for honest conversation.

    This is how psychological projection works. Facts appear on the screen, i.e. one’s mind. Some people see one set of facts, some another. Some people form one narrative about the facts, labeling the fact set that register for them A; others, seeing a different fact set and – most important – interpreting the fact set very differently, Q, say.

    Haven’t you noticed this tendency? People “see” (that is, report on and evaluate what they see) what they want to see. Where you see a con artist, I see a hard-working guy. Where you see conspiracy, I see someone who makes mistakes. Where you see brand damage, I see differing opinions.

    If you find this “dishonest,” there’s probably nothing I can tell you to assure you of my sincerity. Consider the possibility, though, that you’re projecting.

    Mhw230: Interesting. I would have thought that anyone, once seeing the ideas presented by a libertarian, would quickly say to themself what else is available that I am missing and seek out new ideas.

    Me: Yes! Although others may create ideological “armed camps” to defend their POV and possibly their intellectual heroes. Take what you need and leave the rest is how I roll. I make no secret of my (projected!) interpretation of the LM that many see to be in a kind ideological armed camp, defending the ideas of Rand and Rothbard. Personally, I’m grateful for their pathbreaking work. I admire their apparent dedication to their search for truth. I appreciate the areas where I believe they found new pathways toward truth. Flawless oracles? Not so much.

  208. Michael H. Wilson

    re Capozzi @ 231. The way you write about Rand and Rothbard is that once you read them that is as far is it got and you were stuck. You don’t seem to have found your way past them.

  209. Robert Capozzi

    MHW232, hmm, could be. I’d say I bought their approach and thought systems in my younger days, then focused on other things. The residue of absolutism, however, bled into other aspects of life, until I became aware of other approaches to life and to politics. I reach most of the same conclusions about politics as I did when I was deeply under the sway of the R/R thought system, but I feel liberated to not carry around the absolutism and harsh judgmentalism (as I see it). I do share that with others who may also not be aware that there are other approaches to liberty than the plumb line for their consideration. I sometimes even use provocative language if it seems appropriate.

    They both concluded that fetuses are parasites, for ex. When I reflected on that view from a different perspective, I concluded that there was something really dysfunctional in their thought systems, but, of course, others may just write that idea off as itself a mere provocation rather than a well-thought-out view. Or it could be something else, I don’t know. My operative premise is that such thinking is at the very inception point of where L-ism went off the tracks and I’d like (in some small way) to get it back on track.

    I don’t think socialism is a helpful idea, nor do I think labeling others as “parasites” is, either. Others are free to agree or disagree with my opinions, and I theirs.

  210. Be Rational

    Biologically I would agree that a fetus is a parasite. However, I would agree that this label, like many others that could be true but that would incite hurt feelings, resentment, animosity, and misunderstanding, should be avoided by Ls of any stripe who wish to have their message received with respectful consideration.

    Party spokespersons need to use language that engenders respect and interest, even if the listener subsequently disagrees.

  211. Michael H. Wilson

    RC @ 233 writes; “My operative premise is that such thinking is at the very inception point of where L-ism went off the tracks and I’d like (in some small way) to get it back on track.”

    Robert just a couple of people were off track.

    Be Rational has it right at 234 for the most part. However I disagree that a fetus is a parasite.

  212. Be Rational

    @235 The fact that you would not agree that a baby is a parasite, and the fact that others would be appalled at the notion is a good reason why I would never want to publicly mention even the possibility that under some definition such a term could apply – except in an anonymous forum.

    We need to be polite, respectful and choose our words carefully.

    Likewise, some posters here attack Robert Capozzi, wrongly IMO. He doesn’t seem to be a Wayne Root supporter. He does advocate treating Wayne Root respectfully. He seems reasonable, sincere and honest.

    All these posts because a few people find it necessary to attack Wayne Root. People who have a better way should just out compete him.

    I’m not a Root supporter either, but I think he falls within the big L big tent and that having Root out on the “conservative” side of L recruiting and promoting is a good thing. But I sure hope that some others will get out and do the same thing on the “liberal” side. And most importantly, that some attractive, articulate Libertarian spokesperson will come along and outcompete them all in the rational, principled, Big L middle of the Nolan libertarian quadrant – in a peaceful, respectful way that will make millions of people listen and think about what we have to offer.

    If we can’t all “get along” amongst ourselves, how can we change the world?

  213. Robert Capozzi

    br, I would agree that a fetus survives in a parasitic manner; the connotation that they are “parasites” is not only disrespectful, it’s likely highly offensive to large portions of the population. Since we’re all FORMER fetuses, it’s arguably offensive to everyone.

    My theory is a bit nuanced…here goes. If one believes in absolutes and one believes that one has found THE truth, it is likely that one might become an intolerant zealot. One might even cover that over with some politeness, but at root one believes theirs is the one truth, not just a strongly held opinion. “Fetuses are parasites” is a symptom, not the root dysfunction.

    A zealot argues for his/her viewpoint with a stern belief in his/her correctness. I’m suggesting a more tolerant and open-minded stance…think of it as comparing notes. Here’s my observation, here’s my interpretation, what do you think? This approach goes past the need for mere politeness; open-mindedness is “baked in.”

  214. Gains

    Be Rational @236:

    Whoever you are, for all that you just said, you just went up a peg on my crib.

  215. Michael H. Wilson

    BTW I think any decent biologist would tell you that human fetuses are not parasitic in nature.

    Rothbard may have been an economist, but he was not a biologist and if he gets to redefine parasites then we are giving others the okay to redefine liberty.

  216. Robert Capozzi

    MHW, I found conflicting evidence on whether a fetus is parasitic (or even somewhat parasitic) in nature. It depends on the definition, in part.

    (of interest: http://www.l4l.org/library/notparas.html)

    I’m pro-choice, although not stridently so, and I’m for some term restrictions. There’s no doubt in my mind that a fetus is a potential human, and that alone merits respect if not full-blown rights.

    Again, regardless of one’s views on abortion, I use the example to illustrate a broader point about R/R-ism. The intellectually absolutist shock-and-awe tradition they established decades again is not serving the cause of advancing liberty very well IMO. It might be satisfying to play the bad boy or girl role, but in politics the healing peacemaker generally gets the blessings. If we really want peace, we might start by practicing it more consistently ourselves.

    In politics, style IS substance.

  217. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert, Murray may have been the smartest man in the room, but as the Vietnam War taught us, if we paid attention, is that the smartest man in the room is not always right.

  218. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, intellect and wisdom are not the same things, agreed. Whether it’s wise to have a plumb line on what the one “korrect line” for Ls is, I’d say No. Near as I can tell, R/R-Ls seem to think that there IS one and only one “legitimate” L position on any given issue. Can’t say I agree.

  219. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert I am pretty much a Fundy when it comes to Libertarian ideas, but I’ll tack to the left or the right when needed. I think it is also worth remembering that in the game of chess one does not more directly forward and I have met few libertarians who think otherwise. Most are willing to take a bit here and there in order to achieve the goals.

  220. Caren Besson

    Ron Paul is definitely doubtless my personal favourite choice inside the forthcoming election, but I actually usually do not sense such as he has grabbing enough smart coverage from the actual opinionated mass media to tricot away the particular triumph.

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