US News: Rand Paul Could Win Libertarian Nomination Too

RandSen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during an event at the University of Chicago on April 22.

USNews

By Steven Nelson
Oct. 27, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., may follow in his father’s footsteps not only by seeking the Republican presidential nomination, but also by receiving the Libertarian Party’s ballot line.

Members of the Libertarian Party are bracing for an internal struggle over whether to back the libertarian-leaning senator if he appears poised to win the Republican nomination in 2016.

Paul is unlikely to directly seek the third party’s support, but could win it anyhow through the work of eager activists like those who worked the campaigns of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a GOP presidential contender in 2008 and 2012 and the Libertarian nominee in 1988.

A co-nomination from one of the nation’s most significant minor parties could help Paul – if he’s the Republican nominee – avoid losing hundreds of thousands of votes to an ideological ally. In some states, his name would appear twice on ballots.

If Paul is nominated by both the Republican and Libertarian parties, it could also unleash electoral scenarios unseen in decades, such as the negotiation of a fusion slate of electors. Libertarians could, theoretically, nominate their own vice presidential candidate.

Though the Libertarian Party’s Orlando, Florida, nominating convention isn’t until May 2016, Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Wes Benedict foresees a fight.

“If Rand Paul wins the Republican nomination, I’d expect a big fight within the [party] over whether or not we should run our own candidate,” Benedict says. “It wouldn’t just be a discussion.”

Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark, officially neutral on the matter, says “there is a possibility that the delegates in Orlando would nominate Sen. Paul and if they were to do so, I’d work hard to support their choice.”

Read the rest of the article here.

196 thoughts on “US News: Rand Paul Could Win Libertarian Nomination Too

  1. Matt Cholko

    Have I been missing something? I’m not aware of any significant push to get this guy the LP nomination.

    I would not support such a move, unless there was some serious change in Dr. Paul’s ideology.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    This is news to me, which is why I posted this article. It’s bound to come up, so I guess we should start talking about it now.

    I don’t think Rand would have any interest in us, unless the GOP shuts him out.

  3. paulie

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., may follow in his father’s footsteps not only by seeking the Republican presidential nomination, but also by receiving the Libertarian Party’s ballot line.

    I doubt that. He has clearly said he is neither a Libertarian nor a libertarian, as has LPKY. And the timeline is off: Ron Paul ran as the LP candidate in 1988 and was not able to run as a Republican for Congress again until 1996, and for president not until 2008. Given that Rand Paul may very well want to run Republican in 2020 and other future years it’s highly unlikely he would seek or accept the LP nomination.

  4. paulie

    A co-nomination from one of the nation’s most significant minor parties could help Paul – if he’s the Republican nominee – avoid losing hundreds of thousands of votes to an ideological ally. In some states, his name would appear twice on ballots.

    In most states it would not, and in some states that would mean future ballot access problems for the LP.

  5. paulie

    “If Rand Paul wins the Republican nomination, I’d expect a big fight within the [party] over whether or not we should run our own candidate,” Benedict says. “It wouldn’t just be a discussion.”

    Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark, officially neutral on the matter, says “there is a possibility that the delegates in Orlando would nominate Sen. Paul and if they were to do so, I’d work hard to support their choice.”

    Why even entertain this scenario?

    A) Rand Paul is extremely unlikely to win the Republican nomination. At most he may get VP and use it to campaign hard against the LP, as he already has in many states

    B) It would be much better for Wes and Nick to have said that this is unlikely, that Rand Paul is neither a Libertarian or a libertarian, that we would cross that bridge in teh highly unlikely event we ever come to it, or something along those lines.

  6. Richard Winger

    Actually, about half the states permit fusion for president. Many state anti-fusion laws only apply to candidates nominated in primaries. But presidential electors are nominated by party meetings, in all states.

  7. George Phillies

    Paul is up for re-election in 2016. His state has a one-race-per-year law, but he could simply put his dad on the ballot in his state, and everyone would know what his electors would actually do. He could also listen to litigation nuts, but he appears to be more sophisticated politically than that.

    He is an antiabortionist, antigay rights when last I listened, a global warming denier, an evolution denier, but perhaps not quite as xenophobic as his daddy, He has lots of statements on the line ‘they tried to hang the ‘libertarian’ tag on me, and they failed’. Signs that Randall Paul is a Libertarian are hard to see.

    Also, we have a history of nominating Republican carpetbaggers, with bad results.

    In my opinion, this story is some sort of a political plant, handed to a reporter who knows little about our party, to advance someone’s agenda. Not necessarily Paul’s. There are plenty of Republicans who are Christian theocrats who abominate our party. Reading this will motivate them to oppose Paul and support some good Republican, like Huckabee.

  8. paulie

    Following the full article link:

    Delegates could nominate Paul and his presumptive GOP running mate (if that person has been selected), or nominate Paul and a Libertarian running mate (as happened in 1896 when the Democratic and Populist parties nominated William Jennings Bryan for president, but chose different vice presidential candidates).

    They could also choose to endorse no candidate, a scenario in which many would-be Libertarian voters would presumably vote for Paul without the party’s official blessing; or they could snub Paul and pick their own presidential candidate.

    That last one, please.

    As for the other scenarios, Republican VP picks are generally not known until close to or at the time of their convention; if Rand Paul was somehow poised to win their nomination, he’d have an extremely non-libertarian running mater to balance the ticket (in terms of their party); electoral laws were very different in 1896; and as for “no candidate” we would quickly be about as much of a party as other national parties which used to run presidential candidates but no longer do.

  9. paulie

    Actually, about half the states permit fusion for president. Many state anti-fusion laws only apply to candidates nominated in primaries. But presidential electors are nominated by party meetings, in all states.

    Michigan/6th was a bad precedent last time around in how it’s interpreted, and US Supreme Court did nothing about it but even if it’s only half that is still way too many.

  10. Matt Cholko

    What about a scenario where he is on both ballot lines in all states, but asks his supporters to vote for the LP line in states where he knows he will lose? That could provide a ballot access benefit to us in some states, as he would certainly cross every threshold.

    Not saying I’d support this. Just engaging is mindless speculation.

  11. paulie

    What about a scenario where he is on both ballot lines in all states,

    Can’t be done. Only about half the states will allow it according to Richard Winger above and I think Richard may be being too optimistic.

    but asks his supporters to vote for the LP line in states where he knows he will lose? That could provide a ballot access benefit to us in some states, as he would certainly cross every threshold.

    I’ll bet my entire net worth and whatever I can borrow against that happening.

  12. paulie

    Further in the article

    Benedict says he would prefer Libertarians to run their own candidate, someone who supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

    Thank you! That should have been the only response from anyone speaking officially on our behalf.

  13. Gene Berkman

    I actually have a better opinion of Rand Paul than many who comment here. He has opposed expansion of NATO, criticized other foreign policy boondoggles, and he is working with Sen. Cory Booker on crime and justice related issues including the war on drugs, racially motivated police actions, and militarization of police. I disagree with him on abortion, as I disagreed with his dad.

    I really think it would be bad for the freedom movement in general if Rand Paul were to run for President in 2016. He has too little experience, he has too many issues where he has apparently changed his stand, and his Senate seat is up for re-election. Even if he could run for both President and Senate, it is hard to maintain two campaigns at the same time.

    Of course, it is not likely than Rand Paul could win the nomination, but by running for it and losing, he would be under additional pressure to back Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney or whatever big government “conservative” the Republican establishment puts up.

    If Rand Paul were to win the Republican nomination, it would be a bigger disaster, since many prowar Republicans would refuse to support him, and they constitute the majority of active Republicans. A landslide loss by someone perceived as a limited government conservative would cause many Republicans to blame his loss on his limited government views.

    Sen. Goldwater’s landslide loss in 1964 pave the way for Congress to pass many new laws and massively expand government in Lyndon Johnson’s great society. LBJ’s Great Society then gave way to Richard Nixon and his big government Republicanism. It took many years and the disgraced ending of the LBJ and Nixon Presidencies before limited government conservatism became respectable again.

    Rand Paul makes many compromises that Libertarians don’t agree with. Over time, as a Senator he can learn where he can hold the line on principle and he can be a better champion of liberty than almost any of his fellow Senators. But running for President will subject him to all the pressure and all the exposure of any of his flaws necessary for the establishment to stop him, even if he represents such a minor threat.

  14. paulie

    Richard Winger, a ballot access expert who’s participated in Libertarian Party nominating conventions since the 1980s, says Paul supporters would need to strategize in advance of the Orlando convention, as delegates are selected by state parties.

    Somewhat true, although typically most states have plenty of open spots at convention time and many of them are happy to add people if they just show up. But then again if there is an organized takeover attempt like this there could be a credentials fight, so Richard is probably right after all.

    Gaming Republican state conventions was a specialty of enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters, who in 2012 took over GOP organizations and flooded state conventions to score delegate wins for their libertarian hero. It’s unclear if these activists would put the same effort into infiltrating the Libertarian Party on behalf of Sen. Paul.

    Some will, some won’t. Rand Paul’s support overlaps with Ron Paul’s but isn’t the same. Many of the most hardcore Ron Paul supporters consider Rand Paul to be a sellout, but he makes up for it with support from more establishment Republicans who would never support Ron Paul.

  15. paulie

    Of course, it is not likely than Rand Paul could win the nomination, but by running for it and losing, he would be under additional pressure to back Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney or whatever big government “conservative” the Republican establishment puts up.

    He’ll do so in any case.

    If Rand Paul were to win the Republican nomination, it would be a bigger disaster, since many prowar Republicans would refuse to support him, and they constitute the majority of active Republicans.

    He would work hard to win their support, have a VP who will assure them that he will have “adult supervision” much as Shrub had Cheney and Reagan had HW, and in the end fear of Democrats (especially Hillary) would ensure their support and their turnout. Most Ds and Rs voe against the “other side”, more so than in favor of their own.

  16. paulie

    I really think it would be bad for the freedom movement in general if Rand Paul were to run for President in 2016.

    It is pretty much not exactly a secret that he is running.

  17. Austin Cassidy

    “as happened in 1896 when the Democratic and Populist parties nominated William Jennings Bryan for president”

    And that worked out fantastically well for the Populists. Right?

  18. Robert Capozzi

    I see Rand has said: “The Earth is 4.54 [billion] or 4.6 billion years old. ” This, I think, is heretical from the theocratic perspective. My sense is he isn’t one.

    The knuckle-dragger-pandering vibe I get from Rand is much lower than from his Dad.

    None of this is going to happen, so this trial balloon goes nowhere. Kinda cool, though, that the challengers of the omnipotent state get a fairly high profilish mention.

  19. paulie

    Winger says Paul probably would need to signal to Libertarians that he supports key party priorities. He recalls former Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, the party’s 2008 nominee, successfully successfully doing so when he apologized authoring the Defense of Marriage Act and voting for the Patriot Act.

    Barr wasn’t running for the Republican nomination at the exact same time, so he only had to appease one party’s pre-nomination voters at the same time. How’s Rand Paul going to assure Libertarians that he is one of us and assure Republicans he is one of them at the exact same time?

    The Republican primary season may make that difficult, Already, Paul has taken positions that some Libertarians consider heresy, such as saying he would vote in favor of bombing the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

    It will get much, much worse if he becomes a serious contender for their nomination or even if he deludes himself into thinking he could be a serious contender.

    Barr, citing his experience winning the Libertarian nomination, advises Paul supporters to “work quietly within the Libertarian Party to identify real-world libertarians” who would rather boost the libertarian-leaning Republican than nominate an ideologically pure candidate.

    Fool them once, shame on Barr. Fool them twice, shame on them, etc. But see above.

  20. paulie

    I see Rand has said: “The Earth is 4.54 [billion] or 4.6 billion years old. ” This, I think, is heretical from the theocratic perspective. My sense is he isn’t one.

    While there is substantial overlap between young earthers and those in favor of socially repressive government policies using religious reasons as a justification, the two positions are independent of each other.

  21. From Der Sidelines

    Unlikely scenario because the national Bylaws prohibit nominating a Republican for President, and he isn’t leaving the GOP.

    OTOH, based on Phillies’s critique above, there’s a lot to like about him since Phillies represents the ultra-left libertarianism that borders on left-lunatic socialism. But is Paul an ideal libertarian? Not even close.

  22. paulie

    Unlikely scenario because the national Bylaws prohibit nominating a Republican for President, and he isn’t leaving the GOP.

    The bylaws would be up for amendment at that convention, or they could be ignored as happened with the seating of Oregon delegates at the last one.

  23. Gene Berkman

    Austin – just as a historical note, the 1896 campaign was the high point for the People’s Party. In 1892, James B Weaver received 22 electoral votes; in 1896, 30 Populist electors were elected, 3 voted the regular Democrat ticket, but 27 voted for Brian and Watson. 22 Populists were elected to the House of Representatives – most with Democrat support, but 4 in North Carolina were elected with Republican support. Populist representation in state legislatures was also at an all time high.

    The People’s Party declined in 1898 for the same reason Brian lost in 1896 – the economy recovered and demand for cheap money through free silver or paper money declined. That would have happened regardless of the Populist strategy in 1896.

  24. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    When I first saw the headline of the article, I thought it was some ridiculous piece written by someone with no clue what’s going on. When I read quotes from both Benedict and Sarwark, I wondered if there might be some validity to this possibility, so I posted it here for discussion.

    I’m a bit with Berkman in that I like Rand better than some of you do. Well, I like him better than Hillary. Rand actually drives me nuts: for every two good things he does, like visiting Ferguson and talking to the community leaders, he does something totally bonehead, like “I stand for Israel”. I actually think there’s a possiblity he will be the 2016 Republican nominee, however. Who else does the GOP have who could win, by anyone’s stretch of imagination? No one. If they decide they want to win (unlike 2012, where they clearly planned to lose), they may just give Rand a chance.

  25. paulie

    He wouldn’t win the general election. Their best chance to win? Probably someone like Jeb or Paul Ryan that won’t scare the middle of the road voters most likely to be up for grabs.

    Rand vs Hillary? Hmmm…that would be a tough choice. I sure hope the LP doesn’t nominate either one of them, or NOTA.

    I can’t fault Nick and Wes B for talking to the reporter (we need all the coverage we can get) and of course Nick has to be officially neutral in case this does happen, even though it won’t. Not sure if Wes could find himself in hot water for expressing his own personal preferences but hopefully not.

  26. Dave

    It looks like the Kentucky legislature and governor won’t support changing a law to let Rand run for both offices at once. I expect he’ll run for president and if he’s not picking up traction, quickly withdraw and run for reelection. I think the filing deadline is after the first few primaries so he can gauge and see if he has a reasonable shot going forward.

    I think if he does emerge as a significant player( Which is my guess. I actually expect him to do better than Cruz and his ilk and b ein the top tier, but my money would be on Jeb or Romney winning again.) Massie would take his seat. The Paul people love him and I think Rand would see him as a worthy successor.

    But he’d pretty clearly not run as a Libertarian. If he did win the nomination, the worst thing he could do to assuage the Huckabee’s and McCain’s would be to accept another party’s nomination. At most I could see a movement to get the LP to nominate none of the above as an endorsement of Rand in all but name.

    Speaking from an outsider perspective, I wonder if Ron would do some lobbying on his son’s behalf? He seems very popular within the LP, though he has his detractors. I’d be willing to bet that if Ron magically showed up at the convention in 2016 and announced he was running, he’d be nominated on the first ballot. so what if he shows up and asks them to support his son in one way or another? Does the party respect him enough to do that?

    I doubt it will happen, but an interesting scenario all the same.

  27. Jed Ziggler

    This is why I’m no longer a Libertarian. Sarwark’s response is absolute shit.

    “of course Nick has to be officially neutral in case this does happen”

    Like hell he does. If Rand Paul is nominated by the convention, the leadership should disavow their own nominee. But again, the fact that the LP puts parliamentary procedure before just fucking doing what’s right is why I left. The LP claims to hate government bureaucracy, then creates one of their own in a web of bylaws, rules, and procedure. It’s beyond ludicrous.

    I have nothing against the LP candidates, but the party itself infuriates me.

  28. paulie

    Like hell he does.

    Come to think of it, he could have said our bylaws do not allow us to nominate candidates of other parties. Yes, the bylaws could be changed but he wouldn’t have to say that, and would have been well within what he is allowed to say to point that out.

  29. Nicholas Sarwark

    This is why I’m no longer a Libertarian. Sarwark’s response is absolute shit.

    Really? Because I just got the reporter’s questions in the last few days and the article just got published, so I’m thinking that maybe this article isn’t the reason.

    If you think that the Chair of the party can publicly state his/her preference for who wins the nomination, you might want to change the bylaws. I don’t get to tell the delegates what they should do, I get to lead the party and work for the success of who they choose.

    FYI, I did explain to the reporter that his question didn’t make much sense as the LP convention is in May, well before the GOP nomination is likely to be decided, as well as that Mr. Paul would have to indicate that he would accept, and that such a communication of acceptance would likely spike his GOP nomination chances.

    Not every answer to a reporter makes it into the final article.

  30. Nicholas Sarwark

    Come to think of it, he could have said our bylaws do not allow us to nominate candidates of other parties. Yes, the bylaws could be changed but he wouldn’t have to say that, and would have been well within what he is allowed to say to point that out.

    That’s true, but our convention comes at such a point in the year that Mr. Paul could not be the nominee of another party at that point.

  31. paulie

    If Rand Paul is nominated by the convention, the leadership should disavow their own nominee. But again, the fact that the LP puts parliamentary procedure before just fucking doing what’s right is why I left. The LP claims to hate government bureaucracy, then creates one of their own in a web of bylaws, rules, and procedure. It’s beyond ludicrous.

    Having no rules or ignoring the ones we do have would pose its own set of problems. I do agree they can be mind numbing and very frustrating. There is a procedure to disavow a nominee, but it takes a supermajority vote.

  32. paulie

    That’s true, but our convention comes at such a point in the year that Mr. Paul could not be the nominee of another party at that point.

    We could ask him to stop running for the Republican nomination if he wants to be considered for ours. After all, the Republicans apparently require this of their candidates. Which, come to think of it, would pose another problem for the scenario presented in this article.

  33. Nicholas Sarwark

    We could ask him to stop running for the Republican nomination if he wants to be considered for ours.

    If by “we,” you mean the delegates, then yes they can.

  34. paulie

    FYI, I did explain to the reporter that his question didn’t make much sense as the LP convention is in May, well before the GOP nomination is likely to be decided, as well as that Mr. Paul would have to indicate that he would accept, and that such a communication of acceptance would likely spike his GOP nomination chances.

    Ours is in late May, theirs this time will be in late June or Mid July (I looked it up). I think by the time we have ours they will have their presumptive nominee, unless they get their first real convention in many decades (as opposed to the scripted advertising program it has long since become).

  35. Jed Ziggler

    “Really? Because I just got the reporter’s questions in the last few days and the article just got published, so I’m thinking that maybe this article isn’t the reason.”

    I meant shit like it is, not the article itself, obviously.

    “If you think that the Chair of the party can publicly state his/her preference for who wins the nomination, you might want to change the bylaws.”

    The constant mention of bylaws by the party makes me want to blow my brains out. It’s not about preference, it’s about doing your job & opposing both corporate parties. Again, it’s the same shit with the last chair, and the chair before him, and it’s why I’m independent now.

    The LP should be a party of activists guided entirely by principle, not a party of bureaucrats who base all their decisions on meaningless bylaws.

  36. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    “The LP should be a party of activists guided entirely by principle, not a party of bureaucrats who base all their decisions on meaningless bylaws.”
    The same argument is often made to excuse oath and law violations by government officials of their applicable bylaws known commonly as a constitution. Once a person can ignore rules they don’t find agreeable that person soon will ignore any rule they can get away with. To me that sounds like an awful suggestion to make regardless of the organization you are talking about.

  37. Mike Kane

    1. This article is speculative bullshit. It starts and ends with that.

    2. Libertarian leaders are 100% properly quoted in this article, Mr. Winger, Mr. Benedict, and Mr. Sarwark. Mr. Winger as always provides the proper ballot access perspective, while Mr. Benedict tells the truth, and Mr. Sarwark doesn’t take a side — not only the way that the bylaws specify but also the fair way.

    3. Rand Paul isn’t going to seek the Libertarian nomination for President. Why would he?

    4. Were Rand Paul to win the LP nomination, the rank and file LP members wouldn’t campaign for him.

    5. Gary Johnson is only marginally better than Rand Paul. The LP can do better.

  38. Mike Kane

    6. I commend “Libertarian Leaders” if there is such a thing for providing the proper perspective towards Rand Paul seeking the LP 2016 nomination for President.

  39. William Saturn

    The Republican Party should have its presumptive nominee by May 2016. In the unlikely event that Rand Paul wins the nomination, I would probably vote for him over Gary Johnson in the general election, assuming Johnson is the LP nominee. I believe many independent-minded voters would do the same. This is not a slight of Johnson, but I believe it is the majority view that Ron Paul is a purer libertarian than Gary Johnson. If the chance exists to elect someone presumably in constant communication with Ron Paul and who may govern like Ron Paul, I’ll risk electing a watered-down libertarian-leaning Republican. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

  40. Gene Berkman

    William – Ron Paul does have a much longer association with the Libertarian Movement than Gary Johnson, and in many cases articulates more hard core arguments. But Gary Johnson is pro-choice on abortion, Ron Paul is anti-abortion; and Gary Johnson has a better position on immigration than the one put forth by the Ron Paul for President Campaign.

    Also, Gary Johnson was never associated with Lew Rockwell, the Rothbard/Rockwell Report or the other newsletters. Former Governor Johnson is preferable for those reasons.

    As for the Libertarian Party doing better, who else has a record in public office to point to or the name recognition that Johnson has in the marijuana legalization movement? Running somebody for President who has not successfully held a lower office, or at least just held a lower office indicates someone with a messiah complex, even more than the normal candidate for President. If someone has ideas on public policy, people have a right to see how he did at a lower level before they intrust the highest office in the land to him.

  41. Andy

    “Gene Berkman

    October 28, 2014 at 3:06 am

    William – Ron Paul does have a much longer association with the Libertarian Movement than Gary Johnson, and in many cases articulates more hard core arguments. But Gary Johnson is pro-choice on abortion, Ron Paul is anti-abortion; and Gary Johnson has a better position on immigration than the one put forth by the Ron Paul for President Campaign.”

    Gary Johnson signed a bill as Governor of New Mexico BANNING late term abortions. Gary Johnson also came out in support of parental notification if a minor wants to get an abortion. Gary Johnson’s position in regard to the federal government and abortion is the same as Ron Paul’s, as in that it is an issue that should be left for the states to decide, as per the 10th amendment.

    Also, to the uniformed person above who described Ron Paul as being xenophobic or some such nonsensical claim, Ron Paul voted to INCREASE visas for foreign workers to come to the USA. Ron Paul also voted AGAINST the border fence. Ron Paul also voted AGAINST the E-Verify program which is meant to prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens. Ron Paul also voted AGAINST using the US military to aid in border patrol.

    It is amazing how many so called “Libertarians” spout off without having their facts straight. I expect this from Democrats and Republicans, but I expect more out of people who claim to be Libertarians.

  42. Andy

    Numbers USA, an anti-immigration group, gave Ron Paul a grade of F on immigration. Talk to anyone for whom opposition to immigration is their top issue and you will find somebody who is NOT a fan of Ron Paul. They are fans of the likes of Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Virgil Goode, but NOT Ron Paul.

    https://www.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/beckr/may-2-2011/ron-pauls-new-book-sinks-his-immigration-grade-f.html

    There are several so called “Libertarians” out there who keep spreading lies about Dr. Ron Paul. Some of them are on this very thread, and some of them I’ve already debunked their misinformation on other threads on this site, so at this point I know that they know the truth, yet they keep on spreading the disinfo, so I know that you are consciously lying.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    a: Gary Johnson signed a bill as Governor of New Mexico BANNING late term abortions. Gary Johnson also came out in support of parental notification if a minor wants to get an abortion. Gary Johnson’s position in regard to the federal government and abortion is the same as Ron Paul’s, as in that it is an issue that should be left for the states to decide, as per the 10th amendment.

    me: Andy, are you making a case AGAINST GJ or for him here? These all look like fine and reasonable positions to me.

  44. Robert Capozzi

    ws: [if] Rand Paul wins the nomination, I would probably vote for him over Gary Johnson in the general election…

    me: I hear this, but I think you are confused about the importance of your vote, mathematically speaking. You could consider voting for GJ in that (unlikely) case, but also support Rand if you wanted to, and to root for Rand.

    Even if one vote really counted, there’s also the electoral college. If you are state that is deep blue or red, you might still vote strategically for GJ.

  45. Andy

    “me: Andy, are you making a case AGAINST GJ or for him here? These all look like fine and reasonable positions to me.”

    This was not meant as a case for or against Gary Johnson, but rather to point out what his actual record on abortion is, and also to dispel the myths perpetrated by some Libertarians on what Gary Johnson’s actual record is on abortion.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, I wouldn’t call Mr. Sarwark’s response “shit.” He correctly tried to position himself as uninvolved in the fray over whom (if anyone) the LP nominates for president in 2016. That’s what a chair should do.

    As someone (Paulie?) points out above, Nick could have just punted the question and said “as long as Mr. Paul is a candidate for the Republican nomination, our bylaws/convention rules specify that he can’t also be the Libertarian nominee” (without mentioning that the convention can suspend the rules, etc.).

    And I would personally have liked that. But as a response from the chair, I’m not sure it would have been as on point as his actual response. His job is to get and keep the internal house clean and functional so that the delegates can (among other things) pick a presidential nominee, not to try and pick that nominee (or torpedo any of the prospective choices) for them in advance.

  47. Michael H. Wilson

    Perhaps I shouldn’t bring up this old weather beaten horse of an issue but articles like this might send people to the LP’s national web site and it would help if the issues section was kept up to date and maybe if there was some up to date literature.

    We really can’t expect the LP office to do all the work so maybe if a few people volunteered it might take a bit of the load off of their shoulders. Anyone care to get involved?

    I’ll crawl back in the closet and stick my head out once in awhile to see if there are any replies.

  48. Jed Ziggler

    Perhaps I was a bit harsh in my assessment. Sarwark’s just doing his job as best he knows how, I just very much do not like the insinuation that the Republican nominee could swoop in and take the LP nomination. I want the LP to vigorously fight to stop that from happening.

    I do not, however, like the comparison between party bylaws and the Constitution. The Constitution is a document that defends natural rights over majority rule. The LP does not have, but should have, a similar document that protects certain overarching principles (one of which must be unequivocal opposition to the corporate-ruled parties) against majority rule. Instead, the LP is entirely governed by these bylaws which can be changed via democratic vote, thus leaving the party vulnerable to carpetbaggers.

  49. paulie

    The Republican Party should have its presumptive nominee by May 2016. In the unlikely event that Rand Paul wins the nomination, I would probably vote for him over Gary Johnson in the general election, assuming Johnson is the LP nominee. I believe many independent-minded voters would do the same. This is not a slight of Johnson, but I believe it is the majority view that Ron Paul is a purer libertarian than Gary Johnson. If the chance exists to elect someone presumably in constant communication with Ron Paul and who may govern like Ron Paul, I’ll risk electing a watered-down libertarian-leaning Republican. That’s a risk I’m willing to take.

    Rand Paul is his own man and there is absolutely no reason to believe he is a carbon copy of his father. While his views are closer to his father than for example mine are to mine they are certainly not identical. And governing and being in congress are two different things, so we can only presume how Ron Paul would govern. As for Rand Paul, he would have to take on a whole lot of commitments, obligations and promises to exactly the wrong people in his party to actually be elected. I’ve had the argument as to whether Ron Paul or Gary Johnson is more libertarian before, and don’t feel like having it again but I think they are about equally libertarian, with Ron Paul being more libertarian on some things and Gary Johnson on others. It’s a stupid tangent that I really do not want to pursue yet again, since this is not about Ron Paul. With Rand Paul I don’t think it’s even close. Johnson is clearly better than the younger Paul by a long shot.

  50. paulie

    Andy, are you making a case AGAINST GJ or for him here? These all look like fine and reasonable positions to me.

    He’s making a case regarding Ron Paul vs Gary Johnson, which is beside the point – Ron Paul and Rand Paul are two very different people.

  51. Nicholas Sarwark

    Perhaps I was a bit harsh in my assessment. Sarwark’s just doing his job as best he knows how, I just very much do not like the insinuation that the Republican nominee could swoop in and take the LP nomination. I want the LP to vigorously fight to stop that from happening.

    You have some mighty strong preferences about what the “LP” should do for someone who left. Being a delegate in Orlando is the only point at which you would have the power to “fight to stop that from happening.” If you’re not willing to do any of that fighting yourself, then your opinions about what fighting others should do for you will be given all due respect.

  52. Nicholas Sarwark

    I do not, however, like the comparison between party bylaws and the Constitution. The Constitution is a document that defends natural rights over majority rule. The LP does not have, but should have, a similar document that protects certain overarching principles (one of which must be unequivocal opposition to the corporate-ruled parties) against majority rule. Instead, the LP is entirely governed by these bylaws which can be changed via democratic vote, thus leaving the party vulnerable to carpetbaggers.

    (emphasis added)

    For your edification, the Libertarian Party Statement of Principles, unchangeable by anything other than a 7/8 vote of the delegates at convention, and thus unassailable by “carpetbaggers”:

    We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

    We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

    Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

    We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

    Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

    Look, you can leave the party for whatever reason you’d like, but as long as you keep trying to make it about the party or the party leadership, I’m going to stand up for both.

  53. paulie

    Even if one vote really counted, there’s also the electoral college. If you are state that is deep blue or red, you might still vote strategically for GJ.

    He’s in Texas and plans to stay there. If Texas isn’t solidly Republican in any given presidential race, it’s a Democratic blowout nationwide. As a side note, I learned more about William Saturn and his views from a recent interview he did than I have in years of talking to him on IPR and email. Unfortunately, I don’t want to link it here because of all the other garbage that appears on the blog that published it (constant calls for violence, violations of privacy, vile bigotry and libel all over the place in almost every post). The interview with Saturn may be the only useful thing ever published there. Hopefully someone saves a copy in case that dump it is published on ever gets its overdue shutdown from wordpress for constantly violating their term of service (virtual health codes).

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    “He’s making a case regarding Ron Paul vs Gary Johnson, which is beside the point — Ron Paul and Rand Paul are two very different people.”

    True. But the differences between them both militate strongly for the conclusion that Rand Paul shouldn’t even be a factor in LP 2016 decision-making.

    First of all, as of 2008/12, Ron Paul had embraced the LP (as its past presidential nominee) and the label “libertarian.” And he never had any significant chance at the GOP nomination for LP flirtations to mess up. So even if I don’t think he’s libertarian “enough,” and even if I think nominating him in 2008/12 would have been a bad idea, it was understandable why some people would disagree or think that he might be open to it.

    Rand Paul, on the other hand, hot publicly embraced the LP. He has publicly stated that he is a conservative and that the label “libertarian” is just an “albatross” that his opponents try to hang around his neck. And he seems to have a real shot at the 2016 GOP nomination — a chance which flirting with the LP nomination would damage (I don’t think he’ll be the GOP nominee, btw; just saying he has the kind of shot his dad never did). So even if I thought he was libertarian “enough” to make a good LP nominee, I don’t see a practical case for it.

    But, to contrast the behavior of this new LP chair with past LNCs, in late 2007 the LNC publicly practically got on its knees and begged Ron Paul to throw his hat in the LP nomination ring with its “invitation” resolution. THIS chair just said “my job is to support what the convention decides.” That, to me, is a dramatic improvement.

    As far as the weird deal alluded to — Paul getting the GOP nomination and having an LP running mate — someone above (Paulie again I think) has already pointed out that the likelihood is exactly the opposite. Paul is “libertarian-leaning” enough that to the extent his VP pick is a tool for bringing the GOP together around him for the general election if he’s the nominee-apparent, he’ll have to throw red meat to some other “base” faction, probably the hawks. The GOP is the dog. It isn’t going to let an LP tail wag it.

    Speaking of which, we should stop being a tail trying to wag the GOP dog and start acting like a political party instead of a GOP splinter faction. That’s one major reason I’m stuck on NOTA 2016. It seems like the only signal strong enough to get the message across that we’re not the GOP and should stop trying to be the GOP.

  55. Joshua Katz

    The idea that what’s wrong with the LP is abiding by our own, voluntarily agreed upon rules, strikes me as absurd. So do the anti-parliamentary procedure tirades. The basic principle of parliamentary procedure is protection of the minority while ensuring the right of a majority to act. Our parliamentary authority was chosen in our bylaws, which can be revised at each convention. These principles seem to me quite sound, and important.

    What, exactly, do critics of bylaws and parliamentary procedure envision as the right way to govern an organization and make decisions? I’d really like to know what other process better protects minorities, prevents temporary majorities from taking over organizations, and yet ensures that a majority at a properly called and noticed meeting may act.

    Perhaps the time spent railing against parliamentary procedure could instead be spent learning how to use it – or at least reading the introduction to Robert’s.

    As for bylaws – sure, let’s just ignore them and do what we feel like, despite convention delegates being a rather small minority of donors, so this amounts to spending people’s money contrary to the agreement they accepted in giving it. I consider that theft. But we’ll be principled activists in doing so, right? Because people who are principled can never disagree.

    Our bylaws are not meaningless. They are the basic rules we agreed upon in joining this organization. They have procedures for being changed. Those procedures are not “but I want it.” Why should 500 people have the right to spend money contrary to the rules agreed to by all members?

    As regards the neutrality of the chair, I do not consider this a bylaws issue, but a question of basic parliamentary law. Yes, the bylaws could change it, but I think such a move would be very unwise. The chair needs to preside at meetings and conventions. How can we trust his decisions if he reveals bias?

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joshua,

    I have nothing against parliamentary procedure or bylaws. In fact, I consider them both absolutely necessary. But recent controversies in the party (to name two, the convention poll tax and the attempt by the executive committee to find a way around the bylaws to disaffiliate Oregon) have shown that those with a Machiavellian penchant have honed in on exploiting minor flaws in bylaws and parliamentary procedures to have things their way in direct contravention of same.

    I do find your objection to the actions of convention delegates strange insofar as those delegates derive their power (including the power to suspend convention rules, etc.) from those very bylaws and that very parliamentary authority. How can it be fraud for a group of people to do things that they are clearly empowered to do by, as you put it, “the basic rules we agreed upon in joining this organization?”

  57. Robert Capozzi

    PF makes a good point, Rand is not Ron. In some ways, I prefer each of them for different reasons.

    Regardless of the legalisms, my understanding is that GJ is pro-choice, although not not without limits and within the context of federalism. The Pauls are not. On that issue, GJ is the better candidate from my perspective. That he’s NOT 100% pro-choice (carving out late-term abortions and legal abortions for minors) are further pluses for GJ, further establishing that he’s not doctrinaire. Instead, he’s thoughtful. A good quality, in my book.

  58. Mark Axinn

    Why are fighting over this?

    Good publicity for the LP a week before Election Day, fine answers by the leadership.

    Rand Paul is not running as a Libertarian, but better to get in the papers this way than not at all.

    How many people knew in 2010 that Gary Johnson would be our nominee two years later?

    How many people knew in 2006 that Bob Barr would be our nominee two years later?

    For that matter, how many people knew in 1986 that Ron Paul would be the nominee in 1988?

    Correct answer to all questions is Zero.

    Might be a little early to say who it will be in 2016.

  59. paulie

    Why are fighting over this?

    That’s just what we do here 🙂

    But I don’t think we are fighting. We are discussing various tangential matters, mostly, and I think most of the discussion has been pretty civil, as far as internet discussions go, with a fair amount of agreement among various people as well.

    Rand Paul is not running as a Libertarian, but better to get in the papers this way than not at all.

    I agree, and said so earlier. It’s an opportunity to let people know or remind them we exist. And I’ll add that interviews happen on the fly, so even if I can think of a better answer afterwards it doesn’t mean I could have done better in real time.

    How many people knew in 2010 that Gary Johnson would be our nominee two years later?

    How many people knew in 2006 that Bob Barr would be our nominee two years later?

    I heard rumors in both cases. That did not amount to knowing, however.

    I also don’t know this time either, although I would be post a higher likelihood on my #1 guess (Johnson again) than I would on any #1 guess I would have had at this point in any cycle since 1998 (Browne again).

    For that matter, how many people knew in 1986 that Ron Paul would be the nominee in 1988?

    Dunno, I was a 14 year old Democrat then so I’m sure I didn’t know.

    Might be a little early to say who it will be in 2016.

    Yep. I think you’re right.

  60. Mark Axinn

    Paulie–

    1988 was my second vote for a Libertarian for Pres. and the third for an independent (I voted for Anderson in 1980 against Reagan–boo hiss–and Carter). Over the past six years, I frequently went to Ron Paul events and stated that I may be the only person in the room who actually voted for him for President.

    Agree that Gary is running in 2016. Otherwise, why waste his time with OAI.

    I did not list 2000 as one of the questioanble years. That was a lock by an exceptional candidate. You don’t get any points for predicting that one early. 🙂

  61. Joe

    George @ (somewhere way up there),

    “Also, we have a history of nominating Republican carpetbaggers, with bad results.”

    Ditto.

    I swore after Barr, I’d not vote for another Republican in a Libertarian (Statue of Liberty) gown (cloak?). When I met Gary in Santa Fe in December 2011, I got seduced all over again (and don’t really regret it (in terms of the candidate personally; if not the campaign and its non-transparent nature).

    I’ll post this publicly here and now:

    1) I intend to be present in Orlando

    2) If I am, I will NOT under any circumstances vote for any current or former Republican.

    (I suppose I could consider voting for a former democrat (would have liked to have supported Mike Gravel, for example, if only he’d been libertarian at the core) – to balance out our past/wash away the “libertarians are Republicans who want to smoke pot and who have a gay cousin” current (mis-) brand.)

    3) That said, I intend to support, work on behalf of, give my delegate vote to the most articulate libertarian potential POTUS candidate at that convention — one who (ideally) owns the debate in the hall.

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    “1) I intend to be present in Orlando”

    Huzzah! Look forward to meeting you!

    “2) If I am, I will NOT under any circumstances vote for any current or former Republican.”

    None of the Above is neither currently nor formerly a Republican.

    “3) That said, I intend to support, work on behalf of, give my delegate vote to the most articulate libertarian potential POTUS candidate at that convention — one who (ideally) owns the debate in the hall.”

    You can’t get any more articulate than NOTA … it says so much without saying anything at all! And even though it will not be allowed to participate in the debate, I predict that many of those who watch the debate will conclude that NOTA owns it.

  63. trent pool

    coming from a purple hearted RINO I dont think it would be a horrible play if this happened. Obviously the odds of the Ls in Miami agreeing on this are strongly against Rand getting nominated, yet, if he was winnning the R nomination, and we had a chance to make him our presidential nominee it would be the best chance for liberty we have had in a long long time.

    Speaking of presidential candidates, I live in TX and have some serious issues with our senator, Ted Cruz, running for president. Have you guys looked into Cruz’s ineligibility yet? He is hiring Ginsberg (the chrony who screwed over the Ron Paul delegates) and is not yet constitutionally able to run for President due to his candadian birth. That is until the SCOTUS rules “natural american citizen” is someone who has citizenship at birth (because your mom was an american citizen). Thoughts?

  64. Joshua Katz

    TK, no objection if delegates vote to suspend the rules, etc. If the rules allow for their own suspension, then no rules are being violated. If we voted to suspend a bylaw not in the nature of a special rule of order, or just to ignore one, I’d have a serious problem. I was responding to the idea that we shouldn’t follow our own rules, and should instead be principled activists who, I guess, always just know what is right and never disagree.

  65. Andy

    “(I suppose I could consider voting for a former democrat (would have liked to have supported Mike Gravel, for example, if only he’d been libertarian at the core)”

    Mike Gravel would not have been a good candidate for the Libertarian Party at all, because Mike Gravel was not a libertarian.

  66. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi

    October 28, 2014 at 10:41 am

    PF makes a good point, Rand is not Ron. In some ways, I prefer each of them for different reasons.

    Regardless of the legalisms, my understanding is that GJ is pro-choice, although not not without limits and within the context of federalism. The Pauls are not.”

    Uuuuuggggggggg!!!!!!! Did you not read what I posted above? Gary Johnson signed a bill that BANNED late term abortions in New Mexico. Gary Johnson supports a law that mandates that parents be notified if a minor wants to get an abortion. Gary Johnson’s stance as a candidate for President in regard to the role of the federal government in abortion is that it is an issue that should be left for the individual states to decide, as per the 10th amendment, which is the SAME position that Ron Paul holds. So under both a President Gary Johnson, or a President Ron Paul, if say Utah made abortion illegal, and say California kept it legal, neither President Johnson or President Paul would interfere with the issue in either state.

    Oh, I also forgot to mention that Gary Johnson and Ron Paul both share the view that the tax payer funding for abortion should be ended.

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joshua,

    OK, I’m with you on that then. Personally I’d like to see us get away from Robert’s and adopt Standard or some other parliamentary procedure that’s well-written. Robert’s is, to mix metaphors, a minefield of loopholes that lends itself to the perpetration of fuckery. Especially when you can just buy the opinions you want from its namesake scion.

  68. Guess what

    A sane & functional LP would nominate Rand for President even if he didn’t ask for the nomination.

    It won’t happen. Too many LPers are concerned more about their ego than achieving liberty.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    “A sane & functional LP would nominate a Republican for president even if only libertarians were seeking its nomination

    “It won’t happen. Too many LPers are concerned more about being libertarians than about kissing Republican ass.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

  70. Andy

    “trent pool

    October 28, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    coming from a purple hearted RINO I dont think it would be a horrible play if this happened. Obviously the odds of the Ls in Miami agreeing on this are strongly against Rand getting nominated, yet, if he was winnning the R nomination, and we had a chance to make him our presidential nominee it would be the best chance for liberty we have had in a long long time.”

    If Rand Paul were to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President in 2016, I think that the majority of delegates in Orlando will “drop their panties” for him just as quickly as they did for Bob Barr in 2008 and Gary Johnson in 2016.

    I don’t think that Rand is a completely bad guy, in spite of my disagreements with a few of the things that he’s said and done over the last few years. He is the most pro-liberty person in the US Senate. I need to do a thorough analysis of his voting record sometime, but as far as I know, he’s got a good record in this regard. I am less of a fan of Rand than I am of his father, and I do think that the Libertarian Party has become too “tied in” with Republicans to where there are a disturbing number of people that have gained a false perception that Libertarian and Republican are somehow connected, even though the Libertarian Party is really just as far from the Republican Party as it is from the Democratic Party, but on the flip side of the equation, I think that Rand is mostly libertarian (even though he runs away from the word), and he certainly has more fame than anyone else who has ever sought the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination (including the level of fame his father had back in 1987-1988), and it would be certainly be difficult for the media to ignore a sitting United States Senator.

    I’d love to see a rich & famous candidate emerge for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination in 2016 who is a hardcore libertarian and who does not bring a bunch of “Republican baggage” with them, and who is a good communicator with a strong work ethic and good character, but I doubt that such a person is going to step up for the 2016 nomination.

  71. Gene Berkman

    TK – “None of the Above is neither currently nor formerly a Republican”

    None of the Above has won Republican primaries in Nevada on more than one occasion.

    Got ya, Tom!

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    Gene,

    That None of the Above from Nevada is a different guy. Nobody likes him. The None of the Above I’m supporting has privately complained to me that he gets wrong number phone calls from debt collectors for the Nevada None of the Above, and that some guy whose girlfriend the Nevada None of the Above had slept with slashed the national None of the Above’s tires one time.

  73. Joe Wendt

    I think this could happen. Think about it: Prior to 2008, how many people thought Bob Barr would ever be the nominee? Prior to 2012, how many people thought Gary Johnson would ever seek the nomination? As long as there is a large contingent of idiots who desire a high profile elected official (Gov, Senator, Congressman) as the LP nominee, nominating Rand Paul maybe inevitable. If that scenario happens, the LP will cease to exist as a viable electoral alternative and will be relegated to a status similar to the Prohibition Party or even the CPUSA.

  74. Joe

    ” And even though it will not be allowed to participate in the debate,”

    No, but Mr. Sarwark showed how a brief speech in support of this candidate can change everything! It’s just a shame that in Columbus, Mr. Sarwark did not get the chance to run one-on-one against NOTA (due to miscalculations at the time, eg, Florida’s 11 votes for Neale being counted as 2 votes (two tic marks).

  75. Joe

    Andy,

    “Mike Gravel would not have been a good candidate for the Libertarian Party at all, because Mike Gravel was not a libertarian.”

    I got to know Senator Gravel during the week we spent together at the Citizen Hearing at the National Press Club last year. I agree that he would not have been a good LP candidate — but I would have liked (wish I could have liked) supporting him as a tribute for his courage in reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. What politician has done more in our lifetimes to reign in the national security state/actually promote liberty?

    If Snowden sought the LP POTUS nomination, I’d have similar feelings, I think.

    That’s what I was trying to say about Senator Gravel and/or the benefit to the brand of now having a former Democrat to balance out the stink of Barr/Root/Grey (and to a lesser degree Johnson/Ron Paul).

  76. Andy

    “Joe Wendt

    October 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I think this could happen. Think about it: Prior to 2008, how many people thought Bob Barr would ever be the nominee? Prior to 2012, how many people thought Gary Johnson would ever seek the nomination?”

    Rand Paul is currently a bigger “star” than Bob Barr or Gary Johnson ever were.

    “As long as there is a large contingent of idiots who desire a high profile elected official (Gov, Senator, Congressman) as the LP nominee, nominating Rand Paul maybe inevitable.”

    I doubt that Rand Paul is even interested in seeking the LP nomination.

  77. Andy

    “Joe

    October 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Andy,

    ‘Mike Gravel would not have been a good candidate for the Libertarian Party at all, because Mike Gravel was not a libertarian.’

    I got to know Senator Gravel during the week we spent together at the Citizen Hearing at the National Press Club last year. I agree that he would not have been a good LP candidate — but I would have liked (wish I could have liked) supporting him as a tribute for his courage in reading the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. What politician has done more in our lifetimes to reign in the national security state/actually promote liberty?”

    Gravel is good on a few issues from a libertarian perspective, but this does not make him a libertarian, as he deviates from libertarianism on a lot of issues, and it should be pretty obvious to all that he had no commitment to the Libertarian Party or to the libertarian movement.

    “If Snowden sought the LP POTUS nomination, I’d have similar feelings, I think.”

    I’ve heard that Edward Snowden actually is a libertarian. I know that he was a Ron Paul supporter, and I think that he may have supported Gary Johnson in the 2012 election.

    “That’s what I was trying to say about Senator Gravel and/or the benefit to the brand of now having a former Democrat to balance out the stink of Barr/Root/Grey (and to a lesser degree Johnson/Ron Paul).”

    Gravel seems like a nice fellow, but he’s not a libertarian and him being on the Presidential ticket would have brought in a different kind of stink.

    How about nominate people who are actually more hardcore libertarian instead?

  78. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “Rand Paul, on the other hand, hot publicly embraced the LP. He has publicly stated that he is a conservative and that the label ‘libertarian’ is just an ‘albatross’ that his opponents try to hang around his neck. And he seems to have a real shot at the 2016 GOP nomination — a chance which flirting with the LP nomination would damage (I don’t think he’ll be the GOP nominee, btw; just saying he has the kind of shot his dad never did). So even if I thought he was libertarian ‘enough’ to make a good LP nominee, I don’t see a practical case for it.”

    Rand Paul is more popular with rank-and-file Republicans than his father ever was. Among Libertarians, small “l” libertarians, and constitutionalist types, Ron Paul is more popular than his son, but among people who are closer to being mainstream Republicans, Rand Paul is more popular than his old man.

    I have talked to a lot of Republicans who’ve made comments to me along the lines of, “I like Rand Paul. He’s not crazy like his father.” or, “Ron Paul is too ‘out there’ for me, but I like his son, Rand.”

  79. Nicholas Sarwark

    No, but Mr. Sarwark showed how a brief speech in support of this candidate can change everything! It’s just a shame that in Columbus, Mr. Sarwark did not get the chance to run one-on-one against NOTA (due to miscalculations at the time, eg, Florida’s 11 votes for Neale being counted as 2 votes (two tic marks).

    It’s okay. NOTA’s a close friend and probably would have supported me in the final round. 😉

  80. Joe Wendt

    Andy: “Rand Paul is currently a bigger “star” than Bob Barr or Gary Johnson ever were”

    What does that have to do with the point I was trying to make? No one would have ever thought that someone like Bob Barr would ever be the nominee because of his voting record in Congress, but yet enough idiots voted for him over Mary Ruwart or George Phillies at the convention. And no one thought Gary Johnson would actually seek the LP nomination until his epic fail in the GOP in 2012, and they nominated him by a wide margin on the first ballot. It’s not unreasonable to assume that if Rand Paul ran for the nomination (regardless of him winning the GOP’s), he would probably win because there are enough idiots willing to vote for him at the national convention believing that he’d help mainstream the party.

  81. Robert Capozzi

    andy: I think that Rand is mostly libertarian (even though he runs away from the word),

    me: He’s also said this:

    “I think a libertarian twist or a libertarian influence in the Republican Party is good, but I’ve pretty much just stayed with the party and plan on doing so,” he said at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

    That doesn’t sound like he’s “running away from the word.” Rand may simply recognize that there is no cult of the omnipotent state! 😉

  82. Michael H. Wilson

    Joe Wendt is correct. Many people in the LP would willingly water down the message to get a couple of percentage points more in votes. I see that almost every election.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    mhw: Many people in the LP would willingly water down the message to get a couple of percentage points more in votes.

    me: Has anyone stated that publicly? My guess is there are many who’d want more than one percent versus less than one percent, but they also would want a credible, articulate candidate who will attract more to the cause of lessarchy for both the short and long terms.

    Calibrating messaging is an art, but I’d think reasonable people can reach different conclusions about where to position a L candidate on the end-government-tomorrow to freeze-government-tomorrow continuum.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    We don’t have to guess — there’s a clear existence proof of Michael’s contention.

    In 2008, Bob Barr made some half-hearted apologies for his anti-libertarian record (apologies that few believed and which he publicly repudiated before the convention hotel finished cleaning the hall afterward). He was clearly nominated not on the basis of “message calibration” but because he was a former congresscritter who had Ross Perot’s old campaign manager telling the delegates “we’ll raise $40 million and win the election.”

  85. Robert Capozzi

    TK, that may be “proof” for you, but not me. First, “winning” the election is a lot different than a couple of percentage points. Second, adults recognize obvious hyperbole when they hear it…and that was obviously hyperbole. Third, while there may have been a few deluded conventioneers that round, we’d have to get the sense what a large number of Barr-voting delegates were thinking at the time. Did THEY think he was going to win? Did they think he’d get a few more points in the generals (probable, I’d say? But did they ALSO think he was the best candidate, all things considered, NOT just because he had a shot of getting more votes, more significant coverage, more likely to be credible, and less likely to position Ls way out on the fringe compared with the other candidates?

    IOW, one or two people’s (obviously hyperbolic) statements is very different than MHW’s take.

  86. Joe

    Nicholas Sarwark @ October 29, 2014 at 12:38 am

    “It’s okay. NOTA’s a close friend and probably would have supported me in the final round. ;)”

    No doubt about that; just a shame we missed having two conventions in a row with a chair candidate with exactly 50 percent. That’s history making (or at least history-trivia making, which is even better).

    Thanks for the laugh, thanks for your good works with the LNC so far, and good luck between now and Orlando!

    Joe

  87. Joe

    Andy @ October 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    “How about nominate people who are actually more hardcore libertarian instead?”

    Agreed.

    That said, it’s worth asking everyone exactly this question, IMO. Why not nominate the hardcore libertarian.

    Some of the answers, as I’ve experienced them are:

    1) the hardcore candidates did poorly in the debates. I was a bit offended by Mary Ruwart’s claim in 2008 that once Hillary dropped out and Obama got the D nomination, women would vote for her (at least that’s how I remember it).

    2) statements by the hardcore that are at the edges, non-viable in a campaign. Some of those Mary was hammered with as well, relating to well-articulated issues in her past publications. some of that was slanderous and generated unfairly by competitors (I believe Root (mis) claimed that she supported child porn, or sex with animals, or whatever).

    3) quirky personalities that get in the way of the hardcore message. Lee Wrights, for example, was known for his temper and walking out of meetings.

    4) past success — namely Ron Paul and perhaps a hope for a similar articulate libertarian regardless of past (or even likely future) republican affiliation.

    5) the experience of past hardcore libertarian candidates with the LNC/party during the campaign that has driven them away. I’m thinking especially here of Andre Marrou; but also of others of our past POTUS and VPOTUS candidates, for whatever reasons, are no longer around.

    But again, that’s just an attempt to answer your question — more along the lines of “Why haven’t we nominated more hardcore POTUS candidates?” In principle I support doing that — but I also think there are organizational structure/history reasons we could look at regarding why that has not happened, at least not recently.

    Finally, I wonder if someone with more knowledge than me could rank each of our past POTUS/VPOTUS tickets from most hardcore to least? I’d assume Barr/Root would be at the bottom of that list; and John Hospers might be at the top?!?!

    Joe

  88. NewFederalist

    I doubt Prof. Hospers would be at the top. I would think Harry Browne the most “hardcore” followed perhaps by David Bergland, Ed Clark/Ron Paul/Michael Badnarik (tied). I rank John Hospers down for backing George W. Bush. Roger MacBride went back to the GOP so I can’t pour the love all over him, either. Barr was a total mistake. Chuck Baldwin was the more libertarian of the two in 2008. Johnson… well the fair tax is an abomination so he takes a big hit there.

  89. Joshua Katz

    The reason not to nominate the most hardcore candidate, barring all other considerations, is that elections are not philosophy clubs. The nominee should be credible – there should be reason to believe they can achieve what they promise. The nominee needs to present the ability to govern and to lead. The nominee needs to be well-spoken and able to attract media.

    Would you rather have the most hardcore libertarian you can find – but without any reason to think they can achieve a thing in office – or an 80%er who can actually move the country in a libertarian direction?

    Or, avoiding the false option above – a hardcore left-libertarian with a track record of winning in 3-way races against 2 candidates from the old parties, and with a record of successfully governing while moving policy in a libertarian direction?

  90. Joshua Katz

    TK – I would strongly advocate for a bylaws change at NAP to eliminate the ‘authorship team is automatically PRP’ rule – especially when descendants are included on the team simply for their names.

    As for changing parliamentary authorities, I personally prefer Robert’s, but I’m certainly open to the idea that another manual should be considered. I find the loopholes in Robert’s that many criticize to serve useful purposes, myself, albeit they are subject to abuse – but that just means you need a good chair. I am concerned that, while Robert’s may give the minority too much obstructive powers, other manuals may give it too little.

  91. paulie

    Speaking of presidential candidates, I live in TX and have some serious issues with our senator, Ted Cruz, running for president. Have you guys looked into Cruz’s ineligibility yet? He is hiring Ginsberg (the chrony who screwed over the Ron Paul delegates) and is not yet constitutionally able to run for President due to his candadian birth. That is until the SCOTUS rules “natural american citizen” is someone who has citizenship at birth (because your mom was an american citizen). Thoughts?

    There are many real problems with Cruz (best pointed out by John Jay Myers, who ran against him) but the birther crap is not one of them. He is, unfortunately, eligible, and arcane and incorrect theories which try to over-narrowly interpret “natural born citizen” will continue to be laughed out of court, exactly as they should be.

  92. paulie

    A sane & functional LP would nominate Rand for President even if he didn’t ask for the nomination.

    It won’t happen. Too many LPers are concerned more about their ego than achieving liberty.

    Guess what: this is total nonsense. No part of what you said bears any resemblance to reality.

  93. paulie

    I think this could happen.

    No, because Rand Paul will not be interested.

    Prior to 2008, how many people thought Bob Barr would ever be the nominee? Prior to 2012, how many people thought Gary Johnson would ever seek the nomination?

    I had at least some suspicion at least two years prior in both cases.

    Rand Paul, not so much.

  94. paulie

    Love the Nader piece.

    Just seeing the continuation of the myth that we are related to social conservatives like Rand is a huge negative for us.

    Agreed on both counts.

  95. paulie

    That None of the Above from Nevada is a different guy. Nobody likes him. The None of the Above I’m supporting has privately complained to me that he gets wrong number phone calls from debt collectors for the Nevada None of the Above, and that some guy whose girlfriend the Nevada None of the Above had slept with slashed the national None of the Above’s tires one time.

    LOL.

    However, what do you say about the rumors I keep hearing that National None of the Above is working in cahoots with Rand Paul and his legions of supporters from the Progressive-Libertarian Alliance with National Socialists (PLANSS) to keep a breathing, carbon based, biped LP nominee from supposedly taking “votes away” from Rand P., and will act as a stand in for Rand to pack the LP convention with PLANSS supporters if Rand doesn’t show up and agree to seek the LP nomination himself?

  96. paulie

    I doubt that Rand Paul is even interested in seeking the LP nomination.

    He’s not. But he may have that NOTA guy working with him to help split the Libertarian vote.

  97. paulie

    Rand Paul is more popular with rank-and-file Republicans than his father ever was. Among Libertarians, small “l” libertarians, and constitutionalist types, Ron Paul is more popular than his son, but among people who are closer to being mainstream Republicans, Rand Paul is more popular than his old man.

    I have talked to a lot of Republicans who’ve made comments to me along the lines of, “I like Rand Paul. He’s not crazy like his father.” or, “Ron Paul is too ‘out there’ for me, but I like his son, Rand.”

    Yep, and that’s not a point in favor of Rand IMO.

  98. paulie

    No one would have ever thought that someone like Bob Barr would ever be the nominee because of his voting record in Congress

    Many of us suspected it once he joined the LP and got on the LNC in 2006. Even before that there were people like Raimondo who kept making the case that Barr was somehow libertarian.

    And no one thought Gary Johnson would actually seek the LP nomination until his epic fail in the GOP in 2012,

    Wrong again. I had a pretty strong suspicion he would seek the LP nomination during 2010 and 2011, as did other people I talked to. There was discussion of him as a potential LP presidential candidate in 2000 and 2004. Maybe 2008 also, although I don’t recall any that time.

    It’s not unreasonable to assume that if Rand Paul ran for the nomination (regardless of him winning the GOP’s), he would probably win because there are enough idiots willing to vote for him at the national convention believing that he’d help mainstream the party.

    Yes, I agree with that part. But I don’t believe there is any chance he will run for the LP nomination.

  99. paulie

    He’s also said this:

    “I think a libertarian twist or a libertarian influence in the Republican Party is good, but I’ve pretty much just stayed with the party and plan on doing so,” he said at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

    Yes, one minute he says this and the next he says libertarians are just people who only want to run around naked and smoke pot, that they tried to hang the libertarian albatross around his neck, or that he is a conservative, not a libertarian, which are all things he actually said.

  100. paulie

    Obviously the odds of the Ls in Miami agreeing on this are strongly against Rand getting nominated

    You’ll just have to make sure all the Rand Paul supporters are in Miami that week 🙂

  101. paulie

    Finally, I wonder if someone with more knowledge than me could rank each of our past POTUS/VPOTUS tickets from most hardcore to least? I’d assume Barr/Root would be at the bottom of that list; and John Hospers might be at the top?!?!

    I would say both Hospers and Barr would be around the bottom, and Browne and Bergland around the top.

    Gary Johnson and Ed Clark are more in the middle, and aroused a lot of vitriol from the Rothbard-Rockwell side of the movement against them, but I as an extremist (even anarchist) libertarian find I instinctively like Johnson’s rhetorical emphasis far more often than not, and in reading Ed Clark’s campaign book many years later I like it a lot for many of the same reasons, that is its attempt to reach out to left-center-libertarian youth much as Johnson later did.

    Marrou seemed pretty hardcore from what I can remember. Badnarik was a hardcore constitutionalist-libertarian. Ron Paul ran a pretty hardcore LP campaign, downplaying any issues where he was not in line with the LP. I know less about MacBride than any of the others, but I have been told he was not very hardcore.

  102. Thomas L. Knapp

    “However, what do you say about the rumors I keep hearing that National None of the Above is working in cahoots with Rand Paul” [etc.].

    I assume you’re joking about actually hearing such rumors.

    If NOTA has any momentum as the 2016 convention approaches, I assume you’ll hear such rumors, no joke.

    While I personally would not piss on Rand Paul if he was on fire, and while I have no interest in personally working with Rand Paul supporters who might want the LP to nominate NOTA “so the LP doesn’t cost Rand Paul votes in November” or whatever, I’ll welcome support for NOTA from any corner unless I start seeing a reason to believe that NOTA would be, on net, bad for the LP and/or for the liberty movement in general.

  103. Gene Berkman

    Paulie – I lived through the Andre Marrou campaign, and it was not particularly hardcore. I saw him speak a couple times, and he was even interviewed on CNN by Larry King, and he did not give any in depth analysis of issues. And there was a scandal associated with the Marrou campaign, which led to the LNC asserting control of the campaign because of Marrou’s personal issues.

    Harry Browne sounded very hard core when he spoke at Libertarian conventions to Libertarian audiences, seeking campaign funds. Not sure how hard core he was when he was on talk radio being interviewed by Ollie North or G. Gordon Liddy.

    Ed Clark blew the biggest opportunity of the 1980 campaign, when he was on Ted Koppel’s Nightline the night before the election (I believe). Koppel asked him about the goal of his campaign, and he said “We want a government as big as it was when John F Kennedy was in office.” (or perhaps when JFK took office.) While government was smaller in 1960 than in 1980, in some ways at least, it was a very confusing answer which led Koppel to ask by Clark did not throw his support to John Anderson, since they were both basically liberals.

    Not really sure a hard core libertarian campaign for President is viable. The best we can hope for is a candidate who is not offensive. I keep hoping.

  104. Joshua Katz

    I think the worst time to not have a candidate would be if Rand is nominated. I would support NOTA over myself if he had a chance and if Rand wasn’t running. With him in the mix, I think we need to assert ownership of our brand.

  105. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joshua,

    I would love for us to assert ownership over our brand instead of soiling it with the likes of the last two presidential nominations.

    If anyone can find a way to do that, I’m all for it.

    I’m with NOTA because the evidence of recent history is that if a Republican bares his ass, the convention delegates will line up to kiss it and NOTA seems more likely to provide a rallying point against that than any personified candidate.

  106. paulie

    “Citizen Norman” is pretty excited about the Rand Paul prospects at the LP nomination; he comments at A3P Report

    I have no new information on Irene but with all the Nazi talk, I’d like to submit my own Nazi story from a few years ago.

    One day I was at the urinal expelling some urine. There was a guy standing next to me. Like always I sneeked a peek. As I examined the penis I noticed a swastika tattoo on the shaft.

    I struck up a conversation with the guy about sports, the news, whatever. He was a nice guy. Very intelligent. Very personable. But he was a Nazi. Well, Nazis are people too.

    Sure, some Nazis are vile people, but don’t use someone like Vernon Frankel as an example of the stereotypical evil Nazi. Vernon is a fake Nazi. He’s a Jew trying to perpetuate the stereotype. The stereotype is wrong. Most Nazis are decent like the man with the tattooed penis.

    Remembering this experience has made me think about getting a tattoo myself. I would like to tattoo an image of Rand Paul on my penis. I’m so excited about all the talk that he will be the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 2016. I actually came up with the idea to nominate Rand Paul. I hope it happens.

    For his part, vermin Vernon, who I am pretty sure is not a Frankel, is also equally excited about it, but so far hasn’t commented on nominating Rand Paul directly, saying instead he will turn out 500 white nationalists who were Ron Paul activists, including himself, as LP national convention delegates to support NOTA so as to make sure the LP does not spoil Rand Paul’s chances in the general election. I won’t link his blog here, but it’s on there at least twice (a post claiming Ron Paul and Rand Paul are undercover nazis and in his interview by William Saturn IIRC).

    So look out for guys with shaved heads sporting swastika and Rand Paul tattoos at the convention in Orlando.

  107. paulie

    Paulie – I lived through the Andre Marrou campaign, and it was not particularly hardcore. I saw him speak a couple times, and he was even interviewed on CNN by Larry King, and he did not give any in depth analysis of issues

    I wasn’t heavily involved then, but I did vote for Marrou that year, and listened to him on NPR. I remember it being pretty hardcore. I also watched some video of him on TV interviews from back then recently and it seemed hardcore libertarian to me.

    And there was a scandal associated with the Marrou campaign, which led to the LNC asserting control of the campaign because of Marrou’s personal issues.

    I’ve heard more than one side of that one, but don’t remember the details anymore.

    Harry Browne sounded very hard core when he spoke at Libertarian conventions to Libertarian audiences, seeking campaign funds. Not sure how hard core he was when he was on talk radio being interviewed by Ollie North or G. Gordon Liddy.

    Browne’s message was consistent no matter where he went, and I did pay close attention during both of his campaigns. Much of it is archived and still available in one form or another.

    Ed Clark blew the biggest opportunity of the 1980 campaign, when he was on Ted Koppel’s Nightline the night before the election (I believe). Koppel asked him about the goal of his campaign, and he said “We want a government as big as it was when John F Kennedy was in office.” (or perhaps when JFK took office.) While government was smaller in 1960 than in 1980, in some ways at least, it was a very confusing answer which led Koppel to ask by Clark did not throw his support to John Anderson, since they were both basically liberals.

    Yes, probably not the best answer, but then again everybody flubs some, live TV is not easy, and candidates wear themselves out ragged by that point in the campaign. His overall themes were pretty good, especially when he had time to compose his words as he did in the campaign book. He spoke at hundreds of campus events (much as Johnson is doing all over the country during and since the presidential campaign) and got a good showing compared with the LP presidential candidates in the years between Johnson and himself as well as the two before him.

    Not really sure a hard core libertarian campaign for President is viable. The best we can hope for is a candidate who is not offensive. I keep hoping.

    Any candidate is likely to be embarrassing some of the time. I am happy when it is the exception rather than he rule in the course of a campaign.

  108. Joe

    Here’s the Marrou/King interview.

    I am not aware of any better, more articulate, mid to major media appearance by any LP POTUS candidate.

    Part 1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqMhWHxF_ko

    Part 2

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAiDZGwzkXI

    Rewatching these, Johnson doesn’t seem even 1/2 as articulate as Marrou, Barr/Root were not even in the ballpark. Harry Brown was good, but he didn’t get on Larry King or anything equivalent (as far as I know). There are a bunch of old Art Bell coast to coast AM radio interviews with LP POTUS candidates (Art declared himself a Libertarian), but nothing as good as the two clips above.

    If anyone knows of anything better, I’m interested — especially if you watch or re-watch the above. Seems to have held up well over time.

    Joe

  109. paulie

    but he didn’t get on Larry King or anything equivalent (as far as I know)

    62296. Larry King Live. October 6, 1996. CNN audio aircheck. Participating sponsors. Larry King interviews Reform Party candidate Ross Perot. The program begins immediately after the presidential debate (see cat. #62294). Larry also interviews presidential candidates Howard McMurray (United States Taxpayers Party), Dr. John Hagelin (Natural Law Party), Ralph Nader (The Green Party), Harry Browne (The Libertarian party). Larry King, H. Ross Perot, Howard Phillips, John Hagelin, Ralph Nader, Harry Browne. 1:20:28. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.

    62299. Larry King Live. October 16, 1996. CNN audio aircheck. Participating sponsors. The program began right after the presidential debate ended (and is slightly upcut, see cat. #62298). The program originates from Atlanta. Larry King interviews Ross Perot for forty five minutes (with questions from the audience). The second part of the show features Dr. John Hagelin (National Law Party), Harry Browne (The Libertarian Party), Howard Phillips (U. S. Taxpayers Party). . 1:28:37. Audio condition: Excellent. Complete.

    As for anything equivalent see http://harrybrowne.org/2000/medialist.htm which doesn’t touch on 1996 or anything in between.

    Johnson is articulate, although as with anyone some appearances are better than others.

  110. Andy

    Joe said: “. Harry Brown was good, but he didn’t get on Larry King or anything equivalent (as far as I know).”

    Harry Browne was on a bunch of shows, and I’m pretty sure he did get on Larry King. I’ve still got a VHS tape packed away in a box of Harry Browne on “Hannity & Colmes” as well as on “The O’Reilly Factor”. Bill O’Reilly was pretty hostile to Harry Browne, but Browne did a good job in spite of O’Reilly’s hostility.

  111. Andy

    Harry Browne is still the best candidate that the Libertarian Party has had since I’ve been in the party, which is since 1996. He may very well be the best candidate that the party has ever had in general.

  112. Joshua Katz

    I have a way – nominate a radical left-libertarian who has won elections against Republicans and has experience governing. Nominate a candidate who has never signed off on an abortion restriction, and who didn’t select a running mate who opposes jury nullification and talks about our noble defenders in blue. Nominate a candidate who does not support prosecuting Chelsea Manning.

  113. Andy

    Joe said: “Agreed.

    That said, it’s worth asking everyone exactly this question, IMO. Why not nominate the hardcore libertarian.

    Some of the answers, as I’ve experienced them are:

    1) the hardcore candidates did poorly in the debates. I was a bit offended by Mary Ruwart’s claim in 2008 that once Hillary dropped out and Obama got the D nomination, women would vote for her (at least that’s how I remember it).”

    I agree that Mary Ruwart’s claim that she would get votes from Hillary Clinton supporters after Barack Obama won the nomination for the Democrats was a ridiculous, and I would go so far as saying delusional, statement. It also illustrated that political strategy is probably not one of Mary Ruwart’s strong suits.

    Having said this, I don’t think that this had anything to do with Mary Ruwart not winning the nomination in 2008.

    Two of the biggest factors that delegates who attend LP National Conventions have attached great importance to are fame/name recognition and money. Bob Barr won the nomination in 2008, and Gary Johnson won the nomination in 2012, in large part because the majority of delegates in attendance believed their name recognition was of great value, and that they’d be able to raise more money than the other candidates.

    I agree that name recognition and ability the ability to raise a lot of money are important, however, I think that Barr and Johnson delegates overestimated both of these things.

    If Mary Ruwart had shown up at the 2008 National Convention with a campaign war chest of say $1 million, and if she had been making the rounds on television and radio in the weeks leading up to the convention, she probably would have won the nomination.

    If a hardcore Libertarian looks like they have their act together, as in if it looks like they are running a real campaign, then it will greatly increase the odds that they will win the nomination.

    The problem is that for the last couple of LP National Conventions where the party was nominating a candidate for President, there really haven’t been any well known, or even semi-well known, candidates who were hardcore Libertarians and who ran what I’d call an active, professional looking campaign (and by active campaign, I do NOT mean somebody who just travels around the country preaching to the choir at LP State Conventions).

  114. Andy

    “Joshua Katz

    October 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I have a way – nominate a radical left-libertarian who has won elections against Republicans and has experience governing.”

    I do not want a “left” libertarian, I want a libertarian Libertarian.

  115. Andy

    “paulie

    October 30, 2014 at 12:33 am

    I also don’t agree with equating Johnson and Barr.”

    I see similarities between Barr and Johnson. They both came in from the Republican Party with a lot of hype. Both had watered down platforms. Both picked running mates that were not hardcore Libertarians. The supporters of both overestimated their name recognition and ability to raise money.

    I will say that Johnson was a better candidate than Barr, and that Johnson had a better campaign and more balanced outreach than Barr, but still, there are similarities.

  116. paulie

    Additionally, Johnson had a much better record than Barr as an elected Republican.

    Johnson is known for such things as coming out for marijuana legalization as a sitting governor and his hundreds of vetoes, more than all other governors combined. Bob Barr was known for such things as going after Bill Clinton for getting his dick sucked, trying to chase pagans out of the military, the defense of marriage bigotry act, and being one of the most extreme drug warriors in the entire congress, while also being a hypocritical sex perv known for licking whipped cream off a stripper’s tits in public while supposedly defending the sanctity of marriage all at the same time.

    No one that I can think of tried to recruit Barr as a LP candidate in previous presidential cycles, and after the election he soon went back to the NSGOP to endorse non-libertarian Republicans like Gingrich and Romney and unsuccessfully try to get back in congress as a Republican. The LP’s only involvement with Barr prior to his alleged conversion was taking exaggerated credit for getting him out of office in 2002. Johnson had previous recruitment efforts to get him as the LP presidential candidate in 2000, 2004 and possibly 2008, had been an LP member in the 1980s and 1990s (dues paying at least twice and technically a non-dues paying member ever since, including when he was governor, since he never rescinded his membership pledge). Post-election Johnson has remained in the LP.

    As far as I can remember Barr did not campaign with any local LP candidates or help their campaigns. He did have a PAC that raised money for non-libertarian Republicans while he served on the LNC. Johnson went out of his way to endorse and publicize his endorsement of LP candidates both in 2012 and 2014 and to speak to many LP state conventions during and after his presidential run.

    Outside of elected office, Barr’s career had been as a CIA employee and drug war prosecutor. Johnson’s was as a self-made business owner who took a one man handyman business he started and grew it to the state’s largest construction company.

    So, while there are some superficial similarities between the two, there are also some very important differences as well.

  117. langa

    Gary Johnson is not as bad as Bob Barr, and neither is Rand Paul. Having said that, I don’t think either Johnson or Rand Paul would be good choices as the LP presidential nominee.

    For me, the only real point of an LP presidential candidate is to act as an advocate for the libertarian philosophy, and I don’t think either of them are well-suited to perform that task.

    Neither of them supports a consistently non-interventionist foreign policy, and they both seem sympathetic to using government to fight the culture war (although they are on different sides).

  118. Steven R Linnabary

    As far as I can remember Barr did not campaign with any local LP candidates or help their campaigns.

    FWIW, Bob Barr DID campaign alongside me during my Congressional campaign. One of the few campaign appearances I had was at the Islamic Society of North America conference. We were interviewed together for NPR, Al Jazeera and another Arabic TV network that weekend. (Obama was in town that weekend, but had a rally at a suburban high school; McCain & Palin were in town as well, but merely got photographed buying OSU swag).

    I was appalled that the LP had nominated Barr, I thought he had too much baggage. But NOBODY remembered his history, even when petitioning for him at the local PRIDE fest. After getting to know him, I found him to be warm and sincere. I still can’t say that about his running mate.

    PEACE

  119. Robert Capozzi

    L: For me, the only real point of an LP presidential candidate is to act as an advocate for the libertarian philosophy, and I don’t think either of them are well-suited to perform that task.

    me: Makes sense. Unfortunately, there is no “the” L philosophy. There are many L philosophies. The abolitionist/NAPsolutist strain that the SoP represents is an acquired taste, I s’pose, but few-to-none who have the skills to play on the presidential stage — even in a minor role — can see how NAPsolutism can be mass marketed. (Or even how it could possibly work in the real world.)

    Flawed foundations inevitably lead to flawed outcomes.

  120. Joshua Katz

    It’s my belief that what is called a “left-libertarian” in America today is what would have been, historically, called a “libertarian-libertarian.” It’s a symptom of the rightward shift of American society.

  121. Thomas L. Knapp

    Personally I think that “left-libertarian” is a redundancy, but a necessary one to distinguish from “right-libertarians,” who are a mix of people who aren’t really libertarians and people who are libertarians but are in error as to application.

    But then, I’m an arrogant sonofabitch and kind of pedantic about being an ultra-thin, brutalist-but-trying-hard-to-be-humanitarian, paleo-left libertarian.

  122. Mark Hilgenberg

    I agree with Joshua. We need someone from the left for a change, someone like Sarvis who appeals to the youth and if they error on issues, it is errors which benefit the people, not corporations.

    BTW, how do you guys quote posts?

  123. Robert Capozzi

    jk, it’d be helpful if you defined your terms. Most non-Ls who consider themselves “right” would likely disagree with you that American society has shifted “right,” for ex.

    I’d say a big difference in the L community is the speed with which one advocates change. Some Ls are “abolitionists,” others are “moderates.”

    Fwiw, the way I look at the landscape is is a person a lessarchist or a morearchist. The next “test” is the degree to which one’s less- or morearchism involves every aspect of government, or only most. For ex., most morearchists that I know are not 100% morearchists…for ex., some advocate military and police-state cuts, but on balance want the state to enlarge, net net.

    Aside from TK’s cite of some Baathists (who to my knowledge do not reside in the Western hemisphere), I know of no cultists of the omnipotent state…which would be absolute morearchists.

    Many lessarchists have exceptions, too, but desire a smaller state, net net. For ex., some lessarchists would like the state to be smaller in all areas, but they are also pro-life. Or some might want certain weapons/defense research to increase.

    I know of NO lessarchists who are 100% immediate abolitionists of the entire state. Holding the banner THAT high seems counter-productive to all or virtually all.

  124. paulie

    Neither of them supports a consistently non-interventionist foreign policy,

    Johnson does so more than Rand Paul, for sure.

    and they both seem sympathetic to using government to fight the culture war (although they are on different sides).

    Not sure in what ways Johnson is using government to fight the culture wars. I can’t think of any ways I find him to be too far left on cultural issues, if that’s what you mean by different sides. If you mean marriage equality, I agree with him. Scratching my head for what else, coming up short.

  125. paulie

    FWIW, Bob Barr DID campaign alongside me during my Congressional campaign.

    Thanks for correcting my bad memory. I still think Johnson did more to promote local/downticket candidates, even though Barr must have been better in that regard than I could remember.

    After getting to know him, I found him to be warm and sincere. I still can’t say that about his running mate.

    My impression was if anything the opposite. While I can’t vouch for his sincerity, I got along with Wayne on a personal level. His exuberance is a bit contagious, regardless of any political disagreements, and regardless of how careful I would advise anyone to be if buying a used car from him. Barr always struck me as being very guarded and a bit of a cold fish. If he opens up and relaxes sometimes I don’t remember him ever doing it around me.

  126. paulie

    It’s my belief that what is called a “left-libertarian” in America today is what would have been, historically, called a “libertarian-libertarian.”

    Exactly.

  127. paulie

    Personally I think that “left-libertarian” is a redundancy, but a necessary one to distinguish from “right-libertarians,” who are a mix of people who aren’t really libertarians and people who are libertarians but are in error as to application.

    That’s a good way to put it, too.

  128. paulie

    I agree with Joshua. We need someone from the left for a change, someone like Sarvis who appeals to the youth

    I think Johnson does that pretty well and does emphasize left-friendly issues and framing quite a bit. He openly says young people are his top audience.

    Joshua is also very good from that standpoint. As is Darryl Perry.

    So, no complaints about our existing/presumed field in terms of left-right balance yet, although of course it’s far too early to know who else might jump in.

  129. paulie

    BTW, how do you guys quote posts?

    [blockquote] text [/blockquote] but replace the square brackets with the less than/greater than symbols (located on the same keys above the comma and period on my keyboard).

    If you don’t feel like typing out blockquote, [i]text[/i] (again with the bracket-type change) puts text in italics, b where the i is there makes it bold, and then there’s always good old fashioned quote marks.

  130. Andy

    Steve Linnabary said: ” But NOBODY remembered his history, even when petitioning for him at the local PRIDE fest. After getting to know him, I found him to be warm and sincere.”

    I gathered petition signatures to place Bob Barr on the ballot (note that Bob Barr’s name was on the petition) in Alabama. Most of the people I encountered did not know who he was (which is an example of how his name recognition was overrated by some in the LP), but some of the people did know who he was, and a lot of the people who did know who he was had a negative opinion of him. I’ve gathered lots of petition signatures for lots of Libertarian Party candidates in lots of states, and this was the only time when I ran into people who held personal disdain for a Libertarian Party candidate. I’ve obviously run into lots of people over the years who do not like the Libertarian Party, or do not like the libertarian philosophy, or who do not like certain stands from the party or philosophy, but not people who just did not like the candidate.

  131. Andy

    Steve Linnabary said: “After getting to know him, I found him to be warm and sincere.”

    This could have been an act. His actions did not strike me as being sincere about the Libertarian Party and philosophy.

  132. paulie

    IIRC both the MA and AL petitions might have had Barr’s name, or MA may have said Phillies and substituted later, but regardless I don’t recall much in the way of anyone saying anything about Bob Barr, positive or negative, in either state. As far as I can remember those were the only two I worked after the nomination. Multiple petitions in both states.

  133. paulie

    This could have been an act.

    Hard to say, but in either case I never saw that side of him and I did socialize around him (usually in groups) a number of times, saw him speak at events, etc; he recognized me when he saw me.

  134. Andy

    “paulie

    October 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    IIRC both the MA and AL petitions might have had Barr’s name, or MA may have said Phillies and substituted later, but regardless I don’t recall much in the way of anyone saying anything about Bob Barr, positive or negative,”

    I definitely got negative comments about Bob Barr in Alabama. I had people say things like, “Bob Barr! I’m not signing for that asshole!” and, “Bob Barr! I wouldn’t trust that son of a bitch as far as I could throw him,” etc…

  135. paulie

    I might not have mentioned his name as often as you did. They could read it if they wanted to. And I always said there were three petitions before they even start signing the first one plus then I would get into my whole question and direction mode trying to get them to fill everything out correctly so fewer of them get into the examining and questioning mode regarding who the candidates are.

  136. Robert Capozzi

    Projection makes perception!

    It’s funny that Andy seems to encounter so many in-the-know people in his travels. I’d be very surprised if 5% of the pop could ID Barr or GJ at all.

  137. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi

    October 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Projection makes perception!

    It’s funny that Andy seems to encounter so many in-the-know people in his travels. I’d be very surprised if 5% of the pop could ID Barr or GJ at all.”

    It was not a lot of people. Like I said above, most of the people I encountered had no idea who Bob Barr was. I’m just saying that out of the people I encountered who did know who he was, most of the name recognition was negative.

    Most of the people I encountered did not know who Gary Johnson was either, but out of the people that did know who he was, the name recognition was positive.

  138. Joshua Katz

    >I’d say a big difference in the L community is the speed with which one advocates change. >Some Ls are “abolitionists,” others are “moderates.”

    I disagree strongly. This split exists, but there are at least 2 more. There’s radical/pragmatic – which sounds a lot like abolitionist/moderate, but isn’t. The latter refers to the desired speed of change, the former to the means used to achieve change. One can combine them in different ways. Another difference (the one I’m most interested in) is substantive differences in what libertarianism means, what counts as libertarian, how wide the answer to that last question should be, what ownership means, what to do with natural resources, etc. These are real differences, and not subsumed by how much one wants to do away with government.

    In fact, I think that classifying libertarians as moderate/abolitionist, and ending it there, is much the same mistake that is conventionally made about conservative/liberal – turning something distinctly multi-dimensional into a linear spectrum.

  139. paulie

    RC

    Well, to be fair, many of the people who do not know who they are may be on average less likely to talk to us at all, as opposed to making some excuse about how they are too busy or whatever. And Alabama is next door to Georgia, and we worked in college towns mostly, so we had a lot of people who are from Georgia, or go to Georgia on a fairly regular basis, or used to live there or have family there and so on. I can see how if he verbally stated Barr’s name every time he may have had more comments about Barr, whereas my pitch was something more like “We are getting the three independent presidential tickets that are on the ballot all over the country to get on the ballot here in Alabama too…if you’re an Alabama voter and don’t mind us having choices besides only the Democrats and Republicans the law requires us to get about 9,000 signatures, I would appreciate your help and you don’t get anything in the mail but we do need the address that you are registered to vote at even if you don’t live there anymore unless you want to update it right now while you’re signing, I’ll just ask you a few quick questions to get your registration updated…please make sure to fill out all three pages…signature here, print name here, house number and street here, city here, county here.. yes, please fill out all three the exact same way and put the address and name that you are registered to vote with…did either of those change since the last time you filled out one of these (voter registration forms)”? Something along those lines, but with some variation because otherwise I tend to start sounding like a robot, and different situations vary depending on whether they are already registered, need to register, keep making mistakes on the paperwork or not, ask questions or not and so on, and often I am talking to more than one person at the same time.

  140. Robert Capozzi

    JK: I think that classifying libertarians as moderate/abolitionist, and ending it there, is much the same mistake that is conventionally made about conservative/liberal – turning something distinctly multi-dimensional into a linear spectrum.

    me: We disagree less than you seem to think!

    Yes, abolitionist/moderate describes speed of change advocated.

    Yes, there seem to be “substantive” differences in the def of L. For myself, I’ve simplified that to say there are 2 political approaches: lessarchist or morearchist. I’m inclined to support lessarchists, not morearchists.

    How one arrives at lessarchism is uninteresting to me ultimately. I note, though, that Rothbardians are almost always abolitionists, and I think that’s a futile and generally counterproductive. Hayekians, Friedmanites, and even Georgists are generally more moderate and therefore more likely to be persuasive.

    It’s a question of gravitational pull…the closer one is to the center, the more likely to attract more support.

    You might find this chart interesting:

    http://freeliberal.com/images/transpartisantriangle11.html

  141. Andy

    “paulie

    October 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    RC

    Well, to be fair, many of the people who do not know who they are may be on average less likely to talk to us at all, as opposed to making some excuse about how they are too busy or whatever. And Alabama is next door to Georgia, and we worked in college towns mostly, so we had a lot of people who are from Georgia, or go to Georgia on a fairly regular basis, or used to live there or have family there and so on. I can see how if he verbally stated Barr’s name every time he may have had more comments about Barr,”

    I did not say the name Bob Barr every time. Sometimes people asked who the candidate was, other times people read the name of the candidate on the petition. I received more negative reaction over the name Bob Barr than I’ve ever received for any other Libertarian Party candidate. I would say that I actually do not generally receive negative reactions over Libertarian Party candidates themselves, but rather over Libertarian issues/philosophy, or over people worried about “stealing” votes from one of the major parties.

    I was actually surprised at how many people who did not know who Bob Barr was in Alabama, being that Alabama is right next to Georgia where Bob Barr is from, and I was also surprised to get so many negative comments about Bob Barr in Alabama from the people who did know who he was.

  142. paulie

    abolitionist/moderate describes speed of change advocated.

    Sometimes. It could also refer to the desired hypothetical endpoint.

    For example, a moderate and an abolitionist may agree on cutting 5% of government spending in the first year, but the moderate may want to keep it level after that or at most cut say another 15%, bringing it back to the radical times of…the first Obama administration? I’d have to check. The abolitionist might agree that 5% is all we cut the first year, but have as a goal cutting the other 95%, however long that may take. There are various gradations in between, of course.

    How one arrives at lessarchism is uninteresting to me ultimately. I note, though, that Rothbardians are almost always abolitionists, and I think that’s a futile and generally counterproductive. Hayekians, Friedmanites, and even Georgists are generally more moderate and therefore more likely to be persuasive.

    It’s a question of gravitational pull…the closer one is to the center, the more likely to attract more support.

    Sometimes. And sometimes it’s more useful to shock the monkeys.

    I’m a “diversity of tactics” type myself…

  143. paulie

    I did not say the name Bob Barr every time. Sometimes people asked who the candidate was, other times people read the name of the candidate on the petition. I received more negative reaction over the name Bob Barr than I’ve ever received for any other Libertarian Party candidate. I would say that I actually do not generally receive negative reactions over Libertarian Party candidates themselves, but rather over Libertarian issues/philosophy, or over people worried about “stealing” votes from one of the major parties.

    I was actually surprised at how many people who did not know who Bob Barr was in Alabama, being that Alabama is right next to Georgia where Bob Barr is from, and I was also surprised to get so many negative comments about Bob Barr in Alabama from the people who did know who he was.

    Luck of the draw then I guess.

    I wasn’t too surprised, after all he had been out of congress for 6 years at that point and is not from Alabama.

    But I really do not remember many negative OR positive reactions to him. I think Nader drew more comments than Barr did. I can’t remember if anyone knew who Chuck Baldwin was. Maybe a couple of people, but not very many.

  144. Joshua Katz

    Paulie – I think the distinction you’re making comes to how one defines words. RC chooses to use abolitionist/moderate for speed – I think the distinction you’re making is covered by the things I choose to call radical/pragmatic – but certainly, it would make just as much sense to flip the meanings the other way. The important thing, to me, is that they’re different.

    RC – I thought so, given your other comments and our other discussions. That’s why I was surprised to see such a binary distinction. I don’t agree about the gravitational pull, though – I think presenting an ideal is far more powerful. However, to each his own – I agree with Paulie on diversity of tactics.

  145. Joshua Katz

    Sorry, misspoke there. The distinction Paulie is making is more related to my third difference – what freedom is and what we desire, not the radical/pragmatic distinction.

  146. Robert Capozzi

    pf and jk, yes, a diversity of tactics resonates.

    Unfortunately for the broader lessarchist community, the LNC has chosen to perpetuate the top-down, Leninist SoP on the rest of us! Tactically maneuvering around extremist statements is rather, uh, challenging.

    Making statements about ideal endpoints can be useful…statements like “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty…” sounds great to me.

    It’s when those endpoints get REAL specific (in a libertarian society, you’d have the right to private nukes, having “consensual” sex with children and animals, no welfare, no national defense, no etc etc etc) where “diversity” is a cover for “effectively a plumbline.” Even if the extremist endpoints go unspoken, there is a presumption by some that there is one and only one L philosophy. Toe the line, or be branded a sell out.

    Even on less controversial issues, the venom is spewed…being for same-gender marriage is heretical in some quarters.

  147. Robert Capozzi

    pf: And sometimes it’s more useful to shock the monkeys.

    me: Sometimes, though rarely. The self-immolating Buddhist monk in Vietnam comes to mind.

    40+ years of monkey-shocking…how’s that working for you? 😉

  148. paulie

    Unfortunately for the broader lessarchist community, the LNC has chosen to perpetuate the top-down, Leninist SoP on the rest of us! Tactically maneuvering around extremist statements is rather, uh, challenging.

    Many times the challenges we face are much less than we imagine them to be. The biggest challenge is within each of us. Many times, all it takes is not to imagine a problem as being overwhelming, or even much of a challenge at all, and proceed boldly…and oftentimes it disappears into the air like the boogeyman that terrified one as a child at night. Unless that boogeyman was, say, your uncle Lester.

    It’s when those endpoints get REAL specific (in a libertarian society, you’d have the right to private nukes, having “consensual” sex with children and animals, no welfare, no national defense, no etc etc etc) where “diversity” is a cover for “effectively a plumbline.” Even if the extremist endpoints go unspoken, there is a presumption by some that there is one and only one L philosophy. Toe the line, or be branded a sell out.

    Given that I pretty much don’t hear about private nukes, or even very much about any of the other stuff you mention, from anyone but yourself, I’d say it’s pretty likely that this would be one of those boogeymen that vanishes into thin air, not the one that turns out to be uncle Lester.

    Even on less controversial issues, the venom is spewed…being for same-gender marriage is heretical in some quarters.

    Rack me, then, and cue the ball. Spin the wheel. And bring the hammer and tongs.

  149. paulie

    40+ years of monkey-shocking…how’s that working for you? 😉

    Working out great! We’re starting to see some good signs of progress on many fronts and more people are waking up, especially young people.

    The system of oppression still looks strong, like the hollowed out oak that is still standing but will fall at the first good breeze. It will unfortunately crush some of us as it falls, but the rest of us will see clear skies at long last down here where we have far too long been in its shadow.

  150. Robert Capozzi

    pf, are you going for a reverse Chicken Little thing, only better? Not only is the state about to topple, but it is doing so because of 40+ years of challenging the cult of the omnipotent state!

  151. Joshua Katz

    I don’t think the LNC puts out statements about private nukes or animal sex. I don’t mean “regularly,” I mean ever. Nor have the topics ever come up in an LNC meeting. Our emails are public – ever read about it there? Didn’t think so.

    That said – what does freedom look like? If you think it includes sex with animals and nukes everywhere (I don’t) then what exactly is the point of not saying so? Don’t you think people are going to ask you, going to ask questions that push you, find out where your limits are? So the gain is, what, interest until they figure out what you really stand for?

  152. Robert Capozzi

    jk: If you think it includes sex with animals and nukes everywhere (I don’t) then what exactly is the point of not saying so?

    me: What one says as a private citizen privately is different from what a political party and its politicians say publicly. Why? The latter presumably want the job they are applying for.

    Taking extreme positions (eg, holding high the banner) is likely to alienate. Why do that?

    And, to answer your question, as a Randian Rothbardian in recovery, I really don’t speculate about freedom might look like. My influences are now Lao Tzu and Hayek. Things will evolve as they will. I do advocate for more freedom tomorrow, and perhaps significantly more freedom in the intermediate term, but that’s about as far as I fee it’s wise to go.

    More specifically, I’m OK with laws against bestiality and WMD. Some may find that a “statist” position, but I submit some are quite confused.

  153. Joshua Katz

    Okay, but again, the LNC has done no such thing. I don’t think the government is a great mechanism for it, but I think bestiality is a rights violation. But then, I also think eating them is.

  154. paulie

    I believe the huge social problem of bestiality can only be solved one way, and that is with private nukes. It’s also directly related to Rand Paul seeking the Libertarian nomination, unicorns shooting rainbows out of their ass, and other things that are highly likely to happen.

  155. Robert Capozzi

    jk: Okay, but again, the LNC has done no such thing.

    me: The ORIGINAL LNC — the one’s who thought the SoP was SO timeless that they protected it with a 7/8ths trap — committed all future members to subscribe to NAPsolutism and extremist, false language, at least implicitly though technically literally. Succeeding LNCs and conventions have acceded to such language, except in 2006 when 3/4s attempted to delete some of the extremism.

    The arrogance of the initial LNC is self evident.

    It’s understandable that succeeding LNCs and conventions accepted the insanity and/or poor judgment of the founders, given the difficulty of de-fringing the SoP due to the 7/8ths clause. Still, in my estimation, the underlying thought system that led to clearly false conclusions needs to be examined, for most can see that such pronouncements and analysis have neutered the attempt to remedy growing statism through partisan political means, i.e., through L politics.

    Sustainable effectiveness requires a solid foundation, one based on truth, not delusion.

  156. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Wow, Robert, you might want to look into some OCD meds. Really. I’m not being mean. You just keep talking about the same stuff over and over again.

  157. Thomas L. Knapp

    The LNC didn’t even exist when the national organization styling itself “the Libertarian Party” adopted its statement of principles.

    Even were that not the case, your complaint would be similar to whining that KFC refuses to offer steak. If you want steak, go to another restaurant. If you want a political party without this political party’s statement of principles, go find or create one.

  158. Robert Capozzi

    tk: your complaint would be similar to whining that KFC refuses to offer steak. If you want steak, go to another restaurant.

    me: Hmm, false analogy. A better one would be if one discovered that what KFC was selling wasn’t chicken at all, but, say, soybeans.

    It’s truly not a “complaint” at all. It’s rather my sharing another perspective. Mine happens to be as someone who used to hold high the banner of NAPsolutism as well. I have no investment in any outcome.

    If you saw someone you knew to be well meaning but confused as they danced on a ledge 15 stories up, you might reach out to them, too, offering them another perspective, yes? Like, come down off the ledge! 😉

  159. Wes Wagner

    I consider both sides of the SoP debate to be engaging in fetishism. RC’s belief that it is crippling, to the people who think it should be chanted like a catechism.

    Both sides seem to want to create a cult of one form or another, either one of moral relativism or dogmatic certainty.

    Personally in my day to day libertarian exploits, I ignore the pledge and the SoP. I discuss matters based on factual and ethical arguments and deal with the core of the issue being discussed.

    Do I agree with the SoP? Yes, certainly, in principle. But the question should be asked, what is the point of having long drawn out arguments over it? None. You can’t force an immoral person to behave morally just because they signed a membership card pledging their eternal soul to the SoP and NAP anymore than you can Jesus of FSM.

    The world is more complicated than that — and if we want to be successful as individuals we need to learn that and move away from childish things like cult-like behaviors and arguments (on both sides) and also moral relativism.

    We can then start having conversations about actual matters, actual positions, actual philosophies and start reaching consensus on things we can as free traders agree to work on and at least agree that in areas where we disagree the conflicts are not ones that are necessarily irreconcilable because we are not actively at odds with each other.

    The perversity of the universe seems to tend towards the maximum and I see way too much time spent on people trying to tell other libertarians what to do and think and other people trying to tell them that trying to do so is silly.

    And that is my confession 😉

  160. Robert Capozzi

    ww: But the question should be asked, what is the point of having long drawn out arguments over it? None.

    me: Great, helpful post, WW.

    To be clear, it’s not an “argument,” at least not for me. Sharing is fun! Offering perspective is satisfying, even when others don’t seem to “get” my point.

    Now, it could be that when I die, I will meet God, flanked by Ayn and Murray. They might scold me that I was “right” when I was under their sway, that the NAP is the be all and end of not only politics, but all human interaction. And God will give me the list of the omnipotent state cult members, too, just to clear matters up.

    But, at this moment, I’m thinking it’s not going to go that way! 😉

    BTW, “crippling” is the perfect word, thank you SO much.

  161. Robert Capozzi

    JK, hoo boy. I claim no such thing. The SoP is undistilled NAPsolutism. NAPsolutism doesn’t work on a lot of levels. And, it leads the NAPsolutist to come to many, many wacky conclusions. It tends to lead to paranoia, witness the belief in a cult of the omnipotent state.

  162. Joshua Katz

    I don’t see a problem with the Libertarian Party having a strong libertarian SoP. As I said before, for instance, I think most of your ‘examples’ are actually aggression, so the NAP/SoP doesn’t take one there. There’s still room for interpretation within the SoP. If you choose to take the SoP as advocating bestiality, I believe that’s in your head.

  163. NewFederalist

    “Wow, Robert, you might want to look into some OCD meds. Really. I’m not being mean. You just keep talking about the same stuff over and over again.”

    🙂

  164. Robert Capozzi

    jk: There’s still room for interpretation within the SoP.

    me: Agreed. Therein lies the dysfunction. NAPsolutism speaks in absolute terms about what is “aggression” and what is “peaceful behavior.” It has been and is interpreted by individual Ls in a variety of ways, ways that I can understand how the individual L arrived at the (extreme) conclusions they sometimes do. (I really do need to come up with more illustrative extremist L positions that some Ls take so that the literalist crowd don’t fixate on the specific examples, which no one has disagreed to my knowledge that some Ls take from time to time. My bad, there.)

    The SoP, I submit, is not “strong” at all. It’s merely simplistic. Concur with WW’s statement: “The world is more complicated than that — and if we want to be successful as individuals we need to learn that and move away from childish things like cult-like behaviors and arguments (on both sides) and also moral relativism.”

    That some Ls take these bracing and simplistic positions illustrates why NAPsolutism doesn’t work in the real world. The NAP is a simplistic, (for all intents and purposes) utopian construct that amounts to a word game. I do appreciate it that some like to use it as a kind of True North, but there seems to be among NAPsolutists a disdain for process. Movements happen in increments almost always, and yet that truth seems very much missed in the L political message.

    Whatever applied NAPsolutism is, it’s not politics. Politics is the art of the possible. It’s about marshaling support for positive movement, combining a SENSE of morality and ethics with a sense of what the electorate are ready to hear. Politics is an art.

    At least, that’s the truth I observe. I invite you to radically reconsider the thought system of NAPsolutism, rather than to reflexively defend it. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find!

  165. Robert Capozzi

    Not sure how this clears it up. It says RP2 will run for Senate AND is considering running for prez, too, yes?

  166. Darryl W. Perry

    @RC the article does say that he is considering it and trying to “find ways around a Kentucky law that” would to prohibit someone from appearing on the primary ballot for two offices at the same time.
    However, knowing that he’s announced that he’s seeking reelection, it shows that his primary focus is on his Senate seat, and not on a 2016 Presidential run.

  167. Matt Cholko

    I’m not sure that it necessarily shows that, DWP. It may be intended to show that he’s committed to his current job, so that he can bow out of the POTUS race gracefully if it isn’t going well. Or, something totally different.

  168. Jed Ziggler

    Paul may decide to seek re-election and the presidency, he would just have to make sure his name wasn’t on the presidential ballot in Kentucky.

  169. Stewart Flood

    This looks like classic Grumpy Old Party politics: look like you’re thinking of running to see who it scares out of the woodwork that feels they need to announce before you. If it works, other “serious” candidates will start appearing, giving neo-Paul the advantage since he’s not really announcing.

    If he doesn’t run, he risks the CFL support that his father built up fading away by 2020 or being diluted if someone who’s viewed by the public as leaning in the same direction as Dr Paul (original) gets the 2016 nomination and wins. If he does run for president, he obviously needs a fallback in case he loses the nomination or gets the nomination but loses the general election.

    I believe he’s running, but I hope that I’m wrong. I do not think he’d make a good POTUS. Of course I don’t think that any of the animal house(s) candidates would do a good job. New name, same regime.

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