Thomas L. Knapp: Slow News Days and Third Party Politics: Attack of the Goat-Sacrificing Roman Sun God!

main-thumb-15403512-200-8U9niRmAFqMU4on28TtYyIA533m9eqI1From Thomas L. Knapp, Florida Libertarian candidate for Congress, writing for The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism. Original article can be found here.

American media seldom pay much attention to “third” political parties like the Libertarians and the Greens. They get footnotes in normal election coverage, with one exception: Sometimes someone weird shows up on a slow news day. Then it’s suddenly time to cover third parties.

Enter Augustus Sol Invictus, a declared candidate for US Senate from Florida, who plans to run on the Libertarian Party’s ballot line. You may have seen his name in your social media or news feed. He’s “trending.”

Invictus named himself after an ancient Roman sun god. He allegedly sacrificed a goat in the western desert somewhere. As an attorney, he’s defended white supremacist clients and some people believe that’s no coincidence. He’s supposedly called for civil war, mandatory eugenics programs and all kinds of other crazy, and definitely not Libertarian, stuff. [Disclosure: I am a Libertarian candidate for Congress from Florida too; I have never sacrificed a goat, don’t associate with white supremacists, and support neither civil war nor eugenics]

The Libertarian Party of Florida’s executive committee censured Invictus and disassociated their party from him on Sunday. His views, they say, are not theirs — which should be obvious, but some things do have to be explicitly said, not just assumed.

And yet, there’s actually a possibility that he’ll show up on Florida primary ballots as a candidate for the Libertarian US Senate nomination. If so, and if he wins, the Florida LP is stuck with him as their standard-bearer.

It shouldn’t be that way. And at one time it wasn’t.

Until the late 19th century, American government didn’t print ballots, nor did it control the internal affairs of political parties. Voters cast ballots printed and provided by their parties of choice, or hand-wrote (or, if they couldn’t write, verbally swore to an election official) their ballots.

Starting in the 1880s, the states adopted the “Australian ballot.” Because government printed these ballots, government got to choose which candidates appeared on them. From that, a system of rules evolved which incorporated two express purposes: Keeping “third parties” off ballots with restrictive access laws, and robbing them of the ability to choose their own candidates, if they did manage to wangle ballot access, by forcing them into primary elections instead of nominations by convention.

All of this came about in the name of “reform,” to “take political decisions out of the smoke-filled rooms.” But that’s where the decisions are still made by the Democrats and Republicans. These restrictive laws don’t affect them nearly as much. Their party establishments are large, entrenched and powerful; they’re usually able to direct the voters instead of vice versa. It’s the third parties who get stuck with the weirdos. And with the media coverage that the weirdos bring.

A major step in real political reform would be to ditch the “Australian ballot” and its associated restrictions, returning to freedom of association for voters, candidates and political parties.

Florida’s Libertarians should be free to bury Caesar, rather than potentially forced to seemingly praise him.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party and tagged on by .

About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, Colorado State Coordinator for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, as well as Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LPCO, LPRC, or LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann’s goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

66 thoughts on “Thomas L. Knapp: Slow News Days and Third Party Politics: Attack of the Goat-Sacrificing Roman Sun God!

  1. Jed Ziggler

    I’m not sure that we could or should move away from government-printed ballots, but political parties should have automatic ballot access and be permitted to choose their own nominees by convention, and independents should only need a notarized statement of candidacy.

  2. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    My bing news search for “florida goat” has Invictus articles from Fox News, BBC, Mother Jones, Esquire, Daily Kos, Washington Post, Newser, New York Daily News, Slate, Mediaite (126 comments so far) and Salon. Miami New Times gets points for best picture and several links back to source material so readers can research for themselves and decide for themselves instead of allowing the media clowns to decide for them.
    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/floridas-goat-blood-drinking-senate-candidate-is-really-almost-too-insane-for-florida-7954888
    While spare, Knapp’s article above also gets points for covering the facts and failing to jump to conclusions.
    Red Alert Politics gets the award for best title, “Not the Onion: US Senate candidate sacrificed goat, drank its blood”.

  3. paulie

    Alex Vidal on FB:

    Someone should be copy-pasting the LPF press release rebuke of Goat Killer into the comment section of each article covering this.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    tk: [Disclosure: I am a Libertarian candidate for Congress from Florida too; I have never sacrificed a goat, don’t associate with white supremacists, and support neither civil war nor eugenics]

    me: I thought TK was running as a write-in candidate, not on the L line. Has that changed?

  5. Thane Eichenauer

    If you believe what he says in his interview on the Comcastro “geek culture podcast”, he’s no longer into eugenics (start at the 22:33 mark).
    It’s often the soft, sentimental shut-ins who idolize cruelty and brutality, mistaking it for strength, free thought, and non-conformity, and the podcast hosts stuck to type. They seemed to be bigger fans of eugenics than Invictus, even in its watered-down social Darwinist form of cutting social programs to weed out the weak. In fact, they sounded almost disappointed when Invictus said he doesn’t go for “positive eugenics” anymore.
    – See more at: http://www.joeydevilla.com/2015/10/05/florida-of-the-day-augustus-sol-invictus-the-goat-sacrificing-no-longer-pro-eugenics-fake-drawling-libertarian-party-candidate/#sthash.EQDxb8fS.dpuf

  6. Andy Craig

    Perhaps. I think we’ve had enough LPF/Invictus posts for today, maybe tomorrow.

    One thing a comment at Reason pointed out: his “campaign logo” is not just vaguely fascist. It’s literally the exact same image of an eagle as was used by Mussolini during the rump republic years. All he did was copy and paste the laurel on top of it (which on closer inspection is itself just the olive-branches off the UN flag.)

    ASI’s campaign logo: https://d1jn4vzj53eli5.cloudfront.net/mc/_external/2015_10/invictus-for-senate-logo.jpg?h=219&w=260

    The eagle used by Mussolini’s “Italian Social Republic” 1943-45: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/Eagle_with_fasces.svg/914px-Eagle_with_fasces.svg.png

    He might as well be running with swastikas plastered all over his website.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Robert,

    As Jed replies, I am running as a write-in, but my party affiliation is Libertarian. My campaign signs (first 100 purchased as an in-kind contribution by Stephen Meier!) read “Write in Tom Knapp for Congress — Your Libertarian Choice for Florida and Freedom.”

    If another Libertarian should happen to throw in to this race, then I’ll either withdraw or be a write-in candidate in the LP primary, for the LP ballot line in November.

    If no other LP candidate throws in, then I’ll be the Libertarian option, as a write-in.

    I need to get a campaign calendar up. I’ve already got one firm event this month (a Students For Liberty conference in Gainesville), and another likely one (a marijuana legalization event in Bronson). Maybe more. The campaign-mobile is set up and rolling (trailer provided as an in-kind campaign contribution by Darcy Richardson). Now I’ve just got to get in shape for the long rides.

  8. paulie

    If you believe what he says in his interview on the Comcastro “geek culture podcast”, he’s no longer into eugenics (start at the 22:33 mark).

    Then why did he say failure to practice eugenics is a failure of the federal government on July 23, 2015? You claim to have read the IPR questions for Invictus. That was one of them.

  9. Jed Ziggler

    “I’ll either withdraw or be a write-in candidate in the LP primary, for the LP ballot line in November.”

    Richard Winger says Florida doesn’t allow write-ins in primaries.

  10. Robert

    OK, football cheerleaders:

    “There is only one God. He is the Sun God!

    Ra! Ra! Ra!”

  11. paulie

    GOOGLE says there’re now 170 stories on this, including Australia.

    Who’s up for placing links to the LPF condemning Invictus in the comments on all of them?

  12. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    paulie @ October 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm
    “Then why did he say failure to practice eugenics is a failure of the federal government on July 23, 2015?” and then at some later date (apparently August 14th, 2015) had some interviewers respond “They sounded almost disappointed when Invictus said he doesn’t support “positive eugenics” anymore.”

    Why? I don’t know.

    I don’t have any information that isn’t readily available to you and everybody else via the internet. I don’t know Augustus Sol Invictus personally nor do I know anybody that is a client or friend of his. I don’t talk to Augustus Sol Invictus nor to I talk to anybody that is a client or friend of his.

    I do know that, apparently, on September 8th, 2015 that Augustus Sol Invictus went to a eatery and pub named Frank and Steins in Winter Park, Florida and gave a 19 minute speech about the abuse of civil forfeiture, the transfer of military equipment to police forces in Florida and the coercion of a regular Joe in Florida to become a police drug informant that I was proud to see. I have no critique about his gesturing or his accent or lack thereof.

    “Augustus Invictus on Fighting Against the Government”
    https://youtu.be/JqfpMKiRZHo

  13. paulie

    Sigh.

    Just one of my many unanswered questions for Invictus, concerning a paper published on his campaign website July 23 of this year:

    It has been said that I am a racist and a neo-Nazi. I guarantee you that my Puerto Rican ex-wife, our half-Puerto Rican children, and my half-Colombian step-children – not to mention my string of Latina girlfriends – would be quite shocked to hear of this.

    If you are not a racist, please explain what you meant by the following statements:

    It has provided the illegitimate State of Israel with countless billions of dollars in financial aid, weaponry, and military force, to the great detriment of the American people and to the people of the World.

    Is there something more legitimate about the states of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, and various others which the US government has also given billions of dollars of financial aid and military weaponry to? Why single out Israel?

    It has allowed unrestrained immigration for three generations, to the great detriment of the American people & of the land. Our forefathers came as conquerors: the immigrants of today come as parasites.

    Does that include the mother of your stepchildren or any of your Latina girlfriends?

    It has allowed the degradation of our ancestral Holy Days in the name of Tolerance, demeaning Christian Rites for fear of the Jews. Where Nativity scenes are allowed, there must stand a menorah of equal visibility.

    Given that there are many religions in the US, not just Jews and Christians – you yourself describe yourself as a pagan – as well as many atheists and agnostics, why do you single out Jews here?

    It has established laws to protect at any cost the survival of the weakest of the Citizenry, having forsaken the first duty of Government: the welfare of the People.

    What would you change exactly in this regard, and how would it work? Is this a reference to eugenics? If not, what does it refer to?

    It has promoted with great vehemence the doctrines of mass democracy, blind tolerance, and mandatory guilt for decades upon decades, such that the individual Citizen is expected to worship the lowest of humanity and abandon any inclinations he may have toward elitism.

    Please elaborate.

    It has abandoned its eugenics programs & elitist mindset in favor of a decadent ideology that rejects the beauty of strength and demands the exponential growth of the weakest, the least intelligent, and the most diseased.

    This is described as a failing of the federal government. Exactly how would you rectify that?

    It has promoted the defamation of our country’s greatest heroes in our children’s classrooms, such as Columbus, the great mariner, a man of vision & bravery, now regarded as a genocidal maniac, and Jefferson, the polymath statesman & great promoter of freedom, known now as the degenerate slave rapist.

    Are you contending that Columbus did not engage in genocide or that Jefferson did not own slaves, or just that these shouldn’t be seen as bad things?

    It has promoted in those same classrooms the idolatrous worship of a different breed of lesser men, such as Alex Haley, who made a fortune by conning the country into sympathy when he plagiarized a novel and passed it off as fact, and Martin Luther King, Jr., whose FBI files are still under seal for the embarrassment it would cause all those persons profiting from his civil sainthood.

    By “different breed of lesser men” do you mean something other than Black, African-American, Negro (or whatever term you prefer) men? If so, what do you mean?

    It has sought to prohibit the ownership of firearms by law-abiding Citizens, farcically citing the violent actions of slaves’ descendants as justification therefore.

    Do you mean to insinuate something other than that all or almost all violent crime is committed by “slaves’ descendents”?

    Taken in totality, please provide an explanation of these statements that is not racist.

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I listened to the meeting, and it was very interesting. I understand better the Party’s reluctance to revoke membership. I would have voted to revoke his membership. I understand the reluctance to not be the thought police and the fear that candidates will be reluctant to speak on any issue for fear that they will be accused of violating the NAP for things such as — supporting energy subsidies. There is no precedent for that in the history of the party and if it came to that, it can be dealt with. There is a controversy on precisely what the NAP pledge means to absolutely bind people to, but of one thing everyone is pretty much agreed, it is an agreement to avoid being labeled a terrorist group, and calling for open insurrection as an LP member is in fact doing that. We must be able to expel for that at a minimum. While some may in theory support the right for insurrection, we as a Party have decided to be committed to peaceful political means.

    Now I believe that advocating eugenics is also clearly a violation of the most extreme sort. This does not get into any arguable issues of taxation or interim measures, but culling people out purposefully. I say taxation positions are arguable or interim because even our platform (past and present) allowed for interim measures and it would be irrational to say it was ultimately advocating force while requiring members to eschew this same force. One would have to reject the platform to join the party and that is completely irrational.

    (Now if there were other concerns other than this that would prevent revocation that were not brought up, that could change my view)

    Now if these are grounds for revocation, they are certainly grounds for censure and his statements on immigration and the ideas of a natural ruling class are also within bounds for the Party to censure. I am pleased that they decided to censure at a minimum. And I understand the reasons why this less drastic measure was taken.

  15. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    Caryn Ann Harlos Post author @ October 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm
    “Now I believe that advocating eugenics is also clearly a violation of the most extreme sort.”
    A natural followup question would be to ask would be “Is the question referring to state mandated eugenics or voluntary and private eugenics?” Further “What position does Augustus Sol Invictus currently hold on the topic of state mandated eugenics?”
    Personally if I was interested in sincerely evaluating all the above questions I would read the source document that all this interest derives from.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-ruin-argument-eugenics-augustus-sol

  16. paulie

    “Is the question referring to state mandated eugenics or voluntary and private eugenics?” Further “What position does Augustus Sol Invictus currently hold on the topic of state mandated eugenics?”

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2015/07/augustus-invictus-a-declaration-of-the-failings-of-the-federal-government/

    Posted July 23 2015 on his campaign website

    Failings of the government

    25. It has abandoned its eugenics programs & elitist mindset in favor of a decadent ideology that rejects the beauty of strength and demands the exponential growth of the weakest, the least intelligent, and the most diseased.

  17. paulie

    Thus, his current (as of 2.5 months ago) position is that it is a failing of government to no longer provide eugenics. Therefore it is a responsibility of government to provide eugenics, and it is a current position.

  18. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    Indeed. I have read that source document (as you might infer from my comment on said page), read the LinkedIn document “Future or Ruin: The Argument for Eugenics” and listened to the 15 minute document (audio presentation) below, identified as having been recorded on May 31st, 2015 and then come to a conclusion. I will continue to read and learn about Augustus Sol Invictus. I may even change may opinion about him (or not).
    Fireside Chat No. 2: On Eugenics & Civil War
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-gMxyGlbw0
    If we are both sincere in our investigation and honest in our wish to come to a fuller understanding of the man and his positions i have no fear that the Florida elections in November of 2016 will be very interesting. I just might have more faith in the general goodness of people than others. So long as I continue to listen to your comments and other wise voices I don’t think you need worry much about my long term conclusions.
    ¡Carpe diem!

  19. paulie

    Does anyone have a good suggestion on how best to set up a tracking method with publicly visible progress and ability to pledge additional amounts to raise the 10k it would take Mike Kane to file for US Senate? There are pledges floating around on various IPR threads and FB discussions – can they be assembled in one place somehow? Anyone know how to set it up?

  20. Chuck Moulton

    paulie wrote:

    Does anyone have a good suggestion on how best to set up a tracking method with publicly visible progress and ability to pledge additional amounts to raise the 10k it would take Mike Kane to file for US Senate? There are pledges floating around on various IPR threads and FB discussions – can they be assembled in one place somehow? Anyone know how to set it up?

    Good question! Not sure.

  21. Andy Craig

    Unless I missed something, you can’t take regulated campaign contributions by just posting your bitcoin address publicly. You still have to collect the required information, observe the limits, you can’t do anonymous contributions. That’s why those who do take bitcoin for such purposes, do it through a third-party payment widget that collects all that information.

  22. Thane "Goldie" Eichenauer

    I listened to Episode 44 mentioned above. Commenting on other Invictus coverage the Wall Street Journal author writes:
    Libertarians (or so one told us once) think children should be allowed to buy heroin from vending machines, so long as the vending machines are privately owned. You’d think their response to the goat story would be “Meh.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-promise-made-to-be-broken-1444411204

  23. paulie

    The WSJ link does not appear to have anything to do with Invictus, at least not as far as I could read before it goes behind some pay or survey wall. Assuming the quote is accurate, it is mischaracterization of libertarianism, and even if it was true it would have nothing to do with torturing animals, if it’s true that Invictus did that to the goat before he killed it.

  24. Andy Craig

    “Kids buying heroin in vending machines” is like “Who will build the roads?” It’s a common libertarian joke, a sarcastic reference to implausible attacks on libertarianism that allege some ridiculous parade of horribles would follow from adhering to libertarian policies.

    I’m willing to bet that is the “one told us” being referenced, and WSJ either deliberately distorted that, or didn’t get the original sarcasm.

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Okay well I have to rethink my whole involvement. I was in it to allow kids to be able to buy heroin in vending machines.

  26. Thane Eichenauer

    While certain portions of the Invictus for Senate web site are down after a recent remodeling it would appear that the bitcoin address previously disclosed publicly has been whisked away behind web pages apparently intended to comply with the usual the federal campaign regulations.

    Sadly the Issues and Library links have yet to be restored.

    http://invictusforsenate.com/donations/

  27. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Okay well I have to rethink my whole involvement. I was in it to allow kids to be able to buy heroin in vending machines.

    I’m in it because I want a private nuclear weapon to use as a coffee table — until someone initiates force against me.

    Vending machines?! I’ll be one of those angry old men who shakes his fist muttering “Those damn kids don’t know how good they’ve got it… when I was a boy I walked to school uphill (both ways) through the snow and had to use a ‘pager’ to alert my heroin dealer and drive a car to meet him in person… there wasn’t no ‘app’ on a magical personal assistant held in my hand that would get a flying robot to deliver my heroin in 10 minutes or less… damn spoiled kids…”

  28. paulie

    I’m not so sure I’ll live to be an old man, so I am at that stage prematurely. If I had a lawn I’d be yelling at them kids to get off it and shaking my cane at them.

  29. Thane Eichenauer

    “Meet Augustus Sol Invictus. He is the Libertarian Candidate running to fill Marco Rubio’s Senate seat. Mr. Invictus will discuss his campaign and his “Hot Topics” about the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.”
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thecapt/2015/11/05/special-guest-fl-libertarian-senate-candidate-augustus-invictus
    And that they did for nearly 2 hours. Mr. Invictus sounded like most other Libertarians that I have heard. Apart from a bit of accent he could have been the Arizona Libertarian Party nominee for US Senate in 2012 Marc J. Victor. They are both criminal defense attorneys.

  30. paulie

    I don’t think anyone has disputed his ability to sound reasonable when the mood to do so strikes him. If he acted completely crazy all the time he would be less of a concern, actually.

  31. Thane Eichenauer

    Knapp stated above, “He’s supposedly called for civil war, mandatory eugenics programs and all kinds of other crazy, and definitely not Libertarian, stuff.”
    I keep an eye and an ear on his presentations. If Invictus has already failed your test for craziness without hope for redemption then nothing he says can change that. Given that his last fireside chat was titled “Fireside Chat on Rooting Out the Collaborators” I imagine that Invictus is unlikely to be redeemed unless some great cataclysm bursts upon the field.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1fGaMRIksM

  32. paulie

    I’m more interested in further connecting the dots to find more evidence that Stone put him up to running. Okyay denied personally knowing Stone, but says she supports Invictus because “he is the most radical Libertarian in America” and she is an avid Donald Trump supporter (just like Stone). Go figure!

  33. George Phillies

    @5:22PM He also makes a standard error on the donation rule. The LNC successfully litigated over the 18-year-old age limit. Younger people may donate their own money.

  34. JT

    “she supports Invictus because “he is the most radical Libertarian in America” and she is an avid Donald Trump supporter”

    Smart lady. I totally agree with her on both counts!

  35. paulie

    I guess the real question is whether he is a sane person who sometimes pretends to be crazy or a crazy person who sometimes pretends to be sane.

  36. Thane Eichenauer

    Paulie, I don’t think asking the question Is Invictus crazy (in any permutation) gets you anywhere useful. Knapp’s evaluations on Invictus here and elsewhere angle at answering the question by pointing out specific points about him that push people’s buttons. I don’t think he does any pretending when it comes to his positions. I do think whatever X factor he has that makes his talks more inspiring than most casuses many here a cognitive dissonance that is not well expressed. I am looking forward to the day Scott Adams (of Dilbert) does a column on Augustus Sol Invictus. Not that Adams would tell me anything I don’t already know but it might give others better descriptive terms than crazy or pretend sane.

  37. paulie

    Paulie, I don’t think asking the question Is Invictus crazy (in any permutation) gets you anywhere useful.

    I do. But more specifically, I think we need to ask whether he is a crazy person who sometimes acts sane, because he is able to compartmentalize and pretend to be sane for public consumption as he delusionally seeks dictatorial power based on his delusions of grandeur, or a sane person who sometimes acts crazy, at the behest of someone who wants to use him to discredit and destroy the LP and/or build himself up, perhaps Stone.

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