Austin Petersen Launches 2016 Libertarian Presidential Campaign

Press release from the Petersen campaign:

The Petersen for President campaign was officially recognized by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this week, placing Kansas City, MO resident Austin Petersen into contention for the Libertarian Party nomination for President.

Petersen is running on a platform of economic freedom and personal liberty, seeking to restore constitutional values and limited government principles in Washington D.C. He is pro-life, pro-gun, and
pro-privacy in accordance with the 4th Amendment.

Petersen is the son of Missouri landscapers, a television and film producer, and political activist with over a decade of campaign and media experience. For more biographical information, please visit AustinPetersen2016.com or our campaign Facebook page at facebook.com/ProducerPetersen

Petersen will appear on the Fox Business Network show Stossel with John Stossel on Friday, November 13th and will be available for interviews in New York City and Washington D.C. from November 11th through the 13th.

Interviews can be scheduled by contacting the campaign directly by email at Contact@Petersen2016.com or by phone at 202.903.9113.

212 thoughts on “Austin Petersen Launches 2016 Libertarian Presidential Campaign

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Petersen’s platform is clearly better, and “more libertarian” than, any of the major party candidates’ positions and fairly well in line with the approaches of recent LP presidential candidates. I’m not big on his style, but we could do worse. Right now he’s my third choice behind NOTA and Perry.

  2. Shane

    Lol. Austin a conservative troll? Come on. That’s ridiculous.

    Being libertarian gives us the freedom to take positions that differ from others — as long as they travel in the direction of Liberty.

    Austin is an enthusiastic libertarian that has built a name for himself outside of LP circles over the last eight years.

    He started as a sole activist for RP, dropped everything to come to DC to work for the party and has stayed in the game since then.

    He’s what I consider a “professional libertarian” and only a few of those exist — because the pay sucks for starters. Those who choose that path, whether we like them or not, deserve respect because most of them could do much better in the private sector. I can only name a few who have been active in the party and chose this path — Knapp, Keaton and Wrights.

    The best strategic libertarian minds in politics “sell out” and take money from other parties. Finkelstein for instance. Good man and that’s his personal decision to place personal prosperity over politics.

    But again, Austin being labeled as a conservative troll is not only laughable but ignorant.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    I agree. I would not classify Petersen as a “conservative troll.”

    On the other hand, I can see why some people would.

    He certainly seems to “lean conservative” while remaining, so far as I can tell, in the “libertarian quadrant” of Nolan Chart type classifications. Among recent presidential nominees, I’d say he’s “more libertarian” than Barr (not that that’s difficult to achieve) and in the same general range ideologically as Johnson or Badnarik (which isn’t as wide a range as it sounds like). Some of us “radicals” and “purists” will have some problems with parts of his platform, but that’s just how it goes. So, “somewhat conservative” — check.

    As far as “troll” goes, his style at e.g. The Libertarian Republic is “maximize controversial clickbait and load it with ads.” That does tend to arouse ire with various crowds (including some I’m part of). On the other hand, at TLR he does run some content that challenges his own apparent perspectives, e.g. stuff by Avens O’Brien.

    He’s far from my top pick, but I don’t think I’d choke on the idea of voting for him if he was the nominee.

  4. paulie

    He’s what I consider a “professional libertarian” and only a few of those exist — because the pay sucks for starters. Those who choose that path, whether we like them or not, deserve respect because most of them could do much better in the private sector. I can only name a few who have been active in the party and chose this path — Knapp, Keaton and Wrights.

    You have a point there.

  5. paulie

    Agreed with Knapp at 11:59. As for Austin publishing Avens, while I don’t write nearly as well as she does, let’s just say that if I did, I have a strong suspicion that if I was the author of those same articles they would be a lot less likely to be published in TLR.

  6. Motherhood; Apple Pie, Fireworks on 4th of July

    He’s what I consider a “professional libertarian” and only a few of those exist — because the pay sucks for starters.

    Actually, the pay is quite good, but it doesn’t exist for libertarian activists that cannot be manipulated. When people like Daryl Bonner are advanced large sums of money for bottom-of-the-barrel validity (often tens of thousands of dollars), and are not fired when they royally screw up (PA in 2012, where he not only handed in signatures at 43% validity, but incurred an immense lawsuit), that’s a huge signal to anyone who isn’t a “libertarian.”

    The good pay is for mercenary petitioners who do what Bill Redpath wants. What does Bill Redpath want? Well, we don’t really know. We just know what he doesn’t want: He doesn’t want libertarian activists like Andy Jacobs to circulate nominating petitions for Libertarian State Legislative candidates in rural, winnable districts in Pennsylvania(2008). He doesn’t want to build a grassroots libertarian movement with pay he controls. He doesn’t want libertarian activists to work in local districts in any state for months on end, thus “accidentally” resulting in a libertarian uprising there.

    When the prior is “in danger” of happening (when LP State Legislative candidates are getting on the ballot simultaneously with the statewide candidates), Redpath inevitably floods the state with unprincipled mercenary petitioners who are usually apolitical or members of the Democrat party.

    That’s what those of us who pay close attention know.

    You, the humble reader, can interpret that as you like.

    I interpret it to mean that Libertarians are just as electable as any other philosophy, but that they have the primary problem that the Libertarian Party doesn’t exist as a Libertarian Party. It is a mask with the word Libertarian spelled on it, that is run by the same types of people running the “Democrat”(central bank; drug war) and “Republican”(central bank; drug war) Parties.

    Shane Cory and Austin Petersen were easily manipulated by Bill Redpath and Bob Barr, into being ineffectual, while they worked for the Libertarian National Office. I also have worked for the LNO, and during that time, I was manipulated into strategic “dead ends.”

    Eventually, one grows up and leaves the Libertarian Party ghetto, or one walks into the ghetto and points out to the people living there that they have huge problems that need an immediate solution. The latter is more costly than the former.

  7. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: ” and in the same general range ideologically as Johnson or Badnarik (which isn’t as wide a range as it sounds like).”

    Badnarik was more libertarian than Johnson.

  8. Shane

    Yeah, I was totally ineffective. I took the LP from a quarter million in debt and a bank account $20k in the hole with uncashed UMP checks and left with no debt and a I think a quarter million reserve.

    Take your shots at me but implying that Redpath is somehow financially gaining off the LP is absurd. The guy has dedicated enormous amounts of time and money to the party.

    But I’ll assume the reason why he chooses not to use libertarian petitioners is because most are a pain in the ass to work with and cause more drama then any other vendor or contractor.

    I’m not saying non-libertarians petitioners are easy to work with but they don’t claim to be entitled to work due to their political beliefs.

    And yes, the pay sucks. Name one libertarian who has personally made a million in 12 months off of the party. $500k? $200k?

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos

    My problem isn’t with Petersen’s platform, it is good. When he talks solutions and politics, he is good. I do not like his style as a Party candidate, he is divisive and nasty. I love him as a political commentator, podcast host, and writer. Our candidate isn’t going to win. We will have to be getting along with each other after this election. He doesn’t foster that. If he changed that kind of rhetoric etc, I would have no problem with him. He has a lot going for him. I criticize him now but I remain open-minded. He could turn that bad part around if he chose to, and I think he should. Not even so much for this campaign, but he could have a very successful political future ahead of him for future campaigns. He needs to coalition build with everyone and not delight in alienating people. Even if he doesn’t like certain segments, there is a way to finesse and not make bitter enemies. He has made bitter enemies in the Party. I am not one of them. I can criticize very heavily, but I always, with a politician, remain open to be persuaded and change if they change for the better.

  10. Chuck Moulton

    I disagree with Redpath’s decision in Pennsylvania, but the implication that he wanted the drive to fail is absurd. He has personally collected signatures in Pennsylvania and spent several days helping defend signatures in the lawsuit process — taking off work to do so. He also has donated his own money to both Pennsylvania ballot access and to legal fees. Redpath has said he regretted the petition contract in Pennsylvania.

  11. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Petersen is self-imploding on FB on the latest discussion thread.

    If you disagree that the NAP pledge is only about violent overthrow of the government…. you are not some sneaky anarchist…. no…. you are a “conspiracy theory socialist.”

  12. Steve Scheetz

    Thomas, If it is debatable, I am on the side of that debate stating that Badnarik is more Libertarian, particularly with regard to his stance on licensing. Anyway, I like Michael, and wish there were more like him within the party running for offices.

    Regarding Redpath, I agree entirely with Chuck. There are things I disagree with William Redpath about, but as far as ballot access goes, I have seen few, myself included, put as much effort into that process.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  13. Steve Scheetz

    Oh, sorry, I forgot to discuss the thread… I will vote for Perry or NOTA at this stage of the game, and on a side note, the LPPA convention will be happening in early March. We are planning a presidential candidates debate. All candidates are invited, so if there are any candidates reading this thread, PLEASE contact me for details.. I am not able to discuss specifics because the board has not formally voted to confirm dates, but I will suggest keeping the weekend of March 5th and 6th open at this point, and so far, Downtown Philly is being discussed.

    PLEASE, not 100% on this, so if you are a candidate, or you know a candidate, have them contact me. I am on Facebook, or call/text 610-636-8039

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  14. Andy Craig

    @TLK

    “”“Badnarik was more libertarian than Johnson.”

    Maybe, but that’s definitely debatable.””

    I would go with ‘easily debunked’, but I’ll take ‘definitely debatable.’

    @Caryn “”Petersen is self-imploding on FB on the latest discussion thread.””

    I refuse to believe he’s that lacking in self-awareness. He’s not ignorant of how he comes across, he chooses to do so anyway. Whatever his goal is, I don’t think he has any actual desire to be the Libertarian nominee, and he knows full well the character he’s playing is that of a an arrogant, deliberately-insulting jerk. He’s trolling us, either for his own amusement and/or just for purposes of self-promotion.

  15. Jill Pyeatt

    I think you might be right, Andy. He’s got some other agenda that I can’t quite figure out yet.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve,

    The problem with debating who is “more libertarian” between two Badnarik and Johnson is that each of them took some positions that could arguably be classified as non-libertarian, so deciding which one is “more” or “less” libertarian than the other comes down to how much weight you place on this or that issue and what you think “the” libertarian position on that issue is.

    Johnson’s flirtations with the “Fair” Tax make him, IMO, less libertarian than Badnarik, who wanted to get rid of the income tax and replace it with nothing.

    On the other hand, Badnarik’s immigration position was pretty ugly, collectivist and authoritarian, while Johnson’s seemed less so.

    It’s difficult to really compare them on abortion because Badnarik took three different, mutually exclusive positions on it during his campaign.

    And so on, and so forth.

    I liked Badnarik a lot better than Johnson, but that doesn’t mean he was necessarily “more libertarian” than Johnson as a candidate. And I’d put them in the same general range — not bad, but imperfect in significant and disappointing ways.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    Another consideration is that Badnarik ran a largely philosophical campaign, while GJ ran a more credible, semi-realistic one. GJ stood a chance of being a semi-Perot-type, national figure, and is actually credentialed and qualified (in a meaningful sense, beyond being the right age and US-born) to be president. Badnarik…not so much.

    GJ — if nominated — could well be going against an unelected bully/buffoon and a likely unindicted felon, which could present interesting opportunities. His FAIR tax fetish coupled with his weed industry positioning caps his potential, though. I hope to vote for him, nevertheless.

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==He’s trolling us, either for his own amusement and/or just for purposes of self-promotion.==

    That makes me very angry.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    My knowledge of Badnarik’s campaign and my impression of Johnson’s campaign lead me to conclude that you have it exactly backward. It’s not so much that Badnarik ran a “philosophical” campaign versus Johnson’s “credible, semi-realistic” campaign as that Badnarik actually ran a campaign, 24/7 for several months, while Johnson ran a campaign barely if at all.

  20. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp

    November 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    ‘Badnarik was more libertarian than Johnson.’

    Maybe, but that’s definitely debatable.”

    I disagree. Gary Johnson wanted to end the income tax, and replace it with the Fair Tax. Michael Badnarik wanted to end the income tax, and replace it with nothing.

    While it is true that Michael Badnarik was a constitutionalist and not an anarchist, he was still pretty radical.

    Gary Johnson is not an anarchist, and I’d say that he’s more moderate than Badnarik.

  21. Jill Pyeatt

    Caryn, what makes you angry: That Austin might be trolling, or that Andy Craig said that he might be trolling us?

  22. paulie

    Yep. Which is sort of the definition of “definitely debatable.”

    My mistake. I thought you said it was definitely debatable that Johnson is less libertarian than Badnarik (I agree with you), not that Johnson ran a campaign “barely if it all,” which is what I disagree with.

  23. paulie

    Caryn, what makes you angry: That Austin might be trolling, or that Andy Craig said that he might be trolling us?

    The latter interpretation had not occurred to me, I thought it was obviously the former.

    But why be angry over that? He is what he is; take him as such and move forward.

  24. paulie

    My mistake. I thought you said it was definitely debatable that Johnson is less libertarian than Badnarik (I agree with you), not that Johnson ran a campaign “barely if it all,” which is what I disagree with.

    Different mistake, I now see you were addressing Andy J. rather than me.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I was responding to Andy, not to you.

    I could be mistaken about Johnson — I was much closer to the Badnarik campaign, and in fact worked for that campaign, so obviously it was more apparent to me that it WAS a campaign. With Johnson, I was not part of his organization and was paying less attention to politics that year than usual, so perhaps I missed the campaign.

    Badnarik busted his ass doing every media appearance possible (I recall one day on which he did ELEVEN radio and television interviews, in addition to giving a speech on the floor of the Kansas City commodities exchange and doing a “meet and greet” with 10,000 people at a big community event in Columbia, Missouri). Johnson seemed to show up in “big media” a few times and “small media” very little if at all over the course of his alleged “campaign.” But that’s just MY IMPRESSION. I never saw a Johnson television commercial. I saw several Badnarik television commercials, including at least once when I wasn’t WATCHING for one. So I disagree that Badnarik was the one whose campaign was “philosophical” while Johnson was the one whose campaign was “practical.”

  26. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “On the other hand, Badnarik’s immigration position was pretty ugly, collectivist and authoritarian, while Johnson’s seemed less so.”

    That’s funny, because one of the times I met Michael Badnarik in person, one of the issues I discussed with him was immigration. He said you can’t stop immigrants from coming to America, and he gave no indication of wanting to stop immigrants from coming to America, he just did not think that they should be able to get on government welfare programs. He later also said that immigrants should come in through the front door and not the window, as in they should be checked for criminal warrants and communicable diseases.

    None of this means that he thought that people should not be able to immigrate here. I recall him saying something like, “You can’t stop waves from crashing against the ocean shores, and you can’t stop immigrants from coming to America.”

    Of course Tom Knapp falsely paints anyone who questions the sanity of millions of people immigrating to the USA and getting on welfare in disproportionate percentages (as compared to the rest of the population) and disproportionately voting for socialist policies after they become American citizens as being “anti-immigrant.”

    Don’t think that immigrants should be able to collect Social Security or food stamps or use Affirmative Action programs? Well then you are “anti-immigrant,” at least according to Tom Knapp.

    According to “libertarians” like Tom, it is perfectly libertarian to have a bunch of socialists show up in this country, get one welfare, and then become American citizens, which means that they will be able to wield political power to vote for their Marxist agenda.

    Remember, survey after survey shows a that a majority of modern day immigrants favor socialist wealth redistribution, government involvement in healthcare, and gun control laws.

    Complain about this, or even dare to point it out, and Tom Knapp will say that you are “anti-immigrant.”

  27. paulie

    I was more involved with Johnson’s campaign, so I saw that there was one.

    The sense in which Robert (I think) meant practical vs philosophical is different, I believe, than what you are talking about. You are talking about nuts and bolts campaign functioning; he is talking about a fantasy scenario where all that stuff just takes care of itself and Johnson’s prior experience and policy proposals just magically elevate him to Perot-level status.

  28. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: ” His FAIR tax fetish coupled with his weed industry positioning caps his potential, though. I hope to vote for him, nevertheless”

    I think that Gary Johnson’s weed industry connection would actually help him get more votes if anything.

  29. Andy Craig

    I think it’s a wash. It probably doesn’t get him any votes he wouldn’t already get for being a long-time outspoken legalization advocate, nor does it lose him any votes he wouldn’t already lose for the same reason.

    As to Badnarik and Johnson, I’ll grant that Badnarik was certainly in a sense more radical. But being more radical is not the same thing as being more libertarian.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    There’s no need to lie about my position on immigration to make your point about Badnarik’s position on immigration.

    Speaking of which, Badnarik’s position on immigration is publicly available, and I know what it is BECA– USE I WROTE THAT POSITION PAPER. Which position of his counts? The position you claim he secretly told you, or the position he took in public?

    http://web.archive.org/web/20040827001938/http://www.badnarik.org/Issues/Immigration.php

  31. paulie

    Remember, survey after survey shows a that a majority of modern day immigrants favor socialist wealth redistribution, government involvement in healthcare, and gun control laws.

    I remember this being disproven by the Volokh article linked on another recent thread.

  32. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill,

    ==Caryn, what makes you angry: That Austin might be trolling, or that Andy Craig said that he might be trolling us?==

    Angry at Austin. That would mean he was using us terribly and abusing LP members and activists.

  33. Andy

    “Andy Craig

    November 7, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I think it’s a wash. It probably doesn’t get him any votes he wouldn’t already get for being a long-time outspoken legalization advocate, nor does it lose him any votes he wouldn’t already lose for the same reason.

    As to Badnarik and Johnson, I’ll grant that Badnarik was certainly in a sense more radical. But being more radical is not the same thing as being more libertarian.”

    Michael Badnarik was definitely more radically libertarian than Gary Johnson. Do you think that Gary Johnson would have the balls to drive without a drivers license for years like Michael Badnarik did? Badnarik got rid of his drivers license and stopped paying income taxes. Badnarik refused to use a Social Security Number. Badnarik moved out of California because he did not like the gun control laws there.

    Gary Johnson is a milquetoast Libertarian Lite.

    Michael Badnarik is the kind of libertarian that you’d want by your side when the shit hits the fan.

  34. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie,

    ==But why be angry over that? He is what he is; take him as such and move forward.==

    Because I dislike a beleaguered Party that I care deeply about being used. I hate us being the pawns in a drama. People give a great deal of time and money and to be treated like a game or amusement is anger-inducing.

  35. paulie

    People give a great deal of time and money

    I’m one of those. But I still take things in stride and know that each election a procession of candidates comes in with a variety of motives. In some cases it is little except something to laugh or shake your head at. If you take all of it 100% seriously that tends to burn people out. I’m 20 plus years in, so I’ve had to learn to take it in stride or I would have been gone a long time ago.

  36. Andy Craig

    “Badnarik got rid of his drivers license and stopped paying income taxes. Badnarik refused to use a Social Security Number. Badnarik moved out of California because he did not like the gun control laws there. […] Michael Badnarik is the kind of libertarian that you’d want by your side when the shit hits the fan.”

    Whether those things automatically make you a ‘better’ Libertarian or not (I obviously don’t agree they do); they in no way make one a better Libertarian candidate for President of the United States. In 2004 we didn’t need the guy who could best help you survive your Mad Max post-apocalyptic daydream, we needed someone who could get the Libertarian message heard by American voters as an actual alternative to Bush and Kerry, in an election where libertarian-leaning voters were leaving the GOP in disgust more than any other election since the 1970s. I’m not saying this to bash Badnarik, because I’m not convinced any of the alternatives for the nomination would have been better that year. But he’s hardly an example of the party at its most effective.

    “People give a great deal of time and money and to be treated like a game or amusement is anger-inducing.”

    I agree; which is why not every person who may be a good Libertarian activist, should be the person we present to the nation for CEO of the US government.

  37. Andy Craig

    “But I still take things in stride and know that each election a procession of candidates comes in with a variety of motives. In some cases it is little except something to laugh or shake your head at. If you take all of it 100% seriously that tends to burn people out. ”

    This is true, but by declaring for our nomination he is inviting Libertarians to comment on the merits of his candidacy. I don’t take him that seriously, but I think it’s reasonable for Libertarians to take umbrage to how he’s representing himself in his association with the party. And who knows, maybe he’ll actually learn and improve from the criticism. I doubt it, but it could happen.

    “Petersen:LP::Trump:NSGOP, but without the big bucks.”

    Trump is way more likely to be the nominee of his party.

  38. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==I don’t take him that seriously, but I think it’s reasonable for Libertarians to take umbrage to how he’s representing himself in his association with the party. And who knows, maybe he’ll actually learn and improve from the criticism. I doubt it, but it could happen.===

    THAT.

    And he said… about LP party members… that those who don’t support them need him to take roach spray to them.

  39. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Whether those things automatically make you a ‘better’ Libertarian or not===

    Not “automatically” but they are a good sign. In that respect I am a cowardly libertarian.

  40. langa

    To each his/her own, but personally, there’s no chance in hell I would vote for someone who openly mocks and ridicules the NAP. Even Barr didn’t do that.

  41. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie,

    ==If you take all of it 100% seriously that tends to burn people out.==

    I half-joked to our Chair a few days ago that she had better use me while she can because I can see myself getting burned out in a few years. I hope that isn’t the case.

    But my nature is put my whole being in to things. If I don’t do that, it isn’t worth me sacrificing for. So once the Petersens stop pissing me off, I will be out.

  42. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==To each his/her own, but personally, there’s no chance in hell I would vote for someone who openly mocks and ridicules the NAP. Even Barr didn’t do that.==

    It isn’t even just that. He has stated if YOU hold to the NAP, you are not a libertarian.

  43. Andy Craig

    “Not “automatically” but they are a good sign. In that respect I am a cowardly libertarian.”

    I think to call libertarians who don’t engage in those particular brands of civil disobedience, “cowardly” is very mistaken. More a sign of 1) being rational 2) having something to lose, neither of which are negatives or makes one less of a libertarian. While I sympathize with (some or most of) the arguments being made on the issues referenced, I wouldn’t *encourage* anybody to deliberately go out and break the law and dare the state to punish them for it, nor condemn them for not doing so. The particular examples Andy cited of Badnarik are, I think, also high-risk for little-to-no payoff in terms of impacting public opinion and thus ultimately effecting change. YMMV, but I don’t see Badnarik’s personal actions getting us any closer to abolition of either the income tax or licensing of drivers (/government ownership of roads).

    But, if somebody wants to engage in civil disobedience because that’s their personal calling and that’s the weight they place on staying true to their beliefs, I’m not saying they’re wrong or there’s anything un-respectable about that. There’s certainly a role for that sort of thing in the broader movement. But refusing to have a drivers license or refusing to comply with the income tax is not a productive thing for our *presidential candidate* to be engaged in. Neither is that effective at winning over libertarian voters, much less making an impact on the general public.

  44. Andy

    Andy Craig: “I think to call libertarians who don’t engage in those particular brands of civil disobedience, ‘cowardly’ is very mistaken.”

    Most people, including most libertarians apparently, are cowards. There are more than enough people in this country who are not happy with what the government is doing where a stop could be put to it pretty quickly, if a critical mass of the population simply stopped complying.

    Many people know that the government is corrupt, but they do not have the will to do anything about it.

  45. Andy

    Andy Craig said: ” But refusing to have a drivers license or refusing to comply with the income tax is not a productive thing for our *presidential candidate* to be engaged in. ”

    I think that it is a lot more productive than having a candidate for President who thinks that the Fair Tax plan should be adopted into law.

  46. Andy Craig

    “I think that it is a lot more productive than having a candidate for President who thinks that the Fair Tax plan should be adopted into law.”

    The voters seem to disagree.

  47. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==The voters seem to disagree.==

    So what? The “voters” want theft. That isn’t an argument. It is a statement of unfortunate reality but so ?

  48. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy.

    ==I think that it is a lot more productive than having a candidate for President who thinks that the Fair Tax plan should be adopted into law.==

    Ten thousand times YES.

  49. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    ===Most people, including most libertarians apparently, are cowards. There are more than enough people in this country who are not happy with what the government is doing where a stop could be put to it pretty quickly, if a critical mass of the population simply stopped complying.

    Many people know that the government is corrupt, but they do not have the will to do anything about it.==

    YES. And I didn’t call everyone a coward. I called myself a coward. I can only speak for myself. I wish I had more strength of my convictions. But I am not willing to risk so much. Part of that is that I have a husband and comfortable life. I could imagine if my situation were different, I would have the courage. I have had a lot of courage in my past. I come from some terrifying situations in my past. I probably shouldn’t be alive. I have been terrified but done a lot of things. Courage isn’t not being scared. It is being scared and doing it anyway.

  50. Andy Craig

    “So what? The “voters” want theft. That isn’t an argument. It is a statement of unfortunate reality but so ?”

    If it doesn’t matter how many votes we get, if there’s no difference between our ticket getting 1.2 million votes and getting less than 400k votes, then there’s no reason to put up a candidate at all. Johnson’s supposed heresy on tax reform has been wildly distorted and blown out of proportion by his critics, but even granting that it’s a demerit against him, he was still a more “productive” and “effective” nominee of the Libertarian Party for President than Badnarik was in 2004. That’s true by just about any measure you could point to, including the one that counts the most and serves as a decent proxy for all the rest, which is vote total.

    I’m not saying something is right because voters want it, or that we should take a position just because it’s more popular, I’m saying ability to appeal to voters is valid grounds on which to judge a Libertarian candidate. Not the only way, but a valid and important one.

  51. Andy Craig

    Valuing your well-being and that of your loved ones is not cowardice. Self-sacrifice is not the same thing as courage. That’s the wrong dichotomy to evaluate that decision in.

  52. langa

    If it doesn’t matter how many votes we get, if there’s no difference between our ticket getting 1.2 million votes and getting less than 400k votes, then there’s no reason to put up a candidate at all. Johnson’s supposed heresy on tax reform has been wildly distorted and blown out of proportion by his critics, but even granting that it’s a demerit against him, he was still a more “productive” and “effective” nominee of the Libertarian Party for President than Badnarik was in 2004. That’s true by just about any measure you could point to, including the one that counts the most and serves as a decent proxy for all the rest, which is vote total.

    I disagree that vote total is the best measure of how “productive” or “effective” an LP campaign is. The whole point of an LP campaign is to do things that contribute to making the world more libertarian (e.g. educating people about libertarian principles and showing how those principles can be applied to important issues).

    If the LP were to nominate Trump (assuming he’s not the GOP nominee), it would almost certainly result in the highest vote total in the history of the party, but I hardly think it would qualify as a “productive” or “effective” campaign, since it would do absolutely nothing to make the world more libertarian.

    The same applies to Johnson. To the extent that his high vote totals are due to non-libertarian positions (e.g. the Fair Tax), they are not signs of success, but of failure.

  53. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Badnarik was a self-described Constitutionalist. But I also recall him saying, at the 2004 national convention, that the LP platform would be his campaign platform. Do I remember incorrectly?

  54. Steve Scheetz

    So we are clear.

    Some here believe that we should advocate those things that we philosophically are against, because the voters want it.

    This is the same sort of argument that brought us candidates like Bob Barr, and it is the same sort of argument that waters down the Libertarian Philosophy to the general public. There are many people who are in dire need of candidates willing to take hard lines against the ludicrously oppressive issues, and at the very least, be willing to spell out what Libertarianism is about.

    Moderating the stand will get us more votes in the short term, but it will also make us look weak on everything. Why vote for a Libertarian who is interested in continuing to meddle in the affairs of other nations when it is possible to vote for a Republican or Democrat candidate who will do those same things? Why vote for a Libertarian who is for Taxes when it is possible to vote for a major party candidate who is for taxes? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR17nyXMQEU This is Gary Johnson saying it, not me.. He wants government to regulate and tax marijuana….. While it is unclear what he intends to do to those growing it in their back yards, the idea of government regulation, at least historically, spells out what this would entail.

    Michael was Radical. Some may disagree with some of the specifics, but he did a better job of defining why he was interested in replacing the income tax with nothing. He uses his civil disobedience in his explanation of why he does not need a drivers license, and he is VERY enthusiastic about self defense.

    Basically, Michael used his candidacy to educate the people regarding what could be. Gary Johnson uses his candidacy to demonstrate that he is more of a liberty leaning republican, particularly when he makes statements that amount to him wanting to make government better as by only interfering in certain places around the world, or that government should be more fair with its taxation, or that government should be in charge of marijuana (Because the Liquor Control Board is a shining example of what is best with government regulation)

    So again. We could be out for votes, continuing with candidates like Barr or Johnson, (agreed that Johnson was/is a much better candidate than was Barr) or we could clearly separate ourselves from the other politicians in the field. Obviously, I prefer the more radical approach because a longer leash is still a leash just like a more comfortable yoke is still a yoke.

    Something to think about.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  55. Robert Capozzi

    pf: The sense in which Robert (I think) meant practical vs philosophical is different, I believe, than what you are talking about. You are talking about nuts and bolts campaign functioning; he is talking about a fantasy scenario where all that stuff just takes care of itself and Johnson’s prior experience and policy proposals just magically elevate him to Perot-level status.

    me: Not quite. I was talking about how the candidates were positioned and marketed.
    GJ was positioned as the fed-up former guv, former R who was gently but firmly throwing idea bombs at the establishment from the edge of the edge. MB was way out on the fringes making articulate, Ivory Tower points by a non-pol, non-academic, complete unknown.

    AJ: I think that Gary Johnson’s weed industry connection would actually help him get more votes if anything.
    AC: I think it’s a wash. It probably doesn’t get him any votes he wouldn’t already get for being a long-time outspoken legalization advocate, nor does it lose him any votes he wouldn’t already lose for the same reason.

    me: Both are possible. It strikes me that it’s one thing to be for weed legalization, another thing to be a purveyor of weed. He now has a vested interest in relegalization, and my guess is the issue becomes a bigger part of his positioning should he run in 16. It already IS a bigger part of his pre-campaign. I stand by my take that it more caps him than helps him, but we’ll never know for sure which it is if he gets the +/-1% result, should he run.

    I suspect that at this stage, having smoked is not disqualifying for most, but being positioned as a pot-head MIGHT hurt his vote totals if he has the chance of breaking, say, 5%. But if he gets, say, 2mm votes, it might actually help him with current smokers who otherwise might not vote or might have voted (slightly more likely) D, as Hill is SO establishment (in some ways). (Now if the rumors that she is either lesbian or bi-sexual become widely reported sometime after the conventions, this could be the single ugliest election of all time.) (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

    My goodness, though, if it’s Trump v Clinton, I have to wonder whether ’16 might be the single greatest opportunity for an L candidate to actually make a showing above the margin of error and not just statistical dust.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    “[Johnson] was still a more ‘productive’ and ‘effective’ nominee of the Libertarian Party for President than Badnarik was in 2004. That’s true by just about any measure you could point to, including the one that counts the most and serves as a decent proxy for all the rest, which is vote total.”

    I disagree that vote total is a plausible proxy for other measures, given the exceedingly tiny range within which every LP presidential candidate ever have performed. So I’d be interested in actually seeing some other measures “pointed to,” if they can be proven.

    My own opinion is that if we look at things from a long-term perspective — not just immediate vote totals but effect on how the LP is seen by prospective supporters — Badnarik represented the LP well in just about every respect, while Johnson was a (fairly minor) political fail and a (fairly mild) ideological embarrassment; not as bad as Barr, but certainly nothing to brag about.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    ss: Moderating the stand will get us more votes in the short term, but it will also make us look weak on everything.

    me: Look “weak” to whom? I suspect to most, it is “weak” to advocate things that are not going to happen in the foreseeable future. It comes across as delusional and weak-willed, a form of avoidant self-sabotage.

    Engaging the body politic where they are seems to me the more courageous stance, but it takes politics seriously, and therefore most voters, excluding the few who share in the delusion. Playing an obscure parlor game comes across as quite weak.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Playing an obscure parlor game comes across as quite weak.”

    “Obscure parlor game” is the best description I’ve seen yet of the whole “yeah, we’re kinda sorta like the other guys only not quite exactly, you should vote for our developing record of re-treading and nominating their discards” approach.

  59. Joe Wendt

    Right now, I am learning towards either Feldman or Perry, but I am open to hearing more from Petersen.

  60. George Phillies

    Root’s Teeth: “campaign platform” is a reference to something in the period bylaws, a requirement on Presidential candidates at the time, that you announce on what issues you will be running.

    Badnarik’s position on Driver’s Licenses is explained in his book. It was based on a transparently bad reading of an actual Texas Court case, in which the accused was charged with operating without a Driver’s License, the accused said ‘no such law; I must be charged with a crime”, and went on to point out that the Texas Legal requirement is for an “Operator’s License” which the accused had not been charged with not possessing. On adequate appeal, the accused won.

  61. Andy Craig

    @TLK

    “”So I’d be interested in actually seeing some other measures “pointed to,” if they can be proven.””

    Amount and quality of campaign materials; amount of media coverage’ growth of the party in subsequent mid-term elections; net contributions to the campaign.

    What can’t be proven, is the pure-opinion assertion that Badnarik was somehow better ideologically. Which if that’s somebody’s opinion they’re entitled to it, but it doesn’t make Badnarik the more effective nominee by any objective measure.

    “I disagree that vote total is the best measure of how “productive” or “effective” an LP campaign is. The whole point of an LP campaign is to do things that contribute to making the world more libertarian (e.g. educating people about libertarian principles and showing how those principles can be applied to important issues).”

    And earning a larger number of votes is necessary, if not by itself sufficient, to do that. If a candidate didn’t earn votes, there’s not much case to be made that they reached people. There are other considerations, that’s true, but if a candidate isn’t in it to get as many votes as they can for the Libertarian ticket;– why are they running? Just so they can use the soapbox of being the nominee to lecture other Libertarians about what “real” libertarianism is in their estimation? That’s not their job, and doesn’t help us.

    @langa

    “If the LP were to nominate Trump (assuming he’s not the GOP nominee), it would almost certainly result in the highest vote total in the history of the party, but I hardly think it would qualify as a “productive” or “effective” campaign, since it would do absolutely nothing to make the world more libertarian.”

    Sure, the party gains nothing by nominating a non-libertarian who can get votes. But that’s beside the point, because neither of the candidates we were discussing are non-libertarians.

    “The same applies to Johnson. To the extent that his high vote totals are due to non-libertarian positions (e.g. the Fair Tax), they are not signs of success, but of failure.”

    I don’t even agree that his positions cited are non-libertarian, much less that they’re in the same ballpark as somebody like Trump, or even a Ventura or Barr. I’ve seen in my own state party that Johnson’s tax plank gets at least as much support from Libertarians as it does criticism (IPR commenters are not exactly representative of the party as a whole). Compared to past nominees, ideologically, Johnson is quite firmly in the middle of the pack. He is hardly the first nominee to advocate incrementalist or pragmatic planks that irked the radical-purists in the party. Most have, in some form or another. Nor are the candidates such folks latch onto as the alternative, always as radically or purely libertarian as their defenders paint them as. Which goes back to my original point, “more radical” and “more libertarian” are not the same thing.

  62. Andy Craig

    “not just immediate vote totals but effect on how the LP is seen by prospective supporters”

    I think you’re vastly overstating the degree to which Badnarik even reached prospective supporters, and how positive or serious an impression he made on them.

    Badnarik was widely cited by many in the lowercase-l movement as evidence of the LP being even more of a joke than usual. Pretty much his only qualification, was that he could look and sound somewhat Presidential when he wore a suit and gave a speech (which, to be fair, is a not-bad trait to have). Beyond that he’s best known, if known at all, for being the itinerant lecturer who lived in his car, whose quasi-legalistic views veered towards sovereign-citizen kookiness, who dragged the LP into the perception that we’re a 9/11 CT party, and whose main campaign highlight was getting arrested at the debates.

    I’m not saying that’s all he did, and those closer to his campaign and the party no doubt saw more, and better, I’m sure he conducted a lot of interviews and events, and that’s great, and I don’t doubt his sincerity. But the other 99.6% of the country never heard him. He, at best, rallied our base (which is one of the nominee’s jobs), but he didn’t expand it. He didn’t even do that good a job of getting libertarians to vote Libertarian, which is the first thing we have to accomplish before we can even try to get the rest of America to vote Libertarian.

  63. George Phillies

    Andy Craig: Your general theme, getting the message out matters, is very good. Badnarik’s campaign staff needed from the National Convention to the Labor Day weekend to convince the campaign manager, who by contract with the LNC Badnarik was obliged to keep, that he should have a volunteer effort and volunteer coordinator. The folks handling the internet outreach reported that the campaign top management did not believe that the internet would be important in politics until future election cycles. Badnarik had little interest in his campaign machinery other than it got him to places where he could speak.

    Barr spent very little money on advertising. In my opinion, his operations were a scampaign, not a campaign. Not that he recently shut down his campaign committee, leaving substantial debts unpaid.

    Johnson spent most of his money on very very expensive campaign staff. He left large debts, nearly $1.4 million, behind him. He also made local organization and volunteer work nearly impossible. State volunteer coordinators could not find out who their volunteers were, and could only communicate with then via the national HQ, which took days or more to transmit messages.
    In terms of party growth, Johnson’s campaign was a total, complete, and absolute failure. National Party membership counts at the ends of 2011, 2012, and 2013 were13468, 13749, and 13670, respectively. We see that the 2012 Presidential campaign had absolutely no significant effect on membership numbers.

    If Johnson campaign vote counts were better than usual, it was that Obama was African-American, and unacceptable to a certain section of the population, Romney was a Massachusetts liberal Republican who sold poorly, and other third party campaigns were not very strong.

  64. Steve Scheetz

    Robert Capozzi: Look “weak” to whom? I suspect to most, it is “weak” to advocate things that are not going to happen in the foreseeable future. It comes across as delusional and weak-willed, a form of avoidant self-sabotage.

    Well, again, the LP tried it your way to “Engaging the body politic where they are seems to me the more courageous stance, but it takes politics seriously, and therefore most voters,”

    It was done with Bob Barr, and Gary Johnson. Where exactly did it get the party? Nowhere. The party does not have more members as a result, nor does it have more money as a result. GJ did a much better job than Bob Barr, and frankly played better given that his positions were much better than Bob Barr’s, but seriously, that is a very low barr….. (couldn’t resist)

    So to answer the question, look weak to Libertarians, and look no different from the the D’s and R’s who are much better established. Why would anyone change from their original place within the big parties, trying to change from within, if the third parties are no real alternative?

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  65. Robert Capozzi

    tk: “Obscure parlor game” is the best description I’ve seen yet of the whole “yeah, we’re kinda sorta like the other guys only not quite exactly, you should vote for our developing record of re-treading and nominating their discards” approach.

    me: Thanks, but I was not referring to what you do, which I’ve never seen evidence of. GJ used terms like “very conservative on economics and very liberal on social issues.” That may in your mind not be differentiation enough, but it certainly differentiates his approach to the Rs and Ds for me and probably most of the pop.

    I’ve indicated that I am not a fan of that rhetoric in execution but support it in sentiment.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    ss: The party does not have more members as a result, nor does it have more money as a result.

    me: Correlation does not necessarily mean causation. In my case, I lapsed because it crystallized in my mind that there is no cult of the omnipotent state and the NAP is mere sentiment rather than principle. I’d hoped that these vestiges of well-meaning but misguided 20 year olds might be ignorable in order to do real L politics, but as of now I see no evidence that that’s the case.

    There’s also the RP1 phenomenon, which may have gotten Ls to join the GOP. There’s also the deep dysfunction in L thought that exhausts many NAPsters and non-NAPster Ls. There’s also weak economic times, which tightens up discretionary and charitable spending.

    The truth, though, is the LP’s membership has always been small, along with its vote totals. Nearly 45 years of selling and few are buying.

    Some might take that result and reconsider the product. Others feel that staying the course is the wisest path.

    I advocate the former.

  67. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==Valuing your well-being and that of your loved ones is not cowardice. Self-sacrifice is not the same thing as courage. That’s the wrong dichotomy to evaluate that decision in.==

    No offense to you since I am speaking of myself as well, but that is generally how we justify ourselves.

    I know this. I have spoken to a few non-Libertarians who say they don’t buy the Party rhetoric because WE obviously don’t buy it. If we really believed this sh*t, we would do a whole lot more. The way he described it was as being unwilling to sample our own wares. While this particular guy was an obnoxious tweaker, there was a kernel of truth there. Not the entire truth, but a kernel. Of course he was arguing that we would necessarily turn violent, which to a pacificist was really barking up the wrong tree, but I do think we *should* see much more CD. Since I don’t think it is a failure of principles, I see it as a failure of fortitude. And my criticism applies to me. Because I am the only person I can speak for.

  68. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==He is hardly the first nominee to advocate incrementalist or pragmatic planks that irked the radical-purists in the party. ===

    This is a chestnut that is a bit old Andy. At least the radical-purists I run with are actually more practically in favour of incrementalism than the alleged incrementalists. IF it is an increment that actually moves us to liberty. If I didn’t believe in increments, I would not be involved. That is the only way the political means will work.

    This statement by Clayton Hunt is one of the best summaries I have seen regarding the radical/purist position on incrementalism:

    ==The thing is, we should be okay with incrementalism in practice, if the increment actually lowers the amount of government, and does not replace it, but radical in our message and are statements of our goals, because if we incrementalize our goal, we already have cut ourselves short before we’ve even taken action===

    I freakin’ love those kinds of increments. Throw increments at me all the time.

    And from the “Radical Caucus” key points…. a radical/purist group:

    ==Simply repeating our basic principles and not proposing transition measures is ineffective in the short run because only a small part of the populace is interested in liberty in the abstract, and hiding or abandoning our principled positions is ineffective in the long run because it fails to sustain us as a movement and attract and retain new Libertarians.====

    We favour transition (increments!).

    I really wish the active party radical Libertarians were not represented differently than they profess.

    NOW… what usually is the case is that we don’t like a particular increment because we disagree that it actually advances liberty. That is different than being opposed to increments.

  69. Robert Capozzi

    cah: We favour transition (increments!).

    me: Yes, MNR made that clear enough in his Epistles. However, he felt that it was “honest” to state his goal (abolition and nonarchy) with a grudging willingness to accept transitions for practical, non-dislocative reasons.

    This was an odd, unconventional negotiating approach. It’s like walking into a Mercedes dealership offering 1 penny for a Benz knowing that the dealership would not sell it for less that $60K.

    Is holding high the banner of abolition with the willingness to accept transitions effective politics? It might be, but I’ve seen no evidence that it is so.

  70. Andy Craig

    ” Badnarik had little interest in his campaign machinery other than it got him to places where he could speak.”

    That sums up my general impression.

    “National Party membership counts… ”

    Are the responsibility of the National Party, not the presidential nominee. The fact that formal membership has declined or stagnated, while other measures like vote totals and number of candidates and ballot access have improved, says more about the membership model than any overall trend of the health of the party. The only time national membership has spiked, has when when national made a dedicated membership drive outside of the presidential campaign. Otherwise, every nominee has been a “failure” by the standard you specify.

    “Johnson spent most of his money on very very expensive campaign staff. He left large debts, nearly $1.4 million, behind him”

    Setting aside the misrepresentation in this talking point, which has been explained to you so many time I won’t bother trying again: so what? Why, exactly, should I as a Libertarian Party member and voter care if the presidential nominee takes on a campaign debt? It’s not my debt, it’s not the party’s debt. If anything, it’s a risk and an obligation that was taken on to our benefit. That’s assuming we’re talking about more than just paper debts, which is the largest bulk of the figure you like to cite.

    “He also made local organization and volunteer work nearly impossible. State volunteer coordinators could not find out who their volunteers were, and could only communicate with then via the national HQ, which took days or more to transmit messages.”

    I wasn’t as involved in 2012, but this is not at all an accurate description of what I’ve seen in OAI in the past couple of years.

    “”If Johnson campaign vote counts were better than usual, it was that Obama was African-American, and unacceptable to a certain section of the population, Romney was a Massachusetts liberal Republican who sold poorly, and other third party campaigns were not very strong.””

    ‘Because Obama was black!” has to be the most grasping-at-straws excuse I’ve heard yet for why Gary Johnson’s vote total was the doing of anybody and everybody except Gary Johnson

  71. Andy Craig

    “NOW… what usually is the case is that we don’t like a particular increment because we disagree that it actually advances liberty. That is different than being opposed to increments.”

    I didn’t say that wasn’t the dispute, just that similar disputes along similar lines have been had before with past nominees. Whatever your position, the debate has been between “this is an acceptable incremental improvement” and those saying “no it’s not, it violates our principles.”

    I take the former view on this particular question, but either way this type of debate is far from unprecedented. Every nominee, justified or not, has faced similar complaints and accusations. There’s not much new about it with Johnson and those who make hay out of the FairTax. Ron Paul was pro-life; Ed Clark said ‘lox-tax liberalism’; right or wrong, the nominee has *always* deviated somewhat from the more radical interpretations of the platform, and has *always* taken some flak from party insiders that they’re selling out for votes when they do so. It’s the nature of the job, to walk that line.

  72. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    Well then we agree that radicals do not oppose transition/increments. Which was my point. We don’t. It gets tiring to be represented that we do oppose such things. A few lone ones might, but as a rule, as a group, we don’t. There would be no point to being involved in political action if we did. Overnight change is the mantra of violent revolutionaries, not political activists.

  73. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==I didn’t say that wasn’t the dispute===

    Not outright, but it was implied, and I wanted to clear it up.

    ==Whatever your position, the debate has been between “this is an acceptable incremental improvement” and those saying “no it’s not, it violates our principles.”===

    Correct. So the opposition isn’t to incrementalism…. but to that particular increment. Not all increments are created equally.

    I deviate from the Platform, but openly say when I do. Our Platform is not pro-life. I am. Our Platform leaves open the possibility that a minimal state is justified. I don’t. But I can accept one as the best possible outcome achievable.

  74. George Phillies

    If you don’t think that the other candidates had an effect on Johnson’s vote counts, you are out of touch with reality. If you don’t think that Obama’s race and Romney’s liberal by Republican standards reputation had an effect on the election, you are even more out of touch than that. There is actual exit polling data on Obama and Romney.

    The Presidential campaign is our one chance in four years to reach out to the American people and build a stronger party. Presidential candidates who think that building stronger Libertarian parties is not a major part of what they should be doing are totally worthless. A Presidential candidate who leave huge debts behind him leaves a message, namely that Libertarians are profligate wastrels.

    I expect Johnson’s mouthpieces on this list to keep spreading their lies about why Johnson;s spending patterns do not matter.

  75. Andy Craig

    “So the opposition isn’t to incrementalism…. but to that particular increment. ”

    It’s a mixture, I don’t think you can make any absolute general statement about a category so vaguely defined as “radicals” or “purists,” Some, who tend to be the more thoughtful and dare-I-say-it pragmatic ones, take the position your outlined, that it’s not a problem with incremental measures per se, but they have to be subject to a high standard for actually moving in the right direction. Others, absolutely do oppose incrementalism per se, and advocacy of anything short of complete and instant abolitionism., and oppose the notion that real-world political viability or practicality should have any bearing on what we advocate in our electoral politics. As an example of this I would cite Kokesh 2020, and his pledge to instantly and literally abolish the U.S. government on Inauguration Day, and that anything short of that makes you a LINO.

    You can see this is another recent intra-libertarian spat, over marriage equality. There weren’t many libertarians arguing that it wasn’t an incremental improvement (though some did)– that is, few libertarians were defending bans on same-sex marriage as affirmatively preferable to what we have now- but there were a somewhat substantial minority saying we shouldn’t endorse it anyway because we should hold out for the more radically perfect (and unlikely) libertarian reform instead.

    In practice, nobody in the party is at either extreme, absolute end of the spectrum we reference when we talk about “purists” and “radicals” vs. “moderates” and “pragmatists.” We are all radicals, we are all pragmatists, to paraphrase Jefferson.

  76. Andy

    Andy Craig said: “Are the responsibility of the National Party, not the presidential nominee.”

    This is very poor strategic thinking. A good Libertarian Party candidate for President will inspire people to join the party, and to become Libertarian activists.

  77. Andy Craig

    “If you don’t think that the other candidates had an effect on Johnson’s vote counts, you are out of touch with reality”

    What a load of easily-debunked tripe, with simple reference to 2008. Even take all together, there was no spike in third-party voters that year. Of course we know there were people who voted against Obama because of race– and they voted Republican, in both elections. Not third-party.

    “The Presidential campaign is our one chance in four years to reach out to the American people and build a stronger party. Presidential candidates who think that building stronger Libertarian parties is not a major part of what they should be doing are totally worthless.”

    Presidential candidates who think their job is to serve the Party rather than run for President, tend not to do a good job at either. It’s not some kind of mutually exclusive choice. If a candidate isn’t out there reaching enough voters to actually win some of them, they aren’t building the party either.

    To deny that Gary Johnson brought people into the LP, that that we haven’t seen several state parties revived by his ability to bring in new (and younger) members, is what’s out of touch with reality, as is blaming the Presidential nominee for not waving a magic wand and making the LP into a major-party overnight.

    “I expect Johnson’s mouthpieces on this list to keep spreading their lies about why Johnson;s spending patterns do not matter.”

    It’s quite impressive to simultaneously lie and accuse others of lying in the same sentence. It’s also the perfect demonstration of why your own obsessive misrepresntations aren’t worth continuing to rebut time and time again, no matter how many times you repeat them and stamp your feet and insist anybody should care.

    “A Presidential candidate who leave huge debts behind him leaves a message, namely that Libertarians are profligate wastrels.”

    Which is so much better than our reputation given to us by the legacy of those who’ve run the party and its state affiliates for decades, which is that of a party that doesn’t accomplish anything, doesn’t take itself seriously, and is an electoral joke. Or, to put a finer point on it, a party that’s afraid to get too many votes because then it’ll be too hard on them to have regular party status in their state.

    Even granting the (untrue) premise that Johnson ran up some kind of wastefully irresponsible campaign debt, that’s his decision and his problem. Not mine, not yours, not the party’s, and there’s bupkis reason to think that any voters care about such things. The list of big-name politicians with outstanding presidential campaign debts from long ago, is quite long and boring and irrelevant. Even if voters should care (that’s not very obvious), there’s no indication that they do, or will.

  78. Andy Craig

    “This is very poor strategic thinking. A good Libertarian Party candidate for President will inspire people to join the party, and to become Libertarian activists.”

    I didn’t deny that, I said saying a candidate can do that while *not* also reaching enough people to increase their vote total, is implausible. People brought into the party because of a candidate, are a subset of those who at least *voted* for the party because of a candidate. So it’s a mistake, and poor strategic thinking, to hold those two goals up as if we had to make some kind of choice between them.

  79. Matt Cholko

    Sometimes I wonder what planet you’re living on, Capozzi. In my experience, Ls ignore the SoP whenever they want. They ignore platform planks whenever they want. Few people even bother to mention it when they do. So, I don’t buy that the SoP causes problems for anyone except you.

    As for this “deep dusfunction in L thought” that exhausts activists, I know of no such thing. In fact, outside of IPR and Facebook, I hear essentially zero talk about philosophy or “thought”. But, then, if the limit of one’s LP involvement is keyboard commando, blog lurker, or something similar, I guess it could appear that way.

  80. Nicholas Sarwark

    the nominee has *always* deviated somewhat from the more radical interpretations of the platform, and has *always* taken some flak from party insiders that they’re selling out for votes when they do so. It’s the nature of the job, to walk that line.

    This has been my observation during my time involved in the Libertarian Party.

  81. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==Others, absolutely do oppose incrementalism per se, and advocacy of anything short of complete and instant abolitionism., and oppose the notion that real-world political viability or practicality should have any bearing on what we advocate in our electoral politics. As an example of this I would cite Kokesh 2020==

    I thought I was clear in context but apparently not. I am limiting myself to LP members. Of course there are radicals and purists outside the party that are different. There is a reason I am in the Party and not part of that.

    I just am really tired of the oft-repeated painting of the Party radicals are being opposed to incrementalism. As a group (obviously there are individual exceptions), they are not.

    And when I say radical/purist whatever…. I am referring to people who self-identify that way. Like me. Or several others that comment on IPR. Or say, the members of the Radical Caucus.

  82. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Matt,

    ==Sometimes I wonder what planet you’re living on, Capozzi. ===

    As do we all. I think sometimes he cries into his teddy bear mumbling “cult of the omnipotent state…. cult of the omnipotent state…. “

  83. Caryn Ann Harlos

    On the marriage thing,

    ==but there were a somewhat substantial minority saying we shouldn’t endorse it anyway because we should hold out for the more radically perfect (and unlikely) libertarian reform instead.===

    I was part of the minority… but not that minority. It was in my eyes a lateral move and I ultimately thought that we should support it as moving a good number of people to have a freedom in choice that the rest of us enjoy but I was very much in favour of an entirely different way of messaging it. I didn’t see it as an unequivocal victory for “freedom” since it legitimized the states right to be involved. I feel the same way about pot legalization here in CO. Yes, a win, but not an unequivocal win for liberty…though certainly for those who are not now being put in cages. I think we completely dropped the ball in messaging on this and now pushing for license abolition is rarely mentioned and since we didn’t push that, we are going to look really bad in the wider gay community if we do because it will seem like now that they finally have this right, we want to take it away. Bad, fumbled messaging IMHO. And this is why holding aloft the banner of pure principle is important. YES support this recent decision while being very clear that this is not our goal. Yes, our Platform is clear… but the Party public messaging and machinery to me was not. We should be pushing like crazy right now to champion poly people. We should be pushing that hard, hard, hard. We should be pushing everything that will bring down the ridiculous licensing.

    Holding out wasn’t an option because real people had real lives with the partners of their choice that they needed to be able to get on with. But there are many poly people in this same boat, and we have left them behind. Or any other number of alternate families.

  84. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Oh and as an example…. right now one of the guys I support is Kerbel. He is NOT a radical, but I am good with his positions and think he is good for the Party. I also support Perry and that is on pretty openly radical grounds. But being some get-arrested-zealot is not the absolute precondition for me. I can get behind moderate candidates.

    And I mean zealot as a compliment to anyone who is. I love me a good zealot.

  85. Andy Craig

    “”I am limiting myself to LP members””

    The sort I was speaking of is not limited to non-members. I don’t think the distinction I mentioned, breaks down neatly along party-members-or-not lines. I can think of plenty of members who fit the bill, albeit a minority-within-a-minority.

    “”I just am really tired of the oft-repeated painting of the Party radicals are being opposed to incrementalism.””

    Then what would you describe their opponents as advocating? If radicals get to define what they’re pushing for strictly on their own terms, so too do the more moderate and pragmatists when they say what they’re advocating is more (and more effective) incrementalism and pragmatism, and that their position is not any “less” libertarian. That is the oft-repeated implication I was pushing back against, that those of us broadly speaking not in the radical camp are somehow “less libertarian” or “not libertarian enough” because we are willing to push for, and celebrate, actual policy victories wherever we can get them.

    “. But there are many poly people in this same boat, and we have left them behind. Or any other number of alternate families.”

    I didn’t see any Libertarians (much less the official party communications) throwing other groups under the bus like that, or walking back our position that you shouldn’t have to ask the state for permission in the first place. I don’t think there has been any shortage of advocating abolition of licensing, or saying any group of consenting individuals shouldn’t be able to have freedom of contract, association, and relationships as they see fit. I have, at most, see some make the point (which I endorse), that simply abolishing civil-marriage-as-it-now-exists in favor of putting marriage under contract-law-as-it-now-exists, might not necessarily be an improvement and in some ways could be worse in terms of allowing for state interference.

    For an example of how focus-on-privatizing-marriage done wrong, see Rand Paul’s reaction to Obergefell.

    “Holding out wasn’t an option because real people had real lives with the partners of their choice that they needed to be able to get on with. ”

    Which is also the case with school choice, and drug policy, and tax reform, and so many other topics. The pragmatist, incrementalist case is that there are real people whose lives are being ruined *right now* by these government policies which have significant public momentum in favor of changing them; people whom we could help and lives we could save by pushing for and supporting such things as vouchers, marijuana legalization, and tax simplification, and thereby also help get ourselves into the position where we can *effectively* push for greater libertarian changes.

    There are valid arguments about the risks with all those strategies, and any other, but the argument from the other side is that forgoing those victories in order to hold out in a purely-advocacy sow-the-seeds-of-future-decades role, is not the more principled thing to do, nor even more effective on its own terms. That the goal of having a libertarian political party is not *just* to go play plant-the-flag on where we hope society to be the better part of a century from now. And nobody, and no group of people, has a monopoly on being the One True Most Purely Radical Libertarian against which all others are to be measured. It’s begging the question, formally in the logical sense, because the debate is in part over what libertarianism is or isn’t, and thus what counts as “more” or “less” libertarian.

  86. Andy Craig

    Put another way, the LP is just as much the party for classical liberals as it is the party for anarcho-capitalists and the more radical minarchists. An upper-quadrant Nolan Chart big-tent party is all I’m advocating for, and I think that’s consistent with the vision and purposes for which the party was founded.

  87. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==The sort I was speaking of is not limited to non-members. I don’t think the distinction I mentioned, breaks down neatly along party-members-or-not lines. I can think of plenty of members who fit the bill, albeit a minority-within-a-minority. ==

    I cannot think of any offhand that fit that bill. And that is my “tribe” as it were. Perhaps I haven’t yet met them.

    ==Then what would you describe their opponents as advocating?===

    They are both advocating incrementalism.

    == If radicals get to define what they’re pushing for strictly on their own terms, so too do the more moderate and pragmatists when they say what they’re advocating is more (and more effective) incrementalism and pragmatism, and that their position is not any “less” libertarian.===

    I am sure they think their suggestions are more effective or they wouldn’t propose it. I did the “less libertarian” thing in another thread and don’t care to repeat it here and now. Perhaps some other time. That wasn’t my point in my posts.

    == That is the oft-repeated implication I was pushing back against, that those of us broadly speaking not in the radical camp are somehow “less libertarian” or “not libertarian enough” because we are willing to push for, and celebrate, actual policy victories wherever we can get them. ===

    That is framing it in a self-flattering way.. and I don’t wish to engage that. Because radicals do all that too. That is just such a highly slanted way to put things as if the others don’t do that too.

    ==I didn’t see any Libertarians (much less the official party communications) throwing other groups under the bus like that, or walking back our position that you shouldn’t have to ask the state for permission in the first place.===

    The principled position isn’t pushed. It is in the Platform. But generally not pushed from on high that I have seen– or perhaps my bias that it isn’t pushed enough is colouring my view. That is always possible. I see some State affiliates pushing it. And when it is on the National Page it is from shares from State affiliates. This should be a hugely banner issue for us IMHO. We should be hearing about it as much as we did about our Party’s position for the rights of gay folks to marry. I do not think any reasonable analysis can say we are talking about this as much as we did for that. Not even close. And forget getting the state out entirely….. let’s push for poly marriage. I have never seen any explicit push for that in any strength. Where are the press releases? The national memes? The speeches? If I missed them, educate me. I want to be wrong.

    == I don’t think there has been any shortage of advocating abolition of licensing, or saying any group of consenting individuals shouldn’t be able to have freedom of contract, association, and relationships as they see fit. I have, at most, see some make the point (which I endorse), that simply abolishing civil-marriage-as-it-now-exists in favor of putting marriage under contract-law-as-it-now-exists, might not necessarily be an improvement and in some ways could be worse in terms of allowing for state interference. ==

    Addressed in my comment above…. I do not see this as a banner issue now that we accomplished marriage rights for gay folks. As far as part two, well that is the difference there between moderates and radicals… but not going to get into that now.

    ==Which is also the case with school choice, and drug policy, and tax reform, and so many other topics. The pragmatist, incrementalist case is that there are real people whose lives are being ruined *right now* by these government policies which have significant public momentum in favor of changing them; people whom we could help and lives we could save by pushing for and supporting such things as vouchers, marijuana legalization, and tax simplification, and thereby also help get ourselves into the position where we can *effectively* push for greater libertarian changes.==

    And depending upon the issue, the radicals do not disagree. We disagree on which ones are actually more freedom and will help us to get to such a position. The disagreement isn’t over incrementalism. Which was my only point.

    ==There are valid arguments about the risks with all those strategies, and any other, but the argument from the other side is that forgoing those victories in order to hold out in a purely-advocacy sow-the-seeds-of-future-decades role, is not the more principled thing to do, nor even more effective on its own terms.===

    You know these phantom people. I do not.

    == That the goal of having a libertarian political party is not *just* to go play plant-the-flag on where we hope society to be the better part of a century from now. And nobody, and no group of people, has a monopoly on being the One True Most Purely Radical Libertarian against which all others are to be measured. It’s begging the question, formally in the logical sense, because the debate is in part over what libertarianism is or isn’t, and thus what counts as “more” or “less” libertarian.===

    And my argument was simply that the radicals do not oppose increments so the straw-manning isn’t relevant. I disagree most strenuously with your last sentence, but not my goal here. Still tired from the last debate on this.

    ==Put another way, the LP is just as much the party for classical liberals as it is the party for anarcho-capitalists and the more radical minarchists. An upper-quadrant Nolan Chart big-tent party is all I’m advocating for, and I think that’s consistent with the vision and purposes for which the party was founded.==

    This isn’t even what I was addressing… which was… radicals are not opposed to increments.

    I advocated for that in the other thread btw…. the quadrant implies there are positions more “north” than others. That is reality. The umbrella of libertarianism absolutely includes all of the above. I would state that our platform and SoP though denies the validity of most classical liberal ideas of the state. But no one has to adhere completely to either. I don’t.

  88. Steve Scheetz

    Robert Capozzi: Correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

    To what are you referring? the fact that nothing happened for the party with (according to you) such great nominees? I have a bridge to sell you.

    You are obviously free to believe whatever you wish, but I promise you this. If we do not do something to differentiate ourselves from other parties, we will not be seen as a legitimate choice. Ockham’s razor is applicable here. We don’t need to make excuses like “the economy was bad..” Bad for whom? I have had 4 really good years these past 4 years, and they keep improving. I know many other skilled people who are working and making money, most of them are “L”ibertarians. However, they will not use their discretionary funds on candidates who are Republican or Democrat lite, they want someone who is willing to stand up for our core principles, who do not see the NAP as more of a platitude.

    It is not hard, don’t take people’s stuff, and don’t interfere with their process providing they are not interfering with anyone else’s process or taking anyone else’s stuff.

    Robert, your notions truly have failed. “if we make them think that we are like them by having a candidate who is wishy washy like them, then they will vote for us because we are the lesser of 3 evils!”

    News flash: They are NOT voting for us. we can continue to spudder along, we can continue to not increase membership, OR, we can actually use a candidate who will make people think, who will make people begin to question the machine.

    I have been speaking with people who would really love to see Edward Snowden as a candidate. Is he qualified to serve? Of course not. Could he possibly win? of course not, but can Gary Johnson possibly win? We need only look at the historical record to answer that question, and having someone like Gary Johnson says nothing about Libertarianism other than the LP will sell out just like the two major parties.

    Truly, I am saddened if this is what you are looking for in a presidential candidate, because that line of thought has failed, and will continue to fail.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  89. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Here is a good metric, ask some poly people if they think the LP is advocating for their marriage rights to the same extent they advocated for gay marriage rights. I know some poly people. They don’t think so. Not even a little.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I think you’re vastly overstating the degree to which Badnarik even reached prospective supporters, and how positive or serious an impression he made on them.”

    Well, then you think wrong. There’s just not a whole lot of ROOM to overstate or understate such things, especially between candidates that have all performed within such a narrow range.

    I consider Badnarik’s campaign to have been a slight positive for the party because he worked his ass off and realized as much of his potential as possible. I consider Johnson’s campaign to have been a slight negative for the party because his campaign was, so far as I could tell, spendthrift welfare queenery that completely squandered what potential he had.

  91. Steve Scheetz

    Thomas, Agreed. Badnarik drove around the country, using his book’s sales to finance his campaign. He had absolutely NOTHING other than the shirt on his back, and whatever he could make. (I own one of those book copies, BTW)

    Frankly, I like Michael. We have disagreed on a few points, I seem to recall one 4th of July party where we were debating with Stefan Molyneux while watching fireworks over the Delaware river from the window of an apartment in an old cigar factory… good memories…

    Anyway, all things considered, he worked harder than any other candidate I have knowledge of. He worked with nothing but a belief in his beliefs. (it was not about ego with him, and anyone who watched those 2004 debates would most definitely know that!)

    Gary Johnson is a good dude. I met him in Columbus, and I like him! I am not convinced he is the best choice for presidential candidate, but I do like him personally, and that should count for something…

    Anyway, I am going to relax a bit because I have a meeting at 9 and then the work week starts at 4:45 Monday AM, so I am finished posting here for the evening. Cheers!

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  92. Andy Craig

    “”They are both advocating incrementalism.””

    Then by the same token, they are both advocating radicalism, and both labels fail at referring to any sort of meaningful category.

    “” I do not think any reasonable analysis can say we are talking about this as much as we did for that. Not even close.””

    Nor were talking about gay rights in the 1970s nearly as much as were in the 2000s. The fact that an issue is or isn’t a high-profile issue and the subject of current debate, isn’t something under the control of the LP. *Of course* we talk more about the issues that currently in the news, and gay marriage recently has been in a way that polygamy hasn’t. That we’re not talking about X enough, is something that can be raised for any issue. We’d appeal to more fiscal conservatives if we talked more about that, we’d appeal more to social liberals if we talked about those issues, etc., etc. The fact that we don’t make any given single-issue our “banner issue”, doesn’t mean we’re somehow slighting the people for whom it is their #1 issue, much less that we’ve abandoned our position on the topic.

    “”You know these phantom people. I do not.”

    Speaking of assertions that don’t merit engagement, I don’t appreciate the implication that I’m somehow making up what I’ve seen, in hundreds if not thousands of debates among Libertarians about just about every topic under the sun. You can play No True ScotsRadical all day long if you like, I’ve seen self-proclaimed radicals and self-described purists rant at great length against the very concept of incrementalism. It absolutely is an argument that’s made. Not very successfully, but it comes up all the time. It is not just some strawman, just because it might not be your position or even that of most “radicals” (however you define that loose, vague term.)

    If you think that’s just some fiction I came up with, so be it.

    You originally objected to an “implication” that was nothing more than me referring to both camps by their usual self-description. This has gone off on a tangent over whether those labels are accurate or not, but I was not originally implying what you think I was. It would be like making a reference to “pro-choice vs. pro-life” and getting ripped on about how whichever of those terms you don’t agree with shouldn’t be used because it isn’t correct.

    Of course most radicals think they’re not really opposing incrementalism per se, just like most on the other side don’t think they have any lack of radicalism per se. That had nothing to do with my original point, that these types of disputes argued along these same lines, have happened with every single LP nominee from Hospers to Johnson. For some of those, I’d personally have been on the side arguing that the nominee was deviating too far from the beliefs of our party’s members and what they agreed to support. But, this push-and-pull between radicals and moderates, or pragmatists, or incrementalists, or whatever it is I’m allowed to call them, is as old as the party itself, and is never going away.

    The idea of having a radical-enough-to-satisfy-everyone nominee is a chimera; and it would be just as divisive for a self-styled true-north ultra-radical to defeat a more pragmatic moderate, as it is for the (more common) reverse scenario. Just like some people will leave (or threaten to) because they perceive the nominee as insufficiently principled, some people will leave (or threaten to) because they perceive the LP’s choice of nominee as lacking seriousness of purpose or any concern for viability. At either end of the spectrum, we lose somebody to either no-voting radicalism, or to attempts to work within a major party. Those are the trade-offs we have to make.

    More-libertarian-than-thou candidates can rarely even make their case successfully to the party and its members, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you see very few (if any) of them on the lists of historical good results for major offices. Maybe that’s just me being horribly biased and unfair, but that’s part of why delegates to the LNC tend to reject them.

  93. Andy Craig

    “”Well, then you think wrong. There’s just not a whole lot of ROOM to overstate or understate such things, especially between candidates that have all performed within such a narrow range.””

    Badnarik and Johnson being at extreme opposite ends of that “narrow range.”

    “”I consider Badnarik’s campaign to have been a slight positive for the party because he worked his ass off and realized as much of his potential as possible. I consider Johnson’s campaign to have been a slight negative for the party because his campaign was, so far as I could tell, spendthrift welfare queenery that completely squandered what potential he had.””

    Well, then you think wrong, as somebody might say.

    And even if that was an accurate assessment, it’s implicitly conceding that Johnson is only ‘disappointing’ in comparison to having had vastly more potential than Badnarik ever could have. Would you rather have a candidate who had the “potential” to get 5 million votes and instead got 1 million, or the candidate who had the “potential” to get 600k votes and got 400k of them? The latter may have better lived up to his potential, and still not be a better candidate.

  94. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Would you rather have a candidate who had the ‘potential’ to get 5 million votes and instead got 1 million, or the candidate who had the ‘potential’ to get 600k votes and got 400k of them? The latter may have better lived up to his potential, and still not be a better candidate.”

    Wow. Do you live in the real world even a little bit of the time?

  95. Andy Craig

    The “real [sic] world” where our best choice is to nominate NOTA in 2016, and where there’s no substantial difference between our 2004 and 2012 results? No, I’m more than happy to let you have that place to yourself, and report back to the rest of us on it as you see fit.

  96. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Well, that wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t for the fact that you want to take the party WITH you into your utopian fantasies where the difference between 0.5% and 1.5% is (cue Trump voice) huuuuuuuuge, and it matters not at all how that difference is achieved.

  97. Andy Craig

    Concern about defending the welfare of the party from delusional fantasies, from the man who thinks the ideal number of votes for our 2016 ticket is “zero.” If that’s your opinion, then yes, tripling our vote total probably doesn’t mean anything to you.

    Nor did I ever say it “matters not” how higher vote totals are achieved. I think nominating Jesse Ventura or Donald Trump would almost certainly get us more votes than nominating Mary Ruwart or Darryl Perry, and maybe even Gary Johnson, but I’m not advocating that we do that either.

    What I am advocating against, is the absurd nihilism that says *it doesn’t matter* what the general electorate (or as some would have it, even significant chunks of the party) thinks about a candidate. That we should *reject as a consideration* whether or not a candidate has any hope of running a general election campaign that makes an impact. That cramming their nose into the furthest corner of the Nolan Chart, is all that matters.

  98. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==Then by the same token, they are both advocating radicalism, and both labels fail at referring to any sort of meaningful category.==

    That is not even remotely logical. Wow. No… they are both promoting increments, though they may differ in which ones they advocate; the way in which they advocated; the extent of the increment; etc. This is a far cry from opposing increments. This odd black and white thinking makes me think this is not an entirely rational argument. (and any libertarian— to the outside world— is a radical, so there is truth to that as well)

    ==Nor were talking about gay rights in the 1970s nearly as much as were in the 2000s. The fact that an issue is or isn’t a high-profile issue and the subject of current debate, isn’t something under the control of the LP. *Of course* we talk more about the issues that currently in the news, and gay marriage recently has been in a way that polygamy hasn’t. That we’re not talking about X enough, is something that can be raised for any issue.===

    We just had success on this issue. We should be striking further. But instead we rest on our laurels. No it can’t be raised for any issue because we haven’t won a major victory like this… except pot legalization, and I have the same criticism in that area, that we should be pushing for more legalization.

    ==Speaking of assertions that don’t merit engagement, I don’t appreciate the implication that I’m somehow making up what I’ve seen, in hundreds if not thousands of debates among Libertarians about just about every topic under the sun.===

    I didn’t mean to imply you made them up. I meant to say that to me they are nonexistent. I did explicitly say that perhaps I just haven’t met them *yet.* And considering that I belong to groups organized around this theme of radical libertarianism…. I would think if they were a serious factor, they would be present. I am not talking about some lone nut here or there. No matter what screwy thing we come up with, someone believes it. We are talking about a collective generalization about a group. That we oppose incrementalism. We don’t. That. Is. Simply. Not. Generally. True.

    == You can play No True ScotsRadical all day long if you like, I’ve seen self-proclaimed radicals and self-described purists rant at great length against the very concept of incrementalism.===

    And as far as Party people, I haven’t. Outside the Party, a great deal. It isn’t a NTS fallacy since I didn’t say that they couldn’t or they wouldn’t. They very easily could. They very easily could say they longed for Rothbard’s button. I am speaking of the majority, the activists that are actually doing stuff, and you did not represent them AFAIC properly. They do not oppose incrementalism. If the flipping’ Radical Caucus isn’t representative (even if you want to discount them and say they are just a small segment of radicals… though you already conceded you are taking about a minority of a minority and using that to define the WHOLE) then I don’t know what is.

    Skipping stuff that is a repeat and already addressed.

    ==But, this push-and-pull between radicals and moderates, or pragmatists, or incrementalists, or whatever it is I’m allowed to call them, is as old as the party itself, and is never going away.==

    And no one said differently. Asking to not be misrepresented isn’t a big thing to ask.

    ==The idea of having a radical-enough-to-satisfy-everyone nominee is a chimera; and it would be just as divisive for a self-styled true-north ultra-radical to defeat a more pragmatic moderate, as it is for the (more common) reverse scenario. Just like some people will leave (or threaten to) because they perceive the nominee as insufficiently principled, some people will leave (or threaten to) because they perceive the LP’s choice of nominee as lacking seriousness of purpose or any concern for viability. At either end of the spectrum, we lose somebody to either no-voting radicalism, or to attempts to work within a major party. Those are the trade-offs we have to make.==

    And none of that was an argument I was making. I might make it at some time, but I wasn’t here. As I said, I support STEVE KERBEL. Not a radical. So this is a strawman, at least as it concerns me personally.

  99. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Steve,

    ==Anyway, I am going to relax a bit because I have a meeting at 9 and then the work week starts at 4:45 Monday AM, so I am finished posting here for the evening. Cheers!==

    Yeah me too:) See you then. Let’s add to the agenda the production of “Death to Incrementalism!” shirts. You know, just to be like all radical and stuff 🙂

  100. Andy Craig

    “”That is not even remotely logical. Wow. No… they are both promoting increments, though they may differ in which ones they advocate. This odd black and white thinking makes me think this is not an entirely rational argument.””

    The point, was that the one you would presumably insist are not radicals, can readily retort that they too seek large and fundamental changes, but differ on how to get there. Just like you can plead you don’t oppose incrementalism, there are a great many “moderate” libertarians that would insist they are indeed radicals, properly understood, and certainly in comparison to non-libertarians.

    “”And no one said differently. Asking to not be misrepresented isn’t a big thing to ask.””

    Except I never engaged in the misrepresentation you allege.

    “”though you already conceded you are taking about a minority of a minority and using that to define the WHOLE””

    Since there has veered off on a tangent about acceptable labeling, here’s what you originally objected to as an ‘old chestnut’ : ‘He is hardly the first nominee to advocate incrementalist or pragmatic planks that irked the radical-purists in the party.’

    Now, whether you agree with the label or not, what I was talking about is issue positions that were framed by their proponents as incrementalist or pragmatic, and the opposition to which was self-styled as radical or purist by those engaging in it. All I was doing, indeed out of an attempt to be fair, was referring to both on their own terms.

    I think *both* labels are incomplete and not absolutely accurate, as I said when I said most Libertarians embody some of both ends of that spectrum and the attempts at sectioning off either as some kind of concretely-defined faction is overstating the actual differences.

    “”As I said, I support STEVE KERBEL. Not a radical.””

    Says who? Radical or not is all a matter of perspective, and very often just as much a matter of perception as well. I’ll take your word for it that Kerbel is not a radical, however you define that, but compared to what?

  101. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==The point, was that the one you would presumably insist are not radicals, can readily retort that they too seek large and fundamental changes, but differ on how to get there. Just like you can plead you don’t oppose incrementalism, there are a great many “moderate” libertarians that would insist they are indeed radicals, properly understood, and certainly in comparison to non-libertarians.==

    Compared to nonlibertarians, they definitely are. If they want to insist as compared to other libertarians they are as well, that is a different argument, and not one I am engaging at this time as it wasn’t my purpose. One might well ask why a great many people self-identify as moderates and what that means. I do think a lot of the time the differences are far less than our rhetoric seems to indicate.

    ==Since there has veered off on a tangent about acceptable labeling, here’s what you originally objected to as an ‘old chestnut’ : ‘He is hardly the first nominee to advocate incrementalist or pragmatic planks that irked the radical-purists in the party.’

    Now, whether you agree with the label or not, what I was talking about is issue positions that were framed by their proponents as incrementalist or pragmatic, and the opposition to which was self-styled as radical or purist by those engaging in it. All I was doing, indeed out of an attempt to be fair, was referring to both on their own terms.==

    Yet, (and I do not want to put words in other mouth’s but speaking as I understand it) the emphasis is on the wrong syllable here. They didn’t object BECA– USE it was incrementalist, but because of the content and direction.

    ==I think *both* labels are incomplete and not absolutely accurate, as I said when I said most Libertarians embody some of both ends of that spectrum and the attempts at sectioning off either as some kind of concretely-defined faction is overstating the actual differences.==

    We don’t disagree here.

    ==Says who?==

    Says Steve. He is friendly and open to radical ideas while not being one himself. That is the number one factor in my support.

    == Radical or not is all a matter of perspective, and very often just as much a matter of perception as well. I’ll take your word for it that Kerbel is not a radical, however you define that, but compared to what?==

    As compared to other libertarians. Wanting to abolish the state is more radical than wanting to limit it for instance. Wanting to abolish all taxation is more radical than only wanting to eliminate the income tax. Wanting to privatize everything but courts, police and defense is more radical than wanting to keep the state involved in that plus schools. On any number of issues such comparisons could be made… and they are not static. They change as the LP culture changes. I could list for you here the Radical Caucus key points. Those that affirm them and are friendly to the idea of state abolition are generally radicals. (and many are minarchists). Real minarchy is IMHO fast becoming a radical position within the LP as more people are accepting much more state. Bryan Caplan’s article on the vanishing minarchist is a good example. It is a moving standard…. as all communities necessarily are.

    A lot of time identity is primarily self-identity. Not always, but it is a big factor. Moderates tend to self-identify that way. Radicals likewise. It is natural to those groups and they sense the differences. I do think they can be overblown.

  102. Robert Capozzi

    mc: Sometimes I wonder what planet you’re living on, Capozzi. In my experience, Ls ignore the SoP whenever they want.

    me: Yes, I don’t disagree. My observation is that our fringier brethren have been inculcated with plumbline L-ism of the extremist variety, but then when they actually run for office, they recognize just how unworkable Rothbardian/Longite /sometimes constitutionalist L-ism really is. They often hide their extremist druthers, attempting to thread the needle of “principled” L-ism with incremental prescriptions.

    That shows up in forms like MB’s “abolish the income tax and replace it with nothing” which TK reminds us of. It’s a weak imitation of an actual institutable position, since the USG has amassed a $19T debt. Since the income tax represents ~60% of revenues to the Feds, beginning to work the deficit and debt down implies an overnight cut in federal spending on the order of maybe 80%.

    If you think that’s realistic, then one of us is definitely not paying attention.

    cah: As do we all. I think sometimes he cries into his teddy bear mumbling “cult of the omnipotent state…. cult of the omnipotent state…. “

    me: Sadly I don’t have a teddy bear! 😉 And I’m far more likely to mumble, “Hold high the banner,” as that crystallizes the Rothbardian mindset, with its many dysfunctions.

  103. Robert Capozzi

    ss: To what are you referring? the fact that nothing happened for the party with (according to you) such great nominees? I have a bridge to sell you.

    me: Pass.

    You set up the notion that membership is down due to BB and GJ. Might be true. I cited other possible explanations. That is all.

    ss: You are obviously free to believe whatever you wish, but I promise you this. If we do not do something to differentiate ourselves from other parties, we will not be seen as a legitimate choice.

    me: There are many reasons why people vote as they do. Some take a certain pride in voting for the person they think will win, for ex. I’d say even BB and GJ were quite differentiated from the R and D candidates, though apparently not enough for your tastes. Check.

    Extremist L candidates have generally done worse than edgier L candidates.

    Now, as to legitimacy, I’m just not sure how you possibly begin to measure that. How would you do so?

    ss: Ockham’s razor is applicable here. We don’t need to make excuses like “the economy was bad..” Bad for whom? I have had 4 really good years these past 4 years, and they keep improving. I know many other skilled people who are working and making money, most of them are “L”ibertarians.

    me: Sorry, are you fucking kidding me here?! Have you considered the possibility that your experience is an outlier, and that most people are having a hard time keeping financial pace? Do I really need to give you the data showing the aggregate income trends for most Americans?

    ss: I have been speaking with people who would really love to see Edward Snowden as a candidate.

    me: Somewhat interesting idea to me, except he’s too young. Is he a plumbliner? Would he advocate abolition of the income tax and replace it with nothing?

  104. Thomas L. Knapp

    “the man who thinks the ideal number of votes for our 2016 ticket is ‘zero.'”

    Nice try, no cigar. Here’s what I ACTUALLY think:

    The ideal number of votes for our ticket is somewhere north of 40 million, for a plurality.

    But no declared or likely-to-declare candidate for the LP’s 2016 nomination has a chance in hell of getting 1/20th of that many votes.

    Since continuing to nominate Republican retreads whose campaigns seem to center around the care and feeding of campaign managers through the manipulation of government welfare programs makes it less, not more, likely that we will EVER be in a position to strike for 40+ million votes, and since none of the alternatives to the currently favored Republican retread welfare queen seem likely to prevail for the nomination, NOTA and a count of zero is the very much less than ideal, but better, alternative.

  105. Caryn Ann Harlos

    LOL, Steve made Robert cuss.

    cult of the omnipotent state…..cult of the omnipotent state…..cult of the omnipotent state…..cult of the omnipotent state…..cult of the omnipotent state…..

    Brainnnsss

  106. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “Since continuing to nominate Republican retreads whose campaigns seem to center around the care and feeding of campaign managers through the manipulation of government welfare programs makes it less, not more, likely that we will EVER be in a position to strike for 40+ million votes, and since none of the alternatives to the currently favored Republican retread welfare queen seem likely to prevail for the nomination, NOTA and a count of zero is the very much less than ideal, but better, alternative.”

    I am not happy with the choices so far for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 Presidential nomination either. Some of the declared candidates are good Libertarians, but they are not running anything approaching a real campaign.

    Gary Johnson is not my ideal candidate either, however, None Of The Above winning the nomination at the convention would be a disaster for the party. The Libertarian Party would lose ballot access in some states, and would cease to a relevant political party to a lot of people (even more so than now). Membership would almost certainly go down, as would fundraising, and I believe that it would also result in less votes for our down ticket candidates.

    The Libertarian Party has got to nominate somebody to run for President if it wants to remain a viable “3rd party” choice in American politics.

  107. langa

    Sure, the party gains nothing by nominating a non-libertarian who can get votes. But that’s beside the point, because neither of the candidates we were discussing are non-libertarians.

    You’re making the same mistake that, for some reason, seems to be quite common lately on IPR — namely, that being libertarian is some “yes/no” dichotomy. In reality, almost everybody is more libertarian than some people, but less libertarian than others. For example, Johnson is less libertarian than, say, Rothbard, but more libertarian than Barr. Barr is less libertarian than Johnson, but more libertarian than Trump. And even Trump, while less libertarian than Barr, is still more libertarian than, say, Hitler. There is no magic threshold. Even if you hold libertarian views on 95% of the issues, that doesn’t mean you “get a pass” on the other 5% of your views.

    If a candidate didn’t earn votes, there’s not much case to be made that they reached people.

    That’s true, but if you are only able to earn votes by espousing non-libertarian positions, then what is the point? A high vote total is only good if those people are voting for you because of your libertarian message, rather than in spite of it.

    For example, if Candidate A gets 600,000 votes, while Candidate B gets 400,000 votes, it is not at all clear that Candidate A was the more “effective” candidate. Let’s say that 200,000 people voted for both A and B. Meanwhile, 400,000 people (call those people the “A voters”) voted for A and not for B, while 200,000 people (the “B voters”) voted for B and not for A. If all those “A voters” were not really sold on the libertarian message and voted for A because they liked his personality and his more “moderate” (i.e. non-libertarian) positions, while the “B voters” voted for B because they liked his uncompromising commitment to libertarian principles, then which of those groups (the “A voters” or the “B voters”) are more likely to remain in the LP (and in the broader libertarian movement) and therefore, who was really the more “effective” candidate?

  108. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Not that anyone would cry:). I have a houseguest for the next week and will not be on IPR. I hope to sneak in an article posting here or there to help fellow editors out.

  109. Andy Craig

    “”You’re making the same mistake that, for some reason, seems to be quite common lately on IPR — namely, that being libertarian is some “yes/no” dichotomy.””

    I don’t think you’re wrong that it’s a sliding scale, in that ‘everybody is libertarian on something’. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as people who are libertarians, and people who aren’t. In a strictly formal sense, there are people who don’t share the notion that freedom itself is their political goal. More directly, there are people who’ll say straight-up they aren’t a libertarian, that they profess some other political ideology instead. So I don’t think it is impossible for somebody to accurately say ‘I’m not a libertarian’, as both of the people i was referring to (Ventura and Trump) would.

    “”That’s true, but if you are only able to earn votes by espousing non-libertarian positions, then what is the point?””

    I don’t think there’s a single Libertarian nominee who has earned a substantial number votes on their non-libertarian positions, and I’m not even sure that there have been any who have made any significant focus out of what I’d call non-libertarian positions. Even Barr, wasn’t really out there campaigning on non-libertarian issue positions much (just denying his record of them, and botching other things like the Ron Paul fiasco that are really orthogonal to libertarian-or-not)

    “”If all those “A voters” were not really sold on the libertarian message and voted for A because they liked his personality and his more “moderate” (i.e. non-libertarian) positions, while the “B voters” voted for B because they liked his uncompromising commitment to libertarian principles, then which of those groups (the “A voters” or the “B voters”) are more likely to remain in the LP (and in the broader libertarian movement) and therefore, who was really the more “effective” candidate?””

    Sure, you can quite easily set up a fictional scenario in which the lower vote total is preferable, strictly on the terms of growing the LP. There are other measures, such as incentivizing the major parties to chase after Libertarian votes, that don’t depend on whether or not a candidate’s voters continue to vote Libertarian in the future. But this is getting rather far removed from the original comparison, which is Badnarik’04 vs. Johnson’12, and TLK’s attempt to argue that Badnarik did a better job relative to his much lower potential.

    I see no reason to think that that Badnarik voters somehow became Libertarians at a higher rate than Johnson voters. Just from my own anecdotal experience, I’ve not met a single Libertarian who says they joined the party because of Badnarik. I’m sure they exist, but in large numbers? Probably not. In higher proportion than Johnson voters? There’s certainly not any evidence of that.

    And, in a sense, focusing only on people who decide to vote for the party and discounting those who chose to vote for the candidate, is missing the point of why we would put candidates on the ballot and not just parties. It’s not a *bad* thing if what’s happening is that voters decide they aren’t necessarily a straight-ticket Libertarian, but that we have the best nominee on the ballot so they’ll vote for us this year. For one, such voters are more likely to join the party in the future than voters who never voted for an LP candidate, and even if they don’t, they still lent their vote to highlighting and strengthening the Libertarian message.

    :”“moderate” (i.e. non-libertarian)””

    Not the same thing.

  110. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Why do you assume that repealing the income tax and replacing it with nothing would imply anything “overnight?” I can think of at least two ways in which it could be implemented over time:

    1) Congress could pass legislation setting a date certain in the not-too-distant future for its repeal, giving government budgeters time to scale down; or

    2) Congress could pass legislation repealing it in phases over a set number of years, requiring government budgeters to begin scaling down immediately but in fairly small amounts.

    For example, Congress could pass a law that says “beginning next year, the income tax will be cut by 10% per year, simply and for everyone, by simply freezing the system as is but adding a line to federal tax return forms after the tax calculation amount: ‘Multiply line X by 0.9’ one year, ‘multiply line X by 0.8’ the next year, until in the 10th year withholding ceases and no one need file a return.”

    Your attitude seems to be a softer version of the line that the “mainstream” takes, in which ANY SIGNIFICANT spending cuts are unimaginable — that the best we can hope for is to slow down spending growth in general and perhaps get some moderate cuts in specific places.

    And yet Greece found a way to bite the bullet.

    And yet the UK just announced this morning that four of its departments have agreed to budget for a 30% cut over the next four years, with other departments being pressured to follow.

    There’s nothing bizarre or outlandish in suggesting that Washington start living with its means and reducing those means significantly. Every other country on Earth either does so now or has done so at some point in living memory.

  111. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I don’t think there’s a single Libertarian nominee who has earned a substantial number votes on their non-libertarian positions”

    That’s kind of a given, since no Libertarian nominee has ever earned a substantial number of votes, period.

  112. Andy Craig

    “”That’s kind of a given, since no Libertarian nominee has ever earned a substantial number of votes, period.””

    Well then, might as well take our ball and go home then, as you would have it. America’s just not good enough to have a Libertarian presidential nominee, But, why stop there? There haven’t been any candidates for House, or Senate, or Governor who won either, nor many (if any) who got a “substantial” (whatever you mean by that) number of votes. And local offices, well, they don’t get a substantial number of votes even if they win (which most still don’t). On your own terms, we shouldn’t just not nominate a Presidential candidate, we shouldn’t nominate any candidate for any office, and the party has no reason to exist. Once your hypothetical 40-million-vote-getter materializes out of the either, he won’t need our help to either get on ballots or win or even self-describe as a Libertarian, so what’s the point in waiting around twiddling our thumbs until then?

    Aren’t we overdue for another go-nowhere splinter party? Maybe Boston Tea Party 2.0 can nominate NOTA for President and see what it gets them. Perhaps run a fusion NOTA ticket with the Objectivist Party and the NH Liberty Party, and congratulate each other on being “principled” enough to literally get no votes for nobody.

  113. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Your attitude seems to be a softer version of the line that the “mainstream” takes, in which ANY SIGNIFICANT spending cuts are unimaginable — that the best we can hope for is to slow down spending growth in general and perhaps get some moderate cuts in specific places.

    me: Sorry if I gave you that impression. It’s not my view. I’d certainly favor significant spending cuts on discretionary and military spending, and I think it could be sellable if done in smaller chunks over time. I would table any discussion of entitlement reform/abolition for another day.

    As a general matter, I’d like to phase out the income tax as well. How that’s accomplished gets more complex, as it depends on how fast spending can be cut and whether other revenue streams grow or shrink in the intervening years. I happen to think that spending cuts are more important, and I am open to income tax reform measures that lessen the burden of income taxes and make them less of a economic drag.

  114. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Well then, might as well take our ball and go home then, as you would have it.”

    You’re becoming quite adept at being wrong about how “I would have it.” Adept enough that I’m beginning to suspect bad faith rather than mere ignorance.

    I have been very clear on how “I would have it.” I would have it that the Libertarian Party do the work of putting forth candidates who credibly support its platform and build a plurality on libertarian grounds, rather than chasing after the sugar high of slightly higher vote totals for candidates who damage our brand and make long-term success less, rather than more, likely.

    I have also been quite clear on why I support NOTA in 2016. Johnson is almost certain to seek the nomination again. At present I am unaware of any opponent who has much chance of beating him for the nomination. NOTA probably can’t either, but it has the best chance. And since a second Johnson campaign would be bad for the party, I’m backing NOTA — which might or might not be good for the party, but isn’t as bad for the party as Johnson would be — until and unless a libertarian who can beat Johnson shows up (or one of the current libertarians running proves more capable of winning than I have estimated).

    It’s interesting that you bring up the Boston Tea Party, as if I was the one who wanted it to run a presidential ticket in 2008. If you looked at the ACTUAL history of the BTP, you’d know that when I founded it, I did so specifically on the premise that the Portland Massacre was driving some LP activists away and that there should be a place for them to go FROM WHICH THEY MIGHT RETURN, as I anticipated possible efforts on the part of others to peel them off permanently. In fact, at the BTP’s first convention, I proposed a resolution disbanding the BTP as a “party” and re-entry of BTP members who had left the LP into the LP as a caucus. Further, you would find that prior to the BTP’s 2008 convention, I suggested that it should endorse the LP’s nominee rather than run its own slate. It was only after Barr was nominated, after Barr went out the day after his nomination and repudiated the things he had told the LP to get nominated, and after it became clear that the BTP would run its own slate whether I liked it or not that I threw in the towel on that.

    But don’t let little things like facts get in the way of your hallucination that running bad candidates is good for the LP and that anyone who opposes doing so is just a wrecker.

  115. Robert Capozzi

    tk: And since a second Johnson campaign would be bad for the party

    me: Unqualified assessment. Can you not see any potential for GJ 16 being good for the party and liberty?

  116. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I’ve explained in the past, at length, why I thought that Johnson/Gray ’12 was bad for the party and think that Johnson/Gray ’16 would also be bad for the party.

    Do I see any potential for that slate to be good for the party? Sure. But it seems like a very long shot that they would be willing to realize that potential by e.g. knocking off the “Fair” Tax bullshit, giving up Gray’s “OF COURSE we need government regulation of drugs” line, raising and spending money to actually campaign instead of for the care and feeding of cronies, etc.

    I’ve been very clear on my support for NOTA that that support is conditional upon me continuing to see it as the best bad thing. If I see good reason to support a candidate — even Johnson — I’ll give up NOTA in a heartbeat.

  117. Robert Capozzi

    TK, excellent! It’s a good idea to keep an open mind that an apparent poor outcome COULD be a positive one.

    I would say that GJ’s “cronies” produced some of the most effective L TV ads I’ve ever seen in 12. Whether their fees were justified on balance, I can’t say. Sticking with the FAIR tax is quite disappointing to me as well.

  118. George Phillies

    “I would say that GJ’s “cronies” produced some of the most effective L TV ads I’ve ever seen in 12.”

    What TV ads? Are you referring to the ads from the outside PAC?

  119. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    In theory, the military and discretionary spending cuts SHOULD be easy. Of course they aren’t, because every line item has its vehement defenders, and their proxies in Congress are always willing to trade an increase on someone else’s pet program for an increase in theirs. But I think we could get there.

    As far as entitlements are concerned, history is forcing the state’s hand and it seems to me that the LP should position itself as offering real solutions as early, as often and as effectively as possible.

    I’m not just talking about projections of Social Security insolvency by the 2030s. Not a lot of people seem to be noticing it, but Social Security’s trustees project that the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will run dry NEXT year, and that thereafter benefits will have to be cut because projected revenues will only come to about 80% of projected benefit entitlements. It’s true that SSDI is only one part of the Social Security system, but its insolvency should be a warning bell regarding the other parts.

    Something has to be done. Something WILL be done, one way or another. The LP should be the voice of reason on the issue, even if it feels risky.

  120. Andy Craig

    ” I would have it that the Libertarian Party do the work of putting forth candidates who credibly support its platform and build a plurality on libertarian grounds, rather than chasing after the sugar high of slightly higher vote totals for candidates who damage our brand and make long-term success less, rather than more, likely.”

    Then produce such a candidate. All this is saying, is that you want perfection or nothing. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can have a sufficiently radical and strident libertarian candidate that appeals to radical Libertarians (and next to no one else), or you can you have a candidate who works to build a real-world plurality on libertarian grounds. Where do you think this magical person that can do both is going to come from? That one day we’re going to pick just the right no-name party insider that’s never held office, whose winning personality and pure stubborn principle is going to get you to your 40 million votes?

    You insist this is somehow only about 2016 and how uniquely awful Gary Johnson supposedly is, but the argument is in practice one against running an LP presidential ticket at all. I share the sentiment that the rest of the field is hardly an all-star lineup, but it would literally be better for the party to nominate a comatose paper candidate named Nobody, than nobody. There are actually people out there who’ve worked hard to get our 2016 nominee on the ballot in their state, and they’d have no reason to react positively to your desire to piss that away just because you don’t think anybody’s good enough. It certainly wouldn’t entice many of them to stick around and work to get the LP back on the ballot in 2020, just for the LNC to decide ‘woops, changed our minds again. try again in four years’.

    “I’m backing NOTA — which might or might not be good for the party, but isn’t as bad for the party as Johnson would be”

    Speaking of hallucinations.

    “until and unless a libertarian who can beat Johnson shows up (or one of the current libertarians running proves more capable of winning than I have estimated).”

    Then don’t pretend what you’re holding out for is a more viable general election candidate, or that you hope NOTA’16 will attract such a candidate to the party in future elections. You want a better not-Johnson, fine. That’s not a case for NOTA, nor for you strange assertion that it makes sense because NOTA will (and should) somehow attract more support than any of the alternative candidates at the convention.

    This is like a caricature of the case against having a libertarian third-party: that it becomes so insular and detached from the rest of American politics, that you end up with a shrinking pool of dead-enders who literally say nobody is good enough for them, that it doesn’t matter what the voters think, and a party that can’t even get the vote of most ideological libertarians. I don’t think that has to be true of the LP, but there are certainly those who would drag us in that direction.

    “”I proposed a resolution disbanding the BTP as a “party” […] rather than run its own slate””

    I’m sensing a pattern here.

    “”But don’t let little things like facts get in the way of your hallucination that running bad candidates is good for the LP and that anyone who opposes doing so is just a wrecker.””

    NOTA is absolutely equivalent to wrecking the party, whether you see that as your motivation or not. As has been explained to you many times, including by people who are not Johnson supporters, it would be an absolute disaster for the party and set us back immensely. There is a decent chance the national party would not even survive, and that the rump state parties not interested in committing ritual suicide would simply pick their own scattered nominee(s) to put on their state ballots.

    The one thing it would not do, is set the LP up to run a winning campaign any time in our lifetimes, or attract candidates who could do so. If that’s the premise of your campaign for NOTA, you either haven’t thought it through, or don’t actually care about the ramifications as much as you say you do.

  121. Robert Capozzi

    gp: What TV ads? Are you referring to the ads from the outside PAC?

    me: The web-available ones. I’m not sure who produced them, but I thought it was the campaign itself.

    tk: The LP should be the voice of reason on the issue, even if it feels risky.

    me: I am a big believer in not biting off more than can be chewed. If and when the train starts to roll on the lower-hanging fruit of military and discretionary spending, that’s when a more peaceful retirement security scheme would be better addressed, in my judgment. My sense is the vehement resistance to peace is greater, tougher nut to crack when it comes to SS and Medicare.

    Walk, then run.

    Crawl, then sprint, doesn’t work, in my judgment.

  122. Steve Scheetz

    Robert Capozzi

    I could be an outlier, I am just offering alyernative reasons why people are not donating, sort of like how you were offering ideas on why people were not donating, only I was focussing on the policies of the candidates as opposed to the economy because not everybody was broke because of the economy, and I also explained why I believe that Libertarians are less broke than most.

    So did you actually have another point that actually validates the idea of having a big tent candidate as opposed to an actual Libertarian candidate? I ask because, so far, call you and provided excuses as to why Bob Barr and Gary Johnson have underperformed.

    Anyway, let me know, because I am curious.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  123. Thomas L. Knapp

    “All this is saying, is that you want perfection or nothing.”

    OK, we’re clearly way over the line that separates “Andy Craig is honestly mistaken or ignorant” and “Andy Craig just makes shit up.” Wanting a candidate who’s good for the LP instead of a candidate who’s bad for the LP isn’t anything even remotely close to “perfection or nothing,” nor can it be plausibly inferred from anything I’ve said in this conversation. So I’ll just go to shorthand on other points.

    “You can have a sufficiently radical and strident libertarian candidate that appeals to radical Libertarians (and next to no one else), or you can you have a candidate who works to build a real-world plurality on libertarian grounds.”

    Actually, there are all kinds of other possibilities. And no one who has bothered to do the least bit of research on my history could honestly say that I insist on any such dichotomy.

    In 2000, I supported a more “moderate” presidential candidate who actually had a background of electoral victory (Don Gorman), then cheerfully worked for the more radical guy with no background of electoral victory (Harry Browne) when my preferred candidate lost.

    In 2004, I worked for the more “pragmatic” candidate (Russo) versus the more “purist” candidate (Nolan), and happily supported “everyone’s second choice,” Badnarik, when he got nominated in the fallout (I had supported Badnarik early on and switched to Russo for reasons you would probably agree with).

    In 2008, I worked for two radical candidates (Kubby and Ruwart) but actively supported Barr until he made it impossible for me to continue doing so in good conscience — and even then, when REPRESENTING THE LP in Missouri, I distributed Barr/Root literature and kept my mouth shut about my problems with them when talking to Missouri voters.

    In 2012, I wasn’t involved in LP politics.

    In 2016, I believe we’ve reached a point where a re-set is necessary because the party has now been moving backward for more than a decade. If a more plausible re-set than NOTA becomes available, I’ll support it.

    “You insist this is somehow only about 2016 and how uniquely awful Gary Johnson supposedly is”

    You’re a fucking liar (there’s that shorthand I mentioned earlier). I’ve insisted no such thing and you know it. Stop lying, please.

  124. Robert Capozzi

    ss: So did you actually have another point that actually validates the idea of having a big tent candidate as opposed to an actual Libertarian candidate?

    me: “Actual” defined by whom? And by what authority? You? Me?

    ss: I ask because, so far, [all you have] provided [are] excuses as to why Bob Barr and Gary Johnson have underperformed.

    me: Sorry, all L prez candidates have underperformed since the LP’s inception, as I see it. The two most moderate-positioned ones have done the best in terms of vote totals: the relatively well funded and well planned Clark campaign on a percentage basis and last-minute GJ campaign on a total-vote basis. But all of the metrics have been statistical dust for those, too. The Barr campaign was almost last minute, btw.

    This is fact, not “excuses.” My hypotheses for this underperformance is 1) it’s extremely, inherently difficult to run as a third party candidate in the US and 2) Randian/Rothbardian L-ism is deeply flawed.

  125. Jed Ziggler Post author

    Andy Craig is absolutely right. Backing NOTA in any way, shape, or form for the LP nomination is an act of sabotage. I so want to like Tom Knapp, but this fucking NOTA shit infuriates me. Not fielding a candidate would be, without a doubt, the worst thing that could ever happen to the party. Worse than Johnson, worse than Barr, worse than if we nominated Hillary fuckin Clinton. How would it be a “reset”? I’ve yet to see a political party fail to run a candidate and be stronger afterward. It nearly killed the Socialists, it killed Americans Elect, it would kill the LP.

  126. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jed,

    If “[b]acking NOTA in any way, shape, or form for the LP nomination is an act of sabotage,” then why does the LP specifically back NOTA in its bylaws and convention rules. It gives NOTA preference above all other candidates, insofar as unlike other candidates, it is not at any point prior to a candidate getting a majority, eliminated from consideration, as other candidates are. That’s clearly “backing NOTA” in a big way.

    It’s not about whether you like ME or not. If you don’t want NOTA to win the nomination, the path forward is simple: Come up with a candidate whom a majority of convention delegates find preferable to NOTA. I doubt you’ll have any difficulty doing so. Chances are quite good that even if the only alternative to NOTA ends up being Johnson, most convention delegates will find Johnson preferable. On the other hand, the specter of NOTA is an incentive for LP activists to find, and LP candidates to be, better candidates.

    Anyone who thinks that NOTA is likely to win next year, or even that NOTA is likely to top, say, 30%, just isn’t living in the real world. And making up scary stories about NOTA and telling lies about NOTA’s backers (as Mr. Craig insists on doing) is evidence of such unsound thinking. All that is necessary for NOTA to prevail is for good LP activists to spend their time whining about NOTA.

  127. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    Paulie made a persuasive case against NOTA in a few past IPR threads sufficiently convincing me that it would be deadly to the National Party to do so. I would hold my nose and support one of the several candidates I don’t like at all rather than do that at this point. Perhaps this is because I am new and haven’t been to this rodeo before. If I kept seeing the Party nominate crappy candidates personally, I probably wouldn’t feel the same way, but that is where I am at now. Never say never, but it is highly unlikely that NOTA would be attractive to me after my so-far two picks are out. I certainly wouldn’t pick NOTA over Johnson though I am not a Johnson fan. I am not a Johnson non-fan either… I am meh. There are some things about him I go absolutely wild about and others that make me cringe to average out to a shoulder shrug as far as Libertarians go. Compared to the major party offerings, I am wildly enthusiastic…. so my support is context-dependent. I support him over the R or D offerings… and if nominated, that is all that matters.

  128. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ==On the other hand, the specter of NOTA is an incentive for LP activists to find, and LP candidates to be, better candidates.==

    This is absolutely true. I LOVE that NOTA is always there… ready to be used.

  129. Nicholas Sarwark

    As a logistical reminder, if NOTA prevails on the nomination ballot, the party can still reopen nominations for someone not on the previous ballot. It is only in the event that NOTA prevails and the delegates choose not to reopen nominations that the Libertarian Party would be without the candidate.

    This is not expressing an opinion on the merits or lack thereof of NOTA.

  130. Robert Capozzi

    tk: If “[b]acking NOTA in any way, shape, or form for the LP nomination is an act of sabotage,” then why does the LP specifically back NOTA in its bylaws and convention rules. It gives NOTA preference above all other candidates, insofar as unlike other candidates, it is not at any point prior to a candidate getting a majority, eliminated from consideration, as other candidates are. That’s clearly “backing NOTA” in a big way.

    me: Good question. Wasn’t that put there by the same people who wrote the SoP?

    There are people who cut themselves as well. Many forms of self-sabotage are quite common, actually, and near as I can tell, it’s not a good idea in whatever form it takes.

  131. Losty

    If the Party doesn’t Slate (Through NOTA), as The Party is finding out in Oregon:
    Where there is Ballot Access the State Party controls.
    Would the STATE Party be able to slate?

  132. Andy Craig

    Thomas L. Knapp-

    That you can’t handle disagreement without resorting to childish name-calling and profanity-laced insults, is a decent part of why nobody will, or should, take seriously your contradictory pile of ideas about what our party should or shouldn’t do.

    The things you quote as “lies”- that you’re supporting NOTA as the not-Johnson- was nothing more than paraphrasing your own words so I could reference the concept without copy-pasting your entire paragraph. It wasn’t even a comment on the merits of that idea, that is what followed. People can scroll up and read your own fucking words, and decide if that summary of them makes me a “fucking liar.” (See, I can drop an f-bomb too. How edgy and sincere! I’m sure the other 14-year-olds will be really impressed!)

    You can either retract your accusation of dishonesty, or continue to make a fool of yourself. I don’t much care which. The fact that you can’t make up your mind between mutually exclusive rationalizations of why you want to blow up the party in 2016, is not my problem.

    “And no one who has bothered to do the least bit of research on my history…”

    In other words, no one.

  133. Nicholas Sarwark

    Nevermind, I was misreading the bylaws.

    Selecting NOTA for President would prevent the party from having a nominee.

    The question of what a state party could do with their ballot line in that instance is more ambiguous.

  134. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Craig,

    “That you can’t handle disagreement without resorting to childish name-calling and profanity-laced insults”

    It’s not about disagreement. It’s about you making up positions to attribute to me and lying about what I support. I was nice about it for awhile, but beyond the point where it became obvious that it was intentional, the only reasonable course seemed to be to call you out on it. If you don’t like me pointing out that you’re lying about me, feel free to stop lying about me and the problem will go away.

    “is a decent part of why nobody will, or should, take seriously your contradictory pile of ideas about what our party should or shouldn’t do.”

    Nobody, huh? Well, at least we’ve taken a step back from “Andy Craig is lying” to “Andy Craig has no idea what he’s talking about.”

    For what it’s worth, in my experience both of those two things are unusual when it comes to you. You’re usually pretty knowledgeable, and this is the first time I’ve ever noticed you descending to scattershot falsehood like this.

  135. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, it’s somewhat ambiguous. My guess is that if the national convention went with NOTA, at least some state parties would decide to run a presidential slate, perhaps in cooperation with each other for uniformity, and that the LNC wouldn’t stand in their way.

    It’s oddly coincidental that Mr. Craig et. al would be having another brain hemorrhage over NOTA at this particular time. Just last week I was trying to decide whether or not a NOTA campaign was worth cranking up to pursue in the way I’ve worked on past presidential campaigns.

    I’ve probably put less than ten hours into NOTA so far. By this time in the 2004 cycle, I had put more time and effort into Badnarik’s campaign than that, and by the end of that cycle, between Badnarik and Russo and not counting the last few weeks when I was part of Badnarik’s paid staff, AT LEAST a thousand hours and probably more. Ditto 2008 for Kubby and, to a small extent, Ruwart.

    My off-the-cuff take is that since NOTA’s opponents are still whining about NOTA instead of getting off their asses and finding a good candidate to support, more effort may be called for.

  136. Andy Craig

    “”It’s not about disagreement. It’s about you making up positions to attribute to me and lying about what I support””

    No, you just didn’t like my (accurate) statements about the implications of what you say your support, and pointing out the inconsistency between your stated rationales. To which you jump in to call me a liar, because I referenced one of your mutually-exclusive reasons instead of the other. It is sophistry of the highest order.

    Like I said, people can scroll up and read it themselves, and decide which one of us is being willfully dishonest here.

    “”Nobody, huh? Well, at least we’ve taken a step back from “Andy Craig is lying” to “Andy Craig has no idea what he’s talking about.”””

    Don’t flatter yourself.

  137. paulie

    Looks like I have a lot to catch up on in this thread but

    My off-the-cuff take is that since NOTA’s opponents are still whining about NOTA instead of getting off their asses and finding a good candidate to support, more effort may be called for.

    I generally don’t whine about NOTA except when someone else mentions it and makes it a topic of conversation. And many of the people who as you say whine about NOTA do have a candidate they support who has not announced yet or in some cases one who has. In my own case I have quite a few candidates who are already running that I would rank above NOTA, although I don’t have one that I am committing support to.

  138. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth A. Craig:

    “Like I said, people can scroll up and read it themselves, and decide which one of us is being willfully dishonest here.”

    Yes, they can. And I encourage them to do so.

    Quoth Paulie:

    “In my own case I have quite a few candidates who are already running that I would rank above NOTA”

    I’m glad to hear that. There are several candidates running whom I would rank above NOTA too.

  139. Steve Scheetz

    Robert Capozzi. Well, you came up with “it is difficult to run as a third party.” Sure it is, that is probably the most obvious statement in the history of obvious statements, (PARTICULARLY when you fashion your candidate as Republican or Democrat lite). Then you say that Libertarianism is flawed because Gary Johnson and Clark did well with lots of money backing them. Compared to someone like Michael Badnarik who campaigned in his car with next to no money beyond that which he made through book proceeds. One wonders what could have been if he had some financial backing to his campaign….

    It is funny how you say things like it is obviously the philosophy that is flawed. I am not certain where you come up with that, but I will tell you this. Both Edward Clark and Gary Johnson were so far away from winning, that statistically, they were not even there. Did they get more votes? Sure… Did anyone else notice? Anyway, these are the two moderate Libertarians you see as the shining beacons as to what we should strive to find in our presidential candidates. Are you sure you do not want to purchase my bridge? I’ll say that it goes to fantasy land, and you will have a shorter commute….

    Aside from that, I would strongly suggest that you revisit your position, and look at it from an intellectual standpoint. Where your candidates landed would only have come in second if in the two major party offerings, one did not show up, and even then, your candidates probably would have come in third.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  140. paulie

    Then you say that Libertarianism is flawed because Gary Johnson and Clark did well with lots of money backing them. Compared to someone like Michael Badnarik who campaigned in his car with next to no money beyond that which he made through book proceeds. One wonders what could have been if he had some financial backing to his campaign….

    The Badnarik and Johnson post-nomination campaigns had about the same amount of money.

  141. Andy

    “paulie

    November 9, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    ‘Then you say that Libertarianism is flawed because Gary Johnson and Clark did well with lots of money backing them. Compared to someone like Michael Badnarik who campaigned in his car with next to no money beyond that which he made through book proceeds. One wonders what could have been if he had some financial backing to his campaign….’

    The Badnarik and Johnson post-nomination campaigns had about the same amount of money.”

    The Badnarik for President campaign raised around $1 million post nomination.

    The Gary Johnson for President campaign raised around $1.5 million post nomination, however, there was more money spent on promoting Gary Johnson for President via Super PACs. I think that the Gary Johnson Super PACs had around $1 million.

    Gary Johnson also ran in an easier election than Badnarik. Badnarik had to run against the higher profile Ralph Nader, while Johnson was the highest profile minor party or independent candidate in 2012.

    Gary Johnson also benefitted from the Ron Paul r3VOLution of 2007-2012, which greatly increased name recognition for the word Libertarian.

  142. paulie

    We were only discussing money there. As I understand it, especially adjusted for inflation, Badnarik and Johnson spending numbers were not very different. When taken as a portion of overall spending in their cycle, Badnarik was higher, since Ds and Rs were spending a lot more by 2012 as compared to 2004. IIRC Superpac spending was substantially less that 1M. In any case, when it came to money, as opposed to votes, Johnson’s run was a lot more comparable to Badnarik’s than Clark’s.

  143. Steve Scheetz

    Actually, Paulie, my point was more in line with Andy’s in that it was not an apples to apples comparison, and it was definitely not an indictment of the philosophy going by vote totals as Capozzi seems to believe.

  144. Robert Capozzi

    ss, “Indictment”? Wow! I surely don’t mean my constructive criticism to be that stern.

    My guess is Ls get low vote totals at least 50% due to the belief in a 2 party system. The other half of the reason is the extremist application of the NAP.

  145. Thomas L. Knapp

    Hmm … the next LP presidential candidate to emphasize, or to receive significant media coverage for, an “extremist application of the NAP” will, so far as I can tell, be the first one. So how does something that about half a dozen people, yourself included, obsess over constantly affect LP vote totals so much?

  146. paulie

    I think it’s the two party system. There have been various attempts to put together moderate parties and they don’t even do as well as the LP. There are also parties of the left and right, more and less extreme, and most of them either get no traction even compared to the LP, succeed to a limited degree in one state, or are a flash in the pan generally associated with a cult of personality. The fact that all alt parties have had problems gaining sustained nationwide traction regardless of their ideology or how extreme or moderate they are to me means that the problems are more related to the various biases in the electoral system than any ideological factors. I would also add internal nuts and bolts organizational issues. As for the LP, the period of relative success that I have seen in my time in the party – more members, more money, more people at more meetings, more candidates, etc – was in the mid 90s to very early 2000s, when the party was relatively strong ideologically as well. Yes, those differences were fairly minor when compared with establishment parties, but they were pretty major when compared with the LP before and since and other parties in the same general “weight class.”

  147. Robert Capozzi

    The difference, PF, is that very large numbers of people are moderate Ls (or should I say “lessarchists,” since few are explicit adherents to the NAP).

    TK, as for positioning, yes, few L candidates RUN on an extremist NAP platform. But to receive the nomination, they have to be extreme enough to garner the support of the True Believers. There’ve been no edge lessarchist candidates, in my estimation. Instead, all L prez nominees have been in the no-man’s land somewhere between the edge and the fringe.

  148. paulie

    The difference, PF, is that very large numbers of people are moderate Ls (or should I say “lessarchists,” since few are explicit adherents to the NAP).

    Large numbers of people are conservatives, large numbers of people are moderates/centrists, large numbers of people are small g greens, large numbers of people are democratic socialists of the Sanders variety. There have been alt parties that have tried to capture all those niches and by and large failed. Lots of lessarchists does not mean you would have a lessarchist party that’s any bigger or even as big as the LP is now.

  149. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Holy crapsicle, did Robert really try to claim obsession over the NAP (which nearly everyone agrees the average voter wouldn’t even recognize) is losing us half of the votes? What? Does it have invisible and unspoken ideological cooties that jump unto the ballots?

    That is the nuttiest thing I have read today. And I spent my morning on Facebook. Ergo, I have read a lot of nutty things today.

    No really. I think it is that they know we mention the “cult of the omnipotent state.” It’s got to be that. Or nukes. Or NAMBLA.

  150. Andy Craig

    I think one of the main reasons for the persistence of the LP, vs other attempted minor parties, is that our ideological position is much harder to co-opt, than it is for Dems/GOP to do so to left/right or centrist minor parties. Major-party candidates can run back and forth between their center flank and their left/right base with ease, they do it between every primary and general election. All of the other various ideological niches paulie lists, may indeed have more support in the abstract, but they’re also all more-or-less part of their respective major party coalitions.

    Republicans and Democrats can both compete on some issues for libertarian-minded votes, but neither can adopt the roughly-half of our platform that doesn’t fit with the rest of their party, keeping enough libertarians at-arms-length and disaffected from the big-two, to keep the LP going. So we get the benefit of being positioned in the “center”, without the lack of any firm ideological anchor that is usually the downfall of more conventionally “centrist” parties. That’s my theory anyway, for why a mid-tier ideological niche (~10% or so as a reasonable guesstimate), can persist in the face of the two-party-system, in a way left-wing, right-wing, and centrist minor parties do not despite having theoretically more potential popular support for their platforms.

  151. Robert Capozzi

    cah: Holy crapsicle, did Robert really try to claim obsession over the NAP (which nearly everyone agrees the average voter wouldn’t even recognize) is losing us half of the votes?

    me: Ah, no. I’d say 20-30% of the pop is lessarchist. Swagging it, half the reason Ls get 1% and not 25% vote totals is because of the extremist roots of the LP, the other half due to the two party system.

    Hope that’s clearer for you…..

  152. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And probably because I spend now a great deal of time amongst just the average voter that might vote libertarian… and some libertarians that should know… and they are not even aware of these allegedly “extremist” roots.

    The average impression is that the LP is just really small government, state’s rights, type of folks. Which of course triggers me terribly, but that is the typical idea.

    It certainly isn’t some “extremist” roots. Most people are shocked to learn there are *gasp* anarchists in the LP. Even some other anarchists who I would think would know….

    You have this odd fantasy impression. I think the cult of the omnipotent radicals has fixated your imagination.

    I frankly think a bit more common knowledge of the “extremist” roots would inspire quite a few to actually care and effect a good deal of change. But here we are.

  153. Robert Capozzi

    cah, “nuttiness” is a subjective thing. My suspicion is that if we gave a blind test of, say, my political positions and, say, yours, and we asked those polled, “Whose positions are ‘nuttier,’?” yours would win, hands down. I’m really curious if you disagree with this?!

    But, of course, as a radical, I don’t care about such things. I care about the truth, wherever it leads, even if I am incorrect!

    Yes, I agree with you that the deep extremism of the LP is often camouflaged. Yes, I sense that the LP is positioned as “small government,” and unfortunately sometimes “states rights.” It’s also considered extreme by many, in part simply because it’s a third party. In truth, the LP’s positioning is not as extreme as it really is, as the deep extremism is hidden. This leads to a conflicted state, where L candidates and public figures have to hold back their REAL agenda, which is near or complete nonarchy. (Mine continues to be so, but I draw a distinction between my philosophically utopian views and my political ones.)

    Sometimes the L candidate is closer to the edge, perhaps someone like GJ, but he has to fringify his positioning to not lose the extremist L base. Or, in his case, he sometimes mollifies the L base with extreme positions on the one hand and attempts to pander to non-Ls with the FAIR tax, alienating Ls and even lessarchists such as myself on the other.

    And, no, I don’t believe I’m fixated on the CotOS. Early in my recovery from Randian/Rothbardianism, I found the clause emblematic of a sophomoric construct that is just kind of embarrassing at this stage. I happen to believe that it sounds silly at best, scary in a McVeigh/Unabomber way at worst. As a fellow but now former Kool Aid drinker, I’m mortified to admit that I at one time said “Right on” to the infamous clause.

  154. Steve Scheetz

    The other half of the reason is the extremist application of the NAP.

    Robert Capozzi,

    Then start your own party, one without a principle regarding non-aggression, and see how many people you get to come to your meetings. Obviously, you feel strongly that the LP is entirely too extreme for not wanting to oppress people or take their stuff. Frankly, I have heard nothing, from you, that could convince anyone that this is the case, so the evidence is strongly suggesting that you have nothing concrete to point to.

    This being the case, your argument is one of faith, and therefore impossible to argue against no matter how many facts, figures, testimonies, you will come down on the side of “the LP is too extreme because it does not wish to oppress people or take their stuff.”

    Ciao,

    Steve Scheetz

  155. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    Ahh… its hidden. How deliciously unfalsifiable. We are missing this big chunk of the percentage because of the LP extremism. Which is hidden. Yet not hidden. Okaaaayyyy. And apparently so hidden that the actual anarchists don’t see it (we are the minority… hardly reflective of the whole LP… though I wish we were as radical as all that no doubt, but we aren’t). Clever LP. Tsk. Tsk. I hope all this self-flagellation for the embarrassing sins of your past is helping. Though it seems you quite evangelically need to bring us all down the path of repentance.

    Have fun with that. Moving on.

  156. Andy

    “paulie

    November 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I think it’s the two party system.”

    I think that it also has to do with what I consider to be one of the fatal flaws in this country, and that is allowing people who receive “goodies” from the government to vote and to donate to political campaigns.

    Not getting into the no coercive government argument (which I agree with), if I could go back in time and be a delegate at the convention where the Constitution was drafted, I would have lobbied hard for an amendment that would prohibit government employees, government contractors, and anyone who receives things from the government in general (I imagine that most of the people at that convention had no idea that the words “general welfare” would be twisted into the government providing specific welfare via Marxist wealth redistribution) from voting, and from donating to political campaigns. If this had been in place in early American history, I think that we’d have a lot more freedom right now.

    ” As for the LP, the period of relative success that I have seen in my time in the party – more members, more money, more people at more meetings, more candidates, etc – was in the mid 90s to very early 2000s, when the party was relatively strong ideologically as well. Yes, those differences were fairly minor when compared with establishment parties, but they were pretty major when compared with the LP before and since and other parties in the same general ‘weight class.'”

    Great point. I came into the party in 1996, which was during this growth period. It was during this time period that the Libertarian Party had the most dues paying members, raised the most money, and had the most people elected to office. The party did this while at the same time being pretty hardcore libertarian.

    It was after a bunch of people came in with the “We need to be more moderate” mantra that the party started to go downhill.

  157. Robert Capozzi

    cah: How deliciously unfalsifiable.

    me: True. Is anything in politics falsifiable?

    cah: Though it seems you quite evangelically need to bring us all down the path of repentance.

    me: Hah! And a bit of a touche.

    But mostly no. Mostly I enjoy offering a course correction that could work better.

    btw, you’ve shared that you WERE a minarchist but are NOW a pacifist anarchist. Why not share that journey? What was the turning point for you?

  158. Robert Capozzi

    ss: Obviously, you feel strongly that the LP is entirely too extreme for not wanting to oppress people or take their stuff.

    me: Strongly? Actually, I don’t take this hobby of mine all that seriously. All indications are that statism will increase and liberty will be chipped away at. Bummer, I say. It’d be great if there were a persuasive force countering that trend. That, too, seems highly unlikely.

  159. Steve Scheetz

    Robert Capozzi

    Well, for one who does not take this “hobby” seriously, you have spent a great deal of time not answering questions seriously. (They make drugs dor that, BTW)

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  160. Robert Capozzi

    Brother Sheetz, thanks for your concern. I write quite quickly, so I spend less time chatting here less than you might think.

    I do try to answer questions the best I can. Taking much of anything seriously, though, seems contra-indicated. Just row, row, rowing my boat as merrily as I can.

  161. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    Thank you for taking my post in the humour it was intended.

    ==btw, you’ve shared that you WERE a minarchist but are NOW a pacifist anarchist. Why not share that journey? What was the turning point for you?===

    I do a lot of that on FB.. not really an IPR thing for me. To be clear though, I became a pacifist prior to or very close prior to becoming a libertarian, it isn’t a political thing, its a religious thing. And the politics now support it, but it isn’t political. When I re-examined my support for the death penalty, I re-examined my position on taking life in general… brought it in line with my pro-life beliefs, and felt I needed to be be consistently pro-life.

    And my libertarianism is pretty much solidly deontological, and thus, for a hard deontologist, anarchy I think is inevitable. I have since come to also have utilitarian reasons, but that is not why I believe it. I had pretty much immediately rejected all forms of typical coercion, taxes, etc… but it took a while to come to the conclusion that the monopoly on enforcement was not justifiable either, thus went from teeny-tiny minarchist to anarchist. Pretty typical route. I held on until I could read Nozick very thoroughly since I was convinced he was going to give me justification for the minimal state. He didn’t.

  162. Robert Capozzi

    cah: And my libertarianism is pretty much solidly deontological, and thus, for a hard deontologist, anarchy I think is inevitable.

    me: So, prior to coming to the anarchist conclusion, were you less-than-solidly deontological? Or were you still sorting things out?

  163. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    ==So, prior to coming to the anarchist conclusion, were you less-than-solidly deontological? Or were you still sorting things out?==

    I was still sorting things out. I have only been a libertarian since 9/17/14.

  164. Thor

    Race realism is not racism. It is a realistic outlook. White society is safer and freer than other societies. That is undisputable. That is why third world immigrants leave their societies to come to participate in the welfare state in white societies. Sadly, the safe and free society that white people formed is destroyed when that society is flooded with people from third world societies. It then becomes a third world society. That is going on in America now. Disputing this disputes reality.

  165. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Race realism” is to racism as “creation science” is to creationism. That is, it is the latter dressed up in respectable clothing to impress the yokels.

  166. Robert Capozzi

    cah: I was still sorting things out. I have only been a libertarian since 9/17/14.

    me: Wow, a specific day only a year ago. Being a newbie L can be an invigorating thing, as it was for me. It seems to make sense of a senseless world.

    Be willing to check premises, I suggest. There is a raft of assumptions in all the schools of L-ism, even Taoist-L-ism, which probably has the least. Note that even MNR said that Lao Tzu was the first L, but I think you’ll find the Tao is not deontological.

  167. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    ==me: Wow, a specific day only a year ago. Being a newbie L can be an invigorating thing, as it was for me. It seems to make sense of a senseless world.==

    My world already made a great deal of sense. I have been an evangelical Christian for over two decades. I wasn’t looking to fill any sense-holes.

    But if you are wondering why I know the specific day, it is because it is on my CO voter’s data, and because it was the day that Ann Coulter wrote about wanting to drown libertarians. A coincidence I found out about soon after, and it has caused me to remember the day.

    My premises are fine. And I am familiar with Tao from many many years owning and admining on the of the most popular Christian-owned theological debate sites on the web.

  168. Steve Scheetz

    Thor,

    Race realism is a lie. When the closet door is opened, there will be found a number of white skeletons murdered by a nber of other white skeletons. Denying this is denying reality…

    Good luck with your philosophy, I will stick to voluntaryist Libertarian..

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  169. paulie

    Has anyone seen a rescheduled time for the Stossel appearance yet? It was supposed to be after the debate on Tuesday, then got bumped to the weekend, but I haven’t seen a time and day.

  170. paulie

    From the Petersen campaign:

    Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen on Stossel tonight 9pm ET on Fox Business

    Hello friends of liberty,

    I wanted to email you to reach out and let you know that I will be appearing on your televisions tonight, joining Fox Business host John Stossel on his show. This episode will air at 9pm ET, 8pm CT on Fox Business, so please set your DVR’s to record it if you can. Good ratings would mean possible future bookings to help me spread our message of economic freedom and personal liberty.

    Also, I have great news! As of yesterday, the Libertarian Party has now recognized me as an official candidate of the party. We’re doing the best we can at the Petersen 2016 campaign to present a clear, credible voice to the American people of just what it means to be a libertarian. Will you please donate to our campaign today to help us grow? I would be sincerely grateful.
    Click here to donate $5, $10, or $100 to the campaign.

    Your friend in liberty,

    Austin Petersen

  171. paulie

    If it didn’t get bumped yet again it has now been aired. Did anyone see it? Anyone know a link where archived video is posted?

  172. Pingback: A Special Midweek Episode of The KN@PP Stir Podcast - Michael Esch - Liberty.me

  173. paulie

    If anyone has questions for him..

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Austin Wade Petersen
    Date: Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 11:57 AM
    Subject: [Progressive Libertarian] Hello friends! I’m a POTUS candidate for the LP…
    To: Progressive Libertarian

    Facebook

    Austin Wade Petersen posted in Progressive Libertarian.

    Austin Wade Petersen
    November 27 at 11:56am

    Hello friends! I’m a POTUS candidate for the LP in 2016. Please feel free to ask any questions and have a happy holiday!

    Meanwhile, still looking for the Stossel show video, if in fact the appearance happened….I found one of an earlier appearance of Petersen on Stossel but not what I was looking for.

  174. Thomas L. Knapp

    Note: That episode was from a couple of weeks ago, but I just imported it into the version of KN@PPSTER that I run at liberty.me. When I did so, I messed up a dropdown list and attributed the post to “Michael Esch,” another liberty.me member. Sorry about that.

    For anyone who’s interested in that actual podcast (as opposed to asking Mr. Peterson questions), the original link at KN@PPSTER proper is:

    http://knappster.blogspot.com/2015/11/a-special-midweek-episode-of-knpp-stir.html

  175. paulie

    Since Petersen is seeking the LP nomination, does entitle other people seeking the LP nomination to equal time on Fox Business?

  176. Andy Craig

    No, it falls under the exemption for news/interviews. That was the issue with SNL, that a comedy sketch show didn’t plausibly fall under any of those broad exemptions given to the news media.

  177. paulie

    I watched the Stossel segment. Petersen was actually pretty good, unlike in some of his intra-party commentary. It wasn’t exactly a campaign announcement, as his earlier scheduling (which I am deducing from correspondence with his campaign was deferred in exchange for this panel spot) was billed as. Actually, I did not hear him mention that he was running at all.

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