Caryn Ann Harlos Challenges Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Re: Lack of Belief in LP’s Non-Aggression Principle

Caryn

Posted to a Facebook Page dedicated to the LP’s NAP

The NAP Pledge is as follows: To validate my membership, I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.
The Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party states: [W]e support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.
That statement is related to an earlier one in the Statement of Principles which states: We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

In a recent radio interview, candidate Austin Petersen was asked if he disagreed with that portion of the Statement of Principles, and he said he did. He also stated generally that he would object to the “Non-Initation of Force Principle” when that terminology was offered in the event that his objection to the Non-Aggression Principle was just semantical. The Libertarian Party Bylaws place the Statement of Principles at the heart of the Libertarian Party:

“The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles…”
and
“The Statement of Principles affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail. The enduring importance of the Statement of Principles requires that it may be amended only by a vote of 7/8 of all registered delegates at a Regular Convention.”

Candidate Austin Petersen has repudiated a key portion of the Statement of Principles that is the foundation of the Libertarian Party.

Caryn Ann Harlos is currently serving as the Social Media Chair for the Libertarian Party of Colorado. She works as a paralegal, and joined the writing staff of IPR in August of 2015.

Update

Here is a link to the audio.

Mrs. Harlos has this to say about the audio link, which she posted in a comment here:

Here is the clip. I was put on mute for the majority of the time and would have objected to other things said, but that is the nature of radio and the due respect given to a guest of a show. IPR readers, jump to 13:30 to hear just this portion or maybe a little further back. His repudiation occurs at about 14:00-14:05.

2/1/16- that link is dead, here is the audio file

168 thoughts on “Caryn Ann Harlos Challenges Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Re: Lack of Belief in LP’s Non-Aggression Principle

  1. sff

    I have not listened to the interview, and am puzzled by the phrase “…in the event that his objection to the Non-Aggression Principle was just semantical.”

    Is his objection based on the wording, or on the concept itself?

  2. Robert Capozzi

    a true radical regularly checks premises and generally disrupts false and otherwise dysfunctional orthodoxies. When the Emperor walks the streets naked, the honest person speaks the truth to power.

    So where’s the problem here with AP’s “repudiation”?

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    As I understand it, Caryn’s problem with Petersen’s repudiation is that he’s running for the presidential nomination of a political party while simultaneously saying that he:

    1) Disagrees with that party’s statement of principles; and
    2) Lied to become a member of the party.

    I’m less concerned than Caryn about the whole thing because it’s been many years since the party as a whole took those things seriously, if ever it did. On the other hand, even Bob Barr didn’t just come right out and say it.

  4. #AP4LP2016

    Petersen agrees with the statement of principles. He disagrees that it has anything to do with a non aggression principle, and he’s supported in that by someone who doesn’t even support him, George Phillies.

    The president of the United States is not a libertarian job. By demanding that a presidential candidate adhere to the NAP, you are demanding that the candidate lie, because the President must uphold the constitution, which is not totally libertarian, and does not adhere to the NAP. So essentially all the NAPers are demanding that their candidates be liars, since the President must enforce the law, which is often not in accordance with the NAP. The NAPers want candidates who are dishonest, and will tell them sweet, comforting lies, just like the majority of the voting population.

  5. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Petersen has a very flippant and sarcastic tone when asked about this topic. I’m cool with various degrees of support for our NAP, but publicly ridiculing it is not appropriate, in my view, for a candidate.

  6. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I just released a comment from Mr Petersen or his team. Sorry that it was pended for approval, but we’ve had to do that for the first comment from a new commenter in an attempt to control spam.

    Any subsequent comments should post immediately.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    #AP4LP2016,

    Your analysis incorporates an erroneous assumption (more than one, actually, but this is the important one): The assumption that the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate has any chance of winning the election, or that that’s what the Libertarian Party’s presidential campaigns are about.

    The Libertarian Party’s presidential campaign has absolutely, positively, nothing whatsoever to do with the likelihood of the candidate winning, because that is. Not. Going. To. Happen. It is simply impossible within the constraints of the existing system. If that system was to change, the LP might be well-advised to consider revising its statement of principles, membership pledge, etc. But until it changes, basing evaluations of either the statement of principles or the candidates on their prospects for winning is just stupid and lazy.

    Since the LP’s candidate is not going to win, what purpose should his or her campaign serve? Gaining new supporters for the party — which is to say, for the party’s principles .

    Running a candidate who does not support the party’s principles is like looking for your car keys underneath the street light, even though you dropped them 30 feet away, “because the light is better over here.”

  8. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I posted my comment above before I noticed the pended comment. The comment from Petersen or his team was not flippant or dismissive, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this.

    The comment that being the President of our country “isn’t a libertarian job” is a curious one, and is something I’ll need to mull over for a while. My immediate thought, however, is that our foreign policy would undoubtedly be in better shape if the Presidents of our country observed the NAP, at least as a default position.

    I’m quite sincere about that. I understand that self-defense is legitimate for those of us .who practice NAP. Of course, none of the wars we’ve been involved in over the past many years have been in self-defense.

  9. Wang Tang-Fu

    Mr. Petersen @10:14 seems to have confused the statement of principles with the party membership pledge. They are two different things. Prof. Phillies was talking about the party membership pledge. If he, or Mr. Petersen, or anyone else has a reason to believe that the statement of principles, as opposed to the membership pledge, does not advocate for the non-initiation of force principle, please explain how that is the case.

  10. Wang Tang-Fu

    Mr. Petersen or anyone else: how does the Constitution require the President to take any actions that violate the non-initiation of force principle? The Constitution describes limits on the powers of the federal government and divisions of powers between its branches. It describes how its various officials are elected or appointed, their terms in office, and such matters. It says that various branches of that government have certain powers. It does not, as far as I know, require that those powers be exercised. If, say, a President spent his or her entire time in office vetoing legislation, issuing pardons and meeting foreign heads of state, would he or she be violating the Constitution, the non-initiation of force principle, both, or neither? And if that violates the Constitution, which sections in particular?

  11. Caryn Ann Harlos

    SFF,

    I have been a listener and follower of Austin for a while and like much of his stuff. I respect him in the things he is very good at, as a person, and in the good things he does for liberty. In speaking with him about the NAP at times, it seemed that his hang-up was with the word “aggression.” I am not married to words. I don’t care what we call the concept. At the beginning of the call he seemed comfortable with using the word “force” and I thought maybe we were getting somewhere. I had wanted to believe that he really didn’t reject the NAP outright (and there will be a PS on that point) but rather just the words and might be more comfortable with “the Non-Initiaton of Force Principle.” If that were the case, I would have ended the call and a major issue with Petersen would have been resolved for me. Our Statement of Principles and Platform don’t use the word “aggression,” (except once) they use the word “force” and the phrase “initiation of force.” But he strongly indicated that he had the same exact problem.

    PS: I still do not believe he rejects it outright as he suffers from severe misunderstanding claiming that only a pacifist could endorse it. He absolutely and stubbornly refuses to let its adherents define it and allow defensive force. That is unfortunate.

  12. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    ==As I understand it, Caryn’s problem with Petersen’s repudiation is that he’s running for the presidential nomination of a political party while simultaneously saying that he:

    1) Disagrees with that party’s statement of principles; and
    2) Lied to become a member of the party.===

    Yes on number one, no on number two. I do not believe he lied about anything. I just believe he is wrong. He believes the Pledge was just a non-violent overthrow Pledge, and he affirmed it. I didn’t go there with the Pledge (I think he is wrong), but another direction. Though that direction on the NAP can be an interesting one when it comes to the affiliates. Let’s pretend that the national one only means that (I deny that—it goes beyond obvious to me)… but this provenance has absolutely no binding authority on the autonomous affiliates who have their own versions of the Pledge with their own interpretations. Now obviously Austin is not bound to an affiliate he isn’t a member of, but they can certainly use their own judgments on the importance and the meaning and pass that along to their delegates. Now I personally do not believe that Austin has taken a valid membership pledge. But I don’t think he lied, so I want to clear that up. I do not wish to charge with more than I intend. Lying is very serious business.

    The LP is the Party of Principle, and with the history and intent of the Statement of Principles, these are to basically cement them (see here http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2015/09/d-frank-robinson-the-libertarian-party-statement-of-principles/). The Platforms change… candidates change… members change… the SoP remains and it is stated in our Bylaws as the ideas upon which we were founded and upon which we will continue to survive. The language of the Bylaws is as strong as the language of the SoP itself. No affiliate may take any action contrary to them. Our CO affiliate requires candidates in the state to sign off on them (Austin would not be eligible to be endorsed by CO in any state or local election, he would be disqualified, and I believe he should be disqualified by the spirit of our governing documents for this as well, but that is another story). Our Board members have to sign off on them and affirm no action will be taken contrary to them. Austin would be disqualified from serving in any capacity on our Board. Someone who could not be qualified by the CO affiliate to run for dogcatcher on the Libertarian line can only with great dissonance be said to be ideologically qualified to have its support for President. NOTE: I am speaking of my own personal opinions and do not speak for my affiliate in any way as I have ZERO authority to do so. I suspect this land mine exists in other affiliates.

    This is a Party founded on principles, and he repudiates those principles. For a candidate that is serious business. He does not believe in what the LP was founded on, I see no reason why those who believe in what it was should give him any support in his candidacy. But I beg respect for his person in any criticism. My criticism is of him as an LP candidate. Not as a person. Not even as a small “l” libertarian. But a Libertarian Presidential Candidate wanting to use our ballot access and wanting the support of our partisan members.

    ==I’m less concerned than Caryn about the whole thing because it’s been many years since the party as a whole took those things seriously, if ever it did. On the other hand, even Bob Barr didn’t just come right out and say it.==

    The day I adopt that belief is the day I turn in my membership card— and that is not something I say lightly. I have zero interest in an LP that utterly abandons its principles. It would take a lot for me to believe that. A lot more than an disqualified Presidential Candidate no matter what happens here. I believe that the Party still does… while many individual members don’t. The Party really has no choice considering the 7/8 requirement depth-charge. It is there as long as over 1/8 of the delegates like it. It is strongly placed in our Bylaws. Austin has repudiated itl, and as such, the documents and principles of the LP soundly repudiate him, even if some members and the leadership will not. This member does.

    I also believe that some states will officially do so (not the extent of refusing ballot line if the delegates choose him— it is the delegate’s choice). And should. I believe a firm stand needs to be taken here. You can’t openly repudiate the founding principles and expect to be the most visible candidate of the Party and have the support of people who believe in these principles.

    PS: I do also remind everyone that the rhetoric employed by Austin (not in this interview but over time) has been over the top considering that these are our embedded principles. He has said if you affirm them you are NOT a libertarian at all (thus the LP isn’t libertarian), but more importantly, that all those members over the years, all those who have affirmed these, all the affiliates who affirm them etc, are “idiots” (and he has over the months used many of the synonyms) and to some extent (this was reserved for the more radical wing) “neck-bearded basement dwellers.” He has not merely disagreed respectfully. He has taken the proverbial dump on our principles.

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Now in response to Austin,

    No Austin, I have the audio clip now (see below) – you stated very clearly that you disagreed with the Statement of Principles. Several times.

    Me: So Austin do you agree with the Statement of Principles where it states we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.

    You: I don’t.

    Me: Thank you Austin, that is all I wanted to know.

    You: [repeating yourself] I don’t.

    I will have the listeners note that you jumped on me saying I put words in your mouth when I stated right before then (accurately) that you disagreed with that portion of the Statement of Principles. I didn’t. When I said you didn’t answer the question, I meant you didn’t answer it “yes” or “no” prior to right then, so I summarized it (accurately as it turns out) as “no.”

    I think you now see though that this has just fatally wounded your campaign. However, let’s look at them and see if they and the Platform do not deal with the non-aggression principle (or worded differently, the non-initiation of force principle), and in that, I quote a different post I did from the NAP Pledge Page:

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

    From the Statement of Principles: [W]e support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.

    From the Statement of Principles: People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others.

    From the Preamble to the Platform: We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

    From the Platform: No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

    From the Platform: The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression.

    From the Platform: The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

    This is also codified in the By-Laws of the Libertarian Party as follows:

    Article 3: The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles.

    Article 4.1: The Statement of Principles affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail.

    As far as George, he has disputed the provenance of the Pledge. This isn’t about the Pledge. You Austin keep throwing that strawman out there (did your campaign worker ever apologize to George for that slur she threw at him?— was it you that directed the comment to be made to me calling me a liar?), but that has nothing to do with the planks and statements above. It is patently absurd to read the above and state that they are not the non-initiation of force. Do you really think that the delegates over these conventions that used this language used words they didn’t mean? So if they HAD wanted to say the “non-initiation of force” how could they have possibly been any clearer if the words “non-initiation of force” don’t mean.. well…. non-initiation of force? This is nonsense.

    Now as far as the alleged conflict with the Constitution, I will go multiple routes with that.

    Route 1: Let’s take that as true for the sake of argument. That has nothing to do with whether or not the Platform and SoP say this. We are allowed to say non- or even anti-Constitutional things if we wished, There is nothing in our documents that say that all our statements and beliefs have to conform with the Constitution. In fact, the SoP explicitly denies a right that the Constitution gives… to seize the fruits of our labour without our consent and to regulate trade beyond protection of contracts. The Constitution, under the system given by the Constitution for its interpretation, says that it is okay to abort children… something you don’t accept either. So that argument falls completely flat. By this argument, a Libertarian candidate, if one existed, at the time of slavery, would have been required to uphold that as well and all the “partial man” statements of the Constitution or be a “liar.” Libertarianism does require disobedience to the state at times to be consistent. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. It is an untenable hyper-literalism to say that if a candidate swore to uphold the Constitution and then worked to have it changed to be rid of those things that violated the SoP would be initiating force. The force has already been initiated. This would be to undermine it.

    Route 2: This is the a distortion of the NAP (and I am using the NAP as embodied in the SoP and Platform which you repudiate). None of those items require eliminating everything all at once but a dedication to consistently eliminating and opposing the initiation of force. The preamble makes it clear that the Platform is an interim plan by stating “These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.” If the Platform items were intended to be the statement of “from here to zero” that statement would not be necessary.

    Making absurd strawmen isn’t a good campaign tactic. Neither is calling those Libertarians who have believed this over the years “idiots.”

    You Austin specifically repudiated this (from the SoP):

    [W]e support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.

    You Austin repudiated these (from the Platform):

    No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

    The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

    You repudiated the others as well but those are pretty specific. Trying to redefine them out of existence (hmmm I think that is what you think the Supreme Court does with the Constitution, funny how that works) is no less a repudiation. And again…. I was specific on my call and your repudiation was specific.

    This statement now I believe is because you see that it is likely that some states will believe that they will need to repudiate you according to their documents. That a good argument could be made that National should repudiate you based on their documents. And now you are trying to salvage that. Too little, too late.

    It doesn’t work. The delegates are not going to be film-flammed by you telling them what they passed in our Platforms and what can clearly be read. I guess they have to believe you, the savior of the Party (though you were not even a dues paying member until after you declared and were still promoting Rand Paul after you declared and still in mourning over him recently) or their own lying eyes and their own lying memories.

    You are a good guy Austin. You have done and do some great things for liberty that I respect and am thankful for. I meant every word of that. However, you are a terrible Libertarian Party candidate because you deny basic ideological premises of the Party as decided by the voluntary membership of this voluntary group. It could have been different and handled very differently. But this is the bed you made. You set out to inflame and divide. We will defend our principles.

    Your last statement just called every candidate that affirms the NAP a liar. Not a good move Austin. Confidence is a good thing. Arrogant belittling is not.

    Here is the clip. I was put on mute for the majority of the time and would have objected to other things said, but that is the nature of radio and the due respect given to a guest of a show. IPR readers, jump to 13:30 to hear just this portion or maybe a little further back. His repudiation occurs at about 14:00-14:05

    http://www.1310kfka.com/audio/stacy113015hr2.mp3

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Now obviously Austin is not bound to an affiliate he isn’t a member of”

    His campaign address is in Missouri. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a member of the Missouri Libertarian Party, but if he is, there’s no “pledge” problem there, as the MOLP does not require the pledge.

    In fact, back in 2000 at my first national convention, I ran into the late RW Bradford, publisher of Liberty magazine. He was from Washington, but wouldn’t join the Washington LP because they required the pledge. When he heard we didn’t, he made a check out right then and there to become a Missouri LP member.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I think you now see though that this has just fatally wounded your campaign.”

    Highly unlikely. The last two presidential nomination contests have proven that the convention delegates don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not the candidate supports the statement of principles. Give’em some glitz and glam and they’re good to go.

  16. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    ==Highly unlikely. The last two presidential nomination contests have proven that the convention delegates don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not the candidate supports the statement of principles. Give’em some glitz and glam and they’re good to go.==

    You are more pessimistic than me. We shall see. I think delegates are willing to overlook a wink and crossed fingers behind the back. I do not think they are so willing to overlook an outright repudiation. No more plausible deniability.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    TK:
    1) Disagrees with that party’s statement of principles; and
    2) Lied to become a member of the party.

    ME: Like CAH says, I don’t know if he “lied,” I think it’s likely he takes the “no violence to overthrow the State” view of the pledge.

    He may be like Moulton (iirc) and I on the SOP and NAP, that it’s more “sentiment” than “principle,” or worse, a hard rule.

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    ==His campaign address is in Missouri. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a member of the Missouri Libertarian Party, but if he is, there’s no “pledge” problem there, as the MOLP does not require the pledge.

    In fact, back in 2000 at my first national convention, I ran into the late RW Bradford, publisher of Liberty magazine. He was from Washington, but wouldn’t join the Washington LP because they required the pledge. When he heard we didn’t, he made a check out right then and there to become a Missouri LP member.==

    I might have made my point clumsily. I didn’t mean in order to be a member of his State Party. I meant in people’s individual determinations and affiliate opinions as to whether he has given a valid National membership Pledge. States who have adopted it are not bound by the alternate interpretation — they very well can feel differently and feel he is disqualified by not properly being a National member. That was more of an aside though and not my point here. The Statement of Principles is much larger point.

  19. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert,

    I do not believe at all that he lied. I have never laid that charge to his account. I do think though that other members can determine that it was invalid. But the Pledge is not my focus here. I purposefully did not invoke that.

  20. Jay R North

    Austin Petersen is trying his best to redefine statements and words. He is trying to define anarchist in this very limited view that he wants to hold. Sorry, Austin, you don’t get to do that without repercussions. He is also trying to redefine aggression as if self defense doesn’t exist in the Non Aggression Principle. Sorry, Austin, you don’t get to do that without repercussions.

  21. Anthony

    listened to the audio. This man is alarmingly thin-skinned. That is far more concerning to me than his repudiation of the NAP. In the midst of the presidential campaign, the NAP will almost certainly NEVER come up to whomever our candidate ends up being. Any confrontation whatsoever in a conversation and who knows where this guy will end up. He’s alarmingly thin-skinned.

  22. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Anthony I was taken aback by the disproportional extremity of the response and the personal insult to me.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I can’t manage money, but that’s OK — I’ll just have the government cut me a welfare check from the money it steals from everyone” is not a wink and crossed fingers behind the back. Neither is “humanitarian wars.” Neither is the “Fair” Tax.

    At least as late as 2000, Harry Browne was forced by party sentiment to drop his flat tax proposal and go with “repeal the income tax and replace it with nothing.”

    Four years before that, he toyed with taking “matching funds” and was forced to say he wouldn’t take them at the convention when he was asked about it, tried to give a non-answer, and someone finally started screaming at him from the floor “say it! SAY IT!”

    THAT is wink and crossed fingers stuff.

    These days all someone has to do to be considered viable for the LP nomination is claim (however tenuously) to be famous and hold out the possibility of taking the party’s ticket from 0.5% to 1.x% of the vote. If Trump walked in and said “nominate me, I’ll register all the Muslims and make Mexico pay for a wall,” he’d win on the first ballot.

  24. Anthony

    You’re predicting…absent Governor Johnson’s entry into the race, that APetersen would win the nomination. I’ll take that bet if so.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    I don’t know who all will enter the race, or who will win it. But I doubt that Petersen not supporting the SoP/pledge will be a major consideration for any delegates who would otherwise prefer him. If he comes off as thin-skinned and such-like, that would hurt him more than any pledge/SoP issue, in my opinion.

    Personally, Petersen is my distant third choice behind NOTA and Perry at the moment. His platform is pretty libertarian, he’s got the young/dynamic thing going, and his appearance on Stossel was essentially his opening demonstration of a claim he’ll probably be making frequently: “I’ve worked with/for the big dogs on the libertarian end of the mainstream media — I can get on TV.” We could do worse. And we’ve DONE worse.

    My preferences could change if one of the other candidates impresses me in a way that hasn’t happened yet, or if someone new jumps in, or if I see some specific reason to abandon NOTA, or whatever.

    Caryn thinks I’m pessimistic, but it isn’t that — it’s that, having seen that the LP’s delegates don’t care about the pledge/SoP when it comes to handing out the presidential nomination, why should I? I’ve been on record against the pledge for years anyway. Yes, I’m an anarchist, but I understand the LP is a political party with lots of minarchists, and I’ve worked successfully with them for 20 years.

  26. Anthony

    But to Caryn’s point, has anyone been so outspoken about repudiating it. Nominating a candidate with previous political experience whose actions demonstrate they don’t accept the NAP but who don’t speak badly about it is one thing. Nominating an immature 35-year old who calls the NAP childish and openly repudiates it…I don’t know I guess I don’t see the delegates going that far off the rails.

    And I’ll say it again: I have far less problem with his repudiation of the NAP (which will never come up in the presidential campaigning via the main stream media), than I do with his paper thin skin. On more than one occasion, he has seemed pathologically unable to deal with someone who confronts him.

  27. georgephillies

    Who is “#AP4LP2016”

    “Petersen agrees with the statement of principles. He disagrees that it has anything to do with a non aggression principle, and he’s supported in that by someone who doesn’t even support him, George Phillies.”

    Contrary to Speaker Hashtag, it is certainly true that there are some versions of a non aggression principle that correspond to the statement of principles.

    As for myself, my current preference is Steve Kerbel. that would include prefering Kerbel to Johnson, if Johnson runs. In terms of advancing the party, Johnson’s campaign was a complete failure, and I see no reason to give whoever $200+ an hour again.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    I agree — being thin-skinned is going to hurt him. The delegates want a candidate they like. Just as importantly, they want a candidate who is clearly interested in getting them to like him.

    As far as the NAP/SoP repudiation is concerned, you may be right. Maybe the delegates just don’t notice it unless it’s purposely put right in their faces in a hardcore way. But to me, that is the ADMIRABLE aspect of his position. Instead of just grinning, patting everyone on the head, and saying “there, there, of course you kids have your NAP, don’t you? Isn’t it a wonderful, shiny NAP?” while running 180 degrees against it in practice, Petersen just comes right out and says he thinks it’s bullshit — while his platform is closer to it than the platforms of most of the “there, there” medicine show con men.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth George:

    “As for myself, my current preference is Steve Kerbel.”

    I’ve noticed that. I’ve been trying to figure out why. I was hoping to find him impressive, but there are just too many and too severere disqualifiers in the parts of his platform that aren’t just cut-and-paste from the LP’s platform:

    – He wants to replace the current regulatory system with a managerial form of guild socialism.

    – He’s very unclear on his preferences with regard to taxes. He advocates something he calls a “procurement tax.” On a quick Google, that would seem to be just a flat income tax of the type levied at the state level on insurance companies as a percentage of total premium revenues. But rhetorically, I could also make a case that he’s talking about a national sales tax, aka the “Fair” Tax. This is one issue I very much distrust a lack of clarity on.

    – His immigration position is a hot mess, starting with the characterization of “illegal immigration” as a “problem.” It seems to be just a hodge-podge of platitudes about how if we can just impose an efficient enough police state at the border, the “problem” will then magically resolve itself.

    Mostly, his platform and “road to reform” page look like he sat down with a case of beer, copied and pasted the LP’s platform into a Word document, then followed the procedure of “drink three beers, pick a plank, type whatever comes to mind, drink three beers …”

  30. Anthony

    I won’t disagree with your comments there in the 2nd paragraph. Well summarized.

    I could handle his disavowal of the NAP. I can’t handle the childish/immature way he goes about doing it. That is an insight into his personality which worries me.

    A Libertarian…any Libertarian nominee for President…is effectively arguing for the largest managed bankruptcy in the history of humanity. We cannot have a thin-skinned, immature 35-year old being the deliverer of that message.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    I think they care more about an outright denial. Those things you point at still give the delegates plausible deniability. You don’t seem to see the distinction and oh well, you can be wrong:)

    As far as the Pledge…. this isn’t to me about the Pledge. You know I support it, but it has never been my primary fixation—and I purposefully did not go there in the conversation with Austin…. though he kept trying to. The Statement of Principles is as that is fixed by that 7/8 requirement. You and I agree on one thing with the Pledge: it isn’t just about violent overthrow of the government (though oddly enough in Austin’s statements to me in the interview acting aghast that anyone would think the founding fathers might have violated the NAP…. hell, they violated the one thing for certain Austin pledged to!). If I agreed that it excluded minarchists I would agree with you on its removal. But I don’t. I don’t have the vintage you do (LOL do you like that wording?) in the Party, but I have and do work very successfully with minarchists and vehemently oppose their marginalization by anarchists within this voluntary group.

    But I really do not want to delve into the Pledge so much here. The focus is the SoP primarily and secondarily the present Platform.

    PS: On issues, I have a candidate I like a whole lot less than AP. When it comes to the SoP, I would support NOTA before anyone who openly repudiates them. As far as who our candidate ends up being, my support is for the Party. We aren’t going to win… I want the Party to grow and will accept who the delegates choose. I wouldn’t do that though for a principle-less Party… so it is my belief that the core of the Party itself remains firm that keeps my intense dedication. It is what brought me in. Unlike a lot of people here at IPR, I am *not* a political junkie. I hate politics.

  32. ATBAFT

    Nolan and some of the others who originated the NAP were concerned about interlopers or naïve persons joining the LP and then making outrageous (to our way of thinking) claims or taking actions that would entirely embarrass the LP. So, them having signed the NAP would at least give us the ability to say “This person lied when they joined the LP and we repudiate any
    of these actions/claims he or she has made. You can’t hold the LP responsible or claim we in any way believe in what this person has said or done.” How would those opposed to the current NAP revise or replace it to cover such situations?

  33. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ATBAT, I don’t think they think it is necessary (if you take that interpretation of the Pledge, which I don’t). But my challenge with Petersen had nothing to do with the Pledge. The Pledge could be removed, and my challenge would be precisely the same.

  34. paulie

    Caryn,

    Sorry… I was trying to help clarify it for other people in the comment thread since there seems to be some confusion.

  35. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie, sorry… I was totally agreeing with you and appreciative of your comment!! :))

  36. paulie

    Which reminds me I still owe you a listing of libertarian FB groups. I’d appreciate learning of any I don’t already know about as well. Maybe we should make that a group project.

  37. stevekerbel

    A few points brought up by Thomas Knapp

    – He wants to replace the current regulatory system with a managerial form of guild socialism.

    – He’s very unclear on his preferences with regard to taxes. He advocates something he calls a “procurement tax.” On a quick Google, that would seem to be just a flat income tax of the type levied at the state level on insurance companies as a percentage of total premium revenues. But rhetorically, I could also make a case that he’s talking about a national sales tax, aka the “Fair” Tax. This is one issue I very much distrust a lack of clarity on.

    – His immigration position is a hot mess, starting with the characterization of “illegal immigration” as a “problem.” It seems to be just a hodge-podge of platitudes about how if we can just impose an efficient enough police state at the border, the “problem” will then magically resolve itself.

    I would like to clarify these points, Thomas…

    I want to remove most of the federal regulatory system, and allow industries to self-regulate if necessary.

    I do not believe in a “fair tax” and do not propose a national sales tax. First we need to repeal the 16th amendment. We can cut about $1.1 Trillion from the Federal Budget by stopping duplicative federal regulation and collect what we need from user fees and tax on wholesale goods only. These would cover the revenue necessary to handle all the federal expense without an income tax or a national sales tax.

    Immigration should be much simpler, and I believe in freedom of movement. Once the drug war is stopped and there is no financial incentive to move here, I see no reason to continue with the “police state at the border”. Both the drug war and the access to unearned compensation and benefits can be quickly corrected by a President.

    I will go back and look at the road to reform page to see how some of these items can be clarified so more people do not get the wrong idea as to my views and goals.

  38. georgephillies

    Tom,

    The core matter is that I have seen a fair fraction of the Presidential candidates. I also have a specific opinion: People who think we are running a Libertarian candidate for President primarily in order to elect a President, given the political situation today, need their heads examined. The point of a Presidential campaign is to bring resources out of the woodwork, put Libertarian issues in front of the body politic, and in a variety of ways leave our party stronger after the campaign is over. In some order:

    Darryl Perry is a nice guy. It would be very positive for our party if the LPNH were to make him their new chair. However, when you will only take donations in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, and metallic coins at metal value, and your position is someplace between “I will have no campaign staff” and “I want to pay people on my staff less than the minimum wage”, you are running a campaign that cannot do the things that a campaign should. Those are Darryl’s opinions. He will as a result not give us a successful campaign cycle.

    Marc Allan Feldman will not take more than $5 from any donor. He cannot be bought. Alas, his platform means he cannot buy any of the tools that a campaign needs in order to affect the body politic. His campaign will fail.

    Austin Petersen seems to be out there to annoy people. He is also being boosted by more-or-less Republican cliques. He will turn off a fair part of the Libertarian body politic, who will
    need some time in order to recover.

    We already tried Gary Johnson. His campaign was, by the standards I am choosing, an abject failure, though it did get a slightly better number of votes than some who came before him. His running mate is in my opinion unacceptable.

    Reid, Ince, and Dunham do not appear to me to be the right answer. Joy Waymire is undoubtedly a very nice person. Jesse Ventura is perhaps a nice guy, but as a Libertarian Presidential candidate he would be a bad joke.

    I will allow that Rhett Smith might be an interesting choice, but he has not been very visible.

    I do not view the laundry list of detailed issues as that important, though a candidate who was an antiabortionist, an evolution denier, a global warming denier, a war on ISIL advocate, a civil war historical revisionist, and a general conspiracy collector, or most of the above, would be a bad choice. I look at candidates for what they would do for the party, and that is determined by their ideas on campaign organization and fundraising. Steve Kerbel appears to be the best choice we have at the moment.

    George

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve,

    Thanks for noting the criticisms, responding, and your intention to clarify!

    When you say you want to allow industries to self-regulate if necessary, that’s exactly what I mean by “guild socialism.” As it evolved in medieval times, various crafts and industries “self-regulated” in ways that gave the existing players regulatory veto on new entrants. That tradition continues in the US in at least two industries — medicine and the practice of law.

    My recollection is that you have a background in the insurance industry, which may be why you understand the term “procurement tax” and I don’t. What, precisely, is it?

    I don’t think that you and I are going to be able to agree on immigration — I’m a “no particular orderist” who doesn’t go for holding one reform (freedom to travel) hostage to resolving other situations. And personally, if I had to pick one single issue as what this election might turn on and that the LP should hit hard, it would be immigration policy. It’s true that immigration libertarians (“open borders” supporters) are a minority in the US. But they’re not a tiny minority, and the immigration authoritarian majority is split between the Republicans, Democrats, Constitution Party, etc. I suspect that even the Greens will be subdued by their organized labor faction on the subject. The LP is likely to be the only significant political party with an immigration platform that comes close to what the more unified minority would like. It would be better if we hadn’t butchered and partially authoritarianized our immigration plank in 2006, but there’s still enough of it left to at least make a showing.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    OK, I see where you’re coming from — and you have had more, and more direct, exposure to most of the candidates than I have.

    But I’m still where I’m at: NOTA in first place, Perry in second. As I learn more about Feldman and Kerbel they may pull even with, or ahead of, Petersen for third (he’s in a DISTANT third).

    Personally, I consider your fundraising complaints vis a vis Perry and Feldman to be strengths. At the level the LP plays at, our candidates spend an inordinate percentage of their time and effort on raising money to put on a minimal campaign. Might as well gin up some Super PACs to do the heavy lifting and let the candidate concentrate on being a candidate.

  41. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m wondering if Austin has some plan none of us know about. He’s got to know by now that he’s unlikely to be our presidential candidate. Is he planning on jumping in as vp if Ventura is our candidate? That’s certainly unlikely because Petersen makes sport of making fun of truthers. Does he think Rand Paul’s going to try to be our candidate, and therefore wants to be Rand’s running mate? Frankly, I think that might be a possibility of that plan, although I envision no scenario where Rand would be our candidate..

    As I type this, I have a feeling of deja vu. If I said this before recently, I apologize. I do think Petersen is up to something, though.

  42. Anthony

    Jill,

    It’s been my thought all along that he is doing this as a p.r. stunt to try and land a tv/radio infotainment gig of some kind. It would explain the superficial intellectualism with the heavy dose of trolling. Perfect for Fox News. Others have told me he is deadly serious. Then again, the best trollers are deadly serious; they never break character, so how would we know?

  43. georgephillies

    Tom,

    As it happens, I have a Federal PAC up and running. It is not a SUPERPAC, but the number of Libertarians who would actually donate more than the current legal limit is quite small. I suppose I could do what you are proposing.

    I am not sure it is a good idea, because perhaps the delegates who voted for such a thing should get what they deserved.

    George

  44. georgephillies

    However, in a Trump-Clinton or Trump-Sanders contest, there would be some serious opportunity to advance. I do not see most of these choices including in particular NOTA, being able to take advantage of the circumstance.

  45. stevekerbel

    Thomas,

    I see what you are saying in regards to regulation. My point is that no regulation is best, as we still have courts to resolve disputes. As President, I can slash federal regulation but cannot really impact state regulation, so all I can do is offer an olive branch between business and state regulators for now. Hopefully the states would follow suit and terminate their regulatory entities as well, but they are big money makers for the states, so that is a problem….

    The “Procurement Tax” that I refer to is a sales tax, but only at the wholesale level, so it does not mark up goods to the retail buyers of those goods, and at this level, it makes a much smaller impact. Some items such as food would have no wholesale tax either… For example, If I remember correctly, the “fair tax” was a number close to 18% of retail sales with hoops to jump through to reduce it for some, but that only creates more government. A 10% ( or so) tax on wholesale goods only, combined with user fees is enough to support the federal expenses without hurting the people or discouraging the commerce and trade that would be associated. Plus, there would be less entities charged with collecting and remitting the tax, which puts less pressure on the small retailers to comply with more and more regulations which would be inevitable with a “fair tax”.

    As to immigration… well we all do our best. I certainly understand your point, and if I end up winning the election, I would want to stop the drug war for sure first, but that can be done quickly… I happen to believe that the borders in their current form do more harm than good, and I do believe that people should have the liberty to go where they want to.. There is little actual difference to the people here if the borders are open or closed.. Those we wish would stay away will always figure out how to get here. The key to security must still involve the people’s right to self defense, even though our current government seems to think that we should simply rely on them to protect us… There will always be dangers and threats, but I side with Ben Franklin on the issue of Liberty vs. Security.

  46. NewFederalist

    With a Bush-Clinton contest there would be no reason to nominate anyone. The nation simply could not lose with a lovely choice like that!

  47. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Anthony, your suggestion that this is a career move for Petersen is a good one. He certainly is photogenic, and getting onto Stossel’s show was impressive. Perhaps that’s what he’s up to.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    I hate to break the bad news, but regardless of whom the Republicans and Democrats nominate, and regardless of who we nominate, our chances of matching or exceeding the 2012 numbers look pretty slim. This is an election without an incumbent running. Both parties will be at maximum pitch to get out their votes, both parties will be screaming day and night that it’s a close race whether it is or not, the “wasted vote” meme will be in high-velocity circulation, and an extremely optimistic projection of our campaign budget is that it will be perhaps 1/25th of 1% of the total spent.

    If it’s Clinton versus anyone but Trump, I’m guessing that our vote total range will be bounded by Bergland ’84 at the low end and Browne ’00 at the high end.

  49. Anthony

    Jill,

    This is only a armchair psychoanalysis by me, but we know he used to work and Fox News, and we know he’s VERY thin-skinned, which usually indicates a deeply insecure person.

    You want my opinion? I think he saw the endless supply of superficially attractive, intellectually vapid women that parade around the halls of Fox News, and is using a presidential run as a way to land a show on a Fox Network channel, where he can use his position in front of the camera to copulate with the sort of desperately needy women who usually fill the halls of entertainment companies of all kinds.

    I spent a couple years out in Hollywood, and I came to know the type: a thin layer of intellect that is buried under a mountain of self-aggrandizement, name dropping, and constant bluster. On occasion out in L.A., I’d run into the same type of person, and their tactics were the same: any slight is an immediate attack, if you disagree with them, they name drop…:”oh, yeah, well Danny DeVito liked my script!!!” Just like AP repeatedly going right to saying…”Well, the Founding Fathers didn’t follow the NAP! Nozick was opposed to the NAP!” I’d bet he never read Nozick. I bet someone TOLD him Nozick was philosophically opposed to the NAP, and so he just name drops when someone confronts his fatuous arguments against the NAP. Its all Hollywood-type bluster, there’s no there there in his arguments.

    One man’s opinion.

  50. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Anthony said: ” I spent a couple years out in Hollywood, and I came to know the type: a thin layer of intellect that is buried under a mountain of self-aggrandizement, name dropping, and constant bluster. On occasion out in L.A., I’d run into the same type of person, and their tactics were the same: any slight is an immediate attack, if you disagree with them, they name drop…:”oh, yeah, well Danny DeVito liked my script!!!” Just like AP repeatedly going right to saying…”Well, the Founding Fathers didn’t follow the NAP! Nozick was opposed to the NAP!” I’d bet he never read Nozick. I bet someone TOLD him Nozick was philosophically opposed to the NAP, and so he just name drops when someone confronts his fatuous arguments against the NAP. Its all Hollywood-type bluster, there’s no there there in his arguments”

    LOL! I’ve grown up here in Los Angeles, and I know the personality you’re describing well! As you know, there are many, many wanna-bes. We see them as waiters and waitresses, and all kinds of starter jobs. There is a particular type of person who comes here. Some find work, most don’t.

  51. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Anthony,

    Re: name-dropping Nozick

    I cannot know what anyone has read – but I am HIGHLY skeptical he has read Nozick. Or if he did – if that is support. Nozick was brilliant. Anyone who actually read him and was compelled by him would invariably use co-opt his unique points. I rejected Nozick’s argument for the state and still reference his unique points. And one cannot reject the NAP and find much use for Nozick since the entire point of his nuance was to justify the state while holding to high deontological NAP ethics. If one rejects the NAP, there is no need to invoke Nozick. Nozickian side constraints were a turning point for me.

    Most people who name drop him have not thoroughly read him.

  52. Caryn Ann Harlos

    George,

    It is a testament to Kerbel that he garners the support of such diverse Libertarians as you and me.

  53. Anthony

    Caryn,

    I haven’t yet read Anarchy, State, and Utopia…yet. I’ve read parts of it. I tend to doubt someone who talks about his”pyramid of p*ssy” has read any of his books all the way through! LOL

  54. Anthony

    Jill,

    LA? Very nice! I was out there in the 1990’s. You know what I am talking about then, with regard to the personality type. AP definitely gives me the “fake it until you make it” type of attitude.

  55. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Here is a completely non-reflective comment by Austin Peterson on this article:

    Austin doesn’t understand the concept of force so doesn’t understand the non-initiation of same. The LP is a voluntary organization- organized voluntarily under certain principles that are so embedded it would take a voluntary decision of 7/8 of delegates to amend. He voluntarily repudiates this. Asking someone who is seeking to represent a voluntary ideological group to actually believe the ideology isn’t force.

    Unless he is saying the LP itself is trying to force people by having a Statement of Principles that it places such importance on. I didn’t create this importance. our Bylaws does. The unchanged SoP in over forty years does.

  56. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Anthony, I actually dated an actor on a national TV show for a couple years. He actually was excruciatingly shy, and was always uncomfortable in public. He was very tall (and drop-dead gorgeous) and could never blend in anywhere. He passed from cancer a few years ago, before he even turned 60.

    He was an exception to the arrogant, flashy types. As in any group, there are exceptions.

  57. Caryn Ann Harlos

    For those curious about my statement on the LPCO’s Constitution (this does only specifically refer to state and local candidates as it refers to our state convention– but I find it pretty obviously that philosophically, if we couldn’t nominate a Libertarian dogcatcher who repudiates the SoP, then a presidential candidate should be disqualified for endorsement in principle– obviously delegates can do as they wish)

    Section 4: Each candidate must have been a Member for at least one hundred fifty (150) days prior to the Primary Election, and shall sign a statement to the effect that he or she supports the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party.

  58. Caryn Ann Harlos

    On an unrelated note. LOL at AP’s trying to champion the cause of women in liberty.

    Pro-tip: Don’t refer to your past girlfriends/partners as pyramids of…..

    That might help.

  59. Marc Montoni

    Personally, I think Petersen is doing this for two reasons.

    One is to fatten his wallet by generating hits on his cheap-assed ad-drenched website. Or to land a gig of some other type, as some suggested above.

    He has stated on numerous occasions that he doesn’t agree with some of the foundational ideas of the libertarian movement (much less those of the LP).

    Yes, there is a moronic “oooo! shiny object!!” caucus within the LP. They delivered Barr to us in 2008. I’m hopeful the people who show the hell up at the 2016 convention aren’t as daft as the majority that showed up at the 2008. Most of them recognized what a disaster that was and slithered off in shame; but there are a few remaining and some are on the national committee. But for the most part I am hopeful that they are pretty much out of the game, and that we will nominate someone with a brain who isn’t afraid to actually explain real, radical libertarian ideas wherever he goes.

    I don’t need a celebrity, or one of these shallow “celebritarians” — who has no real loyalty to the movement — just someone intelligent with a decent sense of humor who can clearly articulate libertarianism.

    And someone who knows how to dress well.

    The other reason he’s in it is specifically as a joke. I think he is disloyal enough that if he does win the nomination, that he will then withdraw after all the state deadlines to substitute a new candidate have passed. He’s a Republican Party supporter and a RandPaulDroid and withdrawing under those conditions would ruin our ballot access in a couple of dozen states. LP activity is already discouraging enough; but a disaster like that would convince many long-time dedicated activists to think it’s hopeless and leave.

  60. langa

    I’d rank the main candidates as follows:

    1. Perry
    2. Kerbel
    3. Johnson
    4. Feldman
    5. NOTA
    6. Petersen

    For any minor party, the candidate and the campaign should be a means to an end — namely, the promotion of the party and, especially, the message that the party is designed to spread. Perry and Kerbel seem to get that, and that’s why I put them at the top, though neither is my “ideal” candidate. On the other hand, Johnson, Feldman and especially Petersen seem to be more interested in promoting themselves, and see the party and the philosophy as, at best, a means to promote their campaign, complete with their own message, which may or may not be consistent with that of the party and the broader movement.

    The reason I put Petersen below even NOTA (which I’m not really a fan of) is because I think nominating someone who openly mocks and ridicules the principles that the LP was designed to advance would be counterproductive. It would be like the Catholic Church naming an atheist as the Pope. It would simply make us look like fools.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa,

    I’d be interested in reading your specific criticisms of Feldman. He doesn’t strike me as an egotistical self-promoter, and he does have some interesting ideas.

    One of MY problems with him is that he doesn’t seem to have an issues page on his campaign web-site with bullet points (and possibly links to longer material) on where he stands. So I’ll notice this or that proposal from him and have an opinion on it, but I haven’t been able to develop a good picture of the whole package.

    One thing I happen to LIKE about Feldman and Perry are their approaches to campaign finance. I’ve briefly explained why above, but in more detail:

    Every four years, the presidential campaigns teams have to devote a disproportionate amount of their time and work, both pre- and post-nomination, to raising money. The sum raised is paltry compared to that spent by the major party candidates. For example, in 2012, Obama’s team raised and spent $1.1 billion and Romney’s raised and spent $900 million. The LP’s post-nomination team raised around $1 million post-nomination, which is consistent with the two campaigns before it. So, about 1/25th of 1% of total campaign spending. If Johnson raised and spent that much pre-nomination, then 1/12th of 1%.

    That seems to be our current ceiling, and raising even that much expends one major, scarce resource: General election TIME. That is, TIME that would be better spent SPENDING money to CAMPAIGN FOR VOTES instead of SPENDING the time and money trying to get the money.

    So I’d prefer a paradigm, for the moment, in which pre-nomination candidates only need to concentrate on raising the minimal amounts they need (if they can’t self-finance) to campaign within our small party and to our small delegate body. And I’d like to see party organs, e.g. a presidential campaign support committee, raising money for the four years PRIOR for the express purpose of supporting the presidential campaign, with a goal of exceeding the $1-2 million ceiling we usually see.

    I’d like to see our 2020 nominee come out of the gate with $4 million (a million a year for the four years prior) ready to be spent on CAMPAIGNING and GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT.

    When I see someone like Perry or Feldman (or Badnarik) intentionally running shoestring nomination campaigns, I think that they have their priorities straight, and that the party should similarly straighten its own priorities.

  62. paulie

    Since the downsides of the Petersen campaign have been discussed heavily in this thread and several others before let me mention a few positive aspects instead. Austin posted http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/serious-help-needed-for-oklahoma-petition-drive in multiple FB groups yesterday and told me he would try to get his Oklahoma contacts to petition here. I didn’t listen very closely, but from what I heard he made a lot of good points and did a great job of presenting libertarian positions on the Stossel panel ( http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4622539272001/stossel-11112015-live-gop-debate-reaction-show ). He has a proven ability to get on a show like Stossel, more than once, unlike a lot of people. Various people above claim he is photogenic, so I’ll take their word for it. He has lots of “ask me anything” threads all over FB, which I hope he will do more of at IPR as well. Those are a few off the top of my head. The various campaigns have their good and bad points and it’s useful to consider both.

  63. paulie

    That seems to be our current ceiling, and raising even that much expends one major, scarce resource: General election TIME. That is, TIME that would be better spent SPENDING money to CAMPAIGN FOR VOTES instead of SPENDING the time and money trying to get the money.

    You won’t get the money if you don’t raise it first. For starters, who pays for candidate travel? Is the candidate going everywhere by his or herself with no staff to travel with? If not, who pays for their travel?

    So I’d prefer a paradigm, for the moment, in which pre-nomination candidates only need to concentrate on raising the minimal amounts they need (if they can’t self-finance) to campaign within our small party and to our small delegate body.

    That may sound minimal but you and I both know from personal experience that it can be a huge hurdle to overcome. Also, disagreed that this should be the case. If at all possible, the pre-nomination candidates should be campaigning to the general public as well, spreading their message, the party name, growing their database, growing their volunteer base, expanding their warm media contacts, growing their volunteer and paid staff, learning the ropes by trial and error. The few short post-nomination months aren’t long enough to put all that together nearly as well as it needs to be. Candidates should be demonstrating to the delegates how well they can do this by doing it – before they get nominated, if possible.

    And I’d like to see party organs, e.g. a presidential campaign support committee, raising money for the four years PRIOR for the express purpose of supporting the presidential campaign, with a goal of exceeding the $1-2 million ceiling we usually see.

    Then put one together. How well do you think you will do in raising money without a specific candidate to excite people about? That’s not necessarily a rhetorical question.

    I’d like to see our 2020 nominee come out of the gate with $4 million (a million a year for the four years prior) ready to be spent on CAMPAIGNING and GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT.

    Add a few zeros on the end of that money figure while you are at it. Unless you can prove an ability to raise that kind of money for “we don’t know who the candidate will be” before any candidates are nominated, or even before they are running, it’s as valid a number as 4 billion.

    So how about a Superpac? Great idea, but I don’t think it’s a substitute for actual campaign with actual staff. It’s great in addition to it, but what happens when people see your candidate somewhere and look him or her up? One of the first places they land is on the campaign website. They may want to give money, or volunteer, or get a yard sign or bumper sticker or any number of things. Will there be someone on the other end to accept their help or provide the materials? Will the materials even exist? These things all cost money, and the candidate can’t promote the superpac to get as many people as possible to take these steps or contemplate doing so, unlike their own site. People may or may not take the additional time to find that they can donate to the superpac or get their materials there. And a candidate has no control of how the superpac presents them and their message. Someone could set one up to distort them on purpose. Which one will people find when they do their search? Will they even bother to do a search or will they just look up the candidate’s name, find out that they can’t donate time or money or get materials, and go away disappointed?

    Anyway, even supposing that you are correct and that a generic presidential support committee or a superpac can raise millions for an LP candidate.. it hasn’t been done yet, and there is no reason to assume that it can be done at all by anyone ever unless and until it is done. Thus for 2016 it’s a lot less feasible to nominate a candidate who self-limits in such major ways. If you can successfully put together a superpac that raises millions in 2016 or a presidential support committee that raises millions in 2017-20, then it becomes a more viable proposition to at least consider nominating a candidate like that in 2020. Unless and until then, it’s a big strike against them.. which doesn’t mean that they don’t have other factors in their favor, which they do.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If at all possible, the pre-nomination candidates should be campaigning to the general public as well, spreading their message, the party name, growing their database, growing their volunteer base, expanding their warm media contacts, growing their volunteer and paid staff, learning the ropes by trial and error. The few short post-nomination months aren’t long enough to put all that together nearly as well as it needs to be. ”

    Well, the key there is “if at all possible.” And in recent campaign cycles, it’s been pretty thoroughly established that it really isn’t. The last time a candidate managed that at all was Harry Browne, and his campaign’s claims on that were at least somewhat hyperbolic.

    But you do bring up a point that’s part of the larger package of direction change I’d like to see:

    The Libertarian Party intentionally handicaps itself by nominating only low single-digit months before the general election. It should go back to nominating more than a year before, like it used to. By the time the LP nominates its presidential candidate — and it’s almost NEVER a near-certainty who that candidate will be as of the morning it does so — the Republicans and Democrats have been either certain or near-certain who THEIR nominees will be for MONTHS, and those nominees have already spent tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars reaching the public.

    “Anyway, even supposing that you are correct and that a generic presidential support committee or a superpac can raise millions for an LP candidate.. it hasn’t been done yet, and there is no reason to assume that it can be done at all by anyone ever unless and until it is done.”

    True. So the choice here is: Do we keep on doing things that clearly have never worked, do not work now and are never going to work? Or do we try other approaches that might work? I don’t consider that a difficult call to make.

  65. paulie

    Well, the key there is “if at all possible.” And in recent campaign cycles, it’s been pretty thoroughly established that it really isn’t. The last time a candidate managed that at all was Harry Browne, and his campaign’s claims on that were at least somewhat hyperbolic.

    All or most of them do it to some extent. The extent varies. Petersen already went on Stossel, Kerbel did some local media, and so on. Browne did a hell of a lot of it; his campaign journals are still online for the details. Johnson already gets a pretty decent chunk of major media interviews compared to anyone running for LPOTUS nom so far. It will help him somewhat if he runs again, compared to anyone who has not laid that groundwork already. Unfortunately, his decision to delay making it official means that there are a few of these things that he is not doing until he does, which will give him less time to ramp them up once he finally does start doing them.

    “Anyway, even supposing that you are correct and that a generic presidential support committee or a superpac can raise millions for an LP candidate.. it hasn’t been done yet, and there is no reason to assume that it can be done at all by anyone ever unless and until it is done.”

    True. So the choice here is: Do we keep on doing things that clearly have never worked, do not work now and are never going to work? Or do we try other approaches that might work? I don’t consider that a difficult call to make.

    It’s a dimmer, not an on/off switch. The things we have already done work to a certain extent. A different approach may work better or worse. The things you propose could conceivably work as well or better but seem pretty unlikely to work better. I’m not interested in throwing away the extent to which the present approach does in fact work to try something which may possibly but seems highly unlikely to work better. The good news though is that those things can be done in parallel with running a candidate who does not intentionally self-limit their own fundraising, so that next time, a candidate who does would be less of a non-starter from the get go….although even then there would be the other concerns I raised.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    L: It would be like the Catholic Church naming an atheist as the Pope. It would simply make us look like fools.

    me: Thank you Dr. Freud….

  67. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Now that Johnson is invoked multiple times- any further rumours?

    Re: photogenic? (Petersen) yes, very much so. And winsome if not challenged- when challenged the temper and Tourette’s come out (I mean that hyperbolically – his weapon of choice is insulting – which as Trump has proved can be a powerful recruiting method- inside a group like the LP to the already small band of solders, not so much).

    My choices are Kerbel, Perry, Johnson, NOTA

    If a candidate below NOTA on my scale gets the nomination, I will support the Party.

  68. Caryn Ann Harlos

    As far as getting on Stossel- whoever our nominee is will get that. Petersen got it now— but I don’t think that matters much for this.

    Why? Stossel’s audience is libertarianish (This is NOT a comment about Stossel himself)- most are not people who are going to be LP delegates, most of them won’t switch party registrations where there is that option. Most of them are and remain Republicans (yes some Libertarians are fans- I like and watch the show when I do watch TV). They are Rand Paul’s base not ours. The same role horrified by our refugee stance.

    It is cool he was on- it spreads the Libertarian message, it pulls traffic to his site (which is the main reason he is running IMHO) but it doesn’t translate to Petersen the candidate. [whoever] the nominee will also be on, Stossel seems very open to that.

    But Stossel’s Paul audience are unlikely to vote LP unless it is Johnson. They will however help the Repubs co opt some of our ideas and if that translates into more freedom, great.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    Well, look at it this way:

    – The bylaws require the LNC to support the presidential campaign. I’m not as well acquainted with the campaign finance laws as I should be, but my impression is that post-nomination, a party’s national committee has a pretty broad legal capacity for spending money on that support.

    – While it would be (and has been) wrong for the LNC to support a particular candidate for the nomination, there’s nothing at all to stop the LNC from raising and saving money in the years leading up to the nomination and general election, such that there’s a more significant war chest specifically earmarked for general election campaigning.

    Now, the direction I came at it from is “since our candidates generally don’t raise much pre-nomination, and then have to invest a LOT of time and work in raising a comparatively small sum AFTER the nomination, when it would be better for them to be able to concentrate solely on reaching voters with the message, I find it attractive to see some candidates downplaying the pre-nomination fundraising and trying to reduce the role of money in their pre-nomination campaigns.”

    BUT!

    There’s nothing at all to say that a candidate CAN’T concentrate on fundraising even pre-nomination, or that the delegates might include that candidate’s fundraising ability, pre-nomination campaigning to the general public, etc. in their candidate assessments.

    So yeah, I’m also fine with Candidate X raising two million dollars and running TV ads and making major media appearances before ever being nominated AND the LNC having built up a fund of $5 million to support that candidate post-nomination.

    All I’m REALLY saying here is “hey, instead of nominating someone four months before the election and then expecting him or her to bust ass raising a paltry million bucks during that key campaign time when he or she would be better off having the ability to do other things, how about the party raises and saves dedicated post-nomination campaign money during the non-election years, and also nominates a year or more out so that the timeframe during which the nominee can campaign AS THE NOMINEE is greatly enlarged?” And then if the nominee has the capacity to raise money both before and after the nomination too, fine, but we still get more of a campaign either way.

  70. paulie

    CAH

    Stossel’s audience includes lots of people a lot of whom match that description and a lot of whom don’t. Some of them are just channel flipping and happen to come across something they like that makes them pause before the next click, etc. And it does matter whether a candidate is on that show, or any show with an audience as big or bigger, now or in 6 months or in 10 months – for all the ramping-up reasons (which all work off each other continuously). For those same ramping-up reasons, it would have been better if Johnson had already announced, and the longer he waits the worse he will end up doing assuming he actually does run. His stated reason for waiting is to wait for the Republican herd of candidates to thin out. I think that is a mistake. As for rumors, other than stated reasons the only thing I have heard is what you have already heard – Austin’s contention that Gary’s business dealings are going sour, and that he allegedly told some unnamed people he would not run. I don’t know the status of his business dealings or whether they would prevent him from running and I am very skeptical of these unnamed sources. Mostly what I have heard is his public line that he will run except if some major unexpected catastrophe derails it.

  71. paulie

    While it would be (and has been) wrong for the LNC to support a particular candidate for the nomination, there’s nothing at all to stop the LNC from raising and saving money in the years leading up to the nomination and general election, such that there’s a more significant war chest specifically earmarked for general election campaigning.

    Not likely to happen, since there will be too much pressure to budget for more immediate concerns and worries that any such fundraising would cannibalize the donations that the party desperately needs for those more immediate matters, regardless of whether the concerns are justified. And, if it did happen, that doesn’t increase their ability to raise millions, or anything close to it, for an unknown presidential candidate running years down the road.

    So yeah, I’m also fine with Candidate X raising two million dollars and running TV ads and making major media appearances before ever being nominated AND the LNC having built up a fund of $5 million to support that candidate post-nomination.

    Don’t forget to add two zeros at the end of the first number and three at the end of the second. Or, back in reality, show me that the LNC would ever be willing to fundraise in such a way, and then if it did that they can even raise 5k for it much less 5m. In the meantime, my concerns about any candidates intentionally self-limiting donations still stand untouched.

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    Well, keep in mind I’m making suggestions as to how the LNC _should_ act, not predictions as to how it _will_ act.

    But the LNC has, in the past, done project-based fundraising. Why would this be any different, in principle, than the building fund, ballot access fund, etc.?

    Sure, there might be some people who, given the option of donating to general revenues or to the presidential campaign fund, would donate to the latter at the expense of the former. But if past experience is any indicator, there will also be people who:

    1) Already donate to the general fund and will make additional donations for specific projects; and

    2) People who won’t just throw money at the LNC so they can piss it down a hole on recurring six-figure software purchases and so forth, but who will donate when they’re truthfully told it is going to a specific thing that the donor considers important.

  73. paulie

    But the LNC has, in the past, done project-based fundraising. Why would this be any different, in principle, than the building fund, ballot access fund, etc.?

    It’s not different in principle. I doubt it would raise much money or that it will even be given the chance to try. That doesn’t mean I’m against trying. All I said is that unless and until it’s a proven fact that it can it won’t have any impact on my choice for the nomination or my recommendations in such matters to anyone who cares (if such people exist).

    Sure, there might be some people who, given the option of donating to general revenues or to the presidential campaign fund, would donate to the latter at the expense of the former. But if past experience is any indicator, there will also be people who:

    1) Already donate to the general fund and will make additional donations for specific projects; and

    2) People who won’t just throw money at the LNC so they can piss it down a hole on recurring six-figure software purchases and so forth, but who will donate when they’re truthfully told it is going to a specific thing that the donor considers important.

    I agree with all that, and it doesn’t change anything I said previously one bit.

  74. ATBAFT

    “The Libertarian Party intentionally handicaps itself by nominating only low single-digit months before the general election. It should go back to nominating more than a year before, like it used to. ”

    Mr. Knapp’s suggestion is one I’ve endorsed for many years if the LP is to, in fact, run a
    candidate for President. I’m sure there are “cons” (but, frankly, those mostly relate to believing the LP candidate is actually going to win the election). The big “pros” are the chances to raise more funds and thus increase the possibilities of the public actually hearing about the LP candidate, and giving the candidate the chance to visit all the state conventions – as the candidate and not one of a long list of potentials – to have his or her staff confer with each state’s activists to co-ordinate a campaign that is more effective, less catch as catch can, and
    actually have the time to bring new people and volunteers into the LP before election day.

  75. paulie

    Agreed about the pros. The cons of nominating early: Some states complain it takes away a big advertising opportunity they get by having a non-binding presidential primary. Fewer people paying attention when you have an early nominating convention when fewer people are paying attention to presidential contests that are still way off.

    What could be either a con or a pro is that it limits the potential candidates to only those who are willing to decide that far ahead of time, and put their life on hold for over a year to run around the country trying like hell to get any little bit of coverage, donations, audiences and help of any kind. I think that would be more of a pro, but it cuts off the possibilities for the unexpected to happen.

  76. Nicholas Sarwark

    The Libertarian Party used to nominate Presidential candidates in the year prior to the election for the reasons Mr. Knapp suggests above. It did not have the effects predicted when it was done in the past.

  77. ATBAFT

    I can’t comment on all the campaigns where the nominee was known a year earlier, but it sure helped in Penna. with the petition drive, etc. to have had Ed Clark nominated in 1979 and to be able to coordinate a very difficult petition drive with his people.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    Nick,

    I’m not sure what effects were predicted in the case of nominating in the previous year, but I can confidently predict one effect that has a chance so close to 100% of being true as for the infinitesimal chance it’s not true to not really be worthy of consideration:

    The earlier the party nominates, the more time the nominee has available to campaign AS THE NOMINEE between the nomination and the election.

    The only way that’s not true is if there’s some quirk in quantum physics that only George Phillies could understand, which causes the time-space fabric to re-shape itself around LP nominations such that the nominee is sucked into an Einstein-Rosen bridge which instantly pulls him or her into the future so that he or she loses that time.

    Here’s the argument I’ve heard against nominating early:

    The public is more attuned to presidential politics as the election gets closer, so the nominating convention will likely get more publicity and notice.

    I don’t completely reject that argument. It seems likely that there’s some minor truth to it. But the additional publicity/notice we get seems pretty small. Maybe some C-SPAN coverage. Maybe some brief media notices and/or invitations to appear on shows right after the nomination and during the high-attention timeframe. I have now closely observed five Libertarian presidential campaigns, and none of them seem to have generated any huge publicity windfall based solely on the timing of the nomination.

    Of the five LP presidential nomination contests I’ve observed, all of them had likely/favorite nominees, but all of them also had non-trivial opponents who conceivably could have taken the nomination.

    The Republicans and Democrats know who their nominees are going to be well before we do. They’ve massaged their rules for decades to avoid brokered conventions. Usually it’s very clear shortly after Super Tuesday who is going to get the nod, and that candidate is able to campaign as the nominee-apparent from that point on, having already received far more publicity even before that point than our nominee is likely to receive from beginning to end of the cycle.

    Meanwhile, we show up as early as Memorial Day or as late as the 4th of July without knowing to any great degree of certainty who the candidate is going to be. The contestants are still having to devote a high degree of their time, work and effort to talking TO the party — and that time and effort is subtracted from the time and effort they can put into talking to the public ABOUT the party.

    Is the case for nominating early airtight, with no possible arguments against it? No — but it’s damn close.

  79. Wang Tang-Fu

    Year before would remove uncertainties and problems over candidate substitution. LP has gotten lucky in some states with that, with SOSs interpreting the law favorably when they could have chosen not to. There have been near misses with the actual getting of the substitution forms signed and there may have been some actual states lost – I’m not sure on that last one. While Knapp’s larger point is correct, small nit:

    “Of the five LP presidential nomination contests I’ve observed, all of them had likely/favorite nominees, but all of them also had non-trivial opponents who conceivably could have taken the nomination.”

    Who was the odds on pre-convention favorite in 2004?

  80. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Who was the odds on pre-convention favorite in 2004?”

    There really wasn’t one. I worked for Russo’s campaign and coming in to the convention we felt like our chances were good versus Nolan, but not great, and that Badnarik really didn’t have much of a shot. Russo ended up winning on the first two ballots, but when Nolan was eliminated and threw his support to Badnarik, that was the end of the show.

  81. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Over at Austin’s page, here is the insightful criticism of me:

    “She can’t even spell aggression right.” Interesting. Well firstly, I didn’t make a spelling error as I didn’t post or create the title speaking of myself in the third person. That title was created by Jill…. who posted it very late and errors happen. My name was originally misspelled. I think I know how to spell my own name. The title error has now been corrected. But I thank that person to withdraw their insult. And Austin “liked” that post. Really classy. (A quick word search through the things I *did* write will show that I certainly know how to spell aggression.) Argumentum ad Errorum de Scrivenus is fallacious (yes I made that phrase up before someone hops on that…. it is right there with Argumentum ad Googleum.)

    For the information of readers, IPR editors don’t post their own editorials. That is decided and done by another IPR editor. And if there is no title submitted, such as in this case, the posting editor chooses and writes a title. And sometimes we misspell things. I don’t think Jill will be devastated to learn she isn’t perfect.

    Austin rightfully has complained that people have gotten personally insulting and vicious with him without any cause… for instance they just sat next to him at a conference and knew he was [insert some insulting term]. And that is wrong when people post stuff like that. It is just as a wrong though to insult someone’s intelligence or argument based on a misspelled word…. which is compounded by the fact that a moment’s analysis would reveal that I wasn’t even the one who misspelled it. A vapid insult is compounded by inaccuracy.

    There was also a post from someone stating they are tired of “keyboard commandos” who go after Austin but do nothing other than that for the movement. And I am sure there are PLENTY of those (I know some of them). However, there are also plenty of critics who are not in that category. Myself for instance. I do plenty other than post potshots on the interwebz. Dismissing critics simply as do-nothing-internet-whiners will not do. If there is anyone reading who fits that description… get out and actually do something to be the change you want.

  82. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    ==1) Already donate to the general fund and will make additional donations for specific projects; and
    2) People who won’t just throw money at the LNC so they can piss it down a hole on recurring six-figure software purchases and so forth, but who will donate when they’re truthfully told it is going to a specific thing that the donor considers important.===

    I am in category one… but moving to become part of category two.

  83. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Nick,

    I was wondering about that. It still seems really really short window though. In a way, I like that for entirely selfish reasons… if we nominate a stinker, I only have to grin and bear it for six months. But for Party reasons… it seems awful short.

  84. Caryn Ann Harlos

    This is one of Austin’s more vacuous comments. If your liberty is violated, the violators are aggressing against you. Thus taking your Liberty is DEFENSIVE.

    Here is where I commence to do something I did with Austin before, and I tried to do on the show. Try to spin his words in the best possible light. At the beginning of the show, I tried to give him a door to say it was the terminology he objected to… I don’t care about magic words. If “non-initiation of force” was better for him, fine. But refused that door. I don’t want to have to deny someone’s plain words: he plainly said he repudiated the non-initiation of force. But I think it is also plain that he doesn’t accurately know (or doesn’t want to in order to troll everyone) what the initiation of force IS. He confuses it with defense all the time. And if I thought the NIFP or NAP denied the right to defense, I would reject it too. But it doesn’t deny that. And Austin’s insistence it does despite all the clarifications by the people that hold to it.. is…galling. Austin sets up a strawman, and that is the ultimate disrespect to one’s opponents. He either does it ignorantly (he is too smart for that) or on purpose… which is trolling and opportunism.

    And the shifting goalposts….. at times he says his objection is to the word “aggression,” but here it is clear it is to the word “initiation.” He wants to use force, and he doesn’t see a difference between starting and defending. That is frightening. Think about the implications of that.

    But it is even better. Remember Austin claims he pledged not to violently revolt. Yet, he also says that the government has taken our liberties. Okay…. connect the dots…. does that mean he WOULD violently revolt to TAKE his liberties back? Since he thinks that IS the initiation of force, he is saying he favors this initiation. In opposition to his pledge: I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.

    My points to him were not about the pledge. But he cannot even be consistent with that. If there is no distinction between defense and initiation, he has just denied that one can ever defend themselves against the government.

  85. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m really sorry for spelling Caryn’s last name wrong. I won’t do it again.

    I wish the URL would correct itself after the title is changed, but it doesn’t. That means all the posts shared on FB will have the wrong spelling. I’ll be forever embarrassed by this.

    There’s no excuse–but I won’t do it again.

  86. Wang Tang-Fu

    That’s what I thought. So no likely/favorite at all in 2004. I think Johnson and Browne were both fairly comfortably in the lead months before the nomination, though both would have benefited from having it sooner. If the nominations were in September of the previous year Johnson would not have come over to the LP, and Barr may or may not have run depending on who you believe. Whether you consider either or both of those to be good or bad things is a separate question. Barr was probably leading pre-nomination, but less comfortably.

    The only people who could run for the nomination would be those who could put their life on hold for over a year to campaign, or run such a lackluster campaign that it would still leave them time for a real life. And, they would have to know over a year ahead of time that they definitely want to run and definitely run LP. While ideally we would like people to know those things and put in that kind of time, it may also be at least in some years that the only people actually willing to do it in real life would be a lot worse overall as candidates than the candidates who are only willing to come in later or not at all.

    So, yes, there are pros and cons. But I would like to clear up Chairman Sarwark’s quotation above: “The Libertarian Party used to nominate Presidential candidates in the year prior to the election for the reasons Mr. Knapp suggests above. It did not have the effects predicted when it was done in the past.”

    What I think I know of this – someone please correct if this is wrong – is that the change was made primarily as a gambit to attract bigger networks than CSPAN to the convention. It didn’t really pay off, as CSPAN has continued to be the only network there. Is that what the Chairman meant to write…that changing to the year of from the year before did not have the effects predicted of attracting bigger networks? Or, was some back and forth time travel scenario being discussed? Was there perhaps a typo of some sort? Please help me out as my English is exceedingly poor, and my translation program is very, very old, dating back to the ancient years of the very first Wangs.

  87. Wang Tang-Fu

    A thousand apologies. @12:40 was @12:18 and preceding comments. I did not anticipate so many other comments in the meantime. I will forever live with the horrible shame of failing to anticipate them and not posting a reference within my comment as to which comments I addressed. I will go whip myself with a wet noodle so I remember not to disgrace myself, my family and my ancestors in such a terrible way again.

  88. Thomas L. Knapp

    “That’s what I thought. So no likely/favorite at all in 2004. I think Johnson and Browne were both fairly comfortably in the lead months before the nomination, though both would have benefited from having it sooner.”

    Yeah, in 2004 everyone seemed to think it was a close race. My evaluations of the others:

    – In 1996, it was by no means apparent that Browne was going to be the nominee. In fact, his campaign manager later publicly confessed his belief that, had the manager not been diligently working at LPHQ to steal the nomination for him, Browne would have had to drop out months before the national convention.

    – In 2000, Browne was pretty clearly the favorite, but Don Gorman looked to be doing pretty well with a possibility of catching up, and Jacob Hornberger could probably have been a factor if he had campaigned a bit more and hadn’t dropped out at the last minute.

    – We’ve already done 2004.

    – In 2008, it was pretty much a tossup until Ruwart, then Barr, entered the race. Ruwart was the immediate obvious favorite when she jumped in, then a lot of people just assumed Barr had it wrapped up. I was talking with Barr’s main LP promoter, Steve Gordon, right before the voting began, and my opinion was that if Barr didn’t get at least 40% on the first ballot, he would go down. I was wrong. IIRC, his first ballot count was 26%. He ended up taking six ballots to win the nomination.

    – In 2012, I was pulling for R. Lee Wrights, but it was pretty clear that Johnson was going to win and probably on the first ballot.

    So of those five nominations, my opinion is that four of them were not “in the bag” for anyone as of the opening of the convention. Let alone months before the convention, as is usually the case with the two major parties.

  89. Wang Tang-Fu

    TLK @ 12:57

    Perhaps my reading of history has misled me. I would have thought 1996 and 2000 had clear presumptive favorites. I agree 2004 did not. 2008 was less predictable than 1996, 2000 or 2012, but more predictable than 2004.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    WTF,

    Well, like I said, Perry Willis claims that if he had not been secretly working for Browne, trying to steal the nomination for him while serving as LPHQ’s director in 1996, Browne wouldn’t have ever even made it to the convention. And AT the convention there was one other pretty prominent candidate (Irwin Schiff) and the Arizona upstart I favored (Rick Tompkins) seemed to have some support. The Browne campaign certainly created a big smoke cloud trying to portray him as the presumptive nominee, but it wasn’t nearly as clear as they made it sound.

    My recollection is that the outcome in 2000 was 60/40 Browne/Gorman, and that Gorman had pretty good buzz going in. With Hornberger in the mix, most of the people I was talking with expected it to go to multiple ballots with Browne not necessarily prevailing.

  91. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    He may be like Moulton (iirc) and I on the SOP and NAP, that it’s more “sentiment” than “principle,” or worse, a hard rule.

    No, I take exactly the opposite view: the pledge means the non-initiation of force principle (or the non-aggression principle) plain and simple, which I believe limits LP membership to anarchists only.

    I think that’s a bad idea; therefore, I seek to change or eliminate the membership pledge so that the LP can be open to all libertarians rather than just anarchists.

    I have no personal problem signing the pledge because I am an anarcho-capitalist. I come to those views from a utilitarian consequentialist perspective, but that doesn’t mean I disagree with natural rights principles.

  92. Chuck Moulton

    I almost typoed “non-aggression principle” as “nom-aggression principle”, which I suppose would be the membership pledge for a vegetarian society.

  93. Wang Tang-Fu

    Mr. Knapp,

    Interesting history, quite different from what I remember reading…although, admittedly, I no longer recall where I might have read it. Do you perchance remember where one may find a good source regarding Mr. Willis’ claim from 1996 that you reference at 13:27 or the convention ballot results from 1996 and 2000 you also refer to there? Thank you for the informative read.

  94. Wang Tang-Fu

    NewFederalist,

    While Latin is among the many languages in our family’s translator program, I am afraid that section is even more rusted out and corrupted from disuse and misuse than my poor excuse for English, if one can even imagine such a thing to be possible. I am loath to even attempt it; the family user comment notes indicate that every time we even try to use it something untoward happens, be it someone being crucified, a legion being decimated, a city pillaged, or some such horrible result of misunderstanding and miscommunication in the Latin section of our translation. Perhaps that is why it has become rusty through lack of use recently.

  95. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Do you perchance remember where one may find a good source regarding Mr. Willis’ claim from 1996 that you reference at 13:27”

    http://www.harrybrowne.org/policy/policy.htm

    Money quote: “Even with my help, the Browne campaign struggled to make it to Election Day. Without my help I don’t think they would have made it through the winter of 1995-96.”

    “or the convention ballot results from 1996 and 2000 you also refer to there”

    Not offhand. I’m operating from memory. And that memory is not so much of ballot results as it is of perceptions coming in to the conventions. Browne won both nominations more or less handily, but it was not completely obvious in advance that he would do so in either case.

  96. Wang Tang-Fu

    Mr. Moulton,

    Perhaps something has been lost in translation here, but weren’t we discussing the Statement of Principles, as opposed to the membership pledge, here? Unless I’ve garbled my translation even worse than usual you responded to a quote about the SOP (statement of principles) with a response about the membership pledge.

  97. Chuck Moulton

    Jill Pyeatt wrote:

    I wish the URL would correct itself after the title is changed, but it doesn’t. That means all the posts shared on FB will have the wrong spelling. I’ll be forever embarrassed by this.

    Actually, that is possible. On other WordPress sites I have changed a post URL and setup redirects from the old URL to the new one. My recollection is that’s a feature within WordPress. I don’t know what level of access is required to utilize it.

  98. Chuck Moulton

    Wang Tang-Fu wrote:

    Mr. Moulton,

    Perhaps something has been lost in translation here, but weren’t we discussing the Statement of Principles, as opposed to the membership pledge, here?

    Most of you were. I was responding to one specific comment from Robert Capozzi because I felt he misrepresented my position (not intentionally… no doubt due to a faulty memory).

  99. Wang Tang-Fu

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    He may be like Moulton (iirc) and I on the SOP and NAP, that it’s more “sentiment” than “principle,” or worse, a hard rule.

    Mr. Capozzi seems to be referring to the SOP (statement of principles) rather than the membership pledge. Did something get lost in translation here?

  100. georgephillies

    “Do you perchance remember where one may find a good source regarding Mr. Willis’ claim from 1996 that you reference at 13:27”

    See my book “Funding Liberty”
    amazon.com/Funding-Liberty-George-Phillies/dp/1929381182

  101. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    He may be like Moulton (iirc) and I on the SOP and NAP, that it’s more “sentiment” than “principle,” or worse, a hard rule.

    Wang Tang-Fu wrote:

    Mr. Capozzi seems to be referring to the SOP (statement of principles) rather than the membership pledge. Did something get lost in translation here?

    At this point I assume you are trolling, because I have re-read everything I’ve written in this thread and it is clear as day to me — I see no possible way you misunderstood what I explicitly said unless you are deliberately trying to obfuscate and put words through torture that would violate the Geneva Convention.

    Capozzi referred to the SOP and the NAP. I’ve said nothing about the SOP. I’ve said the exact opposite of the interpretation he ascribed to me regarding the NAP. I clarified that he misrepresented me. This isn’t rocket science.

  102. Wang Tang-Fu

    Mr. Moulton,

    A thousand apologies, I was not trolling. I’ve now finally understood you. My apologies for my bad English. Out of curiosity if I may: What are your thoughts on the responses Mr. Petersen has offered regarding the Statement of Principles, as quoted above? And what are your own thoughts on the Statement of Principles?

  103. Wang Tang-Fu

    Mr. Ziggler,

    I hope it will be peaceful, voluntary and refreshing. In the village of my ancestors it is often said that a good NAP is the key to social harmony, happiness, good health, prosperity, and long life. Conversely, those who don’t NAP are often tired, angry, irritable, rash, and making bad decisions leading to other bad decisions that end up taking them down the wrong path.

  104. Caryn Ann Harlos

    WTF:

    Austin didn’t give an answer… at least not one that has anything to do with my phone call. It is spin.

    Note carefully what I asked Austin. I did not ask him if he agrees with the “non-aggression principle that is in the SoP.” That would leave room for him to say he said he disagreed because he disagreed with my characterization.

    But I was very very careful.

    I asked him if he agreed with…. and I quoted the exact language from the Statement of Principles.

    And he indicated he disagree with the exact language from the Statement of Principles.. Not an interpretation. The exact language.

    I am glad we have the audio because it is clear. I have no doubt he will try to spin that differently but he said what he said. Twice.

    “we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.”

    I asked Austin, do you agree with that. Austin said I DON’T……. I DON’T.

    Nevermind the fact that it would take contortions worthy of the circus to say that isn’t the non-aggression principle. It isn’t the complete one (fraud is mentioned elsewhere) but it certainly is the physical force part. And the initiation part. If those words do not mean the non-aggression principle, there are no possible words in the English language that the SoP framers could have used if the exact words of the principle do not suffice. If anyone believes this, I have a bridge to sell them.

  105. Robert Capozzi

    cah: “we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others.” I asked Austin, do you agree with that. Austin said I DON’T……. I DON’T.

    me: Now, this is funny! Physical force — assault to murder — is already prohibited, and has been for centuries!

  106. Caryn Ann Harlos

    It’s Austin’s statement not mine. He believes in physical initiating force. And he straw mans that such would deny the legitimacy of defense claiming it requires pacifism.

  107. Robert Capozzi

    cah, yes, it’s amusing both that he apparently opposes the initiation of physical force AND that the SoP makes such a ridiculous statement, given that such force initiation has long been prohibited.

    It’s possible that AP may not have understood your question, since the context seems to’ve been about the NAP as understood by the L Congress of Cardinals.

    That the “framers” of the SoP would make such a ridiculous statement is not entirely surprising, since the entire document is hyperbolic, putting it kindly.

    When they were all nodding that CotOS was a great leading statement, that meeting in CO in the 70s might have been something like this,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbY5ZMQXN0M

  108. Caryn Ann Harlos

    No Robert, the context was clear, and clear that he was advocating force initiation earlier.

    And no it isn’t ridiculous since the SoP mentions many things that have already been prohibited. Stating one’s principles doesn’t mean those principles have to be novel or not nonexistent. It also mentions prohibitions against robbery.

    And as far as the language not being the NAP… hmm… seems to track identically:

    “The non-aggression principle (also called the non-aggression axiom) is a moral principle that prohibits the initiation of force by one person against another.” (Wiki)

    And your statement is inherently incoherent. There is no unique interpretation of that phrase in the SoP. And it isn’t the only place. An even clearer example is here:

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

    That is the non-aggression principle in clarity. I chose the second one to give Austin the full chance to NOT reject it since it clearly is limited to physical force because he keeps insisting that “force” must be defined in excruciating detail.

    And he said TWICE that he didn’t agree.

    Not going to argue with your further Robert… this is an LP issue and you are not part of the LP.

  109. Robert Capozzi

    cah, I’m not arguing with you, I’m AGREEING with you!

    AP may be one of the few human beings on earth who believe that there should not be a prohibition against assault and murder. You were being magnanimous, near as I can tell, giving him an “out.”

    The odd thing in the SoP is PHYSICAL force, which to me means assault, etc. My guess is they didn’t mean PHYSICAL force, they meant just “force,” which would include taxation, regulation, etc. The “framers” were not very careful writers. I can’t imagine that they really felt the need to establish that they were opposed to murder and assault.

    You are correct that I am no longer in the LP, but I am an L voter, and have never voted for anyone other than a L. You may believe that my voice should not be heard in such matters, but I would like to see the LP field a decent candidate that I can vote for (vs not voting).

  110. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert, regulation is mentioned earlier. And yes, I do think that included coercive taxation (which Austin opposes too btw..so his objection can’t be to that). And I have no problem with them saying they were opposed to murder, just like robbery, trespass, and fraud. And the context of that statement is what government can do… so they were stating that government can prohibit such things. It makes perfect sense in context (and yes, it does include at least coercive taxation… arguably not user fees). But again, Austin opposes coercive taxation so it isn’t that.

    My comment about it being an LP matter was about voting.. it was about the internal matter of LP statements and delegates. You are not part of the voluntary organization. It is an organization matter- at least to me. I am not trying to be dismissive… it is just how I see it. FWIW I say the same thing about a particular guy on FB that agrees with me on nearly everything, but he left the Party so I say about him that the internal business then isn’t his concern. It isn’t an ideological thing, it is an organizational thing.

    And thank you…. I really was trying to give him an out. I really don’t want to oppose him so strongly. I can not like his candidacy… but this type of opposition is tiring. And I LIKE Austin on a personal level. I knew him before this. He is not a bad guy. Obnoxious yes, but shrug.

  111. Robert Capozzi

    cah: And I have no problem with them saying they were opposed to murder, just like robbery, trespass, and fraud.

    me: Nor do I! I really kinda doubt AP does, either, along with virtually all of humanity.

    Unfortunately, small groups and cliques have a tendency to have internal language that members understand the nuance and context. The “framers” were all young Randroids using Randian language, except for one middle-aged Randian philosophy professor. They were later joined by a fallen Randian: Rothbard.

    Such exclusionary use of language may be effective in building cadre through what Rothbard called “inreach.” It’s likely no surprise that I don’t find it to be good politics.

  112. georgephillies

    As a question for the IPR staff, why is it of interest that this person disagrees with Petersen? There are a lot of people in the world, and a lot of Libertarian candidates. What was your rationale here?

  113. paulie

    I thought that the question was whether one of the candidates for our presidential nomination agrees with the platform’s statement of principles, not which IPR volunteers do or don’t agree with him.

  114. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Robert, you apparently didn’t listen to the interview. Austin actually does reject those things to a point. He believes it excludes way too much preemptory assault. He is hawkish in that regard. And insists it requires pacifism. Now of course it doesn’t, but he doesn’t give himself that out. If he said, I agree with the NAP as long as it is understood that it doesn’t require pacifism, I would think he was whacky but okay. I actually read a lot of his stuff. It is a completely confused bundle of contradictions. At times he appears to say he rejects the NAP because it only excludes physical force and other times because it doesn’t only exclude physical force. Then of course he says it requires anarchism, yet this statement in the SoP is in the context of government, so it obviously isn’t requiring anarchism (which is partly why I reject the idea that the Pledge requires anarchism). He is a hot mess when it comes to what he thinks.

    It is up to him to clearly state what he believes, not for me to try to explain it for him. I didn’t blindside him in that interview. He knows me and knows me well. I have confronted him many times on this issue. He wasn’t caught off guard so had every chance to consider his answer. And he answered that he didn’t agree with the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others. He was quick enough on his feet to explain why he thought what he did about the Pledge. This isn’t new territory for him. So his statement stands. And FWIW I think the first statement in the SoP is even stronger. I was going to go to that one if he agreed with this one. Like you, how in the world can you possibly disagree with this? Unless you want to initiate force.

    He is also an exercise in circularity. The NAP must mean pacifism so any statement that sounds like the NAP can’t be the NAP because they don’t require pacifism. The circle is vicious. That is how he attempts to get around the NAP statements in the Platform.

    Now he could have said “I agree with that statement but it isn’t the NAP.” That would have been laughable consider the exact wording track, but at least it would have made some kind of logical sense. I would then have moved to the first NAP statement in the SoP. You can only deny that something that quacks is a duck so many times. OBVIOUSLY the SoP contains the NAP. OBVIOUSLY the Platform contains the NAP. He either has to repudiate the SoP and the Platform or he has to repudiate his misdefinition. So far he has chosen to repudiate the SoP and unbelievably try to say that the Platform doesn’t contain the NAP. Yeah right, this statement isn’t the NAP (and if the Pledge taken literally would require pacifism…so would this statement):

    ==1.0 Personal Liberty

    No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.==

    Unbelievable. That is textbook NAP. It is a rewording of this statement in the SoP (even stronger in that it explicitly includes groups and governments):

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

  115. paulie

    From what I understand, David Nolan and most of the original party members were minarchists at the time of the party founding. There was a minority of anarchists then as now. If most of the founders were Randians, Ayn Rand personally rejected anarchism. Nolan eventually became an anarchist according to more recent comments of personal conversations on some other thread (not sure which one anymore), but even so, it seems logically impossible that a majority of minarchists created a SoP and/or pledge that they believed required anarchy. Some, but not all, anarchists argue that the logic of the pledge and SoP ultimately has to require anarchism. A few smaller government types who want to junk these founding arguments agree with them. Even a few anarchists like Chuck agree with them and want to junk the pledge, if not also the SoP. If there are any anarchists in the LP who want to make the LP anarchist only now, they must be very few and most likely vastly outnumbered by the non-anarchists who want to purge anarchists from the LP. But it somehow seems more than counterfactual that a minarchist, perhaps Randian majority would purposely pass founding documents that require anarchism. That could not possibly have been their intent. They must have thought minimal government is compatible (or for some of them, even required) with the non-initiation of force principle.

  116. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And as far as “exclusionary” language. I think Austin has it down pat:

    And of course, as demonstrated, the NAP is in the SoP and the Platform. Connect the dots. It appears the Libertarian Party isn’t libertarian.

  117. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie, EXACTLY!!!

    People generally are not so stupid that they write pledges and statements for themselves that would exclude themselves. IF I were convinced it was as worded an anarchist-only pledge that would be proof to me that it was only intended to be a “no violent overthrow” pledge because it is unbelievable to me that minarchists would write themselves out. If they were that obtuse, I question everything. And the SoP MENTIONS governments – it is OBVIOUSLY not anarchist, though it gives a nod to anarchism.

  118. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Some, but not all, anarchists argue that the logic of the pledge and SoP ultimately has to require anarchism. ==

    I believe that the logic of consistent libertarianism requires anarchism. But the writers and the wording obviously are excluding certain items (such as the monopoly of enforcement and possibility mandatory user fees) from their definition of “force.” I can disagree with those exclusions, but that is how they are obviously intended. It is illegitimate to pull a gotcha and make words mean more than the authors intended. I can argue that the logic should lead to a certain personal conclusion but I can’t make someone else’s words mean something different.

  119. georgephillies

    @22:08 Paulie: While that would makes sense, the article title is “Caryn Ann Harlos Challenges Potential Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Re: Lack of Belief in LP’s Non-Aggression Principle” so the article is about Caryn. From the standpoint of a legitimate challenge, it should come from a candidate, though perhaps not “R***** M***** Challenges Potential Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Re: Lack of Belief in LP’s Non-Aggression Principle”. A reasonable header might have been “Does Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Support LP’s Non-Aggression Principle”.

    By the way, like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, he is a Presidential candidate, not a potential Presidential candidate.

  120. paulie

    While that would makes sense, the article title is “Caryn Ann Harlos Challenges Potential Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Re: Lack of Belief in LP’s Non-Aggression Principle” so the article is about Caryn.

    Jill wrote the article title. I would have thought the article is about Austin primarily. But yes it is about Caryn also. Caryn is a party activist and opinion writer as well as a news reporter and analyst here. Per IPR rules we don’t publish our own individual editorials ourselves, but other IPR writers can publish each others’ editorials when they feel it’s warranted. I’ve had some of mine published by others here, as have many of our writers. I’m not sure why it’s all of a sudden a problem now when it has been a long standing practice?

    A reasonable header might have been “Does Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen Support LP’s Non-Aggression Principle”.

    I would have no problem with that, but I also don’t see it as a big enough issue to unilaterally change someone else’s headline. Jill and/or Caryn might like the present one better, and every time we change a headline all the links from elsewhere, particularly social media posts, may be going to a page not found.

    By the way, like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, he is a Presidential candidate, not a potential Presidential candidate.

    You are correct sir. He is in fact an actual filed and acknowledged candidate. That part I agree should be edited regardless of whether the other one is. Perhaps Jill meant to say potential presidential nominee, or perhaps she just meant candidate. I don’t see it as an urgent enough matter to make the change for her, although I will recommend at the least fixing the “potential” issue.

  121. Caryn Ann Harlos

    For the record, and Jill can confirm, I kept a hands-off approach to the titling. When I was asked if I would assent to having this published here, I asked that my name not be in the title, but told Jill it was her decision. I asked for the billing to be credited to the Facebook Page I wrote it for: The NAP Pledge Page with a notation in the article that I wrote the piece on behalf of The NAP Pledge Page.

    I don’t know however why George has such a bee in his bonnet over it. It is an opinion piece, it was written by me in an editorial fashion on Facebook Page (not my personal page), and it was a debate phone call with a candidate. We publish opinion pieces by Libertarian activists all the time. I think I qualify.

    In my abortion opinion piece, the title was Caryn Ann Harlos: Abortion and the Libertarian Conscience… NOT Should the LP Delete its Abortion Plank? It was an editorial. This is how I title all editorial I publish. In fact I published one by George in which he wrote to the State Chairs. And it was titled the same way. This is IPR practice. I though would prefer my name not be so highlighted. I don’t seek personal attention. My party work is about the party. Not me.

    But the FACT is that I was the one who called. I was the one who wrote the text. Like any other person writing opinion on candidates.

  122. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I offer this:


    Jill did me a tremendous honour by posting this here, and I feel like she is getting picked on for decisions that were her every right to do.

    Thank you Jill for the compliment and honour.

  123. georgephillies

    I didn’t say you should change the title. In fact, I have no idea if this is even possible. However, especially when Jill was co-author, perhaps a better header, which was clearly not Caryn’s fault might be considered for the future. Or not.

    The important news is Petersen’s opinions of the LP Platform, and perhaps his fixation on mountains.

  124. Caryn Ann Harlos

    George,

    Thank you.

    One correction though, Jill was not a co-author. She merely posted it. I wrote every word above except the parts that were obviously lead-ins for the content. Just as Paulie was not a co-author of my abortion opinion piece, he posted it.

    But as I said, I don’t seek the personal attention. It somewhat stresses me out actually. I dislike confrontation immensely. I was literally wanting to throw up from anxiety after this phone call. I was scared to death that I would bust out in tears during it. That is would not be unheard of for me. I dread tense situations, and only do it, because I feel it is necessary.

    Though one thing I have learned in life. Courage isn’t not being scared. It is being scared and doing it anyway.

  125. paulie

    Thanks to both Caryn and Jill, for their excellent work at IPR and their many countless hours and donations of time, labor, in-kind and financial to the party, libertarian movement and the cause of breaking up the duopoly. While it is valuable to point out inadvertent errors we may have simply not even noticed, there’s also a point where it crosses into picking and pecking our volunteers, as well as our hardworking, underpaid and underappreciated staff and contractors into giving up, scaling back their donations and volunteering, getting a different job elsewhere if we are talking about staff and contractors. It’s just not fun to bust your ass for no pay or less pay than you could make doing something else and get criticized at every step. I know there are definitely times when it makes me want to give up or just leaves me too tired to do much of anything at all.

  126. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thank you Paulie. Having appreciation from fellow Libertarians is the best reward there is.

  127. paulie

    I didn’t say you should change the title. In fact, I have no idea if this is even possible.

    It’s possible, and has been done at IPR many, many times. In fact it’s already been done with this article – Jill initially misspelled Caryn’s last name, iirc, discussed somewhere above.

    Actually, I thought nothing of changing headlines til recently, as it occurred to me that with the increasing importance of our social media links that changing the headline may screw those up if it changes the URL.

    perhaps a better header, which was clearly not Caryn’s fault might be considered for the future. Or not.

    We do the best we can. Sometimes it’s just a real quick snap of the moment thing.

  128. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Gee, Caryn, I completely missed your request not to put your name in the title. I saw a positive response from you, but didn’t read the rest of the thread. I apologize.

    I really thought this should be an article, but, after working my full-time job, feeding my husband, and then working a few hours on my fledgling second business, it was close to bedtime, so I posted the article quickly. I seem to do everything quickly these days because there’s just so much I need to accomplish each day. I know we all stay busy, but, jeez! I have no idea why George thinks my presentation was so wrong. He knows I’m not a professional writer, and contribute the best that I can.

    I did remove the offending word “potential” from the title.

    I

  129. D Frank Robinson

    If a person were by some stroke of irony be elected President of the US, could that person by invoking the NAP refuse to force people who reside within the boundaries from seceding from the Empire? Yes, and that President would be impeached or assassinated. But if they won the election while advocating peaceful secession, then impeachment/assassination might bring the whole evil regime down. Any candidates? ~ DFR

  130. langa

    langa,

    I’d be interested in reading your specific criticisms of Feldman. He doesn’t strike me as an egotistical self-promoter, and he does have some interesting ideas.

    Well, my problem with him has nothing to do with him being egotistical. I just don’t think he would do a good job of spreading the libertarian message, for a couple of reasons:

    First, his understanding of certain basic libertarian principles seems to be rather shaky. For example, as I understand it, he does not believe in freedom of association. Specifically, he thinks that the NAP forbids businesses from discriminating on the basis of race, sexual orientation, etc. Obviously, this interpretation is at odds with the general libertarian position, not to mention the LP platform. I have also heard that there are other issues where he deviates significantly from the LP platform, but I’m not clear on the details. He seems to say a lot of these controversial things on Facebook, and I’m not a Facebook person. Perhaps someone who is on Facebook can either provide more details, or correct me if I’m wrong.

    Second, he seems to focus a lot of his attention on issues that have little to do with the basic libertarian philosophy. For example, he spends lots of time talking about how we need to get money out of politics, and while that might be true, and might even be persuasive to potential voters, it is not a particularly libertarian position. That is to say, even though getting the money out of politics might move policy in a libertarian direction, he would have to actually get elected to do that, and that’s obviously not going to happen. Meanwhile, merely talking about how we need to get money put of politics does virtually nothing to educate people about the specifics of the libertarian message, or to move public opinion in a libertarian direction on any particular issue, or to convert listeners into libertarians (either big or small L).

    As I said above, I think the primary purpose of an LP candidate should be to promote the party and the message of the party (and the broader libertarian movement). When a candidate’s personal views are either inconsistent with, or irrelevant to, that goal, those personal views should be downplayed as much as possible. Witness Ron Paul’s handling of the abortion issue when he was the LP candidate in ’88. (Full disclosure: My views on abortion are actually much closer to RP’s than to the LP platform, but I still thought he was right to downplay that issue.) Unfortunately, Feldman seems unwilling to do that. He seems more interested in spreading his own message than that of the party, and thus, I view him as a poor spokesman for the party.

  131. langa

    Thanks to both Caryn and Jill, for their excellent work at IPR and their many countless hours and donations of time, labor, in-kind and financial to the party, libertarian movement and the cause of breaking up the duopoly. While it is valuable to point out inadvertent errors we may have simply not even noticed, there’s also a point where it crosses into picking and pecking our volunteers, as well as our hardworking, underpaid and underappreciated staff and contractors into giving up, scaling back their donations and volunteering, getting a different job elsewhere if we are talking about staff and contractors. It’s just not fun to bust your ass for no pay or less pay than you could make doing something else and get criticized at every step. I know there are definitely times when it makes me want to give up or just leaves me too tired to do much of anything at all.

    Well said. The nitpicking on this particular thread seems excessive, to say the least.

  132. Robert Capozzi

    cah: And as far as “exclusionary” language. I think Austin has it down pat:
    [ap: If you accept the NAP, you’re not L.]

    me: Most unfortunate that AP has taken this tack. I, for ex., “accept” the NAP as a wonderful sentiment. I get the sense that AP is playing provocateur, which is a role that I myself play as well.

    The difference in his and my approach is he asserts that plumbliners are wrong, and he uses an outrageous, confrontational approach to provoke. I ask questions to strike the root and expose plumblinery’s many untrue assumptions. And I always leave an opening for plumbliners to reveal its infallibility and perfect consistency.

    My inquiries are generally met with deflections or avoidance.

    AP’s attacks on the plumbline are met with mock and moral outrage.

    I am open to the possibility that AP’s approach is optimal, but at the moment, I’m not seeing it.

  133. Fun K. Chicken

    D. Frank Robinson

    My apologies but the meaning of what you were trying to say escaped me completely.

  134. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Langa re: Feldman you are right. I discussed this in another thread. As this one is about AP, I will refrain from those here.

  135. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill,

    ==Gee, Caryn, I completely missed your request not to put your name in the title. I saw a positive response from you, but didn’t read the rest of the thread. I apologize.===

    I AM SO SORRY! You have done nothing but a good deed to me here… and getting punished for it.

    There is absolutely no need to apologize. Teaches you for trying to do something nice for me eh? (hugs)

  136. georgephillies

    With respect to “potential” in 2008 I was attacked for saying — just like Obama and McCain — that I was a ”candidate’ rather than a ‘potential candidate’ or similar phrases, so I have zero tolerance for attacking our candidates as was done here by referring to them as ‘potential candidates ‘ rather than ‘candidate’.

  137. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    You were not “attacked” over that, nor was that precisely what was at issue.

    A number of people took notice when you, and others, described yourself as “Libertarian candidate for president,” on the eminently reasonable argument that that description can be easily mistaken for “THE Libertarian [Party’s] candidate for president” and that if so taken it becomes a misrepresentation of the candidacy.

    Libertarians who are running for president are, at this time, candidates for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. While they are technically presidential candidates, it behooves them, and those describing them, not to negligently misrepresent them as the actual nominees of the party whose nomination they are seeking.

  138. Thomas L. Knapp

    You’re absolutely right. Since I made no claims as to how American English works, it doesn’t work the way I claimed.

    But since you want to go there, I’ll be perfectly blunt:

    When a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president of the United States puts out a press release or other public statement worded like this:

    “Libertarian presidential candidate [name] [additional content]”

    That candidate is clearly HOPING that people reading it will understand it to mean that that candidate is the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate.

    And, as you’ve ably demonstrated, sometimes that candidate responds with long-term butthurt when called out on the trick.

  139. Smart Alex

    I agree with Thomas. Petersen is not the LP’s candidate, and it seems making that distinction is appropriate.

    Since we’re keeping track of the amount of comments on IPR comments, perhaps we should have a contest to see which writer can provide the longest title. For example:

    “Caryn Ann Harlos, A Fairly New Yet Excellent Writer at IPR, Challenges on A Facebook Page Which She Administers Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen, Who Isn’t Yet The Libertarian Party’s Actual Presidential Candidate, Although He Thinks He Is, Regarding Lack of Belief in LP’s Non-Aggression Principle

  140. Chuck Moulton

    In my opinion:

    “Potential Libertarian Party presidential candidate” and “potential Libertarian Party candidate for President” are ambiguous (as to whether seeking the nomination or not yet entered the race) and could be misinterpreted, so ought to be avoided.

    “The Libertarian Party presidential candidate” and “the Libertarian Party candidate for President” are wrong.

    “Libertarian Party presidential candidate” and “Libertarian Party candidate for President” are ambiguous (as to whether won the nomination) and could be misinterpreted, so ought to be avoided.

    “A Libertarian Party presidential candidate” and “a Libertarian Party candidate for President” are fine.

    “Candidate seeking the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination” or “candidate seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President” or “candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination” would be most proper.

  141. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’ve always thought the situation of how to refer to the candidates for the Presidential nomination a bit awkward to describe. I usually use something closer to Chuck’s last suggestion above.

  142. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck’s guideline suggestions make good sense.

    It’s easy to construct phrases which are technically correct but can be easily misunderstood. For example:

    POLICE ARREST POPE FOR ARSON

    Anytown, Anystate — Anytown police arrested Anytown resident Bob Pope on suspicion of setting a fire …

    What happened in 2008 was that a Phillies press release or other material of some type (it’s been awhile, I don’t remember the exact details) included the phrase “Libertarian presidential candidate George Phillies.”

    And when some people chided George for using phraseology that could be easily misunderstood, he decided to characterize himself as “under attack” instead of just saying “yeah, you’re right, I should be more careful how I phrase that.”

    Which raised suspicions as to his motives in using the phraseology in the first place. And which would all be long forgotten now if he hadn’t decided to bring it up himself.

  143. georgephillies

    A google search will find “Republican Presidential candidates” in vast numbers. The American people know that all 14 of them are not the “Republican nominee”. It’s unfortunate that some people think Libertarians are much dumber than Republicans*, but we have above proof positive.

    *OK, we did nominate Barr-Root, not to mention Campagna.

  144. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It’s unfortunate that some people think Libertarians are much dumber than Republicans”

    Actually, there are two unfortunate things.

    The first is that the public knows little enough about the LP’s nomination process and candidates as compared to the Republican and Democratic Parties’ processes that they are likely inclined to assume that when they read about A Libertarian Party presidential candidate, they are reading about THE Libertarian Party presidential candidate.

    The second is that when you’re wrong, when you know you’re wrong, and when you have been publicly pantsed for being wrong, you often seem to feel a compulsion to come back years later and see whether you can put it over this time or whether you’ll get pantsed again.

  145. NewFederalist

    POLICE ARREST POPE FOR ARSON

    Anytown, Anystate — Anytown police arrested Anytown resident Bob Pope on suspicion of setting a fire …

    ANOTHER SENSELESS SLAYING

    Anytown, Anystate — Police arrested Irving Senseless today for shooting a fox invading his chicken coop…

  146. Caryn Ann Harlos

    BTW, in case anyone is curious. I do not own the NAP Pledge Page. I am a recent addition to that team and produce very little of the content. There is a group of us who post there, it is not the work of one person. If anyone wants to know if any particular post is mine just ask. Generally if it goes into specific detail about the Platform it is mine. That is my bailiwick.

  147. Marc Montoni

    Wang Tang-Fu said:

    What I think I know of this – someone please correct if this is wrong – is that the change was made primarily as a gambit to attract bigger networks than CSPAN to the convention.

    Actually, probably the main driver was to establish legal standing to challenge early presidential ballot access deadlines for third-party and independent candidates. I was involved in the discussions at the national level (Virginia was one of the states concerned).

    It was a gambit that worked — all of the early deadlines fell either by threat of lawsuit or lobbying/persuasion.

    In Virginia, for instance, we had been forced to declare our candidates for P and VP by January 1 of the presidential election year if we wanted to be able to circulate petitions. The state relented and changed its regulation so that we could name a “placeholder” pair of candidates, then substitute later in the year.

    As I recall there were 10 or 12 states that had these regulations.

  148. Marc Montoni

    langa said:

    … my problem with him has nothing to do with him being egotistical. I just don’t think he would do a good job of spreading the libertarian message, for a couple of reasons…

    I agree with your entire comment, langa. Spot on.

    I do Facebook and I’ve seen more than a few of Feldman’s wanderings.

    No thanks.

  149. Marc Montoni

    Wang Tang-Fu @ December 2, 2015 at 13:16 said:

    Perhaps my reading of history has misled me. I would have thought 1996 and 2000 had clear presumptive favorites.

    They did.

    There was never any doubt in the minds of anyone actually doing any serious Libertarian Party work in advance of the 1996 nomination contest that Browne would win.

    I was not involved in the Browne campaign, but I was intensely involved in the Virginia LP. It was very clear to me who the stronger candidate was.

    Hornberger’s partisan hack idiot cultists labeled me as “one of the Browne cabal”; however, at the time I was in fact strongly at odds with Willis and remained so until late in 2001, when he had been hammered away from the LP and turned back into a normal person. He said more than a few things about me that simply were not true, and I did not like him. I regarded his claims that the campaign would “have to shut down” as just fundraising hype that he got himself caught up up in.

  150. Thane Eichenauer

    “For Luke Williams, here’s a complimentary grenade to lob into your Non-Agression Principle debate.”
    http://selfadoration.com/for-luke-williams-heres-a-complimentary-grenade-to-lob-into-your-non-agression-principle-debate/8123

    “NAP is an attempt to induce by magic yet another Social Contract – asserted unilaterally by you yet somehow binding on me and everyone else.”

    I have read through this article and found some useful angles. Like most writing by Greg Swann it does include hyperlinks where they add to the article.

  151. Caryn Ann Harlos

    The post hoc issue was dealt with very well by Stephan Kinsella and provided in links in a FB discussion.

    If one goes to Kinsella’s site and search for waiver and estoppel and articles on alienability a wealth of information emerges.

    If mutually assured destruction is what the NAP-deniers want to advocate… good luck with that regarding the Libertarian Party.

    By going down the rabbit trails on arguing ABOUT the NAP, people are missing the point (on purpose in many cases I think) of MY point. The NAP *could be said to be completely wrong for sake of argument*– the legitimacy of the NAP isn’t my point. The FACT that it is foundational to the Libertarian Party IS my point.

    You cannot repudiate the SoP without repudiating the Party. Thus I stick to my point. Whether it *should* be believed by the LP is an entirely different issues than it indisputably IS.

  152. Thane Eichenauer

    Caryn Ann Harlos,
    Thank you for your comment. Personally I value truth and effective methods for preservation to a civil society above loyalty to party dogma, though have 20+ years of liking the LP philosophy. I grant your point about the LP. I try to wrap my head around the NAP/NIF and critiques of it.

  153. Pingback: The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 64: Goodbye Google?/Austin Petersen WTF? - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

  154. Robert Capozzi

    CAH: The FACT that it is foundational to the Libertarian Party IS my point.

    Me: Sounds like textbook positivism, albeit not about the State

    positivism def.– the theory that laws are to be understood as social rules, valid because they are enacted by authority or derive logically from existing decisions, and that ideal or moral considerations (e.g., that a rule is unjust) should not limit the scope or operation of the law.

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