Gary Johnson likely to decide about 2016 run in the next week or two with a likely announcement in January

According to a source who asked not to be named who is close to Gary Johnson, he is likely to make his final decision about running for POTUS again in 2016 “within the next week or two” with an official announcement of his decision in January. Johnson is wrapping up some business obligations and has said repeatedly and publicly that he expects that he will decide to go ahead and run unless some unforeseen catastrophe happens. The January timeframe was discussed on a call with multiple people Thursday night, but I had to clarify whether I was cleared to discuss it outside the call before publishing this.

Previously, concerns about the amount of media attention Johnson could get before the duopoly herd thins out were cited as reasons for delaying any announcement regarding a decision about running again, but at this point the only thing that was being cited was “wrapping up business obligations.”

252 thoughts on “Gary Johnson likely to decide about 2016 run in the next week or two with a likely announcement in January

  1. Matt Hasty

    If the announcement is for the negative, how likely is it that another will throw their hat in?

  2. paulie Post author

    I don’t think it will be for the negative. It’s just boilerplate that has to be used because there are legal issues with saying you are actually running. As I understand it, and it’s been said openly in public many times now, it would take some major calamity for the decision to be no at this point. Unofficially, it’s the decision has pretty much been made, it’s just a matter of wrapping things up to make it legal and start campaigning. Something could still happen for the decision to be no but it’s very unlikely at this point.

  3. NewFederalist

    “Surprised it is taking this long for the hate comments to start pouring in. Our readership must be slipping.” – paulie

    Okay, okay… Dirty Bird! Spends all the money on staff! Fair Tax… UGH! (What did I forget?)

  4. NewFederalist

    Oh yeah.. no party building; climate change denier; doesn’t know how to use a comb! (Anything else?)

  5. Mark Axinn

    Left Antarctica for last.

    That’s right: dead last!

    Doesn’t he care how the penguins will view that?

  6. paulie Post author

    I didn’t realize it actually had to be true for the claim to be made. And no, he’s not a climate change denier. Cue insults from the other side.

  7. NewFederalist

    “He’s a climate change denier? I hadn’t heard that one. I am not questioning the claim, I just hadn’t heard it before.” – George Phillies

    Actually, I made that up. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention! 😉

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    “it would take some major calamity for the decision to be no at this point”

    Typical of a politician — if there’s not a major calamity, get out there and create one.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I am not a Gary Johnson supporter. But after seeing the petty insults and the like from the Petersen camp, Johnson is a refreshing touch of professionalism and a class act.

    My support is with Kerbel and Perry.

  10. steve m

    Gary, get your rear in gear and get down to Oklahoma… make a name for yourself by getting the Libertarian Party on the ballot in the hardest f$%cking state in the union.

    You want my support in 2016…. do some work!

  11. Robert Capozzi

    Not entirely satisfying, but ATC GJ’s 12 position on climate change is reasonable.

    Q: What about climate?
    GJ: I accept the fact that there is global warming and I accept the fact that it’s man caused. That said, I am opposed to cap and trade. I’m a free market guy when it comes to the clean environment the number-one factor when it comes to the clean environment is a good economy.

    Q: You don’t think there’s a policy response? It’s making people richer that would help?
    GJ: Good economies results in cleaner environment. That’s been the history of the planet till this point.

  12. paulie Post author

    Says Lex Green will be the L candidate, with Sanders winning over Bush. Out on a limb in so many ways, but who knows?

    Yes, Sanders and Bush appear at this point to be as likely to be their parties’ presidential nominees as Lex Green is to be the LP’s (and get 10%).

  13. paulie Post author

    Not entirely satisfying, but ATC GJ’s 12 position on climate change is reasonable.

    He is correct, even if doesn’t entirely satisfy you. When people are poor, environmental concerns become a luxury good they feel they can’t afford. As people become better off they become more concerned about environmental issues.

  14. paulie Post author

    Gary, get your rear in gear and get down to Oklahoma… make a name for yourself by getting the Libertarian Party on the ballot in the hardest f$%cking state in the union.

    I made that point to Gary and Ron personally on Thursday. Gary claimed he was going to call me but I haven’t heard from him. I talked to Ron a couple of times though.

  15. Point of Order

    Good luck, Gary! You have my passive support. Sadly:
    1) Passive support never changed a god-damn thing
    2) You don’t inspire revolutionary, active
    3) Your late entry into the game reveals your commitment to the goal of the game

  16. Joe Wendt

    So, Johnson still won’t commit openly commit to running/not-running, while there are 3 credible candidates (Feldman, Kerbel, Perry) who have been actively campaigning for about a year and building a network of support, and a media savvy “celeb-ertarian” (Petersen) who just announced and has the potential to do very well at the convention. I’m sorry, Gary doesn’t deserve the nomination. He’s essentially playing a game, is charging speaker fees, and assumes the party faithful will anoint him the nominee because he is a FORMER Governor. I’m sorry, the LP can do better than Johnson.

  17. ron quednau

    Gary is only one who is actively forcing the duopoly party decission before the courts. No one else – why does he not deserve huge credit for that? The general voter sort-of has no intelligent choice out-side of the duopoly….. Some how duopoly has to be stopped before “it makes sense” for any body else to run …..

  18. Joe Wendt

    Michael Badnarik was arrested for trying to attend a debate. Johnson’s lawsuit isn’t forcing any change, most likely will not change the composition of the debates, while Johnson sits comfortably out of jail. I have zero sympathy for Johnson’s efforts.

  19. georgephillies

    The lawsuit is meaningless show theater. The Presidential Debate Commission has no power to compel attendance. If the Democrat and Republican do not wish to debate other people, they will challenge each other to debate at a site and circumstance on which they agree, and their superpacs will rent the site, and the television time on a generally accessible network.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    pf: When people are poor, environmental concerns become a luxury good they feel they can’t afford.

    me: True, but an incomplete answer. I think it’s a stretch to say the “free market” cleaned the air. From what I understand, phasing out leaded gas and other air pollution regs did so. Now maybe the market would have EVENTUALLY worked to clean the air, but since no one owns the air, I’d say that would have been unlikely unless SOMEHOW property rights where there are none now MIGHT have evolved.

    Also climate change and pollution are not necessarily the same thing. CO2, last I checked, isn’t considered “pollution.” The theory as I understand it is too much CO2 is what’s causing climate change, which is a more nuanced phenomenon.

  21. Andy Craig

    “The lawsuit is meaningless show theater.”

    “Meaningless” aside, do you know anything in politics that isn’t? Any public interest litigation that wasn’t both about the legal merits, and generating positive publicity and demand for change? Of course that’s the part of the idea: win or lose, it’s an important fight worth having. And it’s neither costing the party a penny, nor contingent on Gary Johnson being the nominee.

    “The Presidential Debate Commission has no power to compel attendance. ”

    Of course not, and nobody is claiming otherwise.

    “If the Democrat and Republican do not wish to debate other people, they will challenge each other to debate at a site and circumstance on which they agree”

    That’s what they already do.

    “and their superpacs will rent the site, and the television time on a generally accessible network.”

    Not under current law, they wouldn’t. That would be at least four or five different kinds of already-illegal.

  22. Andy Craig

    “Michael Badnarik was arrested for trying to attend a debate.”

    Michael Badnarik was arrested while trying to serve process to the Commission, at least nominally that’s what he was up to that day. In other words, he was trying to use the legal process, too, though not really properly.

    The FairDebates plaintiffs have already served the defendants (CPD, RNC, DNC, Obama, Romney), and they did it while both getting them to accept service without fighting it, and without getting arrested for trespassing. Initial responses are due shortly, and then we move into the all-important discovery phase. Already further than anybody else has gotten, in other words, including the Ackerman group filing yet another dead-end FEC campaign-finance suit just like Nader and umpteen others have already tried and failed at.

    Showing up at the debates when it’s already way too late, just to make a show of getting arrested, really gets you less than nothing. You might as well get arrested trying to crash the inauguration and occupy the Oval Office.

  23. Andy Craig

    “”Of course, first you would need to accept the grounds advanced in the suit.””

    The first rule of dichotomy club is the first rule of dichotomy club. But if you mean to advance to discovery, all that requires is to defeat the motions to dismiss. That isn’t (obviously) a decision on the merits, all it takes is “plausible grounds” for relief and “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” under “some viable legal theory.” It’s a fairly easy standard to meet, and they wouldn’t have filed if they weren’t (justifiably) confident of meeting it.

    “Alternatively, their FEC PACs will pay for it. Or some private person will pay for it, and report his independent campaign expenditure to the FEC.”

    Nope. The relevant provision of existing law is 11 CFR 110.13:

    (a) Staging organizations.
    (1) Nonprofit organizations described in 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) or (c)(4) and which do not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or political parties may stage candidate debates in accordance with this section and 11 CFR 114.4(f).
    (2) Broadcasters (including a cable television operator, programmer or producer),bona fide newspapers, magazines and other periodical publications may stage candidate debates in accordance with this section and 11 CFR 114.4(f), provided that they are not owned or controlled by a political party, political committee or candidate. In addition, broadcasters (including a cable television operator, programmer or producer), bona fide newspapers, magazines and other periodical publications, acting as press entities, may also cover or carry candidate debates in accordance with 11 CFR part 100, subparts B and C and part 100, subparts D and E.

    (b) Debate structure. The structure of debates staged in accordance with this section and 11 CFR 114.4(f) is left to the discretion of the staging organizations(s), provided that:
    (1) Such debates include at least two candidates; and
    (2) The staging organization(s) does not structure the debates to promote or advance one candidate over another.

    (c) Criteria for candidate selection. For all debates, staging organization(s) must use pre-established objective criteria to determine which candidates may participate in a debate. For general election debates, staging organizations(s) shall not use nomination by a particular political party as the sole objective criterion to determine whether to include a candidate in a debate. For debates held prior to a primary election, caucus or convention, staging organizations may restrict candidate participation to candidates seeking the nomination of one party, and need not stage a debate for candidates seeking the nomination of any other political party or independent candidates.

  24. georgephillies

    The rules you are quoting say special things that staging organizations are allowed to do, even though they may not be allowed to support candidates. There is no restriction on what candidates may do “Mister Chairman, i paid for this Microphone.”

  25. Andy Craig

    “Mister Chairman, I paid for this microphone” was a long time and a lot of changed laws ago in a different situation.

    If the candidates want to get together, and jointly pay for an advertisement labeled and disclosed as such, they can do that. “We;re Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and we approve this message.” That’s not a “debate” at all, it’s an electioneering advertisement. They can pick the moderators and script the question and decide what lighting to use in a studio they’ve also paid for, no different from when Ross Perot bought his infomercials.

    But, the entire purpose of the Commission on Presidential Debates is to provide the fig leaf to pretend that’s not what they’re already doing (except letting unrestricted corporate contributions pay for it, instead of out of their actual campaign treasury.) To provide the “official” imprimatur of being the “official” nonpartisan, neutral, objective airing of the American people’s choices for President.

    So yes, even if they resort to a number of dubious possible workarounds (your PAC idea not being one of them)– that’s still better than the status quo. If all we get is the death of the C.P.D.– that’s still an improvement. And even if we don’t get inclusion, not having *exclusion* from CPD debates as they’ve existed, would take down the single biggest tool used by the duopoly to drive down and suppress third-party vote totals in the final weeks of the campaign. The roster of candidates who were polling substantially better prior to the exclusion is long, and includes Johnson. You can see it for lower office, in vote % for Libertarians included in debates vs. those not.

    The one thing that we know won’t work, is not even trying.

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    I hope that everyone here will write a letter to the editor of their local paper, the NYT, WSJ. and the WAPost, etc. complaining about the LP candidate being left out of the debates when the time comes.

  27. Gene Berkman

    Gov. Johnson’s statement on the environment is one of the better I have heard from a Libertarian candidate. In fact, in the more capitalistic countries in North America and Europe, technical progress is making the environment cleaner. i live in southern California, east of Los Angeles, and the air is much cleaner than when I was growing up in the 1950’s and 1960s.

    In the socialist countries the story is different. After 44 years of socialism in Poland, as of 1989, half the water was too dirty for industrial use. China with its state directed mixed economy has an unprecedented pollution problem – 2000 ore more people die every day in Beijing as a result of pollution sickness.

    As for Gary Jonhson’s campaign being a disaster – in 2012 he received more a third more votes than Ed Clark in 1980, and three times as many votes as Michael Badnarik in 2004. A party leader who cannot qualify his part for the ballot says that is a disaster – much like the neocons say “war is peace” and the Sanderistas say “freedom is slavery.”

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    “As for Gary Jonhson’s campaign being a disaster – in 2012 he received more a third more votes than Ed Clark in 1980, and three times as many votes as Michael Badnarik in 2004.”

    Yes, with more than half again as many people voting in 2012, Johnson managed to get one third as many more votes. Whee!

    Yes, as a popular two-term former governor, Johnson managed to get three times as many votes as a complete unknown. Whee!

    And all he had to do to achieve those magnificent accomplishments was position the Libertarian Party as the party of political welfare queens, “humanitarian wars,” and a monthly government welfare check for every man, woman and child in the United States. Whee!

  29. Andy Craig

    “The one thing we can be sure will not work is throwing money away, which is what we see here”

    As previously noted, the LNC is lending nothing more than its name to this effort (as they also did for the Level The Playing Field suit). The only money going into it, is from those who do see the merit in it.

    I can think of a lot of things (and candidates) Libertarians have spent money on, that I’d call much closer to ‘throwing money away’.

  30. Mark Axinn

    >Mark Axinn, penguins also live in the wild in South America, Africa, and Australia.

    Yeah, but they’re all Democrats.

    Only Libertarian penquins live at the South Pole!

  31. Robert Capozzi

    gb: In fact, in the more capitalistic countries in North America and Europe, technical progress is making the environment cleaner. i live in southern California, east of Los Angeles, and the air is much cleaner than when I was growing up in the 1950’s and 1960s.

    me: “Technical progress” imposed by the Clean Air Act, I dare say.

  32. Richard Winger

    As I understand it, the Commission on Presidential Debates forces the invited candidates to promise to appear in any other general election presidential debates. That is where the anti-trust angle shows up.

    As to comparing Ed Clark’s 1980 showing with Gary Johnson’s showing, they were virtually identical. Clark got 1.06% Johnson got .99%. If Johnson had been on the ballot in Oklahoma and Michigan, extrapolating, he would have got 1.03% (as it was, he got write-ins tallied in Michigan, and I took that into account)..

  33. georgephillies

    There, Andy, I would agree with you; there have been worse wastes of money.

    ” A party leader who cannot qualify his part for the ballot” Mr Berkman, your claim is false.

    People in Massachusetts have been able to register “Libertarian” for more than three decades now. Candidates have been able to run as Libertarians, the way parties are tagged on Massachusetts ballots, for more or less as long. This, by the sane standard, if not the crazy California standard, we are ballot qualified and have been for many years.

    Then we get to the people who claim that if we had political party rather rather than political designation status the Presidential candidate could get on the ballot with a signature but without petitioning, a statement that is actually true of a fair number of other states but, as it happens, not this one. You still need petitioning. And if there are readers who think we would not need petitioning, bite your tongues, or I will be happy to explain your ignorance at some length.

    Now, what we could do, if we were total idiots, is to run a candidate for statewide office in a non-Presidential year,e.g., 2014, and get 3% of the vote, as is not guaranteed. We could then do petitioning two years later and run people for State Committee, who could put the President on the ballot, assuming they won their elections, and that no other party staged a takeover of the state committee via running their own people.

    However, the reason why only a total idiot would do this, is that if we have political party status, then only independent (Unenrolled) voters and Libertarian registrants could sign our nominating papers. Instead of getting valid signatures from typically 8 out of 10 adult residents stopped by a petitioner, we would get based on experiment valid signatures from 3 out of 10 residents. Ballot access for everyone else would be destroyed.

    Finally, with respect to “can”, if I had wanted to have a slate of candidates run for statewide office in 2014, it would have been trivial to do so.

    As it happens, national party membership did not change in 2012. The Johnson 2012 campaign was a disaster for the party. I expect that the same will be true of the Johnson 2016 campaign.

  34. Losty

    If he is still able to turn Oxygen into CO2, He will run.

    And if he can’t, He may anyhow.

    Heck, Chicago would vote for Daley still if they could.

  35. Andy Craig

    “As I understand it, the Commission on Presidential Debates forces the invited candidates to promise to appear in any other general election presidential debates. That is where the anti-trust angle shows up.”

    This is correct, and though we already know of it indirectly from people who’ve worked on past major-party campaigns and then talked after the election, the exact contract and its terms is one of the key things sought in discovery. That clause is one of the lynch-pins of the anti-trust argument.

  36. Richard Winger

    George Phillies is happy that Massachusetts keeps tracks of how many registered Libertarians there are. But among states that have registration by party, there are only two states that won’t tell us how many registered Libertarians there are, New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

    He also says if the Massachusetts Libertarian Party met the definition of a qualified party, there would still need to be a petition to get our presidential nominee on the ballot in Massachusetts. That is not true.

    The last time we were ballot-qualified in Massachusetts, in November 2010, we had 15,857 registrations. But at the last tally, in November 2014, there were only 10,920 registered Libertarians. Our number keeps dropping in Massachusetts because for the last 5 years we haven’t been listed as a choice on the voter registration form. If we were a qualified party we would be listed. Between November 2010 and November 2014, nationwide Libertarian registration went up 44% (from 278,000 to 400,000). But during the same period our Massachusetts registration dropped 31%. Massachusetts has the 5th highest number of registered Libertarians in November 2010, but by November 2014 it was only the 10th best state.

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  38. paulie Post author

    Discovery phase and publicity campaign to bring attention to the way the debate racket is being run will be a useful result of the Fair Debates lawsuit regardless of whether we win or lose and regardless of how long it takes to litigate.

    Also, via Joe Buchman on IPR email list:

    FYI Evan Lord, the only campaign worker Governor Johnson acknowledged publicly at the 2012 OAI election night dinner (as the media guru who got him elected as Governor and who did not (for whatever reasons) run a similar media campaign for Gary in 2012), just posted on Facebook

    “I’ve been a political strategist since 1984. I have a reputation for getting the unelectable into public office. This year, I’ll be working my magic for Governor Gary Johnson from New Mexico. . . The Libertarian Party serves one purpose. They provide nationwide ballot access. This is why people with boots on their heads can’t get on the national ballot. Today, to be in a national election, you’re either Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. Gary Johnson was an independently-minded Republican governor re-elected in a landslide in a Democrat state who ran as a Libertarian in 2012.”

  39. Marc Allan Feldman

    “The Libertarian Party serves one purpose. They provide nationwide ballot access.”

    Ballot access is very important, but it is certainly not the sole purpose of the LIbertarian Party. The Democratic Party and the Republican party are both better at getting and retaining ballot access, if that is the one thing you want.

  40. Christopher S. Thrasher

    “The Libertarian Party serves one purpose. They provide nationwide ballot access.”

    Speaks volumes. Gary Johnson needs the LP. The LP does not need Gary Johnson.

    Expect several 2012 ex-staffers to actively oppose a second Johnson candidacy in Orlando.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m going to assume that by “Libertarian Party,” Dr. Feldman is referring to the putative “national LP,” the Libertarian National Committee. When it comes to purposes, the obvious question is “WHOSE purposes?”

    For the purposes of people who want to run for president, the LNC offers two major things:

    1) A reasonably well-known brand, instead of having to create one; and

    2) Automatic ballot access in many or most states, plus an apparatus for getting ballot access (or assisting in getting ballot access) in most or all other states, at the cost of convincing a few hundred delegates to nominate said candidate — as opposed to the costs of having to either convince millions of primary voters from one of the “major” parties to nominate, or the costs (or ballot access losses) of running as an independent or the candidate of a party without the ballot access chops the LNC has.

    For the purposes of the state affiliates, the LNC serves purposes that can be both similar and different:

    1) A mechanism for mutual affiliation and choosing a single presidential ticket instead of each state Libertarian Party going its own way;

    2) Assistance (from national organization revenues) for state Libertarian Parties in achieving ballot access both for the presidential slate and their down-ticket slates.

    3) “National” public communications that build the “Libertarian Party” brand for all the affiliates.

    For purposes of members of the LNC’s membership program, all of the above to the extent that an individual values them, plus a newsletter.

    And maybe some others.

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  43. Darcy G Richardson

    If Gary Johnson — a guy who apparently isn’t too well read on the major issues facing the country — is the best the Libertarian Party can do, freedom oriented third-party advocates ought to give up now. Ex-Gov. Johnson, a guy who almost always comes across as though he’s half-asleep, is trying to extend his career long past his prime. Unlike other Libertarians, he hasn’t had anything original to say in more than a decade or two. Not that he really had anything unique to say back then.

    “Legalize pot” isn’t exactly the road to the White House. There are some serious pocketbook issues of much greater concern to most voters.

    Moreover, voters aren’t exactly clamoring for an ex-governor to lead the way out of this mess, especially one whose administration benefited enormously from federal government largesse during his eight years in office.

    The Green Party’s Jill Stein will finish far ahead of the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2016. That’s a fact. The LP won’t know what hit them…

  44. Darcy G Richardson

    The LP ought to try something really radical — and original — by nominating a libertarian for the presidency, something that hasn’t been done in the last couple of election cycles. Failed, stale Republican has-beens is getting kind of old… Just a thought.

  45. Darcy G Richardson

    …and what’s with Gary Johnson’s eyes every time he’s asked a question? His facial expressions — and the way he opens his eyes so widely — are like he’s never thought about the reporter’s inquiry.

    Seriously, how deep is this guy? Even after all of these years, he strikes me as a neophyte.

    But maybe that’s what Libertarians are looking for…

    How sad.

  46. Robert Capozzi

    dgr: Ex-Gov. Johnson, a guy who almost always comes across as though he’s half-asleep, is trying to extend his career long past his prime.

    me: At 62 and in great shape, this is just not credible. He’s appreciably younger than the D and R front-runners, and many in the field

    dgr: The Green Party’s Jill Stein will finish far ahead of the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2016. That’s a fact. The LP won’t know what hit them…

    me: I’ll take that action.

    dgr: The LP ought to try something really radical — and original — by nominating a libertarian for the presidency, something that hasn’t been done in the last couple of election cycles.

    me: Also has been done. The results were generally — and predictably — poor. Of course, when you say “nominating a libertarian for the presidency,” I take your meaning to be a fringy L, as GJ is certainly a L.

  47. Darcy G Richardson

    Is he really a Libertarian, Robert? If he is, then the LP has become just a minor-league Republican franchise.

    Gary Johnson might be — as you say — in great shape physically, but intellectually I’m not so sure. I don’t see much prowess from Johnson on the issues. What does he read, what does he comprehend, and when does he convey or reveal that knowledge?

    Seriously, I would like an answer…

    I’m not advocating the nomination of a fringe candidate. But nominating a real libertarian, instead of another failed Republican politician for the second time — the Libertarian Party is becoming something of a joke in that category — would be a refreshing change…

    Third parties, after all, should stand for something… Otherwise, what’s the point?

  48. georgephillies

    Christopher,

    The staffers need to speak up significantly before the National convention. At convention, most people will be too busy to hear what the staffers are saying. The “”at-convention” approach has been tried before. It failed badly.

    George

  49. Darcy G Richardson

    The fact that Gary Johnson wanted to wait until the 2016 Republican nomination was sorted out before officially declaring his own candidacy for the Libertarian nomination was one of the most pathetic things ever said by a potential third-party candidate for the presidency. It simply reinforces the notion that a third-party presidential nomination was second-fiddle to one of the two major parties.

    The former New Mexico governor can try to spin it any way he likes, but it spoke volumes.

    Johnson’s deference to the GOP is kind of appalling… It’s like a guy who never really broke free.

    Can you imagine Norman Thomas — the six-time Socialist Party candidate for the presidency before, during and after the Great Depression — uttering such nonsense? Or Eugene McCarthy breaking from the Democrats in January 1975 — some 22 months before the 1976 presidential election?

    Johnson is a joke. Nothing more than one more hearty Republican laugh.

  50. Christopher S. Thrasher

    Indeed, Dr. Phillies, efforts will be made well before the convention. Many of us are still waiting to see how the candidate field shakes out. Much could happen between now and then, not the least of which is the possibility of an additional nationally well-known Independent Presidential candidate.

  51. Darcy G Richardson

    dgr: The Green Party’s Jill Stein will finish far ahead of the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2016. That’s a fact. The LP won’t know what hit them…

    rc: I’ll take that action.

    I wouldn’t want to take your money. It would be like taking candy from a baby. The Libertarian Party, the party of austerity ghouls — the kissing cousins of the GOP — will finish fourth in next year’s presidential election. You can take that to the bank.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Darcy Richardson: The Green Party’s Jill Stein will finish far ahead of the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2016. That’s a fact. The LP won’t know what hit them…

    Bob Capozzi: I’ll take that action.

    I’m not sure I would.

    Stein is out there campaigning and has been for some time, and assuming the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton she’s likely to receive a non-trivial — at least by third party standards — number of votes from disappointed progressive Bernie Sanders supporters.

    Johnson is still wasting campaign time publicly/privately musing about whether or not he’s even going to run, and if history is any indication, doesn’t seem to have much to say that appeals to edge voters with the single exception of marijuana legalization (which is moving mainstream and not as much of a selling point any more). With the specter of Hillary to wave around, the GOP will likely do a fairly good job of marshaling the “wasted vote” propaganda to to minimize vote leakage of GOP-leaning civil libertarians et. al to third party candidates in general and the LP’s candidate in particular.

    Will Stein outperform Johnson? I don’t know, but it’s far from out of the question.

  53. Richard Winger

    Darcy knows more about this than I do, because he is the US minor party historian without peer. But my impression is that Robert La Follette’s decision to run as an independent progressive for president in 1924 was not made until La Follette saw (as everyone saw) that the Democrats were not going to nominate a progressive for president that year. La Follette accepted the nomination of the Socialist Party as well, so in a sense even the Socialist Party didn’t decide what to do until the major party field was being sorted out.

    The Republican Party wasn’t even founded until the two old parties in Congress had passed the Nebraska-Kansas Act. Theodore Roosevelt didn’t start his Progressive Party until after he saw what the Republicans were doing. John Anderson didn’t launch his independent bid until it became apparant that Ronald Reagan was going to be the 1980 nominee. There is nothing wrong with mavericks waiting to see what the two old major parties are doing, before deciding what to do.

    Gary Johnson was a very good Governor of New Mexico, which is why he won re-election so easily in 1998. He got a higher percentage of the vote than any Republican nominee for Governor of New Mexico since 1928. This is not easy to do, as New Mexico voters are unusually partisan.

    Climbing the highest peak in each continent takes mental sharpness, and determination, as well as physical stamina.

  54. Stewart Flood

    I believe that many of the issues that have been raised regarding 2012 are more related to how the campaign was run than to the candidate himself. Personally, I was extremely disappointed in the campaign. I am not pleased that we are sitting here in December, still waiting for a “decision” on whether he will run or not. It leads me to the conclusion that it would be the same style campaign, with possibly even more funds going for staff and internal functions and a completely bare-bones exterior.

    Of course Governor Johnson has to be selected for that to happen.

    My vote is currently going to NOTA. South Carolina doesn’t need a presidential candidate to retain ballot access, and I see nothing but more membership losses if any of the current slate of candidates is selected.

  55. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I would disqualify a candidate who just recently were stumping for Rand Paul and Republican candidates and posting grinning selfies from Rand Paul rallies and in front of RNC headquarters. And I would have no issue with a fringe candidate either. But in either event, we need one that doesn’t still smell like the RNC.

  56. Robert Capozzi

    dgr: Is he really a Libertarian, Robert? If he is, then the LP has become just a minor-league Republican franchise.

    me: Yes, he is. He’s for less government across the board, by my estimation, and apparently by the rank-and-file Ls who attended the 2012 LP convention. On many other social and foreign policy issues, GJ holds positions that would exclude him from the GOP.

    Near as I can tell, the GOP has made the pro-life position a litmus test, and GJ is pro-choice. Many, many people who consider themselves L sometimes support Rs, like RP1 and RP2.

  57. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Stewart,

    Petersen was prior to declaring. He has mourned over Rand Paul’s lack of success even after declaring.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Johnson is still wasting campaign time publicly/privately musing about whether or not he’s even going to run, and if history is any indication, doesn’t seem to have much to say that appeals to edge voters with the single exception of marijuana legalization (which is moving mainstream and not as much of a selling point any more).

    me: I look at this differently. I’d say GJ has been acting like a part-time candidate for the past 2 years or so. That he’s not an official candidate strikes me as of little to no consequence. He’s out there, doing media and developing his message.

    tk: With the specter of Hillary to wave around, the GOP will likely do a fairly good job of marshaling the “wasted vote” propaganda to to minimize vote leakage of GOP-leaning civil libertarians et. al to third party candidates in general and the LP’s candidate in particular.

    me: Oh, I dunno. Maybe HC makes the “wasted vote” argument a bit stronger this cycle, but BHO certainly was grist for that mill the last 2 cycles. Kerry and Gore were, too. That’s what campaigns do…they try to demonize the opposition.

    Will Stein “feel the Bern” in ’16? Oh, maybe, picking up a tiny subset of Sanders supporters. I suspect HC will get almost all of them, assuming she gets the nomination.

  59. Dave

    And if the GOP nominates either Trump or Cruz( Or Carson I suppose), I suspect there will be a lot of Republicans looking at third party options.Not as many will have the guts to go through with it, but the Republican establishment despises all three candidates and I suspect we’d not see as much as an attempt to keep Republican voters voting for the top of the ticket. Of all the candidates, Johnson would probably benefit from this far more than Stein.

    As for Clinton, I suspect she’ll either select a progressive like Brown from Ohio or a Hispanic, or maybe someone who is both, and that will have the impact of firing up the base and blogosphere and keeping defections to a minimum.

  60. Darcy G Richardson

    Gary Johnson should continue climbing heights, but leave the campaigning and governing to those who take politics seriously. He doesn’t. There are a hundred or more critical issues since the 2012 presidential campaign that he hasn’t bothered to address directly or indirectly, unless — of course — it’s been for some sort of fundraising appeal for Our America Initiative (OAI), a fraud if there ever was one.

    Libertarians are being had, twice over. Shame on you.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    dgr: …take politics seriously. He doesn’t. There are a hundred or more critical issues since the 2012 presidential campaign that he hasn’t bothered to address directly or indirectly…

    me: 100, huh? My observation is that there are maybe 10 issues that voters focus on, so I wonder if maybe you are projecting when you question whether GJ takes politics seriously.

    Of course, I think taking anything seriously is a serious mistake, but that’s another matter entirely! 😉

  62. Darcy G Richardson

    “Will Stein “feel the Bern” in ’16? Oh, maybe, picking up a tiny subset of Sanders supporters.” – Robert Capozzi.

    It might be the largest “tiny subset” in history.

    Arrogance might prove to be a great Libertarian trait next year…as though it wasn’t already.

    Libertarians are completely misreading the country’s mood. They deserve a second Johnson candidacy…

  63. Robert Capozzi

    dgr, gee, thanks for the feedback!

    I don’t think that the country has a mood, per se, but I would say my read is that anxiety and anger are both way up, as well as despondency. Whether that translates into millions of votes for Stein…I’m not seeing it, although I can’t say it’s absolutely impossible. Just improbable.

    My sense is that left-leaners will overwhelmingly go with Hillary, historic first female president and all that.

    If that leads you to conclude that I am “arrogant,” well, you are surely entitled to your opinion!

  64. Richard Winger

    In November 2010, the nation had 278,446 registered Libertarians and 246,145 Greens. In November 2014, the nation had 399,302 Libertarians and 253,267 Greens. I wish I had later figures. I should have new figures in March 2016.

  65. Gene Berkman

    Somebody who believes in active government can hardly give advice to libertarians on who is a libertarian. And that actually applies to two commenters here, not just the obvious one.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    gb: Somebody who believes in active government

    me: Since 1980, I’ve only met one L who did NOT believe in active government to some extent. That would be Tom Knapp, whom IIRC is the only one who said he would push the button and abolish everywhere tomorrow. There may be a few others, of course.

  67. Andy

    One thing that will likely hold the Green Party back in presidential vote totals is ballot access, or lack thereof. The Green Party is not likely to make the ballot in North Carolina, Georgia, or Indiana, which are three high population states where the LP already has ballot status.

    It is still up in the air as to how many ballots the Green Party presidential ticket will be on in 2016, but the LP is currently ahead of the Greens in this category.

  68. Jill Pyeatt

    RC: “Since 1980, I’ve only met one L who did NOT believe in active government to some extent. That would be Tom Knapp, whom IIRC is the only one who said he would push the button and abolish everywhere tomorrow.”

    There are many, many of us who do NOT believe in active government, starting tomorrow. Count me as just one more.

  69. Richard Winger

    I think there is a good chance the Green Party will be on in Georgia for President. The lawsuit filed by the ACLU in 2012 against Georgia presidential ballot access hurdles is going very well.

  70. georgephillies

    Richard Winger
    December 6, 2015 at 20:51
    George Phillies is happy that Massachusetts keeps tracks of how many registered Libertarians there are.

    Richard Winger claims that he knows what am thinking. He is wrong.[1]

    But among states that have registration by party, there are only two states that won’t tell us how many registered Libertarians there are, New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

    He also says if the Massachusetts Libertarian Party met the definition of a qualified party, there would still need to be a petition to get our presidential nominee on the ballot in Massachusetts. That is not true.

    Winger is not only wrong, he is dangerously wrong. Even former Massachusetts State chairs like Eli Israel, Carla Howell, and her Republican front man got this one right. You petition, a lot, or you do not get your Presidential candidate on the ballot.

    Of course, this circumstance is not surprising, because Richard is often wrong when he talks about Massachusetts. Fortunately there are people here who actually know what is going on, and act on the circumstance properly. I would suggest that Richard give his advice to Californians, except I have my Libertarian leader eyewitness reporting that Richard told California Libertarians not to worry about top two, because the Republicans would block it.

    Now Richard proves he has numerosis. Numerosis is a management condition in which you attempt to manage by the numbers, even if they don’t mean anything. This condition is among the traits that has given General Motors a car manufacturing monopoly around the world:

    The last time we were ballot-qualified in Massachusetts, in November 2010, we had 15,857 registrations. But at the last tally, in November 2014, there were only 10,920 registered Libertarians. Our number keeps dropping in Massachusetts because for the last 5 years we haven’t been listed as a choice on the voter registration form. If we were a qualified party we would be listed. Between November 2010 and November 2014, nationwide Libertarian registration went up 44% (from 278,000 to 400,000). But during the same period our Massachusetts registration dropped 31%. Massachusetts has the 5th highest number of registered Libertarians in November 2010, but by November 2014 it was only the 10th best state.

    Yes, now people have to write the word “libertarian” on the voter register form in order to register Libertarian. That means they can at least spell our party’s name. Some of these people are actually interested in our party. That puts us ahead of the ‘check the box’ registrants, almost all of whom have no interest in the party, decline to sign nominating papers for libertarian candidates…and then there are the 10% who are surprised to learn that they are registered libertarian. When I petition door to door, I carry with me voter registration forms so these people can change their party away from Libertarian. They are always nice afterwards, and some of them make a point of saying they will vote for a Libertarian if they do not have a candidate in the race, because we have shown we are good people.

    [1] “I am pleased to report” is a courteous report introduction, not a representation of my opinion.

    Nick Sarwark, why did you put this character on our ballot access committee?

  71. Richard Winger

    I expected that if George responded to me, he would say that the petitioning needed in Massachusetts to get our presidential nominee on the November ballot (if we were a qualified party) would consist of petitioning to get candidates for State Committeeman and State Committeewoman on the Massachusetts Libertarian primary ballot. Those petitions require 50 signatures.

    I thought George would say, “Richard Winger is wrong because he didn’t mention that if we were a qualified party we would need to worry about qualifying Libertarians for the office of State Committee, so as to keep control of the party.”

    So I was prepared to say that in 1996, the first time we were a qualified party in Massachusetts, we ran no one for state committee in our primary. And nothing bad happened.

    In 2000, when we were also a qualified party in Massachusetts, we took the precaution of running 4 people for state committee. Of course, being unopposed, they were elected.

    In 2004, when we were also a qualified party in Massachusetts, we ran two candidates for State Committee, George and also Carolyn McMahon.

    I was prepared to say that we really don’t need to run anyone in our primary for state committee in Massachusetts, when we are a qualified party, because the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1989 in San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee v Eu that it is unconstitutional for states to tell parties how to be organized. We had also won on that in the 9th circuit 3-0 and we had run in the US District Court. As a result of winning that case, the California LP stopped running candidates in a government-administered primary. We elect our officers at party meetings, the same procedure used in most states and in all other countries around the world in which people are free to organize parties.

    I was also prepared to say that the other ballot-qualified minor parties in Massachusetts have also run a handful of candidates for state committee generally. No minor party in Massachusetts has ever had a problem of some outside hostile force running lots of candidates for that party’s Committee in the primary. The American Party in 1976, the Independent Voters Party in 1992, the Green Party in 2004, 2008, and 2012, just run one or two candidates and that solves any problem that might exist.

    George says I predicted that the Republican Party of California would block top-two. That is not a true statement. Republican and Democratic legislators alike passed the top-two bill in the middle of the night in February 2009. No one knew what the legislature was doing that night, until the next morning. What happened in that all-night session was a complete shock to everyone outside the legislature. The legislature had no hearings, no advance introduction of the bill, nothing. It was all handled between 3am and 6 am.

    Because of George’s insistence that the Libertarian Party not be ballot-qualified, the national LP will probably need to spend $30,000 in 2016 on a petition to get our presidential nominee on the November ballot. If we were a qualified party, we would simply tell the state government who our presidential nominees and our elector candidates are. One can argue that we would also need to run one or two people for state committee (something I dispute) but in any event that could be done with one or two petitions of 50 signatures each.

  72. Mark Axinn

    Andy wrote:
    >One thing that will likely hold the Green Party back in presidential vote totals is ballot access, or lack thereof. The Green Party is not likely to make the ballot in North Carolina, Georgia, or Indiana, which are three high population states where the LP already has ballot status. It is still up in the air as to how many ballots the Green Party presidential ticket will be on in 2016, but the LP is currently ahead of the Greens in this category

    The LP is ahead of the Greens even where they have ballot access. In New York, the GP is an official party with ballot access; they could have fielded hundreds of candidates last month but they did not. The could have 62 county chapters. Instead, they have a few very small operations in a few places, particularly Syracuse where Howie Hawkins is from, Long Island and Brooklyn, and not much else. Their state organization in New York, the nation’s fourth most populous state and one where they have ballot access, is abysmal.

    They have had ballot access here for six years and have not done a bloody thing with it other than Howie’s two excellent campaigns for Governor.

    Jill Stein will come in fourth place just like she did in 2012.

  73. George Whitfield

    Richard Winger: I agree with your perception of Gary Johnson. And I am impressed and admire your knowledge of ballot access law and history. Thank you for your comments.

  74. paulie Post author

    Paulie, does working GP drives not make you one of those horrible mercenary petitioners that Andy is always going on about?

    No.

    I think the Green Party should be allowed to be on the ballot. Working on the Green Party petition is not working on an issue I oppose. Working for say a victim disarmament or tax theft increase petition would make me a mercenary petitioner. Which, granted, there was a point in the early 2000s when I was, but I didn’t start out that way and Andy helped convinced me to go back to not circulating issues I personally oppose.

  75. Thomas L. Knapp

    Actually, I probably believe in active government as much or more than anyone on this list. In the absence of coercive monopoly political government — aka the state, which I oppose — individuals and voluntary collectives would presumably become MUCH more active in self-government.

  76. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “That would be Tom Knapp, whom IIRC is the only one who said he would push the button and abolish everywhere tomorrow. There may be a few others, of course.”

    I agree with the anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist philosophy, but there would be some real logistical problems that would happen if somebody pushed the magic “make government shutdown tomorrow” button, and it actually happened.

    I could see rioting in the streets when some people don’t get their welfare checks, or government paychecks, or etc…

    Also, what would happen to the government’s massive supply of weapons? Machine guns, tanks, fighter planes, nukes, bioweapons, etc…

    What about other government infrastructure that is already in place? Who gets to keep what?

    I think that the best thing to do would be to divvy things out among the population, but should stuff be distributed evenly, or should it be distributed in proportion to how much people paid in taxes? This could get very tedious, and frankly, may not even be possible to figure out, and this would even assume that a majority of people would even want to figure out a fair way to distribute property currently being held by various government entities.

    There are currently people who are in jail or prison? If somebody pushes the “shut down government tomorrow” button and it happened, there’d be nobody guarding the jails or prisons. This would give the inmates the ability to just walk out. There are certainly lots of people in jail and prison who are in there for victimless crimes, as in things that would not be crimes in a libertarian society, and there are also people who are in because they were convicted on false charges, and in some cases where the police lied in their reports to get them convicted. All of these people being released would be a good thing, but as bad as the criminal justice system is in this country, there are also some truly dangerous criminals who are rightfully in jail or prison, as in people who did things that would still be regarded as crimes in a libertarian society. So there’d be murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc…, who’d walk out of jail or prison as well.

    We also have to recognize that we live in a society where there are lots of people who do not agree with libertarians, and do not want to live in a libertarian society. There area currently more of these people in this country than there are libertarians, and libertarian leaners. So if the current government was shut down tomorrow, there’d likely be a period of chaos, and there’d likely be an attempt from groups of non-libertarians to form a new government.

    So the question is, would the potential for a period of chaos that may come from shutting government down tomorrow, given the present realities that we live under, be a better option than continuing the course in which we are headed under the present government system?

    Don’t get me wrong here, I think that the government is a mess in this country, and I am all in favor of scrapping it. I am just pointing out that there could be lots of problems with just going “cold turkey” and shutting government down tomorrow, without there being some kind of mass libertarian awakening in this country, and/or some kind of orderly plan to transition into a free society, or without libertarians having some way of separating themselves from the rest of the population (see my Libertarian Zone concept: http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/07/andy-jacobs-the-libertarian-zone/ ).

  77. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, there would likely be severe civil disruptions if the state disappeared tomorrow.

    But then, there are severe civil disruptions now, and they will almost certainly become worse over the next couple of decades.

    The whole “push the button” thing is just a sort of rhetorical device and trying to calculate the particular effects strikes me as a waste of time. There’s no button to push and if there was, pushing it would only advance the inevitable. The Westphalian nation-state as we know it has been circling the drain for 70 years and probably won’t make it another 30. All we can do is our best to be ready to fight to replace it with something better instead of something worse.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    My problem with Johnson is simple:

    Yes, ceteris paribus, 1.5 million votes is better than 500,000 votes.

    But ceteris isn’t paribus here: 1.5 million votes for a candidate who doesn’t represent the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform very well is not better than 500,000 votes for a candidate who DOES do a good job of representing the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform.

    In my opinion, Johnson does not represent the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform very well. And I’m not basing that opinion entirely on “purist anarchist” grounds.

    Among other things:

    The Libertarian Party used to be the party that opposed taxpayer-funded welfare for its candidates and supported fiscal responsibility. Now we’re the party that runs a candidate who dug his Republican campaign seven figures into debt, then solicited a government welfare check to pay off that debt, then ran up the debt again on the Libertarian Party’s ballot line.

    The Libertarian Party’s range on taxes used to run from “eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing” to, at worst, Clark’s “low tax liberalism.” Now we’re the party who runs a candidate whose tax plan specifically advertises itself as revenue neutral (in other words, the government will take just as much money out of our pockets as before) and which includes a fraudulent “advance rebate” scam that would have every man, woman and child in the US expecting a monthly check from Uncle Sugar.

    If the LP’s ticket was polling at 33% and softening a position toward the mythical “center” might get the ticket to 35% and a plurality victory, I could understand it, even if I didn’t support it. But damaging our own brand just so we can hopefully tick up the vote total a little, but not enough to even affect the outcome of the election? That’s madness.

    Representing the the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform well may not be sufficient to rack up big vote totals, but it’s the necessary baseline for making it worthwhile for the Libertarian Party to run the candidate at all. Anything else is like Coca-Cola running ad campaigns to sell Pepsi, or Nike promoting Adidas instead of its own shoes.

    Now, as to Stein’s prospects. Darcy knows more about the Green campaign than I do, but I did have a thought today as to how Stein might knock down some serious votes.

    One “progressive” Democratic US Senator — Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Stein’s own state — very publicly abstained last week from endorsing Hillary Clinton. But she hasn’t endorsed Bernie Sanders yet, either.

    What if Warren comes out after Hillary’s coronation to endorse Stein, to encourage a “progressive” exodus from the Democratic Party, and to announce that she herself will seek re-election in 2018 as a Green rather than as a Democrat? My guess is that that endorsement/announcement would be good for AT LEAST a million votes additional votes for Stein next November, and probably more. And there’s a good chance that Warren could in fact get re-elected as a Green.

    No, the above is not a prediction, just a “what if …” that occurred to me. But if it does happen, the Greens will immediately, and quite possibly permanently, supersede the LP as “America’s third largest party.”

  79. Andy

    “Matt Cholko

    December 7, 2015 at 20:34

    Andy, will you work GP ballot access drives?”

    I have already worked on Green Party petition drives on five occasions.

    “Matt Cholko

    December 7, 2015 at 22:33

    Paulie, does working GP drives not make you one of those horrible mercenary petitioners that Andy is always going on about?”

    If I am not a Green, does that make me a mercenary? I suppose you could say that to an extent, however, I actually do agree with the Green Party on some issues.

    I do not see putting another minor party or independent candidate on the ballot to be as bad as working on an anti-liberty ballot initiative.

    Why?

    1) Most minor party or independent candidates are actually better than the typical Democrat or Republican candidate.

    2) Minor party and independent candidates are not likely to win anyway. Any ballot initiative generally stands a better chance of passing than any minor party or independent candidate generally stands a chance of getting elected.

    3) Sometimes another minor party or independent candidate will do something to help pave the way for other minor party or independent candidates. One example is the Green Party in Arkansas. I worked on the petition drive to get them on the ballot in Arkansas in 2006. The Green Party used the signatures that I helped gather for standing in a law suit which prevented the state from increasing the signature requirement for party status from 10,000 valid petition signatures to 23,000 valid petition signatures. If the Greens had not won that law suit the signature requirement in Arkansas would be 23,000 valid signature right now, which would mean that the Libertarian Party of Arkansas would not have been likely to have achieved full party status for the 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections. The Greens also elected a candidate to the state legislature in Arkansas who put forth a bill that actually passed, which extended the petition circulation period from 60 days to 90 days (it had been 6 months, but after the Greens made the ballot, the legislature retaliated by shortening the petition circulating period for minor parties to 60 days), and it also eliminated the requirement for minor party ballot access petition to be separated by county, and to be notarized. The Libertarian Party of Arkansas benefitted from this bill passing. There are a bunch of other examples of other minor parties and independent candidates doing things that have benefitted the Libertarian Party.

    There are also a couple of other practical reasons.

    1) The Libertarian Party is not always able to pay enough money to compete with ballot initiative and/or referendum petition drives that may be happening in other states. I do not like to work on issues with which I disagree, but if there are initiative or referendum petitions going on which I agree with or am neutral on then I may chose to do that instead of petitioning for the Libertarian Party, especially if the initiative or referendum petitions are paying more money. There are frequently situations where there is more than one initiative or referendum petition going on at the same time and petition circulators will “stack” them, that is working on more than one of them at the same time. If they are paying well, and especially if there is more than one of them, it is hard for the Libertarian Party to compete with this financially. However, if the Green Party and/or some other minor party or independent candidates are paying at the same time as the LP, and if it is legally possible to work on these petitions at the same time as working on the Libertarian Party petition, then it is possible for the Libertarian Party to be competitive with initiative and/or referendum petition drives going on at the same time in other states.

    2) There are some serious problems in a lot of states with petition circulators gaining access to venues that carry public foot traffic for asking people to sign petitions. If you can’t talk to people, you can’t get any signatures. Let’s say that the Green Party and the Libertarian Party are both doing petition drives in the same state at the same time. Access to locations that carry enough public foot traffic for productive signature gathering may be limited in a state (which is frequently the case). Having separate teams of people running around asking for signatures, with one team carrying the Libertarian Party petition, and another team carrying the Green Party petition, can actually lead to lots of problems. It can lead to battles between petition circulators at locations, which can lead to more complaints from the public, which can lead to both sides getting kicked out of locations. This can also lead to more petition confusion among the public, that is having different teams of people gathering signatures for the Libertarian Party and Green Party separately can lead to members of the public not knowing which petition they signed. Keep in mind that a lot of the public does not really know that much about minor party or independent candidates, and also that a lot of people have poor memories. There are people out there who don’t know the Libertarian Party from the Green Party from the Constitution Party from the Moderate Party from Americans Elect from independent candidates from etc…. Even if the petition circulator tells them that this is the Green Party petition, and even if they say it more than once, and even if the point to the words Green Party, for some people, it will go in one ear and out the other. So say that one week a Green Party petition circulator goes to a location and gets somebody to sign their petition. Then say that two or three or four weeks later a Libertarian Party petition circulator goes to that same location and encounters the same person, or say that they encounter a person who signed the Green Party petition two or three or four weeks prior to encountering them at some other location. There are people out there who mistakenly think that they already signed the Libertarian Party petition when they actually signed the Green Party petition. Petition circulators carrying the Libertarian Party petition and the Green Party petition (or whatever other minor party or independent candidates are collecting signatures during the same time period) where it is legally permissible to do this cuts down on the “petition confusion” problem.

  80. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “Yes, there would likely be severe civil disruptions if the state disappeared tomorrow.

    But then, there are severe civil disruptions now, and they will almost certainly become worse over the next couple of decades.

    The whole ‘push the button’ thing is just a sort of rhetorical device and trying to calculate the particular effects strikes me as a waste of time.”

    Tom, what is your answer to what happens to the state’s massive weapons stockpile if the state were to disappear?

    I am not saying that coercive government should not disappear, I agree with you that it should, I am just talking about the logistical issues, as well as the civil disruption problem.

    What happens to the tanks and fighter planes and bombers and aircraft carries and the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that the government has stockpiled?

    Can I have a tank?

    I mean could I walk on a now defunct Army base (if you pushed your magic “shutdown the government tomorrow” button) and just drive off with a tank?

    Who gets to keep the nukes and the chemical and biological weapons?

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Tom, what is your answer to what happens to the state’s massive weapons stockpile if the state were to disappear?”

    What makes you think I have an answer? I don’t have a crystal ball.

    When what’s happening now stops happening, something else will happen.

    Given the history of the 20th century, with hundreds of millions directly murdered by Westphalian nation-state regimes, I would be willing to roll the dice on the proposition that that something else wouldn’t be any worse and would likely be somewhat better.

    But the dice aren’t mine to roll and the button isn’t mine to push. Nor could I save the Westphalian nation-state if I wanted to do that instead of rolling the dice or pushing the button to destroy it. All I can do is the same thing as you: Think about how I’d like to see things come out, find people who agree with me on how things should come out, and advocate, plan for, and try to build the institutions that will support, that outcome.

  82. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “If the LP’s ticket was polling at 33% and softening a position toward the mythical “center” might get the ticket to 35% and a plurality victory, I could understand it, even if I didn’t support it. But damaging our own brand just so we can hopefully tick up the vote total a little, but not enough to even affect the outcome of the election? That’s madness.”

    I don’t think that Gary Johnson’s issue deviations from some of the party’s past candidates had anything to do with his record setting raw vote total for an LP candidate for President (and once again, note that Gary Johnson still came in behind Ed Clark in terms of percent of the vote, which is actually more important than raw number of votes, especially given that the population of the country increased quite a bit from when Clark ran in 1980 to when Johnson ran in 2012).

    I think that Gary Johnson getting over 1.2 million votes had more to do with the following factors:

    1) There was no higher profile minor party or independent candidate in the race. He did not have to compete against a John Anderson or a Ross Perot or a Ralph Nader or a Pat Buchanan for votes or media attention.

    2) The Gary Johnson/Jim Gray ticket was on the ballot in more states than any other minor party or independent candidate.

    3) The Ron Paul r3VOLution of 2007-2012 greatly increased name recognition for the word libertarian, and caused more people to start self identifying as libertarians. This could have caused a much bigger spike for the LP’s presidential ticket in 2008 if the Barr/Root ticket had not alienated so many of these people. Gary Johnson managed to not alienate a lot of the libertarian base to the extent that Barr did, and this helped to increase his vote total.

    4) Disgust with the major party candidates, Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney, was high, and since most people knew that Obama was going to win, more people were willing to vote throw their vote to a minor party or independent candidate.

    5) The proliferation of the internet. More people had internet access in 2012 than any election prior to 2012 (and of course, some LP candidates ran before the internet was around). The internet is a cheap way to reach lots of people. (I imagine that it will have an even bigger affect on the 2016 election.)

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Just to be clear:

    I wasn’t suggesting that Johnson’s vote total was necessarily attributable to his deviations from the LP’s platform. I agree with you that it wasn’t. His vote total was a function of several things — he had some name recognition from his earlier participation in the GOP debates, he had some credentials as a former governor, and there was probably some depression of the “wasted vote” argument due to it not being a very tight election.

    What I was suggesting was that the delegates were willing to put up with his deviations from the LP’s platform because they expected that he would get more votes than the usual LP candidate.

    I don’t think that that expectation, even to the extent that it was fulfilled, was worth the cost of damaging the brand.

  84. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, if Warren and/or Sanders (who is apparently still not a member of the DP*) bolted for the Greens, I could imagine Stein would do quite well. Heck, maybe they even change their ticket to Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders. That ticket could poll better than Johnson/Gray or Ventura.

    Heck, I don’t know, if it’s Trump v Clinton v Sanders v Johnson, that might be more disruptive than ’92.

    * As of August, Politico says no http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/bernie-sanders-2016-democrats-121181

  85. Robert Capozzi

    tk: But damaging our own brand just so we can hopefully tick up the vote total a little, but not enough to even affect the outcome of the election? That’s madness.

    Me: Understandable from your perspective. Johnson advances lessarchism pretty well and probably optimally, given the choices, but does damage NAP plumblinery.

    From my perspective, the brand as initially constituted is self-defeating with crazy talk and obscure, fringy extremism steeped in highly theoretical assumptions that are interesting on an abstract level but have almost no usefulness on a practical level.

    There’s nothing wrong per se in taking a highly esoteric approach to political expression.

    And, to be fair, it took about 70 years for the Communist Manifesto to manifest fully as a workable blueprint for a country’s governance, so it could be another 30 years for FANL to be of similar influence.

  86. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    Yes you said that out loud LOL! 🙂

    On your points via brand weakening, I couldn’t agree more. We sell our principles out for hopes of glory and get… What?

    We certainly got something but it isn’t worth the cost.

    In this respect I understand why you support NOTA. I know you don’t favour Kerbel – but why not Perry?

  87. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write: “Understandable from your perspective. Johnson advances lessarchism pretty well and probably optimally, given the choices, but does damage NAP plumblinery.”

    If it’s understandable, why don’t you understand it? I made it perfectly clear that this isn’t about “purism” or, as you put it, “NAP plumblinery.” Nor is it about whether or not Johnson “advances lessarchism pretty well.”

    The LP has a platform and statement of principles. If what the candidate is promoting doesn’t promote adoption of that platform and statement of principles, then the candidate’s campaign is, AT BEST, a waste of the party’s time, effort and money. And if what the candidate is promoting is incompatible with that platform and statement of principles, then the candidate is actively damaging the party. Why in the hell would the party want to nominate and support a candidate who’s running against it rather than for it?

  88. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn,

    I do favor Perry, among the actual candidates. And I’m keeping an eye on other candidates, including Kerbel, to see how they shape up.

    The reason I am stuck on NOTA at the moment is because I believe that if Johnson runs (and I do believe Johnson will run), Johnson will win, and I want the supporters of the party — which in this context means the opponents of Johnson — to be able to get our message out as best we can.

    To the extent that the nomination contest gets media coverage, “Johnson beats Perry, Kerbel, Feldman et. al” doesn’t carry nearly the informational punch that “[some substantial percentage] of Libertarian Delegates Say They Prefer Not Running a Candidate At All to Running Johnson” carries.

    If it looks like a pro-LP candidate might be able to beat Johnson, I’ll support that candidate. But it doesn’t look likely.

    If it looks like one or more pro-LP candidates might be able to force the race into multiple ballots, I might cast my vote for one of those candidates until the terminal ballot.

    But at the point where it becomes clear that on the next ballot, Johnson will be nominated, I’ll be doing my best to get everyone who supports the LP to vote for NOTA rather than for Johnson.

    All of the above, btw, is also predicated on the unlikelihood of Johnson, at this late date, doing a convincing turnabout and credibly promising to run for, rather than against, the LP. If he did that, I’d be happy to support him even if not all of his positions were, as Bob puts it, “NAP plumblinery” (parts of the platform are not NAP plumbline; I don’t have to agree with a candidate on everything to support that candidate, I just want the candidate to be pro-LP rather than anti-LP).

  89. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thomas,

    Okay I understand your NOTA position better. I hope things shape up to the extent you can support either Perry or Kerbel, but I grok what you are saying now.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, I would say that I already DO “support” Darryl (I’ve made one or two small donations to his campaign) and may “support” others as time goes on.

    This month on the podcast, I’m covering the case for NOTA, but after that I plan to do “reviews” of the candidates.

  91. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Awesome… will need to look out for those. I got kind of podcast-burned out and have been taking a booty-music break. I know, I am a terrible Libertarian.

  92. Robert Capozzi

    tk: The LP has a platform and statement of principles. If what the candidate is promoting doesn’t promote adoption of that platform and statement of principles, then the candidate’s campaign is, AT BEST, a waste of the party’s time, effort and money.

    me: It all depends on how one looks at the platform and SoP. I view them — at best — as long-term goals, not ones that are attainable in the next 4 years, which is the term a prez runs for.

    A lessarchist offers near-term ideas that should move the country on a path toward the day when the SoP and platform might be actionable.

    Now, personally, having a passing knowledge of how the SoP was imposed on the LP membership and having a fairly intimate knowledge of why the LP’s platform says what it currently says, my counsel is to mostly disregard them except perhaps as some general, illustrative ideas for thought experimentation…certainly not hard and fast lines for all L candidates to tow.

    I see the L candidate as mostly an advocate for more liberty, not a robot spouting the kluge known as the LP’s national platform. “Promot[ing the] adoption” of the platform and SoP in the near term is the definition of a quixotic quest, IMO.

    From what I know of the prospective and current candidates, the package known “Gary Johnson” is probably the optimal vehicle to inject L ideas into the Public Square for consideration. Some of his ideas are sub-optimal and even mildly counter-productive, such as the FAIR tax. I also think he needs of presentation coaching. But I do like his resume and his general come-from.

    I was especially mildly enthusiastic about Johnson going against Trump and Clinton, since in my estimation both are shaping up to be among the weakest R/D line-up in probably my lifetime. (After Trump’s call y’day to temporarily ban Muslims from visiting the US, I now think he’s almost surely toast. Then again I’ve thought this was likely to happen sooner and, sadly, he may still win the R nomination, perhaps because of his hateful, unAmerican views.)

  93. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Well, that’s the rub.

    The LP has stated purposes.

    I think it should nominates candidates who promote those purposes.

    You disagree with those purposes, think those purposes should be different, and want it to nominate candidates who promote your preferred purposes rather than its purposes.

    You like Pepsi better than Coke, and think the Coca-Cola Company should sell Pepsi instead of Coke.

    But the Coca-Cola Company’s purpose isn’t to sell Pepsi. It’s to sell Coke.

  94. Joe

    Thomas L. Knapp @ December 8, 2015 at 02:20

    “1.5 million votes for a candidate who doesn’t represent the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform very well is not better than 500,000 votes for a candidate who DOES do a good job of representing the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform.”

    Although I think Governor Johnson did a relatively good job of representing the platform, it was not the best we’ve had among POTUS candidates — something I said openly during that campaign especially to the Governor himself. He was, in my experience of him, interested and engaged in how to become a better articulator of libertarian principles (something he acknowledged after admitting he lost the convention debate to Lee Wrights (and among others his own brother was telling him this)). Perhaps my most significant contribution to the campaign was arranging a breakfast meeting that went into a lunch meeting between Governor Johnson and Representative Andre Marrou during the Texas Libertarian party convention. See: http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/06/1992-libertarian-presidential-candidate-andre-marrou-gives-speech-to-texas-lp-convention-full-transcript-follows/

    I had worked on Andre’s campaign, and IMO, Andre’s interview on the CNN Larry King show was the best any LP candidate has done in terms of responding to challenges to our principles/platform.

    That said, I agree with what you wrote above. I’d only replace the word “candidate” with “campaign” in it to say:

    “1.5 million votes for a campaign that doesn’t represent the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform very well is not better than 500,000 votes for a campaign that DOES do a good job of representing the Libertarian Party’s principles and platform.”

    Governor Johnson surrounded himself with (and more or less was directed by) people who clearly are not principled, nor are/were they libertarians. His media manager in 2012 was perhaps the most egregious example of that disconnect as he kept his ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT bumpersticker on his car throughout the campaign. I’ll be interested to hear what former “National Fundraising Director/ GOTV National Coordinator for Gary Johnson 2012” Chris Thrasher has to say. (see Christopher S. Thrasher @ December 7, 2015 at 09:49 above “Expect several 2012 ex-staffers to actively oppose a second Johnson candidacy in Orlando.”)

    What I’ll say, as I said to the Governor when I met with him in Taos this past July — “I loved working on your campaign through the election in November. But when I started getting calls from collection agencies at my home in early 2016, with Ron Nielson claiming it was accounting errors/everyone had been paid, and knowing that was a lie, I quit.”

    While I’d consider working for the Governor again, I have a policy of not working for people who lie to me, or about me, and certainly not when it’s done repeatedly. I also am not interested in working on any libertarian campaign where Republicans like Joe Hunter are involved, nor on any where expenses/staff payments are not fully transparent. I have heard many outrageous rumors about where the money went, and hope Chris will be able to force transparency on that before Orlando so the delegates there can make fully informed decisions.

    As for the protection of Republicans by the GJ2012 campaign, see:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/10/gary-johnson-endorses-independent-nm-jon-barrie-for-senate/

    I had run the endorsement of Jon Barrie by Ron Nielson that morning and gotten his approval for it (generally I did not do this, but in this case we were endorsing an Independent in New Mexico who was running for the same Senate seat as Heather Wilson. Heather was a former member of Governor Johnson’s cabinet, Secretary for Children Youth & Families).

    Before we announced it on our website, Jon announced it on his and contacted media in New Mexico. Reporters there contacted Joe Hunter who then contacted Ron. Ron reached the Governor who was on a plane and I was directed by Ron Nielson to withdraw that endorsement, which I did. Joe Hunter told the New Mexico media that it was a “clerical error by a campaign volunteer.” Rather than let that lie stand, I took personal responsibility for it; I should not have sent the endorsement language to Jon until after it was up on our website (and thus un-retractable).

    The bottom line here, the campaign, including the Governor, did not want to harm the Republican candidate for the US Senate in New Mexico.

    So I guess I should say that I loved working for the campaign through October 28th or so.

    We did reach out to apologize to Jon Barrie who was a perfect gentleman about it all. I made a personal donation to his campaign and invited him to attend our election night party in Albuquerque. Jon did. I apologized again in person.

    Bottom line: IMO This was another lost opportunity to get significant positive media coverage for the campaign both in New Mexico and nationally. The relationship with Heather Wilson was poorly managed from day one (she had, apparently, offered to endorse Governor Johnson for President (over Mitt Romney), but because she (or her husband) had caused a scandal during his term as governor, the Governor initially declined that endorsement. Later (apparently, I was not directly part of this) the campaign tried to accept her endorsement and she declined to re-offer it. After that Governor Johnson had appeared on stage in New Mexico with Jon Barrie, had talked with him, so the endorsement of Jon Barrie seemed reasonable.

    Reason Magazine reported at the time:

    “Taking into account the track record of third party presidential candidates that run in consecutive cycles (Governor Gary Johnson) said that he probably wouldn’t do so well. Ross Perot and Harry Browne both saw their vote totals go down by nearly half the second time they ran. Ralph Nader peaked in 2000 and never came close to those numbers in two subsequent presidential runs in 2004 and 2008.

    “You can’t not do this and not be aware of the history. The history would suggest that we would do worse if we try this again,” Johnson says.

    “A Republican operative in New Mexico told me last night that Johnson could have done well, if not better than Heather Wilson, in the race for U.S. Senate here, but Johnson maintains that it’s an office he has no interest in. Democrat Martin Heinrich defeated Wilson 51- 45 while Jon Barrie, running on the American Independent line, picked up 3.6 percent of the vote.

    “I would have never predicted this,” Johnson says on the outcome of the Senate race in his home state where he is still fairly popular.

    “Johnson says he plans to stick with the Libertarians but he would not rule out a return to the Republicans for a future run.

    “Never say never.”

    https://reason.com/blog/2012/11/08/gary-johnson-bids-2012-campaign-adieu

  95. Robert Capozzi

    tk, for me, I don’ see it politics as an either/or proposition. It’s rather an assemblage of various positions on many issues guided by general principles about how civil societies should be organized to facility life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Today I may have a diet cherry Coke Zero, tomorrow Crystal Pepsi. I might even mix them if I choose to do so next week, and the truth is: So can you!

  96. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “I don’ see it politics as an either/or proposition”

    Exactly.

    The statement of principles says what it says, is what it is, and has the requirement for changing it that it has.

    You come into that environment and instead of saying “OK, well, this party does not agree with me and there’s no way to get it to agree with me, so I guess I should find or found a party that does agree with me,” you say “despite the fact that this party does not agree with me, it should run candidates who agree with me instead of with it.”

    That is not a reasonable request.

  97. Robert Capozzi

    tk, this — ADR — is beneath you. I have not “requested” anything. I share my opinion and I make suggestions here on IPR, and that’s all.

    As for not agreeing with me, have I had a brain aneurysm, or was GJ the candidate in 2012? I agreed with that convention, not the other way around! Hard to know how the ’16 sausage factory will go, but my guess is that GJ — if he runs — will likely get the nomination.

    My request/suggestion/opinion or however you choose to characterize my words will almost certainly be of NO consequence in the convention’s decision.

    Let’s keep things real, shall we?

  98. Thomas L. Knapp

    No, you didn’t hallucinate 2012. Or 2008. In both cases, the LP’s national convention delegates voted to run a candidate who didn’t represent its platform and statement of principles.

    I think that was a mistake.

    You don’t.

    I think Coke should sell Coke.

    You think Coke should sell Pepsi.

    Your way of doing things has been winning inside the LP for years.

    And every time it wins, the LP loses.

  99. Andy Craig

    “the LP’s national convention delegates voted to run a candidate who didn’t represent its platform and statement of principles.”

  100. Robert Capozzi

    tk: You think Coke should sell Pepsi.

    me: Nope. I think Coke’s strategy of having many, many flavors makes a lot of business sense, since consumers have differing tastes. Voters do, too.

    You may want the LP to field Max Headroom, with pre-programmed lines from 20-year-olds in the 70s from which he cannot deviate.

  101. georgephillies

    “In 2004, when we were also a qualified party in Massachusetts, we ran two candidates for State Committee, George and also Carolyn McMahon.” That shows a complete misunderstanding of what was happening in 2004.

    “Because of George’s insistence that the Libertarian Party not be ballot-qualified, the national LP will probably need to spend $30,000 in 2016 on a petition to get our presidential nominee on the November ballot. If we were a qualified party, we would simply tell the state government who our presidential nominees and our elector candidates are. One can argue that we would also need to run one or two people for state committee (something I dispute) but in any event that could be done with one or two petitions of 50 signatures each.”

    Well, at least you now admit that we had to petition. It certainly took a while.

    “Because of George’s insistence that the Libertarian Party”

    Once again, Mister Winger, you are lying through your teeth. In Massachusetts, ballot access for political designations belongs to the people, not to the corrupt party bosses[1]. Absolutely nothing except an outbreak of positive IQ points kept anyone from showing up in Massachusetts and running anyone who was legally eligible and would sign off that they agreed to serve for any of the statewide offices.

    In fact, in 2014 there was a fellow trying to get on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate for a statewide office. I even advised him on what to do to be sure that his nominating papers were valid.

    “the national LP will probably need to spend $30,000 in 2016 on a petition to get our presidential nominee on the November ballot. ”

    Curiously, that’s about the same as the cost of running a full slate in 2014, except, of course, if you petition for President nothing can go wrong if you collect and submit enough valid signatures, but if you follow the 2014 route your candidates can miss getting 3%. (There is a way of cutting the price in half, but as the Green-Rainbow Party was using that option, you mostly create a likelihood that both parties’ 2014 efforts will fail.)

    Even more curiously, if the national party had followed your advice, they would have declined to pay for the damage they would have done to ballot access for our other candidates. I asked, and was so advised.

    That’s radically anti-Libertarian, a point I am going to be making. Regularly.

    Monomania on Presidential ballot access, no matter what damage is done everywhere and what actual facts are disregarded, is unhealthy.

    [1] Of course, technically we are not a “party” here. On the other hand, I am among the few Libertarians who has ever been offered a significant bribe (iirc $50,000) in connection with my political activities, but I did not take the bribe.

  102. Andy

    Why is it that when a lot of people in the LP quote petition drive price estimates, they base it on prices from 15 or 20 years ago, as if there has been no inflation, and as if the prices they are quoting are somehow relevant to market rates in 2015 and 2016?

    The lowball unrealistic price estimate given for Oklahoma is part of the reason that the drive has been at risk of failing.

    The competition for contracting witb signature gathers in 2016 will get more expensive if anything, yet we have multiple people in the LP who act as though prices have not gone up since the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

  103. Richard Winger

    If we had done a petition in 2014 for a lesser statewide office in Massachusetts, we would have only needed 5,000 signatures, instead of the 10,000 we need for president in 2016. Also the 2014 petition could have circulated for the entire period mid-February 2014 thru the end of July 2014 (five and one-half months) because the Mass. LP could have chosen the nominee in late 2013 or early 2014. But our 2016 presidential petition can only circulate in June and July, because we can’t start until we know the identity of our Presidential & Vice-Presidential nominees, which won’t be until the end of May at the national convention. Also rates for petitioners would have been lower in 2014 than they will be in 2016.

    There is a reason the Green Party obtains and keeps party status in Massachusetts at every opportunity.

  104. Gene Berkman

    To Whom it May Concern – when you have a disagreement with someone, calling that person an idiot does not actually constitute an argument. Nor does it inspire people to want to take your side – at least not the type of people you should want on your side.

    The mark of a civilized person is the ability to disagree without being disagreeable.

  105. Caryn Ann Harlos

    THAT!

    Now I am not sure who he is referring to… but I think we all should step back from that. And in particular Presidential candidates when speaking to the Party base.

  106. Jill Pyeatt

    A couple of years ago, I pledged to stop calling people names. It is shockingly difficult, but I think, for the most part I don’t. I do make an exception for public figures, though. I don’t think I’d be able to live my life without being able to call people like Donald Trump “idiot”, or Hillary Clinton a “war criminal” at least once in a while, however.

  107. NewFederalist

    I find it very easy to not call people names. What I find difficult is not drinking vodka or tequila which in turn leads me to calling people names. Perhaps I should become a Prohibitionist? Nah….

  108. Gene Berkman

    “I love the look of pure shock I get from Democrats when I call Hilldawg a war criminal.”

    So Jed, how effective has that been in changing their minds about Hilary Clinton? Inquiring minds want to know.

  109. Jed Ziggler

    Not at all, but then I have no desire to change their minds about Hillary. I have, however, been effective at convincing said people that it’s beyond insane that we only have two legit choices on election day, which is where I focus my activism. We can’t compete in major elections, so let’s wake people up to the flaws in the system.

    As far as this “announcement,” in what parallel universe is “I intend to run for president” not an announcement that you’re running for president?

    “I’m running for president.”

    “So it’s official?”

    “I never said that! Stop putting words in my mouth!”

  110. paulie Post author

    I find it very easy to not call people names. What I find difficult is not drinking vodka or tequila which in turn leads me to calling people names.

    I have the same problem. I think it may be genetic.

  111. NewFederalist

    “Paulie is related to New Federalist?” – Steve

    Hmmm… I don’t remember being in Siberia but then again with the vodka and all… 😉

  112. Gene Berkman

    I think Jed Z. has illuminated an important issue. Do we want to change people’s minds, or just put them down for being wrong? I have had 50 years to think about it and I know what my choice is.

  113. Andy

    George Phillies said: “[1] Of course, technically we are not a “party” here. On the other hand, I am among the few Libertarians who has ever been offered a significant bribe (iirc $50,000) in connection with my political activities, but I did not take the bribe.”

    What is the story behind this?

  114. steve m

    My position on the situation in Massachusetts for 2016 is…. the past is the past (and as I recall the Libertarian Presidential Candidate has been on the ballot in MA for the last several elections) so do what is needed to get the Libertarian candidates on for 2016. So for MA George Phillies and company have been doing that I expect they will continue to do so.

    For Oklahoma 2016, my position is lets get the job done asap. And get our candidate on the ballot down there and I appreciate the efforts that Richard Winger has put in.

    Gentlemen we need to put our efforts into improving our parties chances not engaging in an internal knife fight.

  115. Robert Capozzi

    more to TK…

    There are Christians who believe that the Bible must be read literally. For ex., the part where God made the heavens and the Earth in 7 days…they INSIST that the universe was made in a week.

    Other Christians and others don’t read that part literally, particularly given the evidence to the contrary.

    Similarly, some Ls read the SoP and the platform literally. Others don’t.

  116. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, it’s true that there are many and varied interpretations of the Bible.

    I am unaware of any “Christian church” organization which would select as e.g. its pastor, or bishop, or presbyter, or pope, or whatever, someone who openly campaigns against that organization’s stated interpretations of the Bible.

    It is unlikely that the Southern Baptist Convention will select as its next president a Shiite imam, a Zen monk or a Hindu archaka.

    In fact, it is unlikely that the Southern Baptist Convention will even select as its next president a Catholic cardinal, an Orthodox metropolitan or an Anglican archbishop.

    They’ll probably select a Southern Baptist.

    There’s a reason for that.

  117. Robert Capozzi

    tk, true as far as it goes.

    But there are many Christians who DON’T read the Bible literally, probably most don’t. That doesn’t mean that they DISAVOW the Bible; it means that they read it differently, ie, not literally.

  118. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Your analogy just doesn’t bear any meaningful relationship to reality. The only way it works is if we map “libertarianism” to “Christianity” and “the Libertarian Party” to “e.g. the Holy Roman Catholic Church.” In which case we’re right back where we started. Sure, there are all kinds of libertarians, but the Libertarian Party is a specific “church” with a specific “doctrine.” It’s one thing to say that doctrine should be reformed in this way or that. It’s quite another to say that in the absence of such reform, a leader/representative should be selected who repudiates that doctrine.

  119. Robert Capozzi

    tk, that’s the thing…you maintain there is ONE specific doctrine, but others disagree with you. Doctrine requires interpretation by readers and followers of the words. Words don’t rule people, people rule words by giving them meaning.

    Without the consciousness of people, words are just scribbles, if that!

  120. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Yes, some people disagree with me on that. By “some,” I mean “you.” And by “disagree,” I mean “dismiss the real world in favor of believing things are the way they wish things were.”

  121. Robert Capozzi

    tk: And by “disagree,” I mean “dismiss the real world in favor of believing things are the way they wish things were.”

    me: I see. Do you mean to suggest that you have a monopoly on what the “real world” is, and those who disagree with you are incorrect?

  122. Thomas L. Knapp

    I mean to say that if an organization, on the basis of its internal rules and procedures, adopts position X, and that if its presidential candidate promotes position not-X, no, the question of whether or not the candidate is representing position X isn’t a matter of “interpretation.”

  123. NewFederalist

    “Come to think of it, you did always remind me of Darth Vader. This would explain a lot…” – paulie

    The Force is strong with you, young Frankwalker! (Must be the Stolie!)

  124. Robert Capozzi

    tk: position X

    me: Yes, well, the Founders adopted the position that they “challenge the cult of the omnipotent state,” despite the fact that there isn’t one, at least not in the US. The Ba’ath Party might be one, but they are not a factor in America.

    Some of GJ’s positions were not lifted from the Platform, that’s true. But the question becomes: Does it say anywhere in the foundational docs that these Platform positions are the ONLY positions that a L candidate can take? I don’t recall such language.

    The Platform also says, for ex.:

    ===However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.===

    If, say, Perry does not advocate this position, should he be denied the nomination?

  125. Richard Winger

    I appreciate Steve M’s comment above (Dec. 9, 1:59 am). I believe in keeping peace. George has done some good things and he is very talented and energetic. I’ll also point out that I didn’t initiate our back-and-forth in this thread; I didn’t participate until after George brought up the subject on December 6 at 20:09.

    But it is not true that George has been causing Libertarians to be on the Massachusetts ballot regularly, as least as to statewide office.

    The Green Party has had statewide candidates on the ballot in Massachusetts in each of the last eight elections (2000 thru 2014, with no breaks). But no statewide Libertarians appeared on the Massachusetts ballot in 2006, or 2010, or 2014. In 2014, Massachusetts was the only state in the nation in which the Green Party appeared on the statewide ballot and we didn’t.

    George is a tiger when he interacts with other Libertarians, but he is meek and submissive when it comes to confronting the evil ballot access laws of Massachusetts. There are multiple ways to publicize the harms done by those laws and to be active against them, but for reasons I don’t understand he doesn’t act to change the unfair laws about how candidates get on a primary ballot. I would be pleased as could be if he would go to war against those laws. Massachusetts primary ballot access laws are so terrible, in 2014 even the Republicans didn’t have a nominee on the ballot in 6 of the 9 districts. Massachusetts is the only state in the north in which every year most legislative races just have one candidate on the ballot. There is something terribly wrong with Massachusetts but no one in Massachusetts publicizes it or carries on any activity to fix it.

  126. Andy

    Back in the days when Carla Howell was active in the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts they regularly got candidates on the ballot, including times when the LP had major party status in Massachusetts, which meant that only registered Libertarians and people who were registered unenrolled (as in people who did not register to vote under a party banner) could sign the petitions.

    Some of the ballot access laws in Massachusetts are tough, but I do not see this as a reason to not run candidates, or to remain stuck in the little league of politics (as in not running because you are afraid you’ll get major party status).

  127. georgephillies

    Andy,

    On one hand, there was a statewide candidate in 2014. We gave him vigorous advice on what he needed to do to generate valid nominating papers, such as using the right papers and satisfying other legal requirements. In the end, the candidate did not get enough signatures.

    Back in the days when Carla Howell was active in the Massachusetts Party, the national Committee gave her Senate Campaign $20,000 to support petitioning, without which she would have missed getting on the ballot. In contrast, more recently when Dan Fishman tried to run for Senate, he could not even get the LNC to send out a supportive email for his special election campaign. I said in 2014 is that what we needed and appeared to lack was a candidate willing to write a check for $35,000 to put himself and his slate on the ballot.

    With respect to party status, I want a party that is major, not a party to which the Secretary of the Commonwealth gives a shiny badge with “major” printed on it.

    George

  128. georgephillies

    Once again Mr Winger rides his hobby horse of error into the fray.

    With respect to the Green Party (actually, the Green-Rainbow Party), he claims “There is a reason the Green Party obtains and keeps party status in Massachusetts at every opportunity.”
    Actually, the Green-Rainbow Party rather carefully goes for party status in non-Federal election years (2010, 2014), so they can put their Presidential candidate on the ballot two years later, but shows no sign of going for major party status in Presidential election years, because that would throw a spanner into their chances of getting major party status after the next non-Federal election. However, the Green-Rainbow party shows almost no signs of trying to become a real major party by running candidates for other offices. Their priorities and interests are not ours.

    “If we had done a petition in 2014 for a lesser statewide office in Massachusetts, we would have only needed 5,000 signatures, instead of the 10,000 we need for president in 2016. Also the 2014 petition could have circulated for the entire period mid-February 2014 thru the end of July 2014 (five and one-half months) because the Mass. LP could have chosen the nominee in late 2013 or early 2014. But our 2016 presidential petition can only circulate in June and July, because we can’t start until we know the identity of our Presidential & Vice-Presidential nominees, which won’t be until the end of May at the national convention. Also rates for petitioners would have been lower in 2014 than they will be in 2016.”

    Mr Winger shows his complete and total lack of concern for the consequences of his deeds for our other Massachusetts 2016 candidates. This is his typical terrible advice based on his monomaniacal interest in Presidential ballot access as opposed to Party development. (Of course, there was nothing to keep the Libertarians from running people for statewide office here in Massachusetts, if they wanted to. They even had a 2014 candidate they could have supported, but unlike me they did not do so.)

    Given that Mr Winger is a leading voice for LNC ballot access, and his advice is so unfortunate, I would strongly urge you to consider: This is the voice influencing how LNC Ballot Access money will be spent. If you were thinking of sending money to the LNC for Presidential ballot access, consider investing it instead in your own state to build a stronger state party right where you live. You will be happy that you did so, and your money will be more wisely spent.

  129. Richard Winger

    George didn’t say one word about my primary point, which is that he and the Mass. LP should be active against the primary ballot access laws that we all hate so much. Not one word.

  130. Andy

    “Richard Winger

    December 10, 2015 at 01:18

    George didn’t say one word about my primary point, which is that he and the Mass. LP should be active against the primary ballot access laws that we all hate so much. Not one word.”

    I agree. They should lobby the legislature, file law suits, write letters to newspapers pointing out problems with the current ballot access laws, etc…

  131. Thomas L. Knapp

    “[George Phillies] and the Mass. LP should [do X]”

    “I agree. [George Phillies and the Massachusetts LP] should [do X]”

    Some questions for those with strong opinions as to what George Phillies and the Massachusetts LP should do:

    1) Does the Massachusetts LP run candidates for public office and put them on the ballot; and if so, does George Phillies and the Massachusetts LP assist those candidates in running and getting on the ballot, or do they impede those candidates?

    2) Over the last few election cycles, has the LP’s presidential slate appeared on the Massachusetts ballot; and if so, have George Phillies and the Massachusetts LP contributed to getting that slate on the ballot or impeded getting that slate on the ballot?

    3) If the answers to (1) are “yes” and “assist” and the answers to (2) are “yes” and “contributed,” then what’s the complaint about George Phillies and the Massachusetts LP?

  132. paulie Post author

    Site is being rolled back, or so I have been told. Everyone please save your recent comments.

    Well, Warren told me last night that it was underway. Not sure what happened but the restore point is still supposed to be Dec 8 at 1:25 am, so I assume the rollback will still be happening. Advise you save anything you posted since if you don’t want it to disappear.

  133. Derrick Michael Reid

    There were audible sighs of resignation from a significant number of libertarians following Gary Johnson’s underwhelming third-place finish in the 2012 presidential election. For so long, the prevailing argument was that the party needed a high-profile and nationally recognized presidential candidate to elevate the brand and ideology into mainstream American politics, and capture the attention of the public. And in Gary Johnson, many believed that they had found such a nominee. After all, his record as Governor of New Mexico can withstand the toughest scrutiny, and his campaign is without doubt the most organized, expansive and well-funded in the Libertarian Party history – all this without factoring the effect of the ostensibly disenfranchised Ron Paul Republicans. So, perhaps his not quite 1% share of the total popular vote could be viewed as a disappointment.

    On the other hand, however, an even larger majority believes that the Libertarian Party is on the cusps of breaking through the two-party hegemony. The flourishing grassroots movement, comprising primarily of the younger demographic, along with the emergence of a blossoming national-level election machinery, will accord future libertarian candidates with some sorely needed organizational support, and perhaps, eliminate the perennial issue of ballot access.

    The key now is to maintain the momentum, and leverage the inroads made in 2012 for the 2016 presidential election. And thus, the search now commences for the individual to take the party to the next level; a presidential candidate that will bear the huge responsibility of capturing the imagination of the American public, and achieve something that has never been done since 1912 – building a nationally competitive third party.

    http://2016.libertarian-party.org/#Potential-Libertarian-Candidates

    Is immediate past performance and indication of future performance?

    You make the call.

    Very Truly Yours, in Liberty and Freedom,
    Derrick Michael Reid B.S.E.E., J.D.,
    2016 Presidential Candidate, Libertarian Party,
    Engineer, Patent Lawyer, Military Scientist,
    Market Analyst, and Geopolitical Analyst.
    Email: Libereens@yahoo.com
    http://www.totalitariandemocracy.com/

  134. Thomas L. Knapp

    Derrick,

    There are excellent reasons why a soundly defeated MAJOR PARTY presidential candidate does not run again by seeking his or her party’s consecutive nominations. Those reasons boil down to:

    In each presidential election, whether or not a major party’s chances of winning are GOOD, they are at least NON-TRIVIAL. If they lost last time, nominating the same guy again would tend to reduce those chances by prompting voters to ask, and the other party’s candidate to ask on teir behalf, “America didn’t accept that menu selection the last time you offered it, so why would we accept it now?”

    Those reasons don’t necessarily scale down to third party level. A candidate seeking his or her party’s nomination again after losing has the argument:

    “No, we didn’t win with me. But we weren’t winning before me, either. And I did things that built the party and improved its future prospects (and, possibly, produced better numbers than usual). Nominate me again and I’ll do those things again, and more of them.”

    That’s not to say that that argument is always well-founded, but it’s an argument that is relevant to previously unsuccessful third parties and not so much to previously successful major parties.

  135. georgephillies

    Dear Tom,

    Our major constraint on running people for office at the legislative level is the supply of candidates.

    We do hit people who would run, but are willing to do no work. They do not get on the ballot.

    We occasionally have people who wake up at the start of petitioning season, decide they want to run for whatever, have no background or support mechanism let alone resources, and are impermeable to advice. It does not matter what your signature counts are if the papers are facially invalid at a trivial level.

    We try to minimize the resources we waste arguing with out of state crackpots who want us to do X or Y or Z.

    ” And I did things that built the party and improved its future prospects” That does not appear to refer to our recent Presidential candidates at least locally.

    Actually, we have wasted large amounts of resources putting on the ballot folks like Barr who then did nothing in our state. That effort locked up everything, so approximately nothing else got done for some months. We are not going to repeat that error.

    George

  136. Robert Capozzi

    dmr, politics — like most things — takes practice. What to say and how to say it when on camera is generally not something a person can do effectively the first time out.

    Notably, btw, HC ran and lost the nomination in 08, but seems likely to get it in 16. Several in the R field have sought the nomination before, although none seem likely to get it. Romney tried 2x, too.

    If GJ gets the nomination, I would hope he’ll be more effective this time. His big mistake in 12 was even trying to get the R nomination, since he is pro-choice, which all but excludes him from the job of R nominee.

  137. Andy

    Gary Johnson supports banning late term abortions. He also favors parental notification laws for minors to be able to get abortions. Also, like Ron Paul, he thinks that states should have the ability to outlaw abortion at the state level, as in that it should be left to the states, as per the 10th amendment.

  138. Andy

    It depends on whether or not one considers abortion to be an issue that defines whether or not one is a libertarian, and it also depends on when one defines when life and rights begin.

  139. Andy Craig

    “Gary Johnson supports banning late term abortions. He also favors parental notification laws for minors to be able to get abortions. Also, like Ron Paul, he thinks that states should have the ability to outlaw abortion at the state level, as in that it should be left to the states, as per the 10th amendment.”

    That’s all true, but he also tends to emphasize his opposition to a total ban, and that he supports “a women’s right to choose,” which is very much unlike Ron Paul. Particularly for within a GOP primary, If pro-choice to pro-life were a 1-10 scale, Ron Paul was an 8 or 9 and Gary Johnson would be a 3 or 4. (I’d put myself at 1 or 2, George at 0, and somebody that supports a national constitutional ban would be a 10).

    There’s no satisfying everybody, and I disagree with him some on the issue, but his answer is pretty middle-of-the-road for both the party, and the general electorate (the opinion split in both being near-identical). He’s less anti-abortion than were Harry Browne, Michael Badnarik, Bob Barr, or Ron Paul ’88, all of whom both said Roe should be overturned and that they supported state bans (with Paul at least offering that the party’s position was different). The last unequivocally pro-choice nominee before Johnson in 2012 was Marrou in 1992. I can’t find much evidence for other past nominees, but my understanding is that all of them before Paul had stuck with the party’s pro-choice platform plank. So, if anything, Johnson has taken the party back in the direction of its more pro-choice original position on the issue.

  140. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t recall Harry supporting ANY bans. From my recollection of his statements on the matter he considered himself “pro-life” in that he thought abortion was immoral, but didn’t think government should intervene to stop it. His one-liner on the subject was that if the government declared war on abortion, within a week MEN would be having them.

  141. Andy

    So to be clear, are we to take it that a fetus does not own its body, and is not a life, and has no more rights than a toe nail or a hair follicle?

    I do not consider abortion to be a defining issue for who is a libertarian and who is not, and given all of the other issues we are facing, I do not care much where a candidate stands on the issue.

  142. Andy Craig

    “Harry Browne supported state bans? Are you sure?”

    No, but I should have been more precise: he supported states being allowed to ban it. Badnarik was in the same position. I was mistaken, and of the four I named only Paul and Barr outright said they supported state laws against abortion. But both Badnarik and Browne spoke of their personal opposition to abortion, and tried to frame their positions in pro-life/anti-abortion terms.

    Browne did say he opposed state bans, but also described himself as “pro-life” and subscribing to life-begins-at-conception. A good example of how simple binary classification as pro-choice/pro-life isn’t really that simple.

    “”As president, I will have a litmus test: Does the judicial candidate believe absolutely that the federal government has no authority beyond the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution? Judges who pass the litmus test will recognize that the federal government has no business in education, health care, law enforcement, welfare-or abortion.
    The judges I appoint will recognize that the Roe v. Wade decision was a judicial fraud-that five of the nine justices found it in their wishes, not in the Constitution. I expect the Supreme Court to overturn that ruling someday, so that the federal government no longer will set the rules for every state.
    Instead, I expect to see a checkerboard of state [laws]. Some states may choose to outlaw abortion, and others might have few, if any, restrictions.
    Do I believe the states should outlaw abortion? I do not, but why should my opinion matter? I’m only running for President, not Dictator.”” – Harry Browne

  143. Andy Craig

    “I do not consider abortion to be a defining issue for who is a libertarian and who is not, and given all of the other issues we are facing, I do not care much where a candidate stands on the issue.”

    On that I agree. It’s more interesting to me as an example of one of the few issues where the party’s position has been more fluid and evolved back and forth over time. There has always been an anti-abortion minority, and the party has always nominated some of them as candidates without it being much of a problem.

  144. paulie Post author

    While Johnson is fairly representative of the ambivalence over abortion among many in the LP, he calls himself pro-choice on abortion and is way too pro-choice for the NSGOP. There are a lot of other issues which he, is at the winner of the highest number of ACLU torches among candidates included in that ranking, is out of step with his former party and in step with the LP on.

  145. Robert Capozzi

    boatloads of “antilibertarians” out there, apparently.

    On the AC scale, I’m a 2-3. Clearly “antilibertarian.”

  146. NewFederalist

    What’s the difference between “antilibertarian” and “unlibertarian”? Or even “non-libertarian”?

  147. Thomas L. Knapp

    OGNAAT!*

    The only weight I give abortion as an issue when considering a candidate is that I won’t support a candidate who makes it a centerpiece issue from either side.

    My reasons:

    1) The LP has, over the years, consistently refused to either take an actual position on the issue OR just remove its embarrassingly contentless plank on the issue from the platform and ADMIT that it refuses to take an actual position on the issue.

    2) There’s no political gain for the LP in making it a centerpiece issue, since the extreme elements on either side of it already have parties slavishly devoted to their cause and since those same parties do a very good job of raking in the moderate elements on either side of it. There just really isn’t any voter bloc that we could go to and tell “vote for us because we are with you on abortion,” even if we DID have an actual position on it rather than the mouthful of mush that we do have.

    3) It’s a seemingly insoluble issue, if for no other reason than that supporters of both sides resolutely stick to piss-poor arguments for their positions, refusing to engage the key element of it instead just repetitively begging the question in their own favor on that key element (“is a fetus a person with rights, or not?”) and hoping no one notices.

    Personally I default to pro-choice because that’s the current legal situation, it seems unlikely to change, and neither side of the issue, either inside or outside of the party, seems interested in actually arguing their case. I’m actually OK with Johnson on abortion. He doesn’t seem to consider it a core campaign issue and his thinking/rhetoric on it is no more sloppy than most candidates’.

    *Oh, Gawd, Not Another Abortion Thread

  148. georgephillies

    The platform plank is entirely specific, saying that government should have no role in the matter.

    The “While recognizing” clause would usefully be moved to the front of the platform, to recognize that there is no issue other than perhaps the spelling of the party’s name on which all libertarians agree.

  149. Thomas L. Knapp

    And yet I’ve never run into a non-anarchist LP member who actually believes government should have no role in the matter, or actually interprets that plank in that way. You’ll claim you do — until someone asks you what the difference is between Dr. Tiller killing a fetus and someone else killing Dr. Tiller, at which point you will immediately support the government having a role in the matter.

  150. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Personally I default to pro-choice because that’s the current legal situation, it seems unlikely to change, and neither side of the issue, either inside or outside of the party, seems interested in actually arguing their case.

    me: Very TAAAList of you, TK! An ATC approach, vs deriving a moral-only argument.

  151. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    No, not TAAList. The problem with this issue is that there are two opposite, but clearly both libertarian, moral arguments. They’re both based on non-aggression; where they differ is largely on the question of whether or not a fetus is a person with rights, whom it would be aggression to kill absent initiation of force on its own part.

    I’ve wrestled with that question a lot myself over the years, without reaching any firm conclusion. Unfortunately, the advocates for both sides beg that question in their own arguments and refuse to actually take it by the horns, presumably because they’re afraid that if they go down that road they might not like the answers they reach (there are a few exceptions, e.g. the “evictionists,” but they have their own argument problems). So I haven’t received much outside help in coming up with an answer.

    Since both sides make meritorious libertarian moral arguments from their own chosen premises, and since neither seems prepared to actually put those premises to a full test, I’m happy to just let the issue lie. Especially since there’s no discernible benefit in trying to exploit it politically. I do wish that the LP would either take a position or get rid of its non-position, but if the best it can do is resolutely ignore the fact that its “position” is a non-position, I can live with that.

  152. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I suppose it’s possible. If either side was able (or willing) to produce an irrefutable argument demonstrating that its position is the, as opposed to a, libertarian position, and if I then cast my lot with the other position, they’d have a case. But at this time, neither the LP’s platform non-position, nor the arguments of either side, pass that test. Nor does either side seem interested in doing so.

  153. steve m

    My position on abortion is that the Government Should neither ban abortion nor fund abortion.

    Abortion is up to the woman and her doctor. If she chooses she may involve her partner and her clergy.

    If you think that society should have a role in whether a woman has an abortion or not then what about should society have a role in if a pregnant woman does drugs, alcohol, smokes, doesn’t get the right nutrition? All of these can have a negative effect on the fetus. Why is only the act of killing it an issue and not acts of torturing it? Does a woman only owe just a the use of her body for the residence of that fetus or does she owe it a healthy environment as well? What about after that fetus is born? Does society also have an obligation to nurture that child that it forced the woman to have? feed it, cloth it, educate it etc.

    Society has a stake in that if you kill Doctor Tiller, that implies you will kill other random people that you don’t like for one reason or another. A pregnant woman is unlikely to go out and force another pregnant woman to have an abortion and Doctor Tiller is unlikely to go out and make a woman have an abortion.

  154. Gene Berkman

    George Phillies says “that there is no issue other than perhaps the spelling of the party’s name on which all libertarians agree.”

    Yes, supporters of the LP currently agree on the spelling of “Libertarian.” When I worked on the John Hospers for President campaign in 1972 – we had an office in the Philosophy Dept of the University of Southern California – we got letters addressed to the “Liberian Party”; the “Librarian Party” and the “Libertine Party” among others.

    And of course in “It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand” Jerry Tuccille quotes an interested person asking “What is this Libertoonism anyway?”

  155. Gene Berkman

    “… I’ve never run into a non-anarchist LP member who actually believes government should have no role in the matter, or actually interprets that plank in that way. You’ll claim you do — until someone asks you what the difference is between Dr. Tiller killing a fetus and someone else killing Dr. Tiller, at which point you will immediately support the government having a role in the matter.”

    If Mr Knapp’s form of anarchism takes the position that killing a doctor who performs abortions should not be prevented or, if not prevented, punished, then I will gladly inform everyone that I am a limited government pro-choice libertarian. Murder should be punished.

  156. Robert Capozzi

    gb, I do believe that TK’s point is that pro-choice non-anarchists would have the government should have a role in, say, abortions in the 9th month. I sure do, at least until the day when there is no government but some sort of non-state arrangement to maintain domestic tranquility in a civil society.

  157. paulie Post author

    As I understand it Tom’s point was that a pro-choice position on abortion doesn’t literally mean that you are for keeping government completely out of it, since stopping anti-abortion terrorists or vigilantes using government force is a form of government involvement.

  158. paulie Post author

    According to my good friend Wang Tang-Fu, “Libertarians for Trump” would not translate using his machine until he accidentally typed it as “Libertaryans for Trump,” at which point the machine produced a perfectly satisfactory translation that made perfect sense in his language.

  159. paulie Post author

    He also reports that the machine kept asking whether the original was actually supposed to be in English or German, suggesting perhaps that he was trying to translate from the wrong language.

  160. georgephillies

    THe difference between an adult person and a fetus is actually fairly large. The prosecution of Dr. Tiller’s murderer is reasonably based on the government protecting you against being murdered, and punishing those who commit the crime, the exact motive of the murderer not being central to what he did.

  161. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Gene:

    “If Mr Knapp’s form of anarchism takes the position that no reasonable person could conclude from the evidence at hand that it takes …”

    There, fixed that for ya.

    Quoth George:

    “The difference between an adult person and a fetus is actually fairly large.”

    Yes, it is. So are the differences between a man and a woman, a baboon and a bowling ball, and a 1981 Corvette and the tricycle I had when I was a kid. And none of those differences tell us the answer to the question that both you and your counterparts on the “pro-life” side prefer begging to answering: Is or is not the fetus a person with rights?

  162. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Yes, I understand that that’s your assertion.

    Just as I understand that the opposite is the “pro-life” crowd’s assertion.

    And just as I understand that neither side has (or if it has, is willing to make) a rational supporting argument, instead begging that question and moving on to the conclusion they’ve already decided they want to reach.

  163. Steven Wilson

    Abortion is a topic that belongs to ontology. In the need to politicize everything, Americans have forgotten that point.

    Being is to be discussed but never answered.

  164. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    I argue that there is a rights bearing human being from conception. I believe it flows naturally from a hard deontologist position— which I hold.

  165. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Here is what I think is the more important statement in this drama.

    IF the fetus IS a right-bearing human being THEN certain protections are in order. So I don’t think it a question of libertarian principles but rather one, as Steven said, of ontology.

  166. Gene Berkman

    I can concede that a fetus has rights. If that is the case, then the question becomes whose rights take precedence – the mother, a fully formed person, or the fetus, a potential person.

    You have apparently a conflict of rights, and it is tendentious to contend that the completely dependent fetus has rights that take precedence over the rights of the fully formed person.

  167. Jill Pyeatt

    There are indeed excellent arguments on both sides of this topic.

    This extremely personal topic needs to only be the business of a woman and her physician. There are simply too many factors to be considered for an outsider to intervene.

    Beyond that, I try not to ever think about this topic. It’s just too ugly for me to even think about.

  168. Thomas L. Knapp

    All very interesting.

    All very much beside the point.

    There are multiple, equally LIBERTARIAN, positions on abortion. Obviously one or more of those positions are not correct. The LP would be better off either not taking a position, or taking a position, than taking a non-position.

    A couple of asides:

    Posing the question of “whose rights take precedence” is a confession that you haven’t the slightest idea what rights are.

    “This extremely personal topic needs to only be the business of a woman and her physician.”

    A lot of people say that. Most of them change their minds when the response is “OK, have it your way … you realize this means no more child support checks, right?”

  169. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ===Posing the question of “whose rights take precedence” is a confession that you haven’t the slightest idea what rights are.===

    Bingo.

    Jill,

    ==This extremely personal topic needs to only be the business of a woman and her physician.==

    Well so should then the decision to drown the two-day old.

    IF the fetus is a right-bearing human, this is not a proper statement. IF the fetus isn’t, it becomes irrelevant (not absolutely completely, but enough for this discussion)

  170. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And I would add BTW, that our current platform answers the question “Can I kill my baby one minute before natural childbirth?” with the answer “It’s up to you.”

    Monstrous.

  171. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And don’t say no one argues that. The Association of Libertarian Feminists argues precisely for this “right.” And they word it just that way. At ANY moment, a woman has the alleged right not only to demand the removal of the fetus but to demand its DEATH.

  172. Jill Pyeatt

    “A lot of people say that. Most of them change their minds when the response is “OK, have it your way … you realize this means no more child support checks, right?”

    I wouldn’t know anything about child support, as my child’s father chose not to ever see his son or give us a dime. This means I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and, obviously, chose not to abort him. Not one person had any business helping me with the decision that needed to be made. I never considered abortion for even one second.

    This is the young man who is a world-champion drum corps member, and is finished UCLA this very week.

    “Well so should then the decision to drown the two-day old.”

    Not the same thing at all. I won’t even dignify such a comment by explaining why.

  173. Jill Pyeatt

    The Libertarian Feminist group seems to live in a different world than I live in. I did not know they advocate death of children who are viable outside the womb. This is indeed disturbing, so I’ll go back to my instinctive position not to discuss this.

  174. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill,

    ==Not the same thing at all. I won’t even dignify such a comment by explaining why.==

    The logic leads to the same place. In fact “bioethicists” are presenting this very point. Only they prefer medical killing over drowning.

    I do not think my comment was undignified, but unfortunately this is the way this subject is often avoided. One side or the other simply declares the other one absurd and doesn’t engage.

    These are human lives here. Valuable human lives in my view. It is the scandal of libertarianism that we sweep this under the rug.

    As Doris Gordon said, someone has to blow the whistle.

    “In 1976, when she became pro-life, Doris Gordon founded Libertarians for Life “because some libertarian had to blow the whistle.”

    http://www.libertariansforlife.org/library/someinfo.html

  175. Thomas L. Knapp

    I do not claim to know when a human being becomes a person with rights. I’ve spent a good deal of time during my adult life looking for a persuasive argument (based on fact and reason, not tradition, faith, or deep personal desire for it to be that way because having it be that way is convenient) as to when that happens, and my inability to find or elicit such an argument from anyone on any side of that debate is something I find troubling.

    I admit to being somewhat skeptical of the claim that it happens at conception.

    On the other hand, I’m equally skeptical of the claim that the fetus is not a person with rights one second before it emerges from the birth canal, and is a person with rights one second after it emerges from the birth canal.

    In the absence of good arguments and a strong position of SOME kind, I’d rather the LP just didn’t pretend to take a position a position at all.

    I’ve discussed the existing plank with non-LP-members of both the “pro-choice” and “pro-life” persuasions, and the near-unanimous reaction to it is along the lines of “what the hell is that pile of bullshit gibberish supposed to mean?”

    When I’m in a good mood, I try to give some kind of zen answer (“it’s the sound of one hand with the clap”). When I’m not in that good of a mood, I answer “it means …” and then say “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” while brushing my index finger up and down over my lips.

  176. Jill Pyeatt

    Caryn said: “I do not think my comment was undignified, but unfortunately this is the way this subject is often avoided. One side or the other simply declares the other one absurd and doesn’t engage.”

    I am guilty of not arguing well. I do think the comment of killing a 2-day old was off topic, but I suppose I can see why you don’t. I know better than to get into a discussion of abortion. It’s obviously one that touches me very personally.

  177. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ==I do not claim to know when a human being becomes a person with rights. I’ve spent a good deal of time during my adult life looking for a persuasive argument (based on fact and reason, not tradition, faith, or deep personal desire for it to be that way because having it be that way is convenient) as to when that happens, and my inability to find or elicit such an argument from anyone on any side of that debate is something I find troubling.==

    I do believe my position is from fact and reason. Partially the default should be that any human is a rights-bearing human, and the burden of proof is on the opposing view. I can find no reason NOT to invest that at the moment such a human comes into being. There is no rights-fairy that comes and sprinkles them on the fetus. Of course this comes from presuppositions. Mine, again, being very hard deontological.

    Do I think it is a metaphysical question? Yes, at least partially. But rights themselves are IMHO, unless one is strictly utilitarian. Which I am not.

    == I do think the comment of killing a 2-day old was off topic, but I suppose I can see why you don’t.==

    That is fair and all I ask.

    ==I know better than to get into a discussion of abortion. It’s obviously one that touches me very personally.==

    I have had two abortions. It touches me personally as well. I haven’t always been pro-life. I used to be an abortion clinic escort on some free weekends.

  178. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ==In the absence of good arguments and a strong position of SOME kind, I’d rather the LP just didn’t pretend to take a position a position at all.==

    Yes. That is my only goal with regards to the LP. I would object to a pro-life position BTW as I would find it just another horn to impale the party on. And it won’t change a thing.

  179. Matt Cholko

    CAH said: “There is no rights-fairy that comes and sprinkles them on the fetus.” and “Do I think it is a metaphysical question? Yes, at least partially.”

    So, do you or don’t you believe in this “rights-fairy”?

  180. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Matt,

    ==So, do you or don’t you believe in this “rights-fairy”?==

    I do not. Rights come with our humanity. I do not believe our rights are based on location, stage of life, or ability. When there is a unique human, there are rights. The question of rights themselves is a metaphysical question however… unless one is a strict utilitarian. And in that case, I find it nonsensical to speak of rights at all, but that is a different discussion. Because groundings can be different, outwardly it works out the same (though I found Sheldon Richman’s discussion on two kinds of freedom in this respect fascinating). It is not my intent to argue about groundings amongst libertarians. Merely speaking from the presuppositions of my deontological grounding. We all start from presuppositions.

    But I find it foolish to deny there are metaphysics here. On both sides. And all shades in between.

  181. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Matt,

    ==If just the head is out, does it have rights?==

    Who is that directed to? If me, “out” has no bearing on rights. I would suspect that the ALF would argue it is still the mother’s “right” to kill it.

  182. Caryn Ann Harlos

    We are though (at least for me) going far afield.

    My purpose in commenting was two-fold.

    To give a brief response to Tom as to why I hold my position.

    To support the deletion of the plank. Convincing people of my ultimate position is beyond my goals in the Party per se, but more of a personal conversation. And my posts here are for Party concerns.

  183. William Saturn

    I’ll repeat what I wrote back in August:

    Casey stood on the premise that states could prohibit abortions of viable fetuses. If researchers developed the technology to enable extracted fetuses to survive outside the mother’s body in a kind of artificial womb, states could theoretically ban all abortions, returning to pre-Roe laws.

    If such technology was ever developed, there would be no reason for abortions, only extractions.

    I see this as the logical conclusion to the abortion debate.

    If pro-life activists want to stop abortions they should work to develop this technology.

  184. Jill Pyeatt

    That certainly is a solution that might work some day, William. Perhaps hiring surrogates to complete pregnancies might also work . Someone who thinks she cannot go through 9 months of pregnancy could relinquish the fetus, which would then be put into another woman’s uterus. There would be ethical issues, of course, such as who would pay the surrogate, or at least the medical bills, unless pro-life women offer to do it on a moral basis. The we’d have to decide who would raise the child. Would he/she be put in a home, waiting for adoption? Or could adoptive parents pay the surrogate, then keep the baby?

    This really could prevent most abortions if it became socially acceptable. There will still be women who simply wouldn’t want to deal with any of the above, though, so I don’t think abortions will ever be eliminated completely..

  185. Robert Capozzi

    cah: I would suspect that the ALF would argue it is still the mother’s “right” to kill it.

    me: Hoo boy. There would be a case where — if the candidate held such a view — my counsel would be to be lie or deflect if asked about the subject. Or, don’t run for office.

    Jefferson could not come up with better language than: We hold these truths to be self-evident…. One can attempt to be “rigorous” and “precise” about the concept of “rights,” but things do come down to assertions and opinions.

  186. NewFederalist

    Discussions about abortion are just about as useful as discussions about the Civil War/War Between the States. It is exceedingly rare that anyone’s opinion is changed and it usually results in hurt feelings or damaged perceptions. Being the cowardly lion that I am I choose not to participate.

  187. Jill Pyeatt

    You’re right, NF, that people rarely seem to change their minds about this topic, although Caryn says she did at one point. Mine changed over a course of years, but I don’t think any one person influenced it.

    It is a terrible shame that someone might make the choice to terminate a pregnancy. I have learned not to judge, however (which remains a personal challenge for me.)

  188. NewFederalist

    Jill- My wife and I thought we were facing that choice many years ago. While we waited for test results we agonized over the prospects either way. I still remember it as if it were yesterday. I am not qualified to judge, either. It is also a decision I personally never had to make and I recognize that as a male member of the species I really never would have to make that kind of a decision. Thankfully, everything worked out fine for us. I realize others are not so lucky.

  189. Robert Capozzi

    Abortion is worth talking about from a political perspective. If a group wants to advance a broad agenda, it needs to have relevant, sellable positions on the issues of the day. If Ls were known as the party in favor of abortion-as-late-as-baby’s-head popping out, that positioning would sour the entire lessarchist agenda. Or if Ls stood for no abortion even in the case of a rape-victim-who’s-in-a-life-threatening-pregnancy, that too would be a widely offensive position.

    Thankfully, abortion is probably the one issue where Ls are well within the edge, most definitely not the fringe as it is on so many other issues.

  190. Thomas L. Knapp

    People’s views on the issue change all the time. But they normally don’t change by being convinced in debate, IMO.

    Sorry I participated in turning this into another abortion thread. I’m not the one who brought it up, but I do think I antagonized George when I explained why I don’t care what a Libertarian candidate thinks about abortion as long as he doesn’t make it a big campaign issue: Since the party’s platform plank on the subject is incoherent gibberish rather than a position, it’s not like a candidate really CAN run in opposition to it.

  191. Steven Wilson

    The reason abortion is so divisive is due to the fact that it is marketed as a solution to a problem: abortion is murder.

    But the pregnancy is not a problem. The conception is not a problem. The end of a pregnancy is not a problem. We manufacture a problem as to implement the solution.

    A woman can suffer a miscarriage. Is that grounds for a manslaughter charge? What if we have proof she consumed alcohol? What if we know she smoked cigarettes until her last tri-mester? Would you have grounds for child abuse or assault?

    You can promote adoption but you can’t make it fool proof. There are thousands of case studies in MSW programs to prove that pedophiles got into foster care programs in America. There are also cases wherein a couple took in children for the monthly check. Are these circumstances grounds for saying you are pro-birth rather than pro-life?

    You can force a woman to give birth, but you can’t force her to be a great parent. You can’t force the male to be part of the child’s life. You argue rights as if natural law has something to do with creation. If you remove the concept of rights you find yourself right back to the foundation: ontology and being.

    Abortion makes everyone seem stupid because they mistake passion for logic.

  192. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Yep better to just kill em.

    ==If you remove the concept of rights you find yourself right back to the foundation: ontology and being.===

    You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    [shrug]

    Suit yourself. I will be busy in my advocacy to have that plank removed.

  193. Robert Capozzi

    sw: Abortion makes everyone seem stupid because they mistake passion for logic.

    me: Provocative. I don’t agree that everyone seems stupid, on this or any issue. Many seem unwise, though.

    I would say it seems pointless to discuss the issue with a zealot who doesn’t see that there are numerous issues at play with abortion, and assert that one simplistic position is absolutely correct and all others are absolutely wrong. IIRC, most polls indicate that most have at least some ambivalence on the matter.

    Logic also has its limitations. Its a useful tool to sort truth from untruth, but that only gets one so far in finding absolute truth, which is not something many if any ever find! When does life begin and when does self-ownership end have not been “proven” with logic.

  194. Fun K. Chicken

    If Johnson does not take a second nomination for granted he will be a good addition to the field.

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