LP Radical Caucus: To Krugman, With Love

1bu7xuDear Mr. Krugman,

Thank you for advertising the platform of the Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party Radical Caucus (LPRC) is a caucus of activists within the Libertarian Party who believe you missed the mark.

The LPRC was formed in 2006 because its founding members saw a need to encourage the Libertarian Party to stay true to its ideological roots.

Since then, the LPRC has formalized and adopted our own extensive platform (enclosed) expressing positions consistent with the founding of the Libertarian Party and have endorsed over a dozen Libertarian Party candidates whose campaigns reflect the ideas contained therein.

In light of your characterization of the Libertarian Party as the “radical fringe”, the LPRC thought you would enjoy seeing what truly radical libertarians advocate. If inspired, we encourage you to share with your readers that there is a motivated group of activists who consistently hold to libertarian ideology.

After all, Democrats and Republicans alike advocate for policies and practices that:

  • Result in American citizens being added to a “No Fly” List without justification.
  • Enforce mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenses.
  • Permit warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.
  • Involve aggressive bombing of innocent lives in foreign countries.
  • Allow suspension of Habeas Corpus in cases deemed “terrorist acts.”
  • Turn a blind eye to the murder of upwards of 1,400 Americans by police every year.
  • Use the US Military as the World Police.
  • Manifest in the sale of subsidized military hardware to foreigners.
  • As a consequence of their practice, our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to life, liberty, and our ability to defend ourselves are consistently eroded. Now those are the truly “terrifying” ideas.

In Liberty,

Gregory S. Faust
Chair,
Libertarian Party Radical Caucus

This letter was sent in response to this article, Paul Krugman Reveals What Libertarian Gary Johnson Really Stands For–And It’s Terrifying.

A complete copy of the letter sent may be viewed here.

You can visit the Radical Caucus website here.

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

About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

27 thoughts on “LP Radical Caucus: To Krugman, With Love

  1. Massimo

    Nice.

    And I would add, Mr Krugman, that you might appreciate that we interpret our allegiance to the NAP in a rather extensive fashion, because at least in my case, I have never been so tempted to engage in some good old propaganda of the deed as when I read about the latest crimes of your master, Ms. Clinton.

  2. George Dance

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with people hearing that the Libertarian Party “calls for abolition of the income tax and the privatization of almost everything the government does, including education” and that it “opposes any kind of regulation; instead, it argues that we can rely on the courts.”

    It could be a bit offputting if people thought this was the Party’s election platform, ie what it wanted to accomplish in the next term. So in that sense calling a credo like that the “plaform” could be misleading. Still, I don’t expect many people expect the party to have that kind of power over the next four years, anyway.

  3. dL

    “radical fringe” is accurate…Embrace it.

    radical===get to the root of
    fringe==existing at the margin

    This in contrast to the war criminal class of the extremist establishment.
    Extremism==fanatic, militant

    Example: Threatening a new cold war as cover/distraction to your own crimes at home. Mass murder, mass imprisonment, mass deportation, mass surveillance as means to perpetuating power and control. “Radical fringe” means do not you subscribe to such criminality nor are you complicit in it. Absolutely.

  4. Gene Berkman

    Quite a number of progressive commentators have posted articles @ HuffPo, Daily Kos and other progressive sites which run down Libertarian Party platform positions to warn their progressive readers not to vote for Gary Johnson.

    Their worries about Hilary Clinton losing votes to the Libertarian candidate who supports marijuana legalization and opposes war lead them to publicizing our free market views.

  5. langa

    I find it quite ironic that Krugman, of all people, is doing more to teach people about libertarian ideas than the LP’s own ticket.

  6. Bondurant

    Shills are gonna shill. It’s free publicity though, I suspect, he’s preaching to the choir of NYT readers. His desperate desire to help save his devilsh damsel in distress is humorous.

  7. Marc Montoni

    Langa, that was my thought when I wrote the first draft.

    I took Krugan’s attempt to paint us as an opening to reach those readers in his audience who would have been sitting there going, “Hey wait a minute…”

    People who are basically Libertarian are about a quarter of the electorate.

    Of those, some fraction are ready RIGHT NOW to become part of the organized, active movement; and some of those are ready to join the political wing of the movement.

    We are not going to find those people arguing for half-assed statism rather than full-blown.

    I’m not after the socialist soccer moms on valium or the war hawk rent-seeking dad after his three beers at lunch.

    I’m after their neighbor, who is already mulling over his own thoughts on liberty. Win them, and *they* will work to persuade their neighbors.

  8. Be Rational

    “I find it quite ironic that Krugman, of all people, is doing more to teach people about libertarian ideas than the LP’s own ticket.”

    *

    Krugman is doing this BECAUSE of the LP ticket. Had we nominated any of the others in Orlando, there would have been no pressing need for Krugman to try to attack the ticket.

  9. robert capozzi

    BR, true. Someone somewhere might challenge Vermin Supreme’s views, but those attacks would be seen by few, since VS is an irrelevant non-threat.

  10. robert capozzi

    TE, I agree that VS mocks. His threat level is insignificantly low. Until this year, LP prez candidates were similarly insignificant.

  11. Andy

    Johnson and Weld are no threat to the establishment because they are a part of the establishment.

  12. dL

    “TE, I agree that VS mocks. His threat level is insignificantly low. Until this year, LP prez candidates were similarly insignificant.”

    They are attacking the LP platform. They are not attacking the candidates directly. Change the platform to the pragmaticrat sanitized version, crickets….Threat extinguished.

  13. Marc Montoni

    Krugman is doing this BECAUSE of the LP ticket. Had we nominated any of the others in Orlando, there would have been no pressing need for Krugman to try to attack the ticket.

    Usually I find myself agreeing with BR, but not this time.

    Maybe it’s the fact that the dilettante non-activist felt he had to weigh in to agree, but whatever.

    No, whichever alternative presidential ticket ended up being on the most ballots was almost guaranteed to be the recipient of this year’s attention. In essence, we could have nominated a ham sandwich. Johnson and Weld are not promoting our ticket — Clinton and Trump are just because everyone knows they’re so horrid.

    This was predictable once most of the actual statesmen in the D and R primaries were wiped out.

    Had the R’s nominated someone moderate to appeal to their base, we would be ignored by 99% of the R electorate.

    Had the D’s nominated someone who didn’t inspire the level of hatred and mistrust that Klinton does, like perhaps Jim Webb, we would be ignored by them likewise.

    Pride that “your” ticket was nominated means absolutely nothing for the long term. If you do actually want this year to mean anything long term for libertarianism, then you need to get to work now. Doorhang your precinct, and use the opportunity to start a conversation with the noobs brought in. If they show up at your local county meeting, you have an audience you can move further along the libertarian axis.

    Oh, what? You aren’t involved in your county committee? You’d rather just five-finger-boogie about your candidate being picked and wishing they would win without you having to be on the ground at the polls?

    Thought so.

  14. Be Rational

    Marc,

    I do agree with you that another good LP candidate could have done far better than usual this year because of the terrible choices from the D and R parties. However, the other choices running in Orlando were not good candidates and were not good enough to be nominated.

    The LP does have other members or well known non-members who are long-term libertarians who would have made far better candidates, but for whatever reason they weren’t available in Orlando. My favorite is still David Boaz – bright, informed, articulate, principled – I would have chosen him over Gary Johnson for the nomination, and I suspect he would be doing better in the polls at this point despite the fact that he’s never held public office to my knowledge. There are others who have been candidates for the LP for statewide offices in the past, who aren’t crazy or out-of-control hot heads, who also would have been better, but they weren’t running.

    But the others there in Orlando seeking the nomination, sorry, no way they’d have gotten this much coverage or have risen so far in the polls. In fact, I believe that Jill Stein is doing better because of Gary Johnson. The attention given to the combined ticket of Johnson and Weld caused the media to piviot and include Stein in more coverage than ever before – a failed feint feigning fairness.

    Of course, the Johnson campaign failed miserably to make full use of its opportunities when it comes to actually running a campaign – due to the wrong campaign management team. The LP leadership needed to shove Nielson out the door before nominating Gary.

  15. Be Rational

    As to local organizing, I agree that everyone who is able should be out participating in whatever way they are able. You as an able organizer must realize that each person has a set of skills and abilities that should be put to their best use in organizing and campaigning. Individuals also have limitations that make certain activities less effective or even impossible. Some people are physically unable to help you door to door, for example. If they can be made useful by volunteering in an office, by telephone, on-line, fundraising or in an advisory or management position, then that would make a good use of those resources.

  16. George Dance

    Marc Montoni: “People who are basically Libertarian are about a quarter of the electorate.”

    And you think that means that a quarter of the American electorate basically supports “the privatization of almost everything the government does” and “opposes any kind of regulation”?

    That’s certainly not what the surveys I’ve read have asked. Maybe you’re relying on some others I haven’t seen; if so, I’d be happy to hear about them.

  17. George Dance

    Be Rational: “My favorite is still David Boaz – bright, informed, articulate, principled.”

    Boaz works for Cato. A Cato employee would have been just as unacceptable to the “libertarian Libertarians” as Gary Johnson, and would be receiving the same treatment from them.

  18. Marc Montoni

    BS.

    Boaz has a LOT fewer substantive differences with libertarianism than Johnson. Johnson is all over the map in comparison.

    I’m voting for Johnson, but he sure does insist on stomping on the line. It’s just dumb.

    He had four years to study up and practice his presentation skills, learn some economics, and find reasons to defend eliminating coercion as a means to change behavior, rather than supporting the continuation of coercion.

    He refused.

    If I wanted to support someone who would pander to the worst urges of the Left, I would have stayed a Democrat myself.

  19. Marc Montoni

    And you think that means that a quarter of the American electorate basically supports “the privatization of almost everything the government does” and “opposes any kind of regulation”?

    That’s not what I said. Try to read what I actually wrote rather than what you think I should have wanted to have written.

    Those people who are **basically** Libertarian are certainly receptive to privatizing a lot of government activities. They know the government does too much.

    If they aren’t ready for “privatizing everything” and de-regulating everything, it’s only because they haven’t even heard that idea suggested yet. Harry Browne suggested it. Johnson doesn’t.

    Present it, let them think about it for a few weeks, months, or years, and they will figure out the rest on their own.

    The unstated idea will never be discussed. There was a golden opportunity to state the ideas to an enormous cohort that went looking for something new this year, and we let it slip.

    It’s worth repeating:

    Pride that “your” ticket was nominated means absolutely nothing for the long term. If you do actually want this year to mean anything long term for libertarianism, then you need to get to work now. Doorhang your precinct, and use the opportunity to start a conversation with the noobs brought in. If they show up at your local county meeting, you have an audience you can move further along the libertarian axis.

    Oh, what? You aren’t involved in your county committee? You’d rather just five-finger-boogie about your candidate being picked and wishing they would win without you having to be on the ground at the polls?

    Thought so.

  20. Andy

    “Marc Montoni
    October 7, 2016 at 21:28
    BS.

    Boaz has a LOT fewer substantive differences with libertarianism than Johnson. Johnson is all over the map in comparison.

    I’m voting for Johnson, ”

    I am surprised that you are voting for Gary Johnson. If you are upset over his campaign, why reward him with a vote. This just gives ammunition to his supporters for the Libertarian Party to nominate more candidates like Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in the future.

  21. George Dance

    George Dance “And you think that means that a quarter of the American electorate basically supports “the privatization of almost everything the government does” and “opposes any kind of regulation”?”
    Marc MontonI: “That’s not what I said. ”

    I didn’t claim it was. That’s what Paul Krugman wrote, about the platform of the Libertarian Party.

    “Try to read what I actually wrote”

    I did. You wrote: “Dear Mr. Krugman, Thank you for advertising the platform of the Libertarian Party,” etc.

    rather than what you think I should have wanted to have written.

    What I think you should have written, or should have wanted to write, isn’t relevant, so I didn’t mention it.

  22. George Dance

    Oh, this too, since Marc Montoni directed it at me:

    “Oh, what? You aren’t involved in your county committee? You’d rather just five-finger-boogie about your candidate being picked and wishing they would win without you having to be on the ground at the polls?”
    “Thought so.”

    Since I’m don’t even live in the United States, I wouldn’t call Johnson “my candidate” (though I have written favorably about him for 7 years). Since I’ve been involved in the Libertarian Party, where I do live, for more than 40 years, I think your implication that all I do is ‘wish’ that Libertarians would be elected is, to put it bluntly, wrong. Finally, I think your implication that those who prefer a gradualist agenda to that of the Radical Caucus are all do-nothings infatuated with this or that candidate to be nothing more than a reflexive ad hominem.

  23. George Dance

    dL – “They are attacking the LP platform. They are not attacking the candidates directly.”

    Actually, they are attacking the candidates – Krugman’s piece, for example, begins: “Does it make sense to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president?” – and they are using the platform to do it.

    Like the “libertarian Libertarians” here, Krugman is arguing that Johnson has a secret agenda; he just disagrees with them on what that agenda is.

  24. Mr. Brown

    Johnson’s agenda is not secret, it’s incoherent. Weld’s may be secret, but it isn’t a well kept secret. And radical libertarians are not necessarily anti-gradualist, simply interested in maintaining actual libertarianism as the end-goal.

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