TJ Roberts: ‘An Open Letter Regarding the Failed Libertarian Party’

TJ Roberts (left) with Ron Paul

TJ Roberts, the managing editor of Liberty Hangout and a contributor to the Radical Capitalist, wrote the following open letter discussing his dissatisfaction with the Libertarian Party and reasons for leaving the party.  Some notable passages follow the introduction.  The letter can be read in full at The Radical Capitalist.

Dear Reader,

I’m writing this letter to explain the reasoning for my departure from the Libertarian Party. This is a bittersweet moment as I reflect on the starry-eyed child who genuinely believed that the Libertarian Party would free the American people from the dreaded two-party system. I now realize the immaturity of my thinking.

[ . . . ]

[An] example of disrespect within the Libertarian Party was when self-proclaimed mutualist (short term for crypto-communist) James Weeks stripped until he was almost naked on national television at the LP National Convention. Children watch C-SPAN. Voters watch C-SPAN. I also question why the Libertarian Party would allow a self-proclaimed leftist like Weeks into the Party despite its claim that libertarianism is neither right-wing nor left-wing, all the while waging war against right wing libertarians.

[ . . . ]

Perhaps the most egregious example of this strategy was when Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark attacked Tom Woods and the Mises Institute by calling them Nazis. Perhaps if Sarwark would read any content of the Mises Institute, he would see that he himself is closer to Nazism than the Mises Institute. In addition to calling the Mises Institute a think tank for Nazis, Sarwark has spoken out against racism, all the while tweeting articles about “white privilege”. (See “Saving The West and Libertarianism From Cultural Marxism” for a more thorough treatment of this tendency.)

[ . . . ]

Sarwark also claims that libertarianism is about man’s relationship with the State. This is a complete misunderstanding of libertarianism. The State and libertarianism are diametrically opposed. As the State becomes more localized, the State comes closer to abolition. In this sense, decentralization and freedom are not orthogonal. They are directly related.  At best, Sarwark is confused. At worst, Sarwark is a libertine (or perhaps Hobbesian) attempting to hijack libertarianism.

[ . . . ]

In other words, the liberty movement needs more private property, and less degeneracy; more Mises Institute, and less Cato, more Property and Freedom Society, and less Niskanen Center; more activism, and less virtue signaling; more Ron Paul, and less Gary Johnson; more Thomas Massie, and less Bill Weld; more Hoppe, and less Sarwark; more marketing and less attacking;

To all my friends who are on the fence, avoid the Libertarian Party like the Plague. My criticisms above should make it clear. To all my friends who will remain in the Libertarian Party to reform it and will not consider leaving, I wish you Godspeed.

87 thoughts on “TJ Roberts: ‘An Open Letter Regarding the Failed Libertarian Party’

  1. paulie

    Good riddance to TJ Roberts, and anyone who thinks remotely like him. The Libertarian Party will be immensely better off without them. Hopefully they will also stop referring to themselves as small l libertarians soon too.

  2. Andy

    I agree with some of the points this guy made, but he (and everyone else) should keep in mind that political parties are made up of people who are not going to agree on every detail of every issue, or on political strategies, and that who ends up on party committees and as candidates for a party has more to do with who shows up at party conventions than anything else.

    There is infighting/internal disputes within every political party.

    If you are unhappy with a party committee, and/or you are unhappy with which candidates are being nominated, sign up as a delegate and attend a party convention, and recruit others who agree with you to do the same. You may even want to run for a party committee, or for a party nomination to be a candidate for public office, yourself.

    Infighting/internal disputes is just a part of politics, or for that matter, being a part of any organization.

  3. paulie

    Good comment on this story on the IPR FB page from Josh Barton:

    His complaints boil down to the fact that he’s NOT a libertarian but still wants to pretend that he is, so he’s crying about how the LP won’t accept HIS backwards and reactionary conservative views.

    Further, open borders IS libertarian; there is really no question on this. Whether we go off of natural rights, Austrian economics, the NAP, or the LP platform, it is irrefutably Libertarian.

    Also, we reject the Left/Right paradim because: LIBERTARIANISM ISN’T RIGHT-WING (or Left-wing for that matter). Yes, we know that TJ and other Right-wing fakertarians like to look at the Right with rose-colored glasses, but the LP is outside of the Left/Right spectrum. This can not be refuted.

    Tj, Hoppe, CCR, and the rest of the social conservative hipsters can go form their own party. Stop trying to change ours to fit your reactionary beliefs.

  4. JT

    It looks like Wes Benedict Arnold and Chairman Sarwarkao have decreed that those of us like TJ and me who are not anti-White should leave the party and I think we should take them up on it. The American Freedom Party is way more libertarian than the LP is anymore and the GOP is becoming so under the wise leadership of our amazing God-Emperor President Trump as well. It looks like the globalists elites are more firmly in control in the LP than in the GOP anymore as amazing as that is. All these years and decades we were the anti-globalist, anti-establishment opposition and now the GOP has taken that over for us. Who would have thought it? You know something is seriously wrong when many in the LP leadership stand up against the fight for freedom and liberty by our heroes and ancestors in the CSA, and against White people defending ourselves against genocide and population replacement in general. They must have forgotten the wisdom of Lew Rockwell, Hans Hoppe, Stefan Molyneux, Christopher Cantwell and Ron Paul.

    I think it’s time that we follow the lead of the great and wise libertarian hero, Augustus Invictus, and leave the Libertarian in Name Only Party to the leftists, globalists, antifa terrorists and Soros dupes who have taken it over. We need to build a true Liberty Caucus in the GOP in honor of Sonny Landham, RIP, withAndy Jacobs, Augustus Invictus, Ryan Ramsey and David Macko, as well as the American Freedom Party as the outside pressure force that the LP was originally designed to be. Let’s take our fight for blood and soil to those two parties and leave the LP to rot on the ash heap of history along with the commies they have unfathomably chosen to embrace in contradiction of all libertarian principle!

  5. NewFederalist

    Wow! The only thing I can say is… how sad it is that the movement has become so fractured. What a terrible shame!

  6. Michael H Wilson

    Anyone with half a brain in their head would not be promoting Hoppe as someone to follow. The man is a bigot in my book. The history of race in the U.S. is bad enough as it is.

  7. David

    He’s not part of any movement of mine. Him and his ilk are a “part” of the libertarian movement only in the way that an intestinal parasite is a part of me. If he really finally shat himself out of the bowels of the LP, the LP is much better off for it. Hey TJ, please do let the door hit you on the way out.

  8. wredlich

    I get the frustration and am often irritated by how the LP operates. But all parties have issues.

    One thing that I think distinguishes the LP is the willingness of so many to tolerate newcomers who clearly do not fit with the LP. My favorite examples would be – of course – Roger Stone, Gary Johnson and William Weld. But it’s not just them.

    In some cases, like those mentioned above and others, I genuinely believe they are sent in by establishment insiders to prevent the LP from getting anywhere. In other cases they’re just loons.

    Many regulars in the LP are so thankful to have new people that they look past the obvious flaws.

    Just my opinion.

    But I still haven’t given up on the LP. Yet. 🙂

  9. Nate

    “Anyone with half a brain in their head would not be promoting Hoppe as someone to follow.”

    True, only those with a whole brain do that. The ones with half a brain..well, there seem to be a lot of them here.

  10. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    The Natural Law Party closed up national shop when it realized a political approach would not work. It might be well for the LP to consider following their example. They closed their National HQ and referred members and those interested in their agenda to the states. http://www.natural-law.org/

    The LP’s mistake was attempting to seize political power with the idea they could then free America. Effective action has to come from individuals cooperating to use the free market to make alternatives available which are more attractive to Americans.

    The LP shares with the left and pseudo-conservatives, known as NeoCons, and Bible-Belters and others the flawed strategy of starting organizations to educate on freedom, thus generating salaries for themselves, instead of demonstrating the power of the free market.

    Find a problem. Solve it in the free market. Let people choose in their own best interest to support the solution. Simple. earthpathdefense.com, payehome.org, starco.info, congressionalclearinghouse.com

    If you are interested in this approach contact us as we need to build out several action teams with people willing to invest sweat for equity. Send resumes.

  11. Anthony Dlugos

    The only thing he was right about was Weeks’ brain dead dumb decision to get naked.

    Other than that, sayonara, and take the rest of the paleos and right-wing dipsh*ts with you.

  12. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Over the 30 plus years that I’ve followed the LP, there have been three constants:

    1. People announcing the death of the LP.

    2. People predicting imminent major party status for the LP.

    3. The LP chugging along resiliently. Kooky, fractured, incompetent, over-promising, under-performing, never actually advancing liberty, but still here.

  13. Rebel Alliance

    First of all, nobody cares who “TJ Roberts” is. Or ever heard of him. So why is this posted here?

    But it was, so let’s consider his points.

    >> “[An] example of disrespect within the Libertarian Party was when … James Weeks stripped until he was almost naked on national television at the LP National Convention. Children watch C-SPAN.”

    OMG! Oh, the children, who saw that we’re all naked under our clothes! Well, I doubt many children were watching a political convention. And, while Mr Weeks’ decision was poorly considered, if this is the incident that caused Mr Roberts to reconsider his LP involvement, then the loss is not much as he wasn’t much of a Libertarian anyway.

    >> “Perhaps the most egregious example of this strategy was when Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark attacked Tom Woods and the Mises Institute by calling them Nazis.”

    The Mises Institute is one of the finest libertarian organizations around. Mr Woods is also a fine libertarian. Perhaps they disagreed on some minor point, but I find it hard to believe that Mr Sarwark would ever call him a Nazi. There is no smoking gun that I can find, nor anything that comes close.

    >> “Sarwark also claims that libertarianism is about man’s relationship with the State. This is a complete misunderstanding of libertarianism. The State and libertarianism are diametrically opposed.”

    I see no conflicting views within these statements.

    This is just garbage journalism. Another post by IPR editor William Saturn, who for whatever reason only posts dirt on the LP, or in this case just makes it up. Much ado about nothing.

  14. Andy

    Rebel Alliance said: “The Mises Institute is one of the finest libertarian organizations around.”

    Bingo!

    “Mr Woods is also a fine libertarian.”

    Bingo!

    “Perhaps they disagreed on some minor point, but I find it hard to believe that Mr Sarwark would ever call him a Nazi. There is no smoking gun that I can find, nor anything that comes close.”

    This was an over-reaction to a comment made in a speech by Jeff Deist (from the Mises Institute), where he talked about decentralization of power. He said that things like family, religion, and culture are not important to some of the people in the libertarian movement, but these things are important to a lot of people, so instead of libertarians trying to convince people that those things are not important, they should meet people where they are at on those issue, but encourage them to support decentralization. He said that ideally, there’d be 7.5 billion mini-states in this world, as in that each person on the planet would be like their own country, but that the next best thing would be for big countries to break up into smaller countries, like Liechtenstein. When he was wrapping up the speech, he used the phrase “blood and soil,” which caused a few people to freak out and claim that this was a “Nazi speech,” even though it was really a speech on decentralization of power.

    Check out this episode of The Tom Woods Show, where he plays the entire speech from Jeff Deist, and he also comments on the speech and the controversy.

    Left-Libertarians and Their Endless Moral Outrage

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7I9V4ZgKoQ

  15. Mike Hihn

    Good riddance, standing next to Ron Paul who destroyed the movement and is the spiritual icon of the alt-right. white supremacists and today’s KKK, lies about the 10th Amendment and somehow never saw the 9th.

    His “federalism” is actually, the “states rights” invented by the Klan and adopted by white supremacists … all of which call themselves libertarian/ If it was “rogue judges” who overturned DOMA. then Ron denies three co-equal branches, separation of powers and balance of power. He even brags of sponsoring a bill that would have forbidden SCOTUS to even consider any challenges to DOMA. Gays would be the first group denied the defense of constitutional rights since negroes.

    If gays have no fundamental rights under state government then … who’s next? Could be YOU, right?

    The 10th Amendment reserves unenumerated POWERS to the states. But the 9th reserves unenumerated RIGHTS to the people. So Ron’s alt-right fascism claims states have powers NEVER delegated, rejects the entire concept of delegated powers as a limit on government, because government power is superior to individual rights. Ron and his cult claim to be “strict constitutionalists. So does the alt-right.

    Roberts reveals that he is NOT a lover of liberty. He is a hater of goveerenment, NOT the same. Expanding liberty always limits or shrinks government. Shrinking government DOES NOT always expand or restore liberty, ad proven in health care. Ant-gubmint goobers would tinker with Medicaid. Liberty lovers would replace ALL of it, and use tax credits to restore the private charities that Americans freely supported to provide universal TREATMENT for the uninsured, regardless of income, since the 1970s.

  16. Tony From Long Island

    Andy:

    If you are unhappy with a party committee, and/or you are unhappy with which candidates are being nominated, sign up as a delegate and attend a party convention, and recruit others who agree with you to do the same. You may even want to run for a party committee, or for a party nomination to be a candidate for public office, yourself.

    Take your own advice rather than constant non-stop bitching about Johnson / Weld.

  17. Bondurant

    Children don’t watch C-SPAN. I quit reading after this point. Once the “think of the children” argument is made, it’s over for me. It’s the key argument for someone with no argument.

  18. paulie

    Take your own advice rather than constant non-stop bitching about Johnson / Weld.

    To be fair, Andy did attend the national convention, as well as the last several, and did run for LNC At Large. He did not win. He’s talked about running for public office but has not done it yet.

  19. paulie

    First of all, nobody cares who “TJ Roberts” is. Or ever heard of him. So why is this posted here?

    I believe he has a fairly substantial internet following (Liberty Hangout, etc) and as for why it’s posted here… it’s about the LP, so it’s in bounds. IPR’s mission is not just to post positive perspectives about alt parties but also critical ones as well. The fact that I disagree with virtually everything TJ Roberts said here does not mean it should not have been posted here.

    Another post by IPR editor William Saturn, who for whatever reason only posts dirt on the LP, or in this case just makes it up.

    William Saturn is entitled to his opinions about the LP. He does not post only about the LP though; the most recent article I recall from him before this one was from former CP candidate Chuck Baldwin, and he has posted about the Reform Party, AIP, and so on. Also, William did not make anything up here; he simply reported what someone else said, which is a thing IPR has always done in the nine years plus that we’ve been around. The fact that I disagree with the author does not mean William made something up or posted something that shouldn’t have been at IPR. He accurately reported that TJ Roberts spewed this crap and it was about the LP so it was clearly in bounds.

  20. Cody Quirk

    Since when is “Liberty Hangout” a legit authority/mouthpiece for all things L.P.?

    The overwhelming majority of their coverage of the L.P. has been biased and quite negative, and it’s been that way since 2016.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    James Weeks’s dance was pretty much the only part of the 2016 LP convention that wasn’t an embarrassing shit-show, other than getting an anti-death-penalty plank passed.

    Nominating Johnson and Weld established we weren’t serious about the election.

    Given that, SOMEONE saying “OK, then, if we’re not going to take this shit seriously, let’s at least get naked and have some fun” was the only appropriate follow-up.

  22. Steven R Linnabary

    The Natural Law Party closed up national shop when it realized a political approach would not work.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, but it just might be that the Natural Law Party folded simply because their “proven scientific theories” were utter hogwash that turned physics on its head.

    You can see their ‘proven scientific theory’ explained in the blockbuster movie/documentary here. It is entertaining.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u3PTNx3RRY

    PEACE

  23. paulie

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, but it just might be that the Natural Law Party folded simply because their “proven scientific theories” were utter hogwash that turned physics on its head.

    They folded because their guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, had a vision and decided that pursuing the US Department of Peace cabinet level department was a better idea than running a third party.

  24. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    The Natural Party recognized a Federal approach did not work to accomplish their goals. End of that comment. Don’t extrapolate to irrelevancies. Since government should not be involved. in making decisions, spending money on developing technologies, or businesses, their beliefs in physics are irrelevant.

  25. Andy

    If the Libertarian Party squeezes out another turd of a presidential ticket in 2020, that is not really libertarian, like it did in the last three presidential nominating conventions, then it may well be time for the Libertarian Party to go the way of the dodo bird.

    The Libertarian Party has still had lots of good people running for other offices, but a lot of the public identifies a political party by it’s presidential ticket. If the Libertarian Party is going to continue nominating candidates for its presidential ticket like Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, etc…, then I am not so sure if the party should continue. If the party puts forth another presidential ticket that is not really very libertarian, if libertarian at all, then I will wonder if the party will have actually become a detriment to liberty. What is the point of doing this if the party puts candidates at the top of its ticket that stray so far from the party’s platform and stated philosophy that you have to wonder why they are even there? Getting votes for the sake of getting votes is meaningless.

    I’d love to see a real contest in 2020 where all of the candidates for the nomination could actualmy plausibly be called libertarians.

    Who’d win if the contest were say Adam Kokesh vs Larry Sharpe vs Tom Woods (I doubt he is going to run, but he would be somebody I would like to see in the race)?

    The Libertarian Party, and the cause of liberty would be the winner, because whichever of them won, we’d have an excellent spokesman who would actually be a libertarian, and not a LINO (Libertarian In Name Only).

  26. Mike Hihn

    Attitudes like there are why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians — the buried part of the same Cato survey that found 59% of Americans would self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. “Just don’t CALL me libertarian.” In marketing terms, our brand is “toxic” (detracts from the product or service)

    So who has been causing the growing acceptance of so-called “libertarian ideas?” Is it Nolan libertarians, 53% of voters, 40,000-50,000 in local elected office and very visible in their communities, with 125-200,000 activist supporters? Or Movement libertarians, less than 6% (at least half are alt-right), virtually invisible, who largely sneer at getting elected, have NO credible policy proposals on ANYTHING (which would be ‘conspiring with statists’)? And ridicule Johnson/Weld! (who achieved more than the slackers can fathom)

    Do the math. Americans are ready for even radical change, which happens only one or twice per century. We’ve had a half-century to prepare, ran two seasoned governors, but they had NOTHING — not a single policy solution. This is a time for being anti-establishment, and ours has now destroyed what was a viable political movement until the late 80s. Medicare vouchers increase competition ..,. IN THE WRONG MARKET! Any flat-tax, on income or consumption is too stupid for words — when progressive tax rates by the rich subsidize half the entire core middle class ($40-100k). Nobody even DEFENDS liberty, when most Americans BELEEB that the middle-class is OVER-taxed and the rich don’t pay their fair share. Shameful.

    Today’s movement is NOT pro-liberty. It s anti-gubmint. They know NOTHING about taxes and the economy, because all the rewards go to anti-gubmint slogans and soundbites.

    Libertopia even sh*ts on liberty, as a cloistered convent for libertarians only. A free society would be a wide variety of autonomous communities, libertarians next to marxists, Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans, and more, all voluntary. Only one would pass Mary Ruwart’s 1,000 point checklist.

    How would a libertarian society handle …. ?” ANY WAY THE PEOPLE CHOSE. duh. And only a tiny percentage would involve e entire society. Radicals have become wusses. Individualists have become collectivists (mentality. The sole strategy for governing is to all move to the same state and IMPORT votes .. like the Moonies, Davidians and the People’s Temple. A cult.

    The clock is ticking on this political opportunity. Any REAL liberty lover would ignore the movement, a zombie apocalypse, and focus on …. our majority. (gasp) Even Ayn Rand, with all her rigidity, knew that Galt’s Gulch could NEVER work for a society, because it was created for people mostly alike. “Voluntary taxation will be the last step, not the firsts step toward a free society. The last reform to be attempted.” First, change the culture. Americans are there, way ahead of is. Our new motto should be. “We must hurry, for there go our people, and we are there leader.”

    If we can’t get elected — can’t even show a better way to do what people already want, then that is an authoritarian mentality – what else is there, if we SNEER at “will of the people” and “consent of the governed?” (other than another thirty years of pipe dreams and babble)

    Will YOU settle for that?

  27. Andy

    Mike Hihn said: ” And ridicule Johnson/Weld! (who achieved more than the slackers can fathom)”

    Johnson/Weld are not libertarians. It does not matter how many votes they got, because they deviated far from the Libertarian platform on multiple issues, and even some of the issues where they appeared to be inline with the Libertarian platform, they severely watered it down (such as their stance on the War on Drugs, they only favored taxing and regulating marijuana, and they said that other drugs should remain illegal, and they did not even present this as an incremental step toward ending the War on Drugs). A lot of the votes that the received were merely protest votes, as in they were more votes against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, than they were votes for Johnson/Weld, or for the Libertarian Party.

    I am all in favor of electing Libertarians to offices where they can actually win. Back in 2003, the Libertarian Party had over 600 people in elected office. Today, the party only has 150, and it is all low level stuff, with the exception of four Libertarian state legislators, but none of them were elected as Libertarians (three were elected as Republicans, and one was elected as a Democrat, and they switched to Libertarian after elected, which is better than nothing, but not the same thing as electing somebody as a Libertarian).

    I joined the Libertarian Party in 1996 after stumbling upon the 1996 Libertarian National Convention on C-SPAN and seeing Harry Browne speak. Back then, the Libertarian Party was more radical on average than it is today, and the party was actually growing, reaching its peak in terms of dues paying membership around 2000-2001, at around 33,000 and something dues paying members. The party was also getting people elected to office. Back in the 1990’s the Libertarian Party actually elected a few people to the state legislature in New Hampshire as Libertarians, and they also elected somebody to a seat in the New Hampshire legislature in 2000 as a Libertarian, although that person ended up switching to Republican during their term in office. The Libertarian Party has not elected anyone to a seat in a state legislature since then.

    The Libertarian Party has not had anyone on its presidential ticket that I’d call a Libertarian since Michael Badnarik in 2004. The party today has less dues paying members than it did 17 years ago. Last year, dues paying membership shot up to 20,000 and something, which was the highest it had been in awhile, but I have heard that it is dropping again, and has gone down to 17,000 or 18,000 and something. Like I said above, the party only has 150 people in elected office today, and outside of the four state legislators that were not elected as Libertarians, it is all low level stuff.

    So the party really has not advanced that much, and in some ways it is in worse shape than it was in 17 years ago.

    The word libertarian has become more popular than ever, and more people are self identifying as being libertarian than ever, but a lot of this is due to people doing things outside the Libertarian Party, like Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, and John Stossel, and the Libertarian Party has thus far failed to bring most of these people into the fold.

  28. dL

    Attitudes like there are why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians — the buried part of the same Cato survey that found 59% of Americans would self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. “Just don’t CALL me libertarian.” In marketing terms, our brand is “toxic” (detracts from the product or service)

    “Out of your wallet and out of your bedroom” is a fine slogan. However, the republicans have never demonstrated any inclination to keep their hands out of your wallet nor the democrats any tendency whatsoever to keep their noses out of your bedroom(private life). The flaw w/ “Fiscally conservative/Socially liberal” is that there is this implied position that libertarians are borrowing 50% from the Repubs and 50% from the Dems. In reality, libertarians are not borrowing a goddamn thing from either party.

    In practice,

    Fiscal Conservatism==Big government on a credit card, exploding the worst parts of government(militarism, police) while taking the hacksaw to Ernie and Big Bird.

    Social Liberalism==Chuck Schumer grandstanding in front of a camera that someone somewhere may be experiencing unauthorized pleasure.

    RE: Cato/Boaz/Gillespie’s Libertarian voter. It’s just spin. Boaz wrote a book in the mid 90s, Libertarianism: A Primer, where he completely whiffed on the future. “The Obsolete State, “The Libertarian Future.” Wrong. Wrong. Rather than re-examine his previous positions, like a good social scientist would do, he merely re-packages the same BS(The Libertarian Mind) for the next generation. Spin doctoring …

    Gillespie’s “Declaration of Independents” was a complete whiff. It got Kennedy a TV show on Fox and it got Matt Welch some face time on cable news, but other than, it accomplished little more than getting a few trees cut down.

    I won’t even get started on these Cato/Reason bullshit terms like “libertarian leaning, libertarian flavored.” LOL.

    Libertarian leaning==bend over for yet another republican.

    The LP fundamentally has a scientific problem w/ winner take all, plurality voting systems. All 3rd parties do. It is not something that can be overcome, if it can even be overcome, with mere “branding.” The fundamental problem is not a marketing problem.

    That being said, I do believe the LP has a branding problem. It’s branded as a conservative fusionist subsidiary to the Republican Party. More generally, American libertarianism has been far too long aligned w/ conservatism. This extends in part to “movement libertarianism” that calls itself “anarcho-capitalist.”

    Today, at least, a large segment of that community has been infected by Hans Hoppe, the Frankfurt School educated right-wing postmodernist who rejects the classic liberal foundations of libertarianism. The infection is widespread enough that anarcho-capitalism today can almost be identified w/ private property and property relations having no existence apart from familial and kinship relations.** Unequivocally, Hoppe is a white supremacist. If you doubt this, simply read his essay, “Realistic Libertarianism”***
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/09/hans-hermann-hoppe/smack-down/

    If you go back to 1970s, there was none of that homogeneous white culture BS in the anarcho-capitalist movement. Indeed, Robert Nozick took the theory seriously enough to devote the first section of his book, ASU, to derive a minimal state w/o rights violations from an anarcho-capitalist order. However, the conservative alignment of libertarianism opened the door for hucksters and fraudsters to later pitch the worst aspects of the conservative cultural gutter to succeeding generations.


    ** private property and property relations having no existence apart from familial and kinship relations is not a theory of a capitalist society. Its a theory of an Amish-like society. It’s so obvious, I’m still not entirely convinced that that the likes of Rockwell and Hoppe are not mere hucksters consciously extracting money from gullible white resentment.

    ***Hint for spotting white supremacist sympathizers. They will pretend to ignore what Hoppe wrote and instead launch into a diatribe about leftists, antifa, social justice warriors, black lives matter, communists, etc. Dead give away.

  29. Mike Hihn

    Andy said

    “Johnson/Weld are not libertarians.”

    When even 91% of libertarians (values) reject libertarianism (ideology)? And you said “libertarians” not “Libertarians.” The platform has not a single policy proposal, nor does the movement. I’ve been on the National Platform Committee nearly a dozen times, a few of us tried and failed to go beyond stake bromides, empty slogans and theories. I was at ground zero when the earliest roots of the movement began (Sep, 1960), was elected twice to public office and launched a winning tax revolt. I was the first (only?) paid Director of a state party, have worked on over 100 campaigns, 40 winning ones IIRC. I was included in the Wikipedia history of the LP until the last revision (re the Dallas Accord) And I have never seen a lick of political savvy in the party or movement. Much like today’s GOP, where the hardliners literally demand LOSING, on principle. Like a suicide mission. But libertarians are more likely to lecture others on electoral politics, despite totally zero experience, not unlike a 10-year-old explaining nuclear physics!

    So I’ve had a front row seat to the movement AND party’s 30-year collapse from liberty lovers to government haters.

    “The word libertarian has become more popular than ever, and more people are self identifying as being libertarian than ever”

    The exact opposite,, as I stated. Here’s proof, a link to the Cato Survey I cited. .
    http://www.cato.org/policy-report/januaryfebruary-2007/libertarian-voters-2004-2006

    Scroll down about 2/3 to the subhead, “How libertarians see themselves.” This was conducted by Zogby, a top pollster. It was also the last time they used a professional pollster. No surprise.

    There is NO data to support your assertion — mostly (and falsely) attributed to Gallup. who never mentions or even measures libertarianism. Ever. Good for fundraising, I guess.

    So … you seem serious that two experienced governors could NOT have been elected … on a comprehensive platform … with specific policy proposals … targeted to the entire top half of the Nolan Chart … against the most distrusted major candidates in US history ..,. when voters were open to even radical change … at a time you assert that libertarianism is wildly popular .. with the specious claim that a record number of people define themselves with the same label EJECTED by 91% of libertarians! And you list the profound ANTI-liberty Ron Paul, while claiming to be an expert on what a libertarian is!

    Ron is actually the spiritual icon of the alt-right — who lies about the 10th Amendment. denies the 9th even exists! Falsely re-defines Federalism into the Jim Crow version of states rights!

    No real libertarian would EVER claim that “rogue judges” overturned DOMA! Good grief, like the Klan, Ron asserts that states have powers never delegated! (Defying the 9th Amendment) Denies three co-equal branches. checks and balances and balance of power. That is authoritarian, not libertarian.

    He BRAGS of sponsoring a bill that would have banned SCOTUS from even hearing any appeals to DOMA. Ron would have gays the first group denied any defense of constitutional rights since slavery. We’re discussing the wrong issue. Johnson/Weld don’t meet your standards of a libertarian, when you clearly have no idea what a libertarian is. As proof, the 9th Amendment is SUPERIOR to the 10th, and LIMITS it, by denying ALL levels of government any power to deny or disparage fundamental rights.

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”

    Once called the libertarian amenement. Virtually unknown to today’s libs. So .. we have fundamental rights beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. They include Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness …. and all the others.

    Please list for is what those other rights are. When you realize you cannot list them, only then might , you then see how totally you have betrayed individual liberty, by accepting Ron Paul’s egregious AUTHORITARIANISM … thus hardly qualified to to judge who is or is not a libertarian, since you have not been one yourself.

    Any questions?

    .

  30. Mike Hihn

    DL said:

    “Out of your wallet and out of your bedroom” is a fine slogan.

    (grin) So is — government has had only two purposes for all its history. For millennia, to impose one set of values by force. More recently. to defend individual liberties. We cant use that now, because we suck up to the extreme socons (only the extremes are theocrats – I’ve worked with them many times — as an atheist. They knew — always ask if I found Christ, but didn’t care that I wasn’t even looking — as Christ taught them!.)

    Left-Right=Zero

    All our core mantras had to be discarded, so we could suck up to the GOP and — I now see — the alt-right.

    You so see it all. And it’sTOTALLY corrupt. All power corrupts .. but only the lust for power. It probably began by competing for the same donors. I’m mostly research and policy wonk. You seem to focus more on themes. I trace the fall to abandoning, “Always pro-liberty, never be anti-government” FOCUS

    Expanding individual liberty always limits or reduces government, Shrinking government does not always expand liberty. Health care is a blatant example. Anti-gubs want to repeal Obamacare’s
    Medicaid expansion — bellowing blowhards, TOTALLY clueless that they’d force singe-payer!

    Pro-libs have known, since the 70s, that private charities provided universal TREATMENT to the uninsured, REGARDLESS OF INCOME. So we’ve had various proposals to transition back to that — typically tax CREDITS for donations to charitable healthcare and hospitals, where the infrastructure needs to rebuilt, and the dollars shifted out of government at the same pace. Tax credits do that.

    If anything, goobers assume the private infrastructure will spring from the earth, like weeds, if gubmint disappears. This passes for intelligence Here’s how INSANE they are.

    1) They claim to defend free markets, but reject tree market OUTCOMES — universal treatment, that Americans have ALWAYS paid for willingly. (Humans have paid for indigent care since 1500s Eng;land) So … do the math, If SOMEBODY doesn’t show how to do it in the private sector, then Bernie promises the ONLY option that the vast majority wants. Obamacatre approval soared to new highs — a majority — when voters saw that fiscal conservatives (including; libs) have NOTHING! “Giy gunn=mmint out” is NOT a solution.

    EVEN CRAZIER

    2) They sneer at us as LINOS and pussies — beating their chests and bellowing that we’d conspire with statists … but …the BEST they have is a PARTIAL ROLLBACK to 2009. Ours would TOTALLY REPLACE MEDICAID! So who’s the pussies? (lol)

    Technically, we’d do what EVERY libertarian economist has agreed, Government as last resort. This is how we FIND the last resort. DUH. And … wait for it … a similar tax-credit structure could convert the ENTIRE welfare state to Last Resort. Pussies vs Bellowing,

    And I am coming for them.

    Enjoyed your comments. (Can you tell?)

  31. Rebel Alliance

    >> Andy stated … “If the Libertarian Party squeezes out another turd of a presidential ticket in 2020 that is not really libertarian, like it did in the last three presidential nominating conventions, then it may well be time for the Libertarian Party to go the way of the dodo bird.”

    Based on what I’ve been seeing, we may finally be near a turnaround. Even many establishment-apologist and minarchist Libertarians were unhappy with the Johnson/Weld ticket’s disastrous results. The LP made a fundamental mistake: we zigged while the public was zagging, by offering two of the most establishment candidates even as the public clearly wanted outsiders, as seen by their support for Sanders and Trump. Mr Sarwark tried to put a brave face on it, “our best results ever!”, although everyone knows our ticket should’ve gotten at least 15% last year, not 3%. (Ross Perot got 19% in 1992 against two candidates far less revolting than Trump or Clinton). People want real CHANGE. It seems like in 2020, finally, many Libertarians are starting to understand this and may be keen to offering it.

  32. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Mike Hihn, regarding Ron Paul: If gays have no fundamental rights under state government then … who’s next?

    To be fair, I doubt Ron Paul ever said that gays have NO fundamental rights. I’m sure Paul believes that gays have the SAME fundamental rights as do straights (e.g., the right to free speech, gun ownership, etc.) Even the same marriage rights as do straights (i.e., the right to marry person of the opposite sex).

    Paul might believe that gays don’t have a fundamental state right to marry a person of the same sex, and that might be unlibertarian, but let’s not exaggerate or twist Paul’s position, as Leftists do to all their opponents.

  33. Anthony Dlugos

    “Based on what I’ve been seeing, we may finally be near a turnaround. Even many establishment-apologist and minarchist Libertarians were unhappy with the Johnson/Weld ticket’s disastrous results. The LP made a fundamental mistake: we zigged while the public was zagging, by offering two of the most establishment candidates even as the public clearly wanted outsiders, as seen by their support for Sanders and Trump.”

    I am an “establishment-apologist/monarchist” and not only am I not unhappy with J/W’s results, I don’t know any of my fellow apologists who are unhappy with the result, conceding as I will that the campaign was not perfect.

    Its sheer lunacy to suggest that Trump and Sanders results in 2016 prove that the public wanted UNQUALIFED outsiders. They may have wanted an outsider sure, but Sanders had decades in public office of one sort or another, and Trump ran a 23,000 employee billion-dollar corporation, and was himself a massive outlier in presidential electoral politics. If anything, they wanted, at some level, a qualified outsider.

    You gotta be on drugs to think all that meant the American people were going to pay any attention at all to a 35-year old blogger with no elective office experience, a murder suspect/drug addict with no electoral office experience, a medical doctor with no elective office experience, or an outright anarchist with no elective office experience.

    I’m all for finding an outsider. Please, find me one. Heck, my 2020 personal dream candidate, as I noted before, might be John Mackey of Whole Foods, and he certainly would qualify as an outsider.

    Just don’t waste my time with the catastrophically unqualified.

  34. Anthony Dlugos

    “The platform has not a single policy proposal, nor does the movement. I’ve been on the National Platform Committee nearly a dozen times, a few of us tried and failed to go beyond stake bromides, empty slogans and theories… But libertarians are more likely to lecture others on electoral politics, despite totally zero experience, not unlike a 10-year-old explaining nuclear physics!”

    Amen to that. And to the rare politician that shows up to our party with experience in the industry, they get epithets like “statist” hurled at them by people I wouldn’t trust a lemonade stand to, let alone starting the process of dismantling leviathan.

  35. robert capozzi

    I note that Sanders is a sitting senator, and sought the D nomination. Not an outsider, in my estimation.

    The contrast between Perot and Johnson’s results is a fair one. It’s possible that the fear of the greater evil may have hurt J/W more than it hurt Perot, since Bush and Clinton were not nearly as frightening as Trump and Clinton.

    The more interesting speculation would be: Would McAfee or Petersen received more than 3%? Did either of them have the heft of Perot?

    My sense is: No. They probably both had 2% ceilings.

  36. Anthony Dlugos

    “The contrast between Perot and Johnson’s results is a fair one.”

    It certainly is.

    As I noted before, I’m certainly willing to listen to critiques of the J-W campaign. I am willing to sit and commiserate with Libertarians that we didn’t have multiple qualified options to choose from in 2016.

    I’ll not listen to someone suggest that the nomination and election of a guy like Trump, or the unexpected results of Sanders, means we could have nominated anyone other than who we nominated. That’s absurd.

  37. Tony From Long Island

    RC

    The more interesting speculation would be: Would McAfee or Petersen received more than 3%? Did either of them have the heft of Perot?

    My sense is: No. They probably both had 2% ceilings.

    Even with Trump and Clinton being two very awful candidates, McAfee would have received 0.025% in my opinion and Petersen maybe 1% at most, but that’s just me.

    You really want to compare McAfee and Perot? Seriously? Perot commanded your attention. He MADE you listen to him. He has a personality (which we have seen -sadly – goes a long way in electoral politics) .McAfee barely speaks above a whisper and when he does you just say “huh?”

  38. paulie

    I do believe the LP has a branding problem. It’s branded as a conservative fusionist subsidiary to the Republican Party. More generally, American libertarianism has been far too long aligned w/ conservatism. This extends in part to “movement libertarianism” that calls itself “anarcho-capitalist.”

    Exactly. This is by far the biggest problem with the LP and movement as a whole. The sooner and more completely we cut any confusion of us with the right the sooner we connect with our natural base and begin to reach the level of growth where we make real, visible changes in public policy rather than third-order effects to keep things from getting worse. I’ve been saying this for at least a couple of decades now….

  39. Tony From Long Island

    AD

    Its sheer lunacy to suggest that Trump and Sanders results in 2016 prove that the public wanted UNQUALIFED outsiders. They may have wanted an outsider sure, but Sanders had decades in public office of one sort or another, and Trump ran a 23,000 employee billion-dollar corporation, and was himself a massive outlier in presidential electoral politics. If anything, they wanted, at some level, a qualified outsider.

    You gotta be on drugs to think all that meant the American people were going to pay any attention at all to a 35-year old blogger with no elective office experience, a murder suspect/drug addict with no electoral office experience, a medical doctor with no elective office experience, or an outright anarchist with no elective office experience.

    As for your first paragraph, Running a business does not make one qualified for POTUS, not matter how successful (and Trump is NOT a great successful businessman). The daily catastrophe going on right now proves that.

    As for your second paragraph, I agree with you 100% about McAfee and Petersen, et. al.

  40. paulie

    Unequivocally, Hoppe is a white supremacist.

    True.

    the conservative alignment of libertarianism opened the door for hucksters and fraudsters to later pitch the worst aspects of the conservative cultural gutter to succeeding generations.

    Also true. Under the misleading nonsensical name of paleolibertarianism, as if they represent some kind of original or older libertarianism. Nothing could be further from the truth. They originated in the 1980s and 90s with no roots in libertarianism, only grafting far right paleoconservatism implausibly onto libertarianism.

    Hint for spotting white supremacist sympathizers. They will pretend to ignore what Hoppe wrote and instead launch into a diatribe about leftists, antifa, social justice warriors, black lives matter, communists, etc. Dead give away.

    Yep!

  41. paulie

    I was at ground zero when the earliest roots of the movement began

    You were in China in the 6th Century BC?

    (Sep, 1960)

    Oh. Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

  42. Anthony Dlugos

    “This is by far the biggest problem with the LP and movement as a whole. The sooner and more completely we cut any confusion of us with the right the sooner we connect with our natural base and begin to reach the level of growth where we make real, visible changes in public policy rather than third-order effects to keep things from getting worse.”

    I may disagree with paulie on a lot of things, but not on this one. 100% true.

    Radicals for Capitalism definitely opened my eyes about the extent to which the LP’s roots were in the American left.

  43. paulie

    Ross Perot got 19% in 1992 against two candidates far less revolting than Trump or Clinton

    He was a billionaire who spent 60 million of his own money at a time when Democrats and Republicans were spending a lot less than now on the election, and was constantly in the media in a way that even Johnson and Weld never were. He was also included in the main general election debates. You can’t compare that with Johnson/Weld.

    It seems like in 2020, finally, many Libertarians are starting to understand this and may be keen to offering it.

    We’ll see.

  44. paulie

    I note that Sanders is a sitting senator, and sought the D nomination. Not an outsider, in my estimation.

    True in a sense, although he is technically an “independent” while caucusing with Democrats, used to run with the Liberty Union Party and openly calls himself a socialist. He’s one of the somewhat-outliers who straddles the line of establishment parties and those outside them, along with Ron Paul.

    The more interesting speculation would be: Would McAfee or Petersen received more than 3%? Did either of them have the heft of Perot?

    My sense is: No. They probably both had 2% ceilings.

    I don’t think either one would have beat Jill Stein, and Stein herself probably did significantly better than she would have without Johnson in the race as she was included in a lot of polls and coverage to counterbalance Johnson where she otherwise would have most likely been excluded. Not to take anything away from Stein, who was actually a good model of how someone without elective office experience, large amounts of money or celebrity can leverage what resources they do have effectively.

  45. paulie

    As for your first paragraph, Running a business does not make one qualified for POTUS, not matter how successful (and Trump is NOT a great successful businessman). The daily catastrophe going on right now proves that.

    Agreed, but to be fair I think Anthony meant *perceived* to be qualified (by MSM, and by large percentages of voters) as opposed to *being* qualified.

  46. Anthony Dlugos

    “I think Anthony meant *perceived* to be qualified (by MSM, and by large percentages of voters) as opposed to *being* qualified.”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  47. Anthony Dlugos

    I am an “establishment-apologist/monarchist”

    Is that a typo, or a freudian slip?

    Typo. I saw it and thought it was funny myself. I’m not neurotic enough to make a follow up “should say” correct myself post.

  48. paulie

    Typo.

    LOL I know, that’s why the smiley was there…just teasing.

    I saw it and thought it was funny myself. I’m not neurotic enough to make a follow up “should say” correct myself post.

    Thank goodness! That’s one of the most annoying practices anyone engages in here, as myself and any number of others have pointed out more times than I can count.

  49. JamesT

    I generally agree with him but Liberthangout’s support of Invictus is repulsive. So glad I don’t have a dog in the fight.

  50. Mike Hihn

    Roots Teeth said

    >>Paul might believe that gays don’t have a fundamental state right to marry a person of the same sex, and that might be unlibertarian, but let’s not exaggerate or twist Paul’s position, as Leftists do to all their opponents”

    I share your concern for “purists.” Did you miss the part about trying to block SCOTUS from even considering any appeal to DOMA — stripping gays of their ant defense of their fundamental rights? That’s the worst denial of individual rights I can recall in the past 50 years….

    Or his totally bogus federalism, which says our rights literally have no defense from abuse by states? Straight out of the KKK playbook,..

    Let’s not excuse so massive an abuse of core value, like tribal followers on all sides

  51. JamesT

    Lol at opposing federal gov’t determining what marriage is is equal to the KKK. Seriously? That equals mass murder and Jim Crow? Buzzfeed level stuff there. Come on. The Paul jealousy continues.

  52. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    Perot’s 38% was the result of phonevoter. Check the numbers and you will see our other three clients also experienced 2% a day increases in polling.
    That is why the Dems and Reps took the Presidential Debate away from The League of Women Voters. They realized real debates between all the presidential candidates would destroy their control.

    Others working on the project include libertarians old timers will remember. Ask Howard Hinman and Lawrence Samuelson. Sam Conkin also worked on the project.
    http://www.congressionalclearinghouse.com/pv-story

  53. Andy

    Rebel Alliance, without serious money, I doubt that any LP ticket that would have realistically been nominated would have received 15% of the vote. Remember, Ross Perot was a fairly well known (prior to running for President, after running he was extremely well known) billionaire who dropped something like $65 million out of his own pocket into the race in 1992. He ended getting 19% of the vote (I think is was a few decimal points higher).

    I think that the LP could have fielded a ticket that got more than the 3% of the vote that Johnson/Weld received, but I think that it would have been more in the 5-10% range rather than 15%.

    I think it would have been better to have had an LP presidential ticket that got 3% of the vote, or maybe even less (and the favorable circumstances of last year’s presidential election meant that the LP could have run just about anyone, and still received over 1 million votes), but who would have run on a stronger libertarian platform (and it is possible that a different ticket of the available choices would have gotten as many, or more votes than Johnson/Weld), and who would not have made the LP look like a bunch of unprincipled sell outs. The goal of the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket should not be to get votes for the sake of getting votes, but rather to increase the number of people who support strong libertarian principles. Running candidate who are as weak on libertarian principles as Johnson/Weld are defeats the purpose of the LP even bothering to field a presidential ticket, or to even exist at all for that matter.

  54. Andy

    I thought that the Libertarian Party had learned its lesson after the Barr/Root debacle in 2008, but it did not.

    The fact that the LP has gone three presidential elections in a row with nominating presidential tickets that were really not that libertarian, if libertarian at all (and I lean toward not them not having really been libertarian), tells me that the only way a change is going to happen is if people who are more serious about promoting a stronger libertarian message get off their rear ends and start getting to conventions as delegates. If this does not happen, do not be surprised if the party gets taken by less than libertarian hustlers again in 2020.

  55. Andy

    The Libertarian Party should also cut ties with the left. Libertarianism is not right or left, it is top of the Nolan Chart.

  56. Tony From Long Island

    Andy:

    Remember, Ross Perot was a fairly well known prior to running for President . . . .

    No – he wasn’t. How old were you in 1992? He was an obscure billionaire from Texas who started a company that no one ever heard of because all they did was do payroll and then make ATMs if I recall correctly.

    He was rich, but not well known. He went on Larry King a few times and then . . . . boom . . . Before that he would be lucky to get 1% name recognition.

  57. paulie

    Andy’s the same age as me (actually exactly nine days older than me). We both turned 20 in May 1992.

    Regardless of how well known Perot was or was not at the start of 1992, the fact that he had serious money and was prepared to use it made MSM take him seriously which translated into polling support and near-universal name recognition and debate inclusion. If he hadn’t torpedoed his own campaign by dropping out and back in he may have actually won.

  58. Andy

    Libertarianism is about the Non-Aggression Principle and property rights, and that is it. How we get to a voluntary, private property, anarchist society is open to discussion, but this should be the end goal.

    I don’t even know if we can achieve this end goal via electoral politics. The most realistic way to achieve this is probably for libertarians to break away from the rest of society, at least as much as possible, and to form private libertarian cities (do a search on this site for The Libertarian Zone concept).

    Outside if this, the best we may hope for, barring a mass shift in public opinion, which I doubt will happen anytime soon, if ever, is some bastardized, watered-down libertarian leaning reforms. If libertarians would get serious about promoting jury nullification of victimless crimes, use of alternative currencies, home schooling, and gun ownership (not to people who already own guns, and/or to people who support gun rights, but rather to the people who do not own guns, and who do not support gun rights), libertarians could move society towards more liberty without winning elections, which is an area where libertarians have little success, but most libertarians do little or nothing to promote these things.

    If you want to live in a free society, a super-majority of the people you live around have got to want a free society. If most of the people you live around do not want a free society, then do not be surprised if the society in which you live is not free.

  59. Tony From Long Island

    I was 18 in 1992. My first time voting. I actually voted for Andre Marrou.

    I had been following politics for quite a while already and had no clue who Perot was until everyone else did.

    You are right that his money certainly gave him an advantage and better opportunities for exposure, but Andy is not correct in saying he was “fairly well known” PRIOR to running for POTUS.

  60. George Phillies

    Ross Perot was a sung, not an unsung, hero. There was a very well known country or western song honoring him for rescuing his employees from iirc Iran. However, it is possible that these musical froms did not reach Long island.

  61. Andy

    It is astounding that anyone is still talking about this, but Ron Paul said that state marriage licenses should not exist, and that if gays want to get married, they should be able to do it. He also said that marriage is a state issue and not a federal issue, as per the 10th amendment.

    Ron Paul ran a pretty radical libertarian campaign within the confines of the Republican Party. His campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination were more radically libertarian than than the last three Libertarian Party presidential campaigns were.

    If you listen to Ron Paul post 2012 campaign, he has basically “come out of the closet” as an anarchist libertarian.

  62. paulie

    My first time voting. I actually voted for Andre Marrou.

    So did I. But I actually voted in 1988, unfortunately for Dukakis, using my mother’s absentee ballot. 1992 was my first election voting in my own name. I voted for Jerry Brown in the primary, then switched to LP.

  63. Andy

    I said that Ross Perot was fairly well known prior to 1992. He was not at the Donald Trump level of celebrity, but it is not like he was a mysterious rich guy that hardly anybody had heard of either. He had made headlines when he personally financed a rescue operation for some of his employees who were stuck in Iran (or some place else in the Middle East), and I believe this got made into a TV movie in the 1980’s.

    His money, along with his appearances on Larry King and other TV shows, pushed him into the national spotlight pretty quickly.

  64. dL

    Ross Perot was a sung, not an unsung, hero. There was a very well known country or western song honoring him for rescuing his employees from iirc Iran.

    At the time, Perot was still well known from orchestrating the rescue of his employees taken hostage by Iran in 1979. It was dramatized into a book and Network TV mini-series, “On the Wings of Eagles.” He was portrayed by Richard Crenna, the actor from Rambo. He was not an obscure figure.

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    Prior to running for president, Ross Perot had been the protagonist of popular books, songs, and motion pictures. He had built a multi-billion-dollar company. He had flown into Hanoi on an airplane full of Christmas presents for POWs, daring the North Vietnamese to shoot it down. He had personally overseen the rescue of two of his employees from revolutionary Iran. The reason he kept showing up on Larry King’s show, and made his initial announcement there, is that he was a well-known American who was a wildly popular repeat guest on that show.

    To put it a different way, prior to 1992, a LOT more Americans could have told you who Ross Perot was than could have told you who Bill Clinton was.

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