Larry Sharpe Interviewed on The Rubin Report

81 thoughts on “Larry Sharpe Interviewed on The Rubin Report

  1. Anthony Dlugos

    Mr. Sharpe isn’t hard enough on our own faults, takes the typical stance of blaming our lack of success on everyone and everything else.

    Nobody in the two party duopoly forced Naked Guy up on the stage to turn us into a clown show.

    But Larry has a great life story, and a fantastically accessible story of his political journey. And his political instincts are excellent. re: Bake the Cake issue discussion in this video, and also the discussion of intellectual property law and its practicalities creating a problem for “Abolish X!” proclamations.

  2. Anon-Tipper Post author

    Larry confuses me, sometimes it seems he’s too cozy with the Mises Caucus type people (his endorsement of Joshua Smith) and sometimes he says stuff that is bound to outrage them (his defense of Gary Johnson and his position of the “Bake the Cake” issue, his position is essentially the same as Michael Munger’s). Thought it was a good interview though.

  3. robert capozzi

    A

    Can’t quite give him an A+ as I believe he’s a bit flip at times. As a former NYer, I don’t have a problem with his accent, but I wonder how that plays nationally.

    I’d like to hear a NAPist’s view of his multiple Band-Aid analogy, which starts at about 26m in. This is a point that — when I’ve brought it up to NAPists, perhaps less powerfully as LS does — the responses have mostly been hand-waiving.

  4. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    bear in mind, I am grading on a curve. Relative to other Libertarians running for office (downticket of the prez/vice prez) this guy is as good as it gets. (looking at the whole package).

  5. Anthony Dlugos

    “I’d like to hear a NAPist’s view of his multiple Band-Aid analogy, which starts at about 26m in. This is a point that — when I’ve brought it up to NAPists, perhaps less powerfully as LS does — the responses have mostly been hand-waiving.”

    I thought the same thing.

    My opinion, at this point, is that for a lot of the NAPist, Mr. Sharpe is a “libertarian blank slate.” He was not-Weld, and so they imagine him to be a doctrinaire libertarian. But, as can be ascertained from this discussion, he isn’t dogmatic. I think he’s eventually going to disappoint them, then he’ll get turned on.

  6. Anthony Dlugos

    Anon-T,

    re: Larry confuses me.

    Note Mr. Sharpe’s response to Rubin’s question about the more dogmatic Libertarians stance on the Bake the Cake issue. (starts at about 20:43).

    Larry says, “they are theoretically correct and realistically wrong.”

    OK so far, but, then, as he goes into properly explaining how an extreme position makes it difficult for voters to take the first step, he parenthetically says, “I want to make clear [with regard to the “hard” libertarians], I love them, I want them in the party, they are critical.”

    There’s his problem. He’s wrong, at the very least on the last of the 3 proclamations. They aren’t critical at all. By sheer math, there just ain’t enough “hard” libertarians in New York state, nor are there enough in the country at large to worry about losing them. The LP, in point of fact, doesn’t need them.

    They’re only critical if you want the LP to remain the minnow it is now. They’re critical if you want the party to be constantly struggling to retain ballot access, and nothing more. Then you will need those hard libertarians, so that we can strive for the lofty goal of half a percent of the vote.

    Contrast his position about needing such doctrinaire libertarians with Johnson’s position during the “Bake the Cake” controversy at the 2016 Convention: if he truly needed the hard libertarian support, then the nomination wasn’t something worth having, because the end result of going down that path is the aforementioned half a percent. Its the quintessential political Pyrrhic victory.

    The sooner Mr. Sharpe comprehends the brute reality of simple math, the sooner he will learn to distances himself from the nefarious factions you refer to. (While its true not all of the dogmatic libertarians are outright bigots, the reality is that, in terms of pure voter math, it doesn’t matter whether someone is doctrinaire on “Bake the Cake” because they are a homophone, or genuinely, philosophically doctrinaire.

  7. robert capozzi

    This: “they are theoretically correct and realistically wrong,” is pure genius, actually. Succinct, clear, and right on.

    AD, yes, LS is wrong that the NAPists are critical in theory. But, realistically, NAPists are useful in the short-term. It’s also the case that a NAPist can see the light and drop the dogma. I did.

    In a sense, the hater NAPists could be helpful in this regard. The Longite NAPists might — by observing the hater NAPists and their obvious flawed thinking — realize that it’s not just the haterade that’s wrong with their thinking, it’s the NAP itself that is unworkable and a detriment to the cause of lessarchy.

  8. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    I dropped the dogma too.

    But, you say they are useful in the short term.

    To the party or to individual candidates?

    I could perhaps buy the idea that the genuine NAPists serve as a useful lodestar internally. I must confess that, on occasion, I have conceded they help remind us of our First Principles.

    I’m not sure how useful they can be to an individual candidate with a discrete electoral contest in their near future. As Anon-Tipper points out, Mr. Sharpe has cozied up to some questionable characters.

    It seems to me that straight-up selfishness, ignoring people who can’t help you win…while it might hurt some genuine, true-blue libertarians…will also keep you away from the haters who will sink your chances.

  9. robert capozzi

    AD,

    My sense is to the party mostly. AJ and PF do yeoman’s work as petitioners I hear, and they are NAPists. There are likely a lot of NAPists doing behind-the-scenes work which is necessary and productive. They pay dues, too. My sense is that NS and WB are NAPists, but they for the most part “get” that undiluted NAPism needs to be packaged, at least, for non-NAPist consumption.

    My sense is that NAPists sometimes serve as paper candidates, too, which might have some utility.

    Higher-profile NAPist candidates can do a lot of damage. Imagine if Chris Cantwell was being interviewed instead of LS!

  10. Anthony Dlugos

    100% agreement with that entire statement.

    But remember, even Vohra stated, when he announced his 2020 “run” for President…running for office is an externally, not internally, facing opportunity. As I noted before, if you are a good candidate for office, doing it right…in any party…you should have some tension with your party and its stalwarts. Your job is to appeal to the “unwashed” masses, at least it part by bending the party dogma.

  11. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Some tension, perhaps. The best ones charm everyone. Reagan comes to mind. Coming up, he definitely rattled cages in the GOP, caused John Anderson to go 3rd party, etc. GHWB was an inspired pick to mollify the moderates, and he was off to the races. I suspect that by 1984, there were few R skeptics.

    Clinton and Obama, ditto among most Ds.

  12. robert capozzi

    AD: …eventually going to disappoint them, then he’ll get turned on.

    ME: Forgot to mention, 100% right. I suspect their hands are already gripping their swords, and they are itching to pull it out and flay poor ole’ LS. 😉

  13. DJ

    It’s so obvious you 2 guys should be running the Party. I wonder why on one else can see it. LOL

  14. robert capozzi

    AD,

    As to Vohra’s external/internal distinction, my feedback to him would only be a question of elaboration. It strikes me as draining to be a crypto-anarchist, where one has a secret agenda of worldwide Zomia, but yet one never mentions Zomia and statelessness.

    There’s a grandiosity about NAPism, in which the NAPist dreams a utopian construct as if it were real and knowable in great detail. A more humble lessarchist approach would allow one to say essentially the same thing internally and externally. Here are the short- to intermediate-term actions that are achievable and liberty-enhancing.

    Means are ends in themselves, as a practical matter. There is no “end.” Instead, there is only the current reality.

  15. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    re: Vohra.

    If I understand you correctly, and you would suggest to Vohra that there is not, and never will be, a market for macho-flash crypto-anarchism, then I agree 100%.

    But I don’t think Vohra’s market is “out there,” even if he outwardly says it is.

    His market is internal, its hyper-preaching-to-the-choirism. Does he realize that in his heart of hearts? I don’t know. It might just be a reflexive politicians’ response to comprehending that there is a significant, longstanding”f*ck the state” faction up for grabs in the party.

    Pursuant to that, and in regards to your “hands are already gripping their swords”against Sharpe proposition, I’d keep in mind your worry about the forces that could get arrayed against a potential Weld nomination in 2020. He’s the devil incarnate to many. Sharpe doesn’t have to be a full-blown Rothbardian NAPist. He just has to be “not-Weld.” Same with Vohra.

    In fact, with regard to Anon-Tipper’s Sharpe confusion, a plausible explanation is that Larry’s eye has always been on the 2020 LP presidential nomination, and securing the imprimatur of the “Not Weld” faction.

    That’s why he, for example, had nice things to say about Republican Peterson in the interview posted here, why he periodically seems cozy to the Mises types, and why he said he loves the “hard” libertarians and how they are critical to the party. (Which, in the context of this interview, is a paean to dogmatic NAPism.)

    On the other hand, if that were his long rage goal, I’d still argue that he is traveling down the Pyrric Road: even if he managed to secure the 2020 nomination in this way, it would be a nomination not worth having, a dead-end political prize. The sooner he bites the bullet and separates himself from connection to dogmatic NAPism, the better his political future is. I’m not suggesting he goes out of his way to be cruel, but I am suggesting that he makes it clear he is not entertaining full-blown NAPism.

  16. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    Speaking of macho-flash, there are a couple points late in this interview where I ended up scratching my head, perplexed.

    At about 1:00:27, he is talking about pardoning drug offenders, and suggested that one of the individuals he pardons might up end being a “violent felon” that does something stupid like “beats his wife,” and his FIRST response as Governor will be “I don’t care.”

    Now THIS is what happens when you have macho-flash NAP on the brain, and why I suggested above that he makes it clear, to himself and his campaign most of all, that he is not entertaining full blown NAPism.

    That is a catastrophic comment in today’s political environment. As good and practical as some of the ideas that he proposes in this interview are, that one comment…in the hands of a competent duopoly party political opponent…is a campaign ender, full stop. The sooner he disconnects completely from NAPism, the sooner his drug policy proposals will start morphing from that macho flash idiocy to something much more palatable, like the Johnson-Weld approach from 2016, which proposed ending marijuana prohibition ONLY, while suggesting such a move would result in a “quantum change” in how we deal with drug prohibition overall. In other words, demonstrating your “means are the end” approach while not foreclosing on further change in the right direction.

    At 43:55, he suggest he is going to make it a point to campaign for three-time DUI offenders who lose their license for life to get there licenses back. What?

    Frankly, I can see an already elected governor doing something to relieve the burden on people who have made very bad mistakes (maybe repeatedly), but to make that part of your campaign platform? WTF? There’s no constituency for that. Again. a campaign ended. All an opponent has to do is drag some poor soul onto a stage who lost a loved one in a car accident with a three-time DUI offender…once again, campaign ender.

    Meanwhile, the drunk who’s vote he hopes to secure will be drunk again at some Irish bar on Election Day.

  17. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Surely there is no market for NAPism. When Vohra makes his external/internal distinction, he’s probably in his mind saying to NAPists: Obviously, given my track record of saying outrageous things, I’m one of you. But, he’s also telling them, I might not always hold high the banner as high as I have in the past.

    This is the burden of NAPism. NAPists require NAPist bone fides, but even they recognize it doesn’t play. They require near-unanimous alignment with so-called long-term goals (something approximately anarchism), but they’ve been laughed at or ignored enough to intuit that it doesn’t sell, and that it’s a thought-system out on a very long limb.

    The premise is incorrect, I submit. They confuse the general with the specific. They box themselves in with VERY specific precepts about an ideal world, although they — on some level — KNOW they are speaking in untenable ways, but they imagine that they ardent fulcrums for dramatic, albeit slow-moving, social change. This is why they take a bow for gay marriage. Ls have been advocating it since 1972, therefore their long-con “worked.” To “prove” this, TK once did a Google search showing that there was strong correlation between “L” and “gay marriage.” I ran the same search with “liberal” and “gay marriage,” and it swamped his results by at least 2 orders of magnitude, iirc.

    And then I heard crickets!

    Same phenomenon with the drug war is happening now. As Ricky Fitts said in AMERICAN BEAUTY: “Never underestimate the power of denial.” No matter how inconsequential NAPist Ls are, they LOVE to try to run to the front of the parade. Even then, they are ignored.

    As for Sharpe, he’s cagey. He could easily get the nomination as the Not Weld candidate, agreed. If Weld wants it, he’ll probably have to pack the convention, causing AJ’s head to explode.

    Sharpe definitely has skeels, but he may also be too clever by half. He may also be a different strain of Wayne Root. He’s playing things more cleverly than Root did, but the result might be the same.

  18. ATBAFT

    “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”
    Is it then the consensus of NAPsters that any solution that doesn’t call for complete abolishment of whatever govt program is being discussed is therefore in violation of NAP? e.g. a Libertarian candidate cannot call for an immediate rollback of, say, the local municipal services tax from $500 per household to the old limit of $250 per household because such a position would imply advocacy of force in order to collect the $250? If so, NAP – if enforced – certainly handcuffs LP candidates from meaningfully discussing many issues that interest the voters.

  19. robert capozzi

    Around,

    No. The NAPist (we use that over NAPster of late) WOULD support such transitional measures, although they tend to remind us that “taxation is theft.” My understanding is that most, if not all, NAPists will vociferously denounce measures designed to decrease the net incidence of coercion. GJ’s FAIR tax was widely denounced by NAPists, and cited as a reason for denying him the L nomination. (Personally, I felt the FAIR tax was not a good choice in his effort to reduce the net incidence of coercion, but I happily voted for him 2x.)

    “Handcuff” is an accurate word to describe the effect of the NAP on the LP’s prospects generally.

  20. Anthony Dlugos

    re: “handcuffed”

    That’s definitely a good way to put it.

    The only question for me is whether it’s intentional or not.

    And that goes to the question of how cognizant the NAPists are to how far outside the mainstream full blown NAPism is.

    I’ve been told by doctrinaire libertarians that they are okay with incremental steps, but a candidate shouldn’t run in opposition to the platform (i.e., NAPism, essentially)

  21. Anthony Dlugos

    The problem with “incremental steps but not in contradiction to the platform” is that it would unravel quickly when faced with even an average member of the mainstream media, who would properly push the line of inquiry to find out just where the candidate’s personal philosophy lies.

    Even a coyly defender full blown NAPism would unravel a campaign in one interview.

  22. Andy

    Harry Browne and Ron Paul both did plenty of interviews with mainstream media reporters, and neither of them ever unraveled.

  23. Anthony Dlugos

    Harry Browne not only had no chance of winning, he had no chance of even affecting the election. He had zero experience in office. Thus, he was treated as a novelty act, He was not pressed on how far he would take his philosophy.

    The results of his elections demonstrate how irrelevant he was.

    Ron Paul was never a doctrinaire NAPist. He’s spent more time as a Republican than he has as a Libertarian. As a Republican (when he was most heavily covered) he wasn’t going to get pushed on just how far he’d take NAPism, for the simple fact that running as a Republican means you have given tacit approval for SOME sort of government involvement in public policy.

    Paul gets the whitewash treatment from hard right paleo libertarians, sexists, racists and bigots, who overlook or approve of his deviations from NAPism (abortion, immigration, states “rights”, etc)

  24. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Never unraveled? Are you KIDDING? NewsletterGate 1.0 and 2.0 were at least as bad as coverage of Anthony Weiner and Roy Moore.

  25. Anthony Dlugos

    Right.

    As I noted, the hard right is supportive of Ron Paul’s deviation from NSPism, which is why his support is from the aforementioned paleos, racists, sexist, bigots, and not anarchists.

    It’s also why his support is larger than any NAPist anarchists’ could ever be.

  26. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Right, although there are probably some anarchists who supported RP1. Their numbers are in the 5 figures.

  27. ATBAFT

    So, how would you suggest the NAP be amended? I don’t think “I DO believe in or advocate the initiation of force” would go over too well for a libertarian organization. Simply dropping NAP would also signal a drastic change in the Party’s ideology. Some say that a significant number of those CATO study “libertarians” are kept out of the Party by the existence of NAP. What change would attract them?

  28. Andy

    Harry Browne did get pushed on libertarianism by reporters. I have a VHS tape sitting in a box that has Harry Browne on “Hannity & Colmes” and “The O’Reily Facotor,” and his buttons were pushed in both interviews.

    Ron Paul has “come out of the closet” post 2012 campaign as an anarcho-capitalist, and even during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns he got put into positions where he had to defend radical libertarianism, and he did so with flying colors.

  29. paulie

    WOULD support such transitional measures, although they tend to remind us that “taxation is theft.”

    Correct.

    vociferously denounce measures designed to decrease the net incidence of coercion

    Not if I believe they actually would.

    FAIR tax

    I denounce it because I believe it will increase, not decrease, coercion. If I thought otherwise I would support it.

    FAIR tax was not a good choice in his effort to reduce the net incidence of coercion

    Agreed.

    happily voted for him 2x

    I overlooked his “fair” tax support in 2012 and decided at the last minute or close to it to vote for him at the convention but not his VP choice. Had I voted in the government election I would have voted for him fairly enthusiastically, and I actively participated in the campaign beyond just ballot access. In 2016 I felt the scales had tipped and did not support Johnson for the nomination, although I wasn’t enthusiastic about anyone else seeking it either. I definitely did not and do not support Weld and that was one of the reasons I somewhat soured on Johnson. Had I voted in the government election I would have still voted for them, but far from enthusiastically, only because the other choices on my ballot were so bad and write-ins don’t necessarily count in Alabama. I did not actively campaign beyond ballot access that year.

    For 2020, not wild about anyone I have heard mentioned yet. If Jo Jorgensen runs I’d pick her over others I have heard mentioned so far. We’ll see who else drops in to the race between now and then.

  30. paulie

    And that goes to the question of how cognizant the NAPists are to how far outside the mainstream full blown NAPism is.

    I spend a lot of time talking to non-libertarians.

    I’ve been told by doctrinaire libertarians that they are okay with incremental steps, but a candidate shouldn’t run in opposition to the platform (i.e., NAPism, essentially)

    I’m OK with a candidate focusing on incremental steps. I’m even OK with a candidate going completely opposite of the platform on a few issues as long as they make that clear, often. But my tipping point probably comes well before yours as to when I would no longer support at all.

  31. paulie

    who would properly push the line of inquiry to find out just where the candidate’s personal philosophy lies.

    Skilled candidates know how to handles this. Harry Browne for example.

  32. Thomas Knapp

    “Harry Browne not only had no chance of winning, he had no chance of even affecting the election.”

    And yet he did. Absent Harry Browne’s vote totals in New Mexico, George W. Bush would almost certainly have actually won the election instead of having to ask SCOTUS to steal Florida for him.

    Which is why, when the LP’s candidate in 2004 announced a tour of New Mexico after polling at 5% there, both Bush and John Kerry suddenly changed their schedules to visit the state too.

  33. robert capozzi

    pf: I’m even OK with a candidate going completely opposite of the platform on a few issues as long as they make that clear, often.

    me: How could this possibly sound smooth? I advocate X, but my party advocates Y. Oy!

  34. Thomas Knapp

    Yes, giants swat at gnats because gnats bite them and cause pain.

    As opposed to slapping at pale shadows of themselves, which neither they nor anyone else even bother to notice very often.

  35. Andy Craig

    If George W. Bush had won New Mexico instead of Gore, that would have given him only 251 electoral votes, excluding Florida. He’d still have needed Florida to win. That’s why so little attention got paid to the close margin in New Mexico: it wouldn’t have affected the overall outcome either way.

    https://www.270towin.com/2000_Election/interactive_map

  36. Andy Craig

    From what I can tell, there are two examples where the Libertarian ticket beat the spread in states that could have affected the outcome of the election. The first would be Browne in 2000, but in Florida and not New Mexico. The second would be Johnson in 2016, where he beat the spread in seven states, if I recall correctly, including the election-determining trio of WI, MI, and PA.

    Badnarik beat the spread in Wisconsin. Browne beat the spread in 1996 in Kentucky. Barr beat the spread in Missouri, North Carolina, and Indiana. But in none of those cases would flipping those states have changed the Electoral College winner.

  37. Thomas Knapp

    “If George W. Bush had won New Mexico instead of Gore, that would have given him only 251 electoral votes.”

    They finished five electoral votes apart.

    Look at that map and see if you can find another state with five electoral votes that was actually in play. Utah? Nebraska? Full red. West Virginia? Bush carried it by 5%.

    Browne affected the outcome in both New Mexico and Florida. How did he affect that outcome? While it’s false that all people who vote Libertarian would vote Republican if there wasn’t a Libertarian on the ballot, Browne’s totals were almost certainly tilted toward “would otherwise have voted Republican” more than “would otherwise have voted Democrat,” and the spread between Bush and Gore in those states was small enough that it’s reasonable to say Browne cost Bush both states (although Bush did manage, through litigation, to thwart the recount and steal Florida from the actual winner).

  38. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Why do you think “affecting the outcome” is significant? Particularly if “affecting the outcome” is a function mostly of the Rs and Ds votes just happen to be close in a state or two?

    Perot affected the outcome in 92, iirc. He was the front-runner for a while. He made a splash. He was national news. Large amounts of people were a) disaffected by the Rs and Ds (and still are) and b) liked Perot and his message.

    As AJ often notes, GJ’s vote totals were juiced-up by protest voters, probably especially so in 16 since DJT and HRC were especially flawed candidates. But GJ was breaking through nationally, not just in an isolated state or two. He didn’t ultimately break through like Perot, though.

    It appears that you are being disingenuous about 2000 in New Mexico. iirc, NM is generally a blue state. GWB was guv in a neighboring state where he was popular. Ralph Nader got 3.6%, HB got 0.3%. BOTH were “spoilers.”

    Sure looks to me that NM was in play NOT because of HB’s scintillating NAP-compliant messaging, but because Bush was popular and did better than usual, coupled with Nader’s far more significant bite out of the D base.

    Sheesh! You are better than this!

  39. Andy Craig

    Browne beat the spread in both Florida and New Mexico (as did several other third-party tickets in both those states that year). But only Florida would have changed the outcome of the election. You can assign NM and its 5 EVs to either Gore or Bush; the winner still would have been whoever won Florida and its 25 EVs. Thus FL was determinative of of the outcome, NM was not.

    If Bush had won on a five-EV margin *while winning NM*, then NM’s 5 EVs could have made the difference. But instead they only made the difference between Bush winning w/ 271 vs. winning w/ 276. Alternately if Bush had lost Florida, he would have lost the election regardless of NM.

  40. paulie

    How could this possibly sound smooth? I advocate X, but my party advocates Y. Oy!

    Don’t like that? Either run on the party’s positions or don’t use the party’s ballot access. We stand for something. If you want to run as an independent or start your own party instead, do that. If you want to run with a largely non-ideological party – more of a sports team than a party really – the Red and Blue teams exist and have a proven history of winning. Another non-ideological sports team of a party isn’t what we need and isn’t what the LP is designed to be. I think I left room for at least as much flexibility as any reasonable interpretation of the LP’s mission allows.

  41. paulie

    As opposed to slapping at pale shadows of themselves, which neither they nor anyone else even bother to notice very often.

    Yep.

  42. paulie

    Browne’s totals were almost certainly tilted toward “would otherwise have voted Republican” more than “would otherwise have voted Democrat,”

    I’m not convinced that is actually true, but it’s a fact that this is what most big party politicians, consultants and media opinionmakers assume, with or without evidence.

  43. paulie

    Why do you think “affecting the outcome” is significant?

    It’s what makes big party politicians sit up and pay attention. They want to win. If you hold the balance of power they have an incentive to win back those votes and a fear of the loss snowballing and – if it gets big enough – replacing them. But even if it doesn’t they hate and fear losing to the other side of the duopoly coin. So, they have a carrot and stick to pay attention to LP voters and do something to win those over or win them back; the alternative is….they don’t.

  44. paulie

    Perot affected the outcome in 92, iirc.

    You recall incorrectly, although yrc that this has been repeated endlessly. Perot voters exit polls: 38% each had Bush and Clinton as second preference. The rest had no preference between the two. And, while Perot was dropped out before he came back, Bush was behind in the polls by even more than before or after.

    But Bush needed someone besides himself to blame for his loss, hence the myth that Perot cost him the election. Nader has been similarly maligned by Democrats, and while it may be counter-intuitive, they are also wrong. For one thing, a big chunk of Nader’s vote in Florida came from Arab-Americans who usually vote Republican but voted for Nader because he is Arab (a factlet that many non-Arabs haven’t noticed). Additionally, a lot of people who would not have voted at all registered with the intention of voting for Nader but ended up voting for Gore due to the closeness of the polls.

  45. paulie

    iirc, NM is generally a blue state.

    In local and state politics yes. In presidential elections it’s a purple state.

  46. Thomas Knapp

    “Why do you think ‘affecting the outcome’ is significant?”

    Because every time a major party candidate loses an election by fewer votes than a third party candidate got, that major party’s next candidate starts thinking about how to get those votes next time.

    In his 2007-2011 term as governor of Florida, Charlie Crist was staunchly anti-cannabis.

    When he tried to stage a comeback in 2014 and realized the issue was costing him the election because pro-cannabis (medical or recreational) voters had somewhere else to go (Libertarian Adrian Wyllie), he unconvincingly switched sides on medical marijuana. Not convincingly enough. He lost the election by less than 65,000 votes. Wyllie knocked down 223k votes.

    So, what does the 2018 gubernatorial field look like?

    The Republicans, who didn’t lose the 2014 election over marijuana: “Putnam, DeSantis Find Common Ground Opposing Recreational Pot.”

    The Democrats, who did lose the 2014 election over marijuana: “Three of the five Democrats running for Governor favor legalizing recreational marijuana.”

    That includes the front-runner.

    A fourth candidate supports decriminalization, but not full legalization.

    The fifth hasn’t commented.

  47. robert capozzi

    pf: Another non-ideological sports team of a party isn’t what we need and isn’t what the LP is designed to be.

    me: Defining who “we” is is the issue. Who is “we”? The 88 20-something founders plus Hospers? The convention? True believing NAPists?

  48. robert capozzi

    pf: You recall incorrectly, although yrc that this has been repeated endlessly. Perot voters exit polls: 38% each had Bush and Clinton as second preference.

    Me: Beg pardon, but I’d say a guy who gets 19% of the popular vote, was for a time LEADING in the polls, and who got into the debates affected the election. You refer to a different measure than I do.

  49. From Der Sidelines

    You guys done revisiting the past elections YET AGAIN?

    This feels like an IPR/Libertarian version of Groundhog Day.

  50. robert capozzi

    tk: Because every time a major party candidate loses an election by fewer votes than a third party candidate got, that major party’s next candidate starts thinking about how to get those votes next time.

    Me: “Every time”? OK, so what did the Rs and Ds do in 04 that they didn’t do in 00 in reaction to Nader and Browne?

  51. Anthony Dlugos

    “Because every time a major party candidate loses an election by fewer votes than a third party candidate got, that major party’s next candidate starts thinking about how to get those votes next time.”

    Maybe, maybe not.

    It all depends on the message of the third party candidate, relative to the message of the candidates that finish in the first two places. It’s quite possible going after the 3rd party candidate’s votes will cost more votes than it gains. It’s also possible the candidate that finishes in 2nd will find it easier and less risky going after the low hanging fruit of the winning candidate.

    I think it’s a virtual certainty that Donkey Party and Elephant Party would just repeatedly trade back and forth .5 percent of the mushy middle (the makeup of that mush changing election by election) between them rather than make a play for a .5 percent anarchist sect. For obvious reasons: such a sect sidelines itself by publicly proclaiming itself “the party of principle,” either refusing to budge entirely or making the cost of budging so great that it’s easier to shade some policy to the right or left by mere millimeters and pick up 10 or a hundred fold the number of votes.

    Once you accept the reality that votes matter, the case for nominating more palatable, pragmatic candidates only gets stronger.

  52. Andy

    Paul said: “For 2020, not wild about anyone I have heard mentioned yet. If Jo Jorgensen runs I’d pick her over others I have heard mentioned so far. We’ll see who else drops in to the race between now and then.”

    I only found one video of Jo Jorgensen on YouTube, and it only has 62 views.

    Don’t get me wrong, she decent in this video from 1996, but what has she done lately? What has she done in the past 22 years in politics/political activism? I have been following this stuff closely for the past 22 years, and I have not heard anything about Jo Jorgensen in a very long time.

    Contrast this with Adam Kokesh, who has been a known libertarian activist for the past 11 or 12 years, and who has 1,570 videos on his YouTube channel, which has over 231,000 subscribers, and over 67 million views. This does not include all of the views he’s gotten on other people’s YouTube channels.

    Arvin Vohra is more relevant today than Jo Joregensen is.

    If Ms. Jorgensen is serious about running, she’s got a heck of a lot of work to do to build up her name recognition and support base, because whatever name recognition and support base she had 22 years ago has pretty much dried up. \

    Here is the one video I found of Jo Jorgensen on YouTube.

    Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President 1996

  53. Thomas Knapp

    RC:

    “OK, so what did the Rs and Ds do in 04 that they didn’t do in 00 in reaction to Nader and Browne?”

    Well, as I mentioned — neither the R and D candidate had New Mexico on their campaign schedule until the L candidate commissioned a Rasmussen poll that had him pulling 5% there and then scheduled a 5-day tour of the state.

    Then, all of a sudden, both Bush and Kerry made a beeline for the state too. While there, Bush proposed a timelined withdrawal of US forces from South Korea, only 2 years after having put North Korea in his notional “Axis of Evil.”

    No, he didn’t follow through on complete withdrawal, but he did go from “Axis of Evil” to the 2005 September 19 Joint Statement and to the June 2008 agreement. While not monotonically, US-Korea relations did improve in Bush’s second term (and collapsed again a few months after his successor’s inauguration.

  54. Thomas Knapp

    AD,

    —–
    “Because every time a major party candidate loses an election by fewer votes than a third party candidate got, that major party’s next candidate starts thinking about how to get those votes next time.”

    Maybe, maybe not.

    It all depends on the message of the third party candidate, relative to the message of the candidates that finish in the first two places. It’s quite possible going after the 3rd party candidate’s votes will cost more votes than it gains. It’s also possible the candidate that finishes in 2nd will find it easier and less risky going after the low hanging fruit of the winning candidate.
    —-

    In other words, exactly what I said. Which part of “thinking about” did you not understand? I did not say that the non-L candidates would suddenly turn into radical libertarians. I said they would start thinking about how to get the votes that they didn’t get last time. Whether or not what it takes to get those votes is worth it is PART of thinking about it. The answer they reach will not always be “yes, it’s worth it.” But sometimes it will be, at least to a degree.

  55. robert capozzi

    TK,

    And you attribute going to NM to Browne? Bordering state. Nader in the race. Rove mighta said: NM’s worth a shot.

    As for NK, W ran on a “humble foreign policy.” I even toyed with voting for him. Stayed home that year.

  56. Anthony Dlugos

    ATBAFT @ July 15, 2018, 11:59 writes:

    “So, how would you suggest the NAP be amended? I don’t think “I DO believe in or advocate the initiation of force” would go over too well for a libertarian organization. Simply dropping NAP would also signal a drastic change in the Party’s ideology. Some say that a significant number of those CATO study “libertarians” are kept out of the Party by the existence of NAP. What change would attract them?”

    For the Libertarian Party proper, it needs to be dropped. Axioms are completely unhelpful in the arena of electoral politics. They are more than that actually, they are counterproductive. In the case of the LP, the axiom allows for periodic (or, for full blown NAPists, permanent) flights of theoretical fancy that make the party and its candidates completely unelectable.

    I disagree that it would signal a drastic change in the Party’s ideology. If, by “drastic change” one means that dropping the NAP means we are all of a sudden indistinguishable from the Demopublicans. This is patently absurd.

    As I noted above, Mr. Sharpe’s plan for drug policy for New York, which starts at about 1:00:27 is a good example of what I mean. Larry is a very good candidate as far as Libertarians go, but his flippant response regarding what he’d do as Governor if a violent drug felon he releases beats his wife…”I don’t care”…shows how dangerous it is in the arena of electoral politics to have the NAP pinballing around in your head when you are on the campaign trail. A campaign ending comment is inevitable.

    Leave aside how bad “I don’t care” is as a response. The mere suggestion that he would just start pardoning drug offenders probably makes him unelectable…or at least puts him at the outer bounds of electability. It wasn’t that long ago that we as a society passed the threshold of a majority supporting marijuana legalization. That is a FAR cry from the moral crusade the NAPist turns the end of the drug war into.

    A good way to lose the support of people who are just countenancing the idea of legalized pot is to suggest to them your drug policy plan is not some sort of political compromising to slowly move the ball forward in New York state, but a unilateral pardoning of various drug offenders. The support of the average voter for drug policy change is practical, not NAP-based theoretical.

    You can turn the majority who support reform of drug laws into a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction by viewing such reform as a moral crusade to comport public policy with the NAP. Because the typical voter is going to assume such a candidate intends to follow through on using the NAP in ALL public policy areas.

    Which is why we Libertarians so regularly get the “What about the roads?” rejoinder. Why wouldn’t we? If you’re dialogue suggests no government involvement in, say, health care, why wouldn’t the typical voter go right to….”just how far do you intend to take this ‘no government’ attitude?”

  57. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    You write:

    “And you attribute going to NM to Browne? Bordering state. Nader in the race. Rove mighta said: NM’s worth a shot.”

    It is a simple fact that New Mexico was on neither Bush nor Kerry’s publicly released schedule until a day or two after Badnarik’s campaign announced the 5% Rasmussen poll and the planned campaign tour of the state. Then all of a sudden they both decided they desperately needed to visit New Mexico at the same time as Badnarik.

    Do I attribute that ENTIRELY to Browne? No, but he played his part. It’s a small state, only five electoral votes. But it’s also a CLOSE state, so it doesn’t make much to put those five electoral votes in play. Browne helped do that in 2000, which made the state a tender spot in 2004.

    “As for NK, W ran on a ‘humble foreign policy.’

    Yes, he did — in 2000. By 2004, the US was nearly three years into its occupation of Afghanistan and more than a year into its occupation of Iraq and “humble foreign policy” was right out the window.

    Badnarik’s tour took place during the “sweet spot” when potential third party votes are at their high point and before they start dwindling toward near-insignificance — in MOST states, but not in a small/close state like New Mexico.

    That wasn’t a coincidence. In fact, that was the entire plan. Someone in the Badnarik campaign — I don’t remember who but I am guessing it was probably Steve Gordon — said “let’s see if we can make the major party candidates dance to OUR tune, just a little bit, in one place.”

    It worked. And Bush moved back toward “humble foreign policy” in his appearances there while Kerry stumbled around with his “for it before I was against it” routine.

    The pre-Badnarik poll had Badnarik at 5% with his votes mostly coming out of Bush’s hide. The post-Badnarik-visit poll still had Badnarik at 5% but with his votes mostly coming out of Kerry’s hide.

    Bush carried the state by 6,000 out of 756,000 votes instead of losing it by 300 out of 600,000.

    It could be entirely coincidence, but apparently Karl Rove didn’t think so or he wouldn’t have wasted time and money on it at precisely the time that Badnarik had a 5% poll, a scheduled tour, and a “peace candidate” position.

    I am an extremely partisan Libertarian. I would love to see the LP with the White House and a majority in both houses of Congress. Until and unless that becomes possible, I’ll settle for bedeviling the big players in ways that make them move toward our positions. And trying to position ourselves as barely distinguishable from those big players is not a pragmatic approach. It neither puts us in position to win races nor puts us in position to affect policy.

  58. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “It is a simple fact that New Mexico was on neither Bush nor Kerry’s publicly released schedule until a day or two after Badnarik’s campaign announced the 5% Rasmussen poll and the planned campaign tour of the state. Then all of a sudden they both decided they desperately needed to visit New Mexico at the same time as Badnarik.

    Badnarik’s tour took place during the ‘sweet spot’ when potential third party votes are at their high point and before they start dwindling toward near-insignificance — in MOST states, but not in a small/close state like New Mexico.

    That wasn’t a coincidence. In fact, that was the entire plan. Someone in the Badnarik campaign — I don’t remember who but I am guessing it was probably Steve Gordon — said ‘let’s see if we can make the major party candidates dance to OUR tune, just a little bit, in one place.’

    It worked. And Bush moved back toward ‘humble foreign policy; in his appearances there while Kerry stumbled around with his “for it before I was against it” routine.

    The pre-Badnarik poll had Badnarik at 5% with his votes mostly coming out of Bush’s hide. The post-Badnarik-visit poll still had Badnarik at 5% but with his votes mostly coming out of Kerry’s hide.

    Bush carried the state by 6,000 out of 756,000 votes instead of losing it by 300 out of 600,000.

    It could be entirely coincidence, but apparently Karl Rove didn’t think so or he wouldn’t have wasted time and money on it at precisely the time that Badnarik had a 5% poll, a scheduled tour, and a ‘peace candidate’ position.”

    I petitioned in New Mexico for LP ballot access in the fall of 2005. While there, I encountered some people who knew who Michael Badnarik was from his campaign’s targeting of that state. He was certainly not a household word in New Mexico, but out of the people who knew who he was, they all signed the petition with great enthusiasm.

  59. robert capozzi

    tk: I am an extremely partisan Libertarian.

    me: Based on your history, it appears to me you are a NAPist first and foremost. You founded the NAPist BTP and you considered being DFR’s running mate on the Reform Party line, iirc.

    And that’s all good. But that’s not the behavior of a “partisan L,” but something else, since you effectively — let’s say “bent” — your relations with the LP 2x in the past 10 years or so.

  60. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    Your memory seems to be failing you.

    1) The BTP was lessarchist, not NAPist. Unike the LP, it did not require its members to commit themselves in writing to the Non-Aggression Principle (and I have supported eliminating that requirement in the LP for years as well, at least as far back as 2004 and I think farther back than that), nor did its platform incorporate the NAP.

    2) The word “party” in Boston Tea Party notwithstanding, I created it as a prospective LP caucus and proposed that it function as such at its organizational convention. 80% of participating members voted otherwise.

    3) In that same election cycle, I campaigned for the LP’s presidential ticket in Missouri, while also campaigning as the Libertarian nominee in a US House race and getting elected chair of the state’s largest county LP.

    And if you’re suggesting the Reform Party is NAPist, then parts of your mind other than memory are failing as well.

    Yes, I allowed a close personal friend to put my name next to his in contention for another party’s ballot line which I figured we had no chance of getting, because he asked. I was pretty freaked out when we came within one vote of winning. That close friend is the Reform Party’s nominee for governor of Florida this year. He hasn’t announced his running mate yet, but I happen to know that it won’t be me, even though there’s no Libertarian on the ballot for governor.

  61. Paul

    Knapp,

    You’re such a NAPist, you won’t aggress your beard enough to trim it.

    You’re such a NAPist, they call you the Knappster.

    You’re such a NAPist, you’re awake less than a cat.

    You’re such a NAPist, you won’t attack someone for putting processed cheese on your pizza.

    That’s all I got.

  62. Thomas Knapp

    Paul,

    I trim my beard now (actually, I went from a chin beard to a soul patch).

    My understanding is that provel isn’t even processed cheese, it’s the level below that (“processed cheese food”). But hey, some people eat lutefisk or haggis, or maybe even both. So I’m only marginally weird there.

  63. robert capozzi

    TK,

    You exclaimed that you are an L “partisan.” My point is, despite that, you’ve gone off the L reservation 2x. I have NO problem that you did so, I only point out that you did.

    BTP ran a candidate against the LP candidate in at least one cycle. The “platform”: “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose,” qualifies as NAPist to me. It’s a wonderful distillation of your thought system.

    I never meant to suggest that the Reform Party is NAPist; it’s not.

    My sense is that both incidents sprung from your disappointment in the deviationism you felt the LP was experiencing, and these vehicles were ways for you to express your dissatisfaction in the LP’s drift. Perhaps you’ve given up on your turncoat activities permanently.

    Still, I’m not sure how you can claim to be an L partisan. Perhaps if you’re a good boy for another decade, you can credibly make the claim, at least from my perspective.

  64. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    So now consistent lessarchy is NAPism? Thanks for updating me on the weekly definition change.

    “My sense is that both incidents sprung from your disappointment in the deviationism you felt the LP was experiencing”

    The first one, yes. The second one, definitely not. Which part of “a friend asked me to tilt at a windmill with him so of course I did” do you not understand?

    “Still, I’m not sure how you can claim to be an L partisan.”

    Well, let’s see:

    – I’ve run for local, state and federal office as either a balloted or declared Libertarian.
    – I’ve served in appointed federal office as a declared Libertarian.
    – I’ve worked as staff on four Libertarian presidential campaigns and on numerous lower-level campaigns and have elected Libertarians to local office as a campaign manager.
    – I’ve served as a Libertarian precinct committeeman, county committeeman, county vice chair, county chair, state committee member, state executive committee member, and state rules committee member.
    – I’ve served as a delegate to seven Libertarian National Conventions.
    -I’ve served as an alternate on the Libertarian National Committee and as a member of the Libertarian Party’s national Judicial and Platform committees.

    Yes, whatever on Earth might indicate to you that I’m a partisan Libertarian?

  65. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Oh, you certainly WERE a partisan L at one time. And perhaps you are rebuilding yourself into one again. But founding a party that DIRECTLY challenged the LP at the presidential level and agreeing to be on yet another party’s prez ticket would, to most, seem like turn-coatery. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a turncoat.

    As for your intentions with the BTP, if you had been a “partisan L,” you would have resigned the BTP to avoid the appearance (and fact) of it being a conflict of interest to your desire to maintain your status of “partisan L.” You had that option of resigning. IIRC, you stayed with the BTP through the election, if not longer.

  66. robert capozzi

    TK: So now consistent lessarchy is NAPism? Thanks for updating me on the weekly definition change.

    Me: I would say “inflexible lessarchism with a propensity to advocate fringe positions” is NAPism.

  67. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    You seem to be conflating “partisan” with “loyal.”

    I wouldn’t say that you’re conflating lessarchism with NAPism, though. That seems to be more a function of your fetish for weekly definition changes on the latter term than a conflation as such.

  68. robert capozzi

    TK,

    It’s a pretty understandable conflation.

    “: a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance political partisans who see only one side of the problem”

    While the word “loyal” is not in that definition, one could easily associate the words “partisan” and “loyal.” Think of it this way: A partisan who is sometimes DISloyal feels incongruous, yes? Would we use the word “partisan” to describe, say, George Wallace? I wouldn’t. He seemed “fierce” enough as a pol, but when things weren’t going his way, he was willing to run against his party.

    Again, I have no problem with the behavior of switching parties. This is mostly a linguistics and idiom exercise.

    As for a shifting definition, I dunno, that’s always been what I meant by NAPist, along with an obsessive and rigid application of the NAP to all things politics. NAPists are certainly lessarchists, just a tiny subset of those who want to see the net incidence of coercion shrink over time.

  69. Thomas Knapp

    So by “NAPists,” you’ve always meant “lessarchists, even if they never even mention the NAP,” even though you’ve gone through probably 50 prior definitions, none of which resembled that very much if at all? I mean, I can understand why you in particular would want to hide the fact that you’re a self-defined NAPist, but from that purpose wouldn’t it have been easier to just not attack NAPism at all?

  70. robert capozzi

    TK,

    No. When I see a NAPist in action, all of them at least occasionally reference the NAP, ZAP, NIOF, or their equivalent. There could be an intuitive NAPist, I suppose, but I’ve never encountered one.

    No, I would not qualify as a NAPist. I find the NAP to be a nice sentiment only. I AM a lessarchist unless and until the social order were to degenerate from additional lessarchy. I cannot predict where that point might be. See Hayek for why that’s the case.

  71. Eric Sundwall

    In the event ole Larr-ster doesn’t pop 50K, let’s hope the old guard slogging & collating sigs in the heat of Summer don’t fall victim to the Nap-ist stereotype being promulgated so smugly here . . . definitely wish him luck, but can’t engage intellectually or emotionally in the idea of the “win”. The Non-Aggression Principle is sound, people and politics are crazy . . .

  72. Andy

    “Eric Sundwall
    July 20, 2018 at 17:29
    In the event ole Larr-ster doesn’t pop 50K, let’s hope the old guard slogging & collating sigs in the heat of Summer don’t fall victim to the Nap-ist stereotype being promulgated so smugly here . . . definitely wish him luck, but can’t engage intellectually or emotionally in the idea of the “win”. The Non-Aggression Principle is sound, people and politics are crazy . . .”

    I will be surprised if Larry Sharpe does not break the 50,000 vote barrier.

  73. robert capozzi

    ES: The Non-Aggression Principle is sound, people and politics are crazy . . .

    ME: Let’s assume the NAP is “sound,” but accept the other premise: that people and politics are crazy. (I tend to agree.)

    Could it be that the “sound” NAP does not work in the nudging people and politics toward sanity? As therapy, could the NAP be the inappropriate form of persuasion to shift the cognitive impairments of the “patients”? It strikes me that NAP therapy is the incorrect protocol for the psychiatric patient, in this case, at least.

  74. robert capozzi

    Paul,

    I’m unfamiliar with the Harm Principle. Care to elaborate?

    I like the sentiment of the NAP. I support reducing the net incidence of coercion as being the guiding light of my politics.

  75. robert capozzi

    Paul,

    Oddly enough, I’d not heard of the label, “harm principle.” Thanks for that. I don’t see a huge difference between the NAP and the Harm. Would a Harmist say that Taxation is theft, and therefore we should abolish them since non-payment of taxes causes no obvious harm?

    If so, love the sentiment. Don’t see how it could be implemented in the intermediate term, and therefore I find it an unserviceable concept/construct.

  76. Eric Sundwall

    Andy: I will be surprised if Larry Sharpe does not break the 50,000 vote barrier.

    There are a lot of factors not present in 2018 that were there in 2010. Paladino was off the rails and unpalatable to many moderates. Cuomo wasn’t an incumbent, McMallin got 40k, the madam, 20 something, Howie 50K+ and even Baron got 25K-ish. Of course Warren was the closest LPNY candidate ever (47,137?, lol). With a 2-1 Dem/GOP ratio, you could assume that P was going to lose. Everyone was in the debate.

    If Cuomo Jr. is percieved to lose votes to Stepahie Miner (former Syracuse Mayor running as independent) and even to Cynthia Nixon on the WFP, he’ll be percieved as vulnerable in the General. The GOP has a solidly moderate and experienced politician in Molinaro. I’ve seen him speak up close, he’s good. The argument gets floated that Jr. could get “Patakied” and self respecting small gov’t types won’t dare vote outside the box on this practical basis alone, regardless how enamored the LP insiders are about Him. I see this with moderates and conservatives constantly upstate. Resistance to C is big, leaping to the Best Libertarian Ever is not mainstream thinking. I’ll be surprised if he’s in the debate(s) or gets 50K.

    RC: In terms of the NAP, fine, it’s not politically practicable. Few anarchists claim it is. Third parties exist to protest in the American system, do so with the truth if you dare, Don’t, if you’re making claims that you can “win”. Shrug.

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