Libertarian convention breaks fundraising records, elects new officers

via LP.org

2018 Libertarian National Convention delegates

The recently concluded Libertarian National Convention, held in New Orleans, set attendance and fundraising records. Preliminary figures indicate that this year’s convention may have surpassed the 2016 presidential nominating convention in both attendance and fundraising. Delegates elected a new slate of party officers, including reelecting Nicholas Sarwark to an unprecedented third consecutive term as chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

Alex Merced was elected on the third ballot to be the new vice chair, with 51 percent of the votes. Merced campaigned actively as a “unity” candidate, and received the endorsement of New York’s Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe. LP Indiana Chair Joe Hauptmann came in second, with 29 percent of the third ballot vote. Incumbent Vice Chair Arvin Vohra placed third with 10 percent. Shortly after the results were announced, Vohra announced he would seek the Libertarian nomination for president in 2020.

LNC Region 1 Representative Caryn Ann Harlos was elected to be the new LNC secretary, with 57 percent of the vote. She ran an active campaign for the position, attending many state LP conventions. She is also chair of the Historical Preservation Committee and has held dozens of positions in the Colorado Libertarian Party, and the Douglas County LP, and the Libertarian Radical Caucus. She received 57% of the vote. Incumbent Secretary Alicia Mattson placed second, with 36 percent of the vote, and went on to run for an at-large seat on the LNC, which she won. Jeff Wood received 6 percent.

In addition to Mattson, four people were elected to at-large seats: Sam Goldstein, Joe Bishop-Henchman, Bill Redpath, and Joshua Smith. Goldstein is a former chair of the Indiana Libertarian Party. Bishop-Henchman is executive vice president at the Tax Foundation and a Libertarian candidate for attorney general of the District of Columbia. Redpath is a certified public accountant, former chair of the LNC, and former chair of the LP Ballot Access Committee. Smith placed second to Sarwark in his campaign for LNC chair, and is a founding member of Think Liberty.

The seven people elected to the Judicial Committee were D. Frank Robinson, Chuck Moulton, Darryl Perry, Ruth Bennett, Geoff Neale, Jim Turney, and Tricia Sprankle. Robinson was one of the originators of the Libertarian Party Statement of Principles. Moulton has been LNC vice chair, chair of the national Bylaws Committee and Judicial Committee, and chair of both the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party and the Virginia Libertarian Party. Perry is the CEO of Liberty Lobby and has held multiple offices in the New Hampshire Libertarian Party. Bennett is former chair of both the Washington Libertarian Party and the Colorado Libertarian Party. Neale is a former LNC chair and former chair and treasurer of the Texas Libertarian Party. Turney is a former LNC chair and Libertarian congressional candidate in Virginia. Sprankle is an attorney and director of the Ohio Libertarian Party.

In addition to electing officers, the convention passed several resolutions. They included urging the president to pardon Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence in prison for charges of drug trafficking on the Silk Road website; condemning the Donald Trump administration for kidnapping and caging children on our southern border; and opposing H.R. 2851, which would give Attorney General Jeff Sessions broad power to further expand the destructive, counterproductive War on Drugs.

152 thoughts on “Libertarian convention breaks fundraising records, elects new officers

  1. Anthony Dlugos

    I don’t know about the political wisdom of demanding the President pardons Ross Ulbricht, however unconscionable the charges and excessive the sentence.

  2. dL

    Seems wise to me.

    Yes. Even Bob Barr gave lip service to bulk pardoning for those being held in cages for victimless crimes. The only “mainstream” positive press Trump has really gotten is when he pardoned Alice Johnson. There is no political downside to take up the cause of freeing Ross Ulbricht, although it should be equally emphasized that he should one of many.

  3. Anthony Dlugos

    A) “Even Bob Barr gave lip service to bulk pardoning for those being held in cages for victimless crimes.”

    Exactly. politically speaking, paying lip service is a whole lot different, and less risky, than urging a pardon for a political problematic victim of the drug war like Ross.

    Its absurd to suggest the case of Alice Johnson is equivalent to Ross’ case. They are not even close. She was an incredibly sympathetic single mother, already did 20 years, plus, was by all accounts a model citizen in prison. The transcript of Ross discussing murder for hire makes him politically radioactive. Sorry, this is just reality. A Libertarian campaigning for public office would get eaten alive by his/her opponents and the media if they made freeing Ross a priority of their campaign.

    Now, I understand why a principled radical/anarchist THINKS they are equivalent, because, in a philosophical sense, they are. Politically, no freaking way. To say there is no political downside to taking up the cause of freeing Ross is either incredibly myopic, or (more likely the case), just a ruse: its a radical macho flash, one that understands the political fallout but sees that as the feature, not the bug.

    B) “Political wisdom” is a poor substitute for the real thing.

    That may be, Starchild, bur since when was real wisdom the coin of the realm in electoral politics? Never was, never will be. It may make you feel better as a Radical to hashtag FreeRossUlbricht, but the reality is, a party that makes him a priority helps NO ONE escape the clutches of victimless crime imprisonment, Ross included. This is the reality of electoral politics. If you don’t win, you aren’t freeing anyone.

  4. Anthony Dlugos

    Quoting myself,

    “A Libertarian campaigning for public office would get eaten alive by his/her opponents and the media if they made freeing Ross a priority of their campaign.”

    To be clear, I’m not suggesting taking up the issue of ending the drug war is a political loser. I am suggesting that you’re gonna have to be a lot smarter about your messaging if you actually DO want to end the drug war, rather than leading with your chin and making pardoning Ross the way to send your political message.

    Its not like I am bent all out of shape about this. Heck, its an off-year convention and frankly no one outside the party is going to hear about it.

  5. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Yep. RU’s name ID might be 2%. It’s vaguely familiar to me, for ex., but I had to look him up…oh, right, the Silk Road guy.

    NAPists like to discuss things in a mean/ends context. They are inclined to emphasis ends in an unvarnished way. What they don’t seem to get is that means ARE ends. Every step (or misstep) is the “end” of that step. When one does this in public, each step is scrutinized and judged. If the step is fatally out-of-step, observers are prone to discount the stepper.

  6. Anthony Dlugos

    Boy, I do like this Sarwark character, though!

    https://reason.com/blog/2018/07/04/libertarian-party-rebuffs-mises-uprising

    “What I think about Bill Weld,” Sarwark started slowly, building into a feisty crescendo, “is that he is still in the Libertarian Party, while many of his opponents are not. [He’s been] raising money for and endorsing Libertarian candidates. He is fundraising for us. And the exposure of Bill Weld to the Libertarian Party has not made the Libertarian Party more like an establishment Republican, but has made Bill Weld a lot more like a Libertarian….He knows something about winning public office, and [we need to] learn how to do that from anybody who will help us, anybody who will join us. And we should not PUSH PEOPLE OUT who are willing to help!”

  7. Bondurant

    There’s nothing wrong with a resolution to pardon Ross Ulbricht. Some always want to criticize the LP for doing libertarian things.

  8. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    True statement.

    Perhaps read the article I linked above. Might get you a little more optimistic about the party’s future.

  9. Anthony Dlugos

    “There’s nothing wrong with a resolution to pardon Ross Ulbricht.”

    I’d say there is, if it potentially puts ending the drug war and releasing nonviolent drug offenders further away from actually happening.

    Or, we could just macho flash some more, and demonstrate that we think this whole thing is about us.

  10. dL

    This is the reality of electoral politics. If you don’t win, you aren’t freeing anyone.

    I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be freeing anyone, win or lose. “Wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture.”

  11. robert capozzi

    AD,

    I’m certainly pleased that NS won, given the choice.

    The NAPism remains. It’s VERY difficult for me to see how there can be an effective lessarchist party filled with NAPist precepts, and bylaws that backs it up.

    I’m rooting for you, though.

  12. Chuck Moulton

    Robinson was one of the originators of the Libertarian Party Statement of Principles.

    If anyone has D. Frank Robinson’s email address, please send it to me. I’m trying to get the JC up and running. I’ve been able to contact everyone but him.

  13. Thomas Knapp

    I find the objections to calling for a pardon for Ross Ulbricht to be odd.

    My resolution was not the one that was taken up, but when I proposed it and some people thought we should add everyone from Snowden to Assange to Peltier, my logic was simple:

    1) Trump has pardoned people on request, and might be inclined to do so if respectfully asked.

    2) He’s unlikely to pardon Snowden (who he has condemned) or Assange (because that might look self-serving in light of the claim that WikiLeaks was involved in areas of “Russiagate”), neither of whom have been convicted of a crime and imprisoned by the US in any case, and others have their own long-time pardon constituencies, but there’s no reason to believe he has anything against Ulbricht.

    3) The Libertarian Party’s candidate got X million votes last time out. Trump likes votes. If he can please a bloc of voters at no personal or political cost to himself — and there IS no “keep Ross in prison” constituency — he might ACTUALLY DO SO.

    4) Ross is a libertarian, and his mother has been supportive of, and received support from, LP members in her son’s cause. This is an obvious continuation of that mutual support.

    While the prosecution did initially file e.g. murder for hire charges for the purpose of poisoning the jury pool, they withdrew those charges and Ross has never been tried on, or convicted of, them and given the other corrupt actions of the investigating agents there’s no good reason to believe he ever did any such thing. One good reason for the pardon request is that the judge, in violation of all decent principles of jurisprudence, cited those non-tried, non-convicted, probably non-occurring crimes in her sentencing decision.

    Here, btw, is the resolution I wrote:

    WHEREAS, Ross William Ulbricht was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 2015 for the supposed crime of running a web site; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government’s investigation, arrest, prosecution, and sentencing of Mr. Ulbricht failed to meet even minimally acceptable standards of due process and judicial impartiality; and

    WHEREAS, Mr. Ulbricht’s appeals have been unjustly denied by the federal courts, up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government’s treatment of Mr. Ulbricht constitutes both a stain on the honor of the American justice system and a clear violation of the US Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment; and

    WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party supports the preservation of the constitutional rights of the criminally accused and repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims;

    THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Libertarian Party respectfully calls upon President Donald J. Trump to pardon Ross William Ulbricht and commute his sentence forthwith.

  14. Anthony Dlugos

    dL,

    “I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be freeing anyone, win or lose.”

    Not exactly a “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” sorta speech you got there!

    pro-tip: Keep it out of the fundraising letters.

  15. Andy

    I recall at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention, that Darryl W. Perry included Schaeffer Cox and Edward Snowden, along with Ross Ulbritch, in a similar resolution.

  16. Andy

    “What I think about Bill Weld,’ Sarwark started slowly, building into a feisty crescendo, ‘is that he is still in the Libertarian Party, while many of his opponents are not. [He’s been] raising money for and endorsing Libertarian candidates. He is fundraising for us. And the exposure of Bill Weld to the Libertarian Party has not made the Libertarian Party more like an establishment Republican, but has made Bill Weld a lot more like a Libertarian….He knows something about winning public office, and [we need to] learn how to do that from anybody who will help us, anybody who will join us. And we should not PUSH PEOPLE OUT who are willing to help!'”

    The Libertarian Party would be far better off if Bill Weld was not in it. They guy is a complete charlatan and is toxic. He’s a sociopath. The only reason he is hanging around the LP is so he can subvert it.

  17. Anthony Dlugos

    TK,

    Just to be clear, I’m not terribly upset about it. I’m not really upset about it at all. Just something I wouldn’t have done.

    Its possible one could argue that its not so bad for the party to pass the resolution, while individual candidates are free to suggest they have “other priorities” or some such thing.

    As I understand it, Ross’ attorneys are not asking for a walk, as they know they aren’t getting that. Merely a reduced sentence. So a pardon is a whole other thing.

    Bottom line (from my perspective): Ross was on the dark web; there is no damn way I am considering a pardon for him if I were in public office, nor would I make that part of my campaign if I were running for office under the Libertarian Party name.

    I’d be trying to make people comfortable with the idea that we can slowly walk this country back from the disastrous War on Drugs without causing societal upheaval. That is a herculean task by itself. I don’t want them thinking I am going to unleash the forces of the Dark Web on them.

    A novice democrat or republican candidate could tie a Libertarian candidate arguing for an Ulbricht pardon to dark web child pornography with light speed.

    Campaign over.

    One man’s opinion.

    As an aside, Ulbricht should have moved to Costa Rica or somewhere before undertaking his venture. Poor planning on his part.

  18. dL

    I don’t want them thinking I am going to unleash the forces of the Dark Web on them.

    AAC…

  19. Thomas Knapp

    While I agree with Andy that the LP would be better off with Weld, I don’t think his purpose is to subvert it. Rather his purpose is to aggrandize himself at its expense.

    There is precisely one piece of his record that speaks well of him vis a vis the LP, and that is that he took a libertarianish stand on marriage back when it wasn’t fashionable to do so, and that it cost him an ambassadorship and the support of the GOP’s more conservative wing.

    But he has proven himself untrustworthy both ideologically and in terms of practical politics too many times to rate being trusted again.

    He ran for governor of Massachusetts on a government-cutting platform. After a short period of budget-balancing, he got too friendly with the legislature and by the end of his term was back to growing government as fast as Dukakis had … and then ran on a government cutting platform again, and went right back to business as usual again.

    He ran for governor of New York promising the Libertarian Party he would stay in the race whether he received a fusion nomination from the GOP or not. Then he dropped out hours after not getting that GOP nomination.

    In Orlando he told the delegates he had changed on guns. Then he walked out of the hall for a CNN interview in which he stated that he hadn’t changed on guns. Then he played “Original Libertarian” some more, got nominated, and went out and campaigned against due process and gun rights for people on secret government enemies lists.

    How many times does Bill Weld have to lie — to Republicans, to Massachusettsians, to New Yorkers, to Libertarians, to everyone — before we understand that trusting him is always a calamitous mistake?

  20. Thomas Knapp

    “Ross was on the dark web; there is no damn way I am considering a pardon for him if I were in public office, nor would I make that part of my campaign if I were running for office under the Libertarian Party name.”

    Well, thank God you aren’t, then.

  21. dL

    pro-tip: Keep it out of the fundraising letters.

    My pro-tip: don’t accept professional advice from amateurs…

  22. Anthony Dlugos

    dL fundraising letter;

    Our situation is hopeless, win or lose.

    Give us money!

  23. dL

    Well, thank God you aren’t, then.

    And he never will be. Pros at leats wait until they’ve been elected before they start breaking promises…

  24. dL

    Our situation is hopeless, win or lose.

    Give us money!

    Not a professional fundraiser, but I’m guessing your best effort appeal(plagiarizing jeff sessions) to a libertarian donor class would wouldn’t even beat your strawman attempt. Both would net $0.00 minus the cost of stamps.

  25. Anthony Dlugos

    I guess if you live in a fantasy land where a political party is unconcerned with political considerations, you are free to think anything is possible.

    I have to operate here in the real world, where a guy operating a dark web drug site is not getting a pardon, period.

    That is a totally separate issue from the philosophical question of whether he should be in prison or not.

    Furthermore, such real world considerations inform the blatantly obvious conclusion that suggesting such a pardon will be counterproductive to actually ending the drug war, since it will certainly turn away an overwhelming majority of the American public.

    Of course, to the radical, there’s no difference whatsoever between freeing an entirely sympathetic single mother who spent 20 years in prison for one drug deal, and who’s conduct in prison was exemplary, and freeing Ross Ulbricht.

    You’re free to believe that preposterous misapprehension. You’re free to act on it politically, by running for office, or supporting a candidate who runs for office, with a campaign platform that includes pardoning Ross Ulbricht.

    Good luck. Given the extreme likelihood that such a campaign would also come with a whole host of other politically radioactive positions, I wouldn’t hold your breath on positive results. But you are of course free to try.

  26. Anthony Dlugos

    dL,

    last I saw, you were defending the recently deposed Vohra.

    How’d that work out for ya?

  27. Andy

    “Thomas Knapp
    July 5, 2018 at 13:47
    While I agree with Andy that the LP would be better off without Weld, I don’t think his purpose is to subvert it. Rather his purpose is to aggrandize himself at its expense.”

    Whether Bill Weld’s purpose in the LP is to subvert it, or whether it is because he’s an egomaniac who is looking to aggrandize himself, the fact remains that the Libertarian Party would be better off without him.

    I think that there is overwhelming evidence that points to his involvement being an intentional sabotage operation against the Libertarian Party and movement, and that it is being directed by the Deep State. Ego gratification could certainly be part of it as well for him, as it allows him to be a “big player” in a small fish pond.

    “There is precisely one piece of his record that speaks well of him vis a vis the LP, and that is that he took a libertarianish stand on marriage back when it wasn’t fashionable to do so, and that it cost him an ambassadorship and the support of the GOP’s more conservative wing.”

    Taking one watered down baby step libertarianish stand is not close to being enough to outweigh all of the negative stands he has taken, and the number of times he has lied/backstabbed.

    “But he has proven himself untrustworthy both ideologically and in terms of practical politics too many times to rate being trusted again.”

    Yes, and it is a really sad commentary on the state of the Libertarian Party that this guy got nominated to be the party’s candidate for Vice President in 2016, and that after betraying the party multiple times on the campaign trail, that he can still show his face at LP conventions, and that anyone in the LP wants him to speak at LP conventions, and that anyone in the LP is taking him seriously as a possible contender for the LP’s 2020.

    I used to think that if a big mainstream politician showed up at an LP convention, like say a Mitt Romney or a Newt Gingrich, that they’d get booed out of the room. Either I was wrong about the percentage of principled Libertarians in the LP, or the percentage of principled Libertarians in the LP has seriously declined over the last 10 plus years.

  28. robert capozzi

    TK: I find the objections to calling for a pardon for Ross Ulbricht to be odd.\

    ME: While I don’t “object,” I happen to believe that what IF a minority party wants to become a majority party, it makes sense to me to choose one’s issues wisely. You’d want to take public stances that stand a chance of getting the broader public’s attention in ways that attract the maximal amount of supporters.

    The LP’s bandwidth is narrow, and it remains tiny. Advocating lost causes that don’t attract mass support represents a large opportunity cost.

    Calling for an RU pardon is a form of immediate gratification, a feel-good exercise. I’m pro feeling good, but time and resources were probably wasted by this effort. More effective causes were probably available to the assembled.

    Now, if the LP does NOT want to be a majority party (not really), but is rather a political philosophy jihad where the desired result is converting a few more souls to NAPism, then that’s an entirely different calculation. Attracting a few malcontents with a RU pardon resolution may well be the best use of time.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    The target of the resolution requesting a pardon for Ulbricht was not the voters. It was the president — a president who HAS shown an inclination to ask for pardon requests, a president who DID lose the popular vote in 2016 by fewer votes than the Libertarian candidate received, a president who IS already running for re-election and might want to know what we care about so that he can appeal to some of our voters.

    Is it important that we tell the voters that we’re on their side and don’t think they should risk going to prison for life without parole for running a web site? Yes — and spending a whopping 90 seconds or so of otherwise dead time at our national convention indirectly doing that while directly doing something else strikes me as neither controversial nor a waste of time.

    This was one thing to which there was precisely zero down side.

  30. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Let me get this straight: You think it’s a good idea for the LP to ask DJT to pardon RU to help him get re-elected?!

    To me, that’s a near-fatal use of 90 seconds.

    Maybe the better play is to send a NAPist deprogrammer to recruit Kim Kardassian!

    I’ve not looked much into RU, but I’m not sure voters would view SR as just another “web site.”

  31. Anthony Dlugos

    I’ve not looked much into RU, but I’m not sure voters would view SR as just another “web site.”

    Bingo.

    And that’s before our political opponents got a hold of the resolution and describes what ELSE could be found on the dark web. Hell, what exactly could be found on Silk Road.

    Not only is there no upside to a resolution urging a pardon for RU…the man would have nearly zero sympathy in the public en masse…it’s exactly the opposite: it’s all downside. The messsge of trying to extricate our country from the drug war would be totally lost in visions of thunderdome.

  32. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Right. NAPists don’t do “sympathy.” Public perception is not a factor for the NAPist. NAPism is pure logic (although I’d submit fatally flawed logic).

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Let me get this straight: You think it’s a good idea for the LP to ask DJT to pardon RU to help him get re-elected?!”

    I think it’s a good idea for Ross to be pardoned. If the president thinks that it’s to his political advantage to do so, that will tend toward the possibility of it happening.

    Do I also think it would be a good thing if Democrats and Republicans started making an effort to appeal to Libertarian voters? You’re goddamn right I do. I want to accomplish the Libertarian Party’s goals. If that gets done by finding ways to make the other parties so much like us that we’re no longer needed, I’m more than fine than that.

    I don’t think there’s any near-term danger of Donald Trump suddenly becoming indistinguishable from a typical Libertarian candidate, but were that to happen, it would just mean that the Overton Window is moving and that it’s time for the LP to get MORE RADICAL, wouldn’t it?

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    Thanks for once again laying out an extended version of your near-complete ignorance of practical politics. Here at IPR, you may be the greatest asset the radical wing of the Libertarian Party has at its disposal.

    Hopefully you’ll get involved with some campaigns. That cures the utopian fantasy stuff real quick.

  35. Nicholas Sarwark

    As I understand it, Ross’ attorneys are not asking for a walk, as they know they aren’t getting that. Merely a reduced sentence. So a pardon is a whole other thing.

    We (the Libertarian Party) are not his attorneys, so we are more free to ask for what is just, not what is likely.

    Our request should be net positive to the efforts of his attorneys, though the magnitude of how positive may be unknowable.

  36. dL

    last I saw, you were defending the recently deposed Vohra.

    I have no idea what that has to do with your qualifications to be dispensing political organization fundraising pro tips, but I suppose I’ll bite . Yes, in May of last year. I absolutely did defend his “Open Letter to the Military.” I would defend it today. Of course, there were about 4 other Arvin dust-ups that followed, and it became increasingly clear that he was intentionally torpedoing his vice-chairmanship. The convention voters did the right thing by obliging his wishes.

  37. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Sure, it’d be GREAT if Rs and Ds became more lessarchist in their approach, from my perspective. I might even break my historical pattern and vote for one.

    I’m not at all sure that the presidential pardon power is lessarchistic. It feels kind of imperial to me. You?

    In the grand scheme of things, it could be called “just” if RU were to be released, as he was convicted of a peaceful behavior. I don’t think DJT will do so. Nor do I think that one such act — as unlikely as it might be — would make DJT worthy of my vote. Yours?

    So, what does this Resolution accomplish, if I’m correct? RU is in the slam still. And the LP further cements its libertine positioning. The Overton Window remains stuck. Few to no one’s mind is changed. Might as well adopt THIS as your resolution:

    “The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    You seem to be stuck on the idea that calling for an Ulbricht pardon is “NAPist.” My recollection is that the resolution was passed unanimously, without objection, by a large cross-section of the party most definitely including various kinds of lessarchists.

    It had zero plausible real-world political cost and an outside possibility of some real-world political benefit. If the public was as squat-and-pee frightened of everything on Earth as Anthony Dlugos seems to think they are, nobody would ever leave their homes.

  39. Rev. James W. Clifton

    I was not happy with Bill Weld after he became the VP nominee. I initially was excited with his selection. But, as time progressed, he seemed to be a Hillary shill. I still believe he voted for her. I do think he was a better candidate than Gary Johnson.

    He was more professional, more knowledgeable, and more articulate. I am willing to give him a second chance. We need an intelligent and articulate nominee for 2020. Weld may be able to fit that bill. We’ve had so many folks come into the LP, seek office, lose, and then leave. Weld seems different in that respect.

    Honestly, however, I’d prefer Carla Howell to be our nominee but am not sure how active she is in the LP anymore. Whatever happens, it will be exciting times in the LP. So grateful Nick Sarwark was reelected Chair.

  40. dL

    libertine positioning

    Libertine positioning == when the term “bend over” refers to something a wee bit more consensual than Mencken’s famous quip about democracy

  41. Anthony Dlugos

    “If the public was as squat-and-pee frightened of everything on Earth as Anthony Dlugos seems to think they are, nobody would ever leave their homes.”

    In my defense, I’ve just spent the last 3-4 days getting caught up on Cato Regulation and Cato Policy Report.

    Quick! Someone slap me upside the head with a Rothbardian Private Defense Agency Contract!

  42. robert capozzi

    TK,

    First, NAPists include non-anarchists and even some of those we might once have called “reformers.” Even I appreciate the value of the NAP as a sentiment. Clearly, the roots of the LP are NAPist, and NAPist impulses manifest in LP circles more or less depending on the level of commitment to the NAP the individual L has.

    Second, yes, the RU pardon request will likely be overlooked and soon forgotten. Few are paying attention. Why would they?

    Third, if there was one issue where Ls tend to tin-earedness, it’s drug legalization. They LOVE to say it out loud, in public. Again, I love the sentiment, but I question the politics and the persuasiveness of taking such raw, in-your-face stances. A drug-dealer who happens to be L should be pardoned. We’ll even ask the Devil (DJT) to release him, if necessary.

    I submit that the optics are all wrong. It doesn’t play in Peoria. It probably doesn’t play in Berkeley or Soho. It’s grandiose, and grandiosity usually is a turn-off. Instead, now’s the time to redouble the legalize weed movement, which is now fully ripe.

  43. robert capozzi

    TK,

    An amicus brief based on 4A grounds is substantially different than a political party asking for a presidential pardon.

  44. Andy

    “Rev. James W. Clifton
    July 6, 2018 at 00:45
    I was not happy with Bill Weld after he became the VP nominee. I initially was excited with his selection. But, as time progressed, he seemed to be a Hillary shill. I still believe he voted for her. I do think he was a better candidate than Gary Johnson.

    He was more professional, more knowledgeable, and more articulate. I am willing to give him a second chance. We need an intelligent and articulate nominee for 2020. Weld may be able to fit that bill. We’ve had so many folks come into the LP, seek office, lose, and then leave. Weld seems different in that respect.”

    Bill Weld sticking around to sabotage the LP is not a good thing. He’s a Deep State plant. He’s still an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Here is something disturbing. I talked to a bunch of people who were in attendance at the national convention in New Orleans. During the course of various conversations, Bill Weld came up. I heard a lot of negative comments about Bill Weld from a lot of people, but I also encountered a few Bill Weld defenders/apologists.

    I did not take a formal survey, but I did talk to several people, both pro-Bill Weld, and anti-Bill Weld, who did not know what the Council on Foreign Relations is, or that Bill Weld is a member of it. I did of course talk to several people who did know what the Council on Foreign Relations is, and who knew that Bill Weld is a member of it, but I was surprised that I encountered people who had never heard of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    This is just more evidence that we’ve got uniformed people showing up and becoming convention delegates. I’m not saying that everyone has to be an expert on everything in order to be a convention delegate, but one should at least have basic libertarian philosophy down, and one should also have some idea about how the ruling political establishment operates, and how to spot their shills (hint: if somebody is a member of the CFR, that’s a red flag that they are a shill for the political establishment, which is why none of Bill Weld’s shenanigans post 2016 national convention where he got nominated to run as the party’s vice presidential candidate were a surprise to me.).

    “Honestly, however, I’d prefer Carla Howell to be our nominee but am not sure how active she is in the LP anymore. Whatever happens, it will be exciting times in the LP.”

    I don’t think that Carla Howell has any interest in running.

  45. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Did the Deep State get GJ to ask WW to be his running mate? Or is GJ a member of the Deep State, too?

  46. Anthony Dlugos

    “An amicus brief based on 4A grounds is substantially different than a political party asking for a presidential pardon.”

    100% correct. Took the words right out of my mouth.

    Ross made a terrible mistake. He took on a ruthless organization with unlimited resources (the federal government). He compounded his mistake by not having the foresight of a Snowden and comprehending who he was dealing with, and beat feet for some country without extradition before embarking on his battle. He is now doing a sentence wholly disproportionate to his “offense.”

    I hope his attorneys find some way to get him a new trial, or in some way figure out a way to contract his sentence.

    I believe that, a Libertarian president could have some effect in this area, by, say, nominating federal judges who look askance at government overreach and thus make it a little more difficult to prosecute someone like Ross, or at least reduce the possibility of a life sentence.

    But the LP asking for a pardon for Ross is a whole different ball of wax politically speaking. We have GOT to see how such a message might look to the typical voter, and it wouldn’t look anything like the message they get from the pardon of Alice Johnson.

    Commiserate with me over a Kentucky straight bourbon about reality as it exists today: that voters just accept the fact that RU was a drug dealer operating in the nether regions of the darkest parts of the internet. But don’t suggest that the voters would see him as just a rebellious young kid “operating a web site.”

    It was a drug free-for-all, with zero in the way of regulations. Voters en masse have a hard enough time swallowing the re-legalization of marijuana, in a tightly control regulatory environment. They’d already be skittish about voting LP. Of all the possible public policy options in trying to extricate our country from the drug war…to make the pardon of Ross U a priority? Wow.

    Well, lets just say its not how I would approach the issue of how to end the War on Drugs.

  47. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    July 6, 2018 at 07:49
    AJ,

    Did the Deep State get GJ to ask WW to be his running mate? Or is GJ a member of the Deep State, too?”

    It would not surprise me if Gary Johnson is one of them, or is being manipulated by them.

  48. Andy

    Keep in mind that the LP’s 2008 presidential candidate was Bob Barr, who had worked for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). Also, don’t forget that Bob Barr got inserted onto the Libertarian National Committee within a day or two after joining the party in December of 2006.

  49. Andy

    Anthony Dlugos said: “But the LP asking for a pardon for Ross is a whole different ball of wax politically speaking. We have GOT to see how such a message might look to the typical voter, and it wouldn’t look anything like the message they get from the pardon of Alice Johnson.”

    The typical voter votes for Democrats or Republicans. Most of these people will never vote for a Libertarian Party candidate no matter what the Libertarian Party does.

    A much larger base of potential support for the LP is among independents and non-voters, and these are people who are far more likely to think that Ross Ulbritch got screwed by the government, especially if they know any of the facts surrounding the case.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    [Silk Road] was a drug free-for-all, with zero in the way of regulations.”

    Actually it did a better job of regulating drugs than the law did. Its review system tended toward honest content, purity, and dosage.

    But let’s be clear here: It was not a drug issue any more than Backpage was a prostitution issue. It was an Internet censorship issue. It is the government demonstrating and expanding its intent and ability to shut down and cage people who say things it doesn’t want them to say online.

    “to make the pardon of Ross U a priority?”

    Yes, because spending 90 seconds of otherwise dead time unanimously agreeing to ask a president to let an unjustly sentenced kid out of prison is a “priority.”

    ” We have GOT to see how such a message might look to the typical voter”

    Yes, we do. If the “typical voter” has heard of Ross at all, it is likely via Epix and Netflix, where he and his case are featured and he is portrayed in a positive manner in an award-winning documentary narrated by Keanu Reaves. Cute kid, named himself after a character in The Princess Bride, started a web site that had a positive impact on drug overdose and drug street violence, sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a clearly unfair trial. Oh, such terrrrrrrrrrrrrible optics.

  51. Anthony Dlugos

    Like I noted before TK, I’m not really upset about it. As you noted, it was 90 seconds of dead time at a convention, no big whoop.

    But at least we got to the crux of the matter: the typical battle lines are drawn, and each side has a wildly different opinion of how this political messaging WOULD look to the voters en masse, were we as a party a more regularly and broadly followed organization.

    I don’t know if further elucidation would change either side’s position, because we are talking about a hypothetical.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    OK, let’s talk about the optics some more.

    Instead of throwing around impeachment resolutions and such, the Libertarian Party respectfully requested that a sitting president do something that he has the power to do, that he has already done in not entirely dissimilar cases, and that in my view has more cachet — better “optics” — than many such public efforts.

    Mumia, the subject of a long-time, large-scale pardon/clemency project, is in prison for killing cops.

    Peltier, the subject of a long-time, large-scale pardon/clemency project, is in prison for killing as well.

    Ulbricht is in prison for the same thing Alice Johnson was in prison for: Non-violent offenses related to drug trafficking. Above and beyond the unjustified harshness of the sentence, both the trial and the sentencing violated basic American principles of justice.

    And there is a pragmatic political factor here, however small. The convention exercised its resolution power to ask for something easily doable and something which would frankly politically benefit the person they were asking it of. Commuting Ulbricht’s sentence or pardoning him wouldn’t hurt Trump with his “base” because almost nothing would do that. It would, however, make him look better for 2020 not just to several million 2016 Libertarian voters, but also to the late Gen-X and Millennial demographics.

    The LP’s 2020 presidential slate will not win the White House. ASKING Trump for this cost us nothing. If he gives it, it might cost us a few votes — and in return a young man walks free. I can live with that. In fact, it’s a deal I’d make any day of the week if it was a deal at all. All it really was was doing the right thing and hoping for the best.

  53. Anthony Dlugos

    Well, good job on getting the immigration plank improved.

    Where can I see the updated platform?

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    I’m guessing it will be a few days before the 2018 platform is up on the LP.org web site.

    I was surprised and ecstatic about the immigration plank.

    The committee’s report was ordered by the number of votes each proposal got, which meant the immigration plank came dead last. But Starchild moved from the floor to consider it first, and that happened.

    There were two minority reports.

    The committee proposal just eliminated that last sentence.

    The first minority report added the word “individuals” to the last sentence.

    The second minority report reverted to a full-blown open borders plank complete with elimination of ICE, etc.

    I was afraid the first minority report would be adopted. Adding “individuals” would have improved it, but only slightly. Really, the whole sentence was a train wreck.

    I didn’t think the second minority report had a chance. Even though I would have been fine with it, I know that there are many party members who just aren’t willing to go that far.

    Fortunately, the majority report was adopted, overwhelmingly, and IMO largely due to a speech from a delegate from Arizona (one Nick Sarwark, who gave up the gavel to speak as a delegate). He had argued FOR that sentence in 2008, and said it had been a mistake, and offered the reasons why.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    In other news, the delegates were MORE RADICAL than the platform committee when it came to adopting a plank on sex work. They rejected the majority report and adopted a more strongly worded minority report (with one amendment) written by actual sex workers in the party.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    Here is the sex work plank as adopted (I think):

    The Libertarian Party supports the decriminalization of prostitution. We assert the right of consenting adults to provide sexual services to clients for compensation, and the right of clients to purchase sexual services from consenting sex workers.

    The minority report said “persons” instead of “adults,” but that was amended.

    I didn’t really think it needed to be, since we had already made it clear elsewhere that we link “consent” to “adulthood.” I think some people were intent on randomly scattering the phrase “consenting adults” throughout the platform.

    One defense lawyer delegate from Utah made the point that he represents minors charged with prostitution all the time, and that to the extent that they are children, they are victims, not “consenting” anything.

  57. Anthony Dlugos

    a) so the only difference in the migration plank is that the last sentence is gone?

    b) was the migration plank result a reaction to the Mangled Mises Caucus incursion? I.E., their putsch backfired.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    Yes, the only change to the migration plank was deletion of the last sentence.

    The Mises Caucus platform does not address immigration. Many — myself included — assumed that was because most of the people in the caucus were Hoppean authoritarians on the issue but didn’t want to publicly tip their hand on it. But after talking with some of them, I suspect it was more that internally they really DO have a significant membership sentiment that’s not authoritarian (or at least not wildly authoritarian) on immigration.

    When I look at the chair results for Josh Smith, the Mises Caucus’s chair candidate, and at the overwhelming vote for the change, I have to think that most of the Mises folks supported the change or it would have been a much closer thing.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    Now that the scary alt-righty stuff proved to be either untrue or unsuccessful at the national convention, I will put in a word for the Mises folks. I briefly visited their event a few blocks from the convention. They knew who I was but were not unfriendly. The greeter at the door of the hotel pointing people to the meeting was a trans woman — so much for cultural conservatism being their touchstone.

    Am I still suspicious that the Mises Caucus harbors a number of Hoppean Cultural Marxists whose vision I consider incompatible with libertarian ideals and a free society? Yes. But those people, we’ll always have with us one way or another. I can’t say that the Mises Caucus was a negative influence on the convention for the most part. I mean, we DID actually have a communist running for chair (and he got enough delegate tokens to participate in the debate), so it’s not exactly Bircherism to suspect that there are communists lurking in the party 😀

  60. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Did you see WW there? Did he speak? Did anyone shout him down like DWP did in 16?

    Was it your sense that your and AJ’s take on WW is the predominant view in the hall?

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I saw Weld once, sitting by himself outside the hall.

    If he spoke, I suspect it was at fundraising events I didn’t attend.

    My take on Weld is somewhat different than Andy’s, although just as negative. My impression was that if a vote were held today among the 2018 delegates, he would lose to NOTA. Between his complete untrustworthiness and his bad policy positions, he barely got the VP nod in 2016, and only with lots of cajoling from the Johnson people. Things aren’t any better for him now and are probably worse.

  62. dL

    so it’s not exactly Bircherism to suspect that there are communists lurking in the party ?

    Yeah, but the tankies are the alt right…

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Yeah, but the tankies are the alt right…”

    True.

    But I’m under the impression now that the alt-right are far from the entirety of the Mises Caucus.

  64. Andy

    Tom Knapp said: “My impression was that if a vote were held today among the 2018 delegates, he would lose to NOTA. Between his complete untrustworthiness and his bad policy positions, he barely got the VP nod in 2016, and only with lots of cajoling from the Johnson people. Things aren’t any better for him now and are probably worse.”

    I am not so sure that Bill Weld would lose. There were a disturbing number of Bill Weld supporters/apologists at the convention in New Orleans. There were lots of people who had negative things to say about Weld as well, but keep in mind that this was not a presidential nomination convention, and Bill Weld was not running for anything.

    Given Weld’s post 2016 national convention shenanigans, I am surprised that anyone in the LP supports Bill Weld, or has anything good to say about him. The fact that Bill Weld can still show his face at LP conventions, and even get invited to speak at some, does not speak well of the Libertarian Party.

    If Bill Weld ends up not being a presidential candidate for the LP in 2020, do not be surprised if some other establishment plant/shill candidate shows up, and that candidate will likely be supported by Bill Weld.

  65. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    If RP2 were to bolt the Rs and toss his hat in for the L nod, would you be positively or negatively inclined to support his nomination?

  66. Shawn Levasseur

    James clifton: “Honestly, however, I’d prefer Carla Howell to be our nominee but am not sure how active she is in the LP anymore. ”

    If she ran, that’d be a good thing. She’d certainly help raise the bar. But with all the work she’s done over the years between the Mass. party, her runs for statewide office , her tax cutting referenda campaigns, and the various roles she’d filled in the national office; I’ll understand if she wants to take a rest from politics.

    Arvin Vohra’s quixotic announcement to run for president aside, I’m guessing there will be more challengers for the LP ticket in 2020, some of them will offer a serious challenge to Weld.

    Jo Jorgeson, our VP nominee on the ticket with Harry Browne in 1996, was at the convention. Maybe she’s ready to return to the fray.

    I always wondered how well Harry, probably the best spokesman we ever had, would have done in today’s media environment. If memory serves, Jo echoed his message quite well, so if she runs, maybe we’d find out.

    Robert Capozzi: “If RP2 were to bolt the Rs and toss his hat in for the L nod, would you be positively or negatively inclined to support his nomination?”

    It would be a bit easier for him to get the nod than Weld. But he’s got his difficulties as well. His abortion position puts him at odds with many in the LP. He’s also trying very hard to work with Trump these days, that stink would be hard to clean off. He clearly is not going to jump the GOP ship any time soon.

    That said. If he did make a run for the LP nomination, it would be a good thing for the party (again, raising the bar for competition, plus multiple recognized names competing would attract more press to the contest).

    I have no real idea who I’d support. I just want more, quality choices available.

  67. Anthony Dlugos

    “I have no real idea who I’d support. I just want more, quality choices available.”

    +1000

    I seriously doubt Rand Paul would make a run for the LP nomination, but it would be intriguing to see how the delegates break on that showdown, given that Governor Weld, on the receiving end of much NAPist vituperation, was early and often calling out the danger Trump represented, and Paul, son of the Sainted One, has done far more water-carrying for Trump than Weld would ever do.

  68. Andy

    Shawn Levasseur said: “Jo Jorgeson, our VP nominee on the ticket with Harry Browne in 1996, was at the convention. Maybe she’s ready to return to the fray.”

    I was at the convention in New Orleans, and I had no idea that Jo Jorgenson was there. I have not heard anything about Jo Jorgenson since she was Harry Browne’s VP running mate in 1996.

    “I always wondered how well Harry, probably the best spokesman we ever had, would have done in today’s media environment.”

    I think that Harry Browne was a bit before his time. He would have made an awesome candidate for President for the LP in 2008, 2012, or 2016, not that he was not good when he ran in 1996 and in 2000, because he was, but rather because a heck of a lot more people would have heard his message had he been around to run in 2008, 2012, or 2016. Harry Browne was an excellent communicator. He excelled at public speaking, and he was excellent in interviews and debates, and he was also an outstanding writer. I wish that the Libertarian Party had a candidate like him today.

    “If memory serves, Jo echoed his message quite well, so if she runs, maybe we’d find out.”

    I do not recall a lot about Jo Jorgenson, not because of bad memory, but rather because I only saw footage of her a few times after I got on board with the LP in July of 1996. I recall her being decent, but not to Harry Browne’s level.

    I am a lot more familiar with Art Olivier, who was Harry Browne’s VP running mate in 2000. Art had been a former elected Libertarian Mayor of Bellflower, CA (a city of around 70,000 people), and he was an excellent candidate. He’d make a good presidential candidate, but I don’t think that he is interested in running.

  69. paulie Post author

    Jo Jorgeson, our VP nominee on the ticket with Harry Browne in 1996, was at the convention. Maybe she’s ready to return to the fray.

    She’s well spoken, hella smart, has multiple PhDs and – sorry to be sexist here but I can’t help but notice she looks damn good for her age; someone who was old enough to run for VP in 1996 would rarely look so young. Perhaps she has a Dorian Gray style painting in her attic. I take it she has the means to get around the country independently, as she is among other things a private pilot.

    Granted, she is not a former governor or senator, and to my knowledge not a billionaire or megacelebrity. But she’s also to my knowledge not a felon (which isn’t a slam on anyone, I’m a felon myself), not broke, not crazy, not goofy or inarticulate, and not prone to endorse anti-libertarian policies or candidates. I’m not aware of any skeletons in her closet or on her front porch.

    I’m not going to endorse anyone so far ahead of time right now but she would be a welcome addition if she decides to run, which I have been told she is at least considering.

  70. Andy

    Anthony Dlugos said: “I seriously doubt Rand Paul would make a run for the LP nomination, but it would be intriguing to see how the delegates break on that showdown, given that Governor Weld, on the receiving end of much NAPist vituperation, was early and often calling out the danger Trump represented, and Paul, son of the Sainted One, has done far more water-carrying for Trump than Weld would ever do.”

    I watched a couple of recent videos from Rand Paul, and he sounded really good. Having said this, I’d prefer it for this upcoming presidential election if the Libertarian Party did not nominate a candidate who is heavily associated with the Republican Party. The last three presidential tickets were heavily associated with the Republican Party, so I’d like to see the party break that cycle. I’m not saying that all former Republicans are going to be bad candidates for the LP (although the ones on the last three LP presidential tickets were, in my opinion), but if the party always puts former Republicans on top of its ticket, it makes it look like the LP is the home of the washed up Republicans. I would of course consider making exceptions if the right candidate came along in the right situation, but I’m just saying that I’d prefer a presidential ticket that is not heavily associated with the Republican Party in 2016.

    Having said this, Rand Paul is a lot more credible than Bill Weld. I prefer Rand’s father over him, but even so, Rand is better than anyone who has been on the LP’s presidential ticket since 2004 (I consider this more to be a sad commentary on the the last three LP presidential tickets than anything else).

    Rand Paul switching to LP and running for President as a sitting US Senator would be big news, but I doubt it is going to happen.

  71. Andy

    Paul said: “She’s well spoken, hella smart, has multiple PhDs and – sorry to be sexist here but I can’t help but notice she looks damn good for her age;”

    She may have a lot of good qualities for being a candidate, but she has also been out of the political spotlight since 1996. I follow this stuff pretty closely, and I have not heard anything about her in a long time. She’s got no political following. Any name recognition she would have gained in 1996 has pretty much disappeared.

    Is she even interested in running? I doubt it.

  72. robert capozzi

    AD: …Governor Weld, on the receiving end of much NAPist vituperation, was early and often calling out the danger Trump represented, and Paul, son of the Sainted One, has done far more water-carrying for Trump than Weld would ever do.

    me: Yes, that’s why I asked the question. NAPist hypocrisy is fairly predictable.

  73. Andy

    “but I’m just saying that I’d prefer a presidential ticket that is not heavily associated with the Republican Party in 2016.”

    I meant 2020.

  74. Andy

    “robert capozzi
    July 6, 2018 at 16:11
    AD: …’Governor Weld, on the receiving end of much NAPist vituperation, was early and often calling out the danger Trump represented, and Paul, son of the Sainted One, has done far more water-carrying for Trump than Weld would ever do.’

    me: Yes, that’s why I asked the question. NAPist hypocrisy is fairly predictable.”

    There is nothing hypocritical here at all. Bill Weld is an establishment shill who thinks that Hillary Clinton is wonderful. Bill Weld endorsed Jeb Bush for President in September of 2015, and he endorsed John Kaisch for President in February of 2016. The only reason that he raised any concerns over Trump is because the Deep State that Weld represents had fears about whether or not that they could control Trump. Bill Weld is as bad, or maybe even worse, than Donald Trump.

    Rand Paul is much more of a legitimate maverick in the Republican Party, and even though I do not think that he’s as good as his father, he’s way better than Bill Weld.

  75. paulie Post author

    If RP2 were to bolt the Rs and toss his hat in for the L nod, would you be positively or negatively inclined to support his nomination?

    Negatively. He is a well known Trump and Roy Moore supporter, among many other reasons. Also, he will literally be the last Republican to turn out the lights at the NSGOP. He learned a lesson from his father’s moment of disloyalty to the elephant brand and it was not a good one. I’ll take the LPKY’s Ken Moellman’s word for it that Randall is neither a Libertarian nor a libertarian.

  76. paulie Post author

    he may have a lot of good qualities for being a candidate, but she has also been out of the political spotlight since 1996. I follow this stuff pretty closely, and I have not heard anything about her in a long time.

    She was busy completing several PhDs. Now she is done with that and tanned, rested and ready. Well maybe not very tanned.

    She’s got no political following. Any name recognition she would have gained in 1996 has pretty much disappeared.

    So what? Plenty of time to build one through a campaign.

    Is she even interested in running? I doubt it.

    From what I heard it’s at least a maybe if not a full blown yes.

  77. paulie Post author

    Instead of throwing around impeachment resolutions and such,

    I would have supported one calling either for impeachment and removal or a 25th amendment solution, but did not offer it up. I don’t think it would have passed at this time, which is a shame.

  78. paulie Post author

    Neither. I was a Kokesh fan at one time, but his repeated staff shakeups at the hands of his admittedly authoritarian personality, lack of response to written questions from IPR readers, and friendliness towards the paleo/alt right deviation/cancer have lost him my support. Randall has some of the same issues of unsightly paleo stink, and much more elephant crap covering him head to toe.

    I expect the chance of Randall having anything to do with the LP other than try to destroy it as best he can is virtually zero, so I’m not too worried about actually making such choices. You may as well be asking about having to choose between Arvin Vohra and Scott Pruitt.

  79. Anthony Dlugos

    “Jo Jorgeson, our VP nominee on the ticket with Harry Browne in 1996, [is]…not prone to endorse anti-libertarian policies or candidates.”

    paulie,

    As RC and I have previously agreed, while you may be a doctrinaire NAPist, you don’t seem to be aggressively so, in the way that tends to turn people off. Maybe that’s because you have left-libertarian sympathies.

    That being said, if you want to ensure that Libertarians are perpetually tagged with the “republicans who want to smoke pot” label, then nominate/support someone who gives doctrinaire libertarian answers to real world policy questions. It doesn’t matter how pure the candidate’s bona fides are, or how long they’ve been in the party, if their answer to a health policy question is anything along the lines of “the free market can handle it,” no matter how eloquently rothbardian it sounds, to the typical voter, it’s gonna sound like a republican who wants to smoke pot. You’ll lose said voter to that opinion long before we get to all the ways the free market can solve health care policy problems.

    We don’t have a capitive audience we can put through a libertarian primer.

    This is the problem with the real world application of a theoretical construct like the NAP.

    IMHO

  80. Thomas L. Knapp

    My opposition to having someone heavily associated with the GOP as our next nominee is not related to “NAPism.” Thomas Massie and Justin Amash, to name two, could give some Libertarians a run for their money on radicalism, at least in certain areas.

    The problem I have with continually running GOP retreads is branding.

    If we ran a GOP retread one time, as a departure from form, and if that GOP retread either had a really good “Paul on the road to Damascus” story or else a long and strong libertarianish record in office (“I didn’t leave the GOP, the GOP left me”), it would be one thing.

    But now, three times in a row, we’ve run GOP retreads. One of whom was arguably Mr. Conservative Firebrand, not Mr. Libertarian Firebrand, in the House and got bounced out on his ass. The other of whom jumped the fence in the middle of a GOP primary because he was polling in the 1% range.

    If you keep selling dented can liquidation lots of Coca-Cola instead of the beverage you built a factory to produce, you get a reputation as a Coca-Cola dealer, not as a separate beverage brand.

    It’s time for the LP to start selling its product instead of someone else’s.

  81. paulie Post author

    There’s nothing wrong with a resolution to pardon Ross Ulbricht. Some always want to criticize the LP for doing libertarian things.

    Yep.

  82. robert capozzi

    TK,

    Ideally, if the LP had a bench of actual pols — with the resume and the communications skills — I’d agree with you. Unfortunately, it’s spent all its life committed to the NAP and playing with its implications like a cat with a ball of yarn. The Bergland/Browne/Badnarik branding is even weaker than R retread candidacies, much weaker. Running nobody ideologues catches the attention of the very few, and lines up with MNR’s quaint cadre-building approach, no matter how much that leads you to bristle. Yes, AJ found inspiration in Browne, and apparently, he’s one fine petitioner and avid Lauren Southern Youtube re-poster. You may have your way to NAP Heaven via Browne as well, and you are a fine writer and activist.

    But you both are black swans, rarities.

    Politics is a numbers game. Decades have passed, and the cadre has not swelled into a force to be reckoned with. When will you declare the NAPism experiment as failed?

  83. Andy

    I have hung out with Adam Kokesh multiple times now, including at the national convention in New Orleans. I staid in his motor home during the LP of CA State Convention. I have witnessed him interacting with lots of people. My impression of him is that he is a really good guy.

    The only thing I really disagree with him on is that he thinks ripping the US border open regardless of any other circumstances in place is a good idea, but his platform of disolving the federal government and kicking all issues back to the states means that a state could enact immigration restrictions (he may not agree with this, but he’d have no say over the matter). He and I do agree on the ultimate destination, which is a private property anarcho-capitalist society. I just disagree with him that ripping the US border open without eliminating welfare programs, and taking other steps, like privatizing land and infrastructure, would be the best or realistic way to achieve that goal, but his platform of dissolving the Federal government is a big step in that direction.

    I would vote for Adam Kokesh over Jo Jorgensen, not necessarily because I think there is anything wrong with Jo Jorgensen. She did an admirable job as VP nominee in 2000 from what I remember. Reality is that she has pretty much been off the political radar since 1996. Adam Kokesh has been a hardcore libertarian activist since 2007. He has lots of videos on YouTube, and his channel has over 229,000 subscribers and over 65 million views. He has a book called “Freedom” which serves as a great introduction to the liberty movement. He has toured across the country doing speaking engagements multiple times, and he has a motor home, which is painted with his Freedom logo, along with his name and that he is running for President, and his campaign website on it. He has built up some name recognition, and he is a real deal boots-on-the ground activist type who is not afraid of going to jail for the cause.

  84. Andy

    I agree with Tom Knapp’s comment from 7/6/18 at 18:08.

    If the LP runs another Republican retread in 2020, there ought to be a damm good reason for it, and whoever it is needs to be a lot more libertarian than anyone on the last three LP presidential tickets has been.

  85. robert capozzi

    I can see the campaign pic for Kokesh 2020 now: Him behind bars. Compelling stuff!

  86. paulie Post author

    The only thing I really disagree with him on is that he thinks ripping the US border open regardless of any other circumstances in place is a good idea,

    That’s honestly the best thing about him, but it’s outweighed by the others I mentioned in my mind. And let’s face it, a guy who walked around the convention floor with Joshua Smith for chair signs will not be getting my vote for anything, so there’s that.

    Jo > Adam, contrary to what any resident fans of Hoppe, Molyneux et al may assert.

  87. Andy

    I made an error above. Jo Jorgensen was actually the VP nominee in 1996, not 2000.

    22 years out of the political spotlight is a long time.

  88. paulie Post author

    if their answer to a health policy question is anything along the lines of “the free market can handle it,”

    Free market may not be the best way to frame it. Why not talk about workers’ mutual associations and voluntary cooperative societies which collected their own version of health care insurance without all the red tape, geared towards catastrophic illnesses rather than routine care as insurance is today? Doctors offered medical services at prices average people could afford, before the price spiral government caused by tying medical insurance to employment, thus making it harder for workers to switch jobs or strike out on their own as small business owners while at the same time tying routine care to “insurance” causing prices to rise astronomically and loading anything having to do with medical care with government red tape.

    The biggest “problem” with the workers mutual associations and their model of actual medical insurance for real emergencies was that it caused doctors to complain they were making too little money, as they were pressured into offering lower cost medical care to association members, and could not afford to lose that business because so many workers and their families belonged to them.

    But in any case I agree somewhat. It would be better to replace the image of Libertarians as Republicans who smoke pot with one of Democrats who have learned economics and independents who finally saw a reason to vote or a reason to vote for something other than a mix of lesser evils after a reluctant coin toss.

  89. paulie Post author

    22 years out of the political spotlight is a long time.

    Again, so what? Harry Browne wasn’t in the political spotlight before he decided to run either. In fact he had a long history of advising people to not vote and not voting himself, which is as far from the political spotlight as one can get.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Ideally, if the LP had a bench of actual pols — with the resume and the communications skills — I’d agree with you. ”

    And how is the LP supposed to get such a bench of actual pols by running another party’s leftovers instead of MAKING that bench?

    “Politics is a numbers game. Decades have passed, and the cadre has not swelled into a force to be reckoned with. When will you declare the NAPism experiment as failed?”

    OK, so this week “NAPism” is a Leninist vanguard party strategy. Last week it was abolitionism/educationism. What’s it going to be next week?

    Looking for your car keys across the parking lot from where you dropped them because the light is better there isn’t a way to find your car keys, it’s a way to waste time pretending to find your car keys.

    When I joined the Libertarian Party, marriage freedom and legal marijuana were pipe dreams.

    Now they’re not.

    And as they grew from pipe dreams and moved toward reality, I heard the major party politicians who were thinking it over say things like “I’m kind of libertarian on that.”

    Where do you think they heard that word?

    Whose 1% or 2% or 5% that made an easy victory into a competitive race was it that made them start paying attention?

    Ayn Rand was wrong about a number of things but she was right about one thing, the bankruptcy of supposed “pragmatism” —

    You grew up to believe that moral laws bear no relation to the job of living, except as an impediment and threat, that man’s existence is an amoral jungle where anything goes and anything works. And in that fog of switching definitions which descends upon a frozen mind, you have forgotten that the evils damned by your creed were the virtues required for living, and you have come to believe that actual evils are the practical means of existence.

    When the LP sticks to its principles, it wins. When it doesn’t, it’s just doing a bunch of cargo cult fucking around.

  91. dL

    And as they grew from pipe dreams and moved toward reality, I heard the major party politicians who were thinking it over say things like “I’m kind of libertarian on that.”

    Where do you think they heard that word?

    amen…

  92. Andy

    Harry Browne was not completely out of the spotlight prior to running for President. He ran a newsletter and he was at least somewhat known on the public speaking circuit. He also had written several books, some of which made the New York Times Best Seller list.

    Other than being Harry Briwne’s VP nominee 22 years ago, what is Jo Jorgensen known for? She has been so inactive that even I had not heard anything about her in many years, and I am one of the oddballs who follows minor parties, and the LP in particular, closely.

    She may be a nice lady and a fine libertarian, but this does not mean she should be the LP’s presidential nominee in 2020. I would say she has a long way to go to even be a top contender for the 2020 nomination.

  93. robert capozzi

    tk: And how is the LP supposed to get such a bench of actual pols by running another party’s leftovers instead of MAKING that bench?

    me: The bench could be developed separately from the national track. Get elected to the state legislature, then Congress, for ex.

    tk: OK, so this week “NAPism” is a Leninist vanguard party strategy. Last week it was abolitionism/educationism. What’s it going to be next week?

    me: Two sides of the same coin. Leninism is a form of educationism.

    tk: When I joined the Libertarian Party, marriage freedom and legal marijuana were pipe dreams. Now they’re not. And as they grew from pipe dreams and moved toward reality, I heard the major party politicians who were thinking it over say things like “I’m kind of libertarian on that.” Where do you think they heard that word?

    me: Cato and Reason, mostly, along with college profs. Sometimes a non-wacko LPer candidate.

    tk: Ayn Rand was wrong about a number of things but she was right about one thing, the bankruptcy of supposed “pragmatism” —

    “You grew up to believe that moral laws bear no relation to the job of living, except as an impediment and threat, that man’s existence is an amoral jungle where anything goes and anything works. And in that fog of switching definitions which descends upon a frozen mind, you have forgotten that the evils damned by your creed were the virtues required for living, and you have come to believe that actual evils are the practical means of existence.”

    When the LP sticks to its principles, it wins. When it doesn’t, it’s just doing a bunch of cargo cult fucking around.

    me: I just don’t buy the principle/pragmatic differentiation. I favor both. Non-serviceable principle is just hot air. “Winning” with no sense of virtue is hollow. Both are required to be worthwhile.

  94. paulie Post author

    She may be a nice lady and a fine libertarian, but this does not mean she should be the LP’s presidential nominee in 2020. I would say she has a long way to go to even be a top contender for the 2020 nomination.

    Well we’ll see won’t we? Mary Ruwart decided to run about 3 months before the nomination and almost beat Bob Barr, who did not come out as an announced candidate until even later than that. So if you think you know in 2018 who the top contenders will be in 2020 you most likely have another thing coming.

  95. paulie Post author

    Leninism is a form of educationism.

    Someone should have told Lenin. After all he did lead a bloody revolution which he then defended in a civil war as the first dictator of the Soviet Union.

    “Winning” with no sense of virtue is hollow.

    Indeed. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

  96. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I just don’t buy the principle/pragmatic differentiation. I favor both.”

    Exactly. The problem is that you don’t recognize that the people you call “NAPists” are precisely that. They are both the principled and the pragmatic wing of the Libertarian Party.

  97. dL

    Someone should have told Lenin. After all he did lead a bloody revolution which he then defended in a civil war as the first dictator of the Soviet Union.

    The bolshevik capture of the soviet congress and the winter palace was pretty bloodless, almost a joke of a coup, was it not?

  98. paulie Post author

    Mostly, yes. The violence happened for the most part after that.

    Per wikipedia:

    On 7 November 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin led his leftist revolutionaries in a revolt against the ineffective Provisional Government (Russia was still using the Julian calendar at the time, so period references show a 25 October date). The October revolution ended the phase of the revolution instigated in February, replacing Russia’s short-lived provisional parliamentary government with government by soviets, local councils elected by bodies of workers and peasants. Liberal and monarchist forces, loosely organized into the White Army, immediately went to war against the Bolsheviks’ Red Army, in a series of battles that would become known as the Russian Civil War.

    The Russian Civil War, which broke out in 1918 shortly after the October Revolution, brought death and suffering to millions of people regardless of their political orientation. The war was fought mainly between the Red Army (“Reds”), consisting of the uprising majority led by the Bolshevik minority, and the “Whites” – army officers and cossacks, the “bourgeoisie”, and political groups ranging from the far Right to the Socialist Revolutionaries who opposed the drastic restructuring championed by the Bolsheviks following the collapse of the Provisional Government to the soviets (under clear Bolshevik dominance).

    ….

    The Bolsheviks firstly assumed power in Petrograd, expanding their rule outwards. They eventually reached the Easterly Siberian Russian coast in Vladivostok, 4 years after the war began, an occupation that is believed to have ended all significant military campaigns in the nation. Less than one year later the last area controlled by the White Army, the Ayano-Maysky District, directly to the north of the Krai containing Vladivostok, was given up when General Anatoly Pepelyayev capitulated in 1923.

    During the early morning of 16 July, Nicholas, Alexandra, their children, their physician, and several servants were taken into the basement and shot. According to Edvard Radzinsky and Dmitrii Volkogonov, the order came directly from Lenin and Sverdlov in Moscow.

    ….

    the Soviet forced labor camp system that was created under Vladimir Lenin

    The camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners. Large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of extrajudicial punishment. The Gulag is recognized as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.

    The agency’s full name was the Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Settlements (Glavnoye upravleniye ispravityelno-trudovykh lagerey i koloniy). It was administered first by the State Political Administration (GPU), later by the NKVD and in the final years by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). The Solovki prison camp, the first corrective labor camp constructed after the revolution, was established in 1918 and legalized by a decree “On the creation of the forced-labor camps” on April 15, 1919. The internment system grew rapidly, reaching a population of 100,000 in the 1920s. According to Nicolas Werth, author of The Black Book of Communism, the yearly mortality rate in the Soviet concentration camps strongly varied reaching 5% (1933) and 20% (1942–1943)

    The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Red control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not completely crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians. The Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen.

    More modest estimates put the numbers executed by the Bolsheviks between December 1917 and February 1922 at around 28,000 per year, with roughly 10,000 executions during the Red Terror.

    ….

    Decossackization (Russian: Raskazachivaniye) was the Bolshevik policy of systematic repressions against Cossacks of the Russian Empire, especially of the Don and the Kuban, between 1917 and 1933 aimed at the elimination of the Cossacks as a separate ethnic, political, and economic entity.

    This was the first example of Soviet leaders deciding to “eliminate, exterminate, and deport the population of a whole territory,” […] Most authors characterize decossackization as genocide of the Cossacks….

    ….

    At the end of the Civil War the Russian SFSR was exhausted and near ruin. The droughts of 1920 and 1921, as well as the 1921 famine, worsened the disaster still further. Disease had reached pandemic proportions, with 3,000,000 dying of typhus alone in 1920. Millions more also died of widespread starvation, wholesale massacres by both sides and pogroms against Jews in Ukraine and southern Russia. By 1922 there were at least 7,000,000 street children in Russia as a result of nearly ten years of devastation from the Great War and the civil war.

    ….

    Another one to two million people, known as the White émigrés, fled Russia…

    These émigrés included a large percentage of the educated and skilled population of Russia.

    The Russian economy was devastated by the war, with factories and bridges destroyed, cattle and raw materials pillaged, mines flooded and machines damaged. The industrial production value descended to one-seventh of the value of 1913 and agriculture to one-third.

    It is estimated that the total output of mines and factories in 1921 had fallen to 20% of the pre-World War level, and many crucial items experienced an even more drastic decline. For example, cotton production fell to 5%, and iron to 2%, of pre-war levels.

    War Communism saved the Soviet government during the Civil War, but much of the Russian economy had ground to a standstill. The peasants responded to requisitions by refusing to till the land. By 1921 cultivated land had shrunk to 62% of the pre-war area, and the harvest yield was only about 37% of normal. The number of horses declined from 35 million in 1916 to 24 million in 1920 and cattle from 58 to 37 million. The exchange rate with the US dollar declined from two rubles in 1914 to 1,200 in 1920.

    With the end of the war the Communist Party no longer faced an acute military threat to its existence and power. However, the perceived threat of another intervention, combined with the failure of socialist revolutions in other countries—most notably the German Revolution—contributed to the continued militarization of Soviet society.

    paulie) Now that’s what I call one hell of an educational strategy…

  99. paulie Post author

    Exactly. The problem is that you don’t recognize that the people you call “NAPists” are precisely that. They are both the principled and the pragmatic wing of the Libertarian Party.

    Yes, I would say I am grounded in both.

  100. robert capozzi

    pf: Someone should have told Lenin.

    me: When I used the term “Leninism,” I was referring to MNR’s use of the term, which might also be called “cadre building” or “inreach.” But thank you for your feedback.

  101. robert capozzi

    tk: Exactly. The problem is that you don’t recognize that the people you call “NAPists” are precisely that. They are both the principled and the pragmatic wing of the Libertarian Party.

    me: That depends on your definition of “pragmatic.” Advocating what is advocated in the SoP and Platform are not, in my judgment, plausible outcomes in the intermediate term (5 years or so). I don’t view NAPism as “pragmatic.” The kindest word I can use to describe those documents is “aspirational.”

    Now, if the Frankel Singularity happens, I might change my assessment.

  102. Anthony Dlugos

    dL,

    Governor Weld is obviously patronizing Kokesh. His book is entirely forgettable. Although I did like the article:

    L.P. activist Joe Hauptmann during the LNC vice-chair debate, which I moderated. “You’re at a cocktail party, and the little old lady comes up to you and says, ‘What’s a Libertarian? What do you believe?’ And you look at her and you say, ‘Fuck the state!’ You’re right, you’re right; you’ve said it concisely, you’ve said it simply, you feel morally superior. And you have guaranteed there’s at least one person who will never cast a vote for a Libertarian!…The only way we get power is with the vote, and there aren’t enough of us.”

    “Vohra’s more successful competitors had a different view: “For 40 years we’ve been saying ‘It’s all or nothing!’ And we’ve got exactly what we’ve demanded: nothing,” Hauptmann said. “We’ve lived in our own echo chamber for 40 years. We have people out there who when you say ‘Taxation is theft,’ their eyes glaze over. You cannot take a person who has spent their entire life chained to a hospital bed, and say ‘Yes, you can run a marathon! Let’s go!’…Government is too damn big. But the other problem is, we’re too damn small.”

  103. paulie Post author

    Now, if the Frankel Singularity happens, I might change my assessment.

    It just might. I sure wouldn’t rule it out.

    And on a minor language use matter, I am a FAPist*, not a NAPist. 🙂

    (*For the purpose of this exercise that is the Forbid Aggression Principle)

    FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP! (Coincidentally, that’s also my initials backwards.)

  104. Anthony Dlugos

    As an aside, I’m now more convinced than ever that Vohra strategy all along has been to follow in the self-aggrandizing footsteps of pompus troll artist Austin Petersen.

    He saw what the grade A ass was able to accomplish (which was somewhat impressive), and decided being an unpaid, anonymous vice chair was not quite as exciting.

  105. paulie Post author

    When I used the term “Leninism,” I was referring to MNR’s use of the term

    I’ve moved away from Rothbardianism. He was a crank who started out supporting Strom Thurmond, ended up supporting David Duke, and played a huge role in the creation of the paleo “libertarian” cancer that has since metastasized into the alt right. Along with Lew Rockwell he most likely wrote many of the worst passages in the infamous Ron Paul newsletters (and no, it was not some unknown staff writer – Ron Paul wouldn’t sacrifice the potential his latter campaigns initially showed unless it was to protect those he considers even more important, e.g. Rockwell and Rothbard). In between his dalliances with the racist right Rothbard lined up with actual totalitarian Marxist cultists. And somewhere along that trajectory he was in the LP for a few years, spilling venom everywhere he went.

    Would a “Leninist” vanguard strategy work out better for libertarians than it did for the actual Leninists? I don’t know. All I know for sure is that the real Leninists dreamed of a workers paradise and in reality unleashed hell on earth. Rothbard’s paleo/alt right heirs today would most likely do the same if given a chance, and it’s not impossible that they will. IMO.

  106. Andy

    Anthony, have you read Adam Kokesh’s book? It is a very good introduction to the libertarian movement.

  107. Andy

    Comparing Jo Jorgensen to Mary Ruwart is not a valid comparison. Mary Ruwart is known as a writer, and her articles and books have influenced lots of libertarians. When she jumped in the race in 2008, she was seen as “the great libertarian hope” to beat Bob Barr, and this was after Steve Kubby’s campaign was sputtering, and nobody else who was considered to be a strong libertarian had a campaign that was really taking off.

    I would be willing to bet that more people people knew who Mary Ruwart was in 2008 than know who Jo Jorgensen is in 2018.

  108. Andy

    What book on liberty has Bill Weld written?

    I bet that Adam Kokesh’s book has influenced more people than Gary Johnson’s book has.

  109. Chuck Moulton

    Of the pseudo-announced candidates so far:
    Jo Jorgensen > NOTA > Bill Weld > Adam Kokesh

    Bill Weld has potential if his messaging is libertarian and his campaign isn’t run by conservative Republicans. Unfortunately, the chances of that are approximately zero. If Weld were smart, he would put Andy Craig in charge of his messaging instead of Ron Nielson.

  110. dL

    Governor Weld is obviously patronizing Kokesh. His book is entirely forgettable.

    No, Welch wrote “he had kind words” to say. If Weld was being deliberately sarcastic, Welch would not pass up the click-bait opportunity. However, Weld may be unintentionally patronizing to many libertarians who ain’t buying his faux intellectual rebirth schtick.

    You’re at a cocktail party, and the little old lady comes up to you

    Well, that’s Joe’s problem. He is hanging out at cocktail parties w/ little old ladies…

  111. Andy

    If you want a libertarian message, why even consider nominating Bill Weld? The guy is not a libertarian, and he is a known liar. It does not matter who is running his campaign. You could hire the most principled libertarian you could find to run Bill Weld’s campaign, and it would not change a damn thing. Bill Weld does not give a rat’s ass about libertarian principles, and the man can’t be trusted.

    I am surprised that anyone in the LP is still taking this clown seriously. I would vote for Vermin Supreme before I would vote for Bill Weld. Running NOTA for President would be better than running Bill Weld.

  112. Andy

    If Bill Weld can’t come up with his own messaging, which is actually libertarian, then he is not qualified to be a candidate for the Libertarian Party for any office.

  113. Chuck Moulton

    Weld seems to have libertarian instincts on a lot of issues and un-libertarian instincts on a few others. I think he’s basically at the point where with a good campaign manager and messaging staff, he would be okay; with a bad campaign manager and messaging staff, he would be a trainwreck. (I had the same view of Gary Johnson, which was borne out by the evidence.) Everything points to Weld going full conservative again.

  114. Andy

    Yeah, Bill Weld has libertarian instincts, which is why he never really did much of anything that could be considered to be libertarian, and why he has already betrayed libertarians on multiple occasions.

  115. Andy

    Vermin Supreme is a court jester. Nobody takes him seriously, including himself. My saying I would vote for Vermin Supreme over Bill Weld is more of a condemnation of Bill Weld than an endorsement of Vermin Supreme.

    I have pushed a strong libertarian message for many years, and every candidate I have backed has been a strong libertarian.

    As for LP membership levels dropping, I am but a small player in the grand scheme of things as far as party operations go, so blaming that on me is absurd. I actually have brought in some new members, and I have probably handed out more LP literature to the public than anyone, I have probably brought in more contact information from interested members of the public than anyone other than a high profile candidate, and I have also gotten lots of people to register to vote under the LP banner (both for pay, and as an unpaid volunteer). I have also gotten the LP some publicity in newspapers (including USA Today), radio, and television. So I have done more than most people to grow the LP.

  116. Anthony Dlugos

    “No, Welch wrote “he had kind words” to say. If Weld was being deliberately sarcastic, Welch would not pass up the click-bait opportunity.”

    Well, of course the kind words APPEAR genuine. The patronizing wouldn’t be that effective if it was sarcastic.

    What makes it patronizing is that its ludicrous to expect a person with a background like Weld’s to think a guy with a background like Kokesh’s has anything to offer him. Do you really think Weld believes a political neophyte who says he wants to “get elected and abolish the federal government on Day One” is intelligent? (I mean from Weld’s perspective). Come on now, be reasonable.

    What do you think he really thinks, not what he says in public?

    A) Harvard, Oxford, U.S. attorney, Governor of Massachusetts…and a collegial relationship with a convicted felon with zero elective office experience, and some strange contract provisos he makes his “people” sign?

    or

    B) This guy might actually present an obstacle to landing the LP nomination, so its probably a good idea to flatter him until I lock it up (if it turns out I want it)?

    Continuing with the objectivity, I can also say that, if Kokesh actually thinks he can do what he wants to do (or get elected saying it), I would fully expect Kokesh to patronize Weld. I mean, a guy who has the magical power to enact such a liquidation of the federal government would clearly think he’s superior to a guy whose goals if elected president must seem laughably pathetic.

    I’ll leave it to each person to decide who they think has the right to be patronizing in this case, but objectively speaking, its pretty apparent based on their respective c.v.’s and policy positions that neither of them thinks the other has anything to offer them.

  117. Anthony Dlugos

    paulie,

    re: your response on the health care policy issue @ July 6, 2018, 18:45.

    Well, as I expected, your answer is pleasantly void of the typical libertarian macho flash, and consequently might thwart the possibility that you get tagged with the “republican who wants to smoke pot” moniker.

    Unfortunately, then, the best case scenario…again, given that our intended audience operates in the real world as opposed to the theoretical, is that your health care policy prescription is going to be viewed as untethered to reality and hopelessly optimistic.

    If you had a captive audience, you might do a very good job of educating them. You’d do a hell of a lot better than the typical macho flasher…but a political party does not have a captive audience. No matter how eloquently you describe how well a health care industry without a government component could work, all the typical voter is gonna hear is you’re suggesting a health care industry without a government component. They’ll have tuned you out long before you get to the nitty gritty.

    Then they’ll wonder what ELSE you think could operate without government involvement, given that you are suggesting they turn said government over to the LP.

    If you’re lucky, they’ll give you a little insight into what they are thinking, by asking something like, “What about the roads?” What does that tell us about where our “health care without government involvement” idea has taken them in their head?

    Its funny. The voters we speak to say something like “What about the roads?” so regularly, that we turn it into a joke about them. How they don’t get it.

    The joke is on us.

  118. Anthony Dlugos

    TK @ July 6, 2018, 19:41:

    “Interestingly, I just got the first mainstream media bite on my column calling for Trump to commute Ulbricht’s sentence, which mentions the LP resolution.

    It was from the editor of a small-town conservative newspaper in Mississippi.

    Yes, the regular folks are soooooooooooooooo horrified.”

    TK,

    Just to be clear, I’m not upset about the resolution. I may think we should pick other battles, or a pick a different victim of the drug war if we want to make a point, but, had I been there, I would not have opposed it. Ross should clearly not be imprisoned for life.

  119. Thomas Knapp

    Anthony,

    OK — you came off the other way, as if it really appalled you.

    I personally saw it as important and as something that should be done, and it was, quickly and unanimously.

    Part of our difference of perspective may have to do with this:

    I know a lot of people are in prison for life. But I’ve known of precisely two whose mothers have personally looked me in the eye and asked for my help.

    I take that back. Actually, it’s one, not two. The other wasn’t in prison for life, he was on death row. I marched and vigiled and signed the clemency plea (it was not successful) and, much later, voted to put the LP on record against the death penalty.

  120. Thomas Knapp

    “Harvard, Oxford, U.S. attorney, Governor of Massachusetts…and a collegial relationship with a convicted felon with zero elective office experience”

    It’s not like that’s a first for Weld. After all, he helped the FBI cover up for Whitey Bulger and Steve Flemmi when they were the murderous terrors of Boston.

  121. D Frank Robinson

    The Statement of Principles came out the Bylaws Committee I chaired at the founding convention in 1972. I was not the prime author of the concept. New Mexico delegate Ed Carlson who first proposed the idea. The committee quickly agreed. It is more accurate to say that I was the principle author of the 7/8ths rule to entrench the SoP in our Bylaws. I was also the principle author of the Judicial Committee to mediate disputes as to which proposed platform planks were or were not consistent with the SoP. Other tasks were added to the JC by later conventions.
    The Bylaws Committee had no input, not did we want input, into the text of the Statement of Principles. The convention eventually unanimously adopted the text primarily written by John Hospers.
    I hope this clarifies the historical record for those interested.

  122. robert capozzi

    CM,

    From what I’ve read, Andy Craig has the potential to be the sort of person someone like WW would need, first, to secure the nomination, and then to handle him by crafting the right sort of messages that appeal to Ls while casting the net wider for maximal support. I think AC’s now on staff at Cato.

    Whether he’s the right person to be campaign manager…dunno. Maybe Communications Director? He can help him with the nuances of NAPism and yet he’s seems to be enough of a wonk that he could transition to messaging for the wider world.I do worry about his maturity, but then again I’ve never met him.

    I saw Nielson as an ad man, and his vids and events were quite good. Again, I’m not sure he’s a David Axelrod, though.

    Is there a young Ed Crane out there? That’s really what WW’d need.

  123. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Intellectually, he’s more than capable. But, it’s been said that “personnel is policy.” Ls of a NAPist persuasion simply in my experience don’t understand this, BUT it’s the case that good political communication involves message crafting. When done well, the candidate works with his communications team to develop optimal ways of putting things that sell to not only True Believers but also the skeptics.

    Dogmatic NAPists tend to rely on pat answers that don’t sell. They lazily make statements like “Taxation is theft,” oblivious to the interpretation that most understandably react to such nonsense: Compared with WHAT? No taxation? That sort of thing leads to “You want my mother to eat dog food, then””

  124. paulie Post author

    Unfortunately, then, the best case scenario…again, given that our intended audience operates in the real world as opposed to the theoretical, is that your health care policy prescription is going to be viewed as untethered to reality and hopelessly optimistic.

    Why? I’m just talking about things that were actually done in the past.

    No matter how eloquently you describe how well a health care industry without a government component could work, all the typical voter is gonna hear is you’re suggesting a health care industry without a government component. They’ll have tuned you out long before you get to the nitty gritty.

    Some of us are better at communicating with non-libertarians than others. It’s a skill which can be learned and taught with varying success. We have limited resources and deal, as you correctly point out, with limited reach and limited attention span. Nevertheless, the longer we are around explaining our positions the more support they gain, and the more people are familiar with them and joining us in spreading our message. Granted this is a frustratingly slow process and we are a long way from saturation for our ideas but someone needs to do it as it needs to be done. The movement is growing and I believe we will reach a tipping point sooner or later, hopefully sooner.

  125. DJ

    Aaron Tippin

    Now Daddy didn’t like trouble, but if it came along
    Everyone that knew him knew which side that he’d be on
    He never was a hero, or this county’s shinin’ light
    But you could always find him standing up
    For what he thought was right
    He’d say you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

    You’ve got to be your own man not a puppet on a string

    Never compromise what’s right and uphold your family name
    You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
    Now we might have been better off or owned a bigger house
    If Daddy had done more givin’ in or a little more backing down

    But we always had plenty just living his advice
    Whatever you do today you’ll have to sleep with tonight

    He’d say you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

    You’ve got to be your own man not a puppet on a string

    Never compromise what’s right and uphold your family name
    You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

    Now I know that things are different than they were in Daddy’s days
    But I still believe what makes a man really hasn’t changed

    You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

    You’ve got to be your own man not a puppet on a string

    Never compromise what’s right and uphold your family name
    You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
    You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

  126. Anthony Dlugos

    Dogmatic NAPists tend to rely on pat answers that don’t sell. They lazily make statements like “Taxation is theft,” oblivious to the interpretation that most understandably react to such nonsense: Compared with WHAT? No taxation? That sort of thing leads to “You want my mother to eat dog food, then””

    I’ve had occasion to speak to African-Americans who grew up in the toughest neighborhoods in the Cleveland area.

    If there is anyone who knows first hand the damage the drug war causes, it is them. There isn’t anyone more amenable to the idea of ending the drug war than these folks are.

    Yet, go into one of these communities, and tell them you want to “release all non-violent drug offenders.” You’ll almost certainly lose them ALL as potential supporters. Every one of them. (You’ll lose all the voters for sure). They know what that means as to who is coming back to their communities. They’re not interested.

    This is not to say ending the drug war is not good policy, its just to say that we are gonna have to figure out more viable, incremental steps than visions of Thunderdome.

    And that’s even before we’d get to ending federal welfare, ending Medicaid, ending Obamacare, etc. Mention that stuff, and you’ll be down below the .5% that anarchy appeals to in the general public.

    These sorts of statement appeal to fellow Libertarians and ONLY fellow Libertarians. It is preaching to the choir, and its only willful ignorance that allows us to think otherwise.

  127. Thomas Knapp

    —–
    I’ve had occasion to speak to African-Americans who grew up in the toughest neighborhoods in the Cleveland area.

    If there is anyone who knows first hand the damage the drug war causes, it is them. There isn’t anyone more amenable to the idea of ending the drug war than these folks are.

    Yet, go into one of these communities, and tell them you want to “release all non-violent drug offenders.” You’ll almost certainly lose them ALL as potential supporters. Every one of them. (You’ll lose all the voters for sure).
    —–

    I’ve lived in the neighborhoods you’re talking about — 4 miles south of Ferguson, a half mile or so west of the dividing line between the Crips and Horseshoe Posse turf line in St. Louis — and you’re just flat wrong.

    I knew one older African-American lady whose son had had some drug problems, and she felt that the war on drugs needed to be “won.”

    Other than that, I never found anything but complete hate for the drug war among African-Americans in my area.

    My house was situated right off a main road (St. Charles Rock Road, just west of where it stopped being Martin Luther King Drive), and not a day went by that I didn’t watch the cops pulling over every young black male in a nice car who came through on any pretext they could come up with, hoping to find drugs.

    And the thing is, we’re WINNING on this issue. Not just on medical marijuana. Not just on recreational marijuana. Now we’re starting to get Free Passes for people who bring OD victims to the ER.

    I talked to a cop in a city I’m not going to name for obvious reasons who tells me that the unofficial department policy is: If there’s bad heroin on the streets that’s cut with fentanyl or whatever and causing overdoses, they investigate and try to get it and the people selling it off the street. If the stuff being sold isn’t killing people, they drive right past the streetcorners where they know it’s being dealt. If they get an OD call, they send ONE cop in with the EMTs and that cop lets the others there know “in a few minutes, my friends are coming in to have a look around. Make sure your dope isn’t in plain sight.”

    Ten years from now, maybe even five, that will be official public policy at the non-legislative level, until Congress and the state legislatures can be forced to emulate Portugal.

    But no, let’s not press the issues we’re WINNING on and that we’re the only party representing on. That would be utopian. Instead, let’s “pragmatically” pretend that if we choose the right tie color and try very, very hard to sound not too unlike the other guys, we’ll be magically whisked to power.

  128. Andy

    Does anyone have a link to a state by state breakdown for the LNC At Large race, as well as the races for other LNC seats? If so, can you post it here? Thanks.

  129. paulie Post author

    My experience has been the same as TLK. I have spent a lot of time in neighborhoods that have been at the epicenter of the drug war. I grew up in one – Washington Heights NYC, in the 1980s when we were having a hundred or more murders a year in just our neighborhood alone and thousands a year in the city, and when multi billion$ of drugs and stolen cars moved thru the Heights every year, when the hustlers on every corner went from having six-shooters and baby gold chains to full automatics, thick gold ropes and fat stacks of hundreds with rubber bands along with the rocks in their socks. And guess what, there is plenty of support for ending the drug war – all of it – in these neighborhoods.

  130. paulie Post author

    Does anyone have a link to a state by state breakdown for the LNC At Large race, as well as the races for other LNC seats? If so, can you post it here? Thanks.

    Alicia Mattson replied to a similar question on LNC list:

    Ms. Harlos,

    I indicated before that I would be traveling with a full schedule and
    only sporadic internet access, and would not return to my more normal
    routine until Monday. I got home from my trip Sunday night, and
    starting in the wee hours of Monday morning you started the “Are we
    there yet?” messages about the At-Large details. Then throughout the
    day it became rather unfair characterizations that I was saying “well,
    whenever” as though I’m blowing it off. That tone is not warranted nor
    appreciated.

    Yes, the state-by-state numbers that add up to the totals I sent do
    exist, but providing that will not be the end of the story. If all I
    send is that, immediately the questions will begin about the instances
    where those numbers vary from the delegation tally sheets because we
    caught and corrected errors. Then while I am researching to answer
    those questions, we all know the internet gossip will get silly, with
    people not being careful to say only things they know to be true while
    waiting on answers to the questions.

    My usual practice is to do the post-convention audit as part of
    building the convention minutes, which is near the end of my to-do list
    after having updated other minutes with timing deadlines, policy,
    bylaws, platform, etc. Instead, so I can answer most questions on
    at-large before they are asked, because there was a very close outcome
    that involves me, I’ve prioritized the audit of the At-Large race to do
    it mostly first…though I did also send updated minutes to meet a
    posting deadline and update the Policy Manual earlier.

    When I provide the state-by-state numbers, I’ll scan the state tally
    sheets, plus provide my notes about what’s different between the two
    and why so that those questions can be addressed simultaneously in one
    message, rather than being spread out in different places at different
    times where people might miss some of it.

    You’re well aware of how long it took a team of 10 people to go through
    the Judicial Committee votes after the LNC meeting on July 2nd? You
    can deduce from that how long it takes one person to give the At-Large
    the second-pass, fine-tooth-comb treatment. Today I spent a LARGE
    number of hours on the project. I think I have about a dozen states
    left to go, plus tally sheet scanning and writing up my notes. It
    takes only a few seconds for you to ask, “Are we there yet?”, but it
    takes a lot longer to actually accomplish it.

    I didn’t have the crystal ball at the start of the project to know
    precisely how long I would get to work on it today, or how long it
    would take to complete. Rather than emailing the LNC every 30 minutes,
    (and I haven’t even taken time to comment on the two email ballots yet,
    though I have a bit to say there), I’m focusing on just getting this
    task done so I can move on to the next. It is a high priority on my
    list, and when I finish it, I’ll send it.

    To others who have been asking about the rest of my to-do list, I’m
    doing this project first. In the case of adopted resolutions, please
    recall that our convention forges ahead and adopts all sorts of things
    from the floor while the Secretary is trying to tally election
    results. I suppose I should be flattered that some believe I can
    document those fully on the fly while I’m simultaneously aggregating
    election results, and have completed minutes immediately following
    adjournment, but that’s a bit overly optimistic. I am a human who is
    constrained by the laws of time and space. I could only make sparse
    notes about the nature of other proceedings while I was working on
    elections, and when I start building the convention minutes, I’ll have
    to go back and review the recordings to verify that I caught all the
    relevant details. I have a large envelope of lots of things that were
    submitted in writing, so I’ll fish out what was actually voted on,
    verify that the written submission matches what the delegates were told
    they were voting on, etc.

    Again, all these items are in the queue, and I’ll get to them all as
    soon as I reasonably can now that I am back at home with my usual
    workspace, but it is unreasonable to expect it to all happen
    instantaneously.
    -Alicia

  131. Anthony Dlugos

    TK/paulie,

    But surely, other public policy issues are going to be brought up in a dialogue with, in this case, neighborhoods in the clutches of the drug war, right?

    What happens when the discussion comes around to health care policy? Are you suggesting the response should be some version of “end medicare/medicaid,’ and further that we won’t lose the target audience that you had captured with the “end the drug war” position?

    Just to clarify, I’m not conceding the desirability of the “end the drug war/release all non-violent drug offenders” response to drug policy. My experience has been that taking an extreme position, even on an issue you might have great sympathy with an audience on, only gets them to think…

    “what about the areas where I WANT government involvement? If they are this willing to abolish a program I dislike, with alacrity, what about my medicare? my social security?’

    (And they should think like this. If you are running for office, its about more than the drug war. Its perfectly valid for voters to take cues from our statements in one policy area and draw conclusions regarding everything you are going to be “in charge of” if elected.)

  132. paulie Post author

    What happens when the discussion comes around to health care policy?

    Folks in the hood aren’t in love with red tape either. The first step is to actually go there, ask what they think, and sound like you care. Maybe help out in some tangible, non-condescending way. Get to know people one on one so they have some reason to give you credibility. Once you gain a positive rep there can be an opportunity to discuss issues like the workers’ mutual benefit associations that used to do a great job of providing catastrophic health care before the AMA put them out of business, or for that matter that the same AMA was created to cartelize medical licensing in the hands of what were then pretty much exclusively white male doctors so as to put out of business midwives, nurse practitioners, and other healers many of whom were female and/or African-American, at a time when AMA doctors had a relatively higher mortality ratio for patients with the same prospects.

    “what about the areas where I WANT government involvement?”

    Work with us where you agree with us. You aren’t always going to agree with any party on every single issue. We aren’t going to dismantle government overnight even if someone gives us a magic wand to do every single thing we want, and no one is going to do that. There will be lots of politicians from other parties, bureaucrats and judges fighting us every step of the way. Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone in there fighting for your right to be free of excessive police harassment, keeping your kids out of wars overseas that are doing nothing for your community, working to cut the red tape so as to allow more regular folks to start business and practice trades without excessive licensing requirements, creating more economic opportunity for you and your kids?

  133. Seebeck

    Sounds like Alicia is still being a snippy sore loser.

    The state-by-state totals for LNC At-large are in the video stream of the Convention, day 2.

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