An Open Letter to Gary Earl Johnson

 

Found  today on Facebook, on the Libertarian Party of California Page
 

America is at a crossroads. We borrow and print forty-three cents of every dollar the federal government spends and are now choking on debt. One candidate not only understands we must reverse this policy before heading down the path of Greece or Italy, but has pledged to take immediate action.

That candidate is you, Governor Johnson.

You are the only candidate with the executive resume to back up your tough talk. That is why we donated to “Our America” and supported your GOP run. Yet it is clear that the Republican Party has no intention of seriously dealing with the problem of a government that grossly exceeds its Constitutional authority and continues to grow and spend at an unsustainable rate. You realize this is threatening our country’s future, but the Republican Party has chosen to silence your voice. America needs to hear your message!

That is why we, among many, ask that you take the bold step of continuing your run under the banner of the Libertarian Party.

With the unprecedented financial and political turmoil around the world, this election has the potential to change the status quo in America. With the current record-low approval rates for President Obama and Congress, the efforts by “Americans Elect” to build a vehicle for a Michael Bloomberg run, and the record-high number of independent voters, this will be an election tailor-made for a candidate who pledges to restore freedom and limited government—from outside the right/left paradigm.

We have personally seen how you are able to connect with people from both liberal and conservative backgrounds. Your message makes sense to many Americans. But due to the Republican Party’s efforts to silence you, so many more have not had the chance to hear that message. Please give Americans a real choice this fall, a chance to actually choose a new direction rather than mere slogans.

There is much cause for hope for the 2012 election. With the growth of pro-liberty groups such as Campaign for Liberty and Students for Liberty, as well as Libertarian party advocacy groups, namely the LNCC and Atlas Liberty, the base of support has never been greater. With a strategy that targets battleground states where you will poll well, such as in the West, in your home state of New Mexico, and in Nevada (where the 2008 LP ticket polled as high as 10% without advertising), you could quickly change the electoral map. In a four-way race you would become a soaring political juggernaut in a country looking for new solutions. You once told us you were running because you thought you could help our beleaguered country. We truly and deeply agree.

Sincerely yours,

Dana McLorn and Steve Kubby

Dana McLorn is an At-Large Rep for the Executive Committee of the California Libertarian Party and is active in the Ventura county chapter;  Steve Kubby is a long-time activist for medical marijuana and the LP, who currently resides in South Lake Tahoe. 

110 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Gary Earl Johnson

  1. George Phillies

    This worked for us so well in 2008.

    Becoming the shelter for homeless wayward Republicans tends to guarantee future failure, especially when the candidate is pro-Guantanamo Gary, a truly fine Republican stand.

  2. NewFederalist

    Methinks you would complain about any potential LP candidate except possibly for a certain physics professor from Massachusetts!

  3. George Phillies

    @3 I have given extremely generously financially to two of them, given extensive campaign advice of various forms to three of them, so, no., I do not think you are correct.

  4. LibertarianGirl

    during his run as Pres. Dr. Phillies had the most extensive set of papers on positions ive ever seen , also he made the biggest leaps snd bounds in public speaking Ive ever see, No offense george but when you began public speaking was not your forte , however when you were finished you had improved at least 1,000%. so he has alot to offer any candidate.

    Im voting for Lee Wrights FYI , it an easy pick being that I KNOW he’s libertarian , I trust him and the rest is gravy:)

  5. Shawn Levasseur

    Gary Johnson has a bit of work to do to earn the trust of LP members to earn the nomination. So he needs to make a decision before the first primaries, lest he become the new Mike Gravel. Ron Paul has the luxury of being able to wait until May, Gary doesn’t.

    Kubby’s participation in this probably will help if Gary comes over.

    Best case scenario for Gary is to run a campaign for the LP nomination, then take the VP slot under a late arriving Ron Paul, and to build his reputaiton in the LP for a later run for the presidency.

    I would welcome his race for the nomination. Whether I’d actually vote for his nomination is a question I haven’t realliy come to a decision on yet (I’m in no rush, May’s a ways off)

  6. Nicholas Sarwark

    May is a way off, but various state parties are having conventions in the next three months. Mr. Johnson would be well advised to visit some of those rather than just drop in on the national convention. He would also be well advised to recruit some campaign staff who have experience with internal party politics.

    The six ballots it took to nominate Barr were not just because of his past in the GOP, but also because he dropped in to the race at the last minute.

  7. John Jay Myers

    I asked the Gary face to face about Gitmo, he gave a very strange answer along the lines of “you see Obama was against it, but when he became President he must have learned that it was important”.
    Not a good answer.
    Then on his website he has/had a line about how Israel must be protected at all cost. The bottom line there is that you can not hope to bring our troops home from around the entire world, (which would be a very Libertarian goal) while still believing we can protect Israel at all costs.

    I don’t want to throw the guy completely under the bus, but he would need to make some real “I am sorry I was wrong” statements, and then be very clear on those issues.

    The most important issue on the table to me is foreign policy, because if you can’t get control of that, it just shows our government is owned, and the fact that 99% of most politicians elected today can’t make a firm stand on it, shows you that something is drastically wrong with our political system.

  8. Michael H. Wilson

    re JJM at 13. I think the problem is more one that we Libertarians in the party, and I specifically say party, have failed to address. The LP has not been clear on this issue and as a result many people looking at the party, not just Johnson, don’t see the reasoning behind it.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @12,

    There are different kinds of failure.

    At some point, nominating Republicans who lost their Vermont gubernatorial primary (MacBride), their Texas US Senate primary (Paul), their Georgia US House seat (Barr) or their bid for the Republican presidential nomination (Johnson) brands the LP as “the party of ballot placement for failed Republicans.”

    That’s branding failure.

  10. JT

    Phillies: And I am not a candidate, and have declined multiple requests that I run this year.”

    Any of those requests from people who urged you to run for Chair over and over again or for the nomination for President in 2008? I wouldn’t listen to them either.

  11. Andy

    “John Jay Myers // Dec 1, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I asked the Gary face to face about Gitmo, he gave a very strange answer along the lines of ‘you see Obama was against it, but when he became President he must have learned that it was important’.
    Not a good answer.”

    I agree with John Jay Meyers here. This is a very bad answer and it is more evidence that Gary Johnson doesn’t “get it” when it comes to libertarianism.

    “Then on his website he has/had a line about how Israel must be protected at all cost. The bottom line there is that you can not hope to bring our troops home from around the entire world, (which would be a very Libertarian goal) while still believing we can protect Israel at all costs.”

    I totally agree and this is yet another reason that the Libertarian Party should not nominate Gary Johnson.

    “I don’t want to throw the guy completely under the bus, but he would need to make some real ‘I am sorry I was wrong’ statements, and then be very clear on those issues.”

    Considering that these are all statements that he made during this current election cycle, I wouldn’t buy an “I’m sorry, I was wrong” followed by a flip flop on these issues.

    Didn’t the Libertarian Party learn anything last time from the disappointing Bob Barr campaign?

  12. Andy

    Gary Johnson has said repeatedly that he wants to replace the income tax with the Fair Tax. This is an absolutely horrible idea from a libertarian perspective.

    The Libertarian Party’s candidate for President should have a message more like this:

    1) End the income tax and replace it with nothing.

    2) Shut down the Federal Reserve System and eliminate fiat currency.

    3) Make huge cuts in government spending.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    16 tk, virtually no one outside the LM pays attn enough for there to be a “brand.” It’s a start up in arrested development, I’d say.

    Do a nationwide survey of “what’s a L,” and “don’t know” is likely the mode, followed by LaRouche, socialists, and Ron Paul.

    Does the arrested development end in 2012? Maybe, though unlikely.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    21 tk, per se, no prez nominee would end the LP’s arrested development. Nominating someone who attracts a lot of votes, respect, interest, and (indirectly) new members might.

    A candidate might trigger a breakthrough, but the breakthrough would need follow through. Say Paul/Johnson get in the debates, for ex. That could be a catalyst, an inflection point. There are, of course, no guarantees….

  15. Steve Kubby

    Anyone who wants a presidential candidate who is hard corp, plumb-line, 100 proof Libertarian, need not look any farther than the honorable R. Lee Wrights. I enthusiastically support Lee’s bid for the Libertarian nomination, but if Gov. Johnson wants to join the party, I’m ready to roll out the welcome mat.

  16. Bruce Cohen

    Anyone who is ‘hard core plumb-line’ Libertarian in the likes of Nolan or Wrights will further shrink and marginalize the LP.

    Libertarianism is a big picture idea.
    It’s not some magic official list of ‘Principles’.
    It’s not some new three letter word, such as ZAP or NIF.

    Mister Wrights comes off as combative, eternally angry and certainly less than likeable to anyone but those he already counts as supporters.

    We need to grow the party, and be open to all types of Libertarians.

    The nasty and exclusionary folks need to find a new bus to ride on.

  17. Tom Blanton

    Mister Wrights comes off as combative, eternally angry and certainly less than likeable to anyone but those he already counts as supporters.

    That’s rich coming from Bruce Cohen.

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    Bruce on the 18th I drove up state and spoke to two high school classes.

    Earlier this week I sent an email to some 750 lapsed members.

    On Monday I went to a county meeting on sustainability.

    On Tuesday I went to a meeting regarding the legalization of cannabis.

    In an hour I will leave to go to another meeting on cannabis.

    Costco called about an hour ago to say that the news letter I sent them is copied and ready to be picked up.

    I have another 500 piece mailer I am putting labels on sitting on a desk behind me.

    I have no idea how many hours that is. You figure it out.

    Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

  19. Jeremy C. Young

    Wrights doesn’t come off as combative and angry on the campaign trail. He only comes off that way to people who know his history in the party. If he’s nominated, general election voters won’t have any idea about that stuff.

  20. Here's a radical idea

    @ 19
    OK, so lets shut er done and put 75 million people out on the street. Let’s do it immediately. It ends the welfare state, saves taxpayer money.

    Oh yes, we better buy lots of guns for the anarchic rioting in the streets. Or all of us need to move to Montana or West Virginia.

  21. Don Lake, leaving a paper trail

    #27 Bruce Cohen // Dec 1, 2011:

    “Michael, how many hours a week do you ‘go to work’ for Libertarians ………..”

    Hmmmmmmmm, same Brucie Cohen that harranged the California state convention at Long Beach by the hour ??????????? That one ?????????

  22. John Jay Myers

    It is Ron Pauls ideals and commitment to principle that makes him so appealing it is why in one day he can raise more money than the LP has in 10 years.
    Unfortunately we have Wayne Root and others to make us appear to be unprincipled and ready to do whatever it takes just to get more popular, that is not a recipe to make us more popular, in fact it will make us appear worthless, why join a group that is less libertarian than a prominent Republican? Why not just go with the Republicans?

    No one wants to join a party that has no principles and lacks real heart. Those who might find the LP appealing are those who are almost completely fed up with politics.

    We have to understand our role or we will continue to dwindle, education 1st, politics as a way to educate until our numbers grow, then the next step, but this cart before the horse Rootism is going to destroy us.

  23. Bruce Cohen

    I think Ron Paul’s postitions against Gay Marriage, for closing the borders, plus his pro-life positions are all in clear conflict with the LP Platform, no?

  24. John Jay Myers

    If he had those positions that would be true, but you should probably read “Liberty Defined” and get to understand more about Ron Paul…. and Liberty.

  25. Bruce Cohen

    Thank you for ‘shoulding’ on me, John.

    And I appreciate the assignment.
    When does my book report have to be turned in?

    Maybe you should read “Conscience of a Libertarian” by Wayne Allyn Root and get to understand more about the real world and what mainstream Libertarians think?

    I’d say that the average Libertarian thinks, donates and votes a lot more like me than you, my boy. But either way, I thank you for the reading list.

    Oh, and who is Ron Paul?
    Never heard of the guy.
    LOL

  26. John Jay Myers

    Yeah, let’s compare Ron Paul’s book sales with Wayne’s, then let’s compare Ron’s donations with the entire LP.
    I think it’s pretty obvious whose philosophy appeals to people.
    If you want to be “Root” mainstream join the Republican Party “my boy”.
    But if you want to stand for something, stand for something.

  27. George Phillies

    Bruce writes:

    “I think Ron Paul’s positions against Gay Marriage, for closing the borders, plus his pro-life positions are all in clear conflict with the LP Platform, no?”

    You missed Paul’s proposal to repeal the 14th amendment’s application of the Bill of Rights to the states, not to mention his interpretation of the racist States’ Rights doctrine that would let states deny gays the right to marry, women the right to abortions, and Africans-Americans the right to vote or attend the integrated schools their taxes helped pay for.

  28. John Jay Myers

    Do you know that I allow you the right to marry or not marry whoever you like. I certainly don’t believe it is the Federal Governments business, and for you to try and manipulate that type of thing to suit your purpose is just sad.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM@43,

    I wouldn’t be bringing up “manipulating that type of thing to suit your purpose” anywhere in the area of a discussion that has to do with Ron Paul. He’s pretty obviously manipulated you on the issues Bruce and George mention.

  30. John Jay Myers

    The manipulation works like this:
    Do you want to do away with the income tax?
    Answer: Yes
    Then you want to take away the education of young children.

    It’s weird to see you guys buy into this stuff. It’s the same old thing, if you try to stand up for the constitution or say that you don’t believe something is the federal governments business, then all of the sudden “you are against “x””

    X being education, or security, or people being healthy etc. It’s just silly.

    Taken from Georges comment “that would let states deny gays the right to marry, ” soooo Ron Paul wants to deny it? Or does it open up the States right to do it?

    It’s just better if the Federal government doesn’t.

    Just because I don’t believe we should have a Department of Education, doesn’t mean I believe kids shouldn’t try to get the best education possible.

    This is like 101 shit.

  31. Jeremy C. Young

    Speaking as a non-Libertarian, it seems to me that the goal of true libertarians is “to reduce the size, scope, and power of government” at all levels. There are a few issues, like marriage, abortion, and the like, in which the larger federal government is actually less-restrictive than some smaller state governments would be in its absence. In this case, people like George are arguing that using the government to curtail the abuses of individuals is wrong, but using one government to curtail the abuses of another government is right. The end goal is to take away the abusive power from all governments, but sometimes the federal government is being less abusive than the state governments, so in the interim it’s not always wise to give more power to the state governments.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM@46,

    There’s thing called the US Constitution.

    It has a clause called the full faith and credit clause that requires states to recognize the deeds and acts of other states, including marriage licenses.

    The full faith and credit clause originally gave Congress carte blanche to prescribe its application.

    But there are these things called “amendments,” and one of them, the 14th, forbids states to deny people equal protection of the law, a prohibition that Congress cannot legislatively undo.

    “Constitutionalist” Ron Paul authored and sponsored legislation to nullify the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause with respect to the full faith and credit clause so that states could decline to recognize marriages he doesn’t like.

    “Constitutionalist” Ron Paul also assumes a federal power to regulate immigration — a power which the US Constitution not only does not delegate to the federal government, but specifically forbids to it.

    Paul is a “constitutionalist” except where the Constitution disagrees with his social conservatism.

    Just like he’s a “libertarian” on the same terms, when there are libertarians in the room with their checkbooks open.

  33. John Jay Myers

    It’s a bad argument because you are assuming that the Federal Government has a role in marriage. So that is constitutional interpretation gone wrong.

    Then you go on with bias w/ “marriages he doesn’t like.” do you mean marriages they don’t like? Because I can find more than one statement where Ron Paul says that it is none of governments business, and no, Jeremy, this is not a case of where the Federal Government can do it better, it’s a place where it’s none of any governments business.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM@49,

    “It’s a bad argument because you are assuming that the Federal Government has a role in marriage.”

    Paul is the one claiming the federal government has a role in marriage. He’s the one who wants Congress to nullify two clauses of the Constitution — without going through the bother of the requisite amendment process — in order to enable marriage apartheid by releasing the states from their constitutional obligations.

    “I can find more than one statement where Ron Paul says that it is none of governments business”

    Yes, you can. Paul has a habit of making mutually exclusive statements to different audiences.

    In technical jargon, this is referred to as “lying.”

  35. Kleptocracy And You

    If our Russian Granny was around he could scold you guys for hijacking another thread.

    This one is about Johnson, not Paul !

    Paul’s NOT perfect, but he’s better than most !!!

    If these statements about Johnson and FP are true, I’m not sure I want him to join. The LP’s Foreign Policy stance is one reason I joined those many moons ago and placed my name on the ballot under their logo. These neo-libertarian globalist warmongers aren’t libertarians but just a pale shade of R lite. If Johnson wants to maintain any part of the EMPIRE I think he is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I’ve for a BIG Tent LP, but you have to have core principles to have a political party. Seems the “right-wingers” aren’t willing to welcome “left-wingers” into the party or the discussion. Anyone who has ever seen a Nolan Chart needs to remember there is room for many libertarian believers. Policeman of the world AIN’T one of ’em.

    As for the “FAIR TAX” crap, there’s no such thing. No taxes should always be the goal. Personal responsibility first. User fees, tariffs and voluntary donations are the way to fairness.

    A welfare state and open boarders equals major PROBLEMS ! It’s past time to END the welfare state………

  36. Robert Capozzi

    39 jjm: “I think it’s pretty obvious whose philosophy appeals to people.”

    40 gp: President Obama’s, rather clearly.

    me: GP makes a good point here. “Popularity” is a relative thing, based on the level one is at. BHO plays at the highest level, RP the next highest, WR a few rungs down. We have something to learn from all of them. None has a monopoly on The Virtuous Way. The path to liberty is not a pre-determined formula, it’s a constantly evolving work in progress.

  37. langa

    I always find it interesting to see where people come down on the Ron Paul question, because it says a lot about where their priorities lie.

    For some people, the most important goals are bringing the troops home, ending the Fed, and repealing the Patriot Act.

    For others, those issues are trivial compared to making sure that no state is allowed to ban gay marriage or abortion.

    Of course, it’s up to each individual to decide exactly which of these agendas is the more libertarian one.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa@53,

    “For some people, the most important goals are bringing the troops home, ending the Fed, and repealing the Patriot Act.

    “For others, those issues are trivial compared to making sure that no state is allowed to ban gay marriage or abortion.”

    And for still others, it isn’t necessarily a prioritization of issues, but the notion that there are plenty of politicians who are good on some of them, and no particular reason to single one out who isn’t good on all of them and turn him into a plaster libertarian saint.

  39. langa

    it isn’t necessarily a prioritization of issues, but the notion that there are plenty of politicians who are good on some of them, and no particular reason to single one out who isn’t good on all of them and turn him into a plaster libertarian saint.

    It seems to me that your argument rests on a false dichotomy, in which it’s necessary to either canonize Ron Paul, or else to pretend that there’s no meaningful difference between him and the average DC scumbag. Can’t there be some kind of middle ground?

    Isn’t it possible to admit that, while he’s certainly not perfect, he is vastly more libertarian than 99% of his colleagues? And if so, isn’t that worth something? Something, that is, other than derision and scorn?

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa@55,

    “Isn’t it possible to admit that, while he’s certainly not perfect, he is vastly more libertarian than 99% of his colleagues?”

    To conclude that would require the kind of prioritization that you refer to in #53, with heavy weighting on foreign policy and economics versus immigration and domestic social issues to make him “more libertarian” than — for example — Barney Frank.

    The biggest difference between Paul and Frank is that people don’t run around blathering about how Frank strode out of Ayn Rand’s virgin womb and immediately began walking on water.

  41. George Phillies

    @56 Is a political party that looks toward a bright future a fit for someone who rejects the 20th century, never mind the 21st, on issues including global warming and evolution?

    @53 Interesting way to frame the choice. Is someone who wants to turn off our first amendment protections libertarian leaning? That’s what he proposed while he was in office in Congress. I suppose it depends if you value freedom of speech and freedom of the press or if you are more attached to bullion fetishism and gold buggery.

  42. ATBAFT

    I guess each of us should run for President because, obviously, any one else is going to have an issue or three that we don’t agree with.
    Seriously, the LP candidate should be out there promoting the Party’s four or five solutions to four or five problems, not out there choosing his or her own solutions. At this point in the LP’s development, the presidential nomination is to use the soapbox to get LP principles and solutions “out there.” Delegates need to select the candidate who can best articulate the platform and best organize a campaign to maximize the LP’s exposure.

  43. JT

    Knapp: “The biggest difference between Paul and Frank is that people don’t run around blathering about how Frank strode out of Ayn Rand’s virgin womb and immediately began walking on water.”

    No. First, Paul has nothing to do with Rand philosophically, except for on some political issues, but not on some others. I don’t know of anyone who says that Paul is the “child,” so to speak, of Rand.

    Second, the biggest difference between Paul and Frank is that, at least when it comes to federal government policy, Frank falls on the far left of the Nolan Chart. Paul is essentially on the libertarian-conservative border. They’ve worked together before on certain issues.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@61,

    “the biggest difference between Paul and Frank is that, at least when it comes to federal government policy, Frank falls on the far left of the Nolan Chart.”

    Which Nolan Chart? There are hundreds of them, with different weight placed on different issues and some issues excluded altogether — for example, the current version of the Advocates for Self-Government’s World’s Smallest Political Quiz excludes foreign policy and immigration.

  45. JT

    Good question. I wasn’t talking about any political quiz. I was just talking about the political paradigm of liberal, conservative, centrist, authoritarian, and libertarian. Frank is clearly a hardcore liberal. Paul is pretty much on the libertarian-conservative line. When it comes to federal policies, Paul has a few stances popular with contemporary conservatives. As far as militarism, marijuana, free speech, torture, the Patriot Act, he takes positions shared by most contemporary liberals but not most contemporary conservatives.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@63,

    “Frank is clearly a hardcore liberal”

    Look, I’m not the one who brought up the Nolan Chart, you are.

    That whole paradigm is easily gamed.

    Just for example, let’s add two questions, and deduct two, from the current Advocates WSPQ.

    Let’s add foreign policy — where Paul is right on and Frank is at least in the middle — and immigration, where Frank is at least in the middle and Paul is just flat anti-libertarian.

    Let’s use those two to replace Social Security and tax cuts, where Paul is right and Frank is wrong.

    Voila — suddenly Paul’s a hardcore conservative and Frank’s in the left area of the libertarian quadrant.

    The reason Paul is thought of as more libertarian than Frank is that Paul goes out of his way to say nice things to libertarians.

    Especially when they have their checkbooks with them.

  47. JT

    Knapp: “Look, I’m not the one who brought up the Nolan Chart, you are.”

    Yes. So? The Nolan Chart isn’t equal to the WSPQ. It has no questions in itself (the Advocates added them, and others have since added different ones). The Nolan Chart is just a graphic representation of five areas of political perspective. There aren’t “hundreds” of Nolan Charts, as you say in post 62. The Nolan Chart refers to the actual graphic devised by one David Nolan as a diamond-shaped set of five distinct overall political perspectives. That’s all I was referring to, Tom.

    But let me be clearer about Frank vs. Paul: On every economic issue, Frank is a contemporary liberal. On every social issue, Paul isn’t a contemporary conservative. He’s aligned with conservatives on some, liberals on others. He’s also aligned with most contemporary liberals on foreign policy. I’d still put him fairly close to the libertarian-conservative line overall, but Frank is nowhere near the libertarian-liberal line overall.

    Knapp: “The reason Paul is thought of as more libertarian than Frank is that Paul goes out of his way to say nice things to libertarians.”

    Ridiculous. The reason Paul is thought of as more libertarian than Frank is that he actually has social and foreign policy views that most contemporary liberals share. Name the economic issues on which Frank is aligned with contemporary conservatives? I’ve already named some social issues where Paul is aligned with contemporary liberals. Bottom line: When it comes to federal policy, Frank is great socially, awful economically, and mixed in foreign affairs. When it comes to federal policy, Paul is mixed socially, great economically, and great in foreign affairs. That’s reality.

  48. John Jay Myers

    You know what I love about returning to this blog? Because I haven’t posted on it about 4 months and in those 4 months, I started a brand new restaurant, hired 30 people, and this month we will make a profit for the first time.

    Where most on this blog will knit pick politics TO DEATH, and never really do anything.

    http://www.freemandallas.com
    Come on down for some Boudin and relax.

  49. Darryl W. Perry

    JJM – that is quite an accomplishment, from what I understand; many restaurants are not profitable for the first 3 years! To make a profit after 4 months is HUGE! Congrats & wish I was closer to Dallas to swing by for a drink!

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@67,

    “why do you put Frank in the middle and Paul way off on immigration?”

    A reasonable question.

    If I went by FAIR’s ratings, Frank would be entirely libertarian on immigration while Paul would be completely anti-libertarian on immigration.

    If I went by US Border Control’s ratings, Frank would be almost perfectly libertarian on immigration while Paul would be not quite perfectly anti-libertarian on immigration.

    I downgraded Frank from entirely libertarian on immigration to mixed based on his vote in favor of the Berlin Wa … er, “border fence.”

  51. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM@66,

    Congratulations on your most recent success.

    But: Please don’t embarrass yourself with Root-style “anyone who disagrees with me obviously has never done anything except read blogs” bullshit.

  52. John Jay Myers

    Ouch, don’t compare me to Wayne. Anyway, it’s not that, it’s just that so much energy on these blogs is spent sweating the small shit, when we aren’t even close to what really matters.

  53. Thomas L. Knapp

    JJM@71,

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but IPR is where I come to relax and blow off steam, not to sweat anything.

    This week, in addition to commenting at IPR, I’ve published five editions of the newsletter (as I have every week for nine years later this month); moderated hundreds of comments at Antiwar.com; submitted more than 9,000 Center for a Stateless Society op-eds to newspapers, and seen them published in the US, India, Bangladesh, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Germany, and started research on a new essay as something extra for a collection of my past work that I just learned will be coming out in book form next year.

    And that’s just the stuff I can tell you about. Sometimes I think I’d rather hire on as a dishwasher at your new restaurant 😉

    Regards,
    Tom

  54. langa

    The biggest difference between Paul and Frank is that people don’t run around blathering about how Frank strode out of Ayn Rand’s virgin womb and immediately began walking on water.

    Barney Frank? Seriously? While there are a few social issues where Frank is arguably more libertarian than Ron Paul, there are at least as many where Ron Paul is clearly more libertarian than Barney Frank. Meanwhile, I can’t think of a single economic issue on which Frank is even remotely close to the libertarian position. Seriously, Barney Frank?

  55. Robert Capozzi

    64 tk: The reason Paul is thought of as more libertarian than Frank is that Paul goes out of his way to say nice things to libertarians. Especially when they have their checkbooks with them.

    me: You may be reading other Ls minds than mine, but my reason for viewing Paul as more L than Frank is that, on most issues, I agree with Paul, at least directionally. When I disagree with him, I understand his thought process.

    I cannot say the same thing about Frank.

    Border control is not just about immigration, as I see it, by the way. But Paul I do believe does not support the fence.

  56. langa

    …Is someone who wants to turn off our first amendment protections libertarian leaning? That’s what he proposed while he was in office in Congress. I suppose it depends if you value freedom of speech and freedom of the press…

    When has Ron Paul ever been against freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or any other part of the First Amendment? The truth is that he has been the greatest champion of the First Amendment in the history of Congress, and it’s not even close. To paint him as an opponent of the First Amendment is a huge stretch, even for a closet Democrat like yourself.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    77 l, yes, that charge also seems WAY off. TK may have some clever explanation….

  58. langa

    Actually, that bizarre charge was made not by Mr. Knapp, but rather by the esteemed intellectual Dr. Phillies, a man so sophisticated and erudite that he knows better than to question the claim that the economy is “rebounding nicely”, or however it was phrased in his daily copy of the Democratic Party’s Official Talking Points Memo, so I’m sure he has an absolutely brilliant explanation.

  59. George Phillies

    @77

    When?

    How about RIGHT NOW?

    H.R.958
    Latest Title: We the People Act
    Sponsor: Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] (introduced 3/8/2011) Cosponsors (None)
    Latest Major Action: 3/21/2011 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution.

    SEC. 3. LIMITATION ON JURISDICTION.

    The Supreme Court of the United States and each Federal court–
    (1) shall not adjudicate–
    (A) any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion;

    THAT’S RIGHT. If your State bans the worship services of the Southern Baptists, Ron Paul thinks that the Southern Baptists should not be able to go to a Federal judge and have the law voided.

    And he has been submitting these on a regular basis.

    Like this one:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:H.R.5078:
    Remove religious freedom issues from the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts

    Ron Paul is in his legislative deeds no friend of the first amendment. Fortunately, his colleagues have worked out that he is a far right winger, an opposite of libertarian, and ignore him.

  60. Jeremy C. Young

    I think the idea is that hardcore liberals and hardcore conservatives support some (a minority) of the LP’s issues simply because the philosophies overlap. The question is whether Ron Paul supports more of the LP’s issues than the typical conservative does, or the same as the typical conservative.

    I would tend to say that Paul supports more of the LP’s issues than anyone in the major parties (except maybe Gary Johnson). Compared to a conservative, he’s right from a libertarian perspective on the drug war, foreign policy, economics, and more right than the rest of them on social issues. Whether he is more libertarian on social issues than Barney Frank is debatable (I’d say probably not). But he’s more libertarian than Barney Frank on the drug war, foreign policy, and by orders of magnitude on economics.

  61. langa

    #80:

    THAT’S RIGHT. If your State bans the worship services of the Southern Baptists, Ron Paul thinks that the Southern Baptists should not be able to go to a Federal judge and have the law voided.

    This is obviously not because he is opposed to freedom of religion, but rather, because he is a proponent of decentralization. In other words, he recognizes that by far the biggest threat to our freedom is the centralization of power, and thus, he opposes any efforts to promote such centralization, even if it is ostensibly designed to coincide with libertarian goals.

    The opposite view, that we “need” the federal government to “protect” us from the tyranny of state and local governments, is based on the flawed view that freedom is to be attained via a “top-down” approach. Based on this logic, I suppose that Dr. Phillies is in favor of a world government to “protect” us from the U.S. federal government.

  62. George Whitfield

    Congratulations John Jay on your success. I look forward to meeting you at the convention in May.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@76,

    “But Paul I do believe does not support the fence.”

    Depends on what you mean by “support.”

    On the one hand, there’s what he says (that it’s not a priority, and even that it might be used to keep Americans in and not just non-Americans out).

    On the other hand, there’s what he does (vote in favor of it in the US House of Representatives).

  64. George Phillies

    @82 Thank you for explaining why destroying freedom of religion in America is not opposition to freedom of religion.

    Contemplate rephrasing your reinterpretations in NewSpeak. It’s just the language for that sort of verbal sleight of hand.

  65. Tom Blanton

    Honest politicians are harder to find than virgin prostitutes. And virgin prostitutes aren’t that much fun, but more fun than an honest politician. But, I’m just speculating because I’ve never met a virgin prostitute or an honest politician.

    The problem could be solved by abolishing the government. I’m talking about the problem with politicians, not the virgin prostitute shortage.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    80 gp, yes, many of us recognize that RP’s views of federalism sometimes go to odd-sounding places, as apparently the We the People Act does.

    You want to call that “turn[ing] off our first amendment protections ….” That seems to me to be a severe overstatement. You seem to feel otherwise. I suspect most Ls would agree with me on this one.

    If RP and GJ bolt and the LP has the dream ticket Paul/Johnson, this may on one level displease you. OTOH, consider the bright side for you–you’ll have MUCH to complain about. Paul/Johnson’s FEC filings will likely be much richer mines for you to comb through. And, Paul is using a PRIVATE JET currently. VERY good odds he uses a car service, too.

    Your forensic accounting hobby will have a very large canvas to experiment with. It sounds to me like a potential full-time endeavor. 😉

  67. Robert Capozzi

    87 tb: The problem could be solved by abolishing the government.

    me: Yes, Armageddon does, too. 😉

  68. Robert Capozzi

    84 tk, I’m not aware of the details of what RP voted for, but if he voted for it yet speaks ambivalently about it, I can surely see how. Politics is not simplistic, nor cut and dried.

    As I understand what you tried to do with BTP and its platform, a BTP member who was in Congress could not vote for a federal budget that cut spending overall if any one line item were to increase. There appears to be no room in Knappsterism for taking an all-things-considered perspective and voting for such a budget.

    My approach differs. In fact, if RP has changed his view of the fence over time, I’m real OK with his making adjustments. Nobody’s perfect and in fact I’m not at all sure what “perfect” is, in politics or anything else.

  69. Tom Blanton

    If you’re looking for Armageddon, don’t abolish government. I’m fairly certain that the quickest route to Armageddon is through government action.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@90,

    “As I understand what you tried to do with BTP and its platform, a BTP member who was in Congress could not vote for a federal budget that cut spending overall if any one line item were to increase.”

    I find nothing in the BTP platform that causes a trap door over a shark tank to open under a congresscritter who’s about to vote “the wrong way.”

    Every congresscritter risks the continuing support of his or her party with every vote. Like all party platforms, the BTP’s is interpreted and applied by its members and activists.

    “There appears to be no room in Knappsterism for taking an all-things-considered perspective and voting for such a budget.”

    There’s no such thing as “Knappsterism,” thank God. And if there was, it wouldn’t be found in the BTP platform. The BTP platform was my attempt to find common ground and a way to work together for “radicals” and “moderates.”

  71. Robert Capozzi

    91 tb, no, I’m not looking for Armageddon. Point is: if you want to solve a problem by abolishing it, Armaggedon does so.

    93 tk, I’d suggest we each have own own -ism. Your attempt to heal that schism was valiant, but didn’t work for me.

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@94,

    “I’d suggest we each have own own -ism.”

    You’re probably right, but even if so the BTP is not representative of my ism. It was an attempt to transcend apparent incompatibilities between two isms, each of which represented a paradigm of essences toward which “Knappsterism” had at that point been for some time in continuing approximation.

    “Your attempt to heal that schism was valiant, but didn’t work for me.”

    I’m glad you think it was valiant. Nothing works for everyone, and that one ended up not even really working for me. But it was fun and interesting, which is enough.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    96 mhw, yes, an ism schism is unavoidable, since perception is non-universal and selective at the individual level. Keeping the gaps small and reasonably cohesive (cat herding) is a party’s full time job.

  74. Tom Blanton

    I’m not looking for Armageddon. Point is: if you want to solve a problem by abolishing it, Armaggedon does so.

    My point is that if you want to minimize the chance of Armageddon, abolish government. Of course, if your neighbor who is building a nuke in his garage ends up building a few thousand, he might bring about Armageddon – but he probably won’t go for the total annihilation thing.

  75. Andy

    “John Jay Myers // Dec 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    You know what I love about returning to this blog? Because I haven’t posted on it about 4 months and in those 4 months, I started a brand new restaurant, hired 30 people, and this month we will make a profit for the first time.

    Where most on this blog will knit pick politics TO DEATH, and never really do anything.

    http://www.freemandallas.com
    Come on down for some Boudin and relax.”

    Cool. If I’m ever in Dallas, TX and I’m hungry I’d be happy to check out your restaurant.

  76. JT

    Knapp: “JJM@66,

    Congratulations on your most recent success.

    But: Please don’t embarrass yourself with Root-style “anyone who disagrees with me obviously has never done anything except read blogs” bullshit.”

    I was going to make a Wayne comparison in response to that post, Tom. Didn’t get around to it though. Glad you did.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    99 tb:My point is that if you want to minimize the chance of Armageddon, abolish government.

    me: Sorry this continues to careen off thread, but I get your point, I just find it cavalier and absurd, ADR. Abolition, even if actionable, may or may not avoid Armageddon more effectively, as the weapons already exist.

  78. Tom Blanton

    Sorry this continues to careen off thread, but I get your point, I just find it cavalier and absurd, ADR. Abolition, even if actionable, may or may not avoid Armageddon more effectively, as the weapons already exist.

    Careen away. Herman Cain is cavalier and absurd, abolition is actually inactionable, and weapons don’t kill people, government thugs do.

    Withdraw consent, don’t act in furtherance of government, legitimacy crumbles, and government fades away. It requires only inaction and noncompliance.

    Weapons don’t start wars, but the politicians that voters elect certainly do – over and over. Armageddon belongs to politicians and those that insist on electing them.

  79. Tom Blanton

    Voting is what’s really cavalier and absurd, assuming that you mean having a lack of concern and foolish behavior.

    I’d say voting for liars to abuse you fits the bill. And make no mistake, that is what happens at every election.

  80. Pingback: An Open Letter to Gary Earl Johnson | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  81. Austin Battenberg

    Ron Paul is running for the President of the United States, not for Governor of a particular state. Thus, his position that the states should decide controversial issues like abortion and gay marriage because the federal government shouldn’t be involved is totally legitimate because even though we libertarians might believe that gays should marry and Ron Paul might believe otherwise, his position as PRESIDENT is consistent with what I desire, thus I am fine with his position of states rights.

    And the stupidity that people say that blacks wouldn’t be allowed to vote is absurd, as that tramples our individual rights, which Ron Paul is a huge supporter of. Just saying.

  82. Thomas L. Knapp

    AB@106,

    “his position that the states should decide controversial issues like abortion and gay marriage because the federal government shouldn’t be involved is totally legitimate”

    Perhaps so. But it is also totally inconsistent with his pledge to advance and sign a federal anti-abortion bill if elected president.

  83. George Phillies

    @106 Ron Paul’s position that states should be allowed to take away a woman’s access to abortions is, let there be no doubt, “Ron Paul is an enemy of our rights”.

    As @107 points out, his position is that as President he would sign laws taking away those rights.

    The controversy on abortion rights — not whether you should choose an abortion for yourself but whether other people should have the right to abortion access — is a controversy over whether we should be a free country or a dictatorship under the Republican Christian Taliban Party.

  84. Robert Capozzi

    109 gp: The controversy on abortion rights…is a controversy over whether we should be a free country or a dictatorship under the Republican Christian Taliban Party.

    me: Breaktaking histrionics, Prof. Pro-life Ls are “Christian Talibans” now. When life should be defended by law seems like a matter that there can be good will disagreement. You apparently don’t think so….

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