Video: Gary Johnson on CNN and Fox after Party Switch to Libertarian

A couple of videos of news networks interviewing former NM Governor Gary Johnson after his switch from the race for the Republican presidential nomination to the Libertarian one:

CNN:

Fox Business – Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano:

As with Sunday’s appearance on MSNBC,in these interviews Johnson stresses socially liberal and anti-interventionist issues along with his fiscal conservatism, says he may take more votes from Obama than from the Republicans, and has good things to say about Ron Paul. And, as with the MSNBC interview, he does not mention the issues where the largest numbers of Libertarians have disagreed with him, such as his support for the tax plan dubbed the Fair Tax by its proponents and military tribunals for detainees in the war on terror.

In these clips, unlike in the MSNBC clip, he makes it clear that the Libertarian nomination is not a done deal.

Johnson has an internet townhall meeting on his website tonight at 8 PM Eastern (5 Pacific) with LNC Treasurer Bill Redpath, the latest in a series of such meetings.

He’ll participate in his first debate with other contenders for the Libertarian presidential nomination this Saturday in Manhattan.

99 thoughts on “Video: Gary Johnson on CNN and Fox after Party Switch to Libertarian

  1. Brian Holtz

    From Gary Johnson’s campaign site:

    No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.

    Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts.

    Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes.

    While Johnson has indeed endorsed the Fair Tax, he doesn’t specifically mention it on his issues page about taxes:

    Eliminate punitive taxation of savings and investment.

    Simplify the tax code; stop using it to reward special interests and control behavior.

    Eliminate the corporate income tax so that America will once again be a great place to start a business.

  2. Ad Hoc

    Sounds good in both of these clips.

    Seems to me some of his critics here dwell too much on the negative.

    He does not sound like a right wing Republican.

  3. Jason Feliciano

    Due process through military tribunals is impossible. And the “fair” tax is anything but. Glad he doesn’t bring those up. He does sound good in these interviews.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    While I think GJ’s handling these questions well, he might come off crisper and more persuasively if he used this sort of narrative:

    Look, the big picture is this: The Constitution does not specify a “two-party system.” Or even a THREE party system. A growing number of Americans believe this supposed “two-party system” is broken. I agree.

    I’ve been a believer in libertarian ideas for most of my adult life. I’ve been a member of both the Rs and Ls. I’m all about the idea that what ails our nation is a LACK of liberty. Yes, I was elected governor of NM as a R and yes I was seeking the R nomination, as it seemed the best fit for me and my ideas.

    I no longer believe that. The Rs have proven to they only give lip service to the ideas of peace, freedom, and free enterprise. For chris-sake, now we’ve got some R candidates attacking another R for making a lot of money!

    It’s my belief that the system is broken. It’s time for a REAL third party on the national stage to turn this ship around, because we are like that cruise ship in the Mediterrean…we’re dangerously close to the rocks.

    That’s why I’m seeking the L nomination…to bring this message that Ron Paul offering now into the general elections.

    Or something.

  5. D. Lou Shenoll

    @4 Good effort to assist. He should continue to improve. The LP debates (forums) he goes through also should help him if by chance he could get on a stage with Obama and the R.

    Any word on extra Media coverage in NYC for him or Harris ? Their people need to get on the ball and get them (or him) on multiple Monday morning NETWORK shows. Possible a cameo on Letterman, Colbert, Stewart and/or whoever will give something. Who cares if it’s a real “buffoon” cameo, it’s all about working on name I.D. at this early stage. He and Harris etc can certainly get Local news coverage where they can elaborate on program planks. A cameo (if nothing more) for GJ on a national comedy show would really up his name to face recognition nationwide. NYC is NYC they need to take FULL advantage of their visit !!!

    Gary Johnson 2012: Don’t Get Fooled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNXdoeF3KaM&NR=1

  6. paulie Post author

    I think he did well.

    The message tone is much better than Barr’s and the media attention is better than e.g. Badnarik.

    As I’ve said before I have the same nits with Johnson as others have brought up. I hope he continues to concentrate on the issues he mentions in these interviews, as opposed to those other issues.

  7. Rob Banks

    That’s not much different than what LP candidates normally poll at this stage. The “wasted vote” factor does not kick in until later on.

  8. Andy

    “While Johnson has indeed endorsed the Fair Tax, he doesn’t specifically mention it on his issues page about taxes:”

    He may not mention it there, but Gary Johnson has mentioned his support for the Fair Tax in many speeches, debates, and interviews. This is not a good thing and is reason enough for the Libertarian Party to reject him as a candidate.

  9. Andy

    “Simplify the tax code; stop using it to reward special interests and control behavior.”

    My idea of simplifying the tax code is to eliminate it and to replace it with nothing. Gary Johnson wants to “simplify” it by replacing it with a 30% national sales tax that’s got a bunch of other garbage attached to it.

    “Eliminate the corporate income tax so that America will once again be a great place to start a business.”

    I’m all in favor of eliminating any tax, but Gary Johnson’s marketing here is horrible. Most of the public is going to think something like, “So this guy wants to eliminate taxes on rich corporations but he wants me to pay a national sales tax. Screw this guy! He’s just for the rich.”

    I understand that eliminating corporate taxes is something that will help the average Joe and Jane because it will lead to lower prices and more job creation, but I’ve been involved in the libertarian movement for a long time. This is not a message that I believe will resonate very well with the majority of the public (including many people who are open to the libertarian message if it is presented to them in a way that they understand). The majority of the public is primarily concerned with the taxes that they know that they pay directly, such as the income tax that comes out of their pay check and the sales taxes that they pay when they purchase something. Most of the public isn’t overly concerned with taxes paid by corporations (which are merely legal fictions created by the state, but this is another issue).

    So let’s get this straight, Gary Johnson thinks that focusing on eliminating a tax which the average working man and woman don’t see (and therefore don’t think or care about), and that replacing pay check extortion (ie-income tax) – the money taken out of the pay checks of working men and women – and replacing it with cash register extortion (ie-a national sales tax, which in this case is the so called “Fair Tax”), as in money extorted from the average Joe and Jane every time they purchase a good or service, is a good idea.

    I remember when I first discovered the Libertarian Party by stumbling upon the Libertarian Party’s National Convention on C-SPAN back in 1996, and I remember seeing Harry Browne and Irwin Schiff talking about getting rid of the income tax. This was a message that resonated with me because I didn’t like money being taken out of my pay check. I was of the opinion that it was my money that I had earned. The government didn’t come and work with me so why in the hell should they be able to take money out of my check and spend it on a bunch of crap. I remember Harry Browne saying that if the government actually followed the Constitution that there wouldn’t be a need for an income tax. This was the first time that I’d ever heard this message, and it was a message that really resonated with me and it was one of the main reasons that I called the 800 number that was on the screen and ended up joining the Libertarian Party.

    If I had heard Gary Johnson’s message of, “Eliminate corporate taxes, and replace the personal income tax with a national sales tax.” it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as inspiring to me. I might have thought something like, “The heck with this guy.” and changed the channel. I’d have certainly been far less likely to have been inspired enough to call the 800 number and join the party.

    Gary Johnson’s message on taxes enforces the false notion that libertarians only care about the rich and don’t care about regular working people.

    If one is only going to focus on eliminating one tax, eliminating the personal income tax and replacing it with nothing is a more inspiring message – and a more libertarian message – than eliminate taxes on government created legal fictions and replace personal income extortion with personal sales extortion.

  10. paulie Post author

    I fully agree about taxes.

    However I also find it notable that Johnson rattles off a dozen or more issues in these interviews, presenting a good mix of those that appeal to the right and those that appeal to the left, and in none of the interviews does he make a point of bringing this tax question up. To me that is a hopeful sign that it won’t be among his top issues.
    In evaluating a candidate, I have to assess not just his positions but what he chooses to emphasize.

    While I also would have been turned off by the national sales tax/universal welfare/end corporate tax message when I found myself turned off by the direction the Democratic Party took after the end of the cold war and the elevation of a baby boomer to its lead candidacy, I would have found the mix of issues and general tone Johnson presents in these interviews to resonate with me.

  11. Andy

    “and in none of the interviews does he make a point of bringing this tax question up. To me that is a hopeful sign that it won’t be among his top issues.”

    Eliminating corporate taxes and replacing the personal income tax with the Fair Tax has ALREADY been one of Gary’s Johnson’s top issue. Remember, his campaign for President didn’t just start when he announced that he was running for the Libertarian Party’s nomination, he’d been running for the Republican Party’s Presidential nomination for months before this, and he promoted his tax plan during his entire campaign for the Republican nomination, and he has continued to promote this tax plan since switching parties to run for the LP’s Presidential nomination. He even mentioned his tax plan in his speech the day that he switched to the Libertarian Party.

    Gary Johnson’s message on taxes SUCKS for a Libertarian Party candidate.

  12. Andy

    “I would have found the mix of issues and general tone Johnson presents in these interviews to resonate with me.”

    Sure, you’ve got to mix in some sugar with your rat poison if you want anyone to swallow it.

  13. Thane Eichenauer

    I am open to listening to any person pursuing the Libertarian Party nomination. Listen long enough to Gary Johnson and you _will_ hear him advocate the so-called Fair Tax. I oppose the Fair Tax and am not inspired to support any candidate that supports a change that adds yet another federal tax (such as the Fair Tax proposal).
    I have met Gary Johnson and shook his hand. That personal contact is still not enough to overcome his advocacy of the Fair Tax.

  14. paulie Post author

    Eliminating corporate taxes and replacing the personal income tax with the Fair Tax has ALREADY been one of Gary’s Johnson’s top issue.

    Yes, I know.

    Hopefully these interviews indicate that he is de-emphasizing it, even if he’s not changing his mind.

    And, if so, hopefully he won’t start emphasizing it more again post-nomination.

    Gary Johnson’s message on taxes SUCKS for a Libertarian Party candidate.

    I agree, and I would say the same for RJ Harris’ position on abortion (for example), but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of supporting either of them.

    As a practical matter, unless a bigger name such as Ron Paul or possibly Jesse Ventura gets in the race, I don’t see candidates such as Wrights or Harris beating Johnson.

    I don’t think Paul will do it.

    If Ventura does, I don’t know who’d win. Both have pluses and minuses from my perspective.

    Given the high likelihood that Johnson will win, I’d rather find myself in a possible position to influence his message as an uncommitted delegate – not that me influencing his message is likely, but then it at least becomes possible.

    Given that there are already far more things I agree with him than ones I disagree with him on, it’s at least a starting point to try to work on the rest.

    At this point I’m just happy he’s better than Barr.

  15. paulie Post author

    Sure, you’ve got to mix in some sugar with your rat poison if you want anyone to swallow it.

    Actually, any given amount of sugar in the real world will have some poison mixed with it. Usually, the dose of poison is small enough to not be overly harmful. Everything we touch – from water to air to food to what have you – contains some amount of poisons.

  16. paulie Post author

    Listen long enough to Gary Johnson and you _will_ hear him advocate the so-called Fair Tax.

    True.

    But, at this point, I’m just happy that – at least in these examples – it is not a major priority for him.

    I hope it continues to not be one.

  17. Ad Hoc

    Why do so many here want to focus on an issue Johnson doesn’t choose to emphasize in any of these interviews?

  18. Ad Hoc

    Anything is a poison at a sufficient dose.

    One of the most poisonous thing of all is to avoid poisons to such an extreme degree that you cease to function.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    interesting datapoint from the Constitution, A2:

    …and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President….

    The Constitution itself anticipates FIVE serious candidates for prez! That’s a fact that could be worked in to the “electability” issue.

  20. paulie Post author

    Revelant for GJ, as he makes reference to RP frequently. Caution is indicated…

    Johnson hasn’t, and can’t plausibly in any way be associated with the newsletters or any of the views expressed therein which most of us find objectionable. He can easily say that he agrees with the gist of Paul’s message – opposition to the corporate/welfare/warfare, military/police/prison/industrial regime complex – but disagrees on issues such as abortion, immigration and gay marriage, where he takes a more progressive stance.

    In fact, Johnson has said all along that he has some differences with Paul, as he does again in at least one of the three videos I posted.

    Mirroring the general split in the movement between the Rockwell/Rothbard wing and the Cato/Reason wing, both candidates have some weak points from my extremist libertarian perspective: Paul is more solidly libertarian than Johnson on economic and military/foreign policy issues, and on those civil liberties issues which revolve around the war on terror, while Johnson is more solidly libertarian on cultural civil liberties issues. Both are thus right-deviationist in different ways from where I am on the issues. However, both are on the whole range of issues much better than the establishment Democrats and Republicans, and from that perspective the differences between the two of them, and between either of them and me, are minor.

  21. Robert Capozzi

    23 p, I tend to agree. RP has not quite become toxic from N-Gate, but with these latest round of quotes, that could change. RP has deflected this skeleton enough that he’s not, say, Anthony Weiner.

    Still, there could come a point when GJ’s invoking RP COULD become a liability. My guess is he won’t be mortally wounded by his past (and current?) associations, but he has taken some big reputational hits, IMO.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    23 p: …right deviationist…

    Me: didn’t realize you used this term, P. Who’d be a left deviationist? Am I IYO a “deviationist”?

  23. paulie Post author

    @24 Use it to pivot.

    Get a question/insinuation about racism?

    Point out the racial disparities in the police-prison-industrial complex, particularly in conjunction with the war on drugs and the militarization of domestic policing.

    Point out the racism that goes hand in hand with islamophobia, the war on terror and related wars abroad.

    Point out the racial disparities that go hand in hand with corporate welfare, corporate bailouts and the attendant government-run upwards redistribution of wealth.

    Point out that racism is a form of collectivism, and then give some other examples of collectivism in the political programs of the Democrats and Republicans (one or two examples from each side, spanning a variety of broad policy areas).

    And so on.

  24. paulie Post author

    Who’d be a left deviationist?

    Jesse Ventura might be. Bill Maher sort of was, back when he was claiming to be a libertarian/fiscal conservative. Essentially, a left-deviationist would be someone who is solid on all the peace and civil liberties issues but wavering somewhere between libertarian and populist-progressive on economic issues.

    I was in that category around 1992-1994 when I was transitioning from liberal/progressive to libertarian.

    Am I IYO a “dev iationist”?

    You are a moderate libertarian. That is, not as extreme as I am on many issues, but not leaning predominantly left or predominantly right as far as I can tell.

    Centrist-deviationist, if there is such a thing.

    And deviationist is not necessarily pejorative, at least as I use it.

  25. Robert Capozzi

    P, cool, I can work with that.

    Are there any left deviationists in the LM? I’d say Maher and JV are not.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    P, so, perhaps Will Wilkerson and Brink Lindsey might qualify as left deviationists…

  27. Andy

    “I agree, and I would say the same for RJ Harris’ position on abortion (for example), but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of supporting either of them.”

    One can only say that if they can prove that life does not begin at conception. This question is open for debate.

    FYI, Lee Wrights also identifies himself as a pro-lifer and a Christian, unless of course he’s lying now or flip flopped on the issue.

  28. paulie Post author

    Any subject is up for debate depending on the spin you put on it. And even if you believe life begins when I ask a girl if she wants a drink, that has nothing to do with what is constitutional.

  29. JT

    Paulie: “However, both are on the whole range of issues much better than the establishment Democrats and Republicans, and from that perspective the differences between the two of them, and between either of them and me, are minor.”

    I totally agree, Paulie. And let’s be honest: the chance of any other announced Libertarian candidate beating GJ for the nomination is very small. Johnson is demonstrating that he really wants it, and I think most delegates will want him.

    As for the Fair Tax, who’s to say that Johnson doesn’t abandon that idea now that he’s in the Libertarian camp? I wouldn’t care if he decided to go on record as rejecting it now after proposing it before. I don’t know that he will, but it’s a possibility.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    31 hm, JV is in the LM orbit, but I don’t recall him saying he’s L or any ideology in particular. He’s an independent and a reform guy, an iconoclast and now a conspiracy theorist.

  31. Paulie

    As for the Fair Tax, who’s to say that Johnson doesn’t abandon that idea now that he’s in the Libertarian camp?

    I’m not very optimistic about that.

    Not that I would necessarily rule it out, but I’ll be happier if he doesn’t emphasize it much, or better yet lists it as one of several possible options to look at by way of simplifying the tax code.

    I’m not giving up hope entirely, but he seems pretty committed to it, and I respect that it is (as far as I know, and I have no reason to think otherwise) a sincerely held belief, albeit one I disagree with.

    I don’t recall him saying he’s L or any ideology in particular.

    I’m pretty sure that I do recall him saying that, and that’s what the preponderance of his positions at the link above seem to indicate.

  32. paulie Post author

    FYI, Lee Wrights also identifies himself as a pro-lifer and a Christian, unless of course he’s lying now or flip flopped on the issue.

    I wasn’t discussing Wrights, but since you brought it up:

    I’ve changed my mind on any number of issues over the years. If that’s the case why characterize it pejoratively as a flip flop? People’s views do change over time.

    It could also mean a number of other things:

    – Maybe he disapproves of abortion for moral reasons but does not believe that monopoly government is the way to solve the problem.

    – Maybe he has conflicting feelings on the issue, as do a lot of people.

    In any case he hasn’t said it’s unconstitutional, which is just plain weird.

    If abortion is murder, it would be a matter for local law enforcement. Murder is not “unconstitutional” unless you are being murdered by government agents who have not gone through a constitutional process (war or trial and conviction) first.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    paulie@37,

    There’s one area in which murder is a federal matter, and that’s the equal protection clause.

    That’s why some pro-lifers are so interested in legally defining personhood as “from conception.”

    It’s also why some pro-choicers were so up in arms about prospective federal intervention in Florida a few years back when that state’s courts decided the murder laws didn’t protect you if your husband wanted you dead pursuant to an insurance fraud he was trying to perpetrate.

  34. Andy

    “Maybe he has conflicting feelings on the issue, as do a lot of people.”

    Maybe he’s just trying to cover up that he’s a pro-life Christian who think that aborion should be illegal because he knows that it will lose him votes with some of the delegates.

    Sure, it’s possible that he could have changed his mind on the issue, but he was very adament about being a pro-life Christian who considered abortion to be murder when I was there.

    I’m not saying that this stance is right, wrong, or whatever, I’m just saying that’s what he said.

    “In any case he hasn’t said it’s unconstitutional, which is just plain weird.”

    Well, if one considers abortion to be a violation of the right to life without due process of law, then it would violate the 5th amendment, so I wouldn’t say that it is plain weird if that’s what one considers abortion to be.

    “If abortion is murder, it would be a matter for local law enforcement. Murder is not ‘unconstitutional’ unless you are being murdered by government agents who have not gone through a constitutional process (war or trial and conviction) first.”

    See the 5th amendment. Also, one could make the arguement that the Roe vs. Wade ruling was unconstitutional.

  35. Andy

    “while Johnson is more solidly libertarian on cultural civil liberties issues.”

    Gary Johnson only wants to decriminalize marijuana. He said that he does not want to legalize all drugs.

    Ron Paul wants to completely end the War on Drugs.

    I’d say that Ron Paul is more solidly libertarian on cultural civil liberties issues.

  36. Andy

    “As for the Fair Tax, who’s to say that Johnson doesn’t abandon that idea now that he’s in the Libertarian camp? I wouldn’t care if he decided to go on record as rejecting it now after proposing it before. I don’t know that he will, but it’s a possibility.”

    If Gary Johnson flip flops on the Fair Tax at this late stage in the election cycle then I’d bet that he’s lying just to get more votes from Libertarian Party delegates.

  37. paulie Post author

    Maybe he’s just trying to cover up that he’s a pro-life Christian who think that aborion should be illegal because he knows that it will lose him votes with some of the delegates.

    Anything is possible.

    I generally default to first give people the benefit of the doubt, but it doesn’t mean I don’t recognize other possibilities.

    Sure, it’s possible that he could have changed his mind on the issue, but he was very adament about being a pro-life Christian who considered abortion to be murder when I was there.

    Being adamant is no reason to suppose someone can’t change their mind later.

    Well, if one considers abortion to be a violation of the right to life without due process of law, then it would violate the 5th amendment, so I wouldn’t say that it is plain weird if that’s what one considers abortion to be.

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    That applies to government actions.

    See the 5th amendment.

    Seen and quoted in context.

    Also, one could make the arguement that the Roe vs. Wade ruling was unconstitutional.

    Certainly.

    But that would mean that the Supreme Court exceeded its authority, not that individual abortionists or women having abortions are doing something unconstitutional.

  38. paulie Post author

    If Gary Johnson flip flops on the Fair Tax at this late stage in the election cycle then I’d bet that he’s lying just to get more votes from Libertarian Party delegates.

    Well, it’s at least possible (though IMO not likely) that he hears arguments he hasn’t considered before and genuinely changes his mind.

    But even if he is dishonest I would still consider it a major win if he stops pushing this bad idea and associating it with the LP, particularly since as things stand he is very likely to be the nominee.

  39. paulie Post author

    Gary Johnson only wants to decriminalize marijuana. He said that he does not want to legalize all drugs.

    When/where? Pretty sure I’ve seen him say otherwise.

    Ron Paul wants to completely end the War on Drugs.

    Except when he says it should be up to the states.

    I’d say that Ron Paul is more solidly libertarian on cultural civil liberties issues.

    Not on gay rights/marriage equality, abortion, or immigration, and note the ACLU scorecards of the two respective candidates on each of those issues.

    Also, Johnson emphasizes these issues more than Paul does.

  40. paulie Post author

    There’s one area in which murder is a federal matter, and that’s the equal protection clause.


    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Duly noted.

    I suspect, however, that Harris most likely comes from the school of thought that downplays the 14th Amendment.

    I suspect he means the 5th amendment as Andy suggest above.

  41. paulie Post author

    Gary Johnson’s message on taxes SUCKS for a Libertarian Party candidate.

    I agree, and I would say the same for RJ Harris’ position on abortion (for example), but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of supporting either of them.

    One can only say that if they can prove that life does not begin at conception.

    No, I can say that based on my beliefs on the issue. “Prove” to whose satisfaction?

    I can’t prove to everyone that the fraudulent tax is not in fact an improvement over the current system.

    But I can still say it’s an issue position I oppose. The same is every bit as true of Harris’ position on abortion.

    “This question is open for debate” adds precisely nothing to the calculus of which candidate to support.

    The question of which tax system that we may think can be plausibly implementable in the relatively near term is least bad is certainly debatable. Indeed any issue is debatable.

  42. paulie Post author

    Harris can’t prove to everyone’s satisfaction that life begins at conception either, but he does want to use government force to stop abortion, which many people consider would constitute a major violation of womens’ rights akin to slavery.

    There’s no objective criteria that says that people who find that issue important and consider Harris’ position on it to be the anti-liberty view are less entitled to reject him for that reason, than those who find the fraudulent tax to be a deal breaker do to reject Johnson on that basis.

    That’s not to say I would necessarily reject either of them.

    In fact this is the first time since I have been in the LP that I don’t necessarily know who I would support for the nomination.

    In 2000 it was Browne, in 2004 it was Russo and in 2008 it was Kubby with Ruwart as backup. In 2010 I knew that I supported Hinkle followed by Myers.

    In 2012 I don’t know. It might be interesting to go to the convention as an uncommitted delegate. It may also be interesting to just go to report, socialize and observe, but I already asked to be a delegate.

    Finally, I’m also considering not going; I “won” in 2000 but in hindsight shouldn’t have gone as it was mostly a waste of time, but I didn’t regret experiencing it. In 2002 I really wanted to go but it was crunch time on the MPP petition in DC. In hindsight I don’t regret not going. In 2004 I went, it was in a neighboring state so it was no big deal, but I left disappointed that Russo did not win (though Badnarik turned out to be better than I expected). In 2006 I had no desire to go and don’t regret not going. In 2008 I wasted a lot of time and money and failed in all my objectives, personal and political, and in hindsight should have skipped it.

    2010 was the only one I really enjoyed and was glad I went to.

    This year, not only do I not know who I support, but it is likely to be way across the country from me and I no longer fly. I want to go to socialize mostly, which I would have rather done at the December 40th anniversary meeting in Vegas and I should have gone to that instead.

  43. D. Lou Shenoll

    I don’t want to fly either. I only want WHO i want playing with my “junk” not some PREVERT tsa agent….

    Abortion isn’t an issue to lead with or finish with or anywhere in between. Leave it alone unless someone asks!

    GJ can DROP his two most divisive issues NOW and breeze through May, if he doesn’t well we’ll just have to see how much of a ruckus it will cause…..

    About Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson, a former Republican and two-term Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, has been a consistent and outspoken advocate for efficient government and lowering taxes.

    Gary Johnson 2012: Meet Gary Johnson – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boHvCmRm3SQ&feature=related

    Gary Johnson 2012: War on Drugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwNz6mrEXoE&NR=1

  44. Andy

    “paulie // Jan 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Harris can’t prove to everyone’s satisfaction that life begins at conception either, but he does want to use government force to stop abortion, which many people consider would constitute a major violation of womens’ rights akin to slavery.”

    RJ Harris could respond that it’s not slavery if a woman volunteered to have sex.

    That’s like saying that an airline can throw a passenger out of an airplane at their own whim and that it is slavery for them to not be able to throw a passenger out of an airplane.

    “Well it’s my airplane, so I can throw somebody out of the plane if I feel like it. So what if they die. It’s my plane and I can do what I want with it. You are violating my rights by saying that I can’t throw a person out of the plane while in flight if I feel like it.”

    If one human being throws another human being out of an airplane in flight, or a moving automobile, or a ship in the middle of the ocean, they’d likely be prosecuted for murder and I doubt that many people would object to it.

    So RJ could say, “Throw a fetus out that you consented to have by voluntarily engaging in sexual acts that can lead to conception and you are no better than a mom who throws a baby out of a moving automobile because he/she won’t stop crying and she believes that the crying is inconvienent or annoying.”

    RJ believes that life begins at conception and that rights begin when life begins. So it is totally consistent with his view on when life begins that abortion is murder and is therefore a violation of the right to life.

    RJ’s view seems consistent to me given his view on when life and rights begin.

    Is RJ wrong about when life and rights begin? Maybe he is or maybe he isn’t, but he could point out that at one time many people only believed that white people had rights and that if one was black or Native American that they did not have rights. Popular opinion no longer supports the belief that only white people have rights. So RJ could make the comparison of people who don’t believe that life and rights begin at conception to those who believed that blacks and Native Americans don’t have any rights and that only white people had rights.

  45. Andy

    “When/where? Pretty sure I’ve seen him say otherwise.”

    Gary Johnson has said in interivews that he only wants to decriminalize marijuana, and that he wants to keep other drugs illegal. These interviews are posted on-line. I looked them up a few months ago when I was doing some research on Gary Johnson. If I get time to look for them again I’ll post the links here.

    “Except when he says it should be up to the states. ”

    Ron Paul wants to completely end the war on drugs, but he’s running for federal office. He doesn’t support the drug war at the state level either, but he’s not running for a state office. Ron defended legalizing hard drugs during one of the Republican debates during the election cylce. There are clips of it posted on YouTube. Gary Johnson is too much of a “libertarian” lite to take such a bold stance.

    “Not on gay rights/marriage equality, abortion, or immigration, and note the ACLU scorecards of the two respective candidates on each of those issues.”

    This is all complete bullshit. Ron Paul voted to END the DADT policy in the military. He also advocates the correct libertarian position on marriage, as in the government marriage licenses should be abolished. Gay marriage licenses is a distraction issue. I don’t give a rat’s ass if they get one, but no real libertarian wants a marriage license. If I ever get married I’ll refuse to get a state marriage license. This is the real libertarian position.

    Ron – like RJ Harris and many other pro-life libertarians – believes that life and rights begin at conception, so there’s nothing inconsistent or anti-libertarian about his view on abortion. They could argue that anyone who favors abortion is anti-libertarian. It all boils down to when does life and individual rights begin. I don’t believe in using the abortion arguement as a litmus test for libertarians.

    As for immigration, I’ve already debunked the lie that Ron Paul is opposed to immigration on this site multiple times. Ron voted in favor of increasing visas for foreign workers. Ron voted against the border fence. Does Ron promote ripping the borders open right now? No, because he knows that with the current welfare state that it would be disasterous. Ron has said on multiple occassions that with a freer market that the US could have more immigration and nobody would care because the economy would be booming. Gary Johnson doesn’t support ripping the borders open right now either. In fact, I recall an interview with him where he said something about supporting border check points.

    If you look at the biggest issues Ron Paul is clearly more libertarian than Gary Johnson. It’s not even a contest, Ron Paul blows Gary Johnson away.

    Ron Paul advocates pardoning people who’ve been convicted for victimless crimes.

    Gary Johnson does not favor pardoning anyone who’s been convicted fora victimless crime. He defended his lack of pardons while Governor of New Mexico by saying that he doesn’t not think that it is proper for a Governor or President to grant pardons to people who broke the law, and that the proper response is to work within the system to get the law changed.

    Ron Paul advocates jury nullification of laws that violate individual rights.

    I’ve never heard Gary Johnson say anything on this subject. Given Gary Johnnson’s weak stance on granting pardons I wouldn’t be suprised if he’s against jury nullification.

    Ron Paul favors a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    Gary Johnson thinks that some US intervention in foreign affairs is needed.

    Ron Paul wants to end the income tax and replace it with nothing.

    Gary Johnson wants to replace the income tax with a 30% national sales tax (aka-the Fair Tax).

    The tax issue alone is enough to put Ron Paul leaps and bounds ahead of Gary Johnson when it comes to being a libertarian.

  46. Andy

    “I generally default to first give people the benefit of the doubt, but it doesn’t mean I don’t recognize other possibilities.”

    I already know that Lee Wrights is a liar and a backstabber, so it wouldn’t suprise me if he’s being dishonest here as well.

  47. Andy

    “In fact this is the first time since I have been in the LP that I don’t necessarily know who I would support for the nomination.”

    I’m really not wild about any of the candidates for the nomination. If I had to pick one I’d go with RJ Harris at this point.

    “In 2000 it was Browne, in 2004 it was Russo and in 2008 it was Kubby with Ruwart as backup.”

    Harry Browne was probably the best candidate that the Libertarian Party has ever had.

    I liked Aaron Russo as well.

    I didn’t attend the 2004 convention but if I had attended I’d have voted for Russo. I liked Michael Badnarik and I gladly supported him after he got the nomination even though he wasn’t my first choice. Gary Nolan wouldn’t have been bad either in my opinion.

    The candidates in 2008 weren’t as good as the candidates in 2004. Steve Kubby was good in some ways, but his campaign was lackluster. I voted for Mary Ruwart on most of the ballots, except for the 2nd ballot when I voted for Kubby, but Ruwart did not have an effective campaign and was really not that great as a candidate. The main reason I voted for Ruwart was to try to prevent Bob Barr from getting the nomination (it obviously didn’t work). Ruwart was good on philosophy, but I really didn’t think much of her campaign. I could tell that Barr was a fraud and that his campaign would be a disaster, and I was right.

    I was really disappointed with the candidate selection in 2008, but the candidate selection for 2012 looks even worse. I joined the Libertarian Party in 1996 and this is the worst selection of candidates for the Presidential nomination that I’ve seen since I’ve been in the party.

    Here are things that I look for in a candidate:

    1) Philosophy. How libertarian are they?

    2) Knowledge of issues.

    3) Ability to communicate the philosophy and issues to the public and to inspire people to get active and join the cause.

    4) Record of libertarian activism.

    5) Character. What kind of person is this person? Do they do what they say that they are going to do? Do they have a record of lying, backstabbing, or cheating people? Is this person trustworthy?

    6) Strategy. What is their political strategy? Do they even have one, or are they clueless when it comes to strategy?

    7) Campaigning. How hard does this person campaign? When they campaign, do they just talk to other Libertarians or do they also present their campaign to the general public? What is their campaign doing to build the Libertarian Party and movement?

    8) Fundraising. How much money has this person raised? What is their plan to raise more money?

    9) Fame. How well known is this person? I do think that some Libertarian Party members put too much emphasis on this, and therefore they want to latch on to people with a small level of “fame” like Bob Barr or Gary Johnson, even though their level of “fame” isn’t really that great. It would be nice to have a well known person who is also strong on philosophy and knowledge of issues, and who also has good character and a record of being a libertarian activist.

    10) Organization. How well organized is this person’s campaign?

  48. Andy

    “He defended his lack of pardons while Governor of New Mexico by saying that he doesn’t not think that it is proper for a Governor ”

    Should read, “He defended his lack of pardons while Governor of New Mexico by saying that he does not think that it is proper for a Governor…”

  49. Robert Capozzi

    50 A: …no real libertarian wants a marriage license. If I ever get married I’ll refuse to get a state marriage license. This is the real libertarian position.

    me: Ouch. So the faux Ls are the married ones, is that what you’re saying? Consider the possibility, Andy, that you’re mixing up practical considerations with ideological positions.

    For ex., “real” Ls believe all roads should be private. Therefore, “real” Ls only use private roads.

    Or

    “Real” Ls believe money should be backed by gold. Therefore, “real” Ls do not use FERN notes.

    I mean, c’mon…for real?

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Keep in mind that for Andy, Ron Paul will always be the most libertarian candidate imaginable, because Paul believes exactly what Andy believes (even if he sometimes says and does exactly the opposite).

  51. Robert Capozzi

    55 tk, maybe RP gets a pass since he married BEFORE becoming L. Jesse Benton has no excuse!

  52. paulie Post author

    55 tk, maybe RP gets a pass since he married BEFORE becoming L.

    Nope, according to that specious “logic” he should be divorced, even if he continues to live in sin with his ex-wife.

  53. paulie Post author

    Keep in mind that for Andy, Ron Paul will always be the most libertarian candidate imaginable, because Paul believes exactly what Andy believes (even if he sometimes says and does exactly the opposite).

    Duly noted.

  54. paulie Post author

    no real libertarian wants a marriage license. If I ever get married I’ll refuse to get a state marriage license. This is the real libertarian position.

    What a ridiculous line of argument!

    So that makes it OK for the state to issue marriage benefits to some people and not others? Is it OK for states to ban interracial marriages again too, like they used to?

    Ouch. So the faux Ls are the married ones, is that what you’re saying? Consider the possibility, Andy, that you’re mixing up practical considerations with ideological positions.

    For ex., “real” Ls believe all roads should be private. Therefore, “real” Ls only use private roads.

    Or

    “Real” Ls believe money should be backed by gold. Therefore, “real” Ls do not use FERN notes.

    I mean, c’mon…for real?

    I’m with Capozzi and Knapp on this one.

    Andy has never been married. I’ve been married twice (arguably…long story) and both times it was the woman’s idea, not mine. I loved the first one and wanted to preserve the relationship. The second one was an unsuccessful scam to try to not have our parents income counted for the purpose of obtaining financial aid for college.

    People get married for all sorts of reasons and to say that no real libertarian would do it is more than a little arrogant and condescending towards other people’s personal lives.

    We live in the real world no matter what ideal world we want to see.

    Communists have to make and spend money and libertarians have to deal with the fact that coercive monopoly government exists here and now. People who believe abortion is murder can act on that belief and physically try to stop it, but they will probably find themselves in jail or dead.

    And so on.

  55. paulie Post author

    “In 2000 it was Browne, in 2004 it was Russo and in 2008 it was Kubby with Ruwart as backup.”

    Harry Browne was probably the best candidate that the Libertarian Party has ever had.

    Ed Clark too, tho it was before my time.

    I liked Aaron Russo as well.

    I didn’t attend the 2004 convention but if I had attended I’d have voted for Russo. I liked Michael Badnarik and I gladly supported him after he got the nomination even though he wasn’t my first choice.

    He grew on me, but not as fast.

    Gary Nolan wouldn’t have been bad either in my opinion.

    Not as sure about that, but bygones are bygones.

    The candidates in 2008 weren’t as good as the candidates in 2004. Steve Kubby was good in some ways, but his campaign was lackluster.

    Unfortunately, yes, due to personal circumstances mostly.

    I voted for Mary Ruwart on most of the ballots, except for the 2nd ballot when I voted for Kubby, but Ruwart did not have an effective campaign and was really not that great as a candidate. The main reason I voted for Ruwart was to try to prevent Bob Barr from getting the nomination (it obviously didn’t work). Ruwart was good on philosophy, but I really didn’t think much of her campaign.

    She should have started earlier if she was going to run.

    I could tell that Barr was a fraud and that his campaign would be a disaster, and I was right.

    I was skeptical of Barr’s campaign as well.

    I was really disappointed with the candidate selection in 2008, but the candidate selection for 2012 looks even worse.

    Not necessarily. Wrights got started earlier than Ruwart and has money to get around the country more so than what we faced with Kubby.

    Johnson is clearly better than Barr in several ways.

    RJ Harris is making good inroads with the Ron Paul/Campaign for Liberty crowd.

    The fact that I’m undecided is not because the choices are horrible, but because they all have good and bad points.

    Here are things that I look for in a candidate:

    1) Philosophy. How libertarian are they?

    2) Knowledge of issues.

    3) Ability to communicate the philosophy and issues to the public and to inspire people to get active and join the cause.

    4) Record of libertarian activism.

    5) Character. What kind of person is this person? Do they do what they say that they are going to do? Do they have a record of lying, backstabbing, or cheating people? Is this person trustworthy?

    6) Strategy. What is their political strategy? Do they even have one, or are they clueless when it comes to strategy?

    7) Campaigning. How hard does this person campaign? When they campaign, do they just talk to other Libertarians or do they also present their campaign to the general public? What is their campaign doing to build the Libertarian Party and movement?

    8 ) Fundraising. How much money has this person raised? What is their plan to raise more money?

    9) Fame. How well known is this person? I do think that some Libertarian Party members put too much emphasis on this, and therefore they want to latch on to people with a small level of “fame” like Bob Barr or Gary Johnson, even though their level of “fame” isn’t really that great. It would be nice to have a well known person who is also strong on philosophy and knowledge of issues, and who also has good character and a record of being a libertarian activist.

    10) Organization. How well organized is this person’s campaign?

    All good points.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I think you’re slightly misunderstanding Andy’s position.

    He’s not saying that libertarians shouldn’t get married.

    He’s saying that libertarians shouldn’t get government licenses for their marriages.

    If you’re tooling down the road behind the wheel of a car, you’re driving, whether you have a license or not.

    If you’re married, you’re married, whether you have a license or not.

  57. paulie Post author

    That is true.

    However, unless/until government stops issuing marriages for straight people, it should also issue them for gay people.

  58. paulie Post author

    I already know that Lee Wrights is a liar and a backstabber, so it wouldn’t suprise me if he’s being dishonest here as well.

    It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.

  59. paulie Post author

    Gary Johnson has said in interivews that he only wants to decriminalize marijuana, and that he wants to keep other drugs illegal. These interviews are posted on-line. I looked them up a few months ago when I was doing some research on Gary Johnson. If I get time to look for them again I’ll post the links here.

    I believe he has others where he says legalize all drugs.

    Anyway, I don’t really see that as a huge problem even if he did; we are nowhere near making an argument for legalizing other drugs that a large portion of the general public can accept, and in many cases making that argument does turn some people off from considering seriously the case for legalizing marijuana which they might otherwise be at least open to.

    It’s not as if Johnson will actually be elected, and to whatever extent he gets to push the issue, he will clearly be pushing it in our direction.

    I am guessing he is for ending the drug war completely, but does not want to get sidetracked in emotional arguments over the currently impractical possibility of legalizing drugs such as crack and meth. By impractical I mean we are nowhere near to making a real fight out of legalizing those other drugs yet.

  60. paulie Post author

    Ron Paul wants to completely end the war on drugs, but he’s running for federal office. He doesn’t support the drug war at the state level either, but he’s not running for a state office. Ron defended legalizing hard drugs during one of the Republican debates during the election cylce. There are clips of it posted on YouTube. Gary Johnson is too much of a “libertarian” lite to take such a bold stance.

    There are other interviews I’ve seen where he specifically refuses to say he would vote to legalize drugs if he was in the Texas legislature.

    Also, all state issues are at least in one way federal issues: Congress acts in many ways as the legislature for DC. There is a city council but their powers are curtailed. So, if Congress passes a bill about DC laws the president either signs or vetoes it, much as a Governor in a state would.

  61. paulie Post author

    This is all complete bullshit. Ron Paul voted to END the DADT policy in the military.

    The ACLU scorecard makes note of that. You should actually look at the details of the ACLU scorecard.

    He also advocates the correct libertarian position on marriage, as in the government marriage licenses should be abolished. Gay marriage licenses is a distraction issue.

    Nonsense. Marriage equality is a very important and timely issue that directly impacts the lives of millions of real people in the real world right now and is in the forefront of the national debate.

    To take the anti-equality side on that issue in favor of a highly theoretical, distant possibility of one day doing away with marriage licensing altogether is like opposing medical marijuana here and now because it is not full legalization of all drugs now, or opposing regulate marijuana like wine because there are taxes and regulations involved – in the mean time real people keep going to jails and prisons and have their lives destroyed with criminal records.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass if they get one, but no real libertarian wants a marriage license. If I ever get married I’ll refuse to get a state marriage license. This is the real libertarian position.

    Good for you (of course you might consider the possibility that your hypothetical wife to be might feel differently). Lots of real libertarians have marriage licenses. Yes, I’m for one day getting rid of marriage licenses as well but that is quite beside the point of the real life issues facing this country today.

  62. paulie Post author

    Ron – like RJ Harris and many other pro-life libertarians – believes that life and rights begin at conception, so there’s nothing inconsistent or anti-libertarian about his view on abortion. They could argue that anyone who favors abortion is anti-libertarian. It all boils down to when does life and individual rights begin. I don’t believe in using the abortion arguement as a litmus test for libertarians.

    What you believe and what others believe differs. For many people it is very much a litmus test.

    As I already said anyone can argue anything.

    For instance, Johnson could argue that the “fair” tax is better than the current income tax and that anyone who is against the “fair” tax is thus anti-libertarian. That would not make his argument correct, but he could argue that.

    For people who take the pro-choice position, Johnson’s stance on the issue is clearly better than Ron Paul’s.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    61 tk, yes, I get the distinction. RP and Carol could void their state-granted license and give up the benefits of being “legally” married while still remaining husband and wife.

    They don’t, though, and I think nothing less of them for doing so.

    Andy may find the girl of his dreams and if they got “legally” married tomorrow, I’d not think that makes him a faux L.

    I do find his judgment @ 50 absurd, though. I will cut him some slack, though, because I’ve known prominent Orange Line Ls who’ve taken that position. Some have attempted to make L-ism something more than a political philosophy, something approaching a semi-religion.

    It doesn’t work for me….

  64. paulie Post author

    Some have attempted to make L-ism something more than a political philosophy, something approaching a semi-religion.

    It doesn’t work for me….

    It’s not a bad semi-religion.

    Goes hand in hand with Taoism well, imo.

  65. paulie Post author

    Ron has said on multiple occassions that with a freer market that the US could have more immigration and nobody would care because the economy would be booming. Gary Johnson doesn’t support ripping the borders open right now either. In fact, I recall an interview with him where he said something about supporting border check points.

    Both Paul and Johnson and better on immigration than most Republicans.

    However, Johnson is for fewer immigration restrictions than Paul (see ACLU scorecard for details). It is an important and personal issue for many of us.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    69 p: Goes hand in hand with Taoism well, imo.

    me: Yes, L-ism goes well with Taoism, mostly because it’s not all about “thou shalt not”. The rules are few to none. My take is that 20th c. Ls like the killer Rs made a whole buncha rules about “morality,” whereas Lao Tsu was all about subjective, non-rule-based “virtue.”

    Our friend Andy seems to’ve gotten swept up in the regimented, deontological, rules-based approach…

  67. NewFederalist

    It’s not a bad semi-religion.

    Goes hand in hand with Taoism well, imo.

    Or Religious Science / Science of Mind / Ernest Holmes teachings

  68. paulie Post author

    Oh, duh, I just got it – Rothbard and Rand.

    I’ve been reading Capozzi long enough that I should have been quicker on the draw on that one.

  69. paulie Post author

    Does Ron promote ripping the borders open right now? No, because he knows that with the current welfare state that it would be disasterous.

    Another silly line of argument.

    That is like saying that we can’t have gun rights while we still have the war on drugs.

    Or that we can’t legalize drugs while some people still bill “society” for their medical care and while the welfare state still exists.

    Or that we can’t untangle the welfare state until we end noncontractual limited liability, corporate welfare and corporate personhood.

    And so on and so forth.

    How about all our freedoms, all the time?

  70. paulie Post author

    If you look at the biggest issues Ron Paul is clearly more libertarian than Gary Johnson. It’s not even a contest, Ron Paul blows Gary Johnson away.

    That all depends on what you consider to be the biggest issues.

    CLS at http://freestudents.blogspot.com is among quite a few libertarians who has reached the opposite conclusion.

    As for me, I don’t think either Johnson or Paul is perfect by any means, but I find both to be vastly preferable to Obama and the Republican candidates that have been featured in debates.

    I line up on the issues more with Lee Wrights, but issue positions are not the only things to take into consideration, as you have noted.

  71. paulie Post author

    Ron Paul advocates pardoning people who’ve been convicted for victimless crimes.

    I seem to recall Johnson saying more recently he is for pardons now.

    Not sure when he changed his mind on that, if I remember that right.

    Gary Johnson thinks that some US intervention in foreign affairs is needed.

    He’s generally non-interventionist, but not as good as Ron Paul on foreign policy imo.

  72. paulie Post author

    Ron Paul wants to end the income tax and replace it with nothing.

    Gary Johnson wants to replace the income tax with a 30% national sales tax (aka-the Fair Tax).

    The tax issue alone is enough to put Ron Paul leaps and bounds ahead of Gary Johnson when it comes to being a libertarian.

    Ron Paul has said he would vote for the fraudulent “fair” tax since he believes it would be better than the current system.

    I believe it would actually be worse.

  73. paulie Post author

    RJ Harris could respond that it’s not slavery if a woman volunteered to have sex.

    That would be the silliest line of argument yet. Would abortion then be OK if she tried to use contraceptives but they did not work?

    Would it then not be murder in cases of rape?

    After all, if abortion is murder, it’s not the kids fault if he or she was conceived through rape.

    That’s like saying that an airline can throw a passenger out of an airplane at their own whim and that it is slavery for them to not be able to throw a passenger out of an airplane.

    An airline is contractually obligated to deliver the passenger. That’s what they get paid to do.

    RJ believes that life begins at conception and that rights begin when life begins. So it is totally consistent with his view on when life begins that abortion is murder and is therefore a violation of the right to life.

    I never claimed his views are inconsistent. I only said that pro-choice libertarians who consider that to be an important issue have just as much grounds for holding his position against him as those who consider the fraudulent tax to be a deal breaker have to hold it against Johnson.

  74. Catholic Trotskyist

    NF, interesting you mention Ernest Holmes. I grew up largely in a Religious Science church. Most people there were Democrats, largely because of knee-jerk reaction against the social conservatism of the Republicans, infiltration by the New Age peace movement, and belief that government programs are needed to help the poor because churches shouldn’t be responsible to provide charity for the poor. I’ve met a few Ron Paul supporters there though. I’ve also thought that they could be a good recruiting ground for libertarianism. Because of a long personal story, I rebelled from this system and developed the Catholic Trotskyist message, in order to combine social conservatism and socialism, because I determined that libertarianism is unworkable on both economic and social issues, and the Science of Mind is a morally and intellectually bankrupt philosophy.

  75. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paul missed the boat on immigration big-time, and the worst part about it is that he knows better.

    He hung out with Rothbard, so he knows the “no particular order” line.

    He has access to the statistics, so he knows that immigrants don’t “drain,” but actually subsidize the welfare state (if he made THAT argument instead of its false opposite, against immigration, I could at least respect it).

    But when it’s time to campaign, he trots out the “paleo strategy” bullshit on immigration with his campaign commercials.

    He missed a real opportunity there. All of the candidates on the GOP stage except for Rick Perry were hard-line anti-libertarian on immigration, and there stood Paul looking just like the other Idiot Know-Nothings. And Perry stumbled, and still he didn’t seize the issue. Newt Friggin’ Gingrich did, and now he has the “more libertarian than Ron Paul on immigration” card to play in Florida.

  76. langa

    However, unless/until government stops issuing marriages for straight people, it should also issue them for gay people.

    How is this any different from the silly argument that unless/until we get rid of the welfare state, we can’t have open borders, which you rightfully (but ironically) mock later in the thread?

  77. langa

    If you’re married, you’re married, whether you have a license or not.

    Exactly. So why all the effort to get a government issued stamp of approval?

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa@85,

    “Exactly. So why all the effort to get a government issued stamp of approval?”

    Me personally? Been married for nearly 12 years without a license (longer than I ever made it with one).

    Apart from that, my position is “I’d love it if government stopped trying to require licenses for marriage. Until they do, I’ll fight laws that mandate jail time for clergy who perform ceremonies without a license, prevent married people from exercising the prerogatives of marriage such as holding each others’ powers of attorney without a bunch of OTHER government paperwork, etc.”

  79. langa

    From a purely legal perspective, I would argue that it was decided incorrectly, as I do not subscribe to the view that the 14th Amendment effectively repealed the 10th Amendment.

    From a personal perspective, however, I have no use for the Constitution, and my personal opinion is that government should have no role whatsoever in deciding who can or can’t get married. I also feel that this is the proper libertarian position. Under this view, any two people can claim to be married, and can go through whatever kind of ceremonies and obtain whatever kind of documentation that they choose. Anyone else is then free to recognize or refuse to recognize said marriage as legitimate.

    For example, if Bert and Ernie got married, Bert’s boss might choose to recognize their marriage for the purpose of work-related spousal benefits, while Ernie’s boss might not. Of course, if Ernie didn’t like that, then he would be free to quit and seek employment somewhere that had policies more to his liking. Similarly, if people objected to the policies of Bert’s boss, they too would be free to “vote with their wallet” by taking their business elsewhere.

    In short, I believe in complete and unabridged freedom of association.

  80. langa

    TK,

    I’m all for fighting against the types of prohibitions that you mention. What I’m not in favor of is the “legalization” of gay marriage, which typically means forcing mandatory recognition of gay marriage. That mandatory recognition is a clear violation of freedom of association, and in practice, often constitutes a violation of property rights as well.

    For example, I recently saw an ad where a local hotel was offering discount rates for newly married couples. As far as I’m concerned, the owners of that hotel should be able to define “newly married couples” any way they choose. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if gay marriage were “legal”, and that hotel tried to restrict the discount to only heterosexual couples (or to only homosexual couples, for that matter), they would be slapped with a lawsuit so fast it would make your head spin. I fail to see how that kind of coercion is in any way libertarian.

  81. Andy

    “me: Ouch. So the faux Ls are the married ones, is that what you’re saying? Consider the possibility, Andy, that you’re mixing up practical considerations with ideological positions.”

    This is not what I meant. I realize that there are sincere, hardcore libertarians out there who have state marriage licenses. They either got one before they became hardcore libertarians, got pushed into getting one by their spouse or family, got tricked into getting one (perhaps with the thought that they’d get into legal trouble without one), or just “went with the flow” and got one even though they disagree with it.

    I have a state drivers license and a license plate on my car even though I don’t believe in them (from both a philosophical and legal standpoint). Why do I have these things? Because I don’t feel like going through the hassle of getting pulled over and harrassed by the police on a regular basis. If I could get through day to day life without a state drivers license and a license plate on my car I’d be happy to not have them, but I think that the hassle is just too much to deal with so I go along with them even though I don’t like it.

    I find the concept of a state marriage license to be offensive, as well as completely unnecessary. Considering that there are no state marriage police who go around and check to see whether or not people have marriage licenses, and harrass people who don’t have them, I think that not getting a state marriage license would be an easier thing to resist than not getting a drivers license or a license plate on one’s vehicle. I’ve known and known of several couples who did not get state marriage licenses, and they did not seem to miss not having one. There are apparently advantages to not have a state marriage license, because from what I understand, couples of who don’t have them are more immune from the groverment sticking their nose in their relationship.

    I really don’t see how having a license from the state should be regarded as a sought after prize. The sought after prize should be to eliminate the people who think that they should have control over your life to where you’ve got to get their permission to do something that you should be able to do by your own freewill.

  82. Andy

    “‘RJ Harris could respond that it’s not slavery if a woman volunteered to have sex.’

    That would be the silliest line of argument yet. Would abortion then be OK if she tried to use contraceptives but they did not work? ”

    RJ’s response could be that she knew the risk going into it and that’s not an excuse murder an innocent life.

  83. Andy

    “How is this any different from the silly argument that unless/until we get rid of the welfare state, we can’t have open borders, which you rightfully (but ironically) mock later in the thread?”

    How about put up a border to keep all non-libertarians out? This might actually be the only way to have a libertarian society. Anyone who enters has to sign a non-initiation of force contract. Violate the contract and get deported.

  84. Andy

    “Nonsense. Marriage equality is a very important and timely issue that directly impacts the lives of millions of real people in the real world right now and is in the forefront of the national debate.”

    Yes, it is a nonsense issue. It would be better to focus on more important issues like jury nullification, tax resistance, exposing government Comprehensive Annual Finacial Reports, and eliminating the Federal Reserve System. These are things that could actually bring down the state.

    Getting marriage licenses isn’t going to do jack shit to bring down the state. Putting it on a scale of 1 to 10 on a level of importance with 1 being the least important and 10 being the most important, I’d call it a 1. I don’t give a rat’s ass about marriage licenses. I wouldn’t even want one even if I was getting married. Tom Knapp doesn’t have one and he doesn’t seem to miss it. It sounds like he’s getting by just fine without one.

    Do I think that gays should be able to marry? I think that they should be able to do whatever the hell they want so long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. So yeah, they should be able to enter voluntary relationships, and if they want to define those voluntary relationships as marriages then they can do it for all I care. I really don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone does in their personal lives as long as they aren’t infringing on the rights of others to live as free individuals.

    How is running out and getting a piece of paper from the state to grant permission to do something that you can already do without the piece of paper from the state going to make us any more free? It’s a trivial issue at best.

    Once again, important issues are things like:

    Jury Nullification

    Taxes

    The Federal Reserve System

    Spreading the libertarian message on these issues to where it reaches a critical mass would do a heck of a lot more to stop the relentless growth of government and move us a lot closer to liberty than some people running out and getting permission slips from the state to do something that they can already do without the permission slips.

  85. Andy

    “However, Johnson is for fewer immigration restrictions than Paul (see ACLU scorecard for details). It is an important and personal issue for many of us.”

    Johnson probably wants more people so they can pay the Fair Tax when they shop at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, etc…

  86. Andy

    “She should have started earlier if she was going to run.”

    She also came off as kind of boring. Her comment about how women would vote for her because they wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton and she was elimianted from the Democratic Party was cringe worthy (and ridiculous).

    She was a lot better than Barr on philosophy, but her campaign was extremely lame.

    Barr was not good on philosophy and was totoally non-inspiring because people are not inspired by phonies.

  87. Andy

    “The fact that I’m undecided is not because the choices are horrible, but because they all have good and bad points.”

    Oh come off it, the choices are pathetic. There isn’t one candidate that’s really any good. All of the campaigns are pathetically lame. Some of these individuals are seriously flawed people. Gary Johnson is the most well known and he was barely a blip on the radar screen in the Republican primary, and he’s not even much of a libertarian. One of the biggest issues that he promotes is the Fair Tax and it’s actually an anti-libertarian issue.

    Pretending like this is a good field of candidates is like putting lip stick on a pig and calling it a super model.

  88. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy@91,

    “Considering that there are no state marriage police who go around and check to see whether or not people have marriage licenses, and harrass people who don’t have them …”

    Actually, there are. See here and here.

    Of course, by “not married,” the stories mean “didn’t get a government license.”

  89. Robert Capozzi

    95 A: Johnson probably wants more people so they can pay the Fair Tax when they shop at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, etc…

    me: Wow, Andy, do you care at ALL about your credibility? That is your response to the point that GJ is “better” on immigration than RP? Do I need to explain how it comes off to me and likely most?

    Guess I do. First, it’s just absurd to speculate about GJ’s “real” motives, but that one piles absurdity on top of absurdity. Second, you’re obviously changing the subject. Rather than address the subject, you obviously deflect…poorly, IMO.

    For me, RP and GJ are both in acceptable places on immigration. Fairly mainstream.

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