Robert Sarvis finally shares debate stage with Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli

Posted on Facebook today:

Libertarian candidate for Governor, right there in the spot he’s earned: on stage at the WRIC/Radio One #VAGov forum with both his Dem & GOP challengers



30 thoughts on “Robert Sarvis finally shares debate stage with Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli

  1. Rick Adams

    I came across this interesting blog post the other day from a Cuccinelli supporter. Unlike most of his fellow conservatives, he didn’t harbor any resentment towards Robert Sarvis or his campaign. However, he did make the very bold claim that Robert Sarvis isn’t a libertarian at all… read for yourself:

    “I have nothing against the man personally, and I believe the more candidates and choices that are given the voters the better. But I must interject about something concerning Robert Sarvis. While yes, he is running on the Libertarian Party ticket, he is hardly an actual libertarian. Robert Sarvis, who I like and met once or twice when he ran as a Republican against Dick Saslaw, is a pro-gay marriage Republican.

    The major libertarian influences over the years … Mises, Spooner, Hayek, Rothbard, Rand, Halzett, Kaufman, Ron Paul … Robert Sarvis has absolutely nothing to do with them. It is unfortunate for the Libertarian Party that they have been co-opted by a Republican. I mean, Sarvis was a dues-paying member of my YR group, the FAYRs, until the day he accepted the LP nomination. He wasn’t an active member and I haven’t seen him in awhile, but when he was running for state senate he was certainly happy to be at our meetings.

    So good luck to Sarvis in November, I’m happy he’s running. The more choices the better. But please, don’t call yourself a libertarian.”

    Then someone left a comment below the post in support of this assertion:

    “I believe Sarvis said that he didn’t really believe in the Austrian school libertarian economists. (Cuccinelli does.) Just reinforces your point even more.”

    I responded by commenting that Sarvis is running for Governor of Virginia, not for President of the Mises Institute. What do you guys think?

    Link to blog post:

  2. Jake Porter


    For years, I have people people try to tell me I am not a libertarian because I am not a believer in Austrian economics. For people that to suggest a social conservative is more libertarian because of this is just wrong. Most of the people who have told me I am not a libertarian because of this are actually social conservatives and the last time I checked bigotry wasn’t very libertarian.

    Of course, this all looks like a campaign strategy of Cuccinelli and I doubt the people commenting even consider themselves libertarian.

  3. Steve M

    LOL…. yep Rick and Jake….

    I looked the Libertarian Non Aggression Pledge which other then paying dues is the only requirement to join the National Party. There is no requirement to have one particular Economic School or another in your belief system.

    From FAQ

    What is a Libertarian?

    Let’s start with Webster’s definition:

    libertarian: A person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action.
    Libertarian: a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles.

    Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office.

    Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.

    In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

  4. George Whitfield

    From reports I have heard from people who attended the forum, Rob Sarvis did very well.

  5. David Colborne

    I’ve always felt that one of the greatest issues with Ron Paul’s approach to libertarianism was its reliance on a particularly voluminous and esoteric canon which supported a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything” approach to libertarianism. I think it not only excludes people that don’t agree with a particular piece of that canon (e.g. Austrian Economics), it also makes libertarianism look and sound a bit cultish.

    Libertarianism, as applied in electoral politics, is a political philosophy. It doesn’t need to be an economic or social philosophy to succeed at that. It doesn’t hurt if it is an economic or social philosophy, but if it is, it should only be so in service to the political philosophy with the goal of supporting the political philosophy’s aims and mission. This idea that No Real Libertarian can be in favor of a smaller and less intrusive government, yet not be a feverish evangelist of Austrian Economics, is foolhardy and counterproductive. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot about Austrian Economics for libertarians to like, and there’s a lot about libertarianism for Austrian-trained economists to like, but that doesn’t mean they absolutely must go together hand-in-glove.

  6. langa

    If it’s true that Cuccinelli pays lip service to Austrian economics, while Sarvis does not, that could be one of the reasons why Ron Paul chose to endorse Cuccinelli, rather than Sarvis.

  7. Matt Cholko

    ?Paul endorsed Cuccinelli for political reasons. That is obvious, and should be expected. After all, this IS politics.

    Under any reasonable standard, Cuccinelli is not a libertarian, or even close to it. Sarvis certainly is, even if he is not in lock step with mainstream L economic thought.

  8. Rick Adams

    @Steve M

    I thought that was a great article even though the comments section (not surprisingly) reeked of sour grapes. Check out this gem:

    “Sarvis is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, as is McAuliffe. One can take it as a matter of course that Sarvis’s libertartian supporters will be happy to throw the election to McAuliffe, partly to show their power as a spoiler, and partly because, when a choice has to be made, they vote their gonads, rather than their pocketbooks.

    I suppose that our commentator could have told us that, on the social issues, Sarvis is not much different from McAuliffe. But, hey, why bother being honest when you are trying to knife a conservative and promote a left libertarian?”


  9. langa

    If Sarvis is an opponent of Austrian economics, I think that would be a valid reason for Ron Paul not to endorse him. It’s more than a trivial point of disagreement. However, that doesn’t mean he would have to endorse Cuccinelli. He could have (and in my opinion, should have) simply remained neutral. As I pointed out on another thread, Ron Paul has an unfortunate history of issuing dubious endorsements.

  10. Rick Adams

    @Langa And in the case of Cuccinelli, i feel that this is too little, too late.
    He’s done for and he only has himself to blame.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    Warren, we’re definitely in bizarro world, at least in CA. Everything is upside down. Black is white, and principles we used to rely on, such as policemen are here to protect you, and the legislators will try to vote for the will of their constituents, mean nothing anymore. I feel like staying in bed with the covers over my head much of the time.

  12. langa

    Well, I’m not sure, that’s why I said “if” he is. He did tell Reason magazine that he’s “not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics”, and that he prefers “more mainstream economics”, which I doubt would sit well with Ron Paul, especially if (there’s that word again) “more mainstream economics” is a reference to Friedman-style monetarism, or worse yet, Keynesianism.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    Is it just me, or is there a huge difference between not being into something and being an opponent of something?

  14. langa

    There might be, or there might not be. Hence, the use of the word “if” in my original comment.

  15. langa

    Simple. For example, I’m not into raping women. I’m also an opponent of raping women. Both statements are true. It’s just a question of how I choose to state my opposition. By the way, are you actually going somewhere with this, or do you just really enjoy debating semantics?

  16. Robert Capozzi

    Do you really find that SIMPLE? I cannot imagine saying I am not INTO committing a violent act, but maybe you express yourself in such an odd manner.

    I do not find this merely semantical. It has a more victimological, us v them tone one encounters in the hardcore Austrian crowd. Opposing a complex school of economics seems off to me…one is more likely to find wisdom in it, or not. I happen to find quite a bit of wisdom in Hayek’s work, btw.

  17. langa

    I could easily see someone saying, for example, that they were into S&M and other froms of consensual rough sex, but they were not into committing rape.

    As for the alleged “us vs. them” tone, you seem to have read something into my remark that I did not intend. Perhaps the confusion stemmed from my use of the word “opponent”, which can have more than one meaning. When I implied that Sarvis might be an opponent of Austrianism, I did not mean that he was on some kind of crusade to refute it or discredit it. Rather, I meant that perhaps he considered it to be foolish and a waste of time, just as I might describe myself as an opponent of birtherism, even though, unlike some people, I am not in any way obsessed with ridiculing it or debunking it.

  18. Steve M

    Rick Adams,

    So if there is an article about you and in the comment section I write that you are a used tampon. And then quote it on IPR that would make it true?

  19. Steve M

    I am apologizing to Rick Adams in that he was quoting others and I took it personal. The comments about the positions of Robert Sarvis have been off the wall but I shouldn’t be. My hat is apologetically off to Rick.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    Langa, thanks for clarifying. You definitely use the language differently than I do, and near as I can tell, most American English writers and speakers. I do grant that in a VERY narrow way, someone might use the “not into” term in a very specific context after exploring benign but edgy behaviors.

    Yes, your use of “opponent” also seems non-standard to me. Then again it seems to have been an approach that Groucho resonated with:

  21. Rick Adams

    @Steve M

    Apology accepted and I also apologize for not being clear enough. I was just trying to spotlight the hilarity of that comment I found on that Town Hall article you linked.

  22. paulie

    Sarvis is more into Friedmanites than Austrians, OK. But Cuccinelli as an Austrian economist? Give me a break. And please pass what you’ve been snorting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *