Chris Cantwell: How The Libertarian Party Saved My Life

Published on ChristopherCantwell.com on June 14, 2013: 

Today I had the pleasure of addressing the Libertarian Party convention for Suffolk & Nassau counties. See the video below, and I have pasted the text of my prepared speech below it.

The libertarian party of Suffolk and Nassau counties… Would ya look at this…

I hate to start off by insulting you, but you’re not much to look at. I mean how many people do we have here? 1,2,3, not many. And you’re a political party. You know the whole point of elections is to have more people on your side than the other guy, right? This doesn’t seem to be working out particularly well.

I’ll get positive in a little while, I promise, but I really want this to sink in for a minute. With the possible exception of some of your cross endorsed candidates, which, in and of itself is an abomination, the people in this room are going to come about as close to winning an election, as I’m going to get to Angelina Jolie’s panties.

Now, some of you take that as an insult, and I can understand why, but these Republican gentlemen who actually have their hearts set on gaining political power, they know that what I’m about to say is true.

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20 thoughts on “Chris Cantwell: How The Libertarian Party Saved My Life

  1. Mark Axinn

    Excellent speech by Chris as keynote in an excellent afternoon at LPNY’s two Long Island chapters’ joint convention.

    Speech is about 20 minutes long–well worth watching.

    New York’s loss will be New Hampshire’s gain when Chris moves to a less socialist state.

    PS. That’s former LPNY Vice Chair and current LNC Region 4 alternate, Audrey Capozzi standing to the left of Chris in the photo above.

  2. Jed Ziggler

    I don’t think someone who admits they were once ready to go on a killing spree is someone the LP should be associated with. Especially given recent events.

  3. Andy

    I liked the speech and I agree with much of what Chris Cantwell says, however, there’s a part of me that wonders if he is a federal provocateur of some type with his talk about violence.

    Hopefully, he is not a provocateur, but like Jed indicated, I could see the media having a field day with some of his comments, where they’d try to make libertarians look like a bunch of crazed mass shooters.

  4. Andy

    Chris Cantwell brought up an excellent point in response to a question about how to reach people (as in how to reach out to the general public). Cantwell’s response was that one good way to do it was to talk to people about libertarianism while asking people to sign Libertarian Party ballot access petitions.

    This is something that I’ve been saying for years, including in many comments right here at Independent Political Report. I have been saying for YEARS that most Libertarian Party ballot access petitioning work should be done by actual Libertarians, both volunteers and paid petitioners, rather than farming most of this important work out to non-libertarian mercenaries. I have cited three reasons as to why, and they are as follows:

    1) Actual Libertarians tend to bring in higher validity rates on average.

    2) Actual Libertarians do a better job of disseminating a libertarian message to the public.

    3) Reward Libertarian activists for being Libertarian activists rather than rewarding non-libertarian mercenaries who’d be just as happy to work for a tyrannical cause like a Top Two Primary initiative just as long as they are getting paid.

    I have also cited two instances to supplement Libertarian Party petitioning efforts with non-libertarian mercenary petitioners, and they are,

    1) If a real effort was actually put into finding Libertarians to gather petition signatures (which ALMOST NEVER happens) and not enough Libertarians could be found to get a ballot access drive finished on time.

    2) There was another petition drive taking place in a state, like let’s say the Green Party were petitioning for ballot access at the same time, and there was no law in whatever this state is against a person gathering signatures for or signing more than one petition, and let’s say the Green Party had already hired some petitioners, and let’s say that these petitioners were willing to work on the Libertarian Party petition at the same time. Under this scenario, it could make sense to utilize these petition circulators, as in it could save the party some hassles and money (as in money that may have to be shelled out in bringing in or hiring more petitioners). Even in this case I would still keep an eye on how the job is being done, and not just blindly assume that the Green Party has hired people who will do the job correctly.

    I’ve been harping on this for a long time and nobody has ever refuted me on this. This all should be common sense, and one would think that this would be the way things are already done in the LP, but unfortunately, they’d be wrong. There is a heavy reliance on non-libertarian mercenary petitioners, and I’d call it an unnecessary over-reliance. There LP has conducted far too many petition drives where there are little to no actual Libertarians out on the streets, communicating an actual Libertarian message to the public while collecting signatures, and on some of these occasions the results have been disasterous (see Oklahoma and Pennsylvania in 2012 for two examples), and even when the results have not been so obviously bad, just keep in mind that unless you have actual Libertarians out on the streets interacting with the public during a petition drive, there is going to be little to no Libertarian activism taking place on a petition drive.

    It is really funny that the few occasions where I’ve been able to influence who worked on an LP ballot access drive, that all of or most of the signatures on those drives have been collected by actual Libertarians. These few LP drives where I was the one who ended up selecting the petition circulators, around 85%-100% of the signatures were collected by actual Libertarians. How come I’m able to accomplish this, yet nobody else is? I think that it is because they either aren’t really trying to recruit Libertarians to petition, or they don’t really care.

    I actually wonder if there is not some kind of intentional conspiracy going on to covertly sabotage the Libertarian Party and movement by directing most of the ballot access money to people who are not libertarians.

    What would be better for the party and movement, to spend say $500,000 on ballot access and have say 90% of it go to hire actual Libertarians who go out on the streets of this country and disseminate a Libertarian message to the public and sign up new Libertarians, or to spend say $500,000 on ballot access and have 90% of the money go to hire non-libertarian mercenaries who do the bare minimum to get signatures so they can get paid, and do little or nothing to spread a Libertarian message to the public, do not sign up any new Libertarians, and in some cases, even lie about what the petition and/or party is for in order to get people to sign (like saying, “SIGN THE PETITION TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE!” as a pitch to get people to sign an LP ballot access petition), or get low validity rates on petitions, in some cases done intentionally to bilk the party out of more money?

    It is funny how my daring to suggest that the majority of Libertarian Party ballot access work should be done by actual Libertarians, instead of non-libertarian mercenaries, or bullshit artists pretending to be libertarians for the moment just so they can kiss up to whoever it is that is writing their paychecks, is viewed as some kind of radical concept.

    Gee, actual Libertarians should talk to people about the Libertarian Party and libertarianism, instead of people who are not really libertarians. Oh boy, this is a really “radical” idea! Oh, the horror!

  5. paulie

    I don’t think someone who admits they were once ready to go on a killing spree is someone the LP should be associated with. Especially given recent events.

    That’s only the tip of the iceberg with this guy.

  6. Mark Axinn

    Chris is complex. I know him for the last four years, and he has been an asset for the liberty movement in New York.

    We all have different styles. His is a bit in your face. 🙂

  7. Jill Pyeatt

    Thanks for looking up those things, Paulie. Cantwell is so awful that I can’t find anything redeeming in what he says at all.

  8. paulie

    He also holds the “honor” of being the only person (as far as I know) who was ever kicked out of the Free State Project.

  9. Mark Axinn

    Neverthess, this one is a damn good speech. By far the best I have heard him make.

    The last time I heard him at Liberty Fest two years ago was embarrassing as it was all sex and smut, and not freedom and redemption as this one is.

  10. Jed Ziggler

    Meh, that’s just comedy. I’ve always liked offensive humor, that doesn’t bother me in the least. Pretty funny actually. But the whole wanting to go on a killing spree thing, that’s terrifying.

  11. paulie

    I like some offensive humor, but that’s not humor, just offensive. He seems like he has barely contained fantasies of rape and murder and some racial hostility simmering. I’d hate for that to boil over while he is representing the LP. Or how about having his opponents and the media use quotes like that against him and against the LP in general? Some people might find that funny, but not me.

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