Interview with Austin Petersen, Candidate for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination

Peterson

Austin Petersen and I corresponded through email. Most of the questions were submitted by IPR readers, or Libertarians on a couple Facebook questions.

Do you agree with Gary Johnson that Sharia Law and terrorism from extremist Muslims is a worrisome threat to our country?

I don’t see Sharia as a threat simply because I’m confident in the supremacy of American judicial processes and constitutional law.

Islamic terrorism itself is a threat however, and deserves to be taken seriously from a philosophical and national security perspective, but we must be careful that we do not become that which we seek to destroy. I am reminded of Nietzsche, who said: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.”

Americans must be on guard against violent ideologies, but we must not sacrifice our humanity or our liberties in order to do so. We do not stoop to the level of burning our enemies in cages as ISIS does, therefore if we reject barbarism four ourselves, we agree we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. We must be strong and project power, but also merciful and forgiving. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. With great power comes great responsibility. If our civilization is truly exceptional, we must demonstrate it by living our principles. I am no pacifist, but I believe in always seeking for peaceful resolutions to conflict and that war or violence must always be a last resort.

There is considerable evidence that the second War on Iraq was an unprovoked war of aggression based on faked trials. If the evidence is correct, would you support War Crimes Trials for President Bush and his administration (for launching the war), and for President Obama and his administration (for failing to prosecute the Bush administration), as is your duty under American Law?

If the evidence were to bear out that the administration deliberately lied to bring us into war, then I would support such measures. However, my understanding of government is that they are more often misguided than malevolent. Our government leaders are probably more inept than ill intentioned. As Isabel Paterson once said, “Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.”

When judging aggression, intent matters, which is why we have murder in the first and murder in the second degrees. Bush may have been overreacting to the blood lust fueled by an angry nation in the wake of the attacks on September 11th. But if his intentions were malign, and not based on national security threats, then there absolutely should be accountability.

If you do not get selected to be the LP’s presidential candidate, would you consider running for vice-president?

I have not formally decided that yet. I’ve considered that. But due to my gregarious and outgoing personality, what presidential candidate would want a VP who would outshine them? No one likes an assistant who’s more talented, outgoing, and well liked than himself or herself, even if that assistant did nothing but good for them.

Since you stopped working at the LP’s national headquarters in 2008, what have you done to support the LP? Were you registered Libertarian in any state? Did you vote Libertarian?

I worked very hard behind the scenes while at the Fox Business network to promote the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, despite his inability to provide ratings on the network. I did that because although it was a sacrifice to myself to promote someone who was difficult to market, I thought it was the right thing to do. I have also conducted interviews with other Libertarian Party candidates, and given opportunities to people such as Kathie Glass, the Texas Gubernatorial candidate, and Alexander Snitker of Florida, who I brought to New York to interview with Fox.

You have claimed to be a “fusionist”. What does that mean, and how will that affect your candidacy? Would you be as interested in recruiting new LP members from the left as well as the right?

The old fusionists were conservatives only. I am proposing a new form of fusionism with the principled populists of the right, as well as the libertarian coalitions and some principled “blue-dog” styled democrats. I absolutely believe we can make great inroads with the left. Our positions on immigration, the war on drugs, and gay marriage make the Libertarian Party’s message particularly attractive to principled leftists, who are not wedded to progressivism.

It has been my observation, and the observation of several other people, that you behave in a manner that isn’t very presidential or even respectable on Facebook. Why should people support a candidate who engages in a sustained campaign of juvenile name calling to Party activists? Or seems to have a hair-trigger temper? Or responds to serious questions with flippant comments, sometimes unrelated to the question asked?

If behaving presidential means being politically correct, lying to constituents, taking away people’s liberties, and drone bombing indiscriminately in the Middle East, then I’ll proudly wear the label of being unpresidential. If you want someone who is politically correct, you can always vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, as many libertarians have strangely stated in recent weeks that they might do.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that a temper is the last thing that I have. I’m very slow to anger, but quick with a sharp witted jab in self defense, and it’s almost always lighthearted. I’m pulling from the classic Alinsky playbook. Why? Because it works, and because it’s what our enemies are doing to us. I gave an extensive talk on why libertarians need to learn to fight in my recent speech at LibertyFest, and it’s also available at my website The Libertarian Republic.

Yes, I’m a brawler. They don’t call me the Freedom Ninja because I’m a pacifist pushover. I’m a liberty champion, a warrior for the cause of economic freedom and personal liberty. I’m sick and tired of seeing libertarians lose because of our inability to connect with people on a social level making us think that we’re better than everyone else. We’re not. So having a sense of humor, and a sharp wit is a crucial element missing from I’d say 99% of libertarian campaigns. When libertarians nominate a winning candidate, they can say what is or isn’t presidential. Until then they would do well to listen to activists who actually get results. Or we could just run Gary Johnson again and hope for a geriatric miracle.

Besides being a public personality that has been a political commentator, what precisely *qualifies* you to run for this office? Have you ever held any prior offices? Why do you think you should start at the top and not get some in-the- trenches political experience?

That’s a good question, and it makes me wonder if they didn’t ask Michael Badnarik the same thing when he ran for president and won the nomination in 2004. What really qualifies one to be president? Does he need to have been a military commander, and ordered the death of enough people to get a taste for what’s in store? Does he need to have been a community organizer, spreading socialism and corruption in Chicago? Does he or she need to have been a college professor, spreading Progressivism and laying income taxes for future generations to suffer under? Is that what type of experience we look for in our presidential candidates?

I suppose it’s the delegates’ decision to make on what makes one qualified. As of now, running for president seems to have been a good decision, since now the liberty movement, at least according to the polling I’m seeing, is looking for a younger, fresher face to lead our movement into the future. I’m the beneficiary of the generosity of hundreds of small donors, hundreds of volunteers across the country, and millions of people listening to what I write online, encouraging me to go on. The people telling me to quit seem to be a small, vocal minority. I think I’ll just keep going on and see what else this campaign has in store for me and my little rugged band of devoted freedom fighter followers.

If Obama hasn’t closed Guantanamo but the time you took office, would you close it right away?

I would work with the congress to close Guantanamo bay in a manner consistent with due process and constitutional law. At the moment we are stuck due to jurisprudence, so we will need new legislation reforming the criminal justice system to deal with the enemy combatant status created by the War on Terror. I would rely on legal minds such as Judge Napolitano, Randy Barnett, and Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee to help on such issues.

You have been quoted as saying: “The platform will change in 2016 with me at its head.” Oh, really? Can you elaborate?

Platforms always change. There are additions and subtractions. It matters very little in the end, since no one but Libertarian Party members or perhaps a few members of the press will read it. It’s mostly a way for people to feel good about themselves that they changed something that has little affect on anything but a few people’s egos. It’s sort of how liberals advocate for recycling. It doesn’t do any good for the environment really, in fact it might actually be more harmful. But it makes people feel good, so they do it because that’s all they care about. Themselves. That’s probably what platform fascists think about themselves as well. They want to feel good about themselves. Forced allegiance to a set of principles written by a collective is the furthest thing from libertarian I could ever imagine. The nominee’s platform is what really matters since that’s what the American people are more likely to read about. It’s a shame that so many people spend so much time on something that hasn’t reduced government in any measurable way.

The Libertarian Party is known as “The Party of Principle”, yet you find it appropriate to ridicule a very important part of our Statement of Principles when you talk about our Non-Aggression Principle. Why should any of us support someone who doesn’t agree with a key component of our Statement of Principles?

I hate to break it to you, but political parties aren’t actually very good representatives of principles, since no two libertarians can really agree on what those principles are specifically. Are Republicans monolithic? Are Democrats? Perhaps generally? Maybe. Parties are tools, not debate clubs. They’re meant to get people elected to public office. They serve no other purpose.

As Alinsky stated: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” It’s also my favorite weapon. If you think that I’m rough on my opponents seeking to undermine me in the movement, how do you think I will treat Hillary Clinton or Marco Rubio when I face off against them? And will not the American people reward me for my moxie and my cleverness? And what about when I must face off against Vladimir Putin, or Al-Baghdadi? Will my satirical pen not cut them to the quick? I will bring down hostile governments around the world, not through force of arms, but through force of humor. I am the boy who will point out that the emperors wear no clothes. So yes, the point is to make people laugh at dictators, whether those dictators are Islamic Jihadists, or anyone who demands we pledge allegiance. “I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man…”
The non-aggression principle doesn’t appear anywhere in the platform from what I can see, since the party isn’t the Pacifist Anarchist Party (although that does sound like a fun party).

From what I understand, the founders of the party were so terrified of the feds they required a pledge not to commit acts of terrorism or violence so that the big bad government would leave them alone. It’s a shame too, because our much more muscular founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to bloody war with the Empire. The Libertarian Party pledges not to do anything that might make the feds uncomfortable. Not very inspiring to be honest. Sorry, but I reserve the right to revolution if things get bad. At that point we’ll be beyond the need for parties.

Let’s get rid of this silly pledge once and for all and find something more useful to pledge to. How about we pledge allegiance to a flag? Flags at least have decorative value on top of making people feel something. After all, it’s the feelings of the tired, old guard that really matter, not our policies right? Not the future of liberty? We’re not interested in advancing our cause, just demanding purity in thought, right? We don’t want change. We want to remain the same. We think the reason that voters don’t vote for us is because there’s something wrong with them, not that there’s something deeply wrong with us, right? Sorry. But if you want to change the world, you must start with yourself. If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change.

For now though, I’ll take the pledge not to commit violence for political or social goals. I have no interest in such things. It is interesting though that the party requires one to pledge to something that the president must violate on day one of taking the oath of office. Not very wise. But then again, if the founders of the party were wiser, perhaps we’d have won elections by now?

The LP currently takes a non-position on abortion, saying that is in an issue we don’t wish to get involved in except to say the government shouldn’t be involved. Would you change that? If you were President, and were presented with a bill to prohibit all abortions, would you sign it?

I believe in the consistent pro-life ethic but murder is a state issue, not a federal one. I’d have to read the bill before I sign any of them.

Violation of privacy has become a huge issue with many Americans. How would you help restore our natural and constitutional rights of privacy in this time of surveillance in the name of “keeping us safe”?

–No answer provided

Can you give us a quick outline of how you think “illegal” immigration should be handled in our country?

Sure! Worker visas for anyone who wants to work. Student Visas for anyone who wants to study and mass amnesty for people who are living and working here, just like good old Ronald Reagan did, but better! Then we can look at a more humane naturalization process that’s simpler, faster, and more efficient. Perhaps something like Ellis Island, where they did a disease check, security check, and you’re done?

136 thoughts on “Interview with Austin Petersen, Candidate for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination

  1. Caryn Ann Harlos

    The non-aggession principle is not in the Platform? That is blatantly false and Petersen knows this. I am getting ready to attend the LPCO Board meeting, but this is one I look forward to responding to.

    NOTE: The issue is NOT whether one thinks it SHOULD be in the Platform. The issue is whether or not it IS. And the Statement of Principles is part of the Platform and he has already conceded the NAP is in the SoP.

    Why would he say that the “Platform will change” if it isn’t in there to begin with.

    Incoherent and the responses are not even serious.

    This is not a proud moment for our Party.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting poke at Johnson there. “Difficult to market” indeed. Not quite as difficult as getting people to believe that anyone but Petersen calls Petersen “Freedom Ninja,” though.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    When several new people we’ve never heard of come here just to post cheerleading comments about Mr. Petersen, it’s pretty easy to believe it’s the same person.

  4. Smart Alex

    Mark are you so stupid that you don’t get that Austin is being sarcastic toward you? He’s making fun of you in the video you posted.

  5. Andy

    I was going to post a question for Austin, but Jill shut down the questioning period before I had a chance to post it.

    Maybe this was for the better though, as I’ve got a feeling that Austin’s answer would have just pissed me off and caused me to post a long rebuttal.

  6. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I did prepare the questions after just a couple days because I has so many sent to me. I think I had more than 30 in 48 hours, but a lot of people asked similar questions. I tried to ask about the main topics people were interested in, and then threw one in of my own (the Guantanamo question).

    Why don’t you post the question here? It’s likely that Austin will come here to check out our comments.

  7. langa

    Parties are … meant to get people elected to public office. They serve no other purpose.

    This alone would be sufficient reason to reject Petersen’s candidacy, as it demonstrates that:

    A) He is delusional enough to think that he can actually win.

    B) He wants to use the party as a “tool” to further his agenda, when it should be the other way around.

    C) Most importantly, he is clueless when it comes to the actual raison d’etre of minor parties.

  8. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    “But due to my gregarious and outgoing personality, what presidential candidate would want a VP who would outshine them? No one likes an assistant who’s more talented, outgoing, and well liked than himself or herself, even if that assistant did nothing but good for them.”

    This is what did it for me. Every answer was laughable after this absurd response.

    He surely can’t be serious. Who was believe this?

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill et. al,

    I’m sure I’m not the first person to suggest this, but have you considered the likelihood that Austin’s “campaign” is just one giant trolling expedition from top to bottom?

    At least it strikes me that way. And although he doesn’t use the exact term and does dress it up in a less insulting way, Jason Stapleton seemed to think so too.

    On the “AP4LP” side of the ledger, about half of Austin’s mini-me flash-mobbers seem to consider themselves in on the joke and about half seem to be the kind of drooling idiots who don’t understand that it’s a joke or that they’re making themselves the butts of it.

    On the anti side, every time we actually take the thing seriously, we’re part of the punch line.

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I deleted your comment, Nathan/ Moses because of the pornographic photo you posted. We gave you a chance, and you screwed up–talk about trolls! I hope you enjoyed yourself because you’re done here, at least if I see your comment.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thomas, I think it’s very possible Austin’s campaign is a big joke/distraction. I have said for months that he’s not a serious candidate, and this kind of verifies it for me. Maybe it’s humorous to some people, but I don’t find it amusing at all.

  12. Andy Craig

    A lot else to comment on, but since this is one of the actual positions you’ll often hear from others too:

    I believe in the consistent pro-life ethic but murder is a state issue, not a federal one. I’d have to read the bill before I sign any of them.

    If you believe abortion is murder, but that each state should get to decide if it’s legal or not, then that’s basically saying you reject the entire notion of any constitutionally guaranteed individual rights that the federal government can require the states to respect.

    ‘Murder is a state issue’ is very misleading as an analogy to abortion laws. Yes, prosecuting murders is a state matter, as defined under state laws and it’s true, absent any federal law or constitutional policy it would remain up to the states. Federalism is great, as is resisting the over-federalization of ordinary criminal law that should remain with the states. But that doesn’t mean any state has the constitutional option to legalize murder of certain persons. That’s the textbook case of denying “the equal protection of the laws.”

    I don’t hold the position that abortion is homicide or can rationally be treated as murder by the law, but if you do, saying states can selectively legalize (and in some states, fund) murder is pretty horrifying in its implications. What if a state wants to legalize rape? (Not that theoretical a question, given that the last laws legalizing marital rape were repealed not that long ago). “Whether or not assaulting black people is a crime is a state matter”?

    I support federalism, and decentralization, and all the good reasons why we have those things. But it’s become such a rote memorized dodge, you hear it invoked on questions where it really doesn’t make much sense. Petersen was asked if he’d sign a federal abortion ban. His answer was probably not. “…but I think the states should ban it!” is a rather transparent attempt to weasel your way into satisfying both sides of the issue, but it doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) really satisfy either.

    Petersen is far from the only person to give this answer. It’s a pretty common stock answer a lot of candidates give, and it was Ron Paul’s usual reply (even though he also introduced and voted for federal abortion bans). I’ve never found it a satisfactory answer, because of what it implies beyond the question of abortion. Checks and balances goes both ways, there are legitimate federal checks on the states, and most of those have been imposed because the states were violating individual rights otherwise. Rejecting that is a lot more troublesome to me than taking either side on abortion.

  13. langa

    Petersen is far from the only person to give this answer. It’s a pretty common stock answer a lot of candidates give, and it was Ron Paul’s usual reply (even though he also introduced and voted for federal abortion bans). I’ve never found it a satisfactory answer, because of what it implies beyond the question of abortion. Checks and balances goes both ways, there are legitimate federal checks on the states, and most of those have been imposed because the states were violating individual rights otherwise. Rejecting that is a lot more troublesome to me than taking either side on abortion.

    I’m pretty sure RP rejects the incorporation doctrine, which your point relies on. Of course, you can disagree with him on that, but at least his position is logically consistent. If he believes that the Bill of Rights applies only to the Federal Government, then he can claim to be a constitutionalist, while also claiming that that abortion is a) murder and b) a state issue.

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig:

    ==I don’t hold the position that abortion is homicide or can rationally be treated as murder by the law, but if you do, saying states can selectively legalize (and in some states, fund) murder is pretty horrifying in its implications. ==

    You got that right. This is why I say to the pro-lifers (I am the one who asked this question because I knew he wouldn’t do anything more than Gary Johnson though he keeps trying to play on pro-life bona fides) – stop running after the Republican dog whistle.

  15. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Yes, you asked the abortion question, Caryn, but you might be interested to know that Avens O’Brien did, too. She has interviewed Austin, also, and I asked her if she’d forgotten to ask him about something, and that was it.

    I haven’t seen her article yet. She talked to him, although I don’t know if it was over the phone.

  16. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Now on to questions he avoided.

    ==Since you stopped working at the LP’s national headquarters in 2008, what have you done to support the LP? Were you registered Libertarian in any state? Did you vote Libertarian?

    I worked very hard behind the scenes while at the Fox Business network to promote the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, despite his inability to provide ratings on the network. I did that because although it was a sacrifice to myself to promote someone who was difficult to market, I thought it was the right thing to do. I have also conducted interviews with other Libertarian Party candidates, and given opportunities to people such as Kathie Glass, the Texas Gubernatorial candidate, and Alexander Snitker of Florida, who I brought to New York to interview with Fox.==

    First notice what he did not answer. He did not say what his website did to promote the interests of the Libertarian Party in any substantial way (there was one article that kinda mentioned the LP that I am aware of)– because IT DIDN’T. He didn’t mention what he did in his podcast to promote the LP BECA– USE HE DIDN’T. He didn’t mention that he was a TEA PARTY ADVOCATE DURING HIS TIME AT FOX. Which is fine… but it ISN’T PROMOTING THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY.

    Where is his Libertarian Party activism?

    Notice he didn’t answer if he registered Libertarian or voted Libertarian.

    The fact is that Petersen is shamefully padding his Libertarian Party resume for his post-2008 time. If he had the achievements with his site, he would post them. In fact he explicitly repudiated caring about political parties and was stumping for the Purple PAC IN THE MONTH PRIOR TO HIS DECLARING.

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==I am proposing a new form of fusionism with the principled populists of the right,===

    Seems the LP has heard something like this before… From Wayne Allyn Root. For those who don’t remember:

  18. sparkey

    Cool, 2 of my questions got in (slightly modified/improved)–the Sharia Law one and the VP one. Satisfactory answers from Austin on both, even if he comes across as a bit full of himself about how much he would “outshine” the top of the ticket.

  19. Andy

    This is not the question I was planning to ask, but has Austin Petersen ever been a member of the Libertarian Party outside of the time period that he worked at the LP national office and since he announced that he is seeking the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination? How many years total has Austin Petersen been a dues paying member of the Libertarian Party?

  20. Andy

    Here is another question that is not the question which I was planning to ask, but, I heard that sometime after Austin quit working on at the Libertarian Party national office, that somebody asked him to sign a Libertarian Party ballot access petition, and that he refused to sign it. Is this story true, and if so, why did he refuse to sign the Libertarian Party ballot access petition?

  21. Andy

    ” quit working on at the Libertarian Party national office, ”

    Should read, “quit working at the Libertarian Party national office….”

  22. Andy

    Now I might as well post the question I was going to ask.

    Austin, has anyone in the government has ever engaged in any conspiracies or false flag attacks?

    58 Admitted False Flag Attacks

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/02/no_author/58-false-flag-attacks/

    And as a follow up question:

    Who do you consider to be a better prospect for the Libertarian Party and movement, a person who believes that government officials from both major parties routinely lie and engage in conspiracies and false flag attacks, or a person who believes everything that the government tells them to believe and who get offended when people suggest that government officials from both major parties lie, and engage in conspiracies and false flag attacks?

  23. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    As I said earlier, I think chances are very good that this whole campaign is some kind of April Fool’s joke. However, I see similarities in Austin’s campaign with Wayne Allyn Root (and Trump also). I really believe that WAR believed the things he said, so for that reason I hold out the possibility that that Austin is for real.

    Root had better credentials, though, as far as being able to point to some books written and a few business successes. The “Libertarian Republic” is a decent accomplishment for a young man, but, in my view, not enough to qualify Mr. Petersen for President.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Who do you consider to be a better prospect for the Libertarian Party and movement, a person who believes that government officials from both major parties routinely lie and engage in conspiracies and false flag attacks, or a person who believes everything that the government tells them to believe and who get offended when people suggest that government officials from both major parties lie, and engage in conspiracies and false flag attacks?”

    I’m surprised nobody who edits Wikipedia articles has picked this question, which you pose frequently, out for featuring as nearly the perfect example of what it is.

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy I had asked the question regarding dues and it did not make the cut.

    Petersen has been a member since 2008 only in the sense that he signed the membership pledge and managed never to revoke it so a pledged member.

    He refuses to answer how long he has paid dues or been a sustaining member because he hadn’t in years from every indication – he wasn’t even a dues-paying member when he declared. He sent in his $25 afterwards.

    The last sentence is a known fact. The other he refuses to answer.

    Here is the facts that his padded resume can’t cover.

    He worked at HQ in 2008. He left and got some interviews with LP people at the various outlets which would have had some anyway- no heroic accomplishment and openly promoted Tea Party interest – and if there was partisan registration he was a Republican and likely voted Republican.

    When he ventured out in his own and *could* have zealously promoted the LP he didn’t. He never mentioned them (one or two lackluster passing references out of the great volume of work he did is functionally never.)

    He did not promote the LP, Libertarian registration, Libertarian membership, or that he was this loyal member.

    It is all quite simply horse leavings.

    Now… One doesn’t have to have a long Libertarian pedigree. It would be nice for our candidate to have but not a requirement. But this resume padding and lack of forthrightness is the issue.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    Andy’s candidate dichotomy — false flaggery or gullible candidates — I’d say neither. I like L candidates who say that the government is deeply corrupt, as it seems obviously true. I probably would not vote for a CT or gullible L. I’ve heard of CT Ls, but not gullible ones.

    Who are some of the latter ones, AJ?

  27. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Petersen also did not answer the charge that he abuses libertarian activists. His answer makes it seem like it is simply “the big bad statists” but does not deal with the utter divisiveness he causes from the ground all the way to the top.

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Take note that Petersen here admits that the Pledge means more than but revolting and even though the certified says “I believe,” he doesn’t.

    So much #fail if one reads very carefully. And the wow arrogance at those who have been actually faithful to the Party for decades.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    cah: And the wow arrogance at those who have been actually faithful to the Party for decades.

    me: How long is this list? Maybe a 1000 or so? Based on the work of 89 brave cult challengers from 72, who arrogantly protected their delusion with a 7/8ths booby trap.

    It seems you attack the challengers of the challengers, offering a protection service by a one-year rookie. Hmm. Interesting set up!

  30. NewFederalist

    I don’t know this person at all but I am curious as to why some people here believe this campaign is a “put on”. I usually am pretty good at picking out sarcasm and cynicism but if this is the case he is either really good or I am slipping in my old age.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos

    New Federalist;

    I don’t know why people say that either. It isn’t a put on and I have offered to discuss off list why this is a silly suggestion.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    “the utter divisiveness he causes from the ground all the way to the top”

    Caryn,

    You worry a little too much. That description implies a degree of notoriety and influence at least one, and probably two, full orders of magnitude larger than he’s ever had in the LP.

  33. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom with all due respect, I think I may have information you don’t. Maybe not but I tend to monitor minutiae and information streams others may not.

    My comment I believe was on target.

  34. George Phillies

    More meaningless debate about platform and philosophy interpretation. David Nolan had this right.

    Of somewhat more interest, Petersen is currently in the lead on raising money. Johnson’s efforts to jettison his 2012 debt were initially bounced by the FEC; there is a Request For Additional Information with a loaded question in it. Petersen has raised $6655.03, of which only $500.00 is his own. That’s because he asks for money.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Of somewhat more interest, Petersen is currently in the lead on raising money.”

    Unless you are his treasurer or have a crystal ball, you have no way of knowing that.

    “Petersen has raised $6655.03”

    No, Petersen had raised $6655.03 as of December 31st, 2015. That was 40 days ago.

  36. George Phillies

    It all depends how current you want. That is the report filed at the end of January.

  37. Caryn Ann Harlos

    George,

    ==More meaningless debate about platform and philosophy interpretation. David Nolan had this right.==

    You seem to have made a leap. Nolan certainly had a view on the Pledge. I would like to see where you say he thought the platform and philosophy were meaningless. There is one of his last speeches that is on IPR that says the opposite.

    And you know Petersen made a completely false statement above (in fact you probably think he made one more than I do). You know that the NAP IS in the Platform and that it would take a completely blind person not to see it. The second thing is that Petersen here is conceding that the Pledge means more than a no revolt clause, which you disagree with, and I don’t bother with in dealing with him.

    As far as fundraising, if one is going to count the 2012 debt as a minus from current fundraising, someone could say that. But if no, no, he has not raised more than Johnson AFAIC. We know the figures from January. He regularly announces the progress on his page (not as a cumulative total, but it is easy to put a general idea together)… he hasn’t yet raised that amount yet again, but let’s say he has… what, total around $12K? I think that is pretty good. But Johnson so far has raised … and judging from publicly discussed figures… in a very low figure of at least $25K, but I think it much higher.

    I think AWP has done well, and Johnson should be doing better, but in raw figures, Johnson is raising twice as much money (but probably has more than twice as many expenses).

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Well, that’s the thing: The numbers we have are from the reports filed at the end of January, which are for fundraising through the end of December.

    Things have picked up considerably since then. Johnson didn’t announce until January. McAfee announced in September but didn’t switch to the LP until December, and only now seems to actually be getting a campaign organization together.

    We really have no idea how much money any given campaign has raised because the fundraising didn’t really get started for most of them until after the most recent report.

    Question on the technicalities of Johnson’s FEC situation: If the FEC continues its hold on his debt resolution plan, are the funds he raises for THIS campaign encumbered by the debt or not? Obviously his serial proof of his inability to balance a campaign checkbook is damaging either way, but it’s even worse for him if he has to raise $1.x million before he can start raising money he can actually spend.

  39. Shane

    Caryn, you’re either in another camp or you have a pretty big crush on Austin to hang on his every word like that.

    And your comment that he did things that were happening anyway in media shows you don’t have the slightest clue. Having an “inside” booker is pure gold.

    When I hired Austin (who relocated to take a low-paying job with the LP), if I had known he’d end up as a producer at Fox, I would have had him pledge his first born to me in undying loyalty.

    For a former HQ employee to give a rat’s ass about the party is admirable as you get to see how screwed up it is. The ridiculous inexperience of the LNC coupled with their constant meddling that interferes with your work is enough to drive someone far from the party.

    Austin’s greatest value to the party is that he’s worked for HQ and other non-profits and has an understanding of how they work and attract support.

    On the pledge, it is stupid and his comments about the party founders are spot on, especially when it pertains to Nolan.

    The party serves one purpose . . . electing libertarians. And it sucks at its main job. That’s mainly due to party leaders pandering to other libertarians about things that don’t matter. It’s the opposite problem of the GOP.

    The questions above were just dumb ass. Was there a single question about organizing, fundraising or doing the activities to actually get votes?

    Nope.

    Talk about out of touch with reality. Do libertarians who ask questions like this just think the LP is a toy train they can take out and play with on the weekends? Are they involved to satisfy their passing interest in politics? Because they sure as shit have no interest in changing the nation . . . or they simply have no clue where to start.

    People like Jim Lark say “liberty in our lifetime” to excuse the lack of progress. They don’t get that they’re competing against parties and people who work on a much more aggressive timeline.

    The people leading the LP today fall into the same mold as the people who founded it. People with great ideas but anti-social, inexperienced and lacking boldness. Times have changed and it’s time for the party to change.

    Get serious and get aggressive or go home, feed your cats and wait for the next shackle to be bolted on.

    Liberty in our lifetime . . . my ass. Liberty by sundown.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The party serves one purpose . . . electing libertarians.”

    Not according to the party.

    Maybe it’s dumb, but I think the party is better qualified to choose its purpose than anyone else is.

  41. Shane

    Did the mission statement change: move public policy in the direction of Liberty by electing libertarians to public office.

    The LP ain’t a church.

  42. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Nope, the bylaws are still the same.

    ==The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles ===

    And lists multiple ways to do that including electing Libertarians. It is all under the umbrella of the overarching charter. One cannot implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the statement of principles when one repudiates them.

    You can use Alinsky rhetoric to try to mock the purpose, but it is what it is stated. It is a principles-based Party that exists to promote those principles. There are many ways to do that and Libertarians do disagree on those methods. But one thing is certain, you don’t implement and give voice to those principles by utterly repudiating them.

    That is pretty simple.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Thanks for taking care of that, Caryn.

    Of course, Shane knows this. He used to be the executive director at LPHQ. He WANTED the mission and sole purpose of the LP to be to elect Libertarians to political office, and got obsessed enough with it that he eventually convinced himself that it IS the mission and sole purpose of the LP to elect Libertarians to public office.

  44. Stewart Flood

    There are many facets of the liberty movement. Only one of them involves actually electing people to office, which is the sole reason the national and state parties exists. There are dozens of other organizations that lobby for legislation, act as media/pr outlets, and all the other things a movement does.

    To repeat, the party has one sole purpose: to elect libertarians.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    Every two years, the national convention delegates are free to modify the purposes of the party.

    And every two years, they choose to keep a list of purposes above and beyond the one you pretend is the “sole purpose.”

    You (and Shane) are just flat, no-shit, balls-out, completely wrong.

    You don’t have to like the fact that the party has purposes other than the one you think it should have. It’s a fact that the party has purposes other than the one you think it should have whether you like it or not.

  46. Andy

    Shane said: “For a former HQ employee to give a rat’s ass about the party is admirable as you get to see how screwed up it is. ”

    I can agree with this statement as a person who has observed LP internal management dysfunction for years.

  47. Andy

    George Phillies said: “Of somewhat more interest, Petersen is currently in the lead on raising money. Johnson’s efforts to jettison his 2012 debt were initially bounced by the FEC; there is a Request For Additional Information with a loaded question in it. Petersen has raised $6655.03, of which only $500.00 is his own. That’s because he asks for money.”

    Well this might be a decent amount of money if Austin were running for a seat on a city council in a small or mid sized city, but $6,655.03 is a joke for somebody running for President.

  48. Andy

    Shane said: “On the pledge, it is stupid and his comments about the party founders are spot on, especially when it pertains to Nolan.

    The party serves one purpose . . . electing libertarians. And it sucks at its main job. That’s mainly due to party leaders pandering to other libertarians about things that don’t matter. It’s the opposite problem of the GOP.

    The questions above were just dumb ass. Was there a single question about organizing, fundraising or doing the activities to actually get votes?”

    I agree with Shane that things like fundraising and organizing are important, however, the candidate has to be good on philosophy and issues for any of that stuff to matter. Philosophy and issues are the base on which everything else is built. Austin openly mocks libertarians who take the underlying philosophy of the party and movement seriously, and he also openly mocks those who are most skeptical of what the government says, so he therefore alienates a large percentage of the libertarian base. Alienating large segments of your potential support base is not a sound campaign strategy.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    sc: The LP ain’t a church.

    me: Are you sure about that? Conference of 89 Cardinals convened in ’72 with SUCH superior moral insight that their words they made it all but impossible to change them. Feels kinda like a church.

    It’s noteworthy that

    * 54 percent of U.S. Catholics supported same-sex marriage.
    *59% support admitting women to the priesthood.
    * 60% believe Catholics who had divorced and remarried outside the church should be eligible to receive communion.
    * 61% believe priests should be allowed to marry.
    * 76% believe abortion should be permitted at least in some circumstances.
    * 79% support contraception.

    The cult challenging the cult hold onto the reins of the LP like the Vatican does despite likely similar deviations from the Plumbline.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    If 89 golfers get together and found a club for the purpose of raising money to build a golf course, is there some particular reason why they SHOULDN’T institute protections in the initial agreement to prevent new people from coming in and re-purposing the money raised, etc. to build tennis courts?

  51. Andy

    “Robert Capozzi
    February 9, 2016 at 11:33

    sc: The LP ain’t a church.

    me: Are you sure about that? Conference of 89 Cardinals convened in ’72 with SUCH superior moral insight that their words they made it all but impossible to change them. Feels kinda like a church.”

    Robert, if you think that the founders of the Libertarian Party were wrong about the pledge, why don’t you and others who agree with you form another party to compete with the Libertarian Party? Show us all how it is done. Let the market decide.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Andy:

    “$6,655.03 is a joke for somebody running for President.”

    Maybe so. But so are the amounts raised by any LP presidential campaign, ever.

    In fact, so are the amounts raised and spent by all past LP presidential campaigns combined. That total is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1% of what will be raised and spent by other campaigns this year alone.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    tk, false analogy for me. A business with a business purpose is different than a political party, as I see it. Businesses are in it to maximize LT profits, and businesses change their mission statements ALL THE TIME. Apple started making microcomputers, now it makes other devices, for ex.

    Political parties by their nature want to change civil society’s organization in some way. They are not an exercise detached moral theorizing. That’s to be found in academia, and it has its place.

    aj, first, I don’t have a big problem with the Pledge, although net net I think it’s a bad, unenforceable idea. Second, thanks for your time-management counsel, but I wonder if that’s your way of building a L party. Is that a suggestion you make when petitioning? You don’t like what we’re offering, go fuck yourself and start your own party? 😉

    I have no expectation of myself or the LP being of any consequence at this time. I have no plans to start a “Liberty” Party. Mostly, we’s jus’ yakking.

    Interesting that you have no substantial feedback to my critique. The Plumbline is the Plumbline because it’s the Plumbline set by the Great and Mighty 89.

  54. Jill Pyeatt

    Shane certainly has opinions about the articles I post here. He’s the one that said it was “sick” of me to post the information that another presidential candidate, Derrick Reid sent for me to post.

    Perhaps I should start checking with him before I post anything.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Political parties by their nature want to change civil society’s organization in some way”

    Exactly. And the founders of the LP wanted to change civil society’s organization in some particular way. They set their organization up to make it difficult for people who wanted to change civil society’s organization some other way to take over and re-purpose the party.

    Once again, what’s wrong with that? They were pretty clear on what they were about. Nolan’s article calling for the party’s formation said exactly who he was targeting, and why, and what he expected to accomplish. And then he and the others formed an organization for that express purpose.

  56. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Once again, what’s wrong with that?

    me: Nothing “wrong” per se. Profoundly ineffective, confused, and wacky, IMO. YMMV.

    And a bit of a fraud, since the LNC and its affiliates call themselves “political parties” but I’d say they ain’t that. The Annointed 89 also buried their booby traps.

    Again, I was once an Altar Boy for Randian/Rothbardianism, so I supported this now sorry state of affairs.

  57. Andy Craig

    Every purpose you can posit for the LP other than running candidates, can be (and is) better done outside the mechanism of a political party. The LP has “other purposes” in a strict sense, but all of them you could name (education, spreading the message, chartering affiliates, etc.) are done through or around the mechanism of running candidates for public office and supporting their election.

    This idea that Libertarians who care about getting more votes, are just unprincipled sell-outs who want to win at any cost, is one of the most harmful, self-destructive ideas that has entrenched itself in the LP’s culture. Because, here’s the thing: nobody who really just cares about winning no matter what, regardless of policy platform and issue positions, is going to be in the Libertarian Party to begin with.

    If you aren’t trying to win the votes of the 99.8% of Americans who aren’t die-hard radical state-smashers, and if you react with hostility to talk of increasing vote totals as somehow being a bad thing, then calling what you’re doing a political party is misleading and dishonest. A more accurate label would be a cult that has wasted a lot of money on ballot access it never intends to really use.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Every purpose you can posit for the LP other than running candidates, can be (and is) better done outside the mechanism of a political party. ”

    Maybe so.

    But in responding to Shane and Stewart, I am not referring to what MIGHT BE BETTER, I am referring to what IS. And that’s not some kind of arguable matter. It’s right there in the fucking bylaws.

  59. Andy Craig

    The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of
    Principles by:

    – functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements;

    – moving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office;

    – chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities;

    – nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and
    supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office;

    – and, entering into public information activities

    Which one of those is somehow unrelated to electing libertarians? I don’t understand how anybody could read that and conclude that the primary purpose of the party is anything else. “Public information activities”? Is that what this whole “the By-Laws Say We Can’t Be About Winning!” spiel is hung on?

  60. Andy

    Libertarians running for office is a great way to educate the public, I would say better than having a libertarian educational organization.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    ac: Is that what this whole “the By-Laws Say We Can’t Be About Winning!” spiel is hung on?

    me: My sense is yes and no. Mostly it’s a holier-than-thou mentality that’s entirely predictable from the Tenets of Plumblinery. Those who stray from the One True Way threaten to topple the entire edifice. It’s the High Priest/Cadre’s job to re-educate anyone displaying any kind of deviation. One deviation leads to two leads to four leads to 16 and pretty soon the Plumbline collapses, is their real fear. My take.

  62. Andy Craig

    That part of the by-laws is little more than a formulaic textbook definition of what a political party is, and affirming that this is a libertarian one. If we’re supposed to draw some strategic significance from it about what to do here in 2016, I don’t see it. I have a hard time imagining how the party could do anything that violates that section, other than in some contentious ideologically-disputed manner over whether [fill-in-the-blank position] is or isn’t really libertarian.

    This implication that it says the LP should prioritize strident radicalism over trying to win votes and elections, isn’t found anywhere in the text. The idea that was the “founding vision” of the LP is pure hokum.

  63. Venice Beach Libertarian Club

    Smart AlexFebruary 8, 2016 at 21:55

    Mark are you so stupid that you don’t get that Austin is being sarcastic toward you? He’s making fun of you in the video you posted.

    Alex, watch it again or watch this one instead. Had NO idea our videos we’re over your head. Sorry we’ll dummy em down even more for you. Come to our meetings. https://youtu.be/oUAAISWvkPE

  64. Robert Capozzi

    ac: This implication that it says the LP should prioritize strident radicalism over trying to win votes and elections, isn’t found anywhere in the text.

    me: While I generally agree with you, I suspect that the Anointed 89 were more interested in “strident radicalism” and hyperbolic intransigence, since it’s my understanding that they were mostly Randians. IIRC, Rand suggested that there could be no social change without a massive adoption of Objectivism as the dominant philosophy. Rand liked to shock people, and so it would be no surprise to me the the Congress of Cardinals ’72 were mostly in it as a vehicle to shock an America that was plummeting toward the sewer of collectivism and selfless schmoo-ism.

  65. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Stewart, not according to our Bylaws. Is it the MAIN thing according to our National Bylaws…. no. The main thing is to give voice to and implement the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles. We do that by electing Libertarians, but that second part is subservient to the first, and even then, educational activities are equally on that list.

    As far as the State affiliates, with all due respect, no one tells the LPCO why they exist except the LPCO, and that includes National. This is what **Colorado Libertarians** say **their** purpose is:

    Section 1: The purpose of the Party is to implement and give voice to libertarian principles, such as those in the Statement of Principles of the national Libertarian Party, throughout the state of Colorado by:

    (a) providing leadership and direction for the Libertarian movement in Colorado;
    (b) communicating the message and positions of the Party;
    (c) entering into political information and educational activities;
    (d) promoting, chartering, coordinating, and supporting Party affiliates;
    (e) growing the Party through attracting and retaining members;
    (f) attracting, nominating, and promoting professional, serious Libertarian candidates for political office;
    (g) promoting Libertarian legislation throughout Colorado.

    Note where candidates is on this list. It isn’t number one. It isn’t number 2. It isn’t number 3. It isn’t number 4. It isn’t number 5. It is number 6. While one could argue that the list wasn’t intended to be a rank in order of importance (I don’t believe it is), it means *something. * At a minimum it means it is one of seven ways we “implement and give voice to libertarian principles, such as those in the Statement of Principles.”

  66. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy ,

    I agree with that as well, but Shane sidestepped my point. I have no doubt that it is a very good thing to still care at all after such experience. That was never the point. The point is Petersen’s resume padding about how he has zealously promoted the interests of the Libertarian Party since that time, not whether it would be understandable if he did not. I am dealing with his claim. He got some Libertarian guests scheduled. No matter what dispersions Shane wishes to cast on me, getting Johnson air-time would have happened anyway. The others, okay, though I find that a very few, but that is definitely something. HOWEVER, he was a VOCAL Tea Party advocate during that time and was trying to convince libertarians to change the RP from within. That is NOT zealously promoting the interests of the LP. And once freed from the dictates of a network and on his own, where he could do what he wished, he functionally NEVER PROMOTED THE INTERESTS OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY. I read his site daily and listened to every podcast during that time. I was a fan. Though disappointed that he didn’t care about the LP. I will give him that he didn’t bash it either which was more than I could say for others, but that is hardly a shining bar of achievement for someone who now claims to have been this dedicated advocator of the interests of the Libertarian Party since leaving HQ.

    This is just fact.

    And he dodged about whether he was registered Libertarian (if any of the states he lived in had partisan registration) and whether he voted Libertarian.

  67. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    That’s a nice opinion. A lot of us have nice opinions. The fact is that the charter of the organization isn’t “To elect people to office by:” — it is something different… subtle, but quite.

    Now that being said, I believe in pushing the electoral process and believe as a political party that is a primary purpose… I dispute that the purpose of using the electoral process is SOLEY to get people elected. I agree with Nolan who said we might just get people elected along the way. In my state affiliate, I am hot on pushing to get candidates and do actual political activities instead of simply being great at meetings and Robert’s Rules and philosophizing. I am finding both personally and in my experiences that this idea of the philosophizing activist that never wants to do actual electoral work is largely a myth… spotted in grainy videos and whispered about in Libertarian debates but largely unseen amongst the actual Party workers.

    As far as the Bylaws not meaning what they actually **say** again, I can believe you or my lying eyes. And I have seen formulaic charters. This isn’t one… I could craft one. Have it SIMPLY say “To exist as a distinct Libertarian political entity and _______”— THAT is formulaic. Our charter is more specific whether this suits anyone’s taste or narrative– that line DOES appear AFTER the ideologically specific statement. Redefining or saying it doesn’t mean what is says is admittedly a lot easier than getting the votes needed to actually change it, admittedly.

    It actually says: “The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by:”—- the formulaic political party blah blah statements appear AFTER that. After that embedding of a particular ideology. And it makes the political work subservient to “giving voice to the principles.” Our charter gives the overriding purpose as to implement and give voice to principles. We do that by functioning as a political entity.

    == I have a hard time imagining how the party could do anything that violates that section, other than in some contentious ideologically-disputed manner over whether [fill-in-the-blank position] is or isn’t really libertarian.==

    I don’t have a hard time. We have a living example. Openly repudiating it. One doesn’t have to guess or have some arcane ideologically driven dispute (which I wouldn’t support or care for particularly in the vast majority of cases) but someone who openly admits the case. Oftentimes theses things are both sides claiming that they hold to the SoP or Platform and merely disagree on methods or implementation. Those are usually vastly useless battles. But open and admitted repudiation is a different matter. Vastly different than nit picking purity tests which I dislike intensely (which is why you will almost never hear me use the phrase “LINO”- it gives me hives).

    And I will point the obvious that needs to be pointed out every once in a while. The ones screaming about ideology have their own ideology they are pushing, so I find the complaints …. let’s just say….. hollow. There are no ideologically neutral or empty positions. Only one side tends to admit it. But it is transparent nonetheless.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    cah: The ones screaming about ideology have their own ideology they are pushing, so I find the complaints …. let’s just say….. hollow.

    me: You are missing, then, the difference between plumblinery and other lessarchist ideologies. Plumbinery simply, simplistically boils down to one principle, and only allows for minor deviations in application. Other lessarchists recognize that there are many paths to liberty, not just plumblinery.

    I’d vote for a constitutionalist-type L, even though I’m not one. I would not say that TAAAL-ism is superior to constitutionalist L-ism, but I happen to believe TAAAL-ism would be more effective in regaining liberty over time. GeoL-ism has some great advantages, too, but I find it premature. In my case, I am open to other lessarchist approaches being more effective still.

    A true radical is open minded.

  69. Stewart Flood

    “You don’t have to like the fact that the party has purposes other than the one you think it should have. It’s a fact that the party has purposes other than the one you think it should have whether you like it or not.”

    Then it is probably a social club, not a political party.

    The democrats and republicans understand what the purpose of a political party is. That’s why they’ve been so successful at maintaining control and destroying liberty.

    There are many other liberty organizations who’s purposes work alongside the party and that we share a common path with. The party is the only group responsible for getting and keeping ballot access for candidates. You can’t refute that fact. I am not wrong. Our purpose is to run candidates for office and get them elected. We rarely meet our goal, but that’s what it is.

  70. Andy Craig

    Caryn, you’re reading into it what you want it to say, not what it actually says.

    Nowhere does it prioritize “giving voice” over “implement […] by:” [a bunch of activities that all centering around running candidates and building an organization for that purpose].

    You can torch the strawman of running anti-libertarian candidates just to win all you want, that is not what anybody is advocating. At least, not anybody in numbers to bother worrying about.

    You’re trying to read some kind of pro-radical, anti-electability bias into the founding vision of the party, by way of the by-laws or platform or SoP. Fact is: the Radical Caucus and those of that mindset, do not have a monopoly on how to interpret those provisions, and theirs is not the One True Only Correct Way to Be A Libertarian.

    “I dispute that the purpose of using the electoral process is SOLEY to get people elected. ”

    As would I, if anybody was saying that. There are plenty of other ways to get “people” elected, and it happens all the time. I will defend that the purpose of the LP in using the electoral process is to get libertarians elected, and to support their candidacies. Getting the message out and growing the party is an effect of doing that: a means towards ultimately electing libertarians, and thus implementing libertarian policy ideas, if not in the present election than future ones. It is not the goal in and of itself. Implement and give voice; not ONLY give voice, which any number of libertarian organizations do a much better job of than the LP could ever hope to.

  71. Robert capozzi

    NF:Except about the NAP! ?

    Me: Nope, no exceptions. Could be that I have yet to hear the persuasive argument for bending my knee — once again — to the NAP as the repository of all political goodness.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    nf, please pay attention. I often say that I’m already sold on the NAP as a sentiment. I’m not sold on it as an actionable rule.

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart, Andy C and Shane,

    Once again, this isn’t even arguable. It says what it says, not the exact opposite as you claim. You’re making yourselves look like fucking idiots. Why would you want to do that?

  74. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig,

    ==Caryn, you’re reading into it what you want it to say, not what it actually says. ==

    So you say. I disagree.

    ==Nowhere does it prioritize “giving voice” over “implement […] by:” [a bunch of activities that all centering around running candidates and building an organization for that purpose].===

    I didn’t say it gave giving voice over implement. The two are pretty equal. And your emphasis is on the wrong syllable… my emphasis is on the SoP not the two things we are to do with it.

    ==You can torch the strawman of running anti-libertarian candidates just to win all you want, that is not what anybody is advocating. ==

    WHO said that? It certainly wasn’t me. I never used the word anti-libertarian in this discussion either. I happen to think there is a broader spectrum of libertarianism outside the Libertarian Party dogma. What you are doing Andy… and you do it later in your post, is pack a bunch of assumptions into what you think I think to fit into some hand-dandy radical mold, and I don’t fit it.

    I don’t think anyone is running anti-libertarian candidates JUST to win. I don’t think this particular candidate who repudiates the LP foundation is going to win or has any chance of helping us in a real way. I am fine with running moderates if I think it best for the Party. I think you need to re-evaluate this strawman of me you concoct here. I do not automatically endorse (though I do support) the most radical candidate. I support the one(s) who I think is best for the Party. I have given money to the Johnson campaign, and as you know from private messages, I support his campaign and was very excited about him running. I am considering setting up a monthly donation. I used to not feel that way, and had a knee jerk and unfair/uncharitable reaction in the past that I recanted. Sorry this isn’t fitting into the hair-on-fire radical narrative. I give money to multiple campaigns… only one of them a radical. I have grown to not be a fan of the Presidential campaigns and be much more interested in local, but if some unifying point and unifying person can come out of it, I support them. I oppose Petersen on two grounds. The first being he repudiates the Party as far as I am concerned. But he could have the SoP tattooed on his hind-end and recite the NAP day in and day out, but I would still oppose him for his divisive belittling immature vainglorious tactics. It is terrible for the Party and hurts activists. I make no bones about it, I am about the Party. Not any candidate.

    ==At least, not anybody in numbers to bother worrying about. ===

    You are confusing me with someone else. I don’t disagree with you there. It could happen in the future. It hasn’t so far and it isn’t now. Would some people want that? Sure. But it isn’t happening right now.

    ==You’re trying to read some kind of pro-radical, anti-electability bias into the founding vision of the party, by way of the by-laws or platform or SoP. ===

    I hardly have to read the SoP into the charter. It is hidden in plain sight. I am reading it as it is.

    ==Fact is: the Radical Caucus and those of that mindset, do not have a monopoly on how to interpret those provisions, and theirs is not the One True Only Correct Way to Be A Libertarian. ==

    Fact is you keep using that kind of rhetoric and it is meaningless. I Do Not Do The Same. And Not Being of One Certain One True Way to Be a Libertarian I Suppose Is The One True Way (By Not Being the One True Way)— this is why all this kind of nonsense is … nonsense. EVERYONE is promoting a perspective they think is right, and everyone then Could Be Scare-Capitalized Into Making Them Look Like They Are Trying To Control Everyone Else. I could come up with all kinds of rhetoric to divide off into factions. I Don’t Wish to Do That and Generally Don’t Like It Very Much. Fact is: I don’t think I have ever discussed this specific issue with the Radical Caucus (perhaps I have , doesn’t spring out) and as of this point, I am not One of Their True Leaders, so I ask you not to collectivize me. And I don’t think this marginalizing rhetoric is helpful or unifying. Of course I could try the same (and I think it would be cheap) tactic by pointing out the Caucus you are involved with is trying silence other Libertarians from wedding certain beliefs with Libertarianism because you believe you are right (and I don’t disagree with you guys on that). I don’t fault that. But I Could Make All Kinds of Interesting and Colourful Statements About The Ideological Purging and Thought Police if I wished to. But not helpful. Or accurate.

    ==“I dispute that the purpose of using the electoral process is SOLEY to get people elected. ”
    As would I, if anybody was saying that. There are plenty of other ways to get “people” elected, and it happens all the time. I will defend that the purpose of the LP in using the electoral process is to get libertarians elected, and to support their candidacies. Getting the message out and growing the party is an effect of doing that: a means towards ultimately electing libertarians, if not in the present election than future ones. It is not the goal in and of itself. Implement and give voice; not ONLY give voice.==

    No one said ONLY. I certainly don’t think we should try NOT to get Libertarians elected if we can get them elected and give voice (only repudiating is not giving voice). What you want to characterize simply as an effect, I refuse to box into just that role. I see it much more synergistic. And that is the synergy stated in “implement AND give voice.” The two are equal and inseparable.

    Also fact is that this statement is also in the goals: entering into public information activities.

    That is part of giving voice. And yes it is all tied into the electoral process. I do not see these separations and parsing out that others do.

    I would also point out that National isn’t the end all and be all. The CO Constitution is even more explicit about what we view as our role, and it isn’t simply electing candidates but moving opinion through educational activities. Which we hope, obviously, will lead to more elected candidates. Which will lead to more educational opportunities. Which will lead hopeful to even more elected candidates.

    I want to get people elected. I wouldn’t bother with a political Party if I did not. I simply see our mandate as broader than that and in one sense, narrower than that.

    And I am sorry this inconvenient, but I am not saying anything new. I am actually saying what many of the people who were ….. actually around when these things were crafted are saying. Is that absolutely determinative? No. But it certainly is weighty, and belies the earlier statement that this is some kind of radical hivemind.

  75. Andy

    “Stewart Flood
    February 9, 2016 at 14:51

    ‘You don’t have to like the fact that the party has purposes other than the one you think it should have. It’s a fact that the party has purposes other than the one you think it should have whether you like it or not.’

    Then it is probably a social club, not a political party.

    The democrats and republicans understand what the purpose of a political party is. That’s why they’ve been so successful at maintaining control and destroying liberty.

    There are many other liberty organizations who’s purposes work alongside the party and that we share a common path with. The party is the only group responsible for getting and keeping ballot access for candidates. You can’t refute that fact. I am not wrong. Our purpose is to run candidates for office and get them elected. We rarely meet our goal, but that’s what it is.”

    Stewart, as I am sure you are aware, we are not at the point where we can compete with the major parties for any high level political offices. We just are not able to raise the kind of money it would take to be competitive for high level office. We are more able to compete for low level offices. Really, anything beyond Sheriff of a low population county or a seat in a state legislature is probably not realistic. Maybe if we had a candidate that really had their act together, and could raise at least $1 million – $2 million, maybe we could run a competitive US House race, but even this could be stretching it.

    Our candidates for higher level office do serve two important functions though, as 1) it is these candidates who get the message out to the most people and who do the most to bring in new people to libertarianism, and 2) some of these high level races can get the party ballot access by meeting a vote retention test in some states.

    So Libertarians who run for high level offices serve an important function even though they have little chance of winning.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    cah: …outside the Libertarian Party dogma.

    me: “Dogma”

    : a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted
    : a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organization

    Interestingly, even the Anointed 89 did allow for question and doubt, since even they allowed their often insane words to be overturned with a 7/8ths vote.

    Someone is tangling the web awfully tight.

    NAPsterism is either unquestionable dogma or it can be adjusted and even overthrown as the central (and only!) doctrine for the LP.

    I was at a debate in 1980 between Ed Clark and Barry Commoner of the Citizen’s Party, similar to the Greens. At one point, Clark used the term “this company” when he meant “this country.” Commoner quipped, “Thank you, Dr. Freud.”

    Might be apropos here, too.

  77. Steven Wilson

    The Freedom Ninja won’t hide well in darkness with that gleaming bright white smile and flashy red tie.

    Bruce Lee once said: “Be water my friend.”

  78. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks for posting that video, Dr. Feldman.

    I see that Austin has taken his cue from Donald Trump, and joined the “Whiny Baby/Poor Me Club”.

  79. Steve Scheetz

    To All,

    Robert Capozzi does not care about much of anything other than stirring the pot. AWP is fervent about his candidacy, this much is certain.

    The LP considers itself “The Party of Principle.” However, if it allows those uninterested in the principles the party was founded upon, (and seriously, they are simple principles. Live your life your way, don’t infringe upon others living their lives their way, don’t bullshit your way through life, and don’t take anyone else’s stuff. If these principles are too strict, then by all means, LEAVE the party.

    These principles were founded on the idea that maybe, some day, government will be obsolete because people will not be trying to screw each other over, and people will be fair with each other, because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO…

    To those who wish to stir the pot, it is obvious you could not care less about much of anything, (other than reading yourselves type/hearing yourselves talk) so it is incumbent upon the rest of us to take your comments for what they are.

    To those who feel that morality has no place in the Libertarian Party, you do not belong here, please join a group that would rather not live in a way that respects others…..

    At the end of the day, those of us who are interested will find ourselves on the floor of the convention in Orlando, and we will ultimately decide which direction the party will go.

    It is my humble opinion that one path will lead to disintegration, one may serve to make the party whole as long as other issues are decided the correct way…

    What I suspect, is that the party will fail in some of the decisions, succeed in others, it will most likely loose membership in the months following the convention, but the party will still be alive, albeit on life support, limping along, and that will be that…..

    Those of us who are life members, I am thinking that if we do not want our memberships to be meaningless, we should stand up and be counted… Just a thought….

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  80. langa

    You can torch the strawman of running anti-libertarian candidates just to win all you want, that is not what anybody is advocating. At least, not anybody in numbers to bother worrying about.

    Sure there are, and they have done so in sufficient numbers to manage to get their way, e.g. the Barr/Root fiasco, which was justified almost solely on the idea, not that Barr/Root were the best spokesmen for the LP, but rather, that they could get money and publicity, and above all, votes. Furthermore, if the idea (that some people in the party only care about winning) is just a “strawman” argument, then how do you explain Petersen’s statement, which was echoed by both Shane and Stewart, that “Parties are … meant to get people elected to public office. They serve no other purpose.”

    And as for your claim that people who only care about winning would choose one of the major parties instead of the LP, the fact is that they also care about something else — glory. Yes, they are obsessed with winning, but just being part of a winning campaign isn’t enough for their ego. They have to be considered one of the leaders of a winning campaign. In other words, they would rather be the big fish in the small pond. Being a small cog in a winning major party campaign lacks the glory their egos crave.

    There are plenty of other ways to get “people” elected, and it happens all the time. I will defend that the purpose of the LP in using the electoral process is to get libertarians elected, and to support their candidacies.

    I’m certainly not opposed (and I don’t think anyone else is either) to getting libertarians elected. What I am opposed to is the single-minded focus on vote totals as the alpha and omega, as some indisputable measuring stick for judging the effectiveness of campaigns. The whole idea of “winning at all costs” is a perfect example of putting the cart before the horse. Why? Because, as long as the vast majority of the electorate either doesn’t understand or doesn’t agree with basic libertarian principles, then there are only two ways to get LP candidates elected: We can either run non-libertarian candidates, or we can run “closet libertarian” candidates (those who hide their libertarian beliefs in order to trick non-libertarians into voting for them). In either case, even if those candidates were to win, they would be doing so not because of their libertarian views, but in spite of them. That does absolutely nothing to move the world in a libertarian direction, which is (or at least should be) the purpose of any genuinely “libertarian” party.

  81. Justin Lee Myers

    Austin’s candidacy is a breath of fresh air for the liberty movement and represents a lifeblood the LP has been sorely lacking.

  82. Robert Capozzi

    ss: Robert Capozzi does not care about much of anything other than stirring the pot.

    me: Are you a mind reader, SS?

    But, sure, mea culpa. Telling the naked Emperor he has no clothes could be tantamount to “stirring the pot” from the delusional Emperor’s perspective.

    ss: If these principles are too strict, then by all means, LEAVE the party.

    me: Strict? You mean like Mommy and Daddy enforce a 10p curfew strict?

    I left not due to “strictness,” but due to the foundation being riddled with FALSENESS. Big difference!

    But isn’t this charming! Rather than try to convince me and others :

    – of the TRUTH of the existence of the cult, etc., and
    – providing justification that 89 people whose average age might have been 26 or so were SO enlightened that their booby trap 7/8ths standard was — if anything — too LOW!

    you tell me and apparently anyone who considers themselves L but not a plumbliner to LEAVE.

    Beautiful!

    Is that your idea of “moving public policy in a libertarian direction”? By in effect purging fellow travelers who don’t buy the founders’s unified field theory political construct?

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Joining an organization you don’t agree with and then leaving because it won’t change to agree with you isn’t being “purged.” It’s just joining an organization you don’t agree with and then leaving because it won’t change to agree with you.

  84. Robert Capozzi

    tk, recall I’m a Randian/Rothbardian in recovery. I believed in the existence of the cult. I thought the NAP was all that. I didn’t, however, know about the 7/8ths booby trap, as I didn’t read the fine print.

    I do wonder how many current LP members are not plumbliners and don’t believe that there is a CotOS. If they all leave, as SS suggests, what would that look like? It might be as high as 70%.

    Do you want them all to leave?

    Do you prefer them to stay despite the fact that they are not True Believers? Do you tolerate them as lesser prospects who may see the light? How long can you tolerate their apprenticeship before you write them off…5 years, 10 years?

  85. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Sorry, I often forget that you agreed with the LP at the time you joined it.

    It’s not about whether or not I want people who disagree with the LP to leave.

    Those who join the LP and either come to disagree with it even though they agreed with it at first (as you did) or who discover after joining that they don’t agree with it after all have options:

    – Try to change it. Yes, it takes 7/8ths of the delegates to change the particular thing you disagree with. Don’t like it? Too bad. That’s how it is whether you like it or not.

    – Abandon it for some other vehicle — one that’s already there, or one you create — with which you DO agree.

    – Bellyache in perpetuity about how unfair it all is.

    Two of these options might plausibly be constructive. One of them isn’t and never will be.

  86. Robert Capozzi

    tk, wise counsel. There was a time when most non-slaves thought slavery was a natural thing. It’s in the Bible, IIRC.

    Yet, some started to question slavery at its roots. There was MUCH resistance to the idea that slavery was wrong, despite the fact that an open-minded person looking at a slave and a free person would have to conclude they are both equal human beings.

    I suspect few Ls have considered just how sick and arrogant it was for the 89 Founders to booby-trap their handiwork with a 7/8ths clause.

    In this particular case, I really don’t care whether others see what is quite obvious, just as it was obvious that slavery was and is deeply wrong.

    I’d think that even the most die-hard plumbliner would — if s/he is honest with her/himself — that the 7/8ths standard is absurd. And, aside from the Ba’ath Party, there is no CotOS. That may get the ball rolling toward undoing a deeply dysfunctional thought system.

    Then again, maybe not. Maybe the investment in the moral superiority of NAPsterism allows for lots and lots of heroic rationalization.

    Or maybe some might secretly recognize that the 7/8ths standard was excessive, but some plumbliners use it as a kind of firewall for ideas they hold dear, knowing that most Ls don’t buy their program.

  87. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    In the end, what DOES matter is truth. If one REALLY believes that 7/8ths is right, then knock yourself out.

    OTOH, if one uses the 7/8ths as a means to an end, that sounds spiritually exhausting to me.

  88. NewFederalist

    “nf, please pay attention. I often say that I’m already sold on the NAP as a sentiment. I’m not sold on it as an actionable rule.” – Robert Capozzi

    Geez, Bob… ‘scuse me! ‘(

  89. Robert capozzi

    Tk, sorry, I don’t use the booby trap. I call it out and invite others to look at it with self honesty. Pointing to truth with aligned means and ends is, if anything, invigorating.

  90. ATBAFT

    The Cult language is Rothbardian. In 1973, in “For a New Liberty,” Rothbard writes: “We are reaping the fruits of four decades of Big, Unlimited, Government at home and abroad.” Forty years on, who can
    dispute there even more Americans who believe government is the solution to every problem, even those created by government itself. A “cult?” Unquestioning faith? In any case, the founders of the LP sought to keep the party’s principles pure and transcendent. 7/8ths to change was a way to keep it from being co-opted by those who may want a platform for electoral access to spout, say, racial purity or endless war against enemies. Maybe 3/4th would have suited, but in any case, those who want to form a Semi-Libertarian Party or a Not Quite Libertarian Party or A Libertarian Party More Like Me are totally free to do so.

  91. Stewart Flood

    Yes, I certainly understand that we aren’t anywhere close to being able to compete with the Ds and Rs. But the only way to get there is to put up the most qualified candidates we can and work as hard as we can to get them elected. In other words, act like a political party.

    And whatever some of you may think about whether the LNC is a party, a church, or a golf club with tennis courts, the South Carolina Libertarian Party IS a political party and we will continue to try to elect candidates. Other than the candidates for President/vice President, NONE of them are selected, vetted, approved, or in any other way connected to the LNC. So I don’t really care where electing candidates is on the list of priorities for the national party. In fact, I don’t really care who our Presidential candidate is as long as he or she does not HARM the campaigns in my state. So no batsh*t crazy people and no tin foil hats.

    Regarding Petersen’s campaign being a joke: I don’t really believe he’d risk that. The damage to any career paths he may want in the future would be a problem he’d have to overcome — especially if he fails to get the nomination in May. I am confident that his campaign is real.

    I don’t agree with some (ok MANY) of Petersen’s campaign tactics so far, but at least he’s not wearing a Confederate Uniform. Of course if he were wearing one he’d probably get more votes from some of the other states in the South in May. I don’t think it would get him a single vote from our delegation, and I’m pretty sure he won’t get more than one or two as it is — if he gets any. For good or bad, finances, [un]fair tax, etc, I believe a significant portion of my delegation will vote for Johnson on the first ballot — aside from the two NOTA votes I’m aware of (mine and one other).

    Argue ByLaws and Platforms all you want, but if we aren’t a political party then what the F*CK are we going to Orlando for? We’re going to NOMINATE a CANDIDATE. That is what political parties do. So don’t say I’m making myself look stupid. (this coming from a person who supported the BTP? ROTFL!!!)

  92. Shane

    AC, thanks for posting the FULL purpose of the party. The other person left out the all important “by” which allowed her to cherry pick.

    TK, you can’t be such a dumbshit. I know you’re smarter than that. If the party does not exist to elect libertarians then why in the hell do we hassle with the FEC, donation limits and the overbearing political process?

    Look, I’ve had this non-debate countless times and the folks who think the LP exists to advance libertarian ideology are missing the boat.

    The LP is just a single cog in a movement machine. Our job is to overtake government and strangle it to near death. It’s the job of Reason and countless other organizations to serve as the standard bearer of libertarian thought. After all, the party was formed thanks to the classified section of Reason Mag.

    Deny it all you want but the LP is a laughing stock in the community when it tries to set the foundation for what libertarianism is and is not. Just like the GOP cannot define conservatism, the LP isn’t qualified, by committee, to define us. LNC leaders aren’t even qualified to run a non-profit so why trust them to tell me what I believe?

    And if you think the platform is really “by the people” bwahahah. Elements on the LNC control it through manipulation since they started the “platform survey” years ago.

    The LP exists to win elections. That’s it. Get used to it or change it — that would be fun to watch.

  93. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    You’re still not getting it.

    You made an assertion as to what the sole purpose of the LP is.

    That assertion was flatly and irrefutably false.

    The argument over what the sole purpose of the LP, if it is to have only one purpose, SHOULD BE is a completely different argument.

    Personally, I would be fine with an LP that had electing people to office as its sole purpose. I might even vote for an amendment to the bylaws to make that the LP’s sole purpose, if such an amendment was proposed. But until and unless such an amendment is proposed and passed, the purposes of the LP are what the bylaws say they are, not what you wish they were.

  94. Thomas L. Knapp

    Shane,

    See my most recent response to Stewart.

    You can click your heels together and say “there’s no place like an LP that has the purpose I wish it had rather than the purposes it actually has” for as long and hard as you want, but that won’t change the facts.

  95. Shane

    And Jill, don’t be such a thin-skinned pansy. If you can’t take criticism, don’t write.

    I’m not in favor of creating bureaucracy so please don’t send anything to me for approval unless it’s in a bottle, is 90+ proof, and has been aged at least 14 years.

  96. Shane

    TK you confuse purpose with tactics. If a goal is set but only defined tactics may be used, then carrying out the tactics become the goal.

    If the words that have meaning were not included after the word “by” then you would be correct.

    It’s like saying “the purpose of the military is to obtain peace by winning wars,” then the military’s job is to win wars. And that’s JUST an analogy.

  97. paulie

    The most core, top priority of the LP is to do whatever we can to implement the principles in the Statement of Principles. Without that we have no reason to exist. There are other parties already that are better at winning elections if you set ideology aside.

    The second priority of the LP is to implement those principles by participating in the electoral process. Lots of other small-l organizations are better suited to promote libertarian ideology through other means.

    Participating in the electoral process helps to promote the libertarian ideology in a number of ways, only some of which involve actually winning. Many races are in practical terms unwinable but participating in those contests can still help the LP as an organization and in propagating libertarian ideology and libertarian policy proposals. Some of those ways were spelled out in Nolan’s Case for the LP several months before the party was created and by many others since.

  98. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Shane said: “I’m not in favor of creating bureaucracy so please don’t send anything to me for approval unless it’s in a bottle, is 90+ proof, and has been aged at least 14 years.”

    Not to worry. I was being sarcastic.

  99. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Despite the insinuation that I somehow hid the “by” statements, I mentioned them several times (and I expected people discussing the bylaws to actually be the kind of people that would go and read the bylaws to get the context). Our goal is given and then means to obtain that goal are given without a doubt. But the goal is still the **goal,** the TACTICS are not the goal. The tactics are the means, and most certainly, getting people elected is part of the means, but not the only part. Chartering affiliates is part of that goal too along with entering into public information activities and the very fact of “existing” as a distinct political entity. Political entities do more than just elect people. They shape conversations through policy statements. Seems to me that the LP regularly puts out all kinds of pieces that are directly tied to “electing someone.”

    This is simply reality. Get the bylaws changed if you don’t like it. Though yes, admittedly, acting like they say something that they don’t is much easier than getting the votes. But not nearly as binding.

    It isn’t even debatable IMHO. It is arguing whether or not the sky is blue.

  100. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie,

    ==The most core, top priority of the LP is to do whatever we can to implement the principles in the Statement of Principles. Without that we have no reason to exist. There are other parties already that are better at winning elections if you set ideology aside.
    The second priority of the LP is to implement those principles by participating in the electoral process. Lots of other small-l organizations are better suited to promote libertarian ideology through other means.
    Participating in the electoral process helps to promote the libertarian ideology in a number of ways, only some of which involve actually winning. Many races are in practical terms unwinable but participating in those contests can still help the LP as an organization and in propagating libertarian ideology and libertarian policy proposals. Some of those ways were spelled out in Nolan’s Case for the LP several months before the party was created and by many others since.====

    You worded that PERFECTLY.

    And your first statement encapsulated my opposition to AWP. He could be polite as a nun at mass, and I would still oppose him because he repudiates our only reason to exist. The abusiveness is a different factor. I find him disqualified to be a Libertarian Party candidate due to his repudiation of the SoP. If he did not do that, I would consider him disqualified from my consideration to personally support because of his unprofessional, immature, and harmful comportment.

    I find the whole thing to be a waste and squandering of a wonderful opportunity by a very talented man.

  101. Stewart Flood

    “I find the whole thing to be a waste and squandering of a wonderful opportunity by a very talented man.”

    Unfortunately, you may be correct.

  102. Robert Capozzi

    around: The Cult language is Rothbardian.

    me: Actually, my understanding is that term was from Hospers, a Randian. Of course, Rothbard was at one point in Rand’s collective.

    A: Forty years on, who can dispute there even more Americans who believe government is the solution to every problem, even those created by government itself. A “cult?” Unquestioning faith?

    me: I don’t know a soul who thinks government is the solution to every problem.

    The bias toward “government solutions” for much of our lives has likely grown in absolute numbers, since the pop has grown substantially. But I’d say the New Left and the Vietnam War saw a larger percentage of people hostile to markets and voluntary solutions to matters of civil society than now. Although, post 08, I’d say the pendulum is swinging again.

    A: In any case, the founders of the LP sought to keep the party’s principles pure and transcendent.

    me: I’ve never questioned the Anointed 89’s sincerity. I do question their abiding wisdom, which should be no surprise since they were so young and almost entirely made up of Randians.

    A: those who want to form a Semi-Libertarian Party or a Not Quite Libertarian Party or A Libertarian Party More Like Me are totally free to do so.

    me: Another purger!

    Why is my TAAAList L-ism less L than plumblinery? Who set this standard, and by what authority did they do so?

  103. ATBAFT

    “Who set this standard, and by what authority did they do so?”

    The founders of the cult of the Libertarian Party did so and by their own authority. I guess if no one else had saluted, then the club would have something less than 89 members today wouldn’t it? As others have pointed out above, it is not a “purge” when members leave an organization because it no longer meet their needs. The main reason an otherly-principled LP hasn’t sprung up seems to be that the “clubhouse” (ballot access in X states) is already standing and would cost a lot for another Party to
    construct a new one. If you look at the Left, you’ll see any number of splinter socialist parties whose founders and supporters had doctrinal differences with which ever socialist party they originally supported. I once discussed the tough amendment percentage with Nolan and the gist of his reply was “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

  104. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    A: those who want to form a Semi-Libertarian Party or a Not Quite Libertarian Party or A Libertarian Party More Like Me are totally free to do so.

    me: Another purger!

    Why is my TAAAList L-ism less L than plumblinery? Who set this standard, and by what authority did they do so?
    —–

    Apparently you set that standard, since the bit you quote doesn’t imply it. Your desire for a more TAAAList than plumbline party could simply conform to that last descriptor (a party more like you), rather than being a matter of more or less.

    Just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. But if you’re seeing them trying to get you when they don’t seem to be trying to get you, yes, you’re paranoid.

  105. Robert Capozzi

    a: The main reason an otherly-principled LP hasn’t sprung up seems to be that the “clubhouse” (ballot access in X states) is already standing and would cost a lot for another Party to construct a new one.

    me: Yes, true. That and there are still not all that many L of various types. Politics is a numbers game. I’d like to see a real political party committed to minimizing government, while recognizing that a number of approaches and philosophical standards could co-exist in such a structure. Lessarchists of the world, UNITE!

    tk: Your desire for a more TAAAList than plumbline party could simply conform to that last descriptor (a party more like you), rather than being a matter of more or less.

    me: Sheesh, when have I ever suggested that?!

    There is certainly language that most lessarchists — TAAALists, plumbliners, and constitutionalist Ls — could live with, like: “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty….” From what I understand, most of the 20-something 89ers were heavily under the influence of an author who thought one could conclude that Vermeer was “objectively” the greatest painter ever.

    This is beyond “my way or the highway,” this is “to the gas chambers — go,” as Chambers said.

    Some of the most intrepid plumbliners here can look at such a sordid history and rationalize or even lionize it. I would suggest that they really shouldn’t be surprised that the LP remains a 1% afterthought on the political stage. You are asking a LOT of people to disregard all experience and instead line up all political views based on one, simplistic principle, rigorously and narrowly applied in all cases, without any other considerations.

  106. Chuck Moulton

    Tom Knapp wrote:

    Personally, I would be fine with an LP that had electing people to office as its sole purpose. I might even vote for an amendment to the bylaws to make that the LP’s sole purpose, if such an amendment was proposed. But until and unless such an amendment is proposed and passed, the purposes of the LP are what the bylaws say they are, not what you wish they were.

    The bylaws committee has proposed an amendment that moves in that direction. They have not messed with the party purposes — because they rightly recognize that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing — but they would add a new mission statement clause to elevate electing libertarians above the other purposes.

    I will oppose the amendment in convention. More below.

    Paulie wrote:

    The most core, top priority of the LP is to do whatever we can to implement the principles in the Statement of Principles. Without that we have no reason to exist. There are other parties already that are better at winning elections if you set ideology aside.

    The second priority of the LP is to implement those principles by participating in the electoral process. Lots of other small-l organizations are better suited to promote libertarian ideology through other means.

    Participating in the electoral process helps to promote the libertarian ideology in a number of ways, only some of which involve actually winning. Many races are in practical terms unwinable but participating in those contests can still help the LP as an organization and in propagating libertarian ideology and libertarian policy proposals. Some of those ways were spelled out in Nolan’s Case for the LP several months before the party was created and by many others since.

    I completely agree with you that this is what the party’s purposes should be (for the reasons you state). However, you say this is what the party’s purposes are now, which is demonstrably false as ably documented by Caryn and Tom above. Therefore, I don’t understand why Caryn just agreed with you; it’s the opposite of what she had been saying all day.

    In my opinion the current party purposes are too broad. Unlike at the party’s founding, there are a myriad of libertarian movement organizations better situated to work on many of these things. In my opinion the proposed mission statement is too narrow. The Libertarian Party is uniquely situated with comparative advantages beyond winning elections; namely, running candidates for unwinnable races provides a bully pulpit to get free and magnified media and outreach for libertarian ideas.

    So I will be opposing the proposed mission statement bylaws amendment because it’s too narrow.

  107. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Chuck, I actually agreed with everything you just said.

    Tell me where you think I disagree please.

  108. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Tell me where you think I disagree please.

    Paulie articulated a narrower purpose than in the bylaws. Previously you kept harping on the bylaws as presenting a broad purpose and not elevating any of those purposes above others. Paulie has elevated some above others.

    I think we’re all on the same page about what the LP purposes should be. Paulie is presenting a narrower view of what the LP purposes are right now under the bylaws.

  109. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I am so puzzled by Chuck’s comment that I wonder how much I have failed at communication perhaps so I wanted to go through Paulie’s statement:

    ==The most core, top priority of the LP is to do whatever we can to implement the principles in the Statement of Principles. Without that we have no reason to exist. There are other parties already that are better at winning elections if you set ideology aside.==

    That statement right there has been a good summary of most of what I have been saying. I can see perhaps one part I would finesse and perhaps this is what Chuck is saying. I would add “and give voice to” after implement. That is after all what our Charter says.

    ==The second priority of the LP is to implement those principles by participating in the electoral process. Lots of other small-l organizations are better suited to promote libertarian ideology through other means.==

    Okay, maybe Chuck is saying that I wouldn’t agree it is “second” priority. That probably would be true. I see all the tactics after the “by” statement in the purpose to be equal, but electoral issues take up the lion’s share so if they were equally distributed, this would be second… though perhaps I have a nit to pick about the word second… but this is parsing out way too finely. I agree that we have a mandate of using this tactic.

    ===Participating in the electoral process helps to promote the libertarian ideology in a number of ways, only some of which involve actually winning. Many races are in practical terms unwinable but participating in those contests can still help the LP as an organization and in propagating libertarian ideology and libertarian policy proposals. Some of those ways were spelled out in Nolan’s Case for the LP several months before the party was created and by many others since.==

    And nothing to disagree with her.

    Paulie’s statement is missing the non-electoral educations portion, but I don’t think that was intentional I think he was focusing on the electoral portion.

    Chuck’s reason for Bylaws opposition is sound but I would oppose it on different grounds. He says that they know well that modifying the purpose will never fly so they do this, which to me is a backdoor sneaky way to modify the purpose. Nope.

    I don’t like games. If they want to modify the purpose, do it the straightforward honest way. There is one thing I detest about the inner workings of the LP and it is the gamesmanship. I support Chuck’s opposition even if for a different reason (though I agree with his reason as well).

  110. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Thank you Chuck. I see what you are saying (and I expounded on Paulie’s statement above) but I suspect he wouldn’t disagree with anything I just said. I think you are reading into Paulie’s statement something that isn’t there, but Paulie would be the best to speak on that.

    PS: We are having a pleasant conversation and you seemed to agree that Tom and I “ably” proved our points. Can I ask that we avoid the term “harping.” I was posting my opinion and nothing more. I can harp. I wasn’t doing it today.

  111. Thomas L. Knapp

    In general, I agree with Chuck too.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t have a big huge PROBLEM with positioning the LP as primarily an electoral victory vehicle.

    But I’m not all exercised about it or anything.

    Most of the people who talk big on that front don’t seem to have ever actually won, or assisted in winning, an election and apparently think that changing the LP’s collective mental orientation to the subject would have some silver bullet effect and cause election victories to just start magically rolling in or something.

    Furthermore, I learned in 2004 that the LP delegate majority really, really, really doesn’t give a damn about winning elections. Wave some money under their noses, even if it’s non-existent money, and they’ll choose you over someone who’s actually won an election six days a week and twice on Sunday.

  112. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ==Like I said, I wouldn’t have a big huge PROBLEM with positioning the LP as primarily an electoral victory vehicle.==

    I would.

    But I wouldn’t have a “Good Bye Cruel Political Party” fit over it. I think it would be a Very Bad Idea, however.

  113. paulie

    Shane said: “I’m not in favor of creating bureaucracy so please don’t send anything to me for approval unless it’s in a bottle, is 90+ proof, and has been aged at least 14 years.”

    I’ll drink two (hic) that!

  114. paulie

    I completely agree with you that this is what the party’s purposes should be (for the reasons you state). However, you say this is what the party’s purposes are now, which is demonstrably false as ably documented by Caryn and Tom above. Therefore, I don’t understand why Caryn just agreed with you; it’s the opposite of what she had been saying all day.

    I read through this thread and don’t see where we disagree. The other means listed in the bylaws and in the case for the LP (DFN 71) mostly involve running electoral campaigns and building support structures for electoral campaigns, but most of them can be implemented to a variety of extents just by running even when winning is less likely than hitting the lottery megajackpot.

  115. Steve Scheetz

    I would like to thank Robert Capozzi for proving my point in a timely manner. His strawman tactics and his hurling of insults are clear evidence that he simply wants to stir the pot.

    (I did not even need to bring out my mind reader card) 😉

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  116. ATBAFT

    Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to Mr. Capozzi that the 7/8th amendment rule can be overcome by a simple, dedicated majority? If the wording of the Statement is clunky to today’s ears, or isn’t sufficiently broad to attract a greater membership, then go ahead and campaign to change it. All it would really take is to get a determined majority to elect an LNC that would have full power to bury the Statement or parts of it that
    don’t serve the majority’s purpose. LNC determines what goes on the website, what gets printed in marketing media, has the power of the purse, etc. Yes, the original statement may still exist in some “museum of the LP” but the LNC could realistically and effectively lay it to rest. {Just like much of the Constitution and Bill of Rights has been overturned without amendment process.)
    I don’t think you could assemble such a majority but you need not keep whining about the unfairness of 7/8ths.

  117. Robert capozzi

    Around, thanks for the idea. Iirc, the bylaws require that the SoP be prominently placed in front of the platform. My take is probably uncommon even though my sense is that many Ls are not plumbliners. Few see what I see: that the SoP is a toxic touchstone that ensures the LPGA remains ineffective.

    As I’ve explained before, while the SoP is embarrassing from an outward facing perspective, it is toxic internally. Plumbliner cadre use the SoP sanctified NAP as an ideological bludgeon to cajole and dismiss non plumbliners.

    it would lack integrity to bury the SoP, sweeping it under the rug. If a L party wants to take advantage of growing L attitudes in the general pop, it should welcome all Ls, not just NAPsters. Of course, plumbliners would be welcome and be an element of a broader political movement.

  118. Steve Scheetz

    Again, if there are people who dislike the NAP, they should go someplace else. It is the whole point of Libertarianism.

    I would NEVER advocate sweeping it under the rug. Instead, I would post it in bright neon colors and big bold print! Loud and FRIGGIN PROUD. Giving up the principles in order to gain more votes will cost membership until the party will no longer resemble what it was founded on, and instead, it will resemble some hybrid of the Republican and Democrat Party. It will resemble a party that is OK with the use of force because, Hey, we are in charge now, so we will use it better…. Oh and it will lie and steal just as effectively as the R’s and D’s.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  119. George Dance

    Mr. Knapp: “Not quite as difficult as getting people to believe that anyone but Petersen calls Petersen “Freedom Ninja,” though.”

    Maybe it’s short for “Teenage Freedom Ninja Turtle.”

Leave a Reply

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