George Dance’s Political Animal: Shouting Match at Texas Libertarian Debate

Libertarian_Party_of_Texas_logoApril 11, 2016 – The April 8 Libertarian Party of Texas presidential candidates’ debate briefly turned into a shouting match, after Libertarian Republic website owner Austin Petersen called former Governor Gary Johnson a “defeatist” and warned the delegates: “Do not nominate this man.”

Petersen, Johnson, and the other candidates were responding to a question about the nationally televised presidential debates in the fall, which the Republicans and Democrats monopolize through their bipartisan Committee on Presidential Debates.

Petersen used his reply to assail the Libertarian Party of Colorado, which had refused to officially invite him to its debate due to his opposition to the party’s Statement of Principles: “When the state of Colorado decided that they would not invite me to their forum, specifically because they were afraid of what I had to say in their forum, we drove 18 hours that night, straight to Colorado, to give them a piece of our mind, to tell them about liberty and free speech, and to say what that really means.

“So, if you think that, when the presidential debates come around, that I’m going to slink away, even if they don’t invite us, even if we don’t make the high percentage, you’ve got another think coming: I will be there. I will be there,” he added, to applause.

Petersen went on to say: “Governor Johnson has stated that there is no way a Libertarian wins the White House unless they get into the debates. What kind of attitude is that?” Johnson interrupted, “It’s true!”, but Petersen continued: “We’ve got to be champions. Listen: Why not drop out if you don’t get into the debates? Because they’re not going to let you in, Governor! You need a champion. I’m the Freedom Ninja, and I will fight for liberty, just like I have every day for ten years!”

After more applause, Petersen summed up: “This is a defeatist attitude: He is a defeatist. Do not nominate this man. Nominate the man who will fight for you till the very end…. Do not give in to defeatism: Fight! Do not give in!”

Next up was Johnson, who responded: “No one works harder than I have, having run for Governor twice and having been the Libertarian nominee in 2012. I will tell you, though, that what experience brings to the table, is: I don’t do the things that don’t work. I still work as hard, but I don’t do the things that didn’t work, and that was something that I learned through experience. There is no way that a third party wins if they’re not in the presidential debates. I am suing the Presidential Debate Commission to bring that about.” That earned a 15-second ovation

“And last week I polled at 11% in a national poll,” Johnson continued. “That has never happened before, that my name has been included in this. Now, let me tell you: When it comes to the presidential debates, as the rules now stand, you have to be at 15% to be in the presidential debates. Do you think they’re going to state that ‘You can’t be in the presidential debates’ tomorrow, and I’m going to give up? Hell, no! They’re going to state that maybe two, three weeks before the election. So this is a No-Give-Up the whole time. And if you think I’m going to give up, then vote for Austin!” More applause.

Petersen began replying, “Let me tell you something–,” but was cut off by the moderators, who wished to move on to the next candidate, Shawna Sterling. Several minutes of confusion ensued, with moderator Jax Finkel insisting, “Mr. Petersen, you had your say; thank you very much,” Petersen yelling, “No. No. No, no, no,” “Wait a minute, guys,” and “I was pressed; I was addressed,” and Finkel responding, “That’s not in our debate rules; thank you.” Petersen invoked Ronald Reagan’s famous line: “I paid for this microphone.” Other candidates then jumped in, with John McAfee telling the moderators, “He was addressed,” and Marc Feldman telling Petersen to “show some respect and put down the microphone, and let Shawna speak.”

When Sterling finally got to speak, she related her own experience of being excluded from a televised debate in Kentucky and suing, concluding that “the only way to beat them is to beat them in court. Johnson is doing the right thing…. Let them know: we’re not going to stop, we’re going to fight you, we’re not going to let you put us down, and we’re going to get ourselves into the debate, however and whatever it’s going to take.”

Petersen later wrote, on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ProducerPetersen/posts/1077151795677133, that he had wanted to “ask Gary” whether the 2012 nominee would drop out if he were excluded from the debate, or “will you continue to fundraise for your lost cause.”

Petersen has been attacking Johnson repeatedly through the state Libertarian debates, accusing the former Governor of “fear-mongering” about Sharia Law, berating him for not standing up for the right of the seriously mentally ill to bear arms, and successfully reframing one debate answer by Johnson, about whether businesses could refuse to serve gays, into a statement that Jewish bakers should be forced to bake Nazi cakes.

Audio only: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCfMhOhUm5s

51 thoughts on “George Dance’s Political Animal: Shouting Match at Texas Libertarian Debate

  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    And here is Austin making up stuff again. He has a bad habit of that. The LPCO did not refuse to formally invite him because we were scared of what he had to say. That is childish nonsense. Speaking for myself, I challenged Austin publicly on the air in Colorado on his position— not exactly what someone does who is scared that someone might hear what he has to say. I have done so publicly in other forums. He was not invited because the Party believed it would be in violation of our Bylaws and Constitution as well as the National Bylaws as stated in the LPCO’s formal statement (and that formal statement is the only official word of the Party on this – my comments are mine personally, are not on behalf of the LPCO nor in my position as Board Director). The childish framing is typical however. Whether one agrees with our interpretation etc is irrelevant to the FACT of the stated reasons. But even more telling is his characterization that he came to CO and gave us a piece of his mind. That description would be as utterly foreign to anyone who was there as claiming it was a piñata party. It was a cordial and respectful encounter on both sides. Austin was a good guest, and we were good hosts. This after-the-fact swagger is just odd. Austin and I in fact had a brief discussion in which we shook hands, which would have been a perfect opportunity for him to do this rhetorical lashing he is now relating. I was not confrontational with him, nor he with me. The most memorable point of our encounter was my embarrassment at having to try to quickly find something to wipe my hands on because I was holding multiple drinks that sweated all over my hands, and I didn’t want him to have to shake a wet hand. Attacking an affiliate and making things up about them is not the way to win support. Perhaps he is upset that after his call to “vote out everyone who was involved” and call to harass us failed so utterly that the entire Board who sought re-election that was involved was re-elected without a single objection at our Convention. Was this because every Coloradoan in attendance agreed with the decision? No, absolutely not, though there was solid support as there was expressed very strong disagreement. But because Coloradoans knew that this Board works its tail off for Liberty and that whatever decision we made, we believe we were acting in accordance with our governing documents in place to protect the Party and in absolute good faith. Austin’s attacks on the birthplace of the Libertarian Party are duly noted. Then again he said he laughs at voluntary association documents because “he is a libertarian and does what he wants” as if that kind of countenance of agreement-breaking and disregard of voluntary associations is even remotely a libertarian attitude. I work 20-25 hours a week for the LP and its interests. I put my sweat where my convictions are.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    Petersen didn’t “reframe” Johnson’s statement that he would force a Jewish baker to make a cake for a Nazi. Johnson said it himself, right there on Fox Business. There’s plenty wrong with Petersen; no need to blame him for Johnson’s public fuckup.

  3. George Dance

    Mr. Knapp: The original question, asked at the Oregon debate, was whether or not the candidates would ‘enforce’ state anti-discrimination laws against gays. After the debate, Petersen came up with the scenario of Jews having to bake Nazi cakes — which is why I said he ‘reframed’ it — which is indeed what Stossel asked about — which is why I said Petersen ‘successfully’ reframed it.

    I won’t deny that Johnson ‘blew it’ — he should have said that Nazis are not protected by anti-discrimination laws (nor should they be), so that had nothing to do with what he’d said previously — and then repeated what had said at the Oregon debate. Instead he fell into Petersen’s trap.

    I’m not saying that Stossel was part of an effort to trap him; I don’t think Stossel was trying to ask any hostile questions. I think he just believed, as a result of the Petersen campaign’s propaganda between, that that was the point at issue.

  4. Andy

    I am not a fan of Austin Petersen, but the thing about Johnson and forcing people to bake cakes was not a screw up by Johnson, unless you define screw up here as displaying a weakness on philosophy.

    Also, the problem with mental health screening for guns is that the government can use this to deny guns to people whom they do not like, by classifying them as “crazy” even if there is nothing wrong with them. It also turns what is supposed to be a right into a privilege which can be taken away by the state.

    If a person wants to kill people, gun laws will not stop them. They will either fund another way to kill people, or they will obtain a gun illegally.

  5. JamesT

    Wow… Castle and CP sure look appealing right now. I wonder if McAfee/Feldman can win by staying out of this childish crap. It seems like Perry & Peterson are just in there to hate on Johnson, who despite his flaws, did the best anyone ever has for the LP. They act like he is Bob Barr. Is this projected resentment from 2008? This is an opportunity the LP has never had before in 2016 and certain people are acting like children.

  6. Shawn Levasseur

    AMcCarrick, “imploding”?

    Eh, I’ve seen worse. And for the most part, until I see the friction in person, at convention, I take everything read online with a lot of salt. The internet isn’t necessarily a good barometer of how things play out in reality. The more combative voices tend to participate more, and get noticed more than they do otherwise.

    Back when LP conventions tended to be around July 4th, I often joked that I was spending my Independence Day the same way the founding fathers spent the first one, in a meeting hall, bickering with one another.

    Uncertain elections can lead to friction. Which is why the major parties like to have nomination races locked up early, to avoid this, and have their conventions be little more that glorified pep rallies. In fact I temper my impulse to indulge in schadenfreude over the GOP & Dems seeming chaos, by looking at it as a sign that internal frictions, no matter how unpleasant, are just a fact of life in political parties. The LP just doesn’t hide it.

    (How’s that for trying to put a positive spin on things?)

  7. George Dance

    Andy: “Anti-discrimination laws should not exist, except when it applies to government.”

    Agreed; but they do exist — the Civil Rights Act establishes them at the federal level (wrt race), and there are some state laws or ordinances that establish them wrt sexual orientation.

    So the question is whether that the LP candidate for President should campaign against them or not.

    There might be a benefit in campaigning against the sexual orientation
    ordinances, but personally I see it as a toxic issue.

  8. George Dance

    Andy: “Also, the problem with mental health screening for guns is that the government can use this to deny guns to people whom they do not like, by classifying them as ‘crazy’ even if there is nothing wrong with them. It also turns what is supposed to be a right into a privilege which can be taken away by the state.”

    Here’s one criterion (the one I’d have used at the debate) for ‘craziness’: someone who’s been accused of a violent crime, and found not guilty by reason of insanity. Here’s an example: Vincent Li. A couple of years ago, on a Greyhound Bus, Li went up to another passenger (a stranger), beheaded him, and began eating his body.

    Now, Li’s a Canadian, so he doesn’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms. I don’t think he has any moral right to bear arms, either. Do you?

  9. Andy

    That Vincent Li guy should spend the rest of his life in prison, so keeping and bearing arms with him is not a relavent issue.

  10. Shivany Lane

    Our founders put an age requirement on the Presidency for a reason.
    Yes Austin meets the requirement, just barely.
    I believe Austin is a good man, passionate in his beliefs and convictions. We need people like that in the party. What others have called childish, I would call not quite ripened.
    Up here in wine country, we will not sell a wine until it’s time. That means, once it has had a chance to mature and let the full flavors of the wine taste as intended by the Wine Master.

    Remember that back when the constitution was written, 35 was a fairly mature life and you had gained much wisdom and experience. Austin is sensitive about his young age, as he should be. In the world today, there are young men who are still trying to decide who they really are at 35. He has proven his passion. His commitment to the party. I feel he just needs a little bit more time in the bottle so that he can mature.

    If 55 is the new 35 as I am told often, that would make Austin still quite a young man. Rather than dismiss him as childish, for he only baits Gary Johnson because he can, and Johnson falls into the web every time, we should embrace the passion, tenacity and spirit that his youthfulness brings to the party. He may bring in even more youthful members because for a movement to continue to live and thrive it needs new energy.

    Gary Johnson is another subject altogether which I will let my more learned and esteemed party members address. I will just leave with this, the only reason why Gary Johnson’s name was used in that poll was because he was the last Libertarian to run for President. HE did not get 11%, The Party did, in his name.

    I am a computer programmer, (shameless plug: BTW, I am unemployed at the moment), Since our industry moves so quickly, one of the first questions I am asked in an interview is, “What have you done lately”. I have created amazing things in the past and they took me months to bend the computer to my will. These same things can be accomplished in weeks or days today. So they just aren’t as impressive. Basically you are only as good as the last project you completed.

  11. George Dance

    JamesT “It seems like Perry & Peterson are just in there to hate on Johnson, who despite his flaws, did the best anyone ever has for the LP. They act like he is Bob Barr. Is this projected resentment from 2008?”

    I don’t know much about Perry’s campaign, so I can’t talk about it. As for Petersen, I doubt it has anything to do with 2008. I doubt he knows, or cares, anything about 2008: as late as 2012, he was Republican, going on on his website about how voting Libertarian was a wasted vote. As far as I know, he held to that position until Rand Paul dropped out; at which point he rejoined the LP and declared for President.

    I think he’s just learned, from watching the Republican campaigns, that this is how the ‘big boys’ do it: You get publicity by going after the front-runner; and you’ve succeeded when the front-runner gets p/o’d enough to start responding, like here.

  12. George Dance

    Andy: “That Vincent Li guy should spend the rest of his life in prison, so so keeping and bearing arms with him is not a relavent issue.”

    What do you mean, it’s not a relevant issue? I give you an example of a seriously mentally ill person – you reply that he shouldn’t even have a right to liberty – and yet that’s somehow not “relevant” to whether seriously mentally ill people have a right to bear arms or not?

  13. Andy

    Li lost his right to liberty by committing a heinous crime. Somebody should have shot him.

    This is really another argument as to why background checks for gun purchases are bullshit. Serious criminals like Li should not be released from prison in the first place.

  14. George Dance

    Shivany Lee: “the only reason why Gary Johnson’s name was used in that poll was because he was the last Libertarian to run for President. HE did not get 11%, The Party did, in his name.”

    I don’t think even the party got 11%. I think it was just 11% for voting for a third party, rather than for Clinton or Trump.

    I don’t think it means support for the LP is anywhere near 11% now, much less that it will receive 11% support by Election Day.

    I do predict that, if the LP chooses to campaign on the issues Petersen’s been highlighting (like the right of businesses to refuse service to gays, and the right of the insane to bear arms), it will be considerably less than that.

  15. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    George,

    ==as late as 2012, he was Republican, going on on his website about how voting Libertarian was a wasted vote. As far as I know, he held to that position until Rand Paul dropped out; at which point he rejoined the LP and declared for President.==

    I don’t know if he was registered Republican or not, and he has refused to answer if either state he has resided in has partisan registration (and despite the accusation that I spend a great deal of time on Austin, I haven’t had the priority to check) if he was registered Libertarian.

    He was promoting the interests of the Tea Party up until he declared. One month before he declared he was raising money for a Republican PAC. After he declared he was still promoting Rand Paul. To all available evidence, he was not a dues-paying member of the Party until after he declared. If he was one in the past and it lapsed or whatever is unknown. He refuses to answer instead only citing that he has been a “member” since 2008 which of course by bylaws only means he signed the pledge he doesn’t believe in and managed not to renounce it in writing. Whether he was a dues-paying member then and when it lapsed…. well he has refused to answer. Considering that he has run on claims of dedication to the LP, these are relevant questions. Perhaps the available evidence can be interpreted differently and he has been a dues-paying member. Only one person and one entity knows for sure. He and and the LP. He refuses to answer, and I am not gong to pester LP volunteers with something he should just answer.

    Here he is “supporting” the LP in 2014:

  16. Andy

    Caryn, Virginia does not have partisan voter registration. I am pretty sure that Missouri does have partisan voter registration.

  17. jim

    Mr. Knapp: The original question, asked at the Oregon debate, was whether or not the candidates would ‘enforce’ state anti-discrimination laws against gays.

    A few months ago, I looked into the question of the case against Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/sweet-cakes-by-melissa/ I discovered that they were misapplying the law, which barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
    It turned out that they were discriminating on the basis of participation in same-sex weddings, which isn’t the same thing as sexual orientation. But the clueless PC’s didn’t understand that distinction.
    Further, it wasn’t a court case: It was merely an administrative case. In other words, it was brought by the biased government, and judged by the biased government. Not surprising: It was Oregon.

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    ===Caryn, Virginia does not have partisan voter registration. I am pretty sure that Missouri does have partisan voter registration.===

    It would be interesting to know what his registration was and when. In CO it is public record.

  19. langa

    http://www.danhostel.org/papers/how-to-write-a-case-study-for-education/11/ source assignability what does a thesis mean http://www.naymz.com/electrician-helper-resume-cover-letter/ article critique apa format https://www.newburghministry.org/spring/edgar-allen-poe-essay/20/ help with algebra homework watch do my calculus homework for me i would like to buy generic cialis get link https://geneseelandlordassoc.org/category/critical-thinking-and-creative-problem-solving/44/ how to write scientific master thesis cheap cialis international graviola side effects signing termination papers under duress speech therapy games https://nyusternldp.blogs.stern.nyu.edu/can-i-create-a-pdf-file-on-my-ipad/ baby thesis guide click here http://go.culinaryinstitute.edu/how-do-i-print-off-an-email-from-my-ipad/ research paper conclusion example go https://eagfwc.org/men/viagra-originale-miglior-prezzo/100/ https://unsdn.org/2020/how-to-delete-a-mail-account-from-iphone-8/70/ thesis statement for a research paper on eating disorders go to link see source url custom ezessays us paper paper school term term I won’t deny that Johnson ‘blew it’ — he should have said that Nazis are not protected by anti-discrimination laws (nor should they be), so that had nothing to do with what he’d said previously — and then repeated what had said at the Oregon debate. Instead he fell into Petersen’s trap.

    I think he would have been better off to say something like, “You know, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I’ve decided that I was wrong. As much as I’m opposed to discrimination, I just can’t condone forcing people to act as slaves. That’s simply not the libertarian way.”

    Yeah, I’m sure that would rub a few “PC” people the wrong way, but who cares? Virtually none of those people were ever going to vote Libertarian regardless.

  20. langa

    Here’s one criterion (the one I’d have used at the debate) for ‘craziness’: someone who’s been accused of a violent crime, and found not guilty by reason of insanity. Here’s an example: Vincent Li. A couple of years ago, on a Greyhound Bus, Li went up to another passenger (a stranger), beheaded him, and began eating his body.

    Now, Li’s a Canadian, so he doesn’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms. I don’t think he has any moral right to bear arms, either. Do you?

    I agree with Andy on this one. There’s no way this guy should have ever been exonerated. In fact, I am generally opposed to the use of “insanity” as a defense for committing violent crimes in the first place.

    But assuming that, for whatever reason, someone who commits a violent crime is found not guilty by reason of insanity, I don’t see why they should suddenly forfeit their rights. That seems like a form of extrajudicial punishment. Would you also favor prohibiting such people from buying knives, chainsaws, ice picks, and the entire plethora of other items that could conceivably be used as weapons?

  21. George Phillies

    Interesting that there were vehement disagreements at the Texas debate. I had not heard about them when Char-Lez Braden and I moderated the Florida debate the next day. The rapid escalation of intensity in Florida was quite surprising at least to me.

  22. Andy

    George Dance said: “So the question is whether that the LP candidate for President should campaign against them or not.”

    I’m not suggesting that a Libertarian Party candidate make this one of their big campaign issues, but if somebody asks about it, or if the topic comes up as a current event, the Libertarian Party candidate ought to give an actual Libertarian response on the issue.

  23. Shivany Lane

    My apologies about the 11% on the poll. I usually look at the raw data of the poll because it can be quite telling.
    They start with a sample size of 1000-ish and usually end up with just under 900 respondents. I am not a statistician so I looked it up and apparently 1000 is a scientifically significant sampling.

    That seems hinky to me because I would think you would need a larger sampling. I also notice that they usually have a larger volume of white men than anything else.

    Will someone please tell the LP Prince that HE did not get 11% in that poll and he should stop saying that he did. Facts matter, so does accuracy. Gary Johnson seems to be running for the candidacy purely on ego. I don’t know how he was last time but this time he is pretty egotistic.

  24. Steven Berson

    Again – to my eyes as a radical centrist BOTH the supposedly “libertarian” position on enforcing non-discrimination laws – and Gary Johnson’s clumsy bumbling of answers regarding “jewish bakers being forced to bake nazi cakes” are mistaken. To me enforcing non-discrimination for what are truly
    “public accommodations” is a rightful role of even a strictly limited government – however providing what is truly a “public accommodation” should NOT require someone to ever have to “participate” in repeating of amplifying SPEECH that the provider objects to, nor providing services that they do not offer regularly to others. So – if someone has an establishment that bakes cakes that is open to the public on a walk in basis – then laws requiring them to sell a cake that sits behind the counter to whoever walks in that is conducting themselves in a courteous manner makes sense to me – but requiring them to add decorations or words which go against their personal beliefs and are of a type which they do not typically provide to others does not. Anyway – to me mandates creating a reciprocal privilege to every US citizen – whose only “tyranny” is that those who work within a business that is truly a “public accommodation” must feel supposed “discomfort” occasionally – however via being mandated that they must “accept” increased economic rewards – aka, increased business and sales – it allows for the greater guarantee to all US citizens to be able to stay and live in the locality of their choosing, and also critically to be guaranteed they can travel across the USA without barriers of stretches where accommodations would be denied to them.

    Regarding the denial of accommodations –
    In exchanges with Andy and Langa on this issue previously it seemed both were unaware of the history of this nation it was only 50 years ago that there were in fact numerous hospitals that regularly and categorically refused to provide medical care to patients based on their race – even when they were in critical emergencies – and as such people regularly lost their lives being transported to other (generally lower quality) facilities that were miles farther away. It was not the free market that ended this issue – rather it was ended through the use of force by (Federal) government – and to my eyes a rightful application of force in that it was not the initiation of it but rather a defensive response to a paradigm of systemic violence.

    So – to me returning to a place where hospital workers can legally refuse to provide medical care to specific patients they find “personally objectionable” – while supposedly an increase in individual liberty – would still be a much more despotic and oppressive society in total by all other moral measures than just objectivist absolutism. Of course some (if not most) in the Libertarian Party will disagree with me on this – which is why I find that while I agree with the vast majority of the policies being advocated by the LP, it still comes up short to me in providing a platform that I can get 100% behind.

  25. langa

    Steven, I asked you this a couple of times on the other thread, and you never answered, so I’ll give you another crack at it:

    …if you live in a town where most of the stores won’t sell to gays (or blacks, or whomever), and that fact bothers you, instead of marshaling your resources to agitate for anti-discrimination laws, why not use those resources to open your own stores that will sell to those groups? You’ll not only fight discrimination, you’ll likely turn a nice profit to boot.

  26. Tony from Long Island

    Mr. Petersen would be the worst LP nominee in the party’s history. His practice of using righteous rambling about “liberty” using only short bumper sticker statements is what has kept the LP at less than 1%. His insistence that the mentally ill should be able to “bear arms” is crazy talk. He would be the first LP nominee I would refuse to vote for. He also has declined to respond to two e-mails I sent to him questioning his reading of the 2nd Amendment. I guess if I had agreed with him responding would have been easier.

    Governor Johnson is clearly not the world’s greatest public speaker, but his track record speaks for itself. He strives to work within the existing system to implement libertarian policies. It doesn’t happen all at once Mr. Petersen.

    Mr. Petersen’s question regarding “Nazi cakes” is as ridiculous a hypothetical question as was the question to Gov. Dukakis regarding whether someone who raped and killed his wife should receive the death penalty.

    Nominating Mr. Petersen would erase all progress the party has made toward POSITIVE name recognition and acceptance in the general political community. He’s not ready for prime time.

  27. George Phillies

    ” why not use those resources to open your own stores that will sell to those groups? You’ll not only fight discrimination, you’ll likely turn a nice profit to boot.”

    Your understanding of business management is not there. If there was room in town for two bakers, there would already be two bakers, having a monopoly on selling to a very small niche market simply not being enough to change things.

  28. Steven Berson

    Langa –
    Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely agree that in many cases and many places free market solutions to potential denial of service problems will work and have in fact worked a great deal in the past few decades – and will also acknowledge that todays social media paradigm makes these types of market solutions even more potentially viable than before. But as George Phillies already (unexpectedly to me) acknowledged that in localities where the niche market of an unserved minority is way too small to actually provide a consistent volume of sales enough to sustain a business itself – and considering critical items to the success of a new business – such as start up costs, availability of good locations, available whole sale rates, and the level of competition and entrenchment from existing incumbent businesses – a guarantee of success for a new business is far far from a given.

    Anyway – I also want to be clear that I do agree in great part with most libertarians that what has been newly labeled as “public accommodations” by some political factions is in fact an attempt at un-rightful expansion of the force of government into individuals’ ability to free association. Again – to me no person should ever be forced to participate in repeating or amplifying the speech of others that they do not agree with – I simply believe that those businesses that provide direct open to walk in services that are necessary for the sustenance of life, health or ability to freely move about our nation provide services (which if truly a “public accommodation” do not ever require repeating speech – but instead generally of handing over an item, or providing health care, or providing a key to a room) to all US citizens regardless of the superficial characteristics or assumed associations of these citizens.

    As an example – if you pull in your car nearly empty up to the only gas station on a stretch of road served by no other station – to me it should be in fact be illegal for the attendant who lets say is a hypothetical socialist – denying you service because he sees a libertarian sticker on your bumper.

  29. George Dance

    Andy: If a candidate gets asked about the anti-discrimination titles of the Civil Rights Act, and says he opposes it, then I’m afraid that will the only part of his platform that gets into the media and reaches the TV nation.

    I’m old enough to have seen it happen to Barry Goldwater. I saw it done to the John Birch Society. I saw them try to do it to the Federalist Society. And I saw them try to do it to Rand Paul (who only put an end to it by recanting).

    I’d prefer that Johnson give a libertarian answer, too, but I don’t want the same thing to happen to us.

    We might win even win a southern state — there’s still enough of a racist vote down there to make it happen (that’s why I think Trump won the southern primaries) — which would be a high-water mark; but it would also be the end of the party: we’d be tarred with the racist brush from then on.

    And there are hundreds, if not thousands, waiting to do just that.

  30. George Phillies

    “I look forward to a future when no one will understand why this is on the books, because my party platform’s condemnation of all bigotry is universally accepted and has been for a long time. That’s not where we are now. I’m proud to live in the state whose Supreme Judicial Court ended slavery in Massachusetts (1783) and made it legal for gays and lesbians to marry, because protecting rights is what the law is all about. I will focus on bringing change to what needs changing now — that’s not the topic you asked about — to bring us to a future of peace, freedom, and prosperity.”

  31. Steven Berson

    I agree with “Tony from Long Island” that Austin Petersen would be a terrible candidate in that I believe his manner and focus will actually turn people away from being more open to libertarian ideals – and I certainly would hesitate to vote for him based solely on my concerns regarding his character.

  32. Jim

    “I look forward to a future when no one will understand why this is on the books, because my party platform’s condemnation of all bigotry is universally accepted and has been for a long time. ”

    I believe that contrary to that, the idea of “condemnation of bigotry” is misleading and foolish. “Bigotry” is generally DEFINED as “illogical”. But what is “illogical” to one person might be entirely logical to another. Example: I would agree that it is illogical to criticize a people if only 0.01% of a religious group think it’s okay to kill a former believer. (An “apostate”). But it is an entirely different thing if (say) over 50% of a religion’s people think that’s okay. (Which is about the case in many majority-Muslim nations).
    Is there something wrong with a person, say in America, deciding that he will protest this belief by refusing to do business with Muslims? (Or, certainly, refusing to do business with Muslims who share this belief.)

    “That’s not where we are now. I’m proud to live in the state whose Supreme Judicial Court ended slavery in Massachusetts (1783) and made it legal for gays and lesbians to marry, because protecting rights is what the law is all about.”

    Instead, myself I don’t think that government should be involved in “marriage”, so I actually view it as a step backward to do anything but end government’s involvement in it. It is particularly a problem if the entities which have historically regulated marriage (states) get forced to change their policies by a different governmental entity (Federal Government), an entity which had previously been virtually completely uninvolved in marriage.

  33. George Phillies

    Steve,
    Not on purpose. Not sure what happened.

    Jim
    That is a feature of your peculiar definition.

    Bigotry might seen to be dislike for people based on their choice of parents, including sex, race, religion, prior condition of servitude, national origin, gender orientation broadly defined, “We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation.”

    Various: Nazi cakes. That was a completely brilliant debating stroke. The person who tries to refute it by saying that the law actually says something else completely and totally misses the point…the argument is an appeal to bathos not logos. The refined invoked of the argument says “ignoring exactly which classes we protect at the moment and in which states, would you force the elderly Jewish baker…”

  34. langa

    You seem to be laboring under the delusion that markets are characterized by some sort of static equilibrium. If that assumption were true, new firms would rarely even attempt to enter an existing market, and the few that were foolish enough to try would never succeed. Of course, in reality, it is not at all rare for new businesses to succeed by identifying cases of unserved (or underserved) demand.

    Furthermore, even if, in a particular situation, serving a particular minority were unprofitable, there is nothing stopping a dedicated opponent of discrimination from doing so anyway, as a form of charity.

    Bottom line: If the provision of a particular good or service is unprofitable, and no one is willing to provide it as a charitable endeavor, then it simply should not be provided. That’s not a matter of “discrimination” — it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. That’s why, for example, you rarely, if ever, see an all-vegan restaurant in a small town. It’s not because of “discrimination” against vegans. It’s simply because there is insufficient demand to make such a business profitable.

  35. langa

    The previous comment was in response to this comment from Phillies:

    Your understanding of business management is not there. If there was room in town for two bakers, there would already be two bakers, having a monopoly on selling to a very small niche market simply not being enough to change things.

  36. langa

    …I simply believe that those businesses that provide direct open to walk in services that are necessary for the sustenance of life, health or ability to freely move about our nation provide services … to all US citizens regardless of the superficial characteristics or assumed associations of these citizens.

    I am unclear as to what you are basing this belief on. Are you asserting the existence of a “positive right” to these things? If so, then, for example, shouldn’t we be required to furnish free automobiles to those that can’t afford them? After all, especially in rural areas, not having access to an automobile substantially hampers the “ability to freely move about” just as much, regardless of whether the lack of access is due to discrimination on the part of auto dealers, or simply lack of funds to purchase an auto.
    Of course, the same holds true for other necessities, like food, medical care, and so on. Should those things also be provided to those who can’t afford them?

    As an example – if you pull in your car nearly empty up to the only gas station on a stretch of road served by no other station – to me it should be in fact be illegal for the attendant who lets say is a hypothetical socialist – denying you service because he sees a libertarian sticker on your bumper.

    What if the same scenario arises, but you are simply unable to pay for the gas? Should the gas station owner be compelled to give it to you for free?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights

  37. jim

    George Phillies: “Bigotry might seen to be dislike for people based on their choice of parents, including sex, race, religion, prior condition of servitude, national origin, gender orientation broadly defined, “We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation.”

    Another definition https://www.google.com/?ion=1&espv=2#q=bigotry+definition of bigotry is: “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.”

    However, “dislike for people…” doesn’t rise to the level of “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself”. And what is “intolerance”, here? Does mere disagreement mean the same thing as “intolerance”?

    And you then referred to: “Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation.”
    But what are “human rights”? There’s no doubt that there are certain core rights on which we can agree, but I think that the snowflakes view of “rights” is limited to concepts traditionally agreed upon. Do they have a “right” to “safe spaces”? I say, “hell no!!!”.

  38. jim

    Correction: “I _don’t_ think that the snowflakes view of “rights” is limited to concepts traditionally agreed upon.”

  39. Steven Berson

    langa –
    You asked me
    [i]”I am unclear as to what you are basing this belief on. Are you asserting the existence of a “positive right” to these things?”[/i]

    No – I do not consider “positive rights” to be really a “right” at all – but to me are more accurately described as a “privilege” that a society might hold as an ideal or enact as a law – and then attempt to actually provide. I also reject the notion that what can be correctly considered “rights” can be held as what has been endowed to humans by a divine Creator – since “divine rights” are subject to any person’s own claim as to what they believe has been revealed by a deity in this regards – and have included in the past what to me are patently incorrect assertions such as a particular person is a “King” that has been given a “divine right” to rule over others.
    Instead for myself what I consider a valid test as for what is truly an individual’s “natural right” is where we make observations of what a hypothetical individual is capable of doing on their own within an “original nature” (bereft of previously existing man-made infrastructures) – and then place this hypothetical individual crossing path with another individual, to determine the borders of their “rights” by observing what both are still capable of continuing to do if neither initiates force (which to me can be categorized as falling within assault, fraud and poisoning) on the other. In this manner we can derive what is truly a “right” – such as the right to freedom of speech (as one must initiate force on the other in order to stop them from speaking), a right to access the natural resources which surround them (e.g. if they both go to drink from a spring, one would have to initiate force on the other to prevent the other from drinking), the right to ones’ personal possessions the right to the fruits of ones labors, and yes, the right to freedom of movement (as long as this movement does not attempt to go through the others’ body and space),

    Anyway – based on this – One example of a “privilege” that our society has enacted is the concept of deeds, where a person can be considered the “owner” of land or a natural resource that is not within that individual’s physical proximity – noting that the supposed property rights of deed holders is something that requires the cooperation of a group that enforces this claim of “ownership” for the deed holder – and as such requires the occasional exertion of force in order to enforce this claim – is in fact the seed that creates governments, that taken to modern day expansions become “states”. I’d note many libertarians consider this claim of ownership by deed as falling within “property rights” – but to me instead it must be rightfully described as a privilege – generally enacted because a society is generally capable of achieving much greater prosperity as well as feeling more secure to its members when the concept of property by deed is enforced within it – even though it in many cases goes against what could be argued would otherwise be an individual’s natural right to have freedom of movement (as long as these movements do not conflict with others) and natural right to access the natural resources which surround them (as long as they are not in that specific moment already being used by others, and as long as their access has not been derived by someone else’s labor).

    And again – the ideal and mandates for non-discrimination of so called “public accommodations” is once again a PRIVILEGE that enables members of a society as a whole greater potential security and prosperity by preventing negative outcomes – such as greater bodily injuries or fatalities from medical care being denied solely due to the injured parties race (again something that was a common occurrence in this nation as recent as 50 years ago) even though it can go against an individual’s right to make their own decisions regarding who they wish to provide their businesses’ services to.
    Why I believe this is a rightful enactment of privilege is that it is reciprocal (that is, it is a privilege made available to all citizens, and not just to a select few), it does not require the procurement of resources , the results of the coercive force it applies (someone being made “uncomfortable” while they serve someone that they prefer not to associate with) are much less than the systemic violence that the previous organized use of discrimination created (e,g, economic coercion used to drive people out of areas they wished to live in, or used to keep them from traveling, or used to increase the mortality rates of a group sharing superficial characteristics), the coercion actually leads to greater economic rewards for those being coerced (i.e. increased business and sales by having to sell to all who seek your services), and finally those that simply can not abide by being occasionally coerced into doing business with some people they do not wish to do business with – can easily choose to work within the multitudes of professions that do not fall within the narrow category of “public accommodation”. In other words – working in food service retail ain’t for everybody – and neither is being a doctor or nurse in an emergency room.

    [i]” If so, then, for example, shouldn’t we be required to furnish free automobiles to those that can’t afford them? After all, especially in rural areas, not having access to an automobile substantially hampers the “ability to freely move about” just as much, regardless of whether the lack of access is due to discrimination on the part of auto dealers, or simply lack of funds to purchase an auto. Of course, the same holds true for other necessities, like food, medical care, and so on. Should those things also be provided to those who can’t afford them?”[/i]

    While I indeed hope for a society which has much more charity and mutualism being executed within it, given that there is in fact finite energy resources (particularly in flow rates for the extraction of fossil fuels), material resources, labor hours and abilities of existing infrastructures to distribute goods and services – I would say that obviously any attempts to mandate that these things be provided “free” to all members of a society are indeed doomed to fail.

    Beyond that – the pragmatic realities are that anyone that is traveling in this nation would be well aware that it takes money or credit in order to purchase gasoline, food, auto repair and medical care while on the road – as these are the basic facts of how our economic system is currently set up. What I’d say they should not expect is that they might be randomly and arbitrarily denied service while attempting to purchase these goods and services, even though they had the economic means to and conducted themselves in a courteous manner while attempting to make their purchase.

    Of course your question really seems to be a “straw man” argument that has nothing to really do with my original assertion that the enforcement of non-discrimination for “public accommodations” is actually an example of a privilege that creates a net benefit (similar to so called “property rights” for deeded ownership) to this society that greatly outweighs the supposed tyrannies it enforces on some individuals.

    I will acknowledge that my application of a partially relativistic measuring (e.g. determinations of “greatest good for greater number”) of what is moral for a society (partial in that it is in fact weighed with a critical eye towards not enabling the trouncing of what are truly individuals “natural rights”) – to do will be completely rejected by those that solely use objectivist measuring of what is moral for a society to do – and I will also very quickly and readily agree that any relativistic (aka “collectivist”) measuring is indeed a very slippery slope towards potential increases of authoritarian oppression. But given this nations history and its current realities – and given the hundreds of years of coercion exerted to come up with our current status quo of property ownership that make a mockery of the ideal of “justly acquired property” – I again strongly believe that the enforcement of non-discrimination solely for what are truly “public accommodations” is in fact the correct thing for our nation to continue to do.

  40. Steven Berson

    edit to above – where it says
    “it does not require procurement of resources” should say
    “it does not require procurement of resources additional to what has already been procured and placed in a market otherwise made open to the public”

  41. langa

    Steven, I don’t mean to come off as overly dismissive, as I can see that you’ve put a lot of thought into this. Having said that, your whole theory seems very contrived. It’s like a kind of pseudo-philosophy that seems designed solely for the purpose of providing a convenient justification for your preferred outcome.

    For example, it strikes me as truly bizarre to say that it is legitimate, and even laudable, to coerce Person A into providing something to Person B, even though, by your own admission, Person B has no legitimate right to that something. Even the most extreme authoritarians rarely go that far.

    Given that, I suspect that further discussion of this subject would be futile. We are simply operating from radically different premises.

  42. Steven Berson

    Langa –
    you said:
    “For example, it strikes me as truly bizarre to say that it is legitimate, and even laudable, to coerce Person A into providing something to Person B, even though, by your own admission, Person B has no legitimate right to that something. Even the most extreme authoritarians rarely go that far.”

    heehee – that’s excellent to hear that I’m beyond an extreme authoritarian to you because I am capable of weighing the actual results of one arguably minor coercion being taken versus another previous and long term systemic and often brutal coercion continuing… i.e. the justification is that government coercion against denial of services was a reaction to force, and not an initiation of it.

    To put it more plainly – in your scenario the Civil Rights Act never gets enacted – and some amount of people that would otherwise have survived instead continue to die as they are shuttled to farther off and lower quality medical facilities after being critically injured in accidents and then denied service at the closest emergency room due to their race. Again – that paradigm was not ended suddenly and almost completely by the free market – but instead by government force.

    I can certainly entertain arguments that our society has now supposedly “outgrown” the need for continuing sections of the Civil Rights Act – but in regards to emergency medical care and in lieu of claims that “religious belief” would potentially allow medical care givers to deny service arbitrarily – I still believe at a minimum that the force of government in that specific area should be maintained.

  43. robert capozzi

    SB, great point. Countering the “social engineering” of centuries of slavery was a daunting task. Surely we can quibble with the Civil Rights Act, or even argue that it made matters worse, etc. However, given that for the most part segregation and overt racism are things of the past, and that’s something to celebrate.

    Undoing laws and rolling back the State is a tall order. To be effective involves marshalling larger numbers of people pressing for a positive change in direction, which involves picking and choosing where support for government is weakest.

    Unfortunately, “radical” Ls have this concept of “no particular order” which seems to be a kind of anti-strategy. They seem to reject any sense of strategy in favor of holding high the banner of abolition on every issue. I don’t buy it.

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