Tiffany Madison: Why I’m Dropping Everything to Manage John McAfee’s Presidential Campaign

mcafee weiss

Tiffany MaDISON W SIGN

Why I’m Dropping Everything to Manage John McAfee’s Presidential Campaign

www.McAfee2016.com

Effective Monday, April 18, I am honored to accept a position as campaign manager for John McAfee’s 2016 libertarian presidential campaign. I’m placing my life on hiatus to work 20 hours per day and 7 days per week to ensure that John McAfee is nominated to be the Libertarian candidate.

Why is this so important to me? It’s because he is the only candidate seeking the nomination that can actually win the general election and secure the White House.
Nearly everyone in the tech industry and most people in the world at large know John McAfee. They already recognize his name as a world-famous computer scientist, activist, hacktivist, and the developer of the first commercial anti-virus program. They already know that he spent two decades as a programmer for NASA, Univac, and Xerox, and Lockheed Martin before starting his own company, and in the process spawning a multi-billion dollar industry. And they definitely know that since retirement, he’s traveled the world and spent time battling banana republics, building on-the-job up-close-and-personal experience fighting corrupt governments.
Easily the most interesting candidate for any office in the world, McAfee is truly an American original and a passionate defender of human freedom.

I also have great respect for Gary Johnson. I’ve voted for him, supported him, and encouraged others to do the same in the past. If I thought he could win I would probably be supporting him again. But he can’t. And more than that, we’ve found someone who can. Between McAfee and Johnson, there is no question that if anyone can dance circles around Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it is John McAfee.

Our campaign is entering a critical period, and will be adopting an aggressive strategy for securing the nomination. In executing on this strategy, we will at the same time be sharing and communicating our bold vision for the future of the Libertarian Party, our country’s largest third party. 2016 is not just an opportunity to win the White House. It is an opportunity to seize our seat at the table and bring meaningful representation to the philosophies and principles we hold dear.

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96 thoughts on “Tiffany Madison: Why I’m Dropping Everything to Manage John McAfee’s Presidential Campaign

  1. Bob

    That is a pretty glowing description. Reality is if people have heard of McAfee it’s either because of the bloated software that still bears his name or him going bonkers down in the jungle.

    He may be interesting, but I think the LP is trying to break free from the crank candidates they are known to run on occasion.

  2. Andy

    “Why is this so important to me? It’s because he is the only candidate seeking the nomination that can actually win the general election and secure the White House.”

    Positive thinking is nice, but I don’t think that John McAfee or anyone else who is seeking the nomination has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the White House.

    It would likely take a good $1 billion campaign budget to stand a realistic chance for any Libertarian Party candidate to be able to do this, and even then, there’d be vote fraud to overcome, Even if the candidate could somehow overcome the vote fraud, if the election is close, it would go to the US House, and there are currently zero Libertarians in the US House, so I seriously doubt that a majority of US House members would vote for the Libertarian Party candidate.

    I’ve never heard of Tiffany Madison.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    “[McAfee] may be interesting, but I think the LP is trying to break free from the crank candidates they are known to run on occasion.”

    I’ve seen little or no evidence that that’s the case.

    Our last presidential nominee became our presidential nominee because he couldn’t break the 2% barrier in another party’s polling. When asked why he’s running for president again, he rambles about how great it is to run triathlons and climb mountains and get engaged. When hit on issues he says that Jews should be forced to bake cakes for Nazis and that he’d be for gun control if he could think of a way to do it that wasn’t, you know, gun control.

    He’s the walking, talking, living definition of “crank” and has been for at least two decades.*

    And yet he remains apparently at least a LITTLE competitive against three other less cranky candidates. Fortunately less and less so.

    * I mark the point of elevation to maximum crankhood to 1996, when he asked New Mexico’s state legislature to legalize killing 13-year-olds, and to lower the jury threshold for authorizing said killings.

  4. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Tiffany Madison: he is the only candidate seeking the nomination that can actually win the general election and secure the White House.

    I don’t know if this is just campaign BS, of if she actually believes it. If the latter, then she is delusional. None of the announced third party candidates have a chance of winning the general election.

    Not that there’s even been a shortage of delusional people in third party circles.

  5. Matt Cholko

    Talk of winning the POTUS election, especially by campaign insiders, while addressing (mostly) people in the know, really turns me off. It’s so ridiculous as to ruin all credibility of the person that says it.

  6. Eric Sundwall

    Apparently Ms. Madison is a writer. Gigs at Liberty.me and Libertarian Republic (circa 2015). Coin Congress, etc. Not sure how she can swing the nomination for McAaffee anymore than any other campaign manager. I’m sure she’ll be able to hold the attention of the average attendee during a random floor discussion, but little to indicate any previous success in the LP political world.

    I’m guessing Johnson wins the nomination with the former governor argument and the nominal polling done in that regard. People considering him outside the normal LP channels in my anecdotal sampling don’t like the alternatives and don’t nitpick like the faithful. That’s probably enough on a lot of levels. If he were to pull off the debate trick, it would put him above most previous efforts regardless of the final count, which again is nominally useful in an Electoral College environment.

    Curious how the radicals are faring with their effort . . . is Perry the rallying point?

    Petersen manages a distant third on first vote? Feldman dropped first?

    Shrug.

    Redlich 2020/4?

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Eric,

    “I’m guessing Johnson wins the nomination with the former governor argument and the nominal polling done in that regard.”

    One nice thing about the national convention is that there will be a debate right in front of all the delegates. Unlike 2012, when Johnson’s main opponent was too much of a gentleman to press him very hard, preferring instead to just put on a positive presentation, this year Johnson has opponents who are spoiling for a fight. And as he’s already shown in multiple state convention debates, Johnson falls to pieces when challenged.

    Thankfully that, if nothing else, will almost certainly prevent him from being the nominee.

    Why thankfully? Well, like you say:

    “If he were to pull off the debate trick”

    Unlikely that he would get anywhere close. And thank God, because if he did get close, the Republicans would unleash the mother of all opposition research shitstorms and shut down any LP movement toward credibility for the foreseeable future. The FEC stuff alone wouldn’t just destroy Johnson, it would make entire party look like a gaggle of idiots and liars.

    The LP has been very lucky over the years to get away with not bothering to vet its candidates, and for that matter with getting nasty and butthurt at anyone who tries to do so. That luck will run out the first time it comes up against even the most remote likelihood of success.

  8. Andy

    Tom, a non-scripted presidential debate is being planned for Thursday evening during the national convention week. Apparently, the audience is going to be allowed to ask questions.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Sounds interesting. Do you know which candidates, if any, have committed to participating?

    I’m pretty sure I won’t be in Orlando until Friday morning, but I may try to change plans for something like that.

  10. Andy

    Tom, all candidates have been invited. I heard something about 11 candidates supposedly participating.

    The debate is supposed to have two rounds, the first round will have all 11 candidates, and the second round will narrow it down to five candidates, based on an audience vote.

    Video cameras will likely be present, and it will likely be uploaded to YouTube.

    If you attend this debate, perhaps you could ask a question which could cause one or more candidates to have a meltdown on stage.

  11. Stewart Flood

    Questions to each of them:

    Which of the OTHER candidates do you think is the best choice if you are not in the race, and which one do you think is the WORST choice.

    Will you support the choice of the party as our candidate in November, regardless of who? If not, WHY?

  12. Andy

    “Stewart Flood
    April 23, 2016 at 18:37
    Questions to each of them:

    Which of the OTHER candidates do you think is the best choice if you are not in the race, and which one do you think is the WORST choice.

    Will you support the choice of the party as our candidate in November, regardless of who? If not, WHY?”

    Stewart, I think that it would be better if you altered your question a little bit to allow for a the candidates for the nomination to not support a candidate for the presidential nomination, while still supporting Libertarian Party candidates for other offices, and supporting the party overall.

    I was not thrilled with the presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012, especially Barr in 2008 (I did give Barr a chance to win me over post-nomination, and he just failed to do so), but I still supported the Libertarian Party overall, and I also still supported Libertarians running for other offices.

    It seems like so many people are fixated on the presidential race, they forget that the Libertarian Party is going to have a slate of candidates across the nation running for state and local offices.

    I don’t think that the Libertarian Party should promote the mindless group think of the Democrats and Republicans where most of them support the candidate who is nominated no matter what (even when it is clearly apparent that there are major problems with a candidate). If a Libertarian Party member does not like a candidate who won a party nomination for office, they should not be pressured into supporting that candidate.

    Speaking for myself, I am generally supportive of all Libertarian Party candidates, however, there have been a very small handful of exceptions over the years, where the party nominated a candidate that I did not support (either because I did not think that they were libertarian enough, or they had personality or ethical problems, or they behaved in a manner that I believe embarrassed the party, or something along those lines). None of these candidates caused me to “take my toys out of the sandbox and go home” (as in leave the party), nor did they prevent me from supporting other Libertarian Party candidates who were running during the same election.

    I look at the big picture, and I am involved in this stuff for the long term success of the party and movement.

  13. Richard Winger

    Only two offices are on the ballot in every state in November, in presidential years: president and US House. The ballot access laws for Libertarians to run for US House are far worse than they are for president. That is why, in 2014, only 122 of the 435 races had a Libertarian. That’s only 28% of the races. In 17 states and DC we had zero candidates for US House. So we default to the presidential race is the one race that blankets the ballots.

  14. Andy

    Eric Sundwall said: “I’m guessing Johnson wins the nomination with the former governor argument and the nominal polling done in that regard. People considering him outside the normal LP channels in my anecdotal sampling don’t like the alternatives and don’t nitpick like the faithful. ”

    This is a good point, and something that I’ve been thinking about myself. Those of us who are really involved in the Libertarian Party, and who follow this kind of stuff really closely, tend to nitpick the candidates a lot more than most people do (including a lot of libertarians).

    There is of course a line between nitpicking candidates and disqualifying our support for candidates for legitimate reasons, but the question is where do you draw that line?

  15. Andy

    “Richard Winger
    April 23, 2016 at 20:06
    Only two offices are on the ballot in every state in November, in presidential years: president and US House. The ballot access laws for Libertarians to run for US House are far worse than they are for president. That is why, in 2014, only 122 of the 435 races had a Libertarian. That’s only 28% of the races. In 17 states and DC we had zero candidates for US House. So we default to the presidential race is the one race that blankets the ballots.”

    This is a good point that there are some states where the Libertarian Party will have less candidates on the ballot than in others, and that there are some states where the presidential ticket will be our only candidates on the ballot.

    Regardless of this, I stand by my point that a Libertarian Party member can not support our presidential ticket and still support Libertarian Party candidates running for other offices, and the party as a whole. If they live in a state where the Libertarian Party does not have any candidates on the ballot other than the presidential ticket, and they are not supporting the presidential ticket, they could still donate to Libertarians running for other offices in other states, and they can still donate to the national party, and/or to their state or county party affiliate, and they can just promote the cause in general, without supporting the presidential ticket.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    LP officials — state executive committees, the LNC, etc. — have a duty to the presidential ticket.

    LP members and voters don’t. The party’s duty is to them, not the other way around.

    One job among several of the national convention delegates is to nominate a presidential ticket worthy of members’ and voters’ support. And the judges of whether or not we’ve done so are those members and voters.

  17. langa

    I don’t think that the Libertarian Party should promote the mindless group think of the Democrats and Republicans where most of them support the candidate who is nominated no matter what (even when it is clearly apparent that there are major problems with a candidate). If a Libertarian Party member does not like a candidate who won a party nomination for office, they should not be pressured into supporting that candidate.

    Well said.

    Many times, when the major parties make the “spoiler” argument, libertarians are quick to point out (correctly) that the major party candidates are not entitled to anyone’s vote; they have to earn it. The same thing is true for the LP and other minor parties. If you want my support, you have to earn it, by nominating a good candidate. You are not entitled to it, just because your name has an “L” next to it.

  18. robert capozzi

    L: You are not entitled to it, just because your name has an “L” next to it.

    me: Seems obvious. Has anyone said otherwise?

  19. robert capozzi

    more…

    When the LP nominates an extremist, I stay home. No point in encouraging or supporting extremism, I figure.

  20. langa

    Has anyone said otherwise?

    Plenty of people over the years have said otherwise, either explicitly, or more often, implicitly. One of the most obvious examples is when people ask Presidential candidates if they will pledge to support whoever gets the nomination. Specifically, McAfee has been criticized for saying that he won’t support Johnson, if Johnson gets the nomination. The same “party label matters more than principle” mindset was on display in both 2008 and 2012, when LP members were criticized for supporting Ron Paul.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The same ‘party label matters more than principle’ mindset was on display in both 2008 and 2012, when LP members were criticized for supporting Ron Paul.”

    I never saw any instance of demands for party loyalty versus Ron Paul’s conservative Republican campaign addressed to party MEMBERS.

    Party LEADERS, such as LNC members, are a different matter entirely. Partisan politics is a team sport. The fans get to do whatever they wants, but the coaches and quarterbacks only get to work for one of the competing teams.

  22. Andy

    It should be pointed out that Ron Paul has been Life Member of the Libertarian Party since the 1980’s, and since he never revoked his membership, he was still a Libertarian Party member during his Republican runs.

  23. langa

    Party LEADERS, such as LNC members, are a different matter entirely. Partisan politics is a team sport. The fans get to do whatever they wants, but the coaches and quarterbacks only get to work for one of the competing teams.

    I guess it depends on what you believe is the point of having an LP in the first place. To me, the answer is obvious: The LP exists for the purpose of trying to move the world in a libertarian direction. Period. Of course, it’s debatable how that goal should be accomplished, but that, to me, is the clear goal. Everything else (including running candidates, winning elections, spreading the libertarian message, and literally anything else that the party might do) is only justified to the extent that it works toward that ultimate goal. Therefore, if “loyalty to the LP” (whatever that might mean in any particular case) works contrary to that ultimate goal, then any self-respecting libertarian should say, “To hell with the LP.”

    To give a concrete example, if by some miracle, Ron Paul had actually gotten the Republican nomination in either ’08 or ’12, I would have been one of the loudest voices calling for the LP to forego running a candidate, and endorse him instead (particularly if the alternative was running Barr/Johnson, both of whom are far less libertarian than Paul). I would have taken this action regardless of my position in the party. If I had been an LP official, the LP would have, of course, been free to strip me of my position, although such a move, in my opinion, would have been extremely myopic, not to mention very petty. Insisting that party loyalty is more important than actually pursuing the goal that the party was created to pursue seems to me to be the epitome of missing the forest for the trees.

  24. Andy

    I agree with langa. The cause of liberty is more important than the Libertarian Party. Political parties other political organizations can become corrupted, and they can also be run in incompetent and ineffective manners. The Libertarian Party is a tool for fighting for liberty, but it is not the only tool, and it is not more important than the cause.

  25. robert capozzi

    L: Specifically, McAfee has been criticized for saying that he won’t support Johnson, if Johnson gets the nomination.

    me: I wonder who criticized JMc and what the case vs JMc was. I find it kind of amusing that the newbie would not support the incumbent nominee but WOULD support a NAP-denialist who stands with Rand, a known deep deviationist who only cops to being L-ish. And, presumably, the rest of the field.

    I’ve not read JMc’s reasoning for calling out GJ as the only unsupportable candidate. I don’t believe he has earned that sort of stature, and I find it an odd approach. It could be that it’s just a ploy to gather the anti-GJ forces to his side.

  26. Darcy G Richardson

    I agree with langa and Andy. Unfortunately, the LP has become merely a means to an end. It’s no longer about promoting civil liberties and the broader concepts of libertarianism, and if the two previous presidential cycles are any indication, the party is fast-becoming a vehicle for washed-up, right-wing Republicans hoping to extend their careers well beyond their respective expiration dates.

    Bob Barr. who possessed one of the most authoritarian voting records in Congress, and Gary Johnson, a guy who never tired of pummeling the poor, both claimed to be libertarian, yet when they had a chance to govern did so in a most un-libertarian fashion.

    As Tom Knapp pointed out earlier this week, as governor Johnson favored lowering the age for the death penalty in New Mexico to kids as young as thirteen. That was only one of several cringe-worthy proposals made during his eight years in office.

    The aloof and not so enchanting governor — some New Mexico lawmakers referred to him as the “Invisible Man” because he was rarely seen while the legislature was in session — also withheld $70 million in federal welfare funds from his state’s most needy citizens at a time when the Land of Enchantment had the highest poverty rate in the nation, surpassing even Mississippi.

    Incredibly, in drastically reducing the state’s welfare rolls while implementing a draconian work-for-welfare requirement, Johnson callously said that some of the state’s welfare recipients, especially those in counties with chronically high unemployment rates, would have to move if they couldn’t find jobs in their communities — a comment that many lawmakers felt was unbelievably cold-hearted.

    But that’s Gary Johnson.

    That’s why some people took him seriously when he suggested four years ago that he would immediately reduce federal spending by $1.4 trillion — a 43 percent across-the-board cut that would have utterly devastated the nation’s social safety net, wreaking untold misery on our country’s most vulnerable citizens.

    It’s one thing to dislike and oppose ever-expanding government bureaucracy. It’s quite another thing to despise the poor.

    Say what you will about McAfee, but at least he has demonstrated some realistic understanding of the importance of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, as well as the notion of generally helping the less fortunate until a truly libertarian society can come to fruition — a quality completely lacking in Johnson’s world.

  27. robert capozzi

    dgr: unbelievably cold-hearted.

    me: Many would say this about most Ls. I suspect many Ls find GJ’s budget proposals too “milquetoast,” that his proposed cuts are not deep enough. If you’ve not looked closely enough, DGR, a significant subset of Ls are abolitionist anarchists, believing the fantastical idea that only statelessness is moral and that any transition to statelessness should be as close to immediate as possible.

    The death penalty for 13 year olds was poor judgment, which GJ now calls his position “naive.” He holds my position — opposed in all cases — on the death penalty now, so this critique is a weak one.

    I like that GJ is willing to admit mistakes. I still disagree with him on many things, but I would vote for him again, and I would not vote for any of the Rs or Ds.

  28. Darcy G. Richardson

    “The death penalty for 13 year olds was poor judgment, which GJ now calls his position “naive.” He holds my position — opposed in all cases — on the death penalty now, so this critique is a weak one.” — Robert Capozzi

    But that’s what he actually proposed when he had the chance to govern, Bob. A person’s record — their experience in public office — ought to count for something. Johnson’s current opposition to the death penalty, by the way, is based on his belief that it’s less costly to keep somebody in prison for life than put them on death row. Unlike your own views on the death penalty, Johnson’s position, unfortunately, isn’t based on moral grounds, i.e., the state shouldn’t have the right to take a life. It’s cheaper, he says, than all of the expensive appeals granted to death row inmates. That’s the worst argument of all.

  29. robert capozzi

    dgr, here’s the quote on wiki re: GJ on the death penalty:

    He believes government inevitably “makes mistakes with regard to the death penalty,” and does not “want to put one innocent person to death to punish 99 who are guilty.”[45]

    That’s my position. IF there was a way to be 100% sure that the accused did the deed, I’d have to think harder on the matter, but knowing that an innocent might be killed is reason enough for me and GJ to oppose the d.p.

    Yes, GJ has a record. He was a neophyte governor, and that one was poor judgment. He got dirty in the arena. It’s quite easy to Monday morning quarterback…easiest thing in the world!

    There are show stopper positions for me, but I prefer a more balanced assessment of candidates. ATC, does the candidate best advance the cause of lessarchy?

  30. NewFederalist

    This is such an important election year to not put forth the best ticket yet. Clinton-Trump is probably the worst duopoly choice in anyone’s lifetime. The LP is all set to muff an historic opportunity. If there really are movers and shakers in the party now is the time to find a white knight. There are other potential candidates.

  31. Thomas Knapp

    “Yes, GJ has a record. He was a neophyte governor, and that one was poor judgment.”

    He was near the end of his second term when he signed the first death warrant in New Mexico in more than 40 years, then said at a press conference that he’d be willing to “trade” the death penalty repeal the Democrats wanted if they’d give him the drug law reforms he wanted, then in THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE said no, he didn’t really mean that, then two months later gave an interview in which he said he was against the death penalty, except that his detailed explanation came down to “well, really, not so much.” Is seven years in a job with a consecutive limit of eight years a “neophtyte?”

    What’s Johnson’s position on the death penalty this week and why? I have no fucking idea, and I doubt that he does.

  32. Robert capozzi

    TK, is there a more complete account of GJ’s positions and posturing on the d.p.? I note that you say he signed a warrant in year 7, which is different than applying the death penalty to minors.

    By year 7, neophyte is not accurate, agreed. He was elected as a neophyte, as I see it. To me, he sometimes comes across as maybe a sophomore even now, a point I have been making this year. Color me disappointed in the waste of potential, at least so far.

    The deal he was trying to cut sounds right minded to me, but it didn’t work out so well. A for effort. D for execution.

  33. Stewart Flood

    “Stewart, I think that it would be better if you altered your question a little bit to allow for a the candidates for the nomination to not support a candidate for the presidential nomination, while still supporting Libertarian Party candidates for other offices, and supporting the party overall.”

    I have a very specific reason for that question. Given the following:

    Candidate X says that candidate Y will not only not support the nominee, but leave the party (thus not supporting ANY libertarians) if candidate Z is nominated. The reason is not given, and we are told it is not going to be.

    I want to know if this is true, or if the reason is from something that candidate X made up and told candidate Y and is un-verified. If it is that serious, why are delegates not being told?

    This smells funny, and I think it should be made public and not be passed around in secret — as it obviously is now.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    “is there a more complete account of GJ’s positions and posturing on the d.p.? ”

    Yes, there is. And I’ve read it, but I haven’t been able to find a version of it that’s not behind a paywall. It’s titled “Only Governor Knows Death Penalty Stance,” by Jim Belshaw, and was published on January 20th, 2002. Some high points, summarized:

    – In 1996, Johnson asked the legislature to reduce the age at which kids could be tried — and punished, including the death penalty — as adults to 13.

    – In 1997, Johnson asked the legislature to expand the number of crimes for which the death penalty could be imposed.

    – Also in 1997, Johnson asked the legislature to make it easier to impose the death penalty. Where it had required a unanimous jury recommendation, he wanted it changed to a simple majority jury recommendation.

    – In 1998, Johnson proposed a two-year cap on death penalty appeals.

    – In January of 2002 (less than three months after ordering the first execution in New Mexico since 1960), Johnson announced he was against the death penalty now. Sort of. He told Belshaw “I believe in the death penalty … I believe in an eye for an eye. I believe that if you kill somebody, you should pay for that act with your own life. But I have become convinced that the death penalty as public policy is flawed and shouldn’t exist.”

    I assume I can get away with reproducing a bit of the piece under “fair use.” So I’m going to go with the first two paragraphs, and the final paragraph.

    First two paragraphs:

    —–
    In 1996, Gov. Gary Johnson said 13-year-olds could be executed under some circumstances. Last week, he said he was opposed to the death penalty.

    Beyond the rhetorical whiplash, a question comes to mind: What gives?
    —–

    Final paragraph:

    “Is he sincere? I don’t know. Only he does.”

    One thing to keep in mind here is that it’s not just the death penalty that Johnson is like this on. For someone who wants to be POTUS he has a remarkable habit of changing his mind on every issue all the time and offering explanations that basically boil down to “no matter how often I have to talk about this stuff, I never bother to think it through.” He makes flip-flopping Mitt Romney look like the Rock of Gibraltar.

    Debate inclusion being treated as a central issue this campaign cycle, this is something we should be concerned about.

    ANY candidate could choke and get embarrassed in a debate, especially a debate with long-time major-party politicians who have been extensively prepped.

    But Johnson in particular seems to have been purpose-built for embarrassing himself and his party in debates. Austin Petersen and Darryl Perry have already kicked his ass in public multiple times, and the only reason McAfee hasn’t is because McAfee’s been playing the gentlemanly, above-the-fray front-runner. Is there any chance at all that Johnson could emerge from a debate with — for example — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with his head and his ass still attached to each other?

  35. Stewart Flood

    The public debating skills of Governor Johnson are clearly not as good as many less experienced candidates. This is something that even his most dedicated supporters would admit is a serious cause for concern if he were to debate any of the potential candidates the DNC and RNC would put on the podium.

    This issue of the death penalty is new to me. After six years of being either the nominee or someone assumed to be seeking it again, why is it that internal party opposition research is this lax? I think this is something that delegates to the 2012 convention should have known.

    Regarding Wright’s being a “gentleman” and not attacking Johnson, he was facing an uphill battle. Everyone I talked to, including every Johnson supporter (myself included at the time), thought he won the debate. Perhaps he thought he was doing well enough and decided to just win and not completely obliterate his opponent. We’ll never know.

    Petersen and others have to go negative to try to crack the wall of support that most of the party infrastructure has put up around our 2012 nominee. McAfee has attacked, but his attacks are much more subtle — using a skill that the younger candidates either lack or choose not to use.

    I’m still undecided, however I have decided (in a way). Since I’m the chair of our state party, I’m going to ask the delegates to our state convention on May 7th to decide. I am going to let delegates who are NOT going to Orlando cast ballots on how I will vote at the national convention. In that way, I will [hopefully] be representing the opinion of my state party.

  36. Richard Winger

    Bob Barr was a leader in the American Civil Liberties Union and was consistently good his whole career on privacy. When he sought the Libertarian nomination, he told the convention that he had been wrong on the defense of marriage act and wrong on illegal drugs. He would never have been nominated if he had not said those things at the convention.

    Most Americans are not libertarians. Libertarian policies can only become policy if most people who are not now libertarians become libertarians. Civilization, and progress in science and public policy, are dependent on people changing their minds during their lifetimes. It is a big mistake to disdain people because they had “bad” attitudes in the past. What counts is what their attitudes are now.

  37. George Phillies

    Being optimistic, Bob Barr spent 4% of his 2008 campaign income on outreach. He made the Harry Browne campaign look like a model of thrift, frugality, and efficiency. Without speculating on motive, his campaign was a total waste of our party’s efforts.

  38. George Phillies

    And, finally, we may welcome new converts to our congregation, but immediately electing them as first preacher is just plain stupid, as experience has shown several times.

  39. Andy

    How good was Congressman Bob Barr on privacy when he voted for the Patriot Act? Also, aren’t drugs a privacy issue as well?

  40. Richard Winger

    The Almanac of American Politics 2002 says, “On the anti-terrorism bill sought after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, he led a House fight to amend the committee bill and stitched together a coalition of conservative Republicans angry at government misconduct at Waco and Ruby Ridge and liberal Democrats opposed to government infringements of civil liberties. The amendment passed…Barr opposes a national ID card and unique health identifiers and won a one-year delay of a federal rule for states to use social security numbers on drivers’ licenses. He sees great dangers in giving the federal government to databases and would require employers to tell their employees if the computer use or phone calls are monitored or their email is scanned. He opposed a bill to give every welfare recipient with a debit card so the government can track expenditures. He objected to a legislative deal that criminalized release of all properly classified information, calling it an ‘official secrets act.'”

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    Richard,

    Yes, it is a bad idea to disdain people who had bad ideas in the past — if their ideas have become better. But if we still can’t figure out what their ideas ARE from minute to minute, that itself is a big problem.

    On the day he announced his second presidential run, Johnson told no fewer than three different reporters in no fewer than three different interviews that as president he would sign legislation banning burqas.

    Then the next day he turned 180 degrees, while lying and claiming it had only been one statement, not three, and that it had been in response to a question, not something he had obviously worked hard on and thought of as a nice launch day centerpiece.

    Then even after walking that back, he kept harping on “sharia law.” Until he turned 180 on THAT and said that Jews have to bake cakes for Nazis because religious discrimination is a “black hole” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean).

    So, what’s it going to be next week — we won’t be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last bishop, or every knee must bow before his Old Time Religion conversion or be burned at the stake, or something else? There just doesn’t seem to be any way to know with him.

  42. Richard Winger

    I wish and hope that Thomas Knapp and Gary Johnson can have a one-on-one conversation, either by phone or in person at a state convention or maybe the national convention itself. Tom is an influential and thoughtful voice and it certainly would be worth Gary Johnson’s time to try to have such a conversation.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    You write:

    “After six years of being either the nominee or someone assumed to be seeking it again, why is it that internal party opposition research is this lax?”

    It’s actually only been a little over four years. But, generally speaking, the LP’s internal party opposition research has ALWAYS been this lax. The few people who bother to do it get put down as Negative Nellies and nobody wants to hear anything bad about anyone running, even if it’s true.

    You may remember that in 2003 and 2004, Michael Badnarik traveled the country, attending every state convention he could get to and giving his Constitution class to boot. He then wrote a book, which was for sale at the national convention. But within ten minutes of NOMINATING HIM FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, there were delegates running around wailing that they HADN’T KNOWN the stuff he’d been telling them for a year about his views and practices on income taxes, drivers’ licenses, etc.

    Libertarians tend to not pay close attention. Libertarians tend to get downright nasty with anyone who tries to GET them to pay attention. And then when things blow up in their faces, Libertarians tend to simultaneously deny that it ever happened and blame the people who warned them it was going to happen.

    Richard,

    I don’t see anything good coming out of a personal talk between myself and Gary Johnson, and while I enjoy the compliment, I don’t think I’m nearly as influential as you hint at me being anyway.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, now, in fairness: All three of the candidates in the video linked above say they do not support the death penalty.

    Here is where the fact that Johnson has an ACTUAL RECORD proves as much a disadvantage as an advantage.

    They all three say the same thing, but only one of them has been in a position to ask for — and if received, sign into law — legislation expanding who the death penalty can be used on, legislation expanding what the death penalty can be used for, and legislation making it easier to impose the death penalty. He asked for all three pieces of legislation. He’s also the only one of the three who has been in a position to allow an execution to happen or stop that execution from happening, and he chose to let it happen.

    I suppose that McAfee and Petersen could be lying about their positions. But I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that. And Johnson has flip-flopped enough on that issue, and on others, that I’m more inclined to believe the other two than I am to believe him.

  45. George Phillies

    “This issue of the death penalty is new to me. After six years of being either the nominee or someone assumed to be seeking it again, why is it that internal party opposition research is this lax? I think this is something that delegates to the 2012 convention should have known.”

    I have done a certain amount of opposition research, as did various people do research on Browne before the 2000 election. There were suggestions — most people thought he was in excellent health — that Browne might run a third time in 2004, or that one of his proteges would run. That’s why I wrote Funding Liberty.

    There were suggestions that Badnarik would try to run again in 2008. I wrote and posted on Liberty for All a detailed analysis of Badnarik’s book, including its many wrong claims, for example the claim that the President is only commander in chief during a declared war.

    LibertyForAmerica.com and our magazine examined the Barr and Johnson campaigns. Of course, Johnson’s financial claims keep changing, so that was a fair piece of work. You can read the outcome from Amazon or Smashwords in my new book Surely We Can Do Better? The front 20% is free.

    I view the world as about to change on this topic. There is a lot of research on candidate Johnson, and a vigorous effort will be made to ensure the delegates learn of it in advance. My libertarian mailing lists run to (core list) close to 3000 or (expanded list) close to 30,000 names, and I am entirely welathy enough to do a mailing to all of them out of my tax refund for the year.

  46. robert capozzi

    tk: discrimination is a “black hole” (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean).

    me: It means it goes to negative places that we can’t fully anticipate. Businesses that claim to be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC but aren’t is a Pandora’s box. Positioning Ls as being opposed to civil rights hurts the cause of lessarchy.

    We’ve seen that, haven’t we? Think Newslettergate 1.0 and 2.0. This sorta stuff positions Ls as are either haters or hater enablers.

    Were the cake and burqa issues handled deftly? Fuck no!

    It’s not obvious what the optimal means are to reverse centuries on dysfunctional social engineering is accomplished. Aligning Ls with haters strikes me as the wrong way to go.

  47. Andy

    Libertarians are in favor of civil rights, including the right to not bake cakes for people you don’t want to serve.

  48. robert capozzi

    Andy, I’m OK with your not baking such cakes in your crib. If you say you are a baker, open to the public, the “public” means “everyone,” as I see it. You may well see it otherwise. You may say I’m not “L” by your definition.

    Things may well be set up differently in AndyLand. Unfortunately, AndyLand has yet to be established.

    We do probably agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Where we may disagree is whether YOUR opinion is the final word.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Businesses that claim to be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC but aren’t is a Pandora’s box.”

    It might be, if such businesses existed. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t. Bureaucrats claiming that a business is a “public accommodation” because they want to regulate it is not the same thing as that business claiming to be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.”

  50. Andy

    George, I have asked you this before, but you never answered, so now I will ask again.

    Who was your favorite Libertarian Party candidate for President?

    If you did not like any of them, just say so.

  51. langa

    If you say you are a baker, open to the public, the “public” means “everyone,” as I see it.

    So, would you be willing to exempt a business from anti-discrimination laws, as long as they put up a sign saying, “WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REF– USE SERVICE TO ANYONE”? Clearly, such a business isn’t claiming to be “open to everyone.”

  52. Andy

    What if you own a business, but you never claim to be open to the public?

    Like I have said on other threads here, I could see forcing government entities to serve everyone, and i could see forcing corporate businesses that receive tax payer funds and other government hand outs to serve the public, but I do not agree with forcing businesses that are not subsidized by the state to serve everyone.

  53. Losty

    OK, One question about the Nomination procedure.

    Is the LNC permitted to replace a presidential candidate if there is a vacancy in Nomination?

    I am thinking after Orlando, and Cleveland.

  54. Bob Waller

    What’s Cleveland got to do with it? We should no more care who the Republicans nominate than we care who the Democrats nominate, and we shouldn’t nominate their castoffs and sore losers or for that matter their repulsive winners, nor NOTA to clear the way for them. If they want to convert, fine, let them work for a few years to prove they really mean it before running them for office. Also, don’t nominate them if while doing so they, for example, keep raising money for anti-liberty Republicans, praise https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_Colombia , say “it has to be Romney,” etc.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    Losty,

    That depends. If the national convention nominates None of the Above, the LNC doesn’t get to “fill the vacancy.” There’s just no candidate that year.

    However, the presidential or vice-presidential candidate can be removed and replaced by a super-majority vote of the LNC; and the LNC is empowered to “fill the vacancy” if one of them withdraws.

  56. George Phillies

    It is reasonable to suppose that if the National Convention chooses NOTA that there will perhaps be state chair action on the matter. A lot of people in some states have done a lot of work to put someone on the ballot. (Mind you, in this state the state and national party members, current and former, seem to have no interest in the matter).

  57. George Phillies

    Andy writes: “George, I have asked you this before, but you never answered, so now I will ask again.
    Who was your favorite Libertarian Party candidate for President?
    If you did not like any of them, just say so.”

    I never saw the question, and have not thought about it. It is not true that I dislike Hospers, McBride, Clark,…Badnarik, etc. I served as Badnarik’s National Volunteer Coordinator, which counts as a like.

  58. Andy

    George, I recall you being very critical of Badnarik, as you criticized him for not paying income taxes and for not having a drivers license, among other things.

    I also recall that you wrote an article titled, “Do Not Nominate Badnarik Again” after the 2004 election.

    You also criticized Badnarik in 2007 or 2008 when he endorsed Ron Paul for President.

    So do you see how you left the impression that you did not like Michael Badnarik?

    I am surprised that you’d have anything good to say about John Hospers, being that Hospers endorsed George W. Bush, the war in Iraq, and domestic spying.

    Also, I know that you were not even in the party when Clark, McBride, and Hospers ran.

  59. George Phillies

    Andy, There is a difference between agreeing with someone’s political decisions and liking or disliking them. Thomas Jefferson had advice on this. I really don’t care whether you think I disliked them or not. For a number of these people the custom of burying many of the bad things that someone did, with that person, might also be said to be applicable.

  60. robert capozzi

    L: would you be willing to exempt a business from anti-discrimination laws, as long as they put up a sign saying, “WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REF– USE SERVICE TO ANYONE”?

    ME: In theory, the Harlos Nonarchy Pod option should be available for commercial enterprises as well as individuals.

    My view is that challenging civil rights laws hurts the cause of lessarchy. It’s a black hole, as GJ says. OR, to put it another way, calling for the abolition of civil rights laws might SEEM to be a positive step on some levels, it actually hurtles the cause of liberty down, down, down.

    The truth is that civil rights laws were attempts to right past wrongs. There are any number of critiques of civil rights laws that have merit. But you are surely not paying attention if you don’t notice that civil rights has done much to undo centuries of injustice.

    There will come a time when civil rights laws are not necessary. Now is not that time, not yet, although tremendous progress has been made in undoing profound injustice.

  61. robert capozzi

    tk, if there was a trade-off of exiting the ME in exchange for cake-baking “morearchy,” I take that deal.

    Or, if I have X resources, and my resource can (a) tip the balance toward exiting the ME or (b) I can waste resources on cake-baking and be ineffective on both issues, I choose (a).

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Congratulations on your expertise in constructing imaginary situations and predicting what you would do in them.

    Now, back to the real world: Through the oddball collective mechanisms through which public contentions arise, one has arisen. The options available are:

    1) To ignore that contentious situation; or
    2) To support freedom; or
    3) To support enslavement.

    I guess there’s nothing WRONG with #1. Your time and efforts are yours to invest in the things that you find important. They’re not owed to the things other people think are important. But there is a relevance cost to the option.

    But if you’re going to make such an investment, you need to decide whether or not you believe people are or should be other people’s property and act accordingly.

  63. Stewart Flood

    No, closer to six than four. There was open discussion of him switching parties for quite a few months before it happened, and I heard his name brought up as a possible candidate in the 2010-2011 time frame.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    “No, closer to six than four. There was open discussion of him switching parties for quite a few months before it happened, and I heard his name brought up as a possible candidate in the 2010-2011 time frame.”

    I’ve heard Jesse Ventura’s name brought up as a possible candidate for the last 16 years. If he goes after the LP’s nomination in 2020 and gets it, no, in 2024 I’m not going to refer to him as “After 24 years of being either the nominee or someone assumed to be seeking it again.”

  65. Stewart Flood

    Not like Ventura. I mean serious discussion. Johnson did not decide on a whim to switch.

  66. Richard Winger

    In 1972 the Democratic national convention chose Thomas Eagleton for vice-president. In August 1972 Eagleton resigned from the ticket, and the Democratic national committee replaced him with Sargent Shriver. All 50 states plus DC let the Democrats make the change. That is a very valuable precedent, because if any state in the future refuses to let some other party make a similar switch,, then that state can be shown to be inconsistent and legally vulnerable.

    As to which Libertarian presidential candidate was George Phillies’ favorite, the answer is probably George Phillies. He ran for president in 2008, both at the national convention and in the general election. In the November 2008 election he was on the ballot in New Hampshire as a presidential candidate with the party label “Libertarian.” Bob Barr was also on the ballot with the same party label, but George Phillies was above Bob Barr on the ballot. In New Hampshire Barr got 2,217 and Phillies got 531.

  67. Richard Winger

    George just did me a big favor, for which I am sincerely grateful. He gave me the name and contact information for someone in Massachusetts who is interested in working for better ballot access laws. I wanted to thank George for doing this, via IPR and this thread.

  68. Andy

    George, I recognize that it is possible to like a person while disagreeing with some of their political stances, and i can still support candidates with whom I have a few disagreements, but my question was not so much about who you liked as a person, but rather who you liked as a candidate. Your comments about Michael Badnarik went as far as writing an article after the 2004 election urging Libertarians to not nominate him for President in 2008 (I think that in retrospect, Michael Badnarik could have been a really good candidate for President in 2008, but his botched run for US House in 2006, where I believe he took some bad campaign advice from the people surrounding him (which was ultimately his fault) basically derailed any chance of him getting the 2008 nomination, which is likely why he did not seek it).

    Your urging Libertarians to not nominate Badnarik again shortly after the 2004 election makes it appear that you did not think that he was a good candidate, even if you liked him as a person.

    I asked you this because you seem to spend a lot of time criticizing Libertarian Party candidates for President. I agree with most of your critical comments about Barr and Johnson, but it just seems that you seldom have anything good to say about any of our party’s presidential candidates.

  69. robert capozzi

    tk: The options available are:

    1) To ignore that contentious situation; or
    2) To support freedom; or
    3) To support enslavement.

    me: That may be “the” options as you see it, but it’s far too simplistic a way of looking at it, from my perspective.

    I look at it more like this:

    a) Racism, sexism, and religious bigotry were culturally and governmentally imposed injustices for centuries.
    b) There was a growing realization in the 50s and 60s in the US that these injustices needed to be addressed.
    c) Imperfect legislative remedies were enacted in the mid-60s with mixed results.
    d) In my estimation, the negative aspects of civil rights legislation are not high priority items, and would position Ls with fringy hard-rightists and haters, which I consider to be poor positioning for the prospects for moving the nation’s center of gravity in a L direction. I simply don’t buy “no particular order” to be a viable or fruitful approach to politics.
    e) I advocate Harlos Nonarchy Pods for those who object to any and all State rulemaking. Short of that, I suggest “deal with it” for the existence of the State, and for my fellow lessarchists to be more strategic in their thinking. My view is to focus on areas where there are large percentages of the population who believe that the government is too big and the State is too intrusive. Marshalling widespread support for a lessarchist agenda is what I propose, focusing on taxing and spending; rethinking the prevalent paradigm as world policeman; and substantial criminal justice system reform. A “milquetoast” view from the abolitionist anarchist perspective, I understand, but for me a potentially fruitful path.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    “In my estimation, the negative aspects of civil rights legislation are not high priority items”

    Major party presidential candidates disagree with your “estimation.”

    So do major news networks.

    Both of which indicate, or translate to, a significant portion of the public.

    We don’t get to unilaterally decide what are and are not high priority items. That’s taken care of for us.

    We just get to decide whether to be right or wrong about them.

    Being wrong about them may be easier, but it’s also stupid, pointless and immoral.

  71. robert capozzi

    tk,

    1) We’re watching a different movie, then. While the “cake” issue is a blip, I’d say the big issues on the R side are immigration, ISIS, and the rigged political system. On the D side, it’s income inequality and corporate and Wall Street greed.

    2) I agree you have to have an answer for the blip issues. This particular blip issue does not work so well for the narrative I propose, so a non-committal-ish answer would be my suggested approach.

    3) And, I simply don’t agree that you don’t get to pick your issues, UNLESS you buy into no particular order-ism. I suggest a different tack: Play to your strengths and downplay your weaknesses makes a whole lot more sense to me.

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I suggest a different tack: Play to your strengths and downplay your weaknesses makes a whole lot more sense to me.”

    It would make sense to me, too — if “oh, dear God, whatever you do don’t make me actually take a position that could conceivably make anyone angry” was a strength at any time on any issue.

  73. robert capozzi

    tk: don’t make me actually take a position that could conceivably make anyone angry” was a strength at any time on any issue.

    me: Now, Thomas, surely you know that’s not even close to fair. Any and every position will make maybe a third angry no matter what you say. The Penny Plan will make some angry. Exiting the ME will make some unhappy. These are stakes in the ground that I encourage. Big differentiators that point in the direction of liberty.

    Supporting segregation gives the wrong vibe off, even if the NAP-o-meter pops out the one and only answer: as long as no one is physically hurt, government should make no law.

  74. Robert capozzi

    Oh? So you support laws against whites only lunch counters?

    Or are you arguing a technical meaning of segregation?

    I would strongly suggest that freedom of association absolutism demands the right to be racist in public. Good luck not alienating most antiwar and anti drug war types.

  75. Thomas Knapp

    “Oh? So you support laws against whites only lunch counters?”

    Of course not — not any more than I support segregation (laws requiring whites only lunch counters).

    “Or are you arguing a technical meaning of segregation?”

    If by “technical” you mean “actual as opposed to conveniently made up to avoid confronting facts,” yes.

    “I would strongly suggest that freedom of association absolutism demands the right to be racist in public.”

    And you would be absolutely right.

    “Good luck not alienating most antiwar and anti drug war types.”

    I’d rather not alienate anyone. But the first consideration is to be right. Selling being right is the SECOND consideration, and is only relevant once the first consideration is fulfilled. Being wrong is a non-starter.

  76. robert capozzi

    tk, something you and many Ls refuse to do is to recognize/accept that there have been any number of cultural and legal attitudes and rules that led to some rather massive injustices, injustices that the jurisprudential approach cannot rectify. Racism and sexism — again legal and culturally reinforced — were difficult if not impossible to sort out by the simplistic contractarian approach.

    Maybe these sorts of injustices would have sorted themselves out over time, but that didn’t provide progress (or solace!) for the victims of profound injustices.

    Simple right/wrong moralistic formulas just don’t meaningfully explain the mess that was made. This is not to say that civil rights has fixed all these sorts of injustices, and conceivably have created new injustices as well.

    I’m glad we seem to agree that alienating partial fellow travelers is at least a consideration. Personally, I don’t see the point of assembling an L agenda that severely alienates virtually everyone in the nation.

  77. langa

    In theory, the Harlos Nonarchy Pod option should be available for commercial enterprises as well as individuals.

    This is a complete dodge. You made the ridiculous claim that libertarians should support anti-discrimination laws to prevent “fraud” — based on your assertion that businesses that are “open to the public” have made some sort of tacit promise to serve anyone who walks through the door. I then asked you if such a business were to explicitly state that they were not making any such promise, if they should be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. You then respond with some bullshit about pods, which is totally beside the point. So, either answer the question, or admit that your “fraud” argument was actually just a lame attempt at providing a libertarian justification for a policy that you actually support on thoroughly authoritarian grounds.

    The truth is that civil rights laws were attempts to right past wrongs. There are any number of critiques of civil rights laws that have merit. But you are surely not paying attention if you don’t notice that civil rights has done much to undo centuries of injustice.

    The idea that people should be held responsible for crimes that other people committed (often long before they were even born) is about as far from libertarianism as one can get. What’s next? Are you going to call for modern Christians to be held responsible for the Crusades? Is that your idea of “justice”?

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    “something you and many Ls refuse to do is to recognize/accept that there have been any number of cultural and legal attitudes and rules that led to some rather massive injustices, injustices that the jurisprudential approach cannot rectify”

    Precisely.

    One of those cultural and legal attitudes some time ago was that white people were better than black people and could therefore own them.

    One of those cultural and legal attitudes now is that gay couples are better than Christian bakers and can therefore own them.

    I oppose both cultural and legal attitudes. You oppose one and support the other.

  79. robert capozzi

    tk: You oppose one and support the other.

    me: Again, I don’t believe government action “enslaves,” and it seems I cannot convince you out of that view. It may be that the optimal (or at least reasonable) position is to say requiring all businesses open to the public to offer their services without discriminating down to the level of requiring SOME Christain bakes to make wedding cakes for same-gender couples “goes too far.” While requiring businesses to not discriminate against against black patrons is supportable until we have achieved a healing of the cultural ravages of slavery.

  80. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Again, I don’t believe government action ‘enslaves,’ and it seems I cannot convince you out of that view.”

    Correct. You’re not going to convince me that treating people as rightsless animals who are required to shut the fuck up and do whatever their masters tell them to do is not enslavement.

  81. robert capozzi

    tk, I feel your pain. I wish that Harlos Nonarchy Pods could be instituted for folks like yourself so that you could escape all perceptions of enslavement.

  82. Eric Sundwall

    Apr 23, TK response;

    I don’t have my ear to the floor or eyes on many emails about the whole POTUS LP race, but has the credibility faction significantly declined since 2012? Again, my guess is they prevail regardless of spin, hype, consequences etc.

    My concern has always been the fairness of the LP race. If any national member of the party is denied part of the process if they are seeking the nomination themselves, I doth protest. While I can’t do much about it, having made an opportunity cost choice that weekend, I truly believe that any State affiliate member or national member ought to be given the opportunity to make the best case for Liberty as they see fit.

    Shrug, good luck.

    Mark Axinn; WR was crazy enough to try the LPNY Gov. nomination and did the best in our history. Why not?

  83. Dan Smith

    I would consider it to be one less reason to consider McAfee. But then you also think Invictus is a good candidate, so maybe you really want to see the Libertarian Party embarrass itself as much as possible.

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