Bill Weld: A personal message for Delegates to the Libertarian National Convention

A personal message for Delegates to the Libertarian National Convention.

Friends,

My name is Bill Weld. I’m writing you today to ask for your vote for the nomination to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Vice-President of the United States.

I served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. I was first elected in 1990, and in 1994, was re-elected by the largest margin in the state’s history. In 1997, I was nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. My confirmation for that position was blocked by Senator Jesse Helms, a social conservative who objected to my libertarian stances regarding gay rights, a woman’s right to choose, and the right of states to allow access to medical marijuana.

Before being elected Governor, I served as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts and as head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. As U.S. Attorney, much of my time and effort was devoted to prosecuting corruption among public officials and crimes committed by some of New England’s largest banks. The Boston Globe described me as “the most visible figure in the prosecution of financial institutions”.

As a young congressional staff member, I also worked as a legal counsel in the Watergate investigation and impeachment proceedings.

In other words, much of my career prior to serving as Governor was devoted to fighting corruption, protecting taxpayers and ending abuses by financial institutions. Those experiences make it even more infuriating to me as I watch corruption and abuse continue today.

My approach as a Republican Governor of one of America’s most Democratic states was simple: Put a stop to the state’s borrowing, cut taxes, bring welfare costs under control, and create a financial and regulatory environment in which entrepreneurs, employers, workers and investors could prosper. We reduced the size of state government by thousands of employees, unemployment fell from almost 10% to 6%, and by all accounts, opportunities and investor confidence increased dramatically.

The highly respected libertarian Cato Institute honored me with their highest ratings in their Fiscal Policy Report Cards on America’s Governors.

At the same time, I fought hard to keep government out of citizens’ personal and financial lives. I believed then, and I believe even more strongly today, that government exists to protect Americans from threats to liberty — not to be a threat to liberty. I tried to govern that way, and I want to take that same principle to Washington, DC.

I am well aware that my decision to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for Vice-President has generated a lot of attention. Along with that attention are questions, and as a Delegate, you deserve answers.

I am a lifelong hunter and gun owner. In 1993, however, as Governor of Massachusetts, I went along with some modest restrictions on certain types of firearms. I was deeply concerned about gun violence, and frankly, the people I represented were demanding action. Sometimes, governing involves tough choices, and I had to make more than a few.

Today, almost 25 years later, I would make some different choices. Restricting Americans’ gun rights doesn’t make us safer, and threatens our constitutional freedoms. I was pleased by and support the Supreme Court’s decision in the District of Columbia vs. Heller — a decision that embraced the notion that our Second Amendment rights are individual rights, not to be abridged by the government.

The media has also mentioned my endorsement months ago of Governor John Kasich for the Republican nomination for President. When Governor Kasich was in Congress, serving as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, I worked with him to stop deficit spending and balance the federal budget. He succeeded, as no one has done since. I was asked to help because I had done the same in Massachusetts, a heavily Democratic state.

Based on that work with Governor Kasich, I believed him to be the best choice among the many candidates for the Republican nomination.

At the same time, I am now aware that Gov. Kasich has taken actions to make ballot access in Ohio much more difficult and costly for Libertarians. At no point did I have any knowledge about efforts to restrict ballot access. Of course, we all need to fight for ballot access in every state, including helping to raise the funds necessary for that effort. You have my word that I will help ensure ballot access — and I’m a pretty good fighter.

Likewise, there has been much discussion among Libertarians about my campaign for Governor of New York in 2006. New York has a unique system in which candidates often assemble “fusion” tickets in order to achieve a winning coalition. As part of such an effort, I was honored in 2006 to earn the Libertarian nomination for Governor. Unfortunately, the larger effort failed, and we were not successful in making the Libertarian ballot “line” part of a coalition that could win. I am grateful to the Libertarian Party for the work we did, and disappointed that the strategy simply couldn’t be executed.

These are a few of the questions I have been asked over the past few days, and again, you deserve answers. If you have other concerns, I hope you will let me know. I am determined to earn your support at the National Convention.

Those who know me best and for the longest all know that I have always been a libertarian. I have said it many times, and it is true. Since law school, my bibles have always been The Constitution of Liberty, and The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek.

Those few of us who have actually taken our libertarian beliefs into the arena of public office have done so via different paths. None of those paths has been perfect, nor easy.

Liberty is a set of simple and elegant principles that form the foundation of our nation. Fighting for those principles as an elected official is not nearly as elegant. I know that first-hand, and have the bruises to prove it.

2016 is different. Thanks to the choices being made by the Republicans and Democrats, and thanks to the reality that independent voters have achieved equal footing in the electorate to the “major” parties, we Libertarians don’t have to beg for a seat at the table. We don’t have to cloak our libertarianism in something else. We can proudly go through the front door, make our case to the voters, and stand on our principles.

A friend pointed out to me this week that, of the three tickets who will be on the ballot in all 50 states in November, the Libertarian Party has the potential to have candidates whose experience and proven leadership exceeds that of the two other parties combined. That credibility and leadership, matched by a firm commitment to the principles of Liberty, will be a powerful combination.

I want to be a part of that historic opportunity for the Libertarian Party, and I’m asking you to join me.

Respectfully,

Gov. William Weld

166 thoughts on “Bill Weld: A personal message for Delegates to the Libertarian National Convention

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    That may be the most dishonest, disgusting thing I’ve read in this whole election cycle, and it’s been a disgusting election cycle.

    While I strongly disagree with the idea of falling for the Johnson scam again, I can at least understand why it’s an appealing con. But nominating Weld would be the equivalent of intentionally stabbing ourselves in the eyes with a fork just because.

  2. Robert capozzi

    Spot on. Johnson/Weld — especially in 2016, when the threadbare Rs and Ds are nominating embarrassments — is as good as it gets.

  3. William Saturn

    Gov. Weld: “Based on that work with Governor Kasich, I believed him to be the best choice among the many candidates for the Republican nomination.”

    This is a flat out lie. He endorsed Jeb Bush before Kasich and did not endorse Kasich until Bush dropped out. He does not even address his Bush endorsement.

    Furthermore, he makes no mention of his “active” membership in the CFR or co-chairmanship of the Independent Task Force on North America. He makes no assurances he will promote a non-interventionist foreign policy.

  4. Jim Polichak from Long Island

    Governors Johnson and Weld are realistic enough to realize that they are not going to be elected. They are running for the sake of the American public and the Libertarian Party.
    The Republican Party has been self destructing for at least a decade now. Can it turn itself around? Maybe? The Whigs died because of the slavery compromise that allowed the North and South to unite to form the nation.
    No such issue exists today but how America accepts or rejects immigrants that are here already and those who come here in the future could destroy the Republican Party.
    Likewise , the Republican Parties embrace of corporate overlords instead of the American public could nail a few more nails in the G.O.P.’s coffin. There’s only so long that you can fool people into thinking that what’s good for business is good for them especially when they have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet.
    Johnson and Weld will be positioning the Libertarian Party to become the most viable option to replace the Republican Party just as Frémont proved that the Republican Party was the most viable option to replace the Whigs.
    If I were running their campaign in the general election I’d make sure a primary slogan was “The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil” since Trump and Clinton are perceived as, let’s be polite and say, problematic candidates.

  5. Andy

    Looks like more opportunistic big government politicians are gravitating to the Libertarian Party, with the hope that they can con LP delegates into nominating them as candidates.

  6. Andy

    Weld says that the Constitution is hid bible. LOL! Maybe his copy is missing the 2nd amendment, along with a lot of other sections.

  7. Anthony Dlugos

    The IPR allows CPR conspiracy theorists to post? Wow. Thought this page had more class.

  8. William Saturn

    “The IPR allows CPR conspiracy theorists to post? Wow. Thought this page had more class.”

    And yet it also allows neocons to post. How bizarre.

  9. Andy

    The Libertarian Party allows members of the CFR to seek nomination as candidates? Wow, I thought the Libertarian Party actually believed in liberty.

  10. George Phillies

    To give credit where it is due, Weld did manage to wreck up the Massachusetts Republican Party. As a Massachusetts Libertarian, I am grateful. Alas, like the vampire Nostradamus, the MA GOP seems to keep coming back.

    Alas, his statements on firearms, etc., are confessions made under duress, and really are not admissible.

    I would have described supporting the assault weapons ban a bit differently.

  11. Be Rational

    Andy, this is what Weld actually said,

    “Since law school, my bibles have always been The Constitution of Liberty, and The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek.”

  12. Anthony

    CFR is a threat to liberty? Haha, no, its not.

    What’s next…jet fuel don’t melt steel beams?

  13. Be Rational

    This statement by Governor Weld seems to hit all the points that needed to covered.

    Now we need some assurance that Governor Johnson will run his campaign with all financial information honestly reported, reviewed and audited on an ongoing basis by someone the members can trust, and open and visible for all to see. He has to guarantee that the first order of business and first expenditures will be for outreach and advertising – major network TV advertising in targeted states and regions.

    This will give us a great ticket and the best opportunity ever for the LP.

    But, sorry Bob Capozzi, I like the Statement of Principles and the NAP. We can keep them, wave our banner of pure liberty and still nominate Governors Johnson and Weld as our ticket.

    Our ultimate goals are not incompatible with a Johnson/Weld ticket as a big step forward on the road to liberty.

  14. Dave

    I do hope Johnson/Weld is the ticket. I think this year, with the notion of many in the media to play up the division in the GOP would only help the LP if they fielded a ticket the media views as credible. As such I think Johnson would be included in more polling, which might make his success in them a self fulfilling prophecy as the media play up his relative strength in a three way race. He may even get in the debates, if the requirement is lowered to 10% or so. And you have to think Clinton and the Dems are shrewd enough to give the LP more attention if the coverage of it makes it out to be a NeverTrump thing.

  15. Joe Wendt

    One statement does not erase a track record of increasing government spending to 5 times the level it was under Michael Dukakis. It’s bad when you are able to make Dukakis look like a fiscal conservative in terms of government spending.

    #DumpWeld

  16. Anthony

    Unless our other candidates running for V.P. have a track record in office, its an irrelevant comparison.

    Am I a better basketball player than LeBron James because he lost 4 finals and I lost zero?

  17. William Saturn

    Be Rational: “This statement by Governor Weld seems to hit all the points that needed to covered.”

    Except for his endorsement of Jeb Bush 8 months ago (with whom he agrees on “most” issues), his views on strict environmental protections, his neocon foreign policy and membership in globalist organizations, and his strong support for the Mexican bailout and other pro-Mexico views. Another big lie from this letter is that “Jesse Helms, a social conservative . . . objected to my libertarian stances.” This is false. Helms objected to making Weld ambassador to Mexico because of Weld’s pro-Mexico views and general incompetence as a prosecutor.

  18. Greg Jones

    Bentivolio is scored as a right conservative by that site, whereas Weld is scored as borderline libertarian and moderate.

  19. Greg Jones

    He said he’s not in comments on another article here. But William says he has not bothered to notify the FEC or issue a press release so it doesn’t count.

  20. Anthony

    Greg,

    Thats not important to the Losertarian Caucus. What’s important is making sure we lose. IF Bentivolio were selected, they’d be excoriating him.

  21. Greg Jones

    I did. It depends on which issues you prioritize. Their scoring seems accurate to me. Weld is more liberal on social issues, which makes him more libertarian than paleoconservatives such as Bentivolio.

  22. Greg Jones

    “Thats not important to the Losertarian Caucus. What’s important is making sure we lose. IF Bentivolio were selected, they’d be excoriating him.”

    You have a point there.

  23. Joe Wendt

    I can settle for Kerry Bentivolio, at least his track record is Liberty oriented. Bill Weld’s record is one of gun control, affirmative action, increased spending, and interventionism. Bentivolio is at least a plausible candidate for VP, Weld is unacceptable.

  24. Andy

    I would rather nominate a known, long time hardcore Libertarian activist who has never held public office than nominate a person who held office as a big government politician, and who has no track record as a libertarian activist.

  25. Mike B.

    The Libertarian Party unfortunately has a Republitarian wing of the party, which is a subsidiary of the parent company, the LP.

  26. Anthony

    I got a 100,000,000 voters in this country that would prefer an elected official over a “hardcore party activist.” By definition, if I ignore the voters who want the activist and go after those who want the elected official, I am making a proper decision.

  27. George Phillies

    Weld maybe a nice guy.

    However, his statements mostly match with criticisms that were made first. They are statements udner duress and not credible.

    Show us where he campaigned against gun control, the drug war,… last year.

  28. Mayall B. Free

    From Andy Craig on Facebook:

    “A lot of reactions, to say the least, to Johnson/Weld. The outside interest and media coverage is huge, and overwhelmingly positive. A lot of incredibly enthusiastic reactions. I think it’s a safe bet that never before has the announcement of a Libertarian candidate for Vice-President been covered so extensively by all the major news outlets. But of course Libertarians are not necessarily ones to care much for what the outside world thinks.
    wink emoticon

    Gov. Weld will have to address and satisfy Libertarians on a few issues of concern from his record, for sure. And he will! These objections aren’t all insignificant (though they are in some cases premature, when he hasn’t had the chance to respond yet), and he is fully aware that he will have to provide a satisfactory answer to the delegates in Orlando. In some cases that answer will be “I was wrong, and here’s why I was wrong, and have since changed my mind.” You don’t have a career as impressive as his without making mistakes along the way.

    However, there are also objections that really just don’t matter, or at least they shouldn’t. I don’t care that he agreed to talk with people at a think tank that Alex Jones has made into a mythical boogeyman. Nor does it bother me much that while still involved in two-party politics, he threw his weight behind the lesser-evil candidates as he saw it. There are very few Libertarians who can say they were never a member of any other party, or never supported a non-Libertarian candidate. And there are *no* Libertarians who can’t say their views have evolved and changed, both before they joined the party and since.

    I also think that the objection that it’s “doubling down” on ex-Governors is misplaced… it’s not a *bad thing* to have Vice President who is both qualified for that job, and the job he may have to assume on a moment’s notice. “Ticket-balancing” is a vastly over-stated and over-rated phenomenon, not nearly as important as the quadrennial Veepstakes speculation would make you think. (Besides, by the traditional definition, this is a balanced ticket: Southwest and Northeast). As I’ve talked about before, it’s not illegitimate or wrong that the American people have never wanted to elect a President, or Vice President, without some relevant experience, either government, military, or private-sector.

    Those issues aside, I do think a lot of people of people deep inside the LP’s echo chamber, are also missing the incredible positives Gov. Weld does have to offer, and the opportunity this ticket represents.

    Bill Weld started his career busting political corruption, first for the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment, and then going on to take down the notorious machine surrounding Boston’s four-term mayor. When promoted to the Justice Department, he resigned in protest over the Attorney General’s law-breaking, and provided whistle-blower testimony to Congress that caused that A.G. to resign. If you want anti-corruption credentials, it doesn’t come any better than Weld.

    As Governor, he governed on a message of smaller-government fiscal conservatism, privatization, cutting taxes, and balanced budgets, alongside live-and-let-live social liberalism. In other words, a libertarian exactly as the party itself has defined the term for decades when explaining ourselves to voters and the public on the Nolan Chart. He only had enough Rs in the legislature to sustain a veto his first two years, and during that time passed the first year-over-year spending cuts in decades. But even when facing a veto-overriding Democratic supermajority in Massachusetts, he still submitted a balanced budget every year and pushed for privatization of many agencies and departments.

    Within the GOP, he was a consistent and outspoken voice against the theocratic nanny-state of the Religious Right, famously being booed at the Republican National Convention for declaring his support for “a government that stays out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.” His nomination to be Ambassador to Mexico was blocked by the infamous Jesse Helms out of pure spite for his support of things like legal equality for gays and lesbians, and legalizing medical marijuana.

    It is plainly true, as David Boaz said today, that Bill Weld is the most libertarian governor within living memory, with the sole exception of Gary Johnson.

    Today was the first time we got to hear from the Weld himself. In his New York Times interview, he blasted the Iraq war and ‘nation-building.’ On Cavuto, he re-affirmed his support for the basic principles of libertarianism: smaller government, free markets, and tolerance, and a government that leaves you alone so long as you aren’t harming others. He’s probably the only major elected officeholder, other than Ron Paul perhaps, to have uttered the words “coercive taxation is theft.”

    He also acknowledged, in terms that made it clear he understands the process, that he does have to earn the nomination in Orlando. That it isn’t just his to take, and he has to agree to serve Libertarians as our voice in the general election and beyond. He is seeking to be our nominee for that office, just like the other candidates seeking to be our nominee for that office.

    For the Libertarian Party, the choice here is stark. Hypothetical perfection isn’t on the table– it never is– and there is a real choice to make between the options we have.

    Johnson/Weld offers a viable, competitive, potentially debate-included, well-funded ticket, that can earn vote totals that will boost the party’s down-ticket candidates as well as the LP’s future growth, including securing ballot access for future elections. It is not outside the realm of possibility, to say that this is a ticket that could compete to win states in November. And if they are included in the debates, it’s not implausible at all to say they’d have a real shot of winning.

    Our other choices, offer putting the Libertarian Party on a death spiral, destined to go defunct within a decade or two at the most. That is not hyperbole: the LP could quite easily follow the path of the Reform Party before it. It’s something of a miracle the LP has lasted this long since its founding in 1971, and its perpetual existence and continued ballot access is not guaranteed. Those interested in effecting real-world change, those involved in the broader movement of libertarianism, could easily take one last look at us before abandoning the LP (as most usually did pre-Johnson), and returning to trying to work within the two-party system as best they can. What’s left might be an organization called the “Libertarian Party,” but it wouldn’t be a political party, and it wouldn’t even be more libertarian.

    Faced with the prospects of a race-baiting demagogue or an influence-peddling felon holding the highest office in the land, it is our obligation to put foward a ticket that will not only help grow the LP, but also offer an alternative to what Gov. Weld aptly called today “late-stage democracy”— a constitutional republic teetering on the edge of collapsing into strongman despotism or lawless oligarchy.

    This is the opportunity the Libertarian Party has been waiting 40 years for—- and if we don’t seize it, the party will probably not be around in another 40 years the next time America is ripe for a challenge to the two-party system. We can nominate the two most libertarian governors in the nation for President and Vice President, or we can nominate a ticket that will get more laughs than votes.

    I know which option I choose.”

  29. Be Rational

    A & A – are on opposite sides of a coin. But they are still on the same coin. Unfortunately, when trying to make heads or tails of the important issues, they both flipped.

  30. Andy

    Look at all of the people who have voted for Donald Trump in the Republican primaries. They do not care that Trump has never held office.

    Also, lots of people in the country do not vote, and non-voters are one of the biggest, if not the biggest, potential support bases for Libertarians that there is.

  31. George Phillies

    “Faced with the prospects of a race-baiting demagogue or an influence-peddling felon holding the highest office in the land”

    REPUBLICAN TROLL ALERT!

    You can tell the Republicans because they refer to Clinton as a felon. Ranting about Bengazi comes next.

  32. Greg Jones

    “Look at all of the people who have voted for Donald Trump in the Republican primaries. They do not care that Trump has never held office.”

    He’s the executive of a large business, which is not the same thing as someone who has never managed any large organization, like most typical third party candidates.

  33. Andy

    Tom Knapp pointed out that if the remote chance of Johnson getting in the debates actually happens, that it could end up backfiring on us, and i think he might be right about this (see some of Johnson’s recent debate performances for evidence of this), and I believe that the same could be true of Weld, perhaps even more so.

    Do we really want Weld out representing our party when we have had no opportunity to properly vet him, and with him having lots of anti-liberty things in his record?

  34. Greg Jones

    “You can tell the Republicans because they refer to Clinton as a felon.”

    No longer preferring the Republicans doesn’t make me think any more highly of Mrs. Clinton. She is indeed a felon, and quite possibly will be indicted for it. Donald Trump is even worse, but that doesn’t let her off the hook.

  35. Andy

    Libertarians do not want to run big government, we want to shut it down. So being a person who has not run anything big is not a bad thing from a libertarian perspective.

  36. Scott Lieberman

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Year LP Pres. Nominee Vote % status
    1988 Ron Paul 0.5% former GOP US Representative
    2008 Bob Barr 0.4% former GOP US Representative
    2012 Gary Johnson 0.99% former GOP Governor

    This chart doesn’t *prove anything*, but it strongly suggests that nominating former GOP Congressmen and Governors does not yield good results for the Libertarian Party. What makes some of our delegates expect that Gov. Johnson is going to do anything differently this time around than he did in 2008? Do we want to give ex-Governor Johnson a second chance to run up a 6 or 7 figure campaign debt that he won’t pay off?

  37. Greg Jones

    “Libertarians do not want to run big government, we want to shut it down. So being a person who has not run anything big is not a bad thing from a libertarian perspective.”

    Landing a plane without crashing is the most difficult part of the flight, so that’s when management skill becomes most important. Unless your plan is to shut everything down overnight, but that’s not a plan that will appeal to more than a fraction of one percent. A carefully and skilfully managed soft landing may appeal to a non-trivial portion of the public.

  38. Anthony Dlugos

    Good post, Greg.

    You know, its surprising how some libertarians implicitly buy into the cult of the presidency, thinking the man (or woman), just waves a magic wand and makes things happen.

  39. Dave Terry

    Andy: May 21;

    Weld says that the Constitution is hi(d)s bible. LOL! Maybe his copy is missing the 2nd amendment, along with a lot of other sections.

    Andy, you are pathetic. Your spelling is the least of your faults.
    Do you honestly NOT understand that “bible” is just another word
    for “book”, usually an ‘authoritative’ book.

    Ironically, the Constitution IS more deserving of the word ‘bible’ than that obscene tome that generally goes by that name. Clearly that OTHER Bible could certainly be improved by adding the FIRST Amendment.

  40. Andy

    Once again, we do not need somebody as a candidate who has been in government, or been in charge of a large business, we need somebody who is committed to the principles of liberty, and who has the will to reduce the size of government.

  41. Anthony Dlugos

    “Once again, we do not need somebody as a candidate who has been in government, or been in charge of a large business…”

    Wow. I hate to call anyone clueless, but wow.

  42. Andy

    Weld had ALREADY screwed over the LP. He told the LP of New York that he would remain in the 2006 Governor’s race if they nominated him, even if he lost in the Republican primary for Governor (New York being on of the few states that allows for fusion), and then after losing in the Republican primary, he BROKE HIS WORD to the LP of New York by dropping out of the race after they had nominated.

    So he has ALREADY proven himself to be untrustworthy to Libertarians.

  43. Be Rational

    The US government will not be shut down any time soon Andy. Our candidate for POTUS needs to be qualified to actually serve as President and run the government while making it smaller and less intrusive. Running a serious candidate shows that we are serious and is necessary so that voters will take us seriously. Most people will not vote for. or even listen to, any of the many unqualified and seriously wacko candidates that run for the LP nomination – just as dozens of similarly unfit individuals run for the D and R nominations every four years, who are also largely ignored.

    If we want to actually win and make change, we have to prove that we are capable of leading, holding office and being responsible for the United States of America. We have run many qualified POTUS candidates in the past and several who were not. The Veeps we’ve run have been worse. And so far we haven’t done well.

    Yes, we need radical change. You and I could probably agree on a hardcore, radical LP platform, keeping the Statement of Principles and the NAP. But, we don’t agree on strategy, on what to do, on how to grow and build the party. So be it. Try to stay civil and welcome, inspire, teach and lead the new members and interested individuals that will soon be swamping the current LP organizations and activists with requests, interest and inquiries.

    This is our chance to be taken seriously, to run candidates who are real Libertarians with a moderate message and broad appeal and who are qualified to hold office – more so than the D and R candidates.

    In 2016, with Governors Johnson and Weld we will be taken seriously. We have a very strong chance of getting to 15% in the polls with serious financial backing. We have a reasonable chance of getting in the debates, actually winning one (northern ME) or more Electoral votes and possibly throwing the whole election to the House. If the Johnson / Weld ticket can inspire significant financial backing, there is a legitimate long-shot chance at outright victory.

    Time is not only running out for the survival of the LP. Without a change in the direction of the US government and governments around the world, time is running out for the survival of humanity, as at present the statists are destroying the environment and the foundations of civilized society.

    Beginning in 2016 with Johnson and Weld we have a chance to make the LP a major party, on the way to becoming one of the two major parties in the US. That is the first step to bringing sanity to government, creating a free, libertarian society, saving the planet from environmental disaster and rescuing humanity from total destruction at the hands of the socialists and statists.

  44. Darcy G Richardson

    “Johnson/Weld offers a viable, competitive, potentially debate-included, well-funded ticket, that can earn vote totals that will boost the party’s down-ticket candidates as well as the LP’s future growth, including securing ballot access for future elections. It is not outside the realm of possibility, to say that this is a ticket that could compete to win states in November. And if they are included in the debates, it’s not implausible at all to say they’d have a real shot of winning.” — Andy Craig

    Nice to see that Gary’s supporters aren’t suffering from any delusions of grandeur.

  45. Dave Terry

    Thomas L. Knapp, May 21
    “That may be the most dishonest, disgusting thing I’ve read in this whole election cycle, and it’s been a disgusting election cycle.”

    Actually, this and the last dozen or so posts you have submitted are most dishonest and disgusting diatribes I’ve seen on this list

    ” nominating Weld would be the equivalent of intentionally stabbing ourselves in the eyes with a fork just because.”

    Ironically If I saw anyone EXCEPT YOU stabbing themselves in the eyes with a fork, I would make an effort to stop them. Whereas, if YOU were doing this to yourself, I’d make sure that NO ONE stopped you. If you were to drop that fork, I’d pick it up and return it to you.

    You actually make blindness appear to be a desirable faculty!!!

  46. Andy

    It has been experienced politicians and people who run large businesses that have gotten us into the mess we are in today.

    Continuing to draw candidates from this same pool of people means just more of the same.

  47. Andy

    No candidate that the Libertarian Party runs is going to have any kind of legitimate chance to win the White House, and acting like they do is delusional.

    The purpose of the LP presidential ticket is to build the party and movement, and you do not do that by running LINO (Libertarian In Name Only) candidates.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    I agree that it should be a priority for us to have a believable candidate — someone who can walk in front of a TV camera and convince voters that if elected, he could do the job. That might mean credentials as an officeholder or whatever.

    Note that I said A priority, not THE priority. There are a number of priorities and they proceed somewhat hierarchically.

    The first — necessary but not sufficient — priority is that we nominate a LIBERTARIAN. If we don’t, then there’s simply no point in nominating at all. Of course, we can argue over what constitutes a libertarian and whether or not any particular candidate is one, but it’s still the most basic and essential criterion. I find Johnson and Weld wanting on it, but I can see why some might disagree.

    The second — again, necessary but not sufficient — priority is that the nominee be honest and trustworthy. Candidates who lie about their campaign debt to defraud us of our presidential nomination and then don’t pay their bills, or who promise the LP to run for office if nominated and then turn right around and break that promise, have proven that we can’t trust them. So we shouldn’t trust them — especially with our party’s most prestigious nominations. Johnson and Weld completely and utterly fail the honesty and trustworthiness test.

    The third — and here we’re starting to move toward the sufficiency tipping point — is that the candidate is credible and believable as a potential president or vice president. This is where Johnson and Weld do excel their opponents for the nominations. If they didn’t completely fail on the second priority, it might be worth considering how well they do on the first priority.

  49. Robert capozzi

    AS, why do you think WW and GJ are running? Is it some sort of CFR plot?

  50. Be Rational

    Johnson’s campaign finances in 2012 are a problem. He has to deal with that problem and set up a believable campaign for 2016 – perhaps with some change in management.

    Dropping out of a race can be justified and does not mean that person isn’t qualified or can’t be trusted. Gene Burns dropped out just before the 2003 convention when everyone had been counting on him. He then worked tirelessly, at his own expense, for years to build the LP in NH and ME.

    side note: (Unfortunately the MA LP in their never ending quest to remain small and irrelevant and to avoid becoming a real political party never made use of Gene Burns’ offer of help. He complained about this repeatedly to me during those years.)

  51. Be Rational

    Sorry, Gene Burns dropped out just before the 1983 convention. – edit button needed –

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Be Rational,

    Weld’s 2007 dropout was not some kind of understandable situation.

    When he was seeking the LPNY’s nomination for governor, he was specifically asked if he would commit to running even if he didn’t get the Republican nomination, and he was specifically apprised of the importance of the question based on past situations (e.g. Howard Stern) in which well-known candidates sought an LP nomination, got an LP nomination, and then dropped out and left the party in the lurch.

    Weld knew what he was doing. He said that if nominated he would run as the LP’s candidate even if he didn’t get the GOP nomination. Then as soon as he saw he wasn’t going to get the GOP’s nomination, he dropped out.

    It wasn’t an oopsie, it wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t an unforeseeable development, it was just a flat-out lie. And to top it off, instead of owning up to and sincerely apologizing for it (which might command a little respect), he’s just trying to bullshit his way out of having to account for it.

    Nominating Weld would be dumber than nominating Derrick Michael Reid or the Birth Loop Economics guy. They may be nuts, but at least they aren’t knowingly and intentionally blowing smoke up our asses after having done so before. I mean, what the blue fuck? Does the LP have a “KICK ME” sign taped on its back or something?

  53. Anthony Dlugos

    Thomas Knapp,

    Parties stuck at 1% are stuck with a KICK ME sign taped on their back. I’m not surprised Weld kick our pissant little party to the curb. That’s what you do with the runt on the beach.

    Time to change that.

  54. Thomas Knapp

    Yeah, time to change being at 1% by re-nominating the guy who got 1% and doesn’t pay his bills. Why didn’t I think of that? Strategic genius, that’s what it is!

  55. Dave Terry

    Andy, May 21,
    > “No candidate that the Libertarian Party runs is going to have any kind of legitimate chance to win the White House, and acting like they do is delusional.

    So, are we to stop nominating candidates, altogether???

    You’d make a fantastic Commanding General of the Army.

    “OK men, we know how this is going to turn out. So Lock and Load and on my mark, Open Fire!
    Let’s see how many of these bastards, we can kill before WE are ALL DEAD!!!!

    Is it better to have a victorious army that is 90% Libertarian
    or one that is 100% DEAD Libertarians?

    The purpose of the LP presidential ticket is to build the party and movement, and you do not do that by running LINO (Libertarian In Name Only) candidates.

  56. Andy

    Weld does not qualify as being 90% libertarian, plus he also has a record of lying to Libertarians from that incident in New York in 2006 (I am pretty sure Tom got the year wrong above when he said 2007).

  57. Anthony Dlugos

    Thomas,

    If we’re lucky, the two successful people who for some reason want our pathetically small party, won’t tell the assorted screwballs, wingnuts, and conspiracy loons who probably can’t put together a decent resume to go pound salt, they got better things to do than try and save our rickety old boat from the irrelevancy some of us want to keep it in.

    The nerve of some of these delegates is vomit-inducing.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, the 2007 was a typo. It was 2006.

    It would be one thing if Weld claimed he had changed, but he’s not doing so. Instead he’s just denying that he did what he did and arrogantly assuming Libertarians are so dumb and naive they’ll unquestioningly swallow any bullshit he cares to shovel at them, no matter how at variance with the actual history his claims are.

    Unfortunately, history says he may very well be right. But I kind of expect the New York delegation will be very active in spreading the word in Orlando that William Weld cannot, under any circumstances, be trusted.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    If you get your way and manage to pimp the LP out to these two pervs, at least have the decency to put some money behind it, because they’re the types who won’t even leave an extra fiver on the bedside table when they slip away.

  60. Anthony Dlugos

    lol.

    I wouldn’t blame them.

    But don’t you worry. I love women, but I am sure you’re aware of the size of the Koch pocketbook.

    I’ll demand payment in advance for services rendered, however. I hope they like my 46-year old white ass.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, I’m aware of the size of the Koch pocketbook, and what they use that pocketbook for (e.g. making the max campaign contribution to a New Mexico governor, then making bank on the highway contracts he doubled the state’s debt with; just coincidentally, I’m sure, no crony capitalism or anything like that).

  62. Andy

    Do not trust claims of big money unless the money is already there. Remember the claim put out by the Bob Barr supporters that if we nominate Barr that his campaign had big donors lined up and that they were going to raise $35-$40 million. This turned out to be complete bullshit, just as I had predicted.

    Also, even if big money really was there, is it worth the money if it means that the party has to sell out its principles? If the party sells out principles for money we will end up being like the Democrats and Republicans we oppose.

  63. William Saturn

    I e-mailed Kerry Bentivolio the following:

    “Congressman Bentivolio,

    There are serious concerns about Gov. Johnson’s selection of Gov. Weld as his running mate. Weld supports gun control, strict environmental protections, a neocon foreign policy, is pro-Mexico at the expense of the United States, and is an “active” member of the CFR, co-chairing the Independent Task Force on North America, which promotes a North American Union like the EU. Just 8 months ago he endorsed Jeb Bush for president and said he agrees with “most” of Bush’s views.

    Just because Johnson selected Weld does not mean the delegates will follow through and nominate him at the Convention. I urge you to come to the Convention next week and seek the Vice presidential nomination. Unlike Gov. Weld, you have a pro-liberty record and can be trusted.

    Please reconsider your decision to drop out. Libertarians need someone they can vote for.

    Thanks,”

    He responded:

    “I am a gun toting 2nd amendment, no more policeman of the world, pro-life (including no dealt sentencing), pro smaller government, no spying without due process, no federal regulatory agency SWAT teams, no federal educational agency, nor FEMA (national guard, yes.), nor IRS and a few others… I not only want the Fed audited I want all Fed audited.
    For these reasons I cannot run. I am too radical for America.”

    I believe he has the best shot at defeating Weld. If you agree, please send him an e-mail and encourage him to re-enter the race.

  64. Rebel Alliance

    At least he addresses the anti-liberty positions he took, and that’s something. But not nearly enough. Nice try. We heard this all before when Bob Barr ran. We won’t be fooled again. Sorry William Weld, your VP nomination is going to be DENIED.

    The LP has been around for over 40 years now. Surely we must have SOMEONE around with a track record of supporting liberty on ALL ISSUES ALL THE TIME, someone who is deserving of being called our Libertarian candidate for Vice President.

  65. George Dance

    Andy: “The Libertarian Party allows members of the CFR to seek nomination as candidates? Wow”

    Funny; just yesterday, in another thread you were writing about this in, it was pointed out that CFR member Earl Ravenal sought the presidential nomination back in 1984. It also came out that LNC chair Ed Crane has been a member of CFR, though not at the time he was chair.

  66. Andy

    Yes, and Ravenal lost the nomination to Bergland.

    I have heard that Crane had been briefly affiliated with the CFR, but that he quit.

    I am not that big a fan of the Cato Institute or of the Crane / Koch machine.

  67. Andy

    I wish that the Koch brothers were real, hardcore libertarians. Unfortunately they are not. They are libertarian lite, or fairweather libertarians at best, if they are libertarian at all.

  68. Joe Wendt

    If Bentivolio shows up to the convention, I will definitely give him my token for VP and encourage others to do the same. Weld’s record disqualifies him for the nomination. Kerry Bentivolio has a libertarian-ish record and isn’t giving us the kind of bs Weld is trying to sell us.

  69. Greg Jones

    “Surely we must have SOMEONE around with a track record of supporting liberty on ALL ISSUES ALL THE TIME,”

    Then you are cutting yourself off from the vast majority of libertarians broadly defined, and from anyone the general public could ever seriously consider. If that’s the kind of party you want, why do you do outreach to find people who are in the libertarian quadrant, tell them they are libertarians and invite them to join the party? Just tell people they aren’t libertarians and should not be allowed to join unless they support liberty on ALL ISSUES ALL THE TIME, and that way you can be sure that your candidate will also share 100% of your positions. It will almost certainly be someone who has no mainstream credentials that will allow any significant percentage of people to take them seriously as a candidate, and may very well not even be presentable in terms of their speaking abilities, appearance and personal history, but that’s OK because getting a non-trivial number of votes isn’t even the goal…right?

  70. Bondurant

    The GOP activists have been posting hammer and tongs these past few days since Weld’s name first started circulating.

    Weld supported gun control and weakly dances around the issue. A proper response would have been “I was wrong at that time”.

    Weld has had many months to endorse Johnson. Instead he endorsed Jeb and then Kasich (the same Kasich that spearheaded an effort to keep Libertarians off the ballot in Ohio).

    Weld and the new GOP flock here are asking libertarians to sacrifice their principle for the promise of electoral gain. That would make us no different than the GOP when they sold their souls to the religious zealots and forever buried the principle conservatism of Goldwater.

    We are being asked to sacrifice our principles for a GOP Lite slate. Odd that they won’t sacrifice their principles to support Trump.

  71. Anthony Dlugos

    If Bentivolio shows up to the convention, I would certainly listen to what he has to say.

    What are his funding connections? You know, money? The stuff we need to actually run a campaign.

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    Don’t worry about money, Johnson already showed us how to handle that: Just borrow it, stiff the lenders, and hit Uncle Sugar up for a nice welfare check. Libertarianism 2.0, yay.

  73. Rebel Alliance

    Greg Jones, when have you ever lifted a finger to help the LP? Posting smart-ass comments online doesn’t count. You don’t need to troll here. Just go back to playing video games in your parents basement.

  74. George Whitfield

    Bill Weld is looking better to me and is getting a lot more support in other on-line forums.

  75. Andy

    “Joe Wendt
    May 21, 2016 at 18:47
    If Bentivolio shows up to the convention, I will definitely give him my token for VP and encourage others to do the same. Weld’s record disqualifies him for the nomination. Kerry Bentivolio has a libertarian-ish record and isn’t giving us the kind of bs Weld is trying to sell us.”

    I wonder if this is a case of good cop vs. bad cop. Notice how when Bentivolio showed up a bunch of troll apologist showed up, the same as when Weld showed up.

    Libertarians react negatively to Weld, so “save” us by bringing back Bentivolio.

    There are supposed to be over 1,000 Libertarians who are going to the LP National Convention this year. Are we to believe that our of a room full of 1,000 plus Libertarians, there is not one Libertarian man or women who is capable of willing to step up and be a better candidate than one of these Republican retreads?

  76. Jill Pyeatt

    FYI, I was so surprised that someone referred to those of us with an aversion to the CFR as “CTers” that I’ve been asking random people this week (well, people I know, but not people involved in my political circle) their impression of the Council of Foreign Relations. Every single one of the dozen people I asked had a negative view of the organization, although a few were unable to tell me why. In my view, membership to that group is something Weld should be prepared to discuss with the delegates.

  77. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t see any chance that Weld and Bentivolio are playing good cop/bad cop.

    Bentivolio doesn’t seem to be much of a libertarian, but he does seem to actually have some principles, such as they are.

    Weld, on the other hand, just says and does whatever he happens to feel like saying or doing, never, ever, ever takes responsibility for any of it, and expects the rest of the world to split its time between cleaning up his messes and applauding his genius. He apparently neither grew out of, nor found himself disabused of, a bad case of childhood affluenza.

  78. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt
    May 21, 2016 at 21:26
    FYI, I was so surprised that someone referred to those of us with an aversion to the CFR as “CTers” that I’ve been asking random people this week (well, people I know, but not people involved in my political circle) their impression of the Council of Foreign Relations. Every single one of the dozen people I asked had a negative view of the organization, although a few were unable to tell me why. In my view, membership to that group is something Weld should be prepared to discuss with the delegates.”

    The average person has no clue what the Council on Foreign Relations is, or that it even exists. I’d wager that only a very tiny portion of the population has ever even heard of the CFR.

  79. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    May 21, 2016 at 21:30
    I don’t see any chance that Weld and Bentivolio are playing good cop/bad cop.”

    Weld and Bentivolio would not have to know anything about it for this to be true. Whoever is talking to them could be setting things up like this.

    I’ve actually got more hope for Bentivolio than I do for Weld (who I’ve got zero hope for), but I don’t think that either of them should be on our presidential ticket.

  80. Andy

    “who is capable of willing to step up”

    Should read, “who is capable of and will to step up…”

  81. Jill Pyeatt

    Everyone I talked to knew about it Andy, even what the acronym stood for. A few didn’t know beyond that, though.

    I’ll bet every delegate will have knowledge of the CFR.
    .

  82. Thomas L. Knapp

    On the one hand, it’s not “conspiracy theory” to notice that someone is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and think that’s not necessarily a good thing.

    On the other hand, CFR doesn’t seem to me to be as secretive or sinister as some people seem to think it is (when I was a kid, I remember my pastor cautioning against voting for candidates affiliated with CFR or the Trilateral Commission because they might be the Antichrist’s secret followers or something.

    Here’s what CFR actually is: The Establishment.

    The rich and the powerful have their own clubs, and some of those clubs are about them deciding and announcing how they think things should go. Since they ARE the rich and the powerful, it’s not especially surprising when things go that way.

    Marx got a lot of things wrong, but one thing he got right was this: The state is the executive committee of the ruling class.

    CFR is one of the numerous subcommittees of the ruling class.

    And libertarianism, rightly understood, is at war with the ruling class (or as Comte and Dunoyer put it, the political class). So I would expect libertarians to hold CFR members at arm’s length. But let’s not convince ourselves that its members are David Icke’s reptilian shapeshifters from the 5th and 6th dimension or whatever. They’re just The Establishment.

  83. robert capozzi

    Second guessing the NY guv thing seems like a fair enough charge, but like Stern, Weld got the LP a lot more positive press from that failed attempt than most of its statewide races. Politics is a sloppy business. Remember: No press is bad press.

    In any negotiation, the question is: What’s the win/win? What’s the next move that optimizes the interests of the parties involved?

    So far — ALREADY — WW has attracted significant media attention. Positive attention. If you want a candidate who can address the finer points of the NAP, WW is the wong direction. If you want a ticket that is a plausible player on the stage and gets people thinking outside the “two-party system” box, GJ/WW is as optimized as it will ever get.

    The Bush and Kasich endorsements are also fair game. And since I’m not part of the group who’s challenging the cult of the omnipotent state (though I vote for them), it makes perfect sense…in context. DJT has probably radicalized WW, who is a fusionist figure trying to bend the Rs in an L direction. That’s definitely not happened…they are bending in a severely authoritarian direction with DJT.

    He’s offering to carry a lot of water of the cause of lessarchy. It will cost him nothing but time and probably money in the form of opportunity costs, as minimum. He’s a politician and a lawyer, a professional spinner — among the best in the business.

    ATC, does GJ/WW advance the cause of liberty the most, or not?

    In my judgment, yes, yes it does.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    In order for GJ/WW to advance the cause of liberty “the most,” they would have to advance the cause of liberty. I’ve seen no evidence so far that they do.

  85. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt
    May 21, 2016 at 21:35
    Everyone I talked to knew about it Andy, even what the acronym stood for. A few didn’t know beyond that, though.

    I’ll bet every delegate will have knowledge of the CFR.”

    Jill, I talk to thousands and thousands and thousands of people during a typical week of petition signature gathering. I have no idea who you are talking to, but I can tell you as a fact that the average person has no idea what the Council on Foreign Relations is, or that it even exists.

    A lot of Libertarian Party delegates will likely be at least somewhat familiar with the CFR, certainly a higher percentage than among the general public.

    The issue will be what is the make up of the delegates who will show up at the convention. I know that with lots of Libertarians, being a member of the CFR would automatically disqualify a candidate.

    How many of these type of Libertarians will be in Orlando? I don’t know.

    I think that Libertarians in general are more informed than most of the rest of the population, but even among Libertarians, there are differences in level of knowledge and issues. I have been involved with this kind of stuff for 20 years, plus I frequently research issues online, I’ve attended lots of political and activist type of meetings, I’ve spent lots of time hanging out with other liberty activists, I’ve watched lots of political documentaries, I’ve listened to and read lots of alternative media, I’ve read lots of books, and I’ve worked in politics for 16 years.

    So I think that I have attained a pretty high level of knowledge on these subjects. I’m not claiming to know everything (I look things up when I don’t know something), but to use a martial arts analogy, I do not think that it is unfair for me to say that I’m like a black belt in libertarian studies.

    I’m sure that there will be some other libertarian black belts at the national convention in Orlando, and even out of those that I would not consider to be libertarian black belts, I am sure that some of them could be knowledgeable in some areas.

    How many people at the convention will have high levels of knowledge in the following areas?

    1) Libertarian philosophy.

    2) Issues, and application of libertarian philosophy to various issues.

    3) Political strategy (lots of libertarians are weak in this area).

    4) The history of the Libertarian Party and movement, and I’d add to this, what is going on in the inner workings of the Libertarian Party right now (lots of new people are weak in this area).

    5) The nuts and bolts of politics (getting on the ballot, raising money, filing campaign finance reports, etc…).

    6) Government conspiracies (While some Libertarians are very knowledgeable in this area, there are others who are weak, and some are so weak to the point of naivete or even stupidity. Show me a person who does not think that there are people in government who engage in conspiracies and you will be showing me a person who does not know what in the hell is really happening in the world, as they are either, a) stupid, b) ignorant, c) lazy, d) intellectual cowards, e) a liar. A conspiracy is when two or more individuals plan to commit a crime. This happens all the time in government, from the local police departments, all the way up to the halls of Congress and the White House.).

    There are VERY FEW Libertarians who are strong in all of these areas.

    I generally enjoy talking to most Libertarians, but there have been times where I’ve heard Libertarians make cringe worthy comments. One for instance happened a few years ago when I attended a local Libertarian Supper Club (I’m not going to say where), and one of the local party members thought that Libertarians should try to reach out to Alan Keyes and that we should recruit him to be a candidate for the Libertarian Party. Note that this was years after Alan Keyes had come out in support of the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act.

    Another issue is how Libertarians weight issues. A Libertarian may think that we will get the best “bang for our buck” by nominating the most high profile and “accomplished” candidates we can, even if that candidate is not good on several issues from a libertarian perspective. Some of these people may even know that the CFR is a bad organization, but they could be willing to “look the other way” on that issue if they think that Weld will get us more publicity, votes, and credibility.

    Some moderate Libertarians may think that being in the CFR is not a big deal. They may think that it is just some club where politicians and academics and people from the media get together to discuss policy. No biggie, right?

    I would not be surprised if there will be at least a few people at the national convention who have never even heard of the CFR.

    Speaking for myself, I would not trust anyone who is a part of any of the political establishment “sphere of influence” clubs, like the CFR, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, The Order of Skull and Bones, The Bohemian Club, etc….

    There are lots of people whom we could nominate as candidates, so why not nominate somebody who is NOT affiliated with the same “sphere of influence” clubs to which the ruling establishment politicians belong?

    Some delegates may be convinced that the best thing for the party is to nominate Gary Johnson again, and that since Gary Johnson has requested that William Weld be his VP running mate, that we MUST pick him, just because that is what Gary Johnson wants.

    The outcome will depend on who shows up as a delegate in Orlando. I’d hope that the majority of delegates would reject Weld, but given what has happened at the last several national conventions, I have lost a lot of faith in LP delegates, so I will not be overly surprised if we end up with Weld as our VP nominee in spite of his many issue and record flaws and in spite of him lying to and betraying the LP of New York back in 2006.

  86. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I talk to thousands and thousands and thousands of people during a typical week of petition signature gathering. I have no idea who you are talking to, but I can tell you as a fact that the average person has no idea what the Council on Foreign Relations is, or that it even exists.”

    Well, thousands and thousands and thousands adds up to at least three thousand people per week. If you’re working 24 hours a day and talking non-stop the whole time, that means you spend an average of about three minutes talking to each person. Realistically, let’s assume you’re only working 12 hours a day and only spending a minute and a half talking to each person.

    How do you work it into your routine to ask 3,000 people a week whether or not they’ve heard of the CFR or know what it is?

  87. Andy

    Gary Johnson has shown me that he is out of touch with most libertarians by even suggesting that William Weld be his running mate.

    Is Gary Johnson just a well meaning but clueless, out of touch guy, or is he part of a nefarious plot to make sure that the Libertarian Party is just ineffective controlled opposition?

  88. Dave Terry

    Thomas L. Knapp, May 21
    “Don’t worry about money, Johnson already showed us how to handle that: Just borrow it, stiff the lenders, and hit Uncle Sugar up for a nice welfare check. Libertarianism 2.0, yay.

    Isn’t that fucking horse DEAD YET?????

  89. Andy

    Thomas L. Knapp said: “Well, thousands and thousands and thousands adds up to at least three thousand people per week. If you’re working 24 hours a day and talking non-stop the whole time, that means you spend an average of about three minutes talking to each person. Realistically, let’s assume you’re only working 12 hours a day and only spending a minute and a half talking to each person.

    How do you work it into your routine to ask 3,000 people a week whether or not they’ve heard of the CFR or know what it is?”

    Tom, when you are out gathering signatures, you could easily talk to 1,000 or more people per day. Let’s say that a petitioner goes out and gets 100 signatures a day for a week. Let’s say 1 out of 10 stop and sign. That means to get 100 signatures per day, they had to talk to 1,000 people per day. So that would mean 7,000 people per week. Let’s say they work on this petition drive for 2 months, and they do the same rate for a two month period. This would mean at the end of two months, they would have talked to 56,000 people.

    Some of these conversations will be very short. They could be as short as, “Are you are registered voter?” and the person replies, “No,” and then they keep walking past you.

    Other times people will ask questions about the petition, or they may stand there and give you their thoughts on politics or whatever else. Sometimes they will make comments while they are in the process of signing.

    The numbers of signatures and the numbers of people spoken to above are on the conservative side. I have had many days where I’ve gotten more signatures or talked to more people.

    I’ve had really short conversations, and really long conversations, and anywhere in between, while gathering petition signatures and/or voter registrations.

    Lots of subjects have come up over they years of doing this, and I’ve worked on lots of different kinds of petitions (parties/candidates, initiatives, referendums, recalls, plebiscites) on a variety of subjects.

    Have I taken a formal survey on how many people know what the Council on Foreign Relations is? Is this a subject that comes up frequently while gathering petition signatures. No and no, however, when you look at the conservative numbers estimate that I posted above, and factor that by 16 years and 33 states, that is a heck of a lot of people in a heck of a lot of places, so I’ve had all kinds of subjects come up in conversations before, including the CFR.

    Do I go around bringing up the CFR to people while gathering petition signatures? Generally speaking, no. Sometimes people have brought it up to me, or sometimes it may come up in a conversation where I brought it up in relation to something somebody else said or after a series of questions was asked.

    Just going from my own anecdotal evidence, I’d say that the average person has no idea what the Council on Foreign Relations is, or that it exists. There are a lot of people that know very little about what the government is doing, which government agencies exist, what various government agencies do, or to what clubs/organizations big politicians belong. Most people have no idea who there state legislator is, and many people could not even name their congressman.

    So, while I have not taken a formal scientific survey on what percentage of the population knows what the CFR is, years of anecdotal evidence from talking to thousands of people during the course of petition drives, and talking about politics with thousands of people in general, both in person and online, leads me to believe that the percentage of the population that is aware of the CFR is low.

  90. Joe Wendt

    Weld is an old-money elitist who signed gun control legislation, praised Obama & GWB, & is a long time political insider who endorsed JEB BUSH & John Kasich. Kerry Bentivolio is a maverick outsider who wanted a hearing on chemtrails, is a defender of the second amendment, and wanted to impeach Obama. Gee, idk why any Libertarian would prefer Bentivolio over Weld (sarcasm). Bentivolio may not be a perfect Libertarian, however he’s far more aligned with the Party’s point of view than Weld.

  91. Andy

    “Joe Wendt
    May 21, 2016 at 23:31
    Weld is an old-money elitist who signed gun control legislation, praised Obama & GWB, & is a long time political insider who endorsed JEB BUSH & John Kasich. Kerry Bentivolio is a maverick outsider who wanted a hearing on chemtrails, is a defender of the second amendment, and wanted to impeach Obama. Gee, idk why any Libertarian would prefer Bentivolio over Weld (sarcasm). Bentivolio may not be a perfect Libertarian, however he’s far more aligned with the Party’s point of view than Weld.”

    Bentivolio may very well be better than Weld, but the events and timing of them both popping up sure seems strange.

  92. Darcy G Richardson

    “Thomas L. Knapp, May 21
    ‘Don’t worry about money, Johnson already showed us how to handle that: Just borrow it, stiff the lenders, and hit Uncle Sugar up for a nice welfare check. Libertarianism 2.0, yay.’

    Isn’t that fucking horse DEAD YET?????” —Dave Terry

    That’s the strange thing about the horse they call Lazarus. He refuses to die, or so the rumor has it. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I heard yesterday that somebody saw him trotting along the I-4 Corridor heading to Orlando…

  93. langa

    I agree with Knapp about the CFR. It’s not the worst thing about Weld, but it is one more piece of evidence that he is a typical Establishment elite, rather than the “freedom fighter” he’s trying to portray in this article.

  94. robert capozzi

    br: But, sorry Bob Capozzi, I like the Statement of Principles and the NAP. We can keep them, wave our banner of pure liberty and still nominate Governors Johnson and Weld as our ticket.

    me: I have not said otherwise. Of course you CAN. Personally, I “like” the NAP as a statement of sentiment, not so much as a statement of principle, more because it doesn’t work as a universal principle that it’s touted to be.

    The NAP and SoP — read soberly and fully comprehended — might have 2MM adherents. Personally, I think that’s way too small a universe on which to build a party.

    The time to deep 6 these self-limiting ideas would not be 2016, however. Johnson/Weld have some noise to make.

  95. robert capozzi

    tk: In order for GJ/WW to advance the cause of liberty “the most,” they would have to advance the cause of liberty. I’ve seen no evidence so far that they do.

    me: Perception is reality. So, if you don’t think media coverage like the Maddow Show coverage of GJ/WW advances liberty, then that is your perception. I do, and I suspect the vast majority will, too.

    Now, whether GJ/WW would be able to artfully and effectively address whether private nukes are covered under the NAP, them’s the wrong guys. Whether they’ll be able to raise sufficient funds to cover more than the semi-fixed costs of running a national campaign so that they can aggressively promote the ticket at Perot-type levels, time will tell. Whether that proposed ticket can build up enough heft to poll in the 15%+ range, time will also tell.

    They have a chance, I submit. I hope they get it.

    “Gary Johnson aims to offer voters a ‘plan C'”

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show

  96. Andy

    Robert, Wayne Root got a lot of media coverage by Libertarian Party standards, yet his media appearances did little to advance the Libertarian Party and movement.

    Just sticking the Libertarian label on ANYBODY, whether they deserve it or not, or whether they do a good job of communicating a LIBERTARIAN message to the public or not, and then sending them out to get media coverage on our behalf, is going to do little to advance our cause, and it could even backfire on us.

  97. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I have a serious question for you:

    Do you do behind-the-scenes political work?

    I’m asking because over the last couple of weeks, the recitation of talking points by the Johnson trolls has become so automated and robotic that I’m now officially renaming them from Johnson trolls to Johnsonbots … and those points boil down to the tactic that you’re past master of. To wit, claiming that anyone who doesn’t support Johnson is just a purist ideologue who can’t tolerate even the slightest disagreement (sometimes with a chaser of “wants the party to remain a small-time social club”).

    Not that those arguments haven’t been used before, but this time they seem to be popping up as specific boilerplate language, deployed by multiple Facebook users within minutes of each other, indicating the likelihood a centralized, dedicated talking points distribution op.

    If you wrote a strategy memo suggesting this or something, THANK YOU. It’s hurting Johnson. Not a lot, but a little.

    And more importantly, it’s pretty much ensuring that this is the last time that whole approach will ever work.

    Very little of the opposition to Johnson seems to be based on any kind of “purism” or “NAPsterism” or whatever you want to call it.

    Some of the opposition to Johnson is based on his poor presentation. As Judd Weiss put it, “[t]he problem with Gary Johnson … it’s not about baking Nazi cakes, the problem is he’s boring as fuck, super awkward and no one is excited about him, not even his own supporters.”

    Some of the opposition to Johnson is based on him being a lying scam artist who defrauded the LP, can’t balance a checkbook, and won’t pay his bills even while running as the candidate of “fiscal responsibility.”

    And so on and so forth.

    Non-“radical,” non-“purist,” non-“NAPster” Libertarian Party members who don’t support Johnson — USED TO buy the “anyone who doesn’t support Candidate X is just a purist ideologue who can’t tolerate even the slightest disagreement and who really just wants the LP to remain a tiny social club” argument. Now it’s being used on them and they’re realizing it’s horseshit.

    So again, if you helped the Johnson campaign with its talking points, thanks.

  98. Andy

    Tom, I would not put it past the CIA or the FBI or some other government spooks to engage in such tactics. They could infiltrate a political party and put forth candidates or campaigns (not even necessarily with the knowledge of the candidate, as the candidate could be a dupe) that muddle the message of the party, and end up wasting the money and time of the supporters. They could unleash a troll army to squash dissent online against anyone who speaks out against the campaign on message boards, and they could even use undercover operatives (remember COINTELPRO) to openly quell dissent at meetings/events, and to steer people into unwittingly supporting controlled opposition.

    I am NOT saying that all of this stuff is necessarily going on here, but there is clearly online trolling happening, so it makes you wonder who is behind the trolling, and what else is going on behind the scenes.

  99. Sean Scallon

    I understand the worry that some longtime activists in the party may have about the LP being a dumping ground for Republicans who find themselves out of a party. Some may very well say “Who let all these liberal Republicans in here?” There’s no question Weld is old money and Boston Brahmin as they come and he could easily still be a Republican if the nominee was Bush and or Kasich. After what happened with Barr-Root in 2008, these are legitimate concerns for LP activists to have and they should vet such concerns at next weekend’s convention either in private conversation with the candidates or in public forums. Weld could have still run as a Libertarian for governor of New York in 2006 since he already had the party line but he chose not to. He made that choice. Activists had every right and still have a right to be upset about it.

    To me, the key factor is the non-interventionist philosophy, or as close to it as possible, that LP candidates need to follow. If not, you’re just going to be nominating Rockefeller Republicans, the very term being the epitome of opportunism. But one thing Nelson and David Rockefeller were consistently more than anything else was foreign policy interventionists. If that’s what Johnson and Weld are, then the LP has to go in a different direction even which such prominent persons willing to be party nominee. Otherwise you’re just getting Barr-Root all over again. Barr may well have take some libertarian stances throughout is public career but let’s face it, at the heart of Barr’s career was his enthusiastic involvement in the drug war as a prosecutor along with the Defense of Marriage Act. Now he may have changed his mind quite a bit to get the LP nomination but in a sense you’re basically putting one of J. Edgar Hoover’s G-Men in charge of the LP, crew cut and all. That’s not a skin you can just easily shed. It’s no wonder he was a bad fit culturally for the LP and the campaign reflected it as LP activists basically shunned him and vise-versa. By the end of the 2008 campaign there basically was no campaign for the LP and they had to spend four years cleaning up the mess left behind. Plus you had a vice-presidential candidate not fully committed to non-interventionism. It’s no wonder the LP campaign deflated as soon as Sarah Palin was nominated as McCain’s Vice-President. That was part of the idea behind it.

    In my considered judgement I believe Gary Johnson a far better fit for being the LP Presidential nominee than Barr ever was and I think the results of primaries, caucuses and straw polls of LP members across the country show him the popular choice of the voters and activists. But it is incumbent of those activists to keep their “celebrity” candidates to the party platform and to the spirit and ethos of the party, lest their candidacies become cults of personality as Barr’s was. That’s a real concern but it can only be done if there’s no separation between the two.

    As for Weld, well if you’re going to expand the LP beyond Cheech and Chong fans, you’re going to snag people like Bill Weld for better or worse. This the opportunity the LP to become a mainstream political force instead of a dogmaesque protest party. There’s going to be more of those kind voters joining the LP than Bernie Bros (please, get serious) ever will. For the most part its going to come out of the Republicans’ hide from a cultural standpoint, that’s just the way it is. It’s up to activists and the long time party members to keep what the party stands for consistent and not cater to the whims of opportunism or be the disgruntled Republicans club.

    The LP has a golden opportunity given the broad unpopularity of Trump/Clinton. But it can’t throw away the gold for 30 pieces of silver. Vigilance, especially over the platform, it’s what will be important come next weekend in Orlando.

  100. Dave Terry

    William Saturn May 21 wrote:

    Gov. Weld: “Based on that work with Governor Kasich, I believed him to be the best choice among the many candidates for the Republican nomination.”

    This is a flat out lie. He endorsed Jeb Bush before Kasich and did not endorse Kasich until Bush dropped out. He does not even address his Bush endorsement.

    DUH, If Jeb Bush “dropped out”, then he wasn’t one of choices that Gov Weld had to choose from.
    I think you owe Gov. Weld an apology!

    Furthermore, he makes no mention of his “active” membership in the CFR or co-chairmanship of the Independent Task Force on North America. He makes no assurances he will promote a non-interventionist foreign policy.

  101. Joe Wendt

    Bill Weld is an interventionist who praised GWB’s handling of the Iraq War, and supports foreign aid.

  102. Dave Terry

    Saturn; Furthermore, he makes no mention of his “active” membership in the CFR or co-chairmanship of the Independent Task Force on North America. He makes no assurances he will promote a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    What is the problem with CFR?
    Do you anticipate a new invasion of Canada or Mexico?

  103. Joe Wendt

    Last time I checked, Rick Santorum isn’t running as a Libertarian. Also, Santorum also never supported gun control or endorse Obama. Rick Santorum also didn’t attempt to remove delegates from a National Convention because he disagreed with them (which Weld actually did btw).

  104. Dave Terry

    This “Libertarian” debate is sounding more like an old KKK debate; “My white sheet is whiter than your white sheet!”

  105. Be Rational

    Andy, although you think most people haven’t heard of the CFR, the fact is most people HAVE heard of the CFR. All those CFR members, their friends, families, supporters and others on the CFR mailing list … They are the ones who won’t sign your petitions, they won’t talk to you. … They’ve seen your picture in the CFR newletter, they know who you are, they’ve been warned about you, they are watching you and they smile and chuckle to themselves about you after they refuse to sign and walk by.

  106. Robert capozzi

    TK, no, I have NO connection to the campaign, any campaign, officially or unofficially. Just my lessarchists self calling it as I see it.

    I have commented for months that GJ could use media training.

    I think concerns about WW and the NY guy race is a fair concern. So are his recent endorsements. I overlook them, but I understand the critiques.

    I think it is possible that part of the motivation behind some of the critiques is concern that GJ and WW are “Republicans” and serial plumbline violators.

    If others use rhetoric similar to mine, I’d chalk that up to — probably — coincidence, or possibly the power of IPR.

  107. itdoesntmattermuch

    There’s never going to be a perfect Libertarian candidate for anything. Experienced flawed politicians aren’t the way, but neither are autistic inside-baseball esoteric conspiracy theorists spouting off about political non-issues.

    IMHO, it would be nice to have candidates who are:
    1. sane
    2. somewhat “normal” financially/professionally- live in a house, have a driver’s license, are neither huge debtors or illogical Dave Ramsey acolytes. Can afford to travel w/ basic accommodations, etc.
    3. Principled
    4. Aesthetic- well-groomed, appear reasonably healthy
    5. Don’t have a compulsive need to highlight a pet issue that no one cares about
    6. Not just political opportunists who want to sell books and get on Fox News and similar.
    7. Be able to articulate Libertarian views to “average” people without assuming everyone has a 140+ IQ and if you don’t “get” them you are just too stupid, and being part of the (politically philosophical) “top 1%” is some badge of honor, etc. While not wearing clothes and having a haircut from the 1970s (especially if you weren’t even alive then, but insist on wearing your differently-sized grandfather’s suits), brushing your teeth, being able to handle basic “adulting” tasks (paying for your shelter, food, clothing, basic transportation, etc)

    Surely a few people like this exist. I personally don’t meet my own criteria, but that doesn’t mean I need candidates who reflect myself.

  108. Dave Terry

    It would ALSO be nice to have more correspondents who are able
    and willing to sign their own names instead of pseudonyms.

  109. NewFederalist

    Dave Terry- you wouldn’t know me anyway. I could use a name like Bill Fredricks but what would that matter?

  110. Greg Jones

    “Greg Jones, when have you ever lifted a finger to help the LP?”

    Never. I am a long time libertarian Republican-leaning independent, i.e. generally voted Republican for the last 40 years. This year I can no longer justify the GOP as a “lesser evil” and will probably vote Libertarian. If that changes it would probably be to vote for Hillary Clinton, but I dislike her immensely and have for the last quarter century ever since I first heard of her. Still, Donald “Biff Tannen” Trump is even worse. I may consider further involvement in the Libertarian Party, but I keep coming across more and more long time Libertarians who are discouraging me from becoming involved. Should I take them up on that?

    “Posting smart-ass comments online doesn’t count.”

    Which remarks exactly did you misinterpret as smart-ass? And, I have in fact helped candidates that I supported in non-trivial ways in the past, and may well again in the future. I am guessing from your remarks that you would rather those not be Libertarian Party candidates, correct?

    ” You don’t need to troll here.”

    Correct, I don’t need to, and I don’t.

    “Just go back to playing video games in your parents basement.”

    Unfortunately for me when I did live in my parents’ basement, video games had yet to be invented. But thank you for the suggestion.

  111. Greg Jones

    “But let’s not convince ourselves that its members are David Icke’s reptilian shapeshifters from the 5th and 6th dimension or whatever. ”

    Well, at least in Andy’s case and perhaps some others here, it’s too late, as they have already convinced themselves of this.

  112. Thomas L. Knapp

    Greg,

    I don’t want to make excuses for the sometimes unwelcoming attitude of partisan Libertarians toward former Republicans, Democrats, etc. I do, however, think it’s worth trying to explain WHY that attitude exists.

    Over the decades, I’ve heard complaints a number of times from residents of particular areas about new people coming from elsewhere. For example, residents of New Hampshire disliking new residents coming from Massachusetts, and Nevadans and Texans disliking new residents coming from California.

    Why?

    Well, people move from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, or from California to Nevada or Texas, because they want lower taxes, less regulation, more freedom.

    But some of them, as soon as they get to New Hampshire, Nevada or Texas, start complaining about this, that and the other and before you know it they’re demainding more taxes, more regulation and less freedom and trying to turn New Hampshire into Massachusetts and Texas and Nevada into California.

    Of course, they’re not ALL like that. And pretty much everyone who comes to the Libertarian Party comes from somewhere else, too.

    But if the first thing you do when you get here is start telling us all the ways in which our party (your new party) should change to be like your old party, you can hardly blame us for telling you “well, go back to your old party if you liked it so much there.”

    We get a lot of that. In fact, most of us did it ourselves at least a little when we first got here — when I first joined the LP I was a “humanitarian wars” type interventionist and thought it was obvious that the federal government should regulate immigration.

    I hope that helps explain the attitude. If not, here’s something Marc Montoni (who sometimes comments here) posted over at Facebook:

    —–
    To all the new people who have discovered an interest in the Libertarian Party this past week:
    Welcome to the Libertarian Party.

    We have called for the repeal of all Drug Prohibition since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for an end to all marriage regulation and licensure since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for abolishing the income tax and eliminating the IRS since our founding in 1971.

    We have called replacing inefficient, wasteful, and brutal government “services” — and yes, even those flashing-lights emergency services — with private-sector alternatives since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for abolishing government indoctrination centers (public schools) since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for an end to all foreign aid, regardless of how evil or good the recipient nation is, since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for an end to all military adventurism and the removal of all US military assets from foreign lands since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for the repeal of all regulations on guns since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for the abolition of all laws restricting Freedom of Association and all laws that grant special privileges to “favored” groups, and we have called for private property rights to be fully respected by governments, since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for the abolition of the Federal Reserve and for sound, free-market money since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for the elimination of all corporate and individual welfare since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for the privatization of transportation infrastructure since our founding in 1971.

    We have called for eliminating all restrictions on the right of people to cross imaginary lines since our founding in 1971.

    The LP was pro LGBT rights and anti drug war since the 70s. Libertarians started that conversation long before Democrats embraced it.

    So, welcome to the Libertarian Party.

    Please remember to leave your previous big party ideologies at the door.

    Libertarians believe people should be able to marry who they want, gamble if they want, party with a hooker, smoke weed or partake of other recreational drugs, live as a woman (or a man) if they want … but they should also be left free to start a business without asking for “permission”, keep their money and property, travel without papers, and enjoy any guns they can afford.

    So — WELCOME!
    —–

  113. Andy

    Greg, I suspect that you are completely full of shit. I would not be surprised if you are posting under a fake name, and you are repeating talking points somebody handed from a government troll center.

    Prove me wrong. Show up at a Libertarian Party meeting anywhere in the country. Let me know which one you are going to and i will call them up and ask them to record you at the meeting, and then post the video online so we can watch it.

    If you want to see me in person I plan to be in Orlando for the convention this week.

  114. Be Rational

    TLK – I like your positive welcoming message. We should welcome everyone, tell them what our principles are, don’t expect newbies to embrace everything all at once, don’t expect anyone to be a perfect 100% LP ideologue, and most importantly, accept all members, donors and supporters for who they are and as they are, afther all, they have decided to join us, so the must agree somewhat – if they don’t, they’ll leave on their own accord.

    Of course, we must hold our candidates to a higher standard. At the same time, our candidates must be reasonable, moderate and personable enough to interest and draw in new people – an impossible standard, so we won’t agree on that either, but we have to do our best in a civil manner.

    I also agree with your bullet points on principle.

  115. Be Rational

    TLK: Note the difference as compared to Andy’s welcoming message to Greg, right after yours. (Andy, please calm down.)

    It’s the separate message, with the bullet points, that I think is a good approach:

    “To all the new people who have discovered an interest in the Libertarian Party this past week:
    Welcome to the Libertarian Party.”

    We should also make available a lot of well composed literature on the topics you’ve outlined. – short, simple, one sheet.

    .

  116. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    I wish I could claim responsibility for that “welcoming message,” but I can’t. Marc Montoni wrote it. I’d like to see us turn it into a pamphlet/flier and make sure it shows up on LP recruitment tables and so forth, though. I think it could be as useful as the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and so forth.

    I don’t want Republicans and Democrats to NOT become libertarians and Libertarians. I just want them to understand when they do so that we who are already here are here precisely BECA– USE we don’t want the baggage that they’re tempted to drag over with them.

    Not to say we don’t need new ideas and so forth. But we don’t really need the old ideas that we intentionally abandoned. And I don’t consider it rude to point it out when someone new proposes an old idea that we intentionally abandoned.

  117. JR

    You are disqualified for infringing the human right to self-defense, Weld. Goodbye.

  118. Be Rational

    Thank you to Marc.
    Marc Montoni is a great example for all of us to follow. He’s a highly principled Libertarian who knows how to recruit and welcome new people and build the party.

  119. langa

    It seems to me that if you want to be warmly welcomed, a good start would be to not come in and immediately insult a sizable portion of the group that you are joining. For example, if you move into a neighborhood with a large Latin population, it’s probably not a good idea to put up a sign in your front yard advising immigrants to go back to wherever they came from — at least not if you want to be warmly received by your new neighbors.

    In the case of Greg Jones, one of the first things that he posted on IPR was his opinion that anarchists are basically no different than child molesters and Nazis. When challenged, not only did he refuse to apologize, he continued to double down on his claim. Does that sound like someone who deserves a warm welcome?

  120. Dave Terry, aka Tomas dela Terra

    So, what’s the big deal? He hasn’t said anything that I haven’t indicated before.

    Actually, there IS ONE BIG DIFFERENCE; Child molesters create crimes one person at a time, whereas,
    Nazis and their cousins, Anarchists are responsible for wholesale slaughter.

    So, WELCOME to the Libertarian Party, Greg!

    Ironically, you will find damned FEW anarchists OR Nazis among our Latino brothers &I sisters!.
    Viva la raza!

  121. langa

    So, what’s the big deal? He hasn’t said anything that I haven’t indicated before.

    Who said you were welcome in the LP, either?

  122. Andy

    “langa
    May 22, 2016 at 21:07
    It seems to me that if you want to be warmly welcomed, a good start would be to not come in and immediately insult a sizable portion of the group that you are joining.

    In the case of Greg Jones, one of the first things that he posted on IPR was his opinion that anarchists are basically no different than child molesters and Nazis. When challenged, not only did he refuse to apologize, he continued to double down on his claim. Does that sound like someone who deserves a warm welcome?”

    BINGO!

  123. Be Rational

    Greg Jones’ misunderstanding of what a libertarian anarchist actually stands for was your opportunity to teach. The correct response was not to start an Internet brawl, and confirm his viewpoint, but to explain calmly.

  124. langa

    Greg Jones’ misunderstanding of what a libertarian anarchist actually stands for was your opportunity to teach.

    Why do you assume he misunderstands? Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who understand the philosophy of liberty, and simply disagree with it, due to evil, stupidity, or some combination of the two.

    Given his numerous rants about Lew Rockwell, Walter Block and so on, I assume he has been exposed to the libertarian philosophy, and simply rejects it.

  125. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, langa, let’s face it: Lew Rockwell and Walter Block have been making libertarianism look pretty bad lately, while simultaneously remaining prominent enough that they’re among the first things someone comes across when exploring the libertarian movement.

    LRC dropped its non-profit status so that it could openly support Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns. That had benefits (the ability to support and endorse Paul, which probably also generated contributions, ad revenue, etc.) and down sides (the end of tax-deductibility, as well as the death of their excellent fundraiser, Burton Blumert, almost certainly hurt donations when Paul STOPPED running).

    Without Paul, they’ve been reduced to whoring themselves out to, and/or trying to free-ride on, every controversial authoritarian dingbat who comes down the pike even more so than they used to. Especially, lately, Trump.

  126. langa

    I agree that their gushing over Trump is pretty bizarre, but I’ve grown accustomed to them getting weird every time an election rolls around. Rothbard himself was always a big believer in the idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and I think the fact that the neocons hate Trump so much explains much of his appeal to them. There are also other factors — for Rockwell, the immigrant bashing, and for Block, the determination to choose the “lesser of two evils” among the D’s and R’s.

    But on the whole, Trump notwithstanding, they are still presenting a libertarian enough message that if someone seems to think they are the embodiment of evil, while simultaneously complaining about LP “purists” that refuse to compromise, then chances are that person is simply not a libertarian.

  127. Be Rational

    Langa,

    I never assumed anything about Greg Jones. He seems to misunderstand, so we should explain to him in a polite, civil manner. It doesn’t matter if he actually understood previously or not. Since we can’t know, and you have to be assuming that he DID know when you immediately started bashing him, we should operate on the basis that since we don’t know what he knows, we owe it to him, ourselves and our other readers, to treat him with dignity and respect.

    A great faux pas we see over and over again in politics these days is the politician, campaign or party that mistreats someone – maybe they deserved it – but it looks very bad to others when splashed throughout the social media. OTOH, it looks very good to others, and we can gain sympathy, supporters, followers and members, just by treating everyone fairly, politely and with respect.

    It’s amazing, but one of the main reasons the LP has failed over the years isn’t that people don’t or won’t accept our principles, it’s that they won’t accept being treated so rudely by a handful of rabid, vocal, intolerant members.

    How could someone be part of a group that berates and abuses them from the get-go?

  128. Pingback: It's Like They Think No One's Paying Attention ... - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

  129. Andy

    Any apologies from Weld now would be completely fake and self serving, and anyone who believes it is an idiot.

  130. Pingback: Is the LP About to Nominate a Gun-Grabbing Big Government Neocon? | Saturn's Repository

  131. Pingback: Saturn on Weld: A Gun-Grabbing Neocon | Independent Political Report

  132. George Dance

    Scott Lieberman:
    “Year LP Pres. Nominee Vote % status
    1988 Ron Paul 0.5% former GOP US Representative
    2008 Bob Barr 0.4% former GOP US Representative
    2012 Gary Johnson 0.99% former GOP Governor
    “This chart doesn’t *prove anything*, but it strongly suggests that nominating former GOP Congressmen and Governors does not yield good results for the Libertarian Party.”

    As compared to what? I notice you omitted all the years when the LP nominated someone other than a former Congressman or Governor. In which of those years were the vote totals were amazingly better?

    (In fact, in none of them. In the past 30 years, the LP has broken 500,000 votes just twice [under Barr and Johnson] and 1,000,000 votes just once [under Johnson].)

  133. Gene Berkman

    Scott Lieberman:
    “Year LP Pres. Nominee Vote % status
    1988 Ron Paul 0.5% former GOP US Representative
    2008 Bob Barr 0.4% former GOP US Representative
    2012 Gary Johnson 0.99% former GOP Governor

    This leaves out Roger MacBride, former Vermont State Representative and unsuccessful candidate for Governor in the 1964 Republican primary – .21% in 1976.

    In 1980, Ed Clark, a former Republican donor, and Dave Koch, also a Republican donor, scored 1.07%
    Is Scott Lieberman proposing that our best bet is nominating a couple of former contributors to Republican campaigns?

  134. Andy

    Harry Browne received a higher percent of the vote in 1996 than Bob Barr received in 2008. Percent of the vote is a more important criteria than the raw number if votes. Also, note that Harry Browne had to contend with both Ross Perot and Ralph Nader while Barr only had to contend with Nader.

  135. Anthony Dlugos

    Andy,

    Stop limiting your analysis to ONLY Libertarians. Thats piss poor analysis.

  136. Anthony Dlugos

    Because we have more information about what things are required to maximize vote totals. Namely, we have information over 250 years from the parties that have actually WON elections.

    Don’t you think that’s important information? If we have evidence that voters overwhelmingly prefer candidates with political experience, and ESPECIALLY with EXECUTIVE political experience, shouldn’t we consider that? Your the one who’s implicit standard is…what gets the most votes?

  137. Anthony Dlugos

    We might as well be discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, then. Whatever you find out tells you nothing. Its the definition of useless information, considering ALL our vote totals have been abysmal.

  138. Dave Terry

    William Saturn, May 21,
    “Who are you, Anthony, to say whose vote counts and whose doesn’t?’

    He must have himself confused with Thomas Knapp!

  139. Dave Terry

    Thomas L. Knapp….”Libertarians believe people should be able to marry who they want, gamble if they want, party with a hooker, smoke weed or partake of other recreational drugs, live as a woman (or a man) if they want … but they should also be left free to start a business without asking for “permission”, keep their money and property, travel without papers, and enjoy any guns they can afford.

    AND if they do start a business (without asking for “PERMISSION”, wouldn’t they necessarily have the right to determine WHO they will transact business WITH and who they WON’T do business with, without asking permission from third parties

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