Thomas L. Knapp: Time for Libertarians to Dump Bill Weld

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Thomas L. Knapp is a writer, IPR contributor and libertarian activist who most recently sought the Reform Party’s vice-presidential nomination. The following was originally published on The Garrison Center’s website on August 10th, 2016:

I didn’t pay much attention in 1972 when vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton was removed from  the Democratic ticket and replaced by Sargent Shriver after it came to light that Eagleton had a record of psychiatric hospitalizations. I have a pretty good excuse  for being distracted — I was five years old — and I’ve never looked into the mechanics of how that happened. But I’d like to see it happen again, this time in my own party.

The bylaws of the Libertarian Party’s national committee require that committee to “provide full support for the Party’s nominee for President and nominee for Vice-President as long as their campaigns are conducted in accordance with the Platform of the Party.” But they allow the LNC, on a 3/4 vote, to suspend either candidate. The suspension becomes permanent removal unless the candidate successfully appeals it to the party’s judicial committee.

Why on earth would Libertarians want to dump vice-presidential nominee William Weld? To let American voters, especially gun owners, know that the Libertarian Party still supports their rights as it always has.

Weld won the party’s nomination by a nose on the second ballot at the party’s national convention, after presidential nominee Gary Johnson pleaded for him to be chosen. One reason he was a hard sell to Libertarians was his anti-gun record as governor of Massachusetts (he supported and signed an “assault weapons” ban).

During the nomination campaign he went back and forth, telling Libertarians he had changed his views on guns one day, telling CNN he hadn’t changed his views on guns the next day.

Since the nomination, Weld has campaigned vigorously against the party’s platform — not just on gun issues but on due process rights — often spouting nonsense that makes him sound as ignorant and as nutty as Donald Trump at his worst.

Here’s Weld talking to REVOLT 2 VOTE correspondent Amrit Singh during the Democratic National Convention:

“You know the five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle. The problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells, and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon. And those are independent criminal offenses. That’s when they become essentially a weapon of mass destruction. The problem with handguns is probably even worse than the problem of the AR-15. You shouldn’t have anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all.”

None of the factual claims he makes there are true, nor is his stated position even remotely libertarian.

Libertarians support gun rights. Libertarians support due process, not presumed forfeiture of rights due to inclusion on secret enemies lists. These items are in our platform, and they’re not negotiable.

Some of my fellow Libertarians believe that removing Weld would damage Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign and possibly even irreparably harm the party itself. I disagree.

In this year of all years, doing the right thing — and being SEEN doing the right thing — is pure political gold. It’s time for Bill Weld to go.

148 thoughts on “Thomas L. Knapp: Time for Libertarians to Dump Bill Weld

  1. Rebel Alliance

    I will support any effort to get rid of Weld. The sooner the better, especially before this guy has a chance at taking office. Here’s a long time libertarian summarizing Weld in a link I saw elsewhere:

    “I’m especially concerned about his running mate, William Weld, who’s an actual neocon. He’s an overt statist, an active promoter of warfare, welfare, taxes and regulations. He has no libertarian tendencies at all that I’m aware of. I mean, he’s a pure Deep State guy. It appears that the Libertarian Party has been captured by the Republicans, which is surprisingly clever on the Republicans’ part. Now they have two parties that are registered in all 50 states. The Democrats can be viewed as the evil party and the Republicans as the stupid party. But they’re really just two sides of the same coin, at least when it comes to their leadership—they’re all Deep State members. The Libertarians once had a claim to being the party of principle, back in the days when people like John Hospers, Harry Browne and Ron Paul were their candidates. But now, the Libertarians can be viewed, at best, as the smart wing of the stupid party.”

    From http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/doug-casey-with-some-luck-trump-will-destroy-the-republican-party

  2. robert capozzi

    Yes, do-the-right-thing is always indicated.

    However, WW’s “sins” are not “sins” for most. Many conservative and progressive friends have commented to me that the J/W ticket is impressive, especially WW. Purging him may well play to the NAPster community, but that community is tiny, operating on a construct that few can relate to. It would play as bizarro.

  3. Thomas Knapp

    “I will support any effort to get rid of Weld. The sooner the better, especially before this guy has a chance at taking office. ”

    His chances of becoming vice-president are even lower than Johnson’s of becoming president. FAR lower, in fact.

    The most likely way for Johnson to become president is for the election to be thrown to the House, which chooses from the top three candidates (by electoral votes received). Johnson could both cause that situation and be positioned for election by that situation, with as little as one electoral vote.

    However, in such situations it is the Senate which chooses the vice-president and they must choose from the top TWO electoral vote-getters. In a race in which three candidates receive electoral votes, the minimum number of electoral votes to come in second without the first place finisher hitting 270 and winning outright is 135.

    Generously estimating Johnson’s chances of becoming president at 1 in 100,000 or so, Weld’s chances of becoming vice-president look more like 1 in ten million.

  4. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    Can’t you play any other tunes than “Cotton-Eyed Joe Wouldn’t Disagree With Me Unless He was a NAPSTER Plumbliner” on that there violin? It’s just lazy. The next person I see making a NAPster/plumbliner case for ditching Weld will be the first person I’ve seen making a NAPster/plumbliner case for ditching Weld.

  5. Thomas Knapp

    Rev. Clifton,

    The Boston Tea Party failed for reasons. If I revived it, it would fail again for those same reasons. It’s a dead letter. And even if it wasn’t, August is way to late to get anything going along those lines.

    Furthermore, while I am concerned that the LP’s ticket will get just enough votes in November to bring several nasty situations that it’s completely unprepared for down on its head, but not enough to accomplish anything else, I have no intention of getting in the way of its prospects. In fact, among the reasons I suggest dumping Weld is that it would likely dramatically improve this November’s vote totals, not to mention enhancing fundraising between now and then.

  6. Andy

    Tom, I agree that Weld should go, but what about Johnson? There are good arguments to give him the boot as well.

    Here is a problem though. They have already been certified for the ballot in some states, and i think that it is too last to switch candidates, and I know that some states do not allow candidate substitution. So what do we do about this?

    Could we just suspend Weld’s campaign so he stops misrepresenting us to the public every time he opens his mouth, therefore turning him into a paper candidate, as in he will be on the ballot, but he just won’t do any campaigning?

  7. Thomas Knapp

    Andy,

    How many times in history have political candidates died, been suspended, dropped out, etc. between the time they achieved ballot access and the time of the election? I’m not sure I see what the problem is there, especially in a presidential race where people aren’t even voting for candidates but rather for slates of electors pledged to those candidates. Presumably if Weld was removed, the electors pledged to Johnson/Weld would remain pledged to Johnson/?. And since there won’t be enough of them elected to make the LP’s candidate the vice-president anyway, it’s kind of immaterial.

    Case history: In 2000, Missouri governor Mel Carnahan, who was running for Senate, was killed in a plane crash days before the election. His name remained on the ballot because there wasn’t time for a new candidate to be chosen and for new ballots to be printed. He won the election and life went on.

  8. robert capozzi

    tk, I’m really feeling misunderstood. Let me come at it this way:

    If WW was advocating banning all guns and calling for deleting 2A, purging him would be indicated. However, he’s not doing that.

    While the vast majority are supportive of gun rights generally, few — including apparently most NRA members — subscribe 100% to the NRA’s views, as I understand it. WW’s “sins” are not “sins” by most people’s estimation.

    It would seem weird to most voters to purge WW. It might seem justified to a small segment of the population who take the most extreme perspective on 2A, IF the move was sold as a condemnation of WW’s leakiness on guns.

  9. robert capozzi

    tk, great point about the Senate picking from the top 2. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Thomas Knapp

    Andy,

    Sorry, I forgot to answer part of what you said:

    “I agree that Weld should go, but what about Johnson? There are good arguments to give him the boot as well.”

    Maybe so, but that’s not the battle I decided to pick. I did, at a couple of points ask if that was going to be considered, but it’s not something I’m interested in pushing for.

    Why am I calling for Weld, but not Johnson, to be removed?

    First of all, the circumstances are slightly different.

    Johnson is the symptom of a chronic LP problem that won’t be fixed by the fiat measure of the LNC removing him as the presidential candidate. Weld, on the other hand, was just a flat-out one-time mistake that, if nipped in the bud, will presumably go away and stay gone away.

    Or, to put it a different way, Weld is gonorrhea (ugly, but the doctor gives you a shot of antibiotics and you’re good to go), while Johnson is more like a single herpes outbreak (he will eventually go away, but the underlying problem will still be there even if you use some kind of remedy to alleviate the immediate symptoms).

    Secondly, the immediate outcome is probably very different.

    As much as I hate to say it, replacing Johnson at this point would probably reduce the LP’s vote numbers this November, and that in turn would assist the cargo cultists in their usual election finale of blaming everyone but themselves for the failure of their Chosen One to produce the impending electoral victory they keep insisting is in reach if only everyone clicks their heels together REAL HARD and says “there’s no place like 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” over and over.

    Dumping Weld, on the other hand, would, if coupled with a sound public explanation of why, likely increase the LP’s presidential vote total in November by, at a minimum, several hundred thousand votes and possibly more than that.

    Dumping Weld is a no-brainer — a stopgap vote-boosting band-aid. It won’t get the LP across the existential tightrope it’s been trying to ride a unicycle across for a decade or so, but it will at least knock a capering monkey off one end of the rider’s balancing pole.

  11. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    “If WW was advocating banning all guns and calling for deleting 2A, purging him would be indicated. However, he’s not doing that.”

    He’s running to the anti-gun side of Trump. To the best of my knowledge and recollection, the LP has never run a presidential or vice-presidential candidate who was less pro-gun-rights than the major party candidates. And this year the GOP handed us a doozy who we SHOULD be running rings around instead of making ourselves look even dumber than.

    He’s also running to the pro-big-government side of much of the GOP on the right and many of the mainstream civil liberties groups like ACLU on the left with his proposal that we just throw out due process for anyone who makes it on to some bureaucrat’s enemies list. Who would ever have thought that the LP would run a candidate who was more pro-tyranny than EITHER wing of the normal political spectrum?

    Congratulations — after all these years, the weird-ass fringe candidate you’re always imagining and fearing has arrived. His name is Bill Weld.

  12. Tony From Long Island

    Interesting for someone who sought another party’s nomination to demand the LP dump one of it’s candidates.

    Weld’s stance on guns finally brings some sanity to an LP candidate and is the only thing that keeps me on track to vote for Gov. Johnson.

  13. JamesT

    I hope they do. I would vote LP instead of CP this time around. I always thought Gary was the best way to reach average people and start getting them interested in out ideas. However he needed a hardcore running mate. Weld I think is possible straight up high level infiltration. If it get’s thrown to the house with no one reaching 270 we could end up with Pence/Weld or Clinton/Weld. I feel like the establishment is playing all their bases. Gary I think is an all right guy and his 2012 campaign was solid I just think he needs to lay off the weed and stop being desperate for mainstream approval.

  14. Thomas Knapp

    “If it get’s thrown to the house with no one reaching 270 we could end up with Pence/Weld or Clinton/Weld.”

    If the presidential election gets thrown to the House, the vice-presidential election gets thrown to the Senate — and instead of picking from the top three like the House does, the Senate only gets to pick from the top two. In a race where three candidates got electoral votes, Weld’s only shot at the vice-presidency would be to get 135 electoral votes.

    That’s not going to happen.

    Johnson/Pence or Johnson/Kaine isn’t going to happen either, but it’s about 10,000 times MORE likely to happen than anyone/Weld.

  15. Tony From Long Island

    I find it interesting that someone who sought another party’s nomination would feel the need to tell the LP what to do.

    Gov. Weld’s stance on gun regulation is probably the only thing that keeps me on track to vote for Gov. Johnson

  16. Thomas Knapp

    “I find it interesting that someone who sought another party’s nomination would feel the need to tell the LP what to do.”

    There’s precedent. For example, in 2012, a guy who had unsuccessfully sought another party’s nomination felt the need to tell the LP what to do. The LP even took his advice. His name is Gary Johnson.

    I’ve been involved with the LP for 20 years. I’ve run for office as a Libertarian several times. As a campaign manager, I have helped a couple of Libertarian candidates win elections to local office. I’ve volunteered and/or worked for several Libertarian presidential campaigns both pre- and post-nomination. I’ve been one of a handful of Libertarian appointees to federal office. I’ve served on various state and county LP committees and as an alternate to the Libertarian National Committee. I’ve been a delegate to six Libertarian National Conventions. Why wouldn’t or shouldn’t I have, and share, opinions on what the LP should do?

  17. Tony From Long Island

    The difference is that in 2012 Johnson had left his previous party and was telling his CURRENT party what to do. Have you left the LP? If not, why would you seek another party’s nomination?

    I’m not shooting, I’m just curious as why you would seek another party’s nomination if you are still and LP member. If you aren’t you really have no standing to demand they do anything.

    Your previous LP activism is noted and appreciated.

  18. Trent Hill

    Didn’t you lose this fight already, at convention?

    No, Libertarians are not going to dump the highly visible VP candidate who is in the midst of the most successful Presidential campaign ever run by a libertarian. I’m sure you’ll quibble on this bit, but the fact is that Badnarik never got two CNN town-halls, exposing him to millions in one night. I know, I know, that doesnt matter because they arent REALLY libertarian.

    I urge you, go start your own party that adheres to these values and see how successful it is.

  19. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    Hey! One of the deck chairs on the Titanic is a little off center. Someone must adjust it immediately. Who thinks they can handle that assignment? Cheers,

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Didn’t you lose this fight already, at convention?”

    No, suggesting that a candidate be removed for actions taking after a convention isn’t a fight that can be lost at a convention.

    “I know, I know, that doesnt matter because they arent REALLY libertarian.”

    It’s not about whether or not they’re “really libertarian.”

    “I urge you, go start your own party that adheres to these values and see how successful it is.”

  21. Tony From Long Island

    The difference between this and Johnson in 2012 is that he had left that former party and asked his NEW party to do something.

    Have you left the LP? If so, you have no standing to demand that they do anything. If you have not left the LP, why would you seek the nomination of another party?

    Your previous service is noted and appreciated.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Have you left the LP?”

    No.

    “If so, you have no standing to demand that they do anything.”

    Even if I hadn’t left I would have no standing to demand that they do anything. Which is why I haven’t demanded that they do anything.

    “If you have not left the LP, why would you seek the nomination of another party?”

    I thought we’d been over this before: Because a friend asked me to, because I wasn’t especially busy with anything else that precluded doing so, and because doing so represented certain problems, questions and challenges that I was interested in (in part because of their relevance to the LP’s own future)..

  23. Andy

    Trent reminds me of one of those people who does like petitions to recall elected officials from office because they overturn election results. The purpose of the recall petition process (in the 18 states that have it) IS to give the voters a chance to overturn election results if an elected official violates their oath of office and/or engaged in a scandal. The Libertarian Party has its own process for getting rid of candidates for similar reasons, and I see this process as a good thing as it is a way to hold candidates accountable.

  24. Tony From Long Island

    I don’t share Mr. Mccarrick’s sentiment, but I do believe that this thread is a waste of valuable bandwidth . . .

  25. ATBAFT

    MP-F: right on, lol.
    I haven’t talked to one libertarian-leaning acquaintance who isn’t impressed with the LP’s Johnson/Weld ticket. The problem/opportunity will be “what does the LP do with its higher vote totals post election?”

  26. Trent Hill

    Andy,

    No, but starting a recall petition for the most popular elected official in the area would seem a bit silly to me.

    Basically what I’m saying is: this isn’t going to happen, not even close. So, spend your time working on something positive for the LP which advances your ideals, rather than fretting about how TRULY AWFUL the VP candidate is on a message board.

  27. Tony From Long Island

    He can’t help himself. Complaining is the highlight of his existence.

    Thomas: touche!

  28. robert capozzi

    tk: To the best of my knowledge and recollection, the LP has never run a presidential or vice-presidential candidate who was less pro-gun-rights than the major party candidates.

    me: Let’s unpack that. First, is there reason to believe that WW’s record and recent pronouncements on guns is something that single-issue-gun-rights voters are focused on? I would think GJ’s position is more the focus, but I’m open to an alternative view with sufficient evidence.

    Second, as you note, the LP’s candidates have consistently been all the over to the NRA side of the issue, and those candidates have generally done 1% or less. Has gun extremism worked to gather either voters or cadre? I suggest no.

    Third, the J/W ticket has been polling around 10% for weeks. It’s getting major coverage. By all indications, WW’s sins on the gun issue don’t seem to be hurting the ticket. Are you suggesting that purging WW would be pivotal in increasing the 10% outcome to 20%. Heck, if that’s the case, I’m quite open to removing him for the greater good.

  29. Tony From Long Island

    The sole reason I am still voting for Johnson / Weld is because Johnson is at least “open” to the conversation.

    There is no chance in hell I would have voted for Peterson or any of the other gun crazy zealots who were on that stage at the convention. I know for a fact that I am not alone because I had to talk a friend into voting for Johnson after learning about the LP’s ridiculous blinders-on stance on guns.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Good questions.

    “First, is there reason to believe that WW’s record and recent pronouncements on guns is something that single-issue-gun-rights voters are focused on? I would think GJ’s position is more the focus, but I’m open to an alternative view with sufficient evidence.”

    What would you consider sufficient evidence? A Google search on the phrases “William Weld” and “gun control” turn up negative references not only on prominent gun rights web sites like TruthAboutGuns, CalGuns, and so forth but also on various “mainstream conservative” web sites such as Town Hall, Red State. On the libertarian end, the most mainstream movement publication, Reason, has likewise criticized him for his highly problematic view of the issue.

    “Second, as you note, the LP’s candidates have consistently been all the over to the NRA side of the issue, and those candidates have generally done 1% or less. Has gun extremism worked to gather either voters or cadre? I suggest no.”

    I’ve been following the attitudes of gun rights voters toward the LP ever since I’ve been involved with the LP. Those attitudes to date have been very simple: “Yes, the Libertarians are the only ones who are really good on gun rights, but they can’t win so I guess I have to vote Republican.”

    The LP got its closest thing to a big break on that issue in 2008, from none other than Bob Barr, possibly the only really productive thing he ever did for the LP. Right at the beginning of his campaign for the LP’s presidential nomination, he addressed the NRA’s national convention in St. Louis, Missouri — and then went to a Libertarian Party event in the same venue.

    This is the first presidential election ever in which the Libertarian slate has a chance in hell of breaking into mid-single-digits, let alone double digits, and the vice-presidential candidate is out there not just pissing away our chances with a key constituency this year but tearing down nearly 50 years of outreach that seemed to be just barely beginning to bear fruit.

    “Third, the J/W ticket has been polling around 10% for weeks. It’s getting major coverage. By all indications, WW’s sins on the gun issue don’t seem to be hurting the ticket. Are you suggesting that purging WW would be pivotal in increasing the 10% outcome to 20%. Heck, if that’s the case, I’m quite open to removing him for the greater good.”

    No, the J/W ticket hasn’t been polling around 10% for weeks. It’s been a parabola — working up to 12% until the major parties had their conventions, sliding back down to the 7-9% range since then, with an RCP average since July 29th of 8.9% (the high numbers weighted toward the beginning of that period).

    They’re not in a tailspin — at least not yet. There’s a good chance that historical polling trends (under which they’d look set for 0.5% to 0.9% of the vote in November) won’t hold completely true. Then again, Stein gets her closeup on CNN next week, so they may be in more trouble than we know now.

    Boosting the ticket with a principled action that appeals to single issue gun voters is probably good for a polling increase of several points in the current timeframe and at least a percentage point, maybe two, in November. It could well make the difference in whether or not Johnson gets in the debates.

  31. Tony From Long Island

    Mr. Knapp: I’ve been following the attitudes of gun rights voters toward the LP ever since I’ve been involved with the LP. Those attitudes to date have been very simple: “Yes, the Libertarians are the only ones who are really good on gun rights, but they can’t win so I guess I have to vote Republican.”

    Me: Apparently you have been following the attitudes of PRO-gun rights voters. I know of several gun-regulation voters who have an interest in what the LP has to offer but are repulsed by their stance (and misguided reading) of the Second Amendment.

    Mr. Knapp: “The LP got its closest thing to a big break on that issue in 2008, from none other than Bob Barr, possibly the only really productive thing he ever did for the LP. ”

    Bob Barr was a flaky phony who had the personality of a robot. His stance on guns had nothing to do with his lack of traction. Gary Johnson is an affable guy who is as genuine as they come. You may not agree with some of his positions, but personality has a lot to do with whether voters like you.

  32. Be Rational

    Weld talking to REVOLT 2 VOTE correspondent Amrit Singh during the Democratic National Convention:

    *****

    Thanks for posting this interview; I watched from beginning to end. Governor Weld did an outstanding job presenting a soft, introduction to the libertarian issues that were asked about. He is a great asset to the LP and this ticket.

    Candidates should run to generate the most interest and the most votes. It’s up to the LP to use internal education to reach out to new prospects, supporters, donors and members to bring them toward a complete understanding of principles of liberty. This is not a candidate function. The candidate should draw people in, not push them away.

    Governor Weld’s answer on the gun question essentially stated his view of what the law is now regarding adding a clip and removing a firing pin – claiming they are already both individual criminal acts – (whether this is a legally correct summation of the current law, I don’t know). Keeping convicted criminals, and known terrorists from buying weapons is not a violation of libertarian principles. Governor Weld did not call for any increased restrictions on gun rights. It would have been better if he had made some general statement supporting gun rights and the Second Amendment, but he did not call for any further restrictions on those rights.

    If the LNC wants to take any action on Johnson/Weld, my recommendation would be to reiterate the support of the Party and fully endorse the election of both men.

    Any hard-core LP member who is dissatisfied with the soft libertarianism being used to bring in thousands of new prospects and voters should be setting up county LP groups in every county in their state where they can welcome these new members, supporters and prospects in a friendly manner and gently explain and teach libertarian principles – without attacks and alienation – which means leaving the hot heads out of the program.

  33. Dylan Robnett

    It’s really too late guys. The LP has its ticket for 2016. I’m hoping we can do better in four years, but as for now, you can vote Johnson/Weld or not. Will such a vote build legitimacy of libertarian views & attract others to the message of liberty or not? That is the choice.

    Besides, why should we listen to such a strong Libertarian as Thomas Knapp, who ran THIS YEAR for the Reform Party Vice Presidential nomination? The Reform Party has never pursued any serious libertarian principles and any lover of liberty should reject this political vehicle outright.

  34. robert capozzi

    tk: What would you consider sufficient evidence?

    me: Dunno. If there were a lot of people and polls that said, “We’d vote J/W except that WW has a leaky record on guns,” would probably convince me.

    tk: This is the first presidential election ever in which the Libertarian slate has a chance in hell of breaking into mid-single-digits, let alone double digits, and the vice-presidential candidate is out there not just pissing away our chances with a key constituency this year but tearing down nearly 50 years of outreach that seemed to be just barely beginning to bear fruit.

    me: Tearing down? That seems oversensitive to me.

    tk: Boosting the ticket with a principled action that appeals to single issue gun voters is probably good for a polling increase of several points in the current timeframe and at least a percentage point, maybe two, in November. It could well make the difference in whether or not Johnson gets in the debates.

    me: I disagree with your analysis, but I applaud your motive.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I know of several gun-regulation voters who have an interest in what the LP has to offer but are repulsed by their stance (and misguided reading) of the Second Amendment.”

    I’m shocked — shocked! — to hear that your anti-freedom friends would be repulsed by a pro-freedom party.

    Dylan,

    I’ve explained WHY I ran for the Reform Party’s presidential nomination, and I’m certainly not going to apologize for it. However, when you cite that as a reason not to listen to me, you’re engaged in at least two sub-categories of ad hominem (argument from motive and guilt by association) and red herring to boot. Congratulations on achieving a fallacy trifecta, and in one single post even!

  36. robert capozzi

    br: Governor Weld did not call for any increased restrictions on gun rights.

    me: Does TK dispute this? It seems the pivotal fact, for if he did not call for more restrictions, I would think there would be no problem and no need for an LNC Politburo.

  37. Tony From Long Island

    Mr. Knapp: (quoting me) “I know of several gun-regulation voters who have an interest in what the LP has to offer but are repulsed by their stance (and misguided reading) of the Second Amendment.”

    I’m shocked — shocked! — to hear that your anti-freedom friends would be repulsed by a pro-freedom party.

    We are actually pro-freedom from being shot by military weapons carried by regular citizens.

    That stance is held by more than half of the citizens of this great nation, so I am shocked – SHOCKED that you gun addicts still have your head in the sand (wake wake slap slap) regarding your narrow and unpopular reading of our Constitution.

  38. Steve m

    Ah think, reversing the decision of the convention delegates by a small executive body of which several members were not elected by the convention, even done for decent reasons, in itself would be an act of tyranny.

    The LNC should not initiate such an action unless a strong majority of the state parties were to pass resolutions demanding it.

  39. Andy

    Tony From Long Island sure does sound like one of those paid government internet trolls who is reciting talking points that somebody handed him. If he is not a paid government internet troll, whoever does the hiring at those government troll centers ought to offer him a job, then he could get paid to post his bullshit government propaganda on a full time basis.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Governor Weld did not call for any increased restrictions on gun rights.

    me: Does TK dispute this?”

    I dispute it.

    More importantly, William Weld disputes it.

    From Weld’s Revolt interview, once again:

    “You shouldn’t have anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all.”

    At present, someone’s name being on a secret government enemies list does not legally prevent that person from buying a gun. Weld wants to change that. That makes him more in favor of additional restrictions on guns than the US House of Representatives, which has considered and defeated such legislation in just the last couple of months.

  41. Shawn Levasseur

    Thomas Knapp, http://knappster.blogspot.com/2016/05/concerning-whynotgaryjohnsoncom.html May 31st:

    I believe that a vote on the national convention floor comes with certain obligations. Energetically supporting the ticket is not one of those obligations — you’re either enthusiastic or you aren’t. However, not actively opposing the ticket, unless some unusual and extreme situation arises which requires one to do so, is one of those obligations.

    I wanted to bring this quote up back when Tom ran for the VP slot for the remnants of the Reform Party, but this applies just as much now.

    Did something unusual or extreme happen? I don’t think so. Weld is what we knew him to be, warts and all.

    It’s been a trade-off. But the trade is not one way. I’ve heard too many people who will be voting for the LP ticket say that Weld’s addition to the ticket was a positive factor in their decision. Dropping him will be a humiliating act of self-sabotage that will make it hard for any Libertarian candidate for any office to be taken seriously again. I’ll take a dozen fat guys stripping at the convention any day, over cutting off our ticket at the knees.

    At any rate any call for dumping part or all of the ticket shouldn’t really be taken seriously by the LNC unless a significant number of people who actually voted FOR the current ticket at the convention start calling for it. Otherwise it’s just an attempt by the losers to overturn the convention.

    No matter how bad you think Weld being on the ticket is for us, the act of removing him carries more negative consequences than positives.

    Knapp, in the above article:

    In this year of all years, doing the right thing — and being SEEN doing the right thing — is pure political gold. It’s time for Bill Weld to go.

    Political gold? If you think this would achieve ANYTHING positive you are delusional. Even within the party it’ll be a disaster. The internal strife such an action would trigger would dwarf any problems of Weld continuing on the ticket.

    Here’s the part I’m hesitating on letting stay in this comment when it comes time to hit post, as it’s a shift away from critiquing the message, and more towards the messenger.

    I like Tom. I enjoy reading his blog, engaging with him in the comments on it there. I took the “Worlds Smallest Political Platform” that he authored, and successfully proposed it to be the platform of the LP of Maine.

    But I no longer respect his opinions and suggestions as to what the Libertarian Party ought to be doing.

    As much as I hate the narcissistic Wayne “Quisling” Root for quitting the LNC and publicly supporting the GOP mid-election when he realized that he was never going to be the star of the show; at least he had the integrity to formally quit. I can’t really bring myself to anger over Tom the same way I do about Wayne, but I am quite disappointed and a bit vexed.

    Back when Tom and a few others in the LP were involved with the “Boston Tea” Party, I thought it curious and odd that people were involved in two separate political parties at the same time. I thought that you either work within to change things, or go somewhere else, but not both. But the BTP came and went, so it became a moot point.

    The paragraph on the obligation of a delegate that I quoted at the top of this comment is one that I liked a lot, and respected, so I thought that Tom’s flirtation with dual party loyalties was past him. Then he ran for the Reform Party VP nod. And now after blowing off the LP ticket he comes back to blow UP the ticket. That suggests he has no loyalty to anything that doesn’t go exactly his way, not exactly what you want on a team.

    Sorry Tom. Working within a group requires you to occasionally concede that the group won’t always work the way you want it to. You can work to try to steer things your way. When you go “my way or the highway,” and hit the highway out, don’t expect a lot of credibility when you try to poke your nose back into the tent when it doesn’t work out for you.

    One of the great things about regular elections is that there’s always another one on the horizon. When things don’t work out for you. You look to the next one to improve.

  42. Andy

    The point Tom brought up about Barr speaking at an NRA event is good, but keep in mind that as a member of Congress, Barr did not a perfect record as he voted in favor of the Lautenberg Amendment (a gun control bill from Frank Lautenberg).

  43. Tony From Long Island

    Andy are we really going to do the “troll” thing again? You find my opinions distasteful so I am a troll? Give me a break. You’ve tried several times to label me a troll, but none of the other regulars on this forum seems to second your accusation.

    I’ve said several times that someone very respected in the New York LP can verify my existence as a non-troll. He is someone who has run for stateside office, but I decline to give his name on this forum. I am sure that Mr. Phillies is familiar with this person and if he wants to contact me privately he can do so.

    Hmmm maybe it is you who are the troll since all you do is complain about the LP and spout ridiculous conspiracy theories. . . Be careful when you go out in the sun. Your tin-foil hat could cause burns to your scalp.

  44. Andy

    If the Libertarian Party was still “The Party Of Principle,” then it would give Weld the boot, but then again, if the Libertarian Party was still “The Party Of Principle,” Weld never would have been nominated in the first place.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve M,

    “The LNC should not initiate such an action unless a strong majority of the state parties were to pass resolutions demanding it.”

    I could see an LNC member taking such a position, and it’s not an unreasonable position.

    On the other hand no, it’s not an “act of tyranny” for the LNC to take actions which the bylaws — created by and ratified by multiple conventions of delegates from the very state parties you’re talking about — specifically authorize it to take.

    Those delegates didn’t authorize the LNC to suspend a presidential or vice-presidential candidate “if a strong majority of the state parties were to pass resolutions demanding it.” If that was the criterion the states wanted to set, they’ve had decades to set it that way, and they have had past instances in which the LNC in fact considered suspending candidates to perk their ears up and cause them to consider doing so.

    At present, I am aware of one state LP which has passed a resolution relating to the matter. That resolution does not name the candidate or refer to his statements. It just reiterates that the LP’s position on gun rights is the opposite of his.

  46. Tony From Long Island

    The fact that this article comes up on BING as “news” when you put on Gary Johnson is sad and does the LP and its candidate damage. Disappointing.

  47. Andy

    The only way removing Weld would be an injustice would be if Weld was advocating a strong libertarian platform. Being that Weld is making multiple statements that are at odds with libertarianism, there are just grounds to call for his removal as a candidate.

  48. steve m

    Tom are you advocating the LNC tells the party who their candidates are going to be rather then the members of the party telling the LNC?

  49. steve m

    If you can’t demonstrate broad party membership support for such an action and it was done by the LNC then it isn’t democracy it is authoritarian.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Shawn,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I disagree on whether or not an “extreme and unusual” situation has arisen with the ticket as nominated.

    “Sorry Tom. Working within a group requires you to occasionally concede that the group won’t always work the way you want it to. You can work to try to steer things your way.”

    Precisely. Right now I am suggesting that the Libertarian National Committee should do something its bylaws clearly permit it to do, for reasons that the bylaws clearly imply they might want to do it. That’s how one works within a group to steer things one’s way.

    You can roll the Reform Party thing around all you want. I ran for the Reform Party’s VP nomination because a friend asked me to, and because doing so involved exploring some areas of political organization that I thought could be beneficial to the LP in the future (especially if Johnson is our Ross Perot — we need to be READY for Pat Buchanan).

    That same friend was, among other supportive acts, the single largest contributor to my 2008 Libertarian campaign for Congress — a campaign in which I received more votes than any past third party candidate or combination of third party candidates in that district’s history. You’re goddamn right that when he asks me to put my name next to his on something and I can do it without any likely conflict (neither of us expected to win the nomination, and I’m surprised as hell that we came within one vote of winning it), I’m going to do so.

  51. dL

    “No, Libertarians are not going to dump the highly visible VP candidate who is in the midst of the most successful Presidential campaign ever run by a libertarian. I’m sure you’ll quibble on this bit, but the fact is that Badnarik never got two CNN town-halls, exposing him to millions in one night. I know, I know, that doesnt matter because they arent REALLY libertarian.

    I urge you, go start your own party that adheres to these values and see how successful it is.”

    If visibility, respectability and popularity are you primary criteria, then why don’t you simply move over to the GOP? A candidate who supports the Patriot Act, the War on Terror,knee jerk American Exceptionalism,Knee-jerk US Military Supremacy , government watch lists, etc is not a libertarian. And that’s not open to debate nor interpretation if delineation by political ideology has any usefulness and the term “libertarianism” itself has any meaning.

    The popular idiom “libertarians are republicans who like to smoke pot” is typically cast as an accusation. In your case, however, it appears to be an accurate characterization. If not, then if you are willing to so blatantly sell out for a mere 8% poll number, what would you be willing tolerate for a ticket that would actually get 50 + 1%? Trump? Clinton? Mao Tse Tung?

    In terms of “political values” and longevity, I can assure that a third party that demonstrates only minor variations from a competing major third party will not be around for very long. My guess is that after people like you destroy the LP and then move over to the GOP, you will offer up something like the following in your eulogy: “if not for those damn purists, the LP could have had a future running on the GOP platform.”

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    steve,

    I am advocating that the LNC do something that the members have specifically, knowingly, intentionally and multiple times told the LNC it may do at its discretion.

    I don’t know for how long the bylaws clause allowing the LNC to suspend presidential and vice-presidential candidates has been in the bylaws because I haven’t looked at every set of bylaws to see. But I know that it has been in there since at LEAST as far back as 1991, since the LNC considered invoking it in 1992 (the LP had its national conventions in odd years until it skipped 1995 and went to 1996).

    In 1991, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 1993, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 1996, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 1998, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2000, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2002, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2004, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2006, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2008, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2010, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2012, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2014, the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    In 2016 — in late May of THIS YEAR, less than three months ago — the members told the LNC “we trust you to make the decision that a candidate needs to be suspended.”

    How is it “tyranny” for the LNC to do what the members have given it permission to do AT LEAST 13 times, every other year since 1991?

  53. Tony From Long Island

    Again with the ” . . . should read . . . ” when we all know how it should have read . . . we all make typing mistakes bro . . . that was like 10 posts ago . . .
    ——————————

    It wouldn’t be TYRANNY to dump Weld, but it would be extremely stupid. Since it’s not going to happen (especially since Weld is probably the best thing to happen to the LP ticket) all you are doing is being a dog chasing its tail.

  54. Austin Cassidy

    There is zero chance of this happening.

    It seems like some people gravitate to third parties because they are allergic to success and relevance. Thankfully, that’s a fairly small minority.

  55. Andy

    Weld is the worst thing to happen to the LP ticket, and I do not believe that he is bringing us success, unless you consider grossly misrepresenting libertarianism to the public to be success.

  56. steve m

    when has the LNC exercised that “power”?

    The first time they do it will be the last time they do it if the membership isn’t in agreement. It might even end the participation of any LNC member voting to use it.

    If the membership was broadly in favor of this despotic move than you would have no problem getting such a consensus.

    Do you think your position lacks broad support Tom? I do.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    “There is zero chance of this happening.”

    I’d rate the chance of it (or something like it) happening as fairly small but growing. Not necessarily for the reasons I suggest. In fact, not even for reasons I agree with. Relations between the campaign and the LNC are definitely strained at the moment.

    For many years, the LNC has had a fetish about getting presidential campaigns to sign contracts obligating those campaigns to do things above and beyond the basic standard set in the bylaws under which the LNC is required to give “full support” to those campaign.

    In fact, this year there was a proposal to amend the bylaws in such a way as to require future presidential candidates to sign such contracts before the national convention, forbidding the nomination of any candidate who doesn’t sign. That amendment failed, as well it should have.

    As of this time, the Johnson/Weld campaign has not yet signed the contract proposed by the LNC. I don’t now how many LNC members are upset about this, but at least one accuses the campaign of, and I quote, “stonewalling.”

    At least one state LP has called a special meeting of its executive committee for the purpose of considering a motion to withdraw from the campaign’s “Joint Fundraising Campaign” initiative if the contract is not signed by the end of the month.

    I don’t see that as a good reason for the LNC to take punitive action, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. This “contract” thing seems to be a pet peeve among several long-time LNC and LPHQ types.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve,

    The membership has agreed to give the LNC that power 13 times in a row now. How many times does the membership have to agree to give the LNC a power before it becomes “not tyranny” for the LNC to do what the membership keeps telling the LNC it can do?

  59. Tony From Long Island

    I know, I know . . . you are content with 0.5 % of the vote every year . . . But it’s OK. You can go start your own anarchist party with Daryl Perry while everyone else votes for something realistic.

    Doesn’t it suck when people actually start to become interested in the LP? It’s not so special to you anymore. . . you have to move on to something even more obscure . . . happiness is not allowed!

    In fact – that’s not such a bad idea….why don’t you move on? Maybe you can find some other tin hat wearing conspiracy theorists and start your own party with them….

    By the way . . you didn’t answer . . . who are you voting for in November?

  60. Andy

    Not true at all. I strongly supported Ron Paul in the Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012, and he got more than .5% of the vote.

    I have said on multiple occasions that i am willing to support candidates that I do not agree with on every little detail. There should be a standard as to what is acceptable from a candidate and what is not, and I believe that the Johnson/Weld ticket has crossed that line.

    I do not believe that to be successful one must water down the Libertarian message to the point where it wanders off in multiple non-libertarian directions. I do not even consider this to be a sign of success.

  61. George Dance

    What a tempest in a teapot! Tom’s right that the LNC has the authority to remove a candidate and appoint a new one. There’s also nothing wrong with raising the possibility, and urging the LNC to act on it. It is also true that, so far, not one person on the LNC has spoken in favor of acting on it. Even here, only those who were vocally opposed to Weld (and Johnson) have spoken in facor of that. There is indeed zero chance of it happening at this point.

    To see whether it’s a good idea, one need only look at what happened to George McGovern.

    That said, Weld’s comments about endorsement of the Clinton/Trump proposal to ban gun ownership by people on government ‘watch lists’ was troubling. He’s not only contradicting the platform, but the campaign as well. It’s not the first time he’s contradicted Johnson, either – he did so on the Supreme Court just this week – and each time he does it, certain anti-Libertarians pounce.

    So just letting things continue as is, is a bad idea; not as bad as changing the ticket in midstream, but bad. That said, what alternative is good?

  62. Tony From Long Island

    Andy seems to be avoiding the question of who he actually IS supporting this November . . . we all know who he says he is NOT supporting.

    So will he vote Libertarian or betray his party? hmmm

  63. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . and each time he does it, certain anti-Libertarians pounce. ”

    No, actually a small number of actual Libertarians pounce. They are a small, but vocal set of whiners who weren’t able to get a purist candidate nominated (thankfully) and so they are doing everything they can to sabotage their own party’s candidate.

    No candidate should back up every sentence of a party’s platform. That makes them a robot. They are individuals with their own opinions and some can differ from the angry small minority.

    You are doing more harm than good.

  64. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    neither of us expected to win the nomination, and I’m surprised as hell that we came within one vote of winning it

    What were the vote totals?

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    Darcy listed them on some other thread here at IPR. IIRC it was:

    Fuente: 5
    Richardson: 4
    Khan 1

    And one other vote. So I guess all 11 original delegates, rather than just the nine who remained by the end of the convention, got to vote.

  66. robert capozzi

    gd: That said, what alternative is good?

    me: So far as I know, WW offhandedly seemed to say that those on the terror watch list should be denied arms one time. I hope that was a gaffe, because even I — moderate lessarchist who has a pretty different take on guns that most NAPsters — find this to be a chilling idea, flying in the face of due process. If WW (an attorney) really believes that, I’d like to hear his rationale.

    Squawking might help, I guess. It certainly got GJ to retract his daft burqa ban idea right quick.

    OTOH, my sense is the campaign is generally doing a great job, with better ads, better positioning, better media appearances. Message control is pretty much on a shoestring is my guess, so I’d just call this a fuck up that hopefully won’t be repeated.

    A rookie called up to the big leagues is unlikely to hit 4 home runs in his first game.

  67. George Dance

    Tony: ” ‘. . . and each time he does it, certain anti-Libertarians pounce.’
    “No, actually a small number of actual Libertarians pounce.”

    Those aren’t mutually exclusive, you know. The fact Reason magazine is criticizing Weld’s comments doesn’t mean Red State, TownHall, or Hot Air aren’t.

    “They are individuals with their own opinions and some can differ”

    Yes, Johnson’s and Weld’s opinions can differ; but that is no reason for Weld to publicly contradict and campaign against Johnson. The VP candidate is called a “running mate” for a reason.

  68. Tony From Long Island

    George Dance “. . . .: Yes, Johnson’s and Weld’s opinions can differ; but that is no reason for Weld to publicly contradict and campaign against Johnson. The VP candidate is called a “running mate” for a reason. . . .”

    I agree with you there. I was referring to a candidate differing from a party’s platform I’m some places. In fact, this happens all the time.

    Republicans are complaining a lot about Trump (and rightfully so) but not that his views differ from the party platform (which they do in almost every single respect)

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    “So far as I know, WW offhandedly seemed to say that those on the terror watch list should be denied arms one time. I hope that was a gaffe, because even I — moderate lessarchist who has a pretty different take on guns that most NAPsters — find this to be a chilling idea, flying in the face of due process. If WW (an attorney) really believes that, I’d like to hear his rationale.”

    Well, you can’t hear his rationale, but you can read his rationale in the transcript of the interview he and Johnson did with the Washington Post. He endorsed the measure sponsored by US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for “no fly, no buy” bill. And he clarified that that’s something he disagrees with Johnson on.

    I’ve got an idea. I think the Susan Collins stuff looks good. I mean, it’s hard for me, uh, having proposed this super-duper task force getting bits of information from all over to say, it wouldn’t lie with good grace in my mouth to say ‘no, don’t use the terrorist watch list as a source of such information.’ So I would go with that. And I’m not sure I’ve seen the latest iteration of how far Senator Collins has gone to try to attract the Democrats, but the latest thing I saw, which was a few days ago, looked good to me – looked promising. And I thought I read that people thought it was promising, that something might happen.

    MARCUS: So you guys don’t necessarily agree on that?

    WELD: Right, right.

    All that was after a bunch of weird stuff about he and Rudy Giuliani broke organized crime, and how he wants a thousand new FBI agents in a special task force to stop people like Omar Mateen, etc.

    But the point being no, the Revolt interview was not a gaffe. He articulated essentially the same position at least two times, a month apart, and seemed to be stronger, not weaker, on it the second time.

  70. Be Rational

    There needs to be due process involved in both lists – no fly and no buy – but keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists is not a violation of libertarian principles. How we determine who is on that list is the problem that was not addressed.

  71. Tony From Long Island

    Gentlemen, It has been an enjoyable day of interjecting my opinions (and attacking Andy because he deserves it). Alas, my day at work draws to a close. Until Tomorrow . . .

  72. Andy

    I have already stated several times here at IPR that t am not going to cast a vote for the Jonson/Weld ticket in the general election. …
    What will I do?

    One if the following:

    1) Write in None Of The Above for President, and vote for the Libertarians who are on my ballot in down ticket races.

    2) Write in somebody (yet to be determined) for President and Vice President, and vote for the Libertarians who are on my ballot in down ticket races.

    3) Leave the presidential part of my ballot blank, and vote for the Libertarians who are on my ballot in down ticket races.

    4) Vote for Constitution Party candidate for President, Darrell Castle (who is more libertarian than Johnson or Weld), and for for the Libertarians who are on my ballot in down ticket races.

    4) Do not vote this year.

    I am leaning towards option #1.

    I am not betraying anything if I do not vote for Johnson/Weld. My first allegiance is to principle, not party. Political parties can be corrupted and can also make stupid decisions, both of which occurred with the nomination of Johnson/Weld. Blind allegiance to an organization is foolish. I support the Libertarian Party as long as the party runs candidates who are actually libertarians. A majority of the delegates in Orlando chose a ticket that is not really libertarian, so the ticket lost me as a supporter.

  73. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    Did it ever occur to anyone that the LP is an organization which makes decisions by majority vote? The LP has not been consistent with its stated principles for decades. Those who are hired, those who run for office and anyone who can profit, lies when ever it suits them. No one, with the minor exception of George Phillies objects and George is pretty much ignored. I gave up on investing my time except in special circumstances decades ago. So why quibble about Weld? He is certainly more principles than Barr or Browne was. Browne did not approve of political action. He ran because he wanted to maintain the eternal and ever lasting book tour. But he was a good spokesman, wasn’t he?

    This would made sense if anyone intended to do something about the organization itself but whimpering about Weld not being consistent is silly.

  74. Andy

    Your post lost all credibility when you said that Weld is more principled than Harry Browne was.

  75. robert capozzi

    ww: I think the Susan Collins stuff looks good. I mean, it’s hard for me, uh, having proposed this super-duper task force getting bits of information from all over to say, it wouldn’t lie with good grace in my mouth to say ‘no, don’t use the terrorist watch list as a source of such information.’ So I would go with that.

    me: “Looks good” is not an “endorsement,” as I understand those terms. To say that one thinks it might work to use the watch list as A source of information also is not 100% clear to me what that means.

    Personally, given what I know of the situation, I would advise against such open musings during a campaign. If he said, “I know Sen. Collins is looking at an approach that may have sufficient due process and denies weapons to would-be terrorists. It may be a good approach. We shall see,” I’d say being open minded about developing concepts is the mark of a radical (in the good sense) mind.

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    OK, I can buy that the Collins remark was not an “endorsement,” I guess.

    Nonetheless, he was addressing the same topic two different times a month apart and had the same orientation toward that topic in both cases. So no, the second time wasn’t a “gaffe,” or an off-the-cuff answer to something he hadn’t been asked before. It was his position, which he had had plenty of time to think about — and he doubled down on it instead of backing off of it.

  77. robert capozzi

    tk, glad we agree in part.

    There’s still lots of wiggle room on the issue, as I see it. Frankly, I don’t like either this loose talk by WW or his lean…not at all. But I’m not hearing a compelling case for an Inquisition, either.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    “You’re fired” isn’t an Inquisition. It’s just “security will be up in a minute so you can clean out your desk and be escorted from the building.”

  79. robert capozzi

    tk, in mind mind, if you are successful, the LNC would have to conduct some sort of Inquisition in absentia, as I visualize the process you advocate.

  80. Thomas Knapp

    Greg Gutfeld on Fox News Channel’s “The Five” Today: Johnson is “a solid candidate” but Weld is “far from Libertarian.”

    Well, at least he used the word “Libertarian,” unlike the current Johnson/Weld radio commercial.

  81. Rebel Alliance

    TK: “However, in such situations it is the Senate which chooses the vice-president and they must choose from the top TWO electoral vote-getters.”

    Interesting! I dug into the 12th Amendment and you appear to be correct. If Weld basically cannot become VP, that’s the best thing I’ve heard about this Johnson-Weld ticket. I may be able to stomach voting Libertarian this year after all.

    So if Johnson becomes President through the House method, his VP would be Tim Kaine. I think that’s more likely than most people know, since in a three way race, a candidate doesn’t need to get 50%. Jesse Ventura had won with 37%. Assuming Johnson gets into the debates, it’s not far to get from polling 10% to 37% especially in states with a lot of independents. So Johnson has a real shot at getting some electoral votes. Also, we haven’t had a faithless elector in a while. If Johnson wins one or more states, it’s not hard to imagine one or two disgruntled GOP electors switching to Johnson, and that could have an impact too since the electoral college has been split about 50/50.

  82. Bondurant

    Bob Barr is the only thing preventing Weld from being the worst decision the LP ever made.

  83. langa

    No candidate should back up every sentence of a party’s platform. That makes them a robot. They are individuals with their own opinions and some can differ from the angry small minority.

    What is the point of a party even having a platform if the candidates are free to contradict it on any (or all) issues?

    If a candidate wants to run their campaign as a cult of personality, they should run as an Independent.

  84. langa

    There needs to be due process involved in both lists – no fly and no buy – but keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists is not a violation of libertarian principles.

    The libertarian position is that there should be no lists, just as there should be no “indefinite detention.” If you have evidence that someone has committed a crime, charge them. If you don’t, then leave them alone.

    If someone is too dangerous to be allowed to own a gun, then they should be in jail.

  85. Thomas Knapp

    “Alex Jones is on-board as are many libertarians” is the semantic equivalent of “A Volkswagen Jetta is on board as are many former Miss Americas.”

  86. robert capozzi

    L: What is the point of a party even having a platform if the candidates are free to contradict it on any (or all) issues?

    me: I’d say the point of a platform is to let others know where this crew’s head is at. Most recognize that a “party” is not a “religious order,” where violating a rule leads to shunning, ex-communicating, etc.

    Contradicting ALL the issues is a problem.

    L: If someone is too dangerous to be allowed to own a gun, then they should be in jail.

    Me: Is this THE libertarian position, or just the Langa position? And how would this work in a libertarian society? Deranged Person A has coverage from Acme Insurance. Several clients of The Spooner Property & Casualty Company have deemed Person A an inherent threat. Acme disagrees. Now what?

  87. langa

    Contradicting ALL the issues is a problem.

    Where do you draw the line? Can a candidate vocally oppose 20% of the platform? 40%? 60%? 80%?

    I say if a candidate disagrees with the platform on a particular issue, they should make every effort to avoid discussing that issue during their campaign, and if they absolutely must, they should first give the party’s position, and then explain how they differ from it.

  88. langa

    Is this THE libertarian position, or just the Langa position?

    It’s the common sense position. If someone is so “deranged” that they can’t be trusted to exercise the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else in society, then they should be allowed in that society.

    And how would this work in a libertarian society?

    How should I know? I trust the market to come up with a better solution than any central planner, including myself. That’s the beauty of it.

  89. robert capozzi

    L: Where do you draw the line? Can a candidate vocally oppose 20% of the platform? 40%? 60%? 80%?

    me: Dunno, and I dunno how it would be measured, either. These numbers are for illustrative purposes only. I would say 20 to 30% starts to feel like the candidate might want to find another home.

    Of course, I find the LP’s platform a massive millstone to the cause of lessarchy, but knowing a thing or two about how it came to be, any L who wants to play politics as opposed to philosophizing will invariably ignore the platform, by and large.

    L: I say if a candidate disagrees with the platform on a particular issue, they should make every effort to avoid discussing that issue during their campaign, and if they absolutely must, they should first give the party’s position, and then explain how they differ from it.

    me: Yes, like RP1 did in 1988 on abortion. I dunno, that has a tedious, robotic feel to it.

    WW kinda did that in CNN2.0 on the question of BLM and black youth UE. Did that moment satisfy you?

  90. robert capozzi

    L: If someone is so “deranged” that they can’t be trusted to exercise the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else in society, then they shouldn’t be allowed in that society.

    me: Feels drastic and inhumane. Yes, Spooner P&C might have to remove a deranged person, but I’d think that would be rare. Others might be allowed to move about, but with restrictions. Why must it be all-or-nothing?

  91. langa

    Others might be allowed to move about, but with restrictions. Why must it be all-or-nothing?

    Because the whole point of a free society is for there to be as few “restrictions” on people’s behavior as possible. Allowing dangerous individuals would require many restrictions, and defeats the purpose.

  92. robert capozzi

    L, hmm, incarceration sounds like a rather major restriction to me.

    And, btw, who pays for the incarceration? Seems like a charity dedicated to the incarceration of the crazy might not be such a popular one, on its face.

  93. langa

    Who said anything about incarceration? They could simply be expelled. Again, nuts and bolts aren’t important. The market would figure that out.

  94. robert capozzi

    Oh, yes, Desert Island is an option. Expelled in that case was a form of incarceration.

    If Person A is expelled from the block where most of the residents are covered by Spooner P&C, Person A will be on the next block principally covered by Acme Insurance. Not sure what this solves in your mind.

    Nuts and bolts are EVERYTHING, contra MNR. The phenomenal world unfolds in sequence, and the next step is the most important. Having a sense of direction is vitally important, too, but adjustments can be made along the way, as we gather the special knowledge of time and place in the here and now.

    At least, IMO. It’s the single biggest reason why I let go of the Randian/Rothbardian construct. It just doesn’t work. Indeed, it is uninterested in what works, only what its incomplete moralistic syllogisms dictate.

  95. Thomas Knapp

    “It’s the single biggest reason why I let go of the Randian/Rothbardian construct. It just doesn’t work.”

    Well, except for the fact that your construct of the construct is what you live in right now and defend to the hilt against any suggestion of any unworkability.

  96. robert capozzi

    tk, complex sentence there. Not exactly sure what you mean.

    If you are suggesting that I think the status quo is working, my observation is that the levels of societal dysfunction are increasing at alarming rates. It does still work in the sense that life is still reasonably liveable (and in some ways WAY better than ever), but the warning signs are all around us.

  97. Thomas Knapp

    “Not exactly sure what you mean.”

    What I mean is

    1) That the world you describe as unworkable is exactly the world you live in right now, except that the organizations are called e.g. “State of New York” and “City of New Paltz” instead of “Spooner” and “Acme.”

    2) That you defend your ” just like Spooner and Acme but different because they use different names” scheme as not just a workable scheme but as the only workable scheme because “muh DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY.”

  98. Arthur DiBianca

    This year I’m hoping for something I’ll call the “movie effect.”

    Sometimes a person writes a really good book that gets turned into a movie. The movie is crummy, and not faithful to the book, but it’s highly publicized and popular. Naturally, the people who love the book often get angry about the movie.

    However, a lot of people who see the movie then go read the book. The upshot is that the book gets much more exposure and attention than it would have gotten without the movie.

    I think the metaphor is pretty obvious. (Like a lot of the other book-lovers, there are many things about this movie I don’t like. But I bet a lot of people are going to read the book for the first time.)

    If axing Weld from the ticket would increase the campaign’s exposure, and ultimately get more people to go “read the book,” that would be good. But if it would result in the media ignoring the rest of the campaign, that would be bad. I can’t say which outcome would be more likely.

    (I hope you like my metaphor. I don’t know if it’s original.)

  99. langa

    Nuts and bolts are EVERYTHING…

    “Nuts and bolts are not important” was probably poor phrasing on my part. What I meant to say was, “We shouldn’t waste time worrying about nuts and bolts, since the market is much better equipped to figure those things out than we are.” It’s ironic that many self-proclaimed libertarians reject the idea of anarchy, simply because it doesn’t rely on central planning. Even Rothbard fell victim to this to some extent, with his talk about the necessity of a universal “libertarian legal code” (which amounts to centrally planned law).

  100. langa

    Arthur, I admit that’s a very clever metaphor, and I hope things turn out that way. However, I’m concerned that the kind of people who will enjoy the movie aren’t the same kind of people who would enjoy the book.

  101. robert capozzi

    L: Even Rothbard fell victim to this to some extent, with his talk about the necessity of a universal “libertarian legal code” (which amounts to centrally planned law).

    me: Kinda with ya, kinda not. It’s not obvious to me that a spontaneous order — including reasonably certain and ubiquitous property rights enforcement — would or would not arise over time absent a State. For me, though, it’s mental masturbation, since virtually all of humanity and its wealth already have some form of a legal code to maintain at least a semblance of domestic tranquility.

    Aside from the (deeply speculative) prospect of AndyLand, blank-slate experimentation with truly spontaneous orders arising ain’t happening any time soon. So I just don’t see the point of the inquiry.

    For me, our disagreement is mostly over how outside the mainstream do we want out Northern Light. Most nonarchists (and if I recall including you) acknowledge that change is most likely to continue to happen incrementally. Secondarily, there is theoretical arguments about what degree the Northern Light should be…Long’s is slightly to the left, MNR’s might be considered slightly to the right. How much toleration is there on the theoretical level, in other words.

    As a lessarchist, I’m less concerned with the angle of the Northern Light…I’m highly tolerant. I’m more interested in hearing persuasive near-term ideas that get things moving in a freer direction, and I’m highly tolerant of the angles used.

    TK and most NAPsters reject my contention that I’m OK with trade-offs where it’s supportable to see an aspect of the State grow slightly IF a package is crafted that, on balance, moves us in lessarchist direction. Importantly, it should be executed with credibility and compelling rhetoric.

    J/W get a B+/A- by my scoring so far in being a model for lessarchist politics.

  102. Thomas Knapp

    “TK and most NAPsters reject my contention that I’m OK with trade-offs where it’s supportable to see an aspect of the State grow slightly IF a package is crafted that, on balance, moves us in lessarchist direction.”

    I don’t reject your contention at all. I am sure you ARE okay with such trade-offs. What I reject is your contention that you could possibly measure whether or not what you claim to want to happen actually happens. You have yet to tell me how many dead children at Waco = how many dollars in the federal budget.

  103. robert capozzi

    tk, sadly, per Mises, such a measurement is challenging on an objective basis. Subjectively, if spending declined year over year, I’d say that’s a start. I would not be inclined to trade off dead children in Waco for anything, though, absent extraordinary rationalizations that escape me.

  104. Thomas Knapp

    Bob,

    But what if you could get rid of those dead children at Waco for the low, low price of some unspecified number of adults dying while waiting on the ever so slightly larger FDA that you gave in trade for those kids lives to approve the drug they need? Or for an ever so slight increase in the number of infants dying of malnutrition because the tax on formula went up by a penny?

  105. dL

    “At least, IMO. It’s the single biggest reason why I let go of the Randian/Rothbardian construct. It just doesn’t work. Indeed, it is uninterested in what works, only what its incomplete moralistic syllogisms dictate.”

    Private law/protection/defense is not a Randian construct. An egregious an error as a claim that private property is a Marxist construct. Perhaps one might take claims of the unworkability of anarchism a bit more seriously if they didn’t read like a copy and paste from Salon.com(or that the author was as familiar w/ the literature as a typical Salon.com commentator).

    Criticism of the libertarianism/anarchism’s empirical problem is fair game. But it is also fair game to point that we have today wouldn’t last 5 seconds w/o the heavily armed massive security/intel apparatus. So you might ask yourself just how long such a thing can last under such a condition. And to the extent it does last, what kind of a world it would actually be.

  106. robert capozzi

    tk, nope. The only circumstance I might have to think long and hard would be 2 children on their death beds. If their slightly premature deaths would lead to worldwide liberation, I’d have to think long and hard about such a tradeoff.

  107. robert capozzi

    dL: …w/o the heavily armed massive security/intel apparatus.

    me: If there’s a way to pull this off without major risk, I am for it.

  108. dL

    “me: If there’s a way to pull this off without major risk, I am for it.”

    Since you accepted the premise of my argument, you should probably answer my concluding questions. Then again, they are merely rhetorical. The answer is obvious. Any system that can only exist under a regime of mass surveillance and a mass domestic security apparatus is by definition totalitarian. And totalitarian regimes go where all totalitarian regimes go..sooner or later.

    Now if your position is “radical reform or abolition is just too damn risky,” okay, thats an honest position. Just don’t be dishonest by pretending that the “down the center/unity08” TeamGov represents any type of reform to the system. It, like anything else, would merely be immediately absorbed the bureaucracy. And it would be more principled to refrain from using dishonest labels like “purist” and “Nappster Libertarians,” etc. Those labels imply a sort a fellow or gal that inhabits some sort of fantasy world. But what they really mean is someone who is less risk adverse than yourself. Once you use terms like “less risk adverse libertarians” instead of “purist,” the silliness of the arguments against “purists” are exposed for what they are.

  109. robert capozzi

    dL: Now if your position is “radical reform or abolition is just too damn risky,” okay, thats an honest position.

    me: Yes, it’s my honest view. It’s also most likely, as I see it. I detect no widespread thirst for even GJ’s 20% cuts.

    dL: Just don’t be dishonest by pretending that the “down the center/unity08” TeamGov represents any type of reform to the system. It, like anything else, would merely be immediately absorbed the bureaucracy.

    me: Beg your pardon. The speculative discussion of what a J/W Administration might look like has been refreshing and nuanced. They recognize that they won’t get 20%, but they will do their best to bend the curve as much as they can. Yes, the impediments from their even doing THAT are quite numerous.

    Of course, I don’t believe they will win, though I do think they have a longshot chance, not so much because of them but because the field is so appalling. They are, however, opening up hearts and minds for 2020 and beyond.

    dL: And it would be more principled to refrain from using dishonest labels like “purist” and “Nappster Libertarians,” etc. Those labels imply a sort a fellow or gal that inhabits some sort of fantasy world.

    me: Sorry you feel that way. I don’t use purist much, if ever. NAPster seems accurate, as it differentiates Ls who subscribe to the NAP as the single standard for all things L, vs. other lessarchists who don’t. I can’t imagine why you have a problem with the term, in all candor.

    dL: But what they really mean is someone who is less risk adverse than yourself. Once you use terms like “less risk adverse libertarians” instead of “purist,” the silliness of the arguments against “purists” are exposed for what they are.

    me: Actually, I find the NAPster approach highly risk averse. Most honest NAPsters recognize that their brand of L-ism is unmarketable to 90% of the pop. The honest NAPster instead is more interested in gathering cadre for the much longer term. Some expect near-term social upheaval, and they believe that, by holding high the banner in the ensuing chaos, large numbers will flock to the black banner. Both seem safe in the Ivory Tower to me.

    What’s risky is what J/W are doing…actually getting in the arena, getting their hands dirty.

    The NAPster approaches are not hopeless, in my view, but I find the approach unsatisfying in its unworkability. It’s nothing personal, though, some of my best friends are NAPsters.

  110. langa

    Most nonarchists (and if I recall including you) acknowledge that change is most likely to continue to happen incrementally.

    Not necessarily. It is possible that the state could gradually wither away and die a painless death, and I would love that. But I don’t think it’s likely. There are too many people with too much invested in the status quo to give it up without a fight. The only way I see that scenario happening is if technology arises that allows for a “bloodless coup” of some sort.

  111. langa

    The other possibility is that the state will continue to get larger and more tyrannical, until eventually, it collapses under its own weight. Of course, it’s almost impossible to know whether it will be replaced by something better or something worse, but educating people now increases the likelihood of the former.

  112. Caryn Ann Harlos

    These statements make me LOL

    ==Tom, until it is used one time and the LNC members survive being purged.==

    Because we get paid so much, and there is sooooo much glory.

    I work long hours for the LP. I will be out of pocket over $1,500 this year for the glory of serving on the LNC.

    I am not stating any opinion on this thread other than I ran for pure motives and will fulfill what I see as my duty and mob mentality will not sway me one way or another.

  113. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And FWIW there is no motion to disqualify on the table. There are other bylaws hurdles to this that Tom has not addressed but I have way too much to do for these speculations.

  114. Freudian slip

    I wonder if Caryn is the government troll. Who is she? Where did she come from? What are her motives?

  115. langa

    Here’s an article that makes the case that Johnson/Weld are “moderate Republicans” rather than libertarians — but, according to the article, that’s a good thing. It then goes on to approvingly compare them to other “moderate Republicans” like Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Bush I, Bush II, Dole, McCain and Romney. Is this really the image that the LP wants to project?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-moderate-republican-libertarian-trump-johnson-bush-0813-md-20160811-story.html

  116. dL

    “NAPster seems accurate, as it differentiates Ls who subscribe to the NAP as the single standard for all things L, vs. other lessarchists who don’t. I can’t imagine why you have a problem with the term, in all candor.”

    I actually don’t subscribe to NAP. I find it to be insufficient. My principle is the “presumption of liberty,” which is actually a liberal principle. That being said, I reject most if not all collective action under the guise of government b/c I find government to be more or less the organization of plunder. It is the latter observation which makes me a libertarian.

    “Actually, I find the NAPster approach highly risk averse. Most honest NAPsters recognize that their brand of L-ism is unmarketable to 90% of the pop. ”

    (i) It doesn’t matter. Collective action is dominated by the minority. People aren’t stupid. But they are sheep.
    The idea of societal change being dependent upon convincing 50 + % of the population is nonsense.

    (ii) Then again: Most actually do in many ways subscribe to the libertarian insight. Politics is the organization of thieves and looters. The problem politically, in terms of branding–if you want to talk about branding–is that libertarianism “markets” itself as a form of conservatism. We are going to crack down on the bargaining of the poor man’s plunder but leave the rest of it in place. You know, why would the common man vote for you? You aren’t helping him. You are going to make it worse for him. People are not stupid.

    (iii) Much of radical libertarianism takes place in the apolitical sphere. In that sphere, they do risk liberty and life. All the time.

    “What’s risky is what J/W are doing…actually getting in the arena, getting their hands dirty.”

    For the most part, the only thing I see the people in the arena doing is yelling “Hail, Caesar.”

  117. robert capozzi

    dL: My principle is the “presumption of liberty,” which is actually a liberal principle. That being said, I reject most if not all collective action under the guise of government b/c I find government to be more or less the organization of plunder. It is the latter observation which makes me a libertarian.

    me: I share the presumption of liberty principle, and for me that’s sufficiently L. Government does take, too, that’s hard to argue with. I’m more interested in how to get from lots of plunder to less and less plunder.

    dL: The idea of societal change being dependent upon convincing 50 + % of the population is nonsense.

    me: Probably right. 1% ain’t gonna get it done, either.

    dL: …libertarianism “markets” itself as a form of conservatism. We are going to crack down on the bargaining of the poor man’s plunder but leave the rest of it in place. You know, why would the common man vote for you? You aren’t helping him. You are going to make it worse for him. People are not stupid.

    me: Agreed. I find something like the citizen’s dividend to potentially be the way out of the current mess.

    dL: Much of radical libertarianism takes place in the apolitical sphere. In that sphere, they do risk liberty and life. All the time.

    me: Yes, as Lennon taught us, “Ya got to free your mind instead.”

    dL: For the most part, the only thing I see the people in the arena doing is yelling “Hail, Caesar.”

    me: Perception is a funny, subjective thing. I’ve not heard that particular line, or anything like it.

  118. dL

    “me: Agreed. I find something like the citizen’s dividend to potentially be the way out of the current mess.”

    As a liberal, I’m actually a Georgist. The libertarian in me, however, views it skeptically b/c you first have to tear down the existing regulatory and welfare state. I’m not in favor of just adding it on top b/c it would not unconditional(and it would act like a subsidy). It would serve as a pretext for a relentless social control/behavior modification regime. I.e, if you want to receive X you have to behave like Y. If you don’t behave like Y, you won’t receive X and you will be cast out into a world where it is pretty difficult to subsist w/o the subsidy.

    me: Perception is a funny, subjective thing. I’ve not heard that particular line, or anything like it.

    America==Caesar.

    So, “Make Caesar Great Again.” “Caesar is already Great.” “Restore faith in Caesar.”

  119. George Dance

    FS – “I wonder if Caryn is the government troll. Who is she? Where did she come from? What are her motives?”

    Caryn is a member of the Libertarian National Committee and the Libertarian Advisory Board for the Johnson/Weld campaign. It’s as ludicrous to think that she’s a “government troll” as it is to think Gary Johnson’s a “government troll” (not that one won’t read that on IPR too, of course).

  120. Caryn Ann Harlos

    He’s not?

    Mind. Blown. LOL.

    If I were a government troll, I am not getting paid very well (i.e. not at all). Where is my sweet sweet cash?

  121. Caryn Ann Harlos

    LOLOL. Colorado would be pretty surprised to learn I come from “nowhere.”

    My life sounds much more exciting through your eyes.

  122. Pingback: You Never Know What You're Gonna Get with Gary Johnson - Daisy Luther

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