Libertarian Party: CPD decides to make their first debates irrelevant

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For Immediate Release

Friday, September 16, 2016

Libertarian Party: CPD decides to make their first debates irrelevant

Libertarian National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, released this statement today:

In spite of polls showing that 54-76 percent of voters want Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson included in debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that it will not include Johnson in the September 26 debate, nor will it include Gov. William Weld in the October 4 vice presidential debate.

They announced this today, late on a Friday afternoon, known in the spin world as the best time to release news that one wishes to bury.

In their attempt to bolster the chances of the two most hated presidential candidates in American history, the Commission’s decision makes a mockery of their stated mission to “provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.”

The American people overwhelmingly want to find out more about Gary Johnson, the most qualified candidate for President, and the only candidate, other than the two corrupt old party bullies, who will be on the ballot in all fifty states, plus D.C., giving every single American the opportunity to vote for him.

Not having Gov. Johnson on the stage for the first debate turns it from the Super Bowl of politics into the Pro Bowl of politics; boring and unwatchable.

The CPD is controlled by Democrats and Republicans. The only thing worse than supporting either of their nominees is colluding against the American people to support both of them.

The Libertarian Party will be calling on the sponsors of the CPD to withdraw their support for what has become a campaign commercial for bullies on September 26.

The party will also continue to work around the CPD’s September 26 debate, which has become increasingly irrelevant.

A Quinnipiac poll released this week put Johnson’s support among voters at 13%, or about 17 million Americans, more than the 13.7 million who voted for the Republican nominee in the primaries to hand him the nomination, and more than the 16.8 million who voted for the Democratic nominee to secure the Democratic nomination.

1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot was the only third party candidate ever to be permitted on the CPD-sponsored presidential debate stage. At that time, Perot was polling at 8 percent in a Times/Mirror poll, below the 9-10% where Johnson is now polling in CPD’s selected polls.

(Press release from LP.org)

112 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: CPD decides to make their first debates irrelevant

  1. Joseph Buchman

    LNC Chair Nick Sarwark posted a photo of his letter to Frank Fahrenkoph, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates on Facebook earlier today It reads:

    September 17,2016

    Dear Frank + Mike,

    Thank you for ignoring the majority of Americans who wanted Gary Johnson to be included in the first Presidential Debate.

    By putting the two most hated presidential candidates in American History together in the same room on September 26, you give all of us the rare and exciting opportunity to turn them both off at the same time.

    Yours in Liberty,

    Nick.

  2. Andy

    Unfortunately, a majority of Libertarian Party delegates in Orlando chose to make this presidential campaign irrelevant by nominating a couple of non-libertarian con-artists for the presidential ticket instead of nominating an actual libertarian Libertarian ticket. So them not getting into the debates with the D’s and the R’s is no big loss.

  3. Andy

    Here’s a video of Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee on the campaign trail, spouting his ignorance about guns, and showing his disdain for the right to keep and bear arms, as well as for due process. Keep in mind that Gary Johnson considers this statist jackass to be the “Original Libertarian”.

    Bill Weld: Anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list shouldn’t be able to buy guns

  4. dL

    “In spite of polls showing that 54-76 percent of voters want Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson included in debates.”

    Well, that’s not the stated criteria for inclusion. The stated criteria was 15% minimum in five selected national public opinion polls just prior to the debate. TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria. Well, they didn’t do what they promised they were going to do(no surprise there, pretty much the MO of a politician). Now all the rigged system, collusion stuff sounds like sour grapes. Particularly when TeamGov, supporters of TeamGov(well, the few that they have) previously dismissed radical critiques of rigged/corrupt system as rantings of the adolescents in the room. Well, now the grown-ups suddenly sound like the whiny little brats.

  5. robert capozzi

    dL: TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria.

    me: Missed that “assurance.” What I’ve been hearing is they need to be included in the debates, and were doing everything they could to get in the debates. I think I’ve heard them say they believed they would be in the debates. They stated their intentions and aspirations.

    Now they are hoping to get in the second debates.

    Tell us again why you have a problem with this?

    Were you J/W’s adviser, what rhetoric would you have suggested instead?

  6. ATBAFT

    I’m starting to get the impression Andy won’t be voting for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. And maybe a couple of others won’t be either. Can’t wait to see who they put up for the LP ticket in 2020.

  7. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “Were you J/W’s adviser, what rhetoric would you have suggested instead?”

    I would have suggested that they not urinate all over the Libertarians Party’s platform during the campaign, and that they not run away from the word Libertarian.

  8. Andy

    dL said: “TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria. Well, they didn’t do what they promised they were going to do(no surprise there, pretty much the MO of a politician). ”

    This is not something that anyone could have truthfully promised. There is no way that anyone can guarantee that they will get into the debates with the D’s and R’s. All anyone can do is try. The standards for getting into the debates are extremely difficult, and they can easily be manipulated. Everyone should know that the system is corrupt, and that the D’s and R’s have good reasons for wanting to keep everyone else out of the big debates, even if they are establishment ass kissers like Johnson and Weld, because they do not want to set the precedent of allowing more candidates in the debates, and even though the Libertarian ticket has obviously been co-opted by the establishment, they do not want to bring more attention to the Libertarian Party, because there are still enough real libertarian Libertarians in the Libertarian that we could still be a potential threat to the state.

  9. Andy

    “ATBAFT
    September 18, 2016 at 08:26
    I’m starting to get the impression Andy won’t be voting for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. And maybe a couple of others won’t be either. Can’t wait to see who they put up for the LP ticket in 2020.”

    2020 is a long way off so it is too early to tell. Adam Kokesh is the only person I know of who has announced as a candidate for the 2020 nomination, and his announcement is not official yet, as at this point he is just exploring the possibility of running for the 2020 LP nomination for President. Adam would be breath of fresh air from all of the Republican phonies that have been on our ticket since 2008. I do not know who all else is going to run for the 2020 nomination, but there is a very good chance that I will support Adam Kokesh.

    Regardless of what happens between now and the 2020 nomination, it is IMPERATIVE that the Libertarian Party nominate a presidential ticket that is actually libertarian next time. I suspect that there will be another attempt at hijacking our nomination with a couple of phonies, just like 2008, 2012, and 2016, so next time their needs to be a concerted effort to STOP the hijackers, and this effort needs to come together early. There also needs to be more support given to the actual libertarian Libertarians who seek the nomination, be it Adam Kokesh, or somebody else. We need real libertarian Libertarians to show up as delegates at conventions, and this time, we need real libertarian Libertarians to be the ones who are recruiting and counting the delegates.

    Perhaps we need to conduct seminars on political strategy. We need people who are not so freaking naive as to buy into any bogus claims about how much money candidates are going to raise (like the $30-$40 million Bob Barr was supposedly going to raise if nominated, or the $200-$250 that Johnson/Weld were supposedly going to raise if nominated). DO NOT BELIEVE ANY FUNDRAISING CLAIMS THAT HAVE NOT ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED BY THE TIME THE CONVENTION HAPPENS. Also, DON NOT BELIEVE ANY CLAIMS ABOUT GETTING INTO THE BIG DEBATES, GETTING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF VOTES, OR GETTING MEDIA COVERAGE, THAT HAS NOT ALREADY HAPPENED BY THE TIME OF THE CONVENTION. When it comes to media coverage, keep in mind that the mainstream media is in bed with big government, and has been for a long time, so libertarians will never get a fair shake in the mainstream media, and also keep in mind that media coverage can actually backfire on us if we have candidates that misrepresent our positions, and/or otherwise do a poor job of articulating them (see the Johnson/Weld campaign for examples of both). Scrutinize the backgrounds of all potential candidates. DO NOT JUST BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY WITHOUT RESEARCHING THEM. Do NOT allow fancy titles to automatically impress you. Sure, it might be nice to have somebody who has a title next to their name, but this should NOT be an overriding issue when selecting a candidate. It is sad that I even have to say this to Libertarians, but TITLE WORSHIPING NEEDS TO STOP. Be leery of candidates who jump in the race late, particularly if they jump in without ample time to vet them prior to the nomination, and particularly IF THEY HAVE LITTLE TO NO VERIFIABLE BACKGROUND AS LIBERTARIAN ACTIVISTS, AND EVEN MORE SO IF THEY HAVE KNOWN BACKGROUNDS OF BEING NON-LIBERTARIANS/ANTI-LIBERTARIANS. Look at the people who surround a potential candidate. Does the candidate for nomination have a campaign staff (whether paid or volunteer) that consists of actual, verifiable libertarian activists, or do they surround themselves with Republicans or apolitical mercenaries (or other non-libertarians). If you can’t find verification that the campaign staff of the candidate for nomination (and I especially mean their highest level campaign staff) are actual philosophical libertarian activists, then this should be a RED FLAG to NOT nominate this person. Another thing is to look at who their campaign staff and most vocal supporters previously supported. I understand that sometimes people make mistakes, but even so, if you find out that their campaign staff and/or most ardent supporters previously supported Bob Barr, Wayne Root, Gary Johnson, Jim Gray, and/or Bill Weld, then you ought to question that person’s judgment. The same goes if that person was just recently a supporter of some big government Democrat or Republican politician. These are just a few things to look out for in the future. Perhaps a list should be made and distributed to all potential convention delegates.

  10. Andy

    “still enough real libertarian Libertarians in the Libertarian that we could still be”

    Should read, “still enough real libertarian Libertarians in the Libertarian Party that we could still be…”

  11. Andy

    If Weld does drop out of the race, it will be a repeat of what he did to the Libertarian Party of New York 10 years ago, and it will also break a promise that he made at the Libertarian National Convention, which was captured on video when Darryl W. Perry confronted him about this.

    Darryl Perry confronts William Weld

  12. Chuck Moulton

    Andy wrote:

    Adam would be breath of fresh air from all of the Republican phonies that have been on our ticket since 2008.

    Adam Kokesh ran for U.S. Congress in New Mexico as a Republican and spoke against the Libertarian Party as a political vehicle for libertarians many times, suggesting the Republican Party was a better strategic move.

    I think you are holding different politicians to very different standards.

  13. Just Some Random Guy

    Well let’s see, Andy starts up with 6 comments in a row rather than just condensing everything into one. Then he follows it up with EIGHT in a row, one of which is just correcting a typo in the previous post that everyone could have recognized as a typo and thus made that comment completely unnecessary. I’m starting to think he just likes to hear himself talk (figuratively).

    On an unrelated note, still waiting for the proof of this claim:

    TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria. Well, they didn’t do what they promised they were going to do(no surprise there, pretty much the MO of a politician).

    They said they hoped to get into the debates and that they needed to but I can’t recall any place they sold their candidacy on an “assurance” of it or promised it.

  14. dL

    “me: Missed that “assurance.” What I’ve been hearing is they need to be included in the debates, and were doing everything they could to get in the debates. I think I’ve heard them say they believed they would be in the debates. They stated their intentions and aspirations.

    Definition:
    assurance: a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6dUmH1UsRw

    The above was a standard fare William Weld boilerplate response re: getting into the debates

    NOTE: getting into the debates was TeamGov’s raison detre, highest priority. Not everyone would concur w/ that being the LP’s primary objective.

  15. dL

    “Were you J/W’s adviser, what rhetoric would you have suggested instead?”

    seppuku…figuratively, of course.

  16. Andy

    “Chuck Moulton
    September 18, 2016 at 14:26
    Andy wrote:

    ‘Adam would be breath of fresh air from all of the Republican phonies that have been on our ticket since 2008.’
    Adam Kokesh ran for U.S. Congress in New Mexico as a Republican and spoke against the Libertarian Party as a political vehicle for libertarians many times, suggesting the Republican Party was a better strategic move.”

    I am well aware of of the fact that Adam Kokesh ran for US House in the Republican primaries in New Mexico back in 2010. I remember that Ernie Hancock and the Freedoms Phoenix crew from Arizona made signs to promote his campaign that looked like the Coca Cola label, to play off of the last name Kokesh. I actually called up the Adam Kokesh for US House campaign to see if they need to hire anybody to gather signatures to get him on the primary ballot. I spoke to somebody from his campaign (it was not Adam), and they said they’d keep my contact information and call me back if they needed anyone, but I never heard from them after that, and I’m pretty sure that they made the ballot with all volunteer signatures.

    “I think you are holding different politicians to very different standards.”

    Not really. I do not automatically disqualify somebody for having run for office as a Republican, or for that matter, under some other party label, or as an independent, IF they did so under a strong libertarian platform, which I believe that Adam did.

    I know that some small “l” libertarians have said that they think that it is better to run as Republicans and have dismissed the Libertarian Party as being irrelevant, or not having a chance to win. Peter Schiff actually did this in a speech at the Libertarian Party of Connecticut State Convention several years back (and note that he later ran in the Republican primaries for US Senate and lost).

    I consider the libertarian movement to be much larger than just the Libertarian Party, and I know that there are plenty of people who are small “l” libertarians who have never been members of the Libertarian Party.

    Adam Kokesh never held office, but when he ran in the Republican primaries, he ran on what I’d call a libertarian platform, plus Adam has a long record of being a solid small “l” libertarian activist.

    My problem with the likes of Bob Barr, Wayne Root, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, etc.., is not so much that they came from the Republican Party, but rather that were a lot of things in their records that were anti-liberty, and/or they supported anti-liberty candidates right before running for the LP nomination, and/or they had over-inflated/exaggerated libertarian credentials (Gary Johnson is the best example of this), and that even when they ran as Libertarians, their platforms were watered down libertarian at best, if libertarian at all (see Bill Weld this year).

    I am not advocating that the Libertarian Party automatically disqualify everyone who has previously run for office as a Republican. I would evaluate them on a case by case basis, and be sure to look for other red flags when doing so.

    I do agree with a point that Tom Knapp has brought up though, and that is that if the Libertarian Party continues to nominate former Republicans as candidates, we run the risk of being known as the party that is the home to disgruntled Republicans, or the Republican Lite Party.

    When it comes to Adam Kokesh, his involvement with the Republican Party was brief, he only got involved to support Ron Paul, and he ran for US House in the Republican primaries as a libertarian Republican and lost, and that was 6 years ago. Adam Kokesh was obviously NOT a guy who supported the mainstream of the Republican Party (unlike Bob Barr, Wayne Root, Gary Johnson (note that Johnson endorsed George W. Bush for President in 2000, and that Johnson claims to have been a philosophical libertarian since sometime in the 1980’s), and Bill Weld, so I would not put Kokesh’s involvement in the Republican Party in the same category as the likes of Barr, Root, Johnson, and Weld.

    The 2020 nomination is still a long way away, so I do not know for sure who I will support for the nomination. I just indicated that I am open to supporting Adam Kokesh, but a lot can happen between now and then so it is too early for me to say.

    Also, before anyone brings this up, I am NOT seeking perfection (the perfect candidate does not likely exist), nor am I suggesting that a candidate has to agree with me on every detail of everything before I will support them.

  17. dL

    “Now they are hoping to get in the second debates.

    Tell us again why you have a problem with this?”

    Oh, I would welcome a libertarian in the presidential debates. I would also welcome moderate republicans posing as libertarians in the presidential debates…if they were running as republicans. Likewise on the democratic side. Then one could reasonably say libertarianism is having some effect on major party politics. However, if moderate republicans or democrats are the LP ticket, then the expropriation is the other way around. The term is called Carpetbagger.

  18. dL

    “On an unrelated note, still waiting for the proof of this claim:

    TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria. Well, they didn’t do what they promised they were going to do(no surprise there, pretty much the MO of a politician).”

    Apparently, under a rock has internet access …interesting. Poor data plan, however. Looks like it only carries a monthly plan that allows posting at IPR.

  19. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    dL: TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria.

    robert capozzi: Missed that “assurance.”

    You miss a lot, Capozzi. Partially because you choose to miss things.

    For the last three election cycles, Establishment GOP candidates (Barr, Root, Johnson, Weld) and their supporters have promoted themselves to the LP as candidates who had the fame, mainstream respect, and professional creds to break on through to the big leagues. To get into the debates, to get plenty of mainstream media coverage, and to generally be treated like a serious player — by media and voters alike.

    I’ve been hearing the above talking points since 2007 — for the past 9 years. Ever since I first heard Root address an LP convention.

    Now you want Johnson to get a pass on the technicality that maybe he didn’t use the word “assurance.” BS! Johnson’s whole campaign to the LP was an assurance that he’d be treated as a serious Big Boy candidate, debates and all.

  20. Anthony Dlugos

    Its more than Johnson/Weld assurances that they’d be treated as Big Boy candidates, its that, in an apolitical, objective sense, they ARE Big Boy candidates.

    We have a data set of 44 presidents. We have the additional data set of 44 2nd place finishers, and a few 3rd place finishers as well. We’re well aware of what the American people expect out of presidential candidates in terms of minimum qualifications. We know what sort of candidates get mainstream coverage, get into the debates, and get treated like serious players. Only the deliberately obtuse pretend otherwise. Based on that information, there was obviously only one choice in Orlando.

    So, perhaps despite Johnson-Weld’s best efforts, they miss the debates. So what? Does that mean the data set I referred to doesn’t exist? Am I to understand that, the argument here is, since a pair of governors didn’t reach the White House, the lesson to learn is that we should have trotted out a 35-year old asshat? An angry anarchist radio talk show host? A drug-addled murder suspect with NSFW videos on his c.v.? A doctor with no previous elective office experience (R.I.P)?

    Is your argument that one of those aforementioned candidates was a better way to get into the big leagues? Or that we shouldn’t even bother getting into the big leagues? Frankly, I’m not sure which idea is more looney.

  21. Don Wills

    That’s interesting news about Weld and Clinton. Richard Winger just posted a link to an article with the transcript of the 60 minutes interview with Johnson and Weld. It’s was mostly mush except for the final exchange:

    Steve Kroft: Who are you taking votes from?

    Bill Weld: I think at the end of the day, it’ll be more likely from Trump than from Clinton. Other people say, “No, we have this big appeal to the millennials,” so it’ll be more from Clinton than Trump.

    Steve Kroft: This is my observation. You’re much more antagonistic towards Donald Trump than you are towards Mrs. Clinton.

    Gary Johnson: Oh no–

    Bill Weld: You must’ve done well in school.

    Gary Johnson: May be– that may be Bill’s– Bill’s outlook. But for me, this is– this is– both sides. This is– man, this is both barrels. And I’m not going to lose one minute of sleep ruining this two-party monopoly that is going on. I think they are dinosaurs. And I think we’re the comet in this whole equation. And I’m glad for it. I’m proud of it.

  22. Don Wills

    +1 to everything Andy says.

    Here’s my 2 cents (which are literally worthless today) from outside the ropes of the LP for what they need to do to stop another Barr or Johnson from getting the nomination in 2020:

    Like Andy says – YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY DO POLITICS. It’s dirty business. Arm twisting, vote stacking, lots of money involved, dialing for dollars, playing nice with idiots, shaking lots of hands, doing negative advertising, … IF YOU AREN’T WILLING TO DO THESE THINGS, YOU WILL ALWAYS LOSE. Human nature is what it is, and it’s not pretty. Deal with it.

  23. Don Wills

    However, please understand that there are two almost insurmountable hurdles for ever getting Libertarians elected to legislative or important executive positions.

    1. The single winner per geographical district thing with First Past the Post voting means THERE CAN ONLY BE TWO PARTIES. You will have to destroy the Republican Party to become the 2nd party. Doesn’t matter who you nominate, if the LP isn’t one of the TWO major parties, it loses.

    2. The LP needs to decide whether it is RADICAL or MODERATE. Whichever side wins need to KICK OUT THE OTHERS or you will continue to fight amongst yourselves rather the the really enemies. Schizophrenia is a terminal disease in politics.

  24. Richard Winger

    I wish everyone who reads Independent Political Report would pay attention to Maine, where the voters will be voting on an initiative to use Instant Runoff Voting for federal and state office (although president is not covered).

    As to Adam Kokesh, he should run for congress or governor as a Libertarian in 2018.

  25. T Rex

    “The LP needs to decide whether it is RADICAL or MODERATE.”

    There already is a moderate Libertarian Party. It’s called the Republican Party. It is, honestly, a far better choice for moderate LPers. They may even do some good in gently nudging the GOP in a libertarian direction.

    The new “serious” Libertarian Party sucks. I watched Johnson and Weld in another one of their long interviews last night. Every single question the reporter asked (“what will you do about opioids,” etc) rested on the assumption that Uncle Sam has an obligation to solve EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM in the Universe. Johnson and Weld never questioned that underlying assumption, but just went on to answer each question as if the two of them have the knowledge and power to solve everything. It was awful.

    What I wouldn’t give for a new Harry Browne…

  26. robert capozzi

    Teeth: Now you want Johnson to get a pass on the technicality that maybe he didn’t use the word “assurance.” BS! Johnson’s whole campaign to the LP was an assurance that he’d be treated as a serious Big Boy candidate, debates and all.

    Me: One of us isn’t paying attention. There was no “assurance.” But there WAS an implicit promise that this would be — as you say — a Big Boy campaign. And it has been so far. GJ didn’t get in the debates, true. He’s giving it his all, making lots and lots of noise.

    Has J/W been perfect? Nope. But of course how would we know perfection even if we saw it? If he read passages from FaNL at his rallies, NAPsters and Angrytarians would be unsatisfied.

  27. Andy

    “T Rex
    September 19, 2016 at 01:03
    ‘The LP needs to decide whether it is RADICAL or MODERATE.;

    There already is a moderate Libertarian Party. It’s called the Republican Party. ”

    I disagree with you here. While there may be a few libertarians, or libertarian leaners in the Republican Party, there is little to nothing that is libertarian about the Republican Party as a whole.

    The Constitution Party could be a moderate libertarian party if they dropped some of the socially conservative stuff and dropped support for protectionist tariffs. There are already some people in the Constitution Party who are basically small “l” minarchist libertarians.

  28. Andy

    Don Wills said: “2. The LP needs to decide whether it is RADICAL or MODERATE. Whichever side wins need to KICK OUT THE OTHERS or you will continue to fight amongst yourselves rather the the really enemies. Schizophrenia is a terminal disease in politics.”

    The Libertarian Party has had a “battle” between anarchists and minarchists since it was formed. The was supposed to be settled back in 1974 with the Dallas Accord, which was an agreement between anarchist libertarians and minarchist libertarians to work together to reduce the state.

    I think that there is more division in the party than just anarchist vs. minarchist, because there are different kinds of anarchists and minarchists, and there are different strategies that they advocate.

    Should the Libertarian Party break up into an anarchist party and a minarchist party? Maybe, but the problem is that it would make a small pie even smaller.

    I would put myself in the anarcho-capitalist camp philosophically, but I do not mind working with minarchists if they are hardcore minarchist, and I recognize that shutting down government overnight is not going to happen, and that there can be value in taking part in electoral politics (Larken Rose would disagree with me here). I’d say that I am a whatever-we-can-get-archist, in that I think that the ideal society would be a voluntary society, but I’d consider it to be a big improvement if we could radically reduce the size of government even if it were not completely eliminated. I don’t believe in a ruling class, but I also understand that there are logistical problems that would have to be overcome in eliminating the state, the biggest of which is that we are surrounded by a population with lots of people who do not share that view, which is why separation from the rest of the population is probably the best way to go.

  29. Just Some Random Guy

    @ dL

    “On an unrelated note, still waiting for the proof of this claim:

    TeamGov sold their candidacy on the assurance of meeting the stated criteria. Well, they didn’t do what they promised they were going to do(no surprise there, pretty much the MO of a politician).”

    Apparently, under a rock has internet access …interesting. Poor data plan, however. Looks like it only carries a monthly plan that allows posting at IPR.

    No need to get pointlessly insulting regarding a simple request… that you still haven’t backed up. Now, you did post a link (which you did after my comment, making your insult make even less sense) but that was what I was talking about; it wasn’t an assurance, just him expressing some hope. But even if you want to claim that it was still an assurance, that statement was made AFTER getting the nomination, and your claim was that they sold the candidacy on getting into the debates, meaning any statements after getting the candidacy are irrelevant to that purpose (as they had already sold it). So where’s the assurances they provided before they got the candidacy?

    I’m willing to admit I could be wrong on this, but if all you can offer are personal insults instead of actual proof I’m inclined to belief you’re incorrect on this.

  30. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    September 18, 2016 at 20:08
    Its more than Johnson/Weld assurances that they’d be treated as Big Boy candidates, its that, in an apolitical, objective sense, they ARE Big Boy candidates.

    We have a data set of 44 presidents. We have the additional data set of 44 2nd place finishers, and a few 3rd place finishers as well. We’re well aware of what the American people expect out of presidential candidates in terms of minimum qualifications. We know what sort of candidates get mainstream coverage, get into the debates, and get treated like serious players. Only the deliberately obtuse pretend otherwise. Based on that information, there was obviously only one choice in Orlando.”

    What you are citing are qualifications for Democrats and Republicans, and this has little to nothing to do with running as a Libertarian. It is Democrats and Republicans, the people with the fancy credentials and titles next to their names, that are the people who have created most of the problems that we have today. We should not seek to emulate them, we should offer the public something different.

    Over half of the people who are eligible to vote in this country do not even bother voting, and even out of the people who do vote, some of them are just voting for whom they perceive to be the lesser of two evils. I have long said that the bigger potential support base for Libertarians in this country is among non-voters, and outside of that, independents.

    There are already parties for people who are overly impressed with fancy titles. They are called the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Libertarians will not tear away their loyal support base no matter what we do. Trying to appeal to Democrats and Republicans by making appeals to authoritarianism and conformity is a losing strategy, especially for a political party that is about anti-authoritarianism and non-conformity. We should just say the hell with the typical Democrat and Republican. There is far more potential for Libertarians in reaching out to independents and non-voters, and these are people who are far less likely to care about fancy titles.

    “So, perhaps despite Johnson-Weld’s best efforts, they miss the debates. So what? Does that mean the data set I referred to doesn’t exist? Am I to understand that, the argument here is, since a pair of governors didn’t reach the White House, the lesson to learn is that we should have trotted out a 35-year old asshat? An angry anarchist radio talk show host? A drug-addled murder suspect with NSFW videos on his c.v.? A doctor with no previous elective office experience (R.I.P)?”

    Any of these candidates would have been better than Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Heck, I’d rather have the late Dr. Marc Allan Feldman as a candidate RIGHT NOW than have the living Gary Johnson or Bill Weld on the ticket.

    “Is your argument that one of those aforementioned candidates was a better way to get into the big leagues? Or that we shouldn’t even bother getting into the big leagues? Frankly, I’m not sure which idea is more looney.”

    You don’t seem to get it. The Libertarian Party has close to ZERO chance of electing anyone as President in 2016, or anytime soon, regardless of who we nominate. Even if we had a billionaire candidate right now, we’d still not be likely to capture the White House. Why? Because the Democrats and Republicans are so entrenched, that removing them from power is going to be extremely difficult. If we could spend $1 billion on a presidential campaigns, the Democrats and Republicans can spend more, plus they have much easier access to free publicity in the mainstream media (which has long been in bed with the state), plus, since these parties have been around for a long time, everyone already knows who they are, and they both already have large support bases of loyal voters. They also have the means to RIG the election. That’s right, not only do they have the election laws written in their favor, lots of special interest money, large support bases, and access to lots of free media, THEY CAN ALSO FIX ELECTIONS IF THEY HAVE TO DO THIS TO WIN.

    Even if the Libertarian Party had a billionaire candidate who could somehow overcome VOTE SCAM, if the election is close, which, chances are high that it would be, this would mean that Congress would get to pick the President, and given that we have ZERO Libertarians elected to Congress, I do not see the Libertarian Party candidate winning there.

    The deck is so stacked against us, that any talk of winning is delusional, and this does not change no matter how “credible” our candidate is.

    So the purpose of running a Libertarian Party candidate for President is not to win, it is to spread the message of liberty and build the party and the movement for the future. It is a complete waste of time and resources to send candidates out to the public who do not really believe in or understand the libertarian message themselves, which is why the Libertarian Party never should have nominated Johnson/Weld. This is NOT about sending out people with fancy credentials that appeal to authoritarians and conformists, it is about spreading the ideas of liberty, and creating more libertarian activists.

    Ideally, our candidates should also promote things that people can do in their day-to-day lives to build a freer society that do not rely on Libertarians getting elected to office (especially considering that we stand close to zero chance of electing anyone President anytime soon if ever). I am talking about things like informing people about jury nullification, alternative currencies, home schooling, stock piling guns and ammunition, etc…. Notice how you don’t hear a peep out of the Johnson/Weld campaign about any of this stuff?

    The path to achieving more success is NOT to nominate candidates who water down the Libertarian message so much to the point where it goes off in a bunch of non-libertarian directions. I do not see any evidence that this approach is getting us more votes, and even if it did, getting more votes is meaningless if you have to sell out your principles to get them by nominating candidates that do not have any libertarian principles.

  31. Joseph Buchman

    “The path to achieving more success is NOT to nominate candidates who water down the Libertarian message so much to the point where it goes off in a bunch of non-libertarian directions. I do not see any evidence that this approach is getting us more votes, and even if it did, getting more votes is meaningless if you have to sell out your principles ”

    AMEN BROTHER!

    One evidence that the end is here is that even here on IPR, notice that you should be “Preachin’ to the Choir” and aren’t.

  32. Don Wills

    Generally I agree with Andy. That said, he wrote

    “So the purpose of running a Libertarian Party candidate for President is not to win, it is to spread the message of liberty and build the party and the movement for the future.”

    This is problematic for a variety of reasons.

    There are two choices. 1. Pretend you are trying to win. 2. Do not even pretend.

    The problem with 2. is that NOBODY will bother joining the party and working their tails off if there is no expectation in their lifetime of actually winning a few significant elections to gain power to make the government significantly better (in libertarian terms). In other words, a political party CANNOT BE an advocacy organization – advocating for smaller government – because if that’s really what it is and was honest about, it would be ignored 100% of the time. As it stands now, if the LP pretends to try to win elections, and TPTB pretend to be accepting of the LP as a legitimate opponent vying for power, then everyone is happy because TPTB keep power and don’t have to imprison or kill anyone to do so. And the LP “candidates” get to be on teevee “talking” to the unwashed masses, advocating for the libertarian way. It’s a totally dishonest bargain/transaction.

    Andy wrote something about separation as the only solution. That might be the only path. However, I have a faint hope that RCV/IRV will help, but down deep inside I know it is not likely to fix the utter ignorance of the American voter. I recently moved to Texas and plan to become involved with the Texas Independence movement – yes it’s probably another unreachable dream, but one never knows. Or I’ll just scour the world looking for Galt’s Gulch where I can live out my years…

  33. Anthony Dlugos

    Not to mention that no one will bother voting for someone who either implicitly or explicitly argues they are not running to win the office but to spread the message or build the party.

    Paraphrasing what Friedman said about individual liberty & equality: The Liberarian Party whose focus is winning elections will do far more to spread the message and build the party than the Libertarian Party whose explicit focus is to spread the message and build the party.

    As Don said, if being primarily interested in education is your goal, there are far better arenas to do it in than political contests.

    Operating a political party to spread the message of Liberty is like operating an NFL team to spread the message of fitness.

    You’re on the football field, you’re there to win. Being physically fit may be a great way to win, but it’s not the goal.

  34. Tony From Long Island

    Andy: ” . . . . Regardless of what happens between now and the 2020 nomination, it is IMPERATIVE that the Libertarian Party nominate a presidential ticket that is actually libertarian next time. . . . ”

    Should read . . . so we can get the .5% we usually get!

  35. T Rex

    “As Don said, if being primarily interested in education is your goal, there are far better arenas to do it in than political contests.”

    Well….not really.

    Andy is 100% correct on this. Anyone who thinks the Libertarian Party is going to “win” (can barely type that without laughing out loud..) a Presidential election is completely bat-guano nuts. There is absolutely no chance of this happening whatsoever, which is why it is not the goal.

    Browne on why we run presidential campaigns: http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/LibertarianVoteTotal.htm

  36. Andy

    “Don Wills
    September 19, 2016 at 12:23
    Generally I agree with Andy. That said, he wrote

    ‘So the purpose of running a Libertarian Party candidate for President is not to win, it is to spread the message of liberty and build the party and the movement for the future.’

    This is problematic for a variety of reasons.

    There are two choices. 1. Pretend you are trying to win. 2. Do not even pretend.”

    Don, I agree with you that the Libertarian Party candidate for President should run a real campaign, like they are trying to win, but realistically speaking, anyone who has been following this stuff for a while should know that this is not likely to happen given the following:

    1) Lack of funding. It would take a campaign budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and quite possibly in the $1 billion plus range, to have any realistic chance of winning.

    2) Mainstream media bias. The mainstream media has been in bed with the state for decades, so do not expect them to ever give Libertarians a fair shake in media coverage.

    3) Election laws that are written by Democrats and Republicans, to give the advantage to Democrats and Republicans.

    4) Institutional power. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party have been around for a long time. Everybody already knows who they are, and they both have large groups of people who will mindlessly vote for them. Sure, not everybody likes them, but each of these establishment parties have guaranteed voting blocks.

    5) Vote scam. The D’s and the R’s can both rig elections if they have to do this. I think that they prefer to not take this option, and they generally do not have to take this option since the deck is already so stacked in their favor anyway, but if they do not like the way an election is going they can and will rig the election.

    6) A close election for President goes to Congress. If a Libertarian Party candidate for President were to somehow overcome points 1-5, there is a good chance that the election will be close enough that Congress would get to pick the President, and there are currently zero Libertarians elected to Congress.

    So if you properly analyze the situation, you will see that a Libertarian Party candidate has little to no chance of winning the White House, and there’d have to be radical changes to take place for a Libertarian Party candidate to have a realistic shot of winning the White House.

    When I first discovered the Libertarian Party back in 1996 I really wanted to see Harry Browne elected President, but even back then I was realistic enough to know that that was not going to happen. I did hope that Harry Browne would break 1 million votes though, and I was disappointed that this did not happen either time that he ran, but in retrospect, he ran in difficult elections where he was overshadowed by Ross Perot and Ralph Nader in 1996, and by Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan in 2000, plus in 2000 the race between Gore and Bush was considered to be really close, which it turned out to be, so more people succumbed to the “wasted vote” syndrome. Looking at those elections in retrospect, Harry Browne still did pretty well under the circumstances.

    I was fortunate to find out about the Libertarian Party at a young age, but even back then as a political neophyte I knew enough to know that the Libertarian Party had a long way to go before it could have a realistic shot at winning the White House. I looked at it as a long term building process. I figured that we’d run candidates for President who’d get the message out and bring in more and more new Libertarian activists, and that we’d elect more and more people to local and to seats in state legislatures, and that if we kept that up, we’d at some point elect the first Libertarian to the US House, and then a few more Libertarians to the US House, and that after that we’d be in a position to get say 5-10 million votes for President.

    The Libertarian Party appeared to be on this growth trajectory from 1996 up until the early 2000’s, but this growth trajectory ended up getting derailed by a series of internal dysfunction in the party, and bad decision making (such as nominating Bob Barr for President in 2008 for one example).

    So if you had asked me back in the 1990’s or early 2000’s where I thought the Libertarian Party would be in 2016, I would have thought that the party would be much larger and more successful than it is right now. I also never thought that the Libertarian Party would sell out its principles by nominating obvious non-libertarians like William Weld to run for high levels offices.

    How out of touch with reality does a person have to be to believe that the Libertarian Party is going to have a realistic shot at electing somebody to the White House given points 1-6 above? I was able to figure out 20 years ago that this was not realistic, but it did not deter me from enthusiastically supporting the Harry Browne for President campaign.

    Sure, the Libertarian Party presidential ticket should do all of the things that campaigns do, Put up a nice looking website. Run commercials. Make speaking engagements. Give interviews. Put up signs. Hand out campaign literature. Etc…. However, thinking that the Libertarian Party presidential ticket is going to win the White House, without overcoming the serious obstacles presented in points 1-6 above, is just not realistic thinking, and anyone who really believes that they have a real shot at winning is either delusional, ignorant, or naive.

    If you want a campaign where you can have a more realistic shot at winning, look toward local offices (city or county) or seats in a state legislature. Not as many people pay attention to these races, so you are not going to reach as many people with your message as you would if you were running for President, or Governor, or US Senate, but your odds of winning these races are much higher.

  37. Anthony Dlugos

    T Rex,

    Apparently, you did not read what I posted.

    Given that these are elections for actual offices at various levels of government, given that qualifications for said office are what’s important to the people we are trying to reach…the voters…even if building the party or spreading the message is your goal, you do that by nominating the candidate who can maximize vote totals, i.e., a candidate who can win.

    You don’t spread a message or build a party by nominating someone who only appeals to Libertarians, or worse, only appeals to purist libertarians. How exactly does that build the party? The people listening are already in the party. lol

    I could just be talking out of my ass here, but I’m thinking that nominating a candidate who can get a couple CNN town halls and a full segment on 60 Minutes might just ALSO be a good candidate for party building purposes.

    Of course, we could have nominated someone who’s party building techniques would have been limited to his own talk show among the cooling fall temperatures and pretty leaves in New England, or the asshat who would have “built the party” by adding more pop up ads to his annoying blog, or the loon who would have tried to build the party while explaining why he has to fake a heart attack to avoid extradition.

    lulz

  38. Be Rational

    Anthony Dlugos is, unfortuantely, correct.

    It would have been wonderful to have had a large contingent of attrative, qualified candidates for the POTUS and VP nominations.

    There were two: Johnson and Weld.

    More unfortunate is that fact that they came with a pre-selected campaign manager who has no clue about advertising in a nationwide POTUS campaign. So, GJ/WW have missed the chance at early exposure to raise their profile, increase their polling numbers and get in the debates.

    This is still a crazy election year. Anything can still happen. But, our best opportunity was missed, the money wasted and there is no way to make up for the time that was lost.

    Consider the difference in investing $100,000 when you’re 25 vs. when you’re 65. In investments and politics, timing is everything.

    *

    Live Free
    Enjoy the life you have left.

  39. Anthony

    I have a standing offer to commiserate over whisky with any Libertarian regarding the realization that we did not have a better slate of candidates to choose from in Orlando.

    I want the name of the LSD dealer for those who think we had a choice down there. I actually can understand the rationale of just nominating NOTA. I disagree, and I have a couple, three town halls and a 60-minutes segment in support of my position that Johnson is better than NOTA.

  40. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    September 19, 2016 at 12:42
    Not to mention that no one will bother voting for someone who either implicitly or explicitly argues they are not running to win the office but to spread the message or build the party.”

    The candidate does not have to publicly state that they know that they are not going to win, and are instead running to spread the message and build the movement, but anyone who is not a delusional fool or an ignoramus already has this figured out.

  41. Andy

    “T Rex
    September 19, 2016 at 13:29
    ;As Don said, if being primarily interested in education is your goal, there are far better arenas to do it in than political contests.’

    Well….not really.”

    Yeah, running for office is actually one of the best, and most cost effective ways that we have to educate people about the libertarian message.

    If you want to run to win then run for a city or county office, or run for a seat in a state legislature. I think that Libertarians still have a reasonable shot at winning those races.

    Anything beyond that, and your odds diminish by a lot, especially when it comes to President, as well as Governor and US Senate. These are more along the lines of defacto outreach campaigns, or campaigns to meet a vote test to gain ballot access in the states where getting a certain number of votes for these offices can put the party on the ballot for the next election (not all states have this, but for the ones that do, that is another good reason for running for these offices).

  42. Andy

    “Anthony
    September 19, 2016 at 15:13
    I have a standing offer to commiserate over whisky with any Libertarian regarding the realization that we did not have a better slate of candidates to choose from in Orlando.”

    I think that any combination of Austin Petersen, John McAfee, Darryl W. Perry, or Marc Allan Feldman, for President, along with Larry Sharpe, Will Coley, Judd Weiss, or Derrick Grayson (I think that he’d have been a much better candidate that Bill Weld, even though I did not like the way he party hopped and jumped in the race at the last minute), for Vice President, would have been better than Johnson/Weld.

  43. Andy

    Koolaid Drinkers was a good description of a lot of the Johnson/Weld supporters.

    Derrick Grayson Calls Out Koolaid Drinkers at the Libertarian National Convention

  44. Anthony Dlugos

    That’s delusional. None of those people would have gotten any party building done. I can’t even say they would have been preaching to the choir; they would have been preaching to a fraction of the choir.

    No party building, no message spreading, no education. The extent of the campaign would have been to give a few Libertarians a philosophical hard-on whilst listening to a “campaign stop” that consisted of a skyped podcast with an audience of dozens…all Libertarians.

  45. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    September 19, 2016 at 15:39
    That’s delusional. None of those people would have gotten any party building done.”

    I totally disagree. I ran into random members of the public while gathering Libertarian Party ballot access petition signatures that came up to be enthusiastically talking about Austin Petersen and John McAfee, and they did this without me prompting them. It is a rarity when you encounter anyone who knows the names of any of our candidates, but it is even rarer when they know the names of candidates for our nomination before the nomination takes place. Yeah, some people mentioned Gary Johnson as well, but that was not surprising being that he was the candidate in 2012.

    I’d say that the fact that I ran into multiple people who do not generally follow the Libertarian Party, but who knew who Austin Petersen and/or John McAfee were, and they were enthusiastic about them, debunks what you said.

    I’d be willing to bet that Darryl Perry and Marc Feldman could have gotten similar positive reactions if given the opportunity.

    Oh, and during the same petition drive, I had several people enthusiastically bring up the name Adam Kokesh without me prompting them, and he was not even running for office.

  46. Andy

    Anthony said: “I disagree, and I have a couple, three town halls and a 60-minutes segment in support of my position that Johnson is better than NOTA.”

    Those Town Halls and 60 Minutes segment would have been arguments IN FAVOR of nominating NOTA for the presidential ticket instead of Johnson/Weld.

  47. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    September 19, 2016 at 14:33
    T Rex,

    Apparently, you did not read what I posted.

    Given that these are elections for actual offices at various levels of government, given that qualifications for said office are what’s important to the people we are trying to reach…”

    Here’s one of the major flaws in your line of thought. We are in fact NOT trying to reach the people who are overly impressed with fancy titles. Those people already have two political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and the majority of these people are so attached to these parties that they will not leave them no matter who we nominate or what we do. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT ARE TARGET AUDIENCE.

    The people that we SHOULD BE trying to reach are the non-voters, and the independents. These people are far less concerned with fancy titles, and most of them are fed up with politics as usual.

  48. Anthony Dlugos

    Its not fancy titles; its experience holding public office. It’s a record to run on.
    This may come as a shock to you, but when considering the candidates, voters are gonna place a hell of a lot more stock in someone who actually has a record of vetoes as governor of New Mexico over someone who has no record at all, or a record of getting arrested standing up for second amendment rights. That’s not an executive, it’s an activist. Americans don’t vote for, nor even consider, what an activist running for president has to say.

    Synthesize any voting block you want. Add in as many disgruntled independents as you want. Toss in as many non-voters as you want. The answer to the question, “who will that voting block support?” is never going to be the likes of Kokesh, Petersen, Perry, Feldman, et al.

    If you actually manage the Herculean task of turning a disgruntled nonvoter into a voter, they are going to be as sane and rational as any current voter, and more often than not they are gonna be looking for someone for president with a previous record, not for the catastrophically unqualified and their philosophical musings.

  49. Don Wills

    Andy wrote “If you want to run to win then run for a city or county office, or run for a seat in a state legislature. I think that Libertarians still have a reasonable shot at winning those races.”

    Yes! Stopping being focused on POTUS. You can’t start playing at the Super Bowl level when your high school team has never had a winning season.

    The LP (or any party for that matter) will not change the American political landscape by putting so much hope and effort in the presidential election, and so little effort into state legislative races. Those races are microcosms of the US House and Senate races which are of course dwarfed by the big kahuna POTUS.

    I don’t know of any Libertarian candidates who have won any state legislative elections in this century (correct me if I’m wrong). It would be MUCH easier for the state LP and national LP to put the resources ($ and volunteers) into WINNING a few state legislative seats in the next couple of elections. But for whatever reason (and there are many possibilities), I strongly doubt that will happen.

    I believe that the LP will continue to be irrelevant until the RADICAL vs. MODERATE war is over. To the winner goes the spoils (the brand, the name, ballot access, organization). And the loser gets tossed out into the wilderness. Tough. Darwin’s law is merciless – just as the destructive nature of wildfires and real capitalism weeds out the weaklings, out the ashes of the LP war will emerge a stronger party. Call me when that war is ended. I might consider rejoining then, regardless of which side wins.

  50. Andy

    “THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT ARE TARGET AUDIENCE.”

    Should read, “THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT OUR TARGET AUDIENCE.”

  51. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    September 19, 2016 at 16:24
    Its not fancy titles; its experience holding public office. It’s a record to run on.”

    There are not that many libertarians who have been elected to any office of significance. William Weld does not even count at all. Gary Johnson’s record may sound better, but if you peel back the layers and look into it you will find that his libertarian record in office has been exaggerated.

    I think that once again, you are overstating the importance placed on having held office before from a lot of the public. A lot of people do not like career politicians.

    “This may come as a shock to you, but when considering the candidates, voters are gonna place a hell of a lot more stock in someone who actually has a record of vetoes as governor of New Mexico over someone who has no record at all, or a record of getting arrested standing up for second amendment rights. That’s not an executive, it’s an activist.”

    Some people may put more stock in something a person did while in an elected office as compared to political activism as a non-office holder, but not everyone cares as much about this as you think.

    “Americans don’t vote for, nor even consider, what an activist running for president has to say.”

    Try telling this to Ross Perot, or Ralph Nader, or Pat Buchanan, or Donald Trump.

    “Synthesize any voting block you want. Add in as many disgruntled independents as you want. Toss in as many non-voters as you want. The answer to the question, ‘who will that voting block support?’ is never going to be the likes of Kokesh, Petersen, Perry, Feldman, et al.”

    How do you know this?

    “If you actually manage the Herculean task of turning a disgruntled nonvoter into a voter, they are going to be as sane and rational as any current voter, and more often than not they are gonna be looking for someone for president with a previous record, not for the catastrophically unqualified and their philosophical musings.”

    If we have people who have held elected office who are actually what most Libertarians would call a solid libertarian, then I have no problem with them running for office as a Libertarian Party candidate. We should not be so desperate to find former or office holders to run for office as Libertarian Party candidates that we throw Libertarian principles out the window when searching for a candidate, like was done with Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, and Bill Weld. I’d rather have a principled libertarian activist who has never held office as a candidate than an unprincipled person who has held office representing us to the public as a candidate.

  52. Andy

    Don Wills said: “I don’t know of any Libertarian candidates who have won any state legislative elections in this century (correct me if I’m wrong).”

    Back in the 1990’s, the Libertarian Party elected 4 people to the state legislature in New Hampshire. We also had 4 Libertarians elected to the state legislature in Alaska back in the 1980’s.

    The last time the Libertarian Party elected a candidate to a seat in a state legislature was in New Hampshire back in 2000, but unfortunately the person whom got elected ended up leaving the Libertarian Party for the Republican Party a few months into their term because they did not like the Libertarian Party’s position on gay marriage.

    Over the past several months, 3 state legislators, one in Nevada, one in Nebraska, and one in Utah, switched from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party, but none of them were obviously elected as Libertarians.

    The Libertarian Party has had multiple good opportunities to elect state legislators in several states over the past 16 years, but all of these opportunities have been blown by lack of support and general disorganization.

    I have been saying for a long time that there ought to be a concerted effort to elect Libertarians to seats in state legislatures, and also to elect Sheriffs in low population counties. County Commission/Board of Supervisors seats in low population counties is another good office to target.

  53. Andy

    “Don Wills
    September 19, 2016 at 16:32
    Andy wrote “If you want to run to win then run for a city or county office, or run for a seat in a state legislature. I think that Libertarians still have a reasonable shot at winning those races.”

    Yes! Stopping being focused on POTUS. You can’t start playing at the Super Bowl level when your high school team has never had a winning season.”

    The presidential campaign is really one of our outreach/party building activities. The races where we can realistically run to win are city/town and county offices, and seats in state legislatures. Both categories serve different functions and are important.

  54. Anthony Dlugos

    Andy, Andy, Andy.

    You’re destined to be disappointed. It’s not a coincidence that, as dislike for the duopoly parties has gotten more and more intense, and more and more widespread, the last 3 Libertarian candidates have been Barr, Johnson, and Johnson. There just aren’t enough people out there who think like you, who are prepared to turn over the job of president to someone inexperienced.

    You want to find for us Libertarians a businessman with the executive experience of a Trump or Perot, please do. I relish the idea of being able to support someone like that in 2020. But it’s quite likely that anyone who has achieved that level of business success is going to be much less principled than someone like you requires. It’s the the nature of a blue chip CEO to be a compromiser.

    And ditto for a Buchanan or Nader type. Even though I am sure you are aware that Nader got just a few percentage points and Buchanan even less, be aware that they had very high name recognition in the general public, and were people in their sixties and/or seventies with decades spent in the public eye. I don’t think you’re gonna find someone like that for the LP 2020, but kudos if you do.

    In any case, realize the last three “third party” candidates who received substantial electoral votes (Wallace, teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln), were, previous to gaining those votes, elected officeholders as members of a different party. Regardless of who the LP nominates in 2020, the first Libertarian president is gonna fall far short of your expectations. And mine. I say that as a philosophical anarchist.

  55. robert capozzi

    dw: I believe that the LP will continue to be irrelevant until the RADICAL vs. MODERATE war is over.

    me: I don’t believe “radical” is the correct term, as I don’t see NAPsterism as “radical” at all…extremist or NAPster seems more accurate. But I agree with your point. In truth, the NAPsters won right from the beginning, imbuing the foundational documents with untruths like the challenge to the CotOS and, really, the NAP itself.

    Moderates stumble into the LP thinking it’s trying to be a real party. Big mistake. It’s more like a cult to challenge the cult with tautologies, constructs, and limited syllogisms.

  56. Andy

    langa said: “I’m telling you, he gets less libertarian by the day. I think Weld is rubbing off on him.”

    I think that it is a case of Gary Johnson true colors shining through. Anyone who has been following IPR and my post specifically will know that I have been a Gary Johnson skeptic since day one. I have been proven right once again.

  57. robert capozzi

    Andy, there is even a NAPster case for banning cigarettes in the scenario talked about in the POLITICO article: It could be viewed as an aggression if cigarette smoke wafts into another person’s space.

    It’s not that dissimilar from the NAPster case against nuke ownership…inherently aggressive. Whether cigarette smoke rises to that level of aggression is, I’d think, an open question. In a L society, the insurance companies might sort that out.

  58. langa

    It could be viewed as an aggression if cigarette smoke wafts into another person’s space.

    Under such an idiotically broad definition of aggression, germs “wafting” into another person’s “space” could be viewed as aggression. That doesn’t mean there is a “good libertarian case” for forcibly quarantining anyone with the flu or strep throat or for banning cigarettes.

    In a L society, the insurance companies might sort that out.

    No, any “sorting out” would be done by property owners. If I choose to allow smoking on my property, and you don’t like it, then stay the hell off my property.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    L, unproductive. If you have the *right* standard, please share it.

    Yes, though, in the deontological NAPSTER model, property owners are the first level of arbitration in discerning rights. Insurance companies are the next level in issues like this involving externalities.

  60. Anthony Dlugos

    goddamn, some of you people just aren’t cut out for electoral politics.

    If you’re libertarian sensibilities are gonna get rankled by a comment made by our nominee while walking the streets of Cleveland, about a generally detested habit like smoking, no less, go start a radical think tank/cult, because you’re destined to be disappointed by where this party is headed.

  61. langa

    …property owners are the first level of arbitration in discerning rights.

    They are the first, last, and only level. There is no “externality” involved. In a free society, if you don’t like smoking, then stay away from where smoking is allowed. It’s as simple as that.

  62. langa

    …about a generally detested habit like smoking…

    If you think libertarianism entails advocating using the force of government to prohibit people from doing unpopular things, then you have zero understanding of the guiding principles of the LP. Given that, you should probably try a different party. May I suggest the Prohibition Party? You’d fit right in with the self-righteous do-gooders there.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    AD, the one coherent (though highly implausible) explanation I’ve heard from NAPSTERS is that we face an imminent social collapse. From that wreckage, the survivors will recall the consistent NAPSTER stateless message and conclude that the Ls were right all along.

    Holding high the Black Banner in a political context might make sense, as the potential to reach the masses improves slightly vs a mere think tank.

  64. Robert Capozzi

    L, if I have a smelter next door to you, and the toxic smoke bilows into Langa Land, aka, your property, is that an externalities, by your way of thinking?

    I believe many NAPSTERS might say Yes.

    How about a barbecue? And then cigarettes. Where to draw the line is not easily discernible for thoughtful people, I would imagine.

  65. Anthony Dlugos

    Here’s what we know about “cigarette politics:”

    A) There aren’t enough votes to matter in defending smoker rights.
    B) The denial of the smokers’ rights is not going to be the proximate cause of federal bankruptcy.

    Given that this conversation occurred while walking down the street, and there is no indication whatsoever that governor Johnson would make an anti-smoking crusade the centerpiece of his administration, while I don’t agree with his answer from the perspective of libertarian purity, in the world of electoral politics it’s not a big deal. This is why I specifically said some of you people are not cut out for ELECTORAL politics. I said nothing about not being cut out for coffee house philosophy debates.

    Losertarians like to take pot shots at incidental stuff like this, but won’t admit the benefits of a pragmatic approach to a presidential campaign: governor Johnson is not going to get caught up in endless debates on tertiary issues. Losertarians LOVE endless debates on tertiary issues. The consequence of which is that, had a Losertatian-approved nominee been the one involved in this conversation, he or she CERTAINLY would have taken the opportunity to bore the voters with their encyclopedic knowledge of Rothbardian property rights, then dug in their heels, then turned their entire presidential campaign into a referendum on smokers rights while entitlements continue to run up a gargantuan tab.

    Of course, a Losertarian never would have gotten to have this conversation, because in addition to being the type of person who thinks reading a couple Rothbard books makes them qualified to be chief executive of the federal government, they are the type that would have jumped at the CRA bait at the convention debate like a Pavlovian dog and turned the two or three interviews they would have gotten in early June into defenses of racist louts before the media would have just dropped them as catastrophically unqualified, at which point the “campaign,” such as it would have been, would have turned into yet another iteration of preaching to the choir.

  66. Andy

    I could see restricting smoking to designated spaces at public buildings. Like say a public library or a court house could restrict smoking to an outside area, or perhaps have a separate room for smokers. If it were a private establishment, like say a restaurant, the owner or owners could designate a smoking area and a non-smoking area, or they could just allow smoking, or not allow smoking at all.

    Here is something that confuses even a lot of libertarians, since even some in the libertarian community do not understand just how deep the collusion is being big government and big corporations. That is that many corporate stores, and/or malls/shopping centers, are actually owned, in part, or in some cases, in full, by government entities (do some research into Comprehensive Annuals Financial Reports and you will find that government entities own stocks and/or bonds in all of the big corporations, and they also own real estate), and on top of this, many of them receive all kind of subsides in the form of “corporate welfare,” tax exemptions (which are not available to other people or businesses, as in a big corporate store may get exempted from property taxes that everyone else has to pay or something like that), land given to them via eminent domain (which is supposed to be for public use), extra police protection (where the police are practically working as security guards for them, even though they are paid by the tax payers), etc…

    If you are talking about Walmart or Target or Home Depot or Kroger or Safeway, or etc…, or the typical mall or strip shopping center, these places are not as private as many would believe. The store chains I mentioned all have a large percentage of their stock owned by government entities, plus they have all received billions of dollars in tax subsidies, including land via eminent domain, and the same goes with many malls and strip shopping centers, and I found out through my research that there are malls and strip shopping centers that are owned in part, or in some cases, in full, by government entities.

    This is why when we were discussing the gay wedding cake controversy, I said that I could see forcing the bake shop at Walmart or Kroger or Safeway to bake wedding cakes for gays, because all three of these corporate chains have received billions in tax subsidies, and are part owned by government entities. If it was a truly private bake shop, as in a “mom & pop” style business that is not part owned or subsidized by the state, then they should get to decide whether or not they want to bake cakes for gay weddings, or for anyone else.

    The owners of a truly private restaurant or other truly private establishment ought to be able to set their own smoking policies, but I could see setting up designated smoking areas (perhaps outside, or maybe in a separate room that is well ventilated) in/at part owned and/or subsidized by the state malls or shopping centers.

  67. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    September 20, 2016 at 10:38
    ‘Here’s what we know about ‘cigarette politics:’”

    A) There aren’t enough votes to matter in defending smoker rights.
    B) The denial of the smokers’ rights is not going to be the proximate cause of federal bankruptcy.”

    These points are both irrelevant. The government should not have the right to ban cigarettes. They could designate smoking and non-smoking areas at public buildings, but that’s it.

    I would certainly be in favor of taking away tax subsidies from tobacco companies though, not because I think that tobacco should be banned, but rather because I do not support tax subsidies as a general principle.

  68. T Rex

    David Friedman attempted to make similar arguments, with CO2 in place of smoking. As Walter Block put it,

    Courts distinguish every day between exhaling and heavy pollution; between
    flashlights and “megawatt laser beams” which can burn down a house.13 If
    this is all that Friedman can hurl at deontological libertarianism, he never lays
    a glove on it
    http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-35.pdf

    So the idea that enjoying a cigar on your back porch (as I do on a bi-monthly basis) would be banned under libertarianism is quite absurd..;)

  69. Be Rational

    “It could be viewed as an aggression if cigarette smoke wafts into another person’s space.”
    *
    Yes, it absoulutely IS aggression if someone’s cigarette smoke wafts into another person’s space. Smoking should be limited to private property where the owner has given approval, where anyone who objects to smoking has the choice not to enter, and where the smoke can be prevented from traveling to space owned or occupied by someone who objects to the smoke.

  70. Robert Capozzi

    BR, maybe, but it strikes me that reasonable dissipation rates could be taken into consideration. If someone lives on an acre property, smoking on the deck leads to some wafting to the neighbor’s property, but at de minimis levels.

  71. langa

    Did you guys read the article? He wasn’t talking about banning smoking on government property, or even banning smoking in so called “public places” like restaurants and bars (although neither of those ideas are libertarian either — especially the latter one). He was talking about totally banning cigarettes. Period. As I said, that sounds like something from the Prohibition Party’s platform. It’s completely anti-libertarian.

  72. langa

    And yes, Andy, as I have told you before, I’m very well aware that many private businesses are heavily subsidized, both directly and indirectly, by the government. And of course, we libertarians should fight against such subsidies. But that doesn’t mean that as long as the subsidies exist, we should use their existence as an excuse to treat those businesses as if they were owned by the government. Why would libertarians want to expand the amount of “public” property? That’s not libertarianism; it’s communism.

  73. robert capozzi

    L, yes, here’s the relevant passage:

    “I remarked offhand that—with the advent of e-cigarettes—I thought there was a good libertarian case for banning regular cigarettes. “I do too,” replied the health-obsessed triathlete, recounting his support for anti-smoking efforts in New Mexico. ”

    This is an “offhand” moment. There’s a L case for many things that reside in the gray area.

    If you really want to launch an Inquisition, you’d need to show what GJ’s “anti-smoking efforts in NM” were, and whether they unforgivable, ex-communication-worthy efforts.

    Though I lack the sanctimony, let me say that had GJ stuck with his burqa ban concept, I’d was prepared to drop my support for him on just that one issue. In the grand scheme, not such a big deal, but for me SO wrong-minded and off-key I could not accept any candidate who took such a noxious view.

  74. langa

    It really doesn’t matter that it was an “offhand” remark. What matters is that it demonstrates the way that Johnson thinks about issues. Forget for a moment the moral case based on the NAP. Just look at it from a purely pragmatic standpoint. Johnson is always going on and on (and rightly so) about how the Drug War simply doesn’t work. Similarly, I’m sure if you asked him, he would say that alcohol prohibition was also a spectacular failure. Yet, somehow his mind can’t connect the dots, and recognize the sheer absurdity of calling for prohibition of cigarettes, which would surely fail, for exactly the same reasons drug and alcohol prohibition have failed. The fact that he seems oblivious to this demonstrates that he is not only not much of a libertarian, but he is not much of a serious thinker at all.

    Even if, by some miracle, he were to somehow win, I have zero faith that he would actually do the right thing when the chips were down. On the contrary, I’m sure Romney (or whatever other snake Weld talked him into appointing to his cabinet) would fill his empty head with all sorts of “clever” ideas that old Gary had never really stopped to think about, and Romney (or whoever) would probably even furnish Governor Milquetoast — err, I mean, President Milquetoast — with a “good libertarian case” for adopting them. And he would just take it at face value, just like he did with the burqa ban, and the sharia law stuff, and all the other nonsense that Frank Gaffney filled his head with. Only this time, once he had ordered some ill-advised invasion to overthrow some Third World dictator, it would be too late for him to “walk it back” when — or maybe I should say “if” — somebody talked some sense into him.

  75. Thomas Knapp

    “The single winner per geographical district thing with First Past the Post voting means THERE CAN ONLY BE TWO PARTIES.”

    The United Kingdom has the single winner per geographical district thing with First Past the Post voting.

    Political parties represented in the House of Commons:

    Conservative
    Labour
    Scottish National Party
    Liberal Democrat
    Democratic Unionist Party
    Sinn Fein
    Plaid Cymru
    Social Democratic and Labour Party
    Ulster Unionist Party
    UK Independence Party
    Green Party

    Math’s not really my strong suit, but I’m pretty sure that’s more than two.

  76. Thomas Knapp

    “Yes, it absoulutely IS aggression if someone’s cigarette smoke wafts into another person’s space. ”

    Is it aggression if someone’s exhaled carbon dioxide wafts into another person’s space?

    How about someone else’s carbon monoxide-heavy auto exhaust?

    The particles that make it possible to smell that someone is grilling steaks next door?

    Or is it only tobacco smoke that’s aggression?

  77. Be Rational

    “Yes, it absoulutely IS aggression if someone’s cigarette smoke wafts into another person’s space. ”
    ******************

    “Is it aggression if someone’s exhaled carbon dioxide wafts into another person’s space?”
    No, unless the CO2 significantly changes the total composition of CO2 levels in the relevant area, which would have to be from a major polluter and not from normal human breathing.

    “How about someone else’s carbon monoxide-heavy auto exhaust?”
    Yes, road owners should be required to prevent excess pollution coming from their customers and polluting the air owned by other land owners.

    “The particles that make it possible to smell that someone is grilling steaks next door?”
    No, normal uses of one’s air space allow for minimal emissions of harmless, non-polluting and inoffensive smells. However, in the case of a bad cook …
    *
    “Or is it only tobacco smoke that’s aggression?”
    All kinds of air pollution constitute aggression if allowed to pollute the air owned or occupied by another individual.

  78. Be Rational

    “BR, maybe, but it strikes me that reasonable dissipation rates could be taken into consideration. If someone lives on an acre property, smoking on the deck leads to some wafting to the neighbor’s property, but at de minimis levels.” RC

    All kinds of emissions at minimal levels which become undetectable and therefore harmeless when spread over a large enough area, or when rendered harmless or reabsorbed by the environment within the property boundries of the emitter, will not pollute the property of their neighbors and will therefore not constitute aggression.

    OTOH, some emissions even at barely or undetectable levels may still be harmful and these emissions should be considered as acts of agression even though they may go undetected.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    L: the sheer absurdity of calling for prohibition of cigarettes, which would surely fail, for exactly the same reasons drug and alcohol prohibition have failed.

    Me: my feedback is you are over-interpreting here. “I do too” here means to me: there *could* be a case. Banning – the author’s word – might not mean *prohibition* but more likely *in public*.

  80. Jill Pyeatt

    How about GMO crops, whose seeds blow into non-GMO fields, and forever alters the natural seeds?
    Is that aggression?

  81. Thomas Knapp

    BR,

    That’s a pretty wordy way of saying “things I don’t like, even though there’s no evidence that they harm me or damage my property, are initiations of force because I don’t like them.”

  82. Be Rational

    TK,

    No, it’s an oversimplified way of saying that harmful or offensive unnatural emissions should be not be allowed to pollute another person’s property, but those that are harmless or within the normal compsition of air are OK.

  83. Be Rational

    “I remarked offhand that—with the advent of e-cigarettes—I thought there was a good libertarian case for banning regular cigarettes. “I do too,” replied the health-obsessed triathlete, recounting his support for anti-smoking efforts in New Mexico. ”

    ***
    The fact that someone thinks that a good case can be made for some position of some topic doesn’t mean that one argees with that position.

    If I think that the pro-life and pro-choice sides in a public debate have each made a good case or a good presentation for their cause, it doesn’t mean that I agree with either.

    Can’t read Gary’s mind so who knows what HE meant.

    … just saying …

  84. Thomas Knapp

    BR,

    Evidence that secondhand cigarette smoke floating into your yard harms you in any way: Zero.

    Evidence that smoke from the neighbor’s grilling of ribeyes floating into your yard harms you in any way: Zero.

    Difference: One you like, the other you don’t.

  85. Be Rational

    “How about GMO crops, whose seeds blow into non-GMO fields, and forever alters the natural seeds?
    Is that aggression?”

    Interesting.

    What about any human created crossbreed that’s allowed to propagate?
    Does a property owner have a claim to biological purity on their property?
    Is there a list of master speices of plants and animals that cannot be disturbed?

  86. Be Rational

    Cigarette smoke caused cancer, whether first hand or second hand. Proven.

    Obnoxious emissions that a majority of individuals object to lower property values and therefore harm the property owner. Proven.

  87. Thomas Knapp

    “Cigarette smoke caused cancer, whether first hand or second hand. Proven.”

    Well, yes, if by “proven” you mean “asserted over and over again even though the evidence for the claim appears to be extremely sketchy.”

    “Obnoxious emissions that a majority of individuals object to lower property values and therefore harm the property owner. Proven.”

    There is no right to a particular valuation of your property by others.

  88. Be Rational

    “You have no right to protect your property. It’s OK to smash someone’s car and reduce its property value because you have no right to the value of your property.” TK

    fixed that for ya

    (Your irrational defense of smoking and denial of medical facts indicates to me that you are likely a consumer of some kind of smoking product unwilling to admit the damage you do to others.)

  89. Thomas Knapp

    “‘You have no right to protect your property. It’s OK to smash someone’s car and reduce its property value because you have no right to the value of your property.’ TK”

    I’d say “nice try, no cigar” (pun intended), but it’s too fucking idiotic to even get into “nice try” territory.

    People valuing your property more or less is not property damage. Property damage COULD be a cause, but the change in valuation is not itself evidence that it’s a cause. Perhaps someone built a McDonald’s around the corner, leading to more neighborhood traffic, making it less desirable. Or perhaps another neighborhood suddenly became more trendy and people want to live there instead of on your block Would you pretend that those things were force-initiating property damage too?

    Feel free to point to any “medical facts” pertaining to secondhand smoke ever being shown to cause any detectable health damage ever, anywhere.

  90. Be Rational

    There is no difference between second hand smoke and first hand smoke except, sometimes, the second hand smoke is less concentrated. However, it has been shown that second hand smoke is often more concentrated than the first hand smoke a smoker breathes in through a filter.

    If smoking causes cancer in smokers, then it must also cause cancer in those breathing the smoke second hand. It is impossible for that not to be true under the laws of nature in our universe.

    There are no doctors, medical researchers or even tobacco companies that deny that smoking causes cancer.

    What kind of smoking product are you trying to justify to yourself?

  91. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m not trying to justify any smoking product to myself or to anyone else.

    I’m just trying to get you to extract cranium from rectum and laugh off the superstitious notion that cigarette smoke is going to float across a property line and give you cancer, emphysema, the sneezes or anything else. I mean, you’re entitled to your religion and all, but I’m entitled to point out that your religion is fucking stupid.

  92. Thomas L. Knapp

    BR,

    When you’ve got yourself in a hole and want to get out, the first step is to stop digging.

    Or, in this case, to stop making yourself look like an idiot in public.

  93. langa

    The fact that someone thinks that a good case can be made for some position of some topic doesn’t mean that one argees with that position.

    He did not say a “good case” could be made. He said a “good libertarian case” could be made. That’s false, by definition, since there is no libertarian case (good or otherwise) for banning cigarettes.

  94. langa

    Oh, by the way, BR, before you start with your idiotic ad hominem garbage, I used to smoke two packs a day. But I quit cold turkey almost ten years ago, and I haven’t had a single puff since then. Nor do I have any desire to start smoking again. But, unlike you, I actually believe in freedom, and not just for things that I personally want to do. That is to say, unlike you, I am a libertarian.

  95. Be Rational

    The only question, Langa, is that, as a smoker, did you refrain from polluting the airspace of other individuals as a Libertarian should, or did you pollute the airspace of other free individuals are thereby reveal yourself to be a fascist-socialist.

    People have the right to smoke, drink or use any drug they want. They do not have the right to pollute another person’s air. That is aggression and a violation of the NAP.

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