Clayton Hunt: Gary Johnson Supporters – The Pragmatists That Weren’t

johnsonsupportersFrom Clayton Hunt at Liberty Hangout:

The main thrust of the moderate wing of the Libertarian Party is to claim that they are the pragmatic and realistic purveyors of realpolitik clear headedness. This group is primarily all out for the Johnson/Weld campaign, and highly hostile to anyone that raises criticism, even if it is warranted.

But are they really as pragmatic as they claim? To be pragmatic one must be realistic and accepting of small victories that advance a long term goal, yet among the alleged pragmatists, you will find the repeated claims of how Gary Johnson can win this election.

They believe that if Johnson can win at least a single electoral vote, the election will be forced to go to the House, which will then suddenly realize the error of their ways and denounce all ties to their parties and the establishment and decide to vote Johnson. The scenario of Johnson even winning an electoral vote is given less than a 1% chance of happening by FiveThirtyEight (0.9% to be exact), and the chances of no candidate receiving an electoral majority is given 0.4% chance of happening. The idea of Johnson getting an electoral vote, there being no electoral majority, and the House choosing Johnson seems a bit too fanciful for them to have published a percentage chance of it happening.

Could it happen? Sure. Could I win the lottery and suddenly find out that Mia Khalifa has had a crush on me because she’s a huge fan of my writing and Rothbard? Sure, but those selling either scenario as having a good chance of happening are as pie-in-the-sky unrealistic as those idealistic purists that the so called pragmatists denounce with such bile.

The unrealistic situation of Johnson is not the cause of the dirty purists, by Darryl W. Perry, or by Liberty Hangout just not falling in line (though no doubt, come November 9th those will be some of the scapegoats). It is the fault that the party is not structurally to the point that we have the capability to run a successful presidential campaign.

That is not to say that we should give up, but that we should pursue a principled message with a pragmatic strategy, a truly pragmatic strategy. We should focus on the state and local races, both partisan races, and non-partisan. We should embrace the libertarian label and ideology, and build a set of victories that we can take back to those who ask what the Libertarian Party has done. We shouldn’t be led by the nose to devote large amounts of time and resources to unrealistic races.

Does that mean we shouldn’t run candidates for unattainable offices? No, but we should put up candidates who can articulate the principles, and focus the attention on the down-ballot races where we have better shots at winning. These small victories in pursuit of establishing the party as a competitive presidential party will make the job that much easier. It is tough; the presidential candidate receives the majority of attention, but if we can single out principled libertarians to run down ticket, and build their local levels up, they will lay the foundation upon which a viable presidential campaign can be built on.

Too many times the argument levied against the real pragmatists of the party is that they don’t want to win, and want to keep the party a debate club. Well, let us turn that charge around, because those that insist that we waste time, resources, and energy on an unrealistic presidential campaign are wanting that time, resources, and energy to be led away from candidates that actually stand a shot of winning. And if the party is truly only about winning elections, then insisting that local activists dump money and time into a campaign to nowhere is a replication of the pork barrel spending that the party is supposed to stand against.

74 thoughts on “Clayton Hunt: Gary Johnson Supporters – The Pragmatists That Weren’t

  1. robert capozzi

    If there were ever a year in which there could be several “faithless electors,” this is it.

  2. Andy

    Excellent article. I have been saying a lot of the same things for years. Unfortunately, not enough people in the party are listening.

  3. Anthony Dlugos

    I have some thoughts on this I’ll post later, but the one point I want to make now is that I don’t know any J-W supporters who thought the House Scenaro has any realistic shot at happening. They were sh*ts and giggles arguments.

    If an LP candidate were to win the White House, they’re gonna win it outright, not through the House. If anything, it’s one of the duopoly party candidates who will win the White House in what will essentially be a death rattle victory.

  4. ATBAFT

    “Too many times the argument levied against the real pragmatists of the party is that they don’t want to win, and want to keep the party a debate club. ”

    Huh? I thought this was the argument leveled against the purists? Or are you saying the so-called purists are the real pragmatists and the so-called pragmatists are utopians?

  5. Andy

    I spoke to Johnson/Weld supporters at the convention in Orlando who thought that Johnson/Weld had a realistic chance at winning the White House. Completely delusional.

  6. Anthony Dlugos

    Not as delusional as turning a presidential election into an semester-length class,
    101: Intro to Anarchy. Taught by a professor who is actually a radio talk show host in the megalopolis know as New Hampshire.

  7. Shawn Levasseur

    TL;DR: If Gary doesn’t win, he shouldn’t have been the nominee.

    A premise I disagree with.

    Gary has gotten more attention for the LP, publicity, membership growth, more volunteers, and what will likely be the best vote turnout for the LP presidential ticket.

    I’m not saying all out gains this year are exclusively because of Gary, but a good chunk of it is.

  8. Andy

    Harry Browne and Ron Paul ran under far more solid libertarian platforms than Gary Johnson, and they both brought a lot of people into the Libertarian Party and movement.

    The publicity that Gary Johnson is getting has more to do with the dynamics of this election than it has to do with anything he has done, and Johnson is squandering this publicity by putting forth a message that really is not all that libertarian, plus he has come off like a buffoon on several occasions.

  9. AMcCarrick

    “Local and State races”… Sounds good…. But wait, why hasn’t the party done exactly that for the past 45 years? Because they, including the purists, have zero desire to do it. Not a single candidate, below the presidency, that has run for a partisan office, has ever actually made an actual attempt. There’s zero to very little fundraising, zero effort to get on radio stations, no web advertising, no development of a website, no news paper ads, no canvassing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Candidates only petition, file the state paperwork and then sit on their ass and do nothing.

    This has changed slightly this election cycle (looking at a handful of U.S. Candidates – Williams for example; Sarvis made a decent attempt too in VA), but not nearly enough. If I’m not mistaken the candidate that has raised the most funds out of all the LP candidates (ignoring Johnson) is Moore in Nevada for re-election after his party switch… and he’s still 3 times behind the Democrat that had the same seat before he won it (he has so far out raised the Republican though). He WILL BE unseated by the former Democratic incumbent. The LP is guaranteed to go from two state Senators, and two state Assembly-members/Representatives down to one state Senator and that’s only because she’s not up for re-election.

    As a third-party, you HAVE to out raise both of your major party candidates, get more media than them, hold nearly daily town hall meetings, and canvas on a DAILY basis. It’s a 20-hour a day job, every day, and people have no desire to do it.

  10. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Andy: I spoke to Johnson/Weld supporters at the convention in Orlando who thought that Johnson/Weld had a realistic chance at winning the White House. Completely delusional.

    At the 2008 California LP convention, Wayne Allyn Root outlined a plan whereby he’d repeatedly be the LP presidential nominee until he wins in 20 years. So in 2028, I guess.

    Root said it was unrealistic for the LP (or for him) to win the presidency in 2008. That it would take 20 years of relentless running for him to build the necessary fame and following, but in the end he would win the presidency on the LP ticket.

    I don’t know to what extent Root was delusional, and to what extent he was simply telling the rubes what he thought we wanted to hear: a plan for the LP to WIN the presidency.

  11. George Dance

    Andy: “I spoke to Johnson/Weld supporters at the convention in Orlando who thought that Johnson/Weld had a realistic chance at winning the White House. Completely delusional.”

    Maybe they were some of that “lot of Republicans … that joined the party Wednesday and showed up to vote on Sunday” for Johnson that he who shall not be named has been telling the media about.

  12. D. Frank Robinson

    Excellent article. I have read and reread and cannot find a nit to pick. I am a pretty fair country nit picker. I re-emphasize “…put up candidates who can articulate the principles, and focus the attention on the down-ballot races where we have better shots at winning. These small victories in pursuit of establishing the party as a competitive presidential party will make the job that much easier. It is tough; the presidential candidate receives the majority of attention, but if we can single out principled libertarians to run down ticket, and build their local levels up, they will lay the foundation upon which a viable presidential campaign can be built on.”

  13. George Phillies

    “AMcCarrick October 13, 2016 at 15:58 Not a single candidate, below the presidency, that has run for a partisan office, has ever actually made an actual attempt. There’s zero to very little fundraising, zero effort to get on radio stations, no web advertising, no development of a website, no news paper ads, no canvassing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Candidates only petition, file the state paperwork and then sit on their ass and do nothing. ”

    What a total liar AMcCarrick is. I need go no farther than the candidate for State Representative with whom I had dinner last night, who has newspaper ads, press appearances, a web site, facebook ads, in at least one cycle radio ads. AMcCarrick’s claims that none of our candidates do things after getting the nomination is completely untrue.

  14. Mr. Brown

    There have been plenty of Libertarian candidates who have run hard-fought campaigns at the state and local levels in many states for many years and decades. Some of them have even been elected and served in office at the local level, and some of them are in office now.

  15. George Phillies

    Mr. Dlugos, You have my congratulations on having the good fortune not to need to listen to Johnson supporters who believe the nonsense that we agree is nonsense. I have been less lucky. I have had the extremely dubious privilege of listening to salaried Johnson staffers, within the last few months, claim that Johnson had a real hot at wining, including listing states that he was sure to carry.

    There have also been the characters claiming that if Johnson gets 5% of the vote Libertarians will get national “ballot access”. Most of these people, on questioning, had no idea what the phrase “ballot access” meant or, worse, had ideas that are at variance with reality.

  16. Anthony Dlugos

    Mr. Phillies,

    I believe your recounting of events.

    Perhaps I should just limit myself to…I never thought there was a realistic shot at winning. It was a million-to-one shot, at best.

    Frankly, maybe the professionals you are referring to are paid, in part, to project that attitude. Which is probably a good idea, IMHO.

  17. Anthony Dlugos

    First error: its easier to win partisan races at the local level than the Presidential level.

    There’s no evidence that’s true. It might be easier for a political neophyte running as a Libertarian to win a down ballot state or U.S. House seat than to win the Presidency, but that doesn’t mean its would be any more difficult for a candidate with previous elective office experience to win the Presidency as a Libertarian in the same election.

    Once the libertarian message gets through to the American people, they will have no problem electing Libertarians at all levels of government.

    It might be some comfort to some Libertarians that we’ll be able to control the process in the way Mr. Hunt desires, but the reality of political realignment…whether its here in the US or elsewhere on the planet…is that once the people accept the tenets of a political party’s message, they’re essentially going to trust those tenets at every level of government essentially simultaneously. The only difference will be the level of experience of the candidates elected at different levels of government.

    I implore folks to go take a look at the birth of the Republican Party. There were certainly abolitionist as a core faction of the party, but the folks who got elected to office were almost exclusively defectors from other parties. As was Abraham Lincoln, as we all know.

    Nothing is more powerful than idea whose time has come. Given the nature of political realignments, the ascendancy of the Libertarian Party is going to occur much quicker than Mr. Hunt realizes. Libertarians will win office everywhere and all at once, at all levels of government. The political structure, the distribution channels, the professional staff that many Libertarians think we need to build will simply be taken from the dinosaur parties. There’s no need for us to build it. It’s already there.

    At some point in the not too distant future…someone important in the GOP is going to look around and say, “You know, I do believe this ship may sink.” I don’t know who its gonna be, and it may not even be the most important person in the party. but it will be the tipping point, and then the floodgates will open.

  18. Deran

    I would point out that there are characters who post on IPR who, rather than explaining their interpretation, and who don’t like the impurity of Johnson/Weld, vompletely dismiss the usefulness and importance of getting 5% of the national popular vote. It is an important mark for any third party. 5% gets that party to an FEC podition where they would qualify for X millions of dollars, to be used for their next POTUS nominating convention, I think.

  19. Jeremy Siple Post author

    “Not as delusional as turning a presidential election into an semester-length class,
    101: Intro to Anarchy. Taught by a professor who is actually a radio talk show host in the megalopolis know as New Hampshire.”

    I fail to see the delusion. Darryl would have used the spotlight that was already on the LP to advance our principles. Even Austin Petersen would have done a better job than Gary, despite his horrible attitude and rejection of the NAP, he’s certainly better on the issues and articulates them well.

    Now would Darryl be polling as high as Gary? Probably not. But I also don’t care, the media attention would still be there because of how terrible Trump and Hillary are, which is the only reason Gary’s getting it anyway.

  20. steve m

    Where is the beef?

    The Libertarian wing of the Libertarian party polls at under 0.4% of the vote.

    The Libertarian wing of the Libertarian party can’t get on all 50 state ballots.

    The pragmatic wing has a candidate that represents enough Libertarianism and has a realistic chance to keep Libertarians on the ballot with reduced cost for at least a few years.

    So I call BS on this article.

    Y’all have a nice week anyway

  21. Austin Cassidy

    Johnson/Weld seems headed for a showing somewhere between Nader 2000 and Perot 96… it’ll be interesting to see if that’s a first step towards greater relevance or a momentary blip.

    I don’t think that many pragmatic Libertarians really think there’s more than a fraction of a percent chance of Gary Johnson actually becoming president. It would require a whole lot of crazy stuff to happen, including J/W winning a state and/or a collection of faithless electors.

    Regardless, the Johnson/Weld ticket seems on track to out-perform any previous Libertarian presidential campaign by a good margin. As a result, the LP will be entering the 2018 mid-term elections in very good shape for ballot access and with no distracting presidential race on the ballot.

    The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has really annoyed me in the recent decade. The NH state house has 400 members and the party should be running large and credible slates of candidates. In many recent cycles, the party has offered up only a small handful of challengers. Is there really only ONE candidate this year? Sheesh!

    Stuff like that has got to change.

  22. Andy

    “steve m
    October 13, 2016 at 23:43
    Where is the beef?

    The Libertarian wing of the Libertarian party polls at under 0.4% of the vote.

    The Libertarian wing of the Libertarian party can’t get on all 50 state ballots.”

    Bullshit. Andre Marrou was on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC in 1992. Harry Browne was on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC in 1996. Harry Browne would have been on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC if not for the dispute with the LP of Arizona which led to them putting a different candidate for President on the ballot in that state, but Harry did get on the ballot in the other 49 states plus DC.

    Bob Barr was only on the ballot in 45 states in 2008. Gary Johnson was on the ballot in 48 state plus DC in 2012.

    Gary Johnson is on the ballot in all 50 states plus DC this year, but keep in mind that there have been some changes in the law over the last few years that made ballot access easier in some states (most notably Oklahoma). and also keep in mind that there were some states where Libertarian Party candidates met ballot retention vote tests in 2014 which got us automatic ballot access for 2016 (the happened for the first time ever in Maryland and in North Dakota in 2014, for two examples).

  23. Andy

    “Deran
    October 13, 2016 at 21:23
    I would point out that there are characters who post on IPR who, rather than explaining their interpretation, and who don’t like the impurity of Johnson/Weld, vompletely dismiss the usefulness and importance of getting 5% of the national popular vote. It is an important mark for any third party. 5% gets that party to an FEC podition where they would qualify for X millions of dollars, to be used for their next POTUS nominating convention, I think.”

    Why is it assumed that in order to get lots of votes we have to nominate candidates who sell out our principles? What is the point of getting lots of votes if you sell out your principles?

    Why should getting a big check from the government be a sought after goal? Wouldn’t it be better to build up the number of actual Libertarians in this country who want to donate money to us because they think that we are doing things that are worthwhile in advancing the cause of liberty?

  24. Andy

    “Jeremy Siple Post author
    October 13, 2016 at 23:31
    ‘Not as delusional as turning a presidential election into an semester-length class,
    101: Intro to Anarchy. Taught by a professor who is actually a radio talk show host in the megalopolis know as New Hampshire.’

    I fail to see the delusion. Darryl would have used the spotlight that was already on the LP to advance our principles. Even Austin Petersen would have done a better job than Gary, despite his horrible attitude and rejection of the NAP, he’s certainly better on the issues and articulates them well.

    Now would Darryl be polling as high as Gary? Probably not. But I also don’t care, the media attention would still be there because of how terrible Trump and Hillary are, which is the only reason Gary’s getting it anyway.”

    I agree.

    We have no way of knowing for sure how Perry would be polling if he had been nominated, but even if it was lower than Johnson is at in the polls, that is not as big of a deal as some people are making it out to be, because I bet that if Perry had been the candidate, he would have converted more people over to a hardcore Libertarian philosophy.

    The Libertarian Party is nowhere close to where it would need to be in order to have a realistic chance at winning the White House, so the goal of the presidential campaign is not to just get votes for the sake of getting votes, it is to spread the Libertarian message and win more people over to a hardcore Libertarian philosophy, so we can build the party and movement up for future victories (including victories that come outside of electoral politics).

  25. Andy

    Petersen, McAfee, or the late Dr. Feldman would have been better candidates as well. Sharpe, Coley, Weiss, or Grayson (even though I did not care for his last minute party hopping) would have been better than Weld.

    This could have been a really good year for the Libertarian Party, but once again, a majority of LP national convention delegates decided to throw a good opportunity in the garbage.

    We need better delegates at future conventions.

  26. Tony From Long Island

    Andy ” . . . . . We have no way of knowing for sure how Perry would be polling if he had been nominated, but even if it was lower than Johnson is at in the polls, that is not as big of a deal as some people are making it out to be, because I bet that if Perry had been the candidate, he would have converted more people over to a hardcore Libertarian philosophy. . . . . ”

    You inadvertently point out something very important – and one of the reasons I felt compelled to leave. I don’t want to and never wanted convert anyone to a HARDCORE libertarian philosophy. There’s a reason why the hardcore purist make up a minority of the LP.

    In my opinion, it is an unrealistic utopia (for some a dystopia) and will never come to pass. I would much rather have 10,000 Gary Johnson’s in the LP than one single Daryl Perry (or Andy).

    So go ahead and say that I am not a libertarian so my opinion is meaningless, but I was once and couldn’t take it anymore. Plus a larger and more nationally credible party is good for democracy. All parties have a hardcore wing, but they are always minorities.

  27. Mr. Brown

    “The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has really annoyed me in the recent decade.”

    They just had a leadership change in the last few weeks. The new vice chair, Rodger Paxton, was instrumental in taking a moribund Arkansas LP and making it one of the more successful state chapters with many candidates running every year, and they would have even more if the state did not pass a crazy new law requiring them to nominate a year ahead of schedule. Together with Perry’s ability to reach out to the larger small l libertarian movement in NH which has mostly ignored or been hostile to the LP they are turning things around in NH. Already, they have a sitting big L state legislator (Max Abramson) who is running for Governor and could retain ballot access, which makes it especially galling that Bill Weld is donating to his very unlibertarian Republican opponent, Sununu.

  28. Anthony Dlugos

    The single biggest obstacle our party has to overcome is the “wasted vote” mentality.

    I have no idea how people think nominating someone with the express purpose of educating & “spreading the message,” someone we’d explicitly admit CAN’T win, is gonna get people to listen.

    Note that I’m not opposed to nominating an “educational mission” candidate because I think that person would have a fractionally smaller chance of winning the presidency. I’m opposed to nominating an Educational Mission Purity candidate because it fails the Purists’ own goal of spreading the message.

    A presidential election, filled with 3-5 minute tv interviews on a wide variety of present day policy issues, is no time for
    an educational campaign. The only people listening would be the already converted.

  29. D. Frank Robinson

    AD, a presidential ticket could educate people why the electoral system makes it very difficult for non-entrenched (state-sponsored) to win at any level. They can also educate people why they should vote for LP candidates for the state legislature and Congress who can be elected directly by the voters. The internet makes such national messaging rather easy – even if it takes a 10 or 20 minute “lecture.”

    People can see and meet these state and congressional candidates and that makes them more likely to cast a vote that matters as well the presidential vote that is indirect and more problematic.

  30. Austin Cassidy

    MB: “The new vice chair, Rodger Paxton, was instrumental in taking a moribund Arkansas LP and making it one of the more successful state chapters with many candidates running every year.”

    That’s very encouraging to hear. Those NH state legislative races are low-hanging fruit and it would be really useful to have a Libertarian caucus within the NH state house — similar to the early 90’s when there were 4 Libertarian members in there.

    Good to hear!

  31. Austin Cassidy

    The best path to success for the Libertarian Party is a strategy of “all of the above, all at once.”

    It’s not a good presidential campaign OR good local candidates… it’s both.

    Finding and recruiting better and more credible candidates at all levels. Convincing voters that they should give Libertarians serious consideration in future elections — at all levels!

    Heck, if Gary Johnson doesn’t win New Mexico or Alaska (and he probably won’t), the next best thing would be for Evan McMullin’s Mormon Brigades to win Utah. It demonstrates that independent and minor party candidates CAN win and have an impact on elections.

    The last time a candidate other than the Republican or Democrat won a state in a presidential election, two thirds of the viewers at home were watching the returns on black and white television sets.

    I think Richard Winger has made this point repeatedly, but there were hundreds of Congressional races and thousands of state legislative races around the country this year where no Libertarian stepped forward to run. In some of those places the ballot access is tough, but in others it’s really not so bad.

    But that’s fine, since 2016 is about to be in the history books.

    Gary Johnson has made it clear this is his last election as a candidate… and he’s also made it clear that he’s a “Big L” Libertarian for life.

    Bill Weld seems like a really smart guy, he’s been a big help to the ticket in gaining media exposure and financial backing… will he remain a registered Libertarian after this race is over? Who knows. He made a dumb decision in that NH donation, but it’s not the end of the world. And frankly it’s not that important what Bill Weld does after November 8, he’s 71 years old and this is his last campaign. If he goes back to calling himself a libertarian Republican in 2017 at dinner parties, who gives a damn?

    Thank him for his help and move on to the next election.

    There are 3 weeks left — and you get to choose how you spend those days.

    There’s 3 weeks to maximize the Libertarian Party’s presidential vote total. Maybe even with a shot at breaking 5% and qualifying the LP for some federal funding. Of course, the party could refuse the money or do some kind of stunt with it, but you have to QUALIFY FOR IT before that debate is even worth having.

    There’s also 3 weeks left to elect Libertarians at the state and local levels.

    I’ll probably find myself stuffing a few envelopes and putting up yard signs for Johnson/Weld… but if you aren’t excited by the Presidential ticket then by all means choose ANY other Libertarian candidate that you are excited about and do something to help their campaign.

  32. Mr. Brown

    “Finding and recruiting better and more credible candidates at all levels.”

    I agree with that. We only disagree what that means, at least at the presidential level. “Bigger resume of anti-liberty accomplishments with the establishment parties” is not a measure of credibility for Libertarian candidates, unless it is accompanied by “major change in policy views towards libertarian positions and sincere apology for past errors,” and even then believability is still a barrier to be overcome.

    “Gary Johnson has made it clear this is his last election as a candidate… and he’s also made it clear that he’s a “Big L” Libertarian for life.”

    I missed the first announcement. If you have a link handy I would appreciate it. Politicians change their minds and go back on their word all the time, so even if he did make both of those things clear, they may or may not turn out to be true. He may yet change his mind. He may or may not have told the truth. Etc.

    “And frankly it’s not that important what Bill Weld does after November 8, he’s 71 years old and this is his last campaign. ”

    71 is not that old nowadays. Clinton and Trump are both very close to that age and whichever one wins, and perhaps whichever one loses as well, will probably run again. There are dozens of members of congress and governors who are older than 71 and seek re-election, some significantly older, and more all the time. I would not assume it’s Weld’s last campaign. Just to take one example, in 2020 Weld will be will be younger than Ron Paul was in 2012. And whether or not Weld seeks elective office again, it’s completely plausible to see him “help Romney and Bush rebuild the Republican Party” as he has hinted he would, or to garner some political appointment from his lifelong friend Hillary Clinton’s administration. What makes you think he’s retiring after this year?

  33. Mr. Brown

    “A presidential election, filled with 3-5 minute tv interviews on a wide variety of present day policy issues, is no time for
    an educational campaign. The only people listening would be the already converted.”

    Not always true. Plenty of people were inspired to get involved and dig deeper into libertarian thought and activism, partisan or otherwise, by past “educational” campaigns such as those of Ron Paul and Harry Browne. The same has happened with other smaller parties as well.

  34. Anthony Dlugos

    “Bigger resume of anti-liberty accomplishments with the establishment parties” is not a measure of credibility for Libertarian candidates…”

    It is a metaphysical certitude that sufficiently qualified candidates who decide to run for President as a Libertarian are gonna have a bigger resume of anti-Liberty accomplishments with the establishment parties.

    The last three “third party” candidates to win significant electoral votes as president…Wallace, Teddy Roosevelt, and Lincoln…were defectors from establishment parties who had in some part “accomplishments” opposed to the tenets of their new party.

    Your demand is essentially for a fictitious savior without original sin who rises up through the political ranks to become qualified to be president WITHOUT some anti-libertarian accomplishments. With due respect, that’s not reality, it’s religious mythmaking.

    “…unless it is accompanied by sincere apology for past errors, and even then believability is still a barrier to be overcome.”

    There is a scene near the end of the Mel Gibson movie Ransom where he explains to the kidnapper of his kid (whom he did not know was the kidnapper yet), that he would have gladly paid ten times what kidnappers wanted, if he could have trusted them. He knew he could not; the kidnappers would not have honored the deal.

    Only a fool running for the LP nomination for president would apologize under the terms you suggested, especially considering what faction of the party this demand for contrition would be coming from. An apology would simply be incentive to demand more contrition on more and more esoteric libertarian issues until the candidate’s campaign is flown directly into the ground and obliterated.

    Governor Johnson handled the situation properly in Orlando: he admittted he wasn’t the perfect Libertarian, but when the gotcha question about the CRA was posed to him at the debate, he affirmed that he would have voted for it. As communications director Joe Hunter pointed out, we were eventually gonna lose the people upset with that answer anyway.

  35. Austin Cassidy

    Mr. Brown:

    I believe Johnson has said it a few times, most recently during a lengthy interview with C-SPAN. He was crystal clear on the matter. Now could he change his mind? Sure? Could a 75 year old Bill Weld suddenly run for something else? Sure, I guess. Anything could happen.

    But it doesn’t really matter. They’re doing their duty right here and now by working hard to get as many voters as possible to vote for the Libertarian ticket for the first time in their lives. This is all about cracking the door open for future success.

    There are lots of valid arguments about who the party should run in 2020 (and 2018) — and those will come. The Libertarian Party has nominated candidates with substantial governmental experience in the last 3 cycles and the results have been:

    2008 – 523,000 votes (first time over 500k since 1980)
    2012 – 1,275,000 votes (first time over a million votes ever)
    2016 – likely between 2-8 million votes

    It’s worked very well this year, because the Republicans lost their mind and nominated Donald Trump.

    But maybe it is time for a new direction. Now that this foundation is built, maybe the best candidate for 2020 will be a Ross Perot style libertarian millionaire or billionaire. Peter Thiel for President?

    Or maybe a media figure. Andrew Napolitano? Stossel?

    Maybe another accomplished libertarian-leaning politician who defects from one of the major parties? Justin Amash? Rand Paul?

    I guess we’ll have to wait a few years to see, but it’s an exciting moment for the party and I really hope that the LP survives the inevitable in-fighting that goes along with this level of success.

  36. Mr. Brown

    “Your demand is essentially for a fictitious savior without original sin who rises up through the political ranks to become qualified to be president WITHOUT some anti-libertarian accomplishments.”

    Well, no, it’s not. For starters, I distinguish between being a plausible candidate to win the race, which LP candidates are not even when they have mainstream credentials, and qualified to run as the LP candidate and promote and build the LP; the latter does not require having risen through the political ranks. Additionally, I don’t exclude the possibility of someone who did rise through those ranks having a sincere conversion, but I’m skeptical when such claims are made by those seeking the presidential or VP nomination shortly after their conversion, and so far my skepticism has been borne out when they continued to run on their less than libertarian records and positions as LP candidates and then went back to their establishment parties. I expect Weld, and perhaps Johnson, to complete the same trajectory.

    “Only a fool running for the LP nomination for president would apologize under the terms you suggested,”

    If they have experienced a sincere conversion they would have no problem apologizing for some of their past views and actions. It should be based on what they sincerely believe now, not what anyone demands of them.

    As for 2020, so far Kokesh seems like the most promising candidate.

  37. Andy

    Anthony Dlugos said:

    >2008 – 523,000 votes (first time over 500k since 1980)”

    The population of the USA has grown a lot since then, and when you take into account the more important criteria of percent of the vote, Ed Clark in 1980, Harry Browne in 1996, and Ron Paul in 1988, all received higher percentages of the vote than Bob Barr did in 2008.

    Also, the potential for votes was much higher in 2008, and Bob Barr screwed this up by alienating lots of Ron Paul supporters.

    “2012 – 1,275,000 votes (first time over a million votes ever)”

    It was also the EASIEST election year circumstances ever for a Libertarian Party candidate, with no higher profile minor party or independent candidate in the race, greatly increased name recognition of the word libertarian (mostly because of Ron Paul), and the growth of the internet (which meant that lots of people could be reached for much cheaper than it cost in the past).

    Also, there had already been Libertarian Party candidates who had received over 1 million votes for state level races prior to 2012. Yes, it was the first time a Libertarian Party candidate for President received over 1 million votes, but not the first time that a Libertarian Party candidate had received over 1 million votes.

    It should also be noted that Ed Clark received a higher percent of the vote than Gary Johnson, and that Ed Clark ran under a far more difficult set of circumstances.

    “2016 – likely between 2-8 million votes”

    We do not know how many votes that Johnson/Weld will end up getting, but all of the factors from the 2012 election exist to an even greater extent in this election, so once again, we have any easier set of circumstances than past elections.

    I expect that Johnson/Weld will under-perform from what the potential could have been, but they are still likely to pull in a number that will sound impressive to at least some people. Regardless of how many votes they get, I think that it was a lousy campaign because they presented a message to the public that was so watered down that it trickled off in lots of non-libertarian directions, and they did a poor job of presenting that message. The damage that Johnson/Weld have done to the Libertarian Party and movement will be felt for years to come.

  38. George Dance

    from the article – “those that insist that we waste time, resources, and energy on an unrealistic presidential campaign are wanting that time, resources, and energy to be led away from candidates that actually stand a shot of winning.”

    Begs the question: If the LP had not nominated anyone this year, would all the “time, money, and resources” voluntarily contributed to the presidential campaign have gone to Clayton Hunt’s preferred local candidates instead?

    Does Clayton Hunt really think that his preferred candidates have any claim on any “time, money, and resources” that the donors of same don’t give them?

  39. Fred

    I may be a misfit in every grouping, but I’m a pragmatic anarchist.

    Sure I would love it if we could get someone who was truly good at communicating our message to the masses, but I also recognize that had we elected someone like Lee Wrights or Daryl Perry we wouldn’t be getting any more press than Darrell Castle.
    The other two big candidates this year (McCaffee and Petersen) left plenty of room for improvement.
    There are benefits to getting a higher percentage of the vote. Easier ballot access, matching funds, better publicity for future candidate that can be gained even if we aren’t close to winning an election.

    These could either benefit our cause or backfire on us, but here is something my years of work as an activist in my party have shown me. Every body seems to have a plan for how they think we need to proceed and most are so convinced their way is the only way that we work against each other instead of with each other.

    I would never suggest that you support a candidate you can’t tolerate (I couldn’t allow myself to vote for Bob Barr) but sometimes we would do better to just work toward what we are trying to accomplish instead of arguing with each other

  40. Andy

    “Fred
    October 15, 2016 at 13:03
    I may be a misfit in every grouping, but I’m a pragmatic anarchist.

    Sure I would love it if we could get someone who was truly good at communicating our message to the masses, but I also recognize that had we elected someone like Lee Wrights or Daryl Perry we wouldn’t be getting any more press than Darrell Castle.”

    First off, the mainstream media in this country has been in bed with big government for a long time, and is biased in favor of the mainstream Democrat and mainstream Republican candidates, so Libertarians and other outsiders will never get a fair shake in the mainstream media.

    Second of all, Harry Browne ran on platform that was pretty damn radical, and even though he did not receive as much coverage as Bill Clinton or Bob Dole or Ross Perot or Ralph Nader in 1996, or as Al Gore or George W. Bush or Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan in 2000, he did receive some media coverage, as he appeared on several TV shows, and was on numerous radio shows. Harry Browne was far better on libertarian ideology as compared to Barr/Root or Johnson/Gray or Johnson/Weld, and he was also an excellent communicator, so the media appearances that he did were of far more value to the Libertarian Party and cause than the media appearances of the aforementioned were/are.

    Libertarians need to wake up and realize that we will NEVER get a fair shake in the mainstream media, and compromising our principles with hope that if we do this, the mainstream media will give us a fair shake, because all we accomplish by doing this is making ourselves looks like sell outs and look stupid (see Johnson/Weld), and even then, THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA STILL DOES NOT GIVE US A FAIR SHAKE AS COMPARED TO THE COVERAGE THEY GIVE TO DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.

    The solution to this problem is to focus on other ways to reach people, like by BUILDING OUR OWN MEDIA (How many libertarians talk about the free market and being an entrepreneur, but won’t give off their ass to build their own media ventures?), or by actually going out and talking to the public (How many libertarians won’t get off their ass to do door-to-door canvassing, or won’t man an outreach table/booth, or won’t pick up clip boards and pens and go out and collect petition signatures to place Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot, or to place a pro-liberty initiative, referendum, or recall on the ballot (petition drives are excellent opportunities to talk to large numbers of people)?).

    I think that the too many Libertarians are looking for easy solutions to the problems that we face. They want to just sick back and nominate some candidate who has “mainstream” credentials that the “mainstream” will supposedly take seriously, and that this candidate will get lots of votes, and then we will be free. This is a DELUSION. REALITY is that THERE ARE NO EASY SOLUTIONS TO OUR PROBLEMS. Building a free society, or trying to swing our present society in the direction of more freedom, are not easy things to do. They are going to take lots of work by lots of people, and that’s all that there is to it, and watering down our principles to the point where they trickle off in lots of non-libertarian directions (as Johnson/Weld are doing) is NEVER going to get us anywhere.

    “There are benefits to getting a higher percentage of the vote. Easier ballot access, matching funds, better publicity for future candidate that can be gained even if we aren’t close to winning an election.”

    Why are you assuming that running a more principled Libertarian ticket is automatically going to mean less votes? The circumstances surrounding every election are different.

    Ron Paul ran on a pretty hardcore libertarian platform in the Republican primaries in 2012 and he received over 2 million votes. Getting votes in the primaries is a lot more difficult than in the general election. We can only speculate as to how many votes Ron Paul would have received had he been on the general election ballot in 2012 as a minor party or independent candidate, but if he had, I do not think that it would be an outrageous claim to say that he could have easily received over 6 million votes in the general election (this could be a low estimate if anything for what the potential was).

    We have no way of knowing for sure how John McAfee or Austin Petersen or Darryl W. Perry or the late Dr. Feldman would have done had they been on the general election ballot this year, but given the circumstances of this election, I’d bet that all of them would have done better than average for a Libertarian Party candidate.

    Also, what is the point in getting lots of votes if we compromise too many of our principles away? If we have candidates who regularly urinate on multiple sections of the Libertarian Party’s platform, as Johnson/Weld have done, and who regularly run away from/avoid using the word Libertarian, as Johnson/Weld have done, then how valuable are any votes they get? These votes are not very valuable, because they are not really voting for us, as in the REAL Libertarian Party, they are voting for some some kind of watered down, political establishment appeasing version of it. REAL Libertarians do not admire Hillary Clinton. REAL Libertarians do not want to work with Mitt Romney after the election is over to rebuild the Republican Party. REAL Libertarians do not make campaign contributions to big government Republicans like Chris Sununu. REAL Libertarians do not refer to William Weld as “the original Libertarian”.

    Votes for Johnson/Weld do NOT represent votes for anything resembling the REAL Libertarian Party. They represent votes for a watered down, mealy mouthed, establishment ass kissing version of “Libertarian,” which is really not very libertarian at all.

    “Easier ballot access, matching funds,”

    The presidential vote total does not affect ballot access in every state. Some states do not have vote tests for ballot retention for presidential candidates, and there are three states where Johnson/Weld are on as independents, Ohio, Tennessee, and Alabama, so it does not matter how many votes they get in those states in regard to Libertarian Party ballot access, because they are not listed on the ballot under the Libertarian Party label. Ballot access laws are complicated, and they vary from state to state, so you need to examine the laws in each state before you make any blanket assertions about ballot access.

    Lots of Libertarians oppose taking matching funds on philosophical grounds, and outside of the philosophical argument, taking the government money does not represent real Libertarian growth, as their are no actual Libertarian donors behind it, and this money will likely attract more con-artists and hucksters to the party who will be interested in lining their own pockets with that money, or using it for their own nefarious purposes (like funding a campaign that has little or nothing to do with promoting the Libertarian Party or philosophy). More money for the party would be great, but it is much better if there are actual libertarian Libertarians who are the ones donating that money, because this represents real growth.

    “better publicity for future candidate that can be gained even if we aren’t close to winning an election.”

    There is good publicity, and there is bad publicity. Candidates who get publicity, but use that publicity to misrepresent the party/philosophy to the public (as Johnson/Weld have done), and who come off looking like buffoons (as Johnson/Weld have done), are not really doing us any favors by getting this publicity.

    “The other two big candidates this year (McCaffee and Petersen) left plenty of room for improvement.”

    Sure they did, but they almost certainly would have been better than Johnson/Weld.

    I think that Darryl W. Perry should have gotten the nomination, but there were areas where he needed to improve as well. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate.

  41. Anthony Dlugos

    1) Browne got .5% and .36% of the vote in his two runs. I’m not sure what success he had in delivering the Libertarian message. Gary Johnson may not be known in every household, but I’ll bet not one in a million knows who Browne is. (R.I.P)

    2) Not sure why you think running a radical or purist is going to get us a fair shake from the media, or how said radical/purist is gonna make his case to the American people if he can’t, or how we’re going to “build our own media” with essentially no money.

    3) Ron Paul was attacked by radicals . Radicals attack whomever the nominee is. Its what keeps them alive. Ron Paul also had a limited ceiling due to his more extreme positions, and his only experience being in the House.

    4) We don’t know FOR SURE how John McAfee or Austin Petersen or Darryl W. Perry or the late Dr. Feldman would have done, but we have a pretty damn good idea based on the resumes of people who have previously become President, up to and including the one that will likely win this time. None of those people in our 240 year history have backgrounds that look like McAfee’s, Petersen’s, and certainly not Perry’s. We don’t know for sure, but its likely they would have ended up under 1%.

    5) “I think that the too many Libertarians are looking for easy solutions to the problems that we face.”
    No, YOU are the one looking for an easy solution. You’re expecting any dope who can rattle off the platform is A) ready to be elected B) ready to actually be the President. You think the Presidency is simply “Chief Pontificator” and the person in the office needs no comparable executive skills. That’s remarkably simplistic thinking.

    6)” Building a free society, or trying to swing our present society in the direction of more freedom, are not easy things to do. They are going to take lots of work by lots of people, and that’s all that there is to it,…”

    Exactly. It takes a HELL of a lot more than just being able to rattle of platform planks. In fact, that’s the LEAST of what a Libertarian president would need, although he or she would need some basic understanding of libertarian principles.

    Not that the job of a President is to “build a free society” anyway. Although I think a lot of Radicals/Purists thinks it is. They think a President is elected dictator with a blank slate and an ability to remake society in any way they choose. Like employees of the federal government, members of Congress and so on, would just listen to what Perry says and do what he says just because the guy can rattle of libertarian principles.

  42. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    October 15, 2016 at 14:31
    1) Browne got .5% and .36% of the vote in his two runs. I’m not sure what success he had in delivering the Libertarian message. Gary Johnson may not be known in every household, but I’ll bet not one in a million knows who Browne is. (R.I.P)”

    Anthony sure does like to cherry pick statements and omit facts that are not convenient to his argument. What Anthony NEGLECTED to mention here is that Harry Browne ran under far more difficult sets of circumstances as compared to Gary Johnson. Harry Browne had to run against two higher profile independent/minor party candidates, in Ross Perot and Ralph Nader in 1996, and Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan in 2000. The internet was not nearly as developed in 1996 or 2000 as it is today, and there were nowhere near as many people online in 1996 and 2000 as compared to today, and the internet is a cheap way to reach lots of people. Public recognition of the word libertarian was much higher in 2012, and today in 2016, than it was in 1996 and in 2000, thanks in large part to Ron Paul’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. The “wasted vote” syndrome was more prevalent in 1996 and especially in 2000, than it is right now, with more people than ever being turned off by the major party candidates.

    So yes, Gary Johnson got more votes, and a higher percent of the vote, in 2012 than Harry Browne received in 1996 and in 2000, and he is likely to get more votes and a higher percent of the vote this time as well, BUT HE ALSO RAN UNDER FAR EASIER CIRCUMSTANCES.

    When it came to spreading an actual libertarian message, and bringing in more actual Libertarians to the party and movement, Harry Browne did a MUCH BETTER job than Gary Johnson.

    People still read Harry Browne’s books and articles today. 10 years from now, who is going to care to read anything written by Gary Johnson?

  43. robert capozzi

    aj: People still read Harry Browne’s books and articles today. 10 years from now, who is going to care to read anything written by Gary Johnson?

    me: Oy! Browne was an author. GJ isn’t one. Sheesh!

  44. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Anthony Dlugos: Ron Paul was attacked by radicals .

    I’m thought of as radical, and I voted for Ron Paul. I believe Jill Stone, Alan Pyeatt, and Angela Keaton are radicals who liked Paul. There are others too.

    Maybe purists didn’t love Ron Paul. But purists are only a small segment of the LP’s radical wing.

    I believe most radicals are open to both incrementalism and prioritization. We don’t expect to have it all at once, and we’re willing to focus on issues that are important to us.

  45. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m still driving around with a Ron Paul 2012 bumper sticker on my car! I can’t bear to pull it off, plus it’s a great conversation-starter.

  46. Andy

    Anthony Dlugos said: “3) Ron Paul was attacked by radicals . Radicals attack whomever the nominee is.”

    How do you define radical? Lots of libertarians got behind Ron Paul. There were a small number of libertarians who did not, but I think that most libertarians supported Ron Paul.

    If you define radical as an anarchist, there were plenty of anarchist libertarians who supported Ron Paul.

    “Its what keeps them alive. Ron Paul also had a limited ceiling due to his more extreme positions, and his only experience being in the House.”

    Ron Paul did a better job of bringing large numbers of people into the libertarian movement, and educating the general public as to what a libertarian is, than anyone else has ever done.

  47. robert capozzi

    aj, funny, I just watched that vid and didn’t hear what you heard. What I did hear was RP1 saying he’s OK with peaceful anarchists and peaceful socialists, for that matter.

    But maybe I missed something. Where did he say he is an anarchist in that vid?

  48. Fred

    Andy,

    One area I certainly agree with you about is that too few Libertarians are willing to do any real outreach and work.
    Too many want that easy solution or want someone else to do the work they think should get done. Many would also rather spend their time arguing with each other instead or working with each other.

    This election cycle the LP candidate would have likely faired better than average regardless of who we put up. Ron Paul did have a much more libertarian platform than GJ/BW but Paul also had credentials as an elected official and experience in office. Something we lacked in Harry Brown or would have in our other candidates.
    Experience is part of the equation of what gets voters attention.

    Honestly, I don’t know if it will work. But I do know that there are several paths toward moving one’s ideological dot to the top of the Nolan chart. Some get there by hearing the message and getting the reasoning. Others move more slowly in that direction. Being introduced to the party and some of the philosophy by a moderate may be what some people need to be able to later accept a more complete acceptance.
    I do know that I have many friends that have in the past quickly rejected Libertarian candidates who are now embracing Gary Johnson. People who were both life long Ds and Rs are seeing this as a viable option.
    They aren’t libertarian purists yet, but an interesting thing happens when they accept a Libertarian candidate. They start listening to and learning about other Libertarian candidates. Sometimes they start talking to other libertarians. If we help them, they become introduced to Lysander Spooner, Lidwig Von Mises, Mary Ruwart or others.

    That is what can happen if we seize the opportunity and use it to our advantage. That doesn’t mean that in 2020 we don’t campaign to nominate someone more Libertarian, but we have a better chance of getting support for that candidate if we use this year as an opportunity

  49. Andy

    Fred said: “Experience is part of the equation of what gets voters attention.”

    Yeah, Donald Trump has not gotten any attention from voters. Neither did Ross Perot or Ralph Nader.

  50. Andy

    Fred said: “That is what can happen if we seize the opportunity and use it to our advantage”

    A majority of Libertarian Party delegates in Orlando decided to take a great opportunity that was presented to us this year and flush it down the toilet by nominating a couple of turds as candidates.

  51. Anthony Dlugos

    Donald Trump: 100% name recognition + several decades running a billion dollar corporation with 30,000 employees.

    Ross Perot: well over 50% name recognition, built his OWN billion dollar corporation and was able to buy an endless series of infomercials promoting his campaign.

    Ralph Nader: surely over 50% name recognition, decades in the public eye, countless media appearances since the 1970’s.

    Typical LP inexperienced candidates: 0% name recognition, no money, no discernible means of support, sh*tty resume if they even have one, no business accomplishments whatsoever, media appearances limited to podcasts listened to only by dozens, dispositions that would get them protective custody in Sing Sing for fear that some gangbanger would shiv them just to shut them up.

  52. Andy

    Fred said: ” That doesn’t mean that in 2020 we don’t campaign to nominate someone more Libertarian, but we have a better chance of getting support for that candidate if we use this year as an opportunity”

    This is the third presidential election in a row where the Libertarian Party has nominated a ticket that is not really libertarian. I bet that four years from now, assuming that we are still having elections in 2020, there will be another move to get some kind of watered down “respectable” candidates who really are not that libertarian, if libertarian at all, with the excuse given that the 2020 election will be “too important” to “waste” by nominating “purist” candidates who lack “shiny badge” or “mainstream” credentials/respectability.

    I thought that after the Bob Barr / Wayne Root debacle in 2008 that the Libertarian Party would have learned its lesson and would start nominating actual libertarians for the presidential ticket again, but apparently not. I thought that after the 2012 election, when it came out that Gary Johnson had lied about his campaign debt, and after Johnson continued to stump for the anti-libertarian Fair Tax proposal, as well as other anti-libertarian positions that he espoused, and after he brought in CFR establishment stooge Bill Weld and tried to pass him off as being “the original libertarian,” that surely, a majority of Libertarian Party delegates would reject him and his establishment shill preferred running mate, but obviously that did not happen.

    There will not be any changes unless there is a radical shift in the composition of delegates that show up at the next couple of national conventions. If a majority of delegates show up are the same people, and/or have the same mentality, as the people who brought us Bob Barr and Gary Johnson, then it will be more bullshit in 2020.

  53. Andy

    “Typical LP inexperienced candidates: 0% name recognition, no money, no discernible means of support, sh*tty resume if they even have one, no business accomplishments whatsoever, media appearances limited to podcasts listened to only by dozens,”

    If this is what you believe, then all the more reason to start building up actual libertarian Libertarians so that we can run an actual libertarian Libertarian from within our own ranks. How many state or local candidates have you gone out and canvassed for or done anything to promote this year? How about helping get Libertarians elected to local or state offices so we can build up our own team?

    I think that you are exaggerating a bit here. Harry Browne was a successful investment adviser and author. Harry Browne received a lot more media appearances than you are acting like he got. I’ve got a VHS tape with Harry Browne’s appearances on Hannity & Colmes and The O’Reilly Factor from 2000 that I’d love to transfer to YouTube sometime.

    Darryl W. Perry, while not rich, is not just some guy who is who is just heard on a podcast or a local radio show. He is one of the hosts of Free Talk Live which is heard on over 150 radio stations.

    Media appearances/publicity, can actually be bad things if the candidates do not display a solid grasp on libertarian philosophy, and/or if they are gaffe prone and make asses of themselves in public, both of which Johnson/Weld have done while on the campaign trail representing us. I’d rather that our ticket not get any publicity than get that kind of publicity.

  54. Fred

    Andy,

    I didn’t go to this last convention mostly because of the way the LP has treated my state (Oregon).
    Unless I can be guaranteed that my state can choose its own delegates than I have no reason to be involved.

    But as I looked at the three likely to win candidates I was unimpressed.
    Petersen sounds like he belongs in the Constitution Party and his strategy consisted of releasing “Liberty ninjas” whatever the hell that means.
    McAfee (who I liked) was far to willing to offend everyone and seemed to lack emotional maturity.
    Nobody else was able to get enough support to even compete within the party, which doesn’t give much hope for rallying support outside the party

  55. Andy

    Fred said: “They aren’t libertarian purists yet, but an interesting thing happens when they accept a Libertarian candidate. They start listening to and learning about other Libertarian candidates. Sometimes they start talking to other libertarians. If we help them, they become introduced to Lysander Spooner, Lidwig Von Mises, Mary Ruwart or others.”

    Gary Johnson has been in the Libertarian Party for several years now, yet he has exposed himself as being less libertarians during this campaign than most Libertarians originally thought he was.

    So this approach has not even worked with the candidate himself.

  56. Andy

    “Fred
    October 16, 2016 at 10:22
    Andy,

    I didn’t go to this last convention mostly because of the way the LP has treated my state (Oregon).”

    Keep in mind that those who do not show up at the conventions do not get to decide which direction the party takes.

    “But as I looked at the three likely to win candidates I was unimpressed.”

    But you were impressed by Johnson. the candidate who ran up a big campaign debt in 2012 and who LIED about it, who continued to push the anti-libertarian Fair Tax, who thinks that the government should force private bake shop owners to bake cakes for people whom they do not wish to conduct business, who said that the Non-Aggression Principle, which is supposed to be the guiding light of the party, goes over his head, and who brought in an obvious anti-libertarian establishment shill who had a record of lying and stabbing the Libertarian Party in the back, and tried to pass him off as being “the original libertarian”? Maybe this impressed you, but it did not impress me.

    “Nobody else was able to get enough support to even compete within the party, which doesn’t give much hope for rallying support outside the party.”

    Did you ever consider that maybe too many Libertarians are too f’ning lazy to work to build up any of our own candidates, and want somebody else to come in and do the work for them? So rather than doing the hard work of building up actual libertarian Libertarians, they will jump to the first person who comes in from outside the party and waves around a “shiny” badge or talks the best line of bullshit.

  57. Andy

    I just found this interview on YouTube. This is Harry Browne on a local Detroit, MI TV station in 1999. This was not a national TV appearance, but Harry did have several national TV appearances during his two presidential runs. He also appeared on a bunch of radio shows. Harry Browne’s media appearances were far more valuable to the Libertarian Party and movement than any media appearances that Gary Johnson and Bill Weld have received.

    Here’s what a real Libertarian candidate sounds like.

    Harry Browne, Libertarian for President on Detroit Channel 7, 1999

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftofYf3G7nw

  58. Fred

    Dude,

    Take the rhetoric down a notch and try to recognize when someone is trying to engage you in conversation- not argument.

    We are a lot more aligned than different. It’s not always a debate.

  59. Matt

    Fred: “But as I looked at the three likely to win candidates I was unimpressed.”

    Andy: “But you were impressed by Johnson”

    Matt: Unless I misunderstood Fred, he was saying he was unimpressed by the top three contenders for the LP nomination, *including* Johnson.

    If so, I was likewise unimpressed by the ideological weakness of the Johnson and Petersen campaigns, the instability exhibited by McAfee, and the self-defeating fundraising restrictions of the Feldman and Perry campaigns. The entire field was underwhelming.

  60. Anthony Dlugos

    I wasn’t overwhelmed with Johnson, either. I was…satisfied with the potential based on the resume and the idea that he was at least hitting the Libertarian quadrant of the dart board when making public/media appearances. The rest of the field would be nailing the bullseye on a dartboard in their parents’ basement, congratulating themselves.

    One thing is for sure: Johnson was the only option if you wanted better candidates in the future.

  61. Andy

    Matt, there were a couple of ways around the fundraising obstacles with Perry and Feldman.

    1) A PAC and/or Super PAC could have been set up that would accept traditional campaign donations and spent them on their behalf.

    2) Funds used to benefit their campaign had one of them been nominated could have also been routed through the LNC and/or state parties.

    I agree that there were problems with all of the candidates, but Libertarians had 4 years to recruit better candidates, or for more of us to step up and see if we could do better, and we all failed at this.

    There were ample red flags prior to the convention about Johnson/Weld, and these red flags should have caused neither of them to be nominated, and they would have if half of the convention delegates did not have their heads shoved up their asses.

  62. Fred

    Andy,

    I think you are hitting the nail on the head. The problem is with all of us not doing a better job of building the party in a way that attracts better candidates.
    What I’ve noticed is that a lot of good people come into our party (from all over the libertarian quadrant) that won’t stay because we spend more time attacking each other than actually conducting productive activities.
    We aren’t each other’s enemies and we need to figure out how to work together when we have different plans or actions.

  63. Andy

    It is not just Libertarians attacking eachother, it is too many Libertarians sitting on their laurels and not doing any of the hard work it takes to build a political party.

    A lot of people criticized Darryl Perry, but how many people stepped up to help him?

    How many people stepped up to help anybody?

    Not many.

  64. George Dance

    Fred said: “Experience is part of the equation of what gets voters attention.”
    Andy: “Yeah, Donald Trump has not gotten any attention from voters. Neither did Ross Perot or Ralph Nader.”

    Good, point, Andy. Although experience (plus character and message) are normally the important criteria to look for in a candidate, the ability to put $20 million into one’s campaign could override any of those, or even all of them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.