Arvin Vohra: Libertarian Party must stop avoiding culture wars

Submitted by Arvin Vohra, former LNC Vice Chair and current candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination:

This culture has produced this government. If today, we achieved the ancap dream, abolished all government departments, fired all federal workers, shut down all foreign military bases, then this culture would recreate this exact government by tomorrow.

Don’t believe me? Consider what happened during the recent partial government shutdown. Both Democrats and Republicans insisted that we needed to immediately restore the government, and that the shutdown was the other guy’s fault. Even the LNC decried the fact that the lives of Federal workers were being thrown into turmoil.

Let me be clear: if I’m elected president, I will throw the lives of federal workers into turmoil.

The 2020 nominee must be ready to work to change culture, not just pander to it. The time for innocuous, minor issue, PTA mom friendly “libertarianism” is past, if there ever was such a time. The time to try to contort Libertarianism into some shadow of itself that can somehow fit into statist culture is past. If we’re going to change government, and I mean actually change it, we need to stop avoiding those culture wars.

Most presidents won culture wars along with their political victories. The cultural victories led to the political victories. Reagan won a culture war. Obama won a culture war. Trump won a culture war. Lincoln, the last successful 3rd party presidential candidate, won a culture war. The strategy of avoiding culture wars, of refusing to engage on the topics where libertarians and statists fundamentally, irreconcilably differ, is no strategy at all. It’s just defeatism. It comes from the belief that we cannot win the culture war, a belief with no connection to actual historical reality.

Today, the country believes that Democrats, not Libertarians, were the ones who fought successfully for marijuana legalization. That’s not because they “coopted” it. It’s because the short sighted “pragmatists” in the Libertarian party, in the past, insisted that we never ever talk about marijuana legalization. Some are still insisting that! Even as recreational cannabis is legalized in one state after another, backwards facing, socially fearful, non-strategic, culture-war-avoiders still insist that we should avoid the topic, because some conservatives get freaked out by it.

History has told us what we should have done. We should have been a thousand times bolder about legalizing all drugs and ending the drug war. Our opponents should have been announcing to the world that “those Libertarians” want to legalize drugs. Then this major cultural and political victory would have been ours, and massively grown our brand and influence.

The same was true about gay marriage. The same today is true about abolishing government schools, opposing military employment, jury nullification, using cryptocurrencies, and ending the income tax. The simple fact is that homeschooling and private schooling are the future of education, just as a few decades ago the computer was the future of work. Free market education is better. Those who use it have kids who are equipped for actual life, who don’t have the psychological and academic damage that comes from government schools. We should be on the leading edge of this. A decade from now, let all homeschoolers know that we fought against government schools, against forced taxation to fund incompetence.

Military and police recruitment is falling. Let’s be at the front of that cultural wave. When people who enlist today soon realize how big a mistake it was, let them remember it was the Libertarians who were right. As we stop being the world’s police, let people remember who fought the hardest to leave NATO, shut down foreign military bases, and bring the troops home.

In 2008, we faced a choice between Dr. Mary Ruwart, a powerful, intellectual libertarian force, a world famous author, a principled speaker with visionary ideas and a strong legacy. On the other side, Bob Barr and Wayne Root. The delegation chose the latter, who ended up with low results while diminishing our principles. Bob Barr, on national TV, told the nation he didn’t want to end the drug war. Barr and Root later both endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

How could the delegation have made such a bizarre decision? Dr. Ruwart had some really “scary” ideas about age of consent, and child porn laws. Like most anarchists who don’t believe in any laws, she didn’t believe in those laws. And those laws are the easiest way to emotionally trigger people. They are very difficult political battles which many libertarians think they can avoid.

Her political opponents did their best to ignore her body of work why to abolish all the other laws, and fixated on those. They even got the issue as far as Time Magazine: http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1808384,00.html

To change culture, we will have to have a lot of hard discussions. We need someone who can explain that if you don’t want your 5 year old to go on a date with a 70 year old…don’t drive him or her to the date. We’re going to need to actually discuss the role of parents, and say that having the state play parent is morally wrong, and economically absurd. We’re going to need to fight for the principle that parents should provide food, clothing, legitimate education, and a basic level of discipline and control over their own kids. I’m not talking about corporal punishment, I’m just talking about managing to not drive your 5 year old to a date in an old folks home.

This culture thinks that’s a job for government. I don’t. I strongly doubt that you do either.

Knowing that Team Republican Lite would use that exact tactic on me, since I am also an anarchist who does not believe in a parental state, I’ve brought up those issues, and the other hard sell issues already. I, and my team, are putting together strategies and tactics to take this cultural war to the next level.

I believe that many declared candidates have what it takes to fight a real culture war, not to preemptively declare defeat. I know that I can. I know that Adam Kokesh can.

The LNC is going to pick some “famous” Republican or minor league celebrity as their chosen candidate to get behind. They always do. Leading up to 2016, they put as much focus on Gary Johnson as they could, using the excuse that it was because he was the past nominee. After 2016, they switched over to Weld, having him write a major donor email, for example, because he was the past Vice Presidential nominee. It had nothing to do, of course, with the fact that both were the preferred nominees for the future.

In 2016, the DNC almost lost control of their primary, with Clinton having to resort to extreme tactics to fake-defeat Sanders. The RNC did lose control over its primary, where Trump defeated their chosen candidate, Jeb Bush.

I believe that in 2020, the LNC will lose control over the convention. I believe that we will have, for the first time in 12 years, a real, principled, Libertarian candidate who will massively change culture. If that person is me, and I win the election, I’ll pardon Snowden, Ulbrich, Assange, and all nonviolent drug users, people in prison for only a weapons’ charge, etc. I’ll fire most federal workers, scale the military back to nearly nothing, and eliminate the income tax.

But what if I lose? I will fight the culture war, and we will get results. If I lose, at least as many people will know that jury nullification is allowed, that it’s how we got freedom of press in America, as now know where Aleppo is. If I lose, there will be much more homeschooling, and much more cryptocurrency use. If I lose, more young people will be refusing to enlist in the military or police.

I aim to advance this culture war farther than we’ve ever dared before. To help my campaign, please visit www.VoteVohra.com, and please become a delegate in your state party.

40 thoughts on “Arvin Vohra: Libertarian Party must stop avoiding culture wars

  1. Gina

    synthroid zyrtec viagra and aspirin see url thesis vs dissertation uk sildenafil dosage mayo https://rtilab.com/pharmacy/i-have-inserted-3-tablet-of-cytotec-in-my-cervix-and-drank-2-oraly-will-i-miscarrage-at-23-weeks/51/ https://phcoct.org/viagra-no-logo/ http://los.org/buy/universalrxphrmacy/7/ https://roanokechowan.edu/pharmacy/if-viagra-dose-not-work/21/ northwest pharmacy viagra cheap https://austinmusicfoundation.org/papers/lined-paper-for-essay-writing/2020/ buy prednisone 10mg online childhood is the happiest time essay follow http://www.salganyc.org/1150-foreign-generic-viagra/ differential equations coursework smart antenna research papers https://www.flseagrant.org/news/essay-paragraph-order-of-importance/29/ go source url where to buy viagra shanghai source mars research paper viagra without subscription fast how much viagra should you take antabuse and flagyl cialis cheap uk ocr critical thinking diploma thesis generator go here buy stromectol no prescription viagra in usa online “We need someone who can explain that if you don’t want your 5 year old to go on a date with a 70 year old…don’t drive him or her to the date. …….. I’m not talking about corporal punishment, I’m just talking about managing to not drive your 5 year old to a date in an old folks home.”

    Seriously? So it’s OK if the 70 year old picks up my 5 year old, so long as I don’t drive her to him? He can just pick her up himself and then it’s no problem? Fucking brilliant, man.

  2. William T. Forrest

    WTF? That has to be an April Fools joke, right? Some of this is article is actually very on point and well said but that part is just fucking trolling. I am sorry, that’s like taking a massive dump on stage in the midst of your opening remarks.

  3. George Phillies

    Anarchism. an opposite of Libertarianism.

    Lincoln ran on leaving slavery in place where it currently existed. If you were unaware of this, read Potter’s “The Impending Crisis”.

  4. paulie Post author

    Anarchism. an opposite of Libertarianism.

    Not in this universe. The extreme age of consent stuff goes off the rails, and there are other parts I am not on board with here, but not because of legal polycentrism. Also, I’d have to read it again, but I don’t think Arvin rules out minarchy in any way here. He may have actually stipulated it, at least temporarily, although again I would have to re-read.

  5. paulie Post author

    WTF? That has to be an April Fools joke, right? Some of this is article is actually very on point and well said but that part is just fucking trolling

    Arvin’s recent public musings about age of consent issues have not been confined to the beginning of April in any year, which is not going to help his case for the nomination and is actually a poison pill (Ruwart was blindsided with that third rail; Vohra jumps on it fully aware). To be fair, though, the examples I have previously seen involved 14 year olds, not 5 year olds.

    I’m hoping the extreme nature of that example was an April fool’s easter egg subtly inserted to goose discussion, but I don’t think it was. The rest of it certainly seems in line with what he has been saying every other day of the year recently. If that part is even exaggerated at all, it’s only by a matter of degree.

  6. paulie Post author

    I am sorry, that’s like taking a massive dump on stage in the midst of your opening remarks.

    Unfortunately, it is. And that’s a shame because someone should be saying things like

    If I lose, at least as many people will know that jury nullification is allowed, that it’s how we got freedom of press in America, as now know where Aleppo is. If I lose, there will be much more homeschooling, and much more cryptocurrency use. If I lose, more young people will be refusing to enlist in the military or police.

  7. paulie Post author

    Lincoln ran on leaving slavery in place where it currently existed.

    That’s true. Lincoln did take some steps to avoid war and did not issue the emancipation proclamation until well into the war. But I think many of his supporters hoped, and certainly his enemies feared and expected, that he eventually would, long before he did.

  8. paulie Post author

    Today, the country believes that Democrats, not Libertarians, were the ones who fought successfully for marijuana legalization. That’s not because they “coopted” it. It’s because the short sighted “pragmatists” in the Libertarian party, in the past, insisted that we never ever talk about marijuana legalization.

    Only partially true, at most. It has more to do with the fact that Democrats have vastly more resources than Libertarians, so when they jump in to lead a parade close to the finish line, a lot more people notice. This is far from the only issue parade the two establishment parties have done this to – it’s actually the historical norm.

  9. paulie Post author

    How could the delegation have made such a bizarre decision? Dr. Ruwart had some really “scary” ideas about age of consent, and child porn laws. Like most anarchists who don’t believe in any laws, she didn’t believe in those laws. And those laws are the easiest way to emotionally trigger people.

    Most anarchists do believe in social norms, and many call those laws – just not in the eternal perpetuation of a territorially exclusive law enforcement monopoly. Yes, those laws in particular are the easiest way to emotionally trigger people, including many anarchists who would lean more towards sympathy with extreme vigilante justice employed against child molesters than with sympathy for child porn.

    If you want to make absolutely sure you end up with single digits for the presidential nomination, much like with the vote for another term as vice chair, please do keep talking along exactly these lines on age of consent. It’s not, however, a good way to produce the stated intended result “… as many people will know that jury nullification is allowed, that it’s how we got freedom of press in America, as now know where Aleppo is. If I lose, there will be much more homeschooling, and much more cryptocurrency use. If I lose, more young people will be refusing to enlist in the military or police.”

    On the other hand, Arvin has pissed off too many people in the party too profoundly for it to matter already, so he may as well throw bombs at this point – IRL trolling. If he actually wanted to reach the largest part of the general public he would have been better off keeping a lot more of his powder dry a good bit longer, and use it when he had a lot more people’s attention.

  10. paulie Post author

    I believe that we will have, for the first time in 12 years, a real, principled, Libertarian candidate who will massively change culture.

    12 years by 2020 will have been Barr (2008) so I am pretty sure that’s not what Arvin meant to say. If he means Ruwart running for the nomination – Wrights ran for the nomination in 2012, Perry in 2016, and so on. If he means Badnarik in 2004, massively changed culture are not the words that come to mind, unless it’s changed internal LP culture to the point of overcompensating so much as to nominate the Barr-Root ticket the next time around.

  11. paulie Post author

    If that person is me, and I win the election, I’ll pardon Snowden, Ulbrich, Assange, and all nonviolent drug users, people in prison for only a weapons’ charge, etc. I’ll fire most federal workers, scale the military back to nearly nothing, and eliminate the income tax.

    So, Vohra not only allows for minarchism even within the imagined timeframe of his presidential nomination but actually stipulates it – he says fire most federal workers but stops short of saying all, scale back military to nearly nothing (not to exactly nothing), eliminate the income tax (not eliminate all taxes).

    Is Phillies really saying that both anarchism and minarchism are “an opposite of libertarianism”?

  12. Robert Capozzi

    My feedback on a few points:

    AV: This culture has produced this government.

    ME: It’d be helpful if AV were to define “culture.” I’m not sure what he means. When Pat Buchanan ran for prez promising to fight a “culture war,” he was mostly speaking of social issues, was my understanding.

    AV: … the recent partial government shutdown….

    Me: Anyone paying attention knows that so-called government shutdowns do not lead to spending cuts, but net out to spending increases. RP2 proposed that they change the rules for future debt ceiling impasse by instituting incremental cuts until the impasse is resolved.

    AV: …statist culture….

    Me: OK, maybe AV means something like this when he uses the word “culture.” Except it’s an odd usage. What he may be talking about is the prevalent political philosophy and perspective. I’m guessing that he believes that a bracing, shock-jock approach would be the most effective to move the dial. I suspect he’s quite incorrect about that…that such an approach would lead to mass alienation or — better still — complete and utter inconsequence.

    AV: Reagan won a culture war. Obama won a culture war. Trump won a culture war. Lincoln, the last successful 3rd party presidential candidate, won a culture war.

    Me: Hmm, dunno. Looks to me that the contemporary examples did NOT win “wars,” but maybe the prevalent political philosophy bent ever-so-slightly. Statist outcomes increased under all three. My reading of history is that Lincoln won a regional dispute over the nature of federalism.

    AV: The strategy of avoiding culture wars, of refusing to engage on the topics where libertarians and statists fundamentally, irreconcilably differ, is no strategy at all. It’s just defeatism.

    Me: Again, without a definition of “culture,” it’s hard to assess this sentence. J/W — the LP’s first plausible ticket — was an exercise in POSITIONING. It was centrist, socially liberal, fiscally conservative. The rhetorical execution of that positioning was generally good, but the gaffes were rather catastrophic.

    AV: Today, the country believes that Democrats, not Libertarians, were the ones who fought successfully for marijuana legalization.

    Me: Is this true about the perception of Ds? I’d like to see evidence. Ls were there early, but there’s no evidence they were consequential.

    AV: Then this major cultural and political victory [drug legalization] would have been ours, and massively grown our brand and influence.

    Me: Oh, boy.

    AV: The same was true about gay marriage.

    Me: Yes, if Ls had been winning high office and state legislatures for decades prior, they would have appointed L Supremes, and gay marriage might have happened earlier.

    AV: How could the delegation have made such a bizarre decision?

    Me: The LP was primed for RP1 to cross over. BB was a kind of stand in. It wasn’t that complicated.

    AV: To change culture, we will have to have a lot of hard discussions. We need someone who can explain that if you don’t want your 5 year old to go on a date with a 70 year old…don’t drive him or her to the date.

    Me: Ah, OK. I wonder if AV has tested this one with a focus group. My guess is that such a line would lead to uproarious laughter or widespread revulsion.

    AV: But what if I lose? I will fight the culture war, and we will get results.

    Me: And what have these “results” been so far? It’s as if AV considers himself a master persuader/hypnotist.

    If he secures the L nomination, I’m sure I’ll stay home.

  13. NewFederalist

    Interesting exchange. Perhaps exactly what Mr. Vohra is looking to get started.

  14. paulie Post author

    Maybe. I don’t think anything said here so far is particularly new or innovative. Seems like variations on things that have been discussed for decades to me. Maybe I’m too jaded.

  15. Kevin

    Arvin doesn’t understand the terms he is using. He is like a 6 year old playing with father’s tools.

    “culture” means things like philosophy, music, literature, and the like. Some culture can have political implications in a derivative sense.

    Concerning “anarchy”, what AnCaps propose is not the total absence of government. I know, because I’ve been studying the theory since the mid-sixties. Theoretically Arvin could be talking about closing down all current government operations and replacing them de novo. If that’s what he means, he should clearly state that.

    “government” is simply the organization of force in support of a legal code. “state” refers to a type of government that tries to impose a monopoly or quasi-monopoly in the supply of governing services.

    To call for the abolition of age restrictions on sexual activity by government, but suppose that vigilantes could substitute, indicates a dangerous proposal. Some will say 18, others 16, still others, 12. Some will decide on a case by case basis, probably with a graduated scale. Expecting all to agree is naive, even deluded.

    Arvin has no clear idea what he is talking about. He appears to view his LP activities as a personal psycho-drama, satisfying his personal psychological needs at the expense of serious people. I would recommend psychotherapy as well as a balanced diet including vitamins, and to refrain from psychedelics.

  16. Joshua K.

    Lincoln wasn’t the last successful 3rd party presidential candidate. When he was first elected president, the Republicans were already one of the two major parties, although they had only been around for 6 years and had not elected a president before. The second time he was elected president, he ran under the banner of the National Union Party, but that was just a name temporarily adopted by the Republican Party to appeal to Democrats who supported the Union in the Civil War, not a 3rd party.

    In fact, there never has been a presidential candidate in the United States who has won the presidency as the candidate of a 3rd party.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    1860 was a 4-way race and 1856 was 3-way, where the main contenders won states. It was a time of upending the status quo in politics that took some time to sort out.

  18. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    Per Capozzi, the article poorly defines terms and makes illogical and even unintelligible statements.

  19. Andy Craig

    Those darned pragmatists, not wanting to talk about marijuana enough and then also nominating Gary Johnson.

  20. dL

    Vohra obviously went in the wrong direction after a faction tried to remove him from the LNC for his anti-military, anti-police facebook posts.

    Those darned pragmatists, not wanting to talk about marijuana enough and then also nominating Gary Johnson.

    Depends on the pragmatist. Wayne Allyn Root and Bob Barr are far bigger embarrassments than Vohra. I’m also holding out on the hope that Vermin runs a republican in NH for the sole reason that the last great hope of principled conservatism gets beat by a dude wearing a boot on his head.

  21. dL

    Anarchism: Capitalism: an opposite of Libertarianism.

    Would be the historically correct pronouncement.

  22. Jared

    Yeah, I’m not sure who these pragmatists are who opposed and continue to oppose the push for marijuana legalization. Some pragmatists may not care for smoke-in protests or the “pot is a non-addictive miracle drug” claims some Libertarians offer in favor of legalization, but if the low-information voting public knows anything about the LP, it’s their stance on marijuana prohibition.

    And if there’s a Libertarian argument against legal weed, it’s Gary Johnson’s brain circa 2016.

  23. dL

    Yeah, I’m not sure who these pragmatists are who opposed and continue to oppose the push for marijuana legalization.

    Today’s pragmatist is not. However, yesterday’s pragmatist might have been, just like today’s pragmatist is skittish about full blown drug legalization. That makes pragmatism a caboose rider, which is not exactly the best strategy for 3rd party politics.

    pot is a non-addictive miracle drug claim

    Like most drugs, it affects people differently. For me, THC was not addictive at all. I stopped using it on a dime after daily high school use. And by the time I stopped using it, I didn’t find it to be much of a miracle drug. But everyone is not like that.

  24. dL

    AV: Then this major cultural and political victory [drug legalization] would have been ours, and massively grown our brand and influence.

    Me: Oh, boy.

    yeah, the 60s and 70s saw a massive cultural shift on drug use. And the 80s reaction was a massive new drug war, not drug legalization. Likewise, today’s pot legalization is not coterminous with a general retreat of prohibition. Quite the opposite, actually.

  25. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . We need someone who can explain that if you don’t want your 5 year old to go on a date with a 70 year old…don’t drive him or her to the date. . . . . ”

    Even as someone who thinks that age of consent laws need tweaking, I find that quote to be just bizarre. Seriously man, what the hell are you talking about? Is he TRYING to make himself look like a creepy jerk? If so, he succeeded.

  26. wolfefan

    A couple of the first things to go under jury nullification will be the presumption of innocence and thus the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a guilty verdict.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    wf,

    Great point. I’m always a bit surprised when I hear Ls who view JN as a kind of silver bullet, when there are some very clear downsides to it.

  28. Andy Craig

    “Pragmatic” is mostly a term that came into use recently, in the past couple of years. The caucus was only started after 2016, largely but not exclusively by former Johnson supporters, and is explicitly non-ideological and not about pushing moderation or anything like that. It has neither an ideological nor any organizational ties to the sort of mid-2000s conservatarian “reform” wing that thought nominating Barr/Root was a good idea. Trying to lump those two things in together really isn’t accurate. LPC as it exists today is just about encouraging well-organized, active campaigns that run to win, that make better use of data and technology and fundraising and knocking doors and all that good stuff, and also professionalizing the party’s messaging and organization. I don’t really care how radical or moderate any candidate is so long as they’re a *good* candidate who puts in the work to have a successful campaign. When I was on the LNC platform committee most of the changes I personally wanted were to make the document more radical, not less.

    Nor is it accurate to say LPC is “skittish” about drug legalization. After Amash the most interest in a potential candidate I’ve seen among LPC types has been Jeff Miron (who had hinted at maybe running), and he’s a Harvard professor who’s known primarily for advocating full legalization of all drugs and open borders and free trade. The author of “Libertarianism, A to Z” is hardly some kind of sell-out ideological squish.

    Granted, I’m sure most of our members don’t think running on a blasé attitude towards child rape and chasing after the alt-right is a good idea. So if Arvin wants to set us up as his foil for not supporting *that*… well, I’ll take it, even though the disdain for his antics is far more cross-factional than just us. From what I’ve seen majorities in all of the actively organized caucuses dislike him, including the Radicals. It certainly wasn’t just prags that voted against him in New Orleans.

  29. Thomas Knapp

    Circa 1996, when I joined the LP, I was a “pragmatist” who didn’t think the LP should emphasize marijuana legalization because it was obviously decades away from being an issue the public was willing to even talk about.

    Of course, that same year California’s voters proved me wrong and didn’t just talk about it but actually legalized it for medical use. Then the majority of US states went the same way. Then Colorado legalized recreational marijuana and it’s probably going to be federally legal, and legal at the state level in states where the majority of Americans live, by 2020 or shortly thereafter.

    Some “pragmatists” learn. Others just continuing to whine that if the LP doesn’t intentionally stay a good ten years BEHIND the public, the public won’t take us seriously.

  30. paulie Post author

    A couple of the first things to go under jury nullification will be the presumption of innocence and thus the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a guilty verdict.

    That’s incorrect. Jury nullification works in the other direction: jurors can judge the law as well as the facts. That is, someone can be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but be found not guilty because jurors believe that law to be invalid to begin with. On the plus side, it helped end alcohol prohibition (and is helping end marijuana prohibition as we speak) because jurors judged those laws to be absurd and refused to punish people for violating them. And as Arvin correctly points out, they also played a major part in the evolution of the right to freedom of the press. On the downside as I’m sure Capozzi will point out they had a sordid history in enabling lynching, since juries of peers of those who had beyond a reasonable doubt been proven to have participated in lynching people decided that lynching should not have been outlawed.

    The opposite phenomenon – finding people guilty who had not been proven to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – has never been called jury nullification any time that I have ever heard. I’m not sure off hand what the proper legal term for that is but I’m pretty sure jury nullification is not it. What is at issue there is not whether any particular law is valid but what standard of proof the prosecution must meet. Whatever we call that, it happens all the time now, even though the law says it should not.

  31. dL

    “Pragmatic” is mostly a term that came into use recently, in the past couple of years. The caucus was only started after 2016, largely but not exclusively by former Johnson supporters, and is explicitly non-ideological and not about pushing moderation or anything like that. It has neither an ideological nor any organizational ties to the sort of mid-2000s conservatarian “reform” wing that thought nominating Barr/Root was a good idea. Trying to lump those two things in together really isn’t accurate.

    Pragmatist vs Reformist==largely semantics. We can stick “relevant” in there, too, which was Barr’s favorite catch phrase.

    Nor is it accurate to say LPC is “skittish” about drug legalization.

    Pragmatist was not a specific reference to any caucus.

    The author of “Libertarianism, A to Z” is hardly some kind of sell-out ideological squish.

    That first entry on abortion sure reads like a conservative sell out.

    Granted, I’m sure most of our members don’t think running on a blasé attitude towards child rape and chasing after the alt-right is a good idea.

    The direction Vohra chose to pursue in the aftermath of the LNC drama should make him persona non grata

  32. dL

    The opposite phenomenon – finding people guilty who had not been proven to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – has never been called jury nullification any time that I have ever heard.

    There are two senses of jury nullification. One is to judge the justice of the law as well as the facts, as you mentioned. The second sense is to judge the person to determine if the law applies, which is why it still has a bad (historical) rap with some.

  33. Chuck Moulton

    The “pragmatist” vs. “radical” ideological
    positioning debate existed decades before the Pragmatist Caucus came into existance. If the Pragmatist Caucus has better views, kudos to them… but that the caucus coopted the term, then disclaims what self-identified pragmatists have argued for decades is irrelevant to highlighting problems with the decades long pragmatist strategy of avoiding contraversial issues.

  34. Andy Craig

    I didn’t choose the word (I wasn’t even involved when it was), and I don’t feel particularly strongly about it. And from I’ve seen there wasn’t really any consistent term used for the opposing side (which we are not!) to the “radicals” over the years. But we went with it because it had already stuck by that point, and it conveys a focus on nuts-and-bolts electioneering and party-building and more professional run-to-win sort of campaigns, which is what we did want, not to fight for ideological moderation or watering down the platform. I’ve also seen it conflated with “ancap vs. minarchist,” but of course that’s not really right either since there are both in both caucuses (and some people in both caucuses!). The reality is that a variety of groups… factions, caucuses, campaigns, whatever… with a variety of different aims have come and gone in the party over the years. And the issues and differences that have divided them haven’t really been particularly continuous such that the whole history can be broken down into two permanent “sides.” I don’t think that narrative’s helpful, because it’s not accurate and misreprents how these are constantly shifting and realigning. Thus the “pragmatists” endorsing for re-election an LNC Chair whose background is firmly in what was then the “radical” wing of the party. Trying to parse candidacies like Austin Petersen’s doesn’t really map onto that, either. He was both more and less ideologically libertarian than the competition depending on which issue and which competitor. Likewise McAfee, who’s kind of just his own thing outside of all this. Barr and Root were a trainwreck partly because they were far to the right of the party on the issues, but also because they were a couple of assholes who ran an incompetent campaign. To the degree there was an effort to repeat those two particular mistakes at the last convention, it wasn’t “pragmatists” supporting it. And sometimes you get “rads” and “prags” agreeing on stuff like how Amash/Miron would be a fine ticket or that Sarwark’s been a good chair or that Arvin’s crazy.

    I just think it’s inaccurate to lump together the LPC that was involved for the first time at the 2018 convention; the 2020 presidential and LNC races; the various sides involved in the Barr vs. Ruwart vs. Root vs. Gravel debacle; the 2006 platform fight; the 2004 three-way contest for the presidential nomination; whatever was up with Browne v Hornberger in 2000; Paul beating Means in ‘88; the Clark/Koch campaign and the 1983 walkout; etc., as if those all reflected two ongoing organized groups on each side consistently acting out of the same impulses or theories (or even the same people!). Sometimes the ideological split has been radical vs. moderate, sometimes it’s been left vs. right; and sometimes—more often than not—it’s been over personalities and disputes that didn’t really have anything to do with ideology or the platform. When the LNC is balancing its budget nobody cares if you’re a Rothbardian or a Hayekian. When there’s a six-way free-for-all for the presidential nomination, it’s not going to be a binary fight between moderates and radicals.

    There’s really no such thing as this notion of an entrenched two-party duopoly within the LP stretching back to its founding and consting solely of radicals vs. anti-radicals. Building intra-party politics around that narrative just causes the same kind of dysfunction that it does in left-right form for the country as a whole. And in fact that’s why Arvin is using it here: he’s trying to rally “radicals” to his side even though they have just as much reason to dislike him as “pragmatists.” It’s a very duopoly sort of tactic, aiming to engender polarization by ginning up an us vs. them grand historical narrative, in the hopes of landing on the 50%+1 side of the split even though you’re not a very good representative of that 50%+1. Thus you get such silliness as Arvin pretending he’s bravely standing against a repeat of Barr/Root when the reality is practically everybody in the party agrees that was a disaster. That Barr/Root was a mistake and Arvin should not be vice chair nor presidential nominee are two positions both held by 95%+ of the party.

  35. dL

    conveys a focus on nuts-and-bolts electioneering and party-building and more professional run-to-win sort of campaigns,

    Ah, by pragmatist, you mean money. Hell, I’m all for a money libertarian caucus. But what’s the word for money libertarians without any money?

  36. George Phillies

    Browne v Hornberger in 2000

    THat was Browne against Gorman, Hornberger adding himself again at the end.

  37. paulie Post author

    There’s really no such thing as this notion of an entrenched two-party duopoly within the LP stretching back to its founding and consisting solely of radicals vs. anti-radicals. Building intra-party politics around that narrative just causes the same kind of dysfunction that it does in left-right form for the country as a whole. And in fact that’s why Arvin is using it here: he’s trying to rally “radicals” to his side even though they have just as much reason to dislike him as “pragmatists.” It’s a very duopoly sort of tactic, aiming to engender polarization by ginning up an us vs. them grand historical narrative, in the hopes of landing on the 50%+1 side of the split even though you’re not a very good representative of that 50%+1. Thus you get such silliness as Arvin pretending he’s bravely standing against a repeat of Barr/Root when the reality is practically everybody in the party agrees that was a disaster. That Barr/Root was a mistake and Arvin should not be vice chair nor presidential nominee are two positions both held by 95%+ of the party.

    Agreed. I’m not sure it’s really 95% plus but a strong majority in both cases right now I think.

  38. paulie Post author

    I just think it’s inaccurate to lump together the LPC that was involved for the first time at the 2018 convention; the 2020 presidential and LNC races; the various sides involved in the Barr vs. Ruwart vs. Root vs. Gravel debacle; the 2006 platform fight; the 2004 three-way contest for the presidential nomination; whatever was up with Browne v Hornberger in 2000; Paul beating Means in ‘88; the Clark/Koch campaign and the 1983 walkout; etc., as if those all reflected two ongoing organized groups on each side consistently acting out of the same impulses or theories (or even the same people!). Sometimes the ideological split has been radical vs. moderate, sometimes it’s been left vs. right; and sometimes—more often than not—it’s been over personalities and disputes that didn’t really have anything to do with ideology or the platform. When the LNC is balancing its budget nobody cares if you’re a Rothbardian or a Hayekian. When there’s a six-way free-for-all for the presidential nomination, it’s not going to be a binary fight between moderates and radicals.

    Also agreed.

  39. paulie Post author

    The “pragmatist” vs. “radical” ideological
    positioning debate existed decades before the Pragmatist Caucus came into existance. If the Pragmatist Caucus has better views, kudos to them… but that the caucus coopted the term, then disclaims what self-identified pragmatists have argued for decades is irrelevant to highlighting problems with the decades long pragmatist strategy of avoiding contraversial issues.

    Based on the way Andy Craig describes pragmatist, I would fit in. I hasten to affiliate because of the name. Up til now, I understood it as a proxy for moderate much as reformer was at one time – they were also calling themselves pragmatist before and during the time they were called reformers. Subsequently to being satisfied enough with the reforms they achieved (or fed up with the LP altogether) they mostly came to be known as pragmatists. I assumed the current caucus was meant to unite more moderate libertarians but if it’s just about nuts and bolts politics and not ideology I’m on board…but would want a name change to be fully on board. Although, I don’t have a name I would suggest.

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