September 2019 Open Thread

The Democrats and Republicans. What can you say? There’s the Republicans:

Then there’s the Democrats, as reported in the Onion (more accurate than the “serious” mainstream media news networks):

“EMPORIA, KS—Unveiling the new nationwide messaging strategy after six months of planning and research, the Democratic Party launched its “Listen Up, Hayseeds” campaign Monday to win over rural voters.

“Hey, you redneck simpletons, put down your whittling sticks, drag yourself away from the Cracker Barrel, and let us tell you how it is,” said a team of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the debut commercial, part of a widespread advertising blitz that will be played at NASCAR races and monster truck rallies across the country.

“We know you can barely read, so we’ll spell this out for you: The Republican tax plan will only benefit the rich. Don’t you dumb hicks get that? Democrats will fight inequality so you and all your inbred cousins don’t have to live in a trailer anymore. Get it?”

Democratic officials have also announced a new “You Think You Can Do Better Than Us?” campaign aimed at increasing turnout among African American and Hispanic voters.”

Then there’s everyone else. This is the place to discuss everyone else, but you can also use it to discuss Democrats and Republicans, or whatever.

If you get really bored, or have really bad insomnia or something, you can also listen to this interview with yours truly.

79 thoughts on “September 2019 Open Thread

  1. Krzysztof Lesiak

    The Onion. God, I love the Onion. All the books produced by The Onion that I could find at my former local library (except for Our Dumb Century) I’ve read.

    The Onion really is America’s Finest News Source. There’s too many good videos they’ve made over the years (I highly recommend the lesser known show Porkin’ Across America), but since the above Onion snippet is about Trump, I’ll just post this Onion video relating to Trump:

    “Trump Voter Feels Betrayed By President After Reading 800 Pages Of Queer Feminist Theory”

    Review: [sic] 1 year ago
    “The reality has surpassed its satire.”

  2. paulie Post author

    http://ballot-access.org/2019/09/02/alabama-libertarian-party-petition-for-special-legislative-election/

    Alabama holds a special election on November 12, 2019, for State House district 42. The Libertarian Party submitted a petition to be included in this race. It needed 448 valid signatures. The party submitted 668 signatures. The Secretary of State then said the petition only has 429 valid signatures, so it is 19 short. However the party has been re-validating the petition, and has already found six more valid signatures that had erroneously been marked “invalid”. The party is only one-fifth of the way through the revalidation process, and is optimistic that it will find enough signatures to make the petition valid.

    The Republican nominee is Van Smith; the Democratic nominee is Kenneth Allison; the Libertarian nominee is Doug Ward.

    comments:

    https://dougward4staterep.nationbuilder.com/donate

    This race is actually winnable.

    The Republicans nominated a candidate who is from Autauga County which makes up a small portion of the district. Most of the district is in Chilton County and the rest of the vote was split among three Chilton County Republicans. The bigger story was the turnout which was barely double digits. Bear in mind the Republican primary is the “real election” in a district which went something like 80-20 for Trump and did not even have a Democrat at all in the last regular election. It does in the special election, but he is a token candidate who is not well known at all. It’s unlikely the Democrats and Republicans together can muster a double digit turnout in November in an odd year election (3,000 voters). We can reach more people than that door to door.

    Alabama Republicans are not very happy with their party right now and they hate and fear Democrats. First they got sideswiped by their own party with a massive fuel tax and vehicle registration hike boondoggle.

    https://lpalabama.org/2019/05/27/iveys-raip-plan-should-be-spelled-rape/

    The the ALGOP powers that be crapped the bed with the Mobile bridge toll proposal …

    https://lpalabama.org/2019/08/25/for-whom-the-bridge-tolls-an-expose-of-big-government-run-amok/

    A few days after that came out the bridge toll proposal was pronounced “dead” and, some of us think not coincidentally, this was immediately followed by the Governor being shamed with a decades long blackface incident, after she replaced another Republican governor who resigned in disgrace over an office affair and financial improprieties.

    As Doug Snow explains “Alabama seems to have plenty of disposable governors. I am convinced that Robert Bentley was deliberately targeted for removal by his own party.Was Bentley a bad guy? Well, campaign finance violations in a corrupt state like Alabama is pretty humorous to say the least. As far as politicians having affairs with advisers and secretaries, I find that almost as laughable as accusing them of financial wrong doings.

    No, I believe Bentley was deliberately ousted by his own party for abigger reason. Bentley was in the way of something big, I honestly don’t think Bentley was even supposed to win the election, just the fact that Kay Ivey bowed out of the Gubernatorial race and switched over to the lieutenant Governor’s race tells me that the whole thing was a setup from the get-go.

    Now we have this mysterious video pop up out of nowhere with Kay Ivey telling us about playing a black face character in a skit back in the1960’s. It’s pretty obvious someone was sitting on this audio track with plans on using it at just the right time. With close to 55,000 people in the block the toll group, along with God knows how many other south Alabamians adamantly against Kay Ivey, it’s hard for me to believe that this YouTube video was just lingering out there waiting for somebody to just stumble accross it. With all the research that I’ve done, plus the research of countless others, this video would have been found a long time ago.

    I believe somebody out there has it in for ole Kay. I get a gut feeling that this damning video was deliberately released to distract us from the real players in this toll and port story. I’m pretty sure that they are counting on us to scream for her impeachment. Like I said in my previous story, Kay Ivey is the Kamikaze governor. I honestly believe she was set up from the get go, to go down in flames. Now that the toll project is by her own words “dead”, she has outlived her usefulness. She has got to go.

    This kind of thing has got to stop. We need to seriously look into all the political activities and players that have led us to this point in Alabama history. Our elected governors or not pawns to sacrifice as scapegoats. I know damn well Kay Ivey is not the mastermind behind all this. Whoever is pulling her strings, has an agenda. This toll group threw a big wrench into thier gears.

    Is this bridge deal dead? Not by a long shot. They are in way too deep to just walk away from it. Rest assure, they are back at the drawing board planning thier next move. I fear they will use this Kay controversy to distract us from thier activities. They are banking on this group to fade away now that the bridge project has failed. That’s were we come in once again to save ourselves. It is imperative we keep this group together. In fact, we need to keep it growing. We need to give Dean Young and his group all the support they need to permanently stop this nightmare from happening again. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend…”

    Chilton County has its own slew of similar local corruption which is why none of the three Chilton Republicans running for this vacancy could manage any decent level of turnout as they are all complicit and pretty much everyone in Chilton knows it.

    I found 5 voters they missed in the first 100 sigs out of 668 and that’s *without* the updated list. The one we have is about 2 years out of date.

    As far as I have been able to determine this is the first special election for the LP of Alabama EVER in any race. That’s especially important since we are one of only 8 states left with a straight ticket, which is a lot less of an issue in a special election.

    Since the last time we had state ballot access in 2002 we have only been able to participate in 3 state legislative races – one in 2006, two in 2018. One of the two in 2018 Elijah Boyd was only on the ballot after a signature review like the one we are doing now.

    If Doug wins it’s the first LP state legislative win outright in a non-fusion, non switch in office election since the 90s and the biggest state/district ever (the others were in Alaska, NH and VT)

    https://www.facebook.com/Doug-Ward-For-Alabama-House-of-Representatives-District-42-341278496554343/

    update: Went ahead and spent the 326.28 (300 was an estimate) and we are receiving offsetting contributions (much appreciated everyone).

    It was an even worse ripoff than I expected since the file they sent no longer includes the most important data we need, date of birth, instead giving us voter age but not the month and day. We have months and days on the petition but now we have to sit there and calculate years from ages on top of everything else. Pretty annoying.

    Anyway the good news is that we have a campaign that could be winnable so please keep those donations coming at

    https://dougward4staterep.nationbuilder.com/donate

    Thanks to everyone who has already donated and those who will donate going forward!

  3. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I see that the Prohibition Party has been around for 150 years. Since you often trumpet the fact that the LP has had staying power because of its NAP foundation, I wonder if your hope is that the LP remains intact for another 100 years or so as a fringe party like the Prohibitionists.

  4. dL

    I wonder if your hope is that the LP remains intact for another 100 years or so as a fringe party like the Prohibitionists.

    If the definition of fringe is being at the fore of constitutional amendment passages, I’m guessing the LP will happily take it. The Prohibition party accomplished what it set out to do, and after the passage of the 18th amendment, it more or less faded away. That alcohol prohibition didn’t deliver on its promise is why the Prohibition party never reassembled into its former glory, but the spirit of the temperance movement lives on with the drug war.

  5. paulie Post author

    I wonder if your hope is that the LP remains intact for another 100 years or so as a fringe party like the Prohibitionists.

    No, my hope and expectation is that once we start making cracks in the dam that is the cult of the omnipotent state, smaller changes will lead to bigger changes until the whole facade collapses. Then freedom will flow freely and the LP will fade away because there will no monopoly government left to fight and we will all live happily ever after in the Frankel singularity.

    But if it falls short of my hopes and expectations I’ll take getting the essence of the LP Statement of Principles passed as a constitutional amendment, even if only for 14 years, as a huge accomplishment for the LP. And let’s not forget that many alcohol laws remain locally as legacies of prohibition from hours of operation to bottle size and beer strength limits to homebrewing limits to who can sell hard liquor and who can sell beer and wine etc etc etc. Or that one of the impetuses for prohibition of cannabis and other drugs was that prohibition agents needed new jobs. So if we somehow extend that analogy to the LP yes, I would take that as a consolation prize.

  6. paulie Post author

    Prohibition Party took 50 years to achieve prohibition (1869-1919). So if the LP gets the statement of principles into law by 2021 I won’t be too mad about that either.

  7. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Surely you recognize that a single-issue success is not same thing as an extreme across-the-board downsizing of ~90% of all government are quite different matters. The degree of difficulty makes the Prohibition vs the L agenda something like a walk in the park vs. intergalactic travel.

  8. dL

    Surely you recognize that a single-issue success is not same thing as an extreme across-the-board downsizing of ~90% of all government are quite different matters.

    Shirley, you undoubtedly remember comparing the two just the other day with a like simile.

  9. paulie Post author

    And yet neither one is impossible. Humans have already been in space so intergalactic is quite plausible. Ending monopoly government, like ending slavery and theocracy, is not an easy or quick path, but it is a worthwhile one. And you already know I’m happy with incremental steps along the way so once again there is nothing to argue about.

  10. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, humans have been in space, but NOT intergalactic space. Humans do walk in the park on a daily basis. It’s commonplace. Space travel is not commonplace. Intergalactic space travel has yet to have been achieved.

    You’d need to have a single-issue L party for, say, relegalizing machine guns and no other issue to be similar to the longstanding Prohibition Party. The current LP, with its dedication to the NAP, stacks a wide range of extreme positions, any one of which might be adopted in 50 years. Achieving 100 such issues makes the degree of difficulty profoundly greater and diffuses the potential effectiveness of the single-issue advocacy.

  11. paulie Post author

    Yes, humans have been in space, but NOT intergalactic space.

    Yes, I know. And at one time it was hard to imagine living without absolute monarchy mixed with theocracy and the practice of chattel slavery. Grim public executions, corporal punishment and mutilation were common and everywhere, women and children had no rights, and so on. Social evolution is possible.

    Achieving 100 such issues makes the degree of difficulty profoundly greater and diffuses the potential effectiveness of the single-issue advocacy.

    There are plenty of organizations working on single issue advocacy. We advocate for the non-initiation of force principle as embodied in our Statement of Principles. It’s not an easy sell to a lot of people but the movement is growing by leaps and bounds and will continue to grow. I believe it will achieve critical mass. You can choose to believe otherwise; I’m OK with that.

  12. Jim

    The Prohibition Party had alcohol prohibition as its signature issue, but it had a full platform and a lot of it became law. Support for women’s suffrage, guaranteeing that racial and religious minorities could vote and hold office, support for the income tax, support for anti-trust legislation, support for an 8 hour work day with at least 1 day off per week, support for unemployment insurance, support for increased worker safety laws and provisions for paying injured workers, support for the direct election of US Senators (and President), mandatory education, outlawing child labor, outlawing gambling and prostitution, etc. All of that can be found in Prohibition Party platforms between 1872 and 1928.

    The biggest thing supported by the first 56 years of Prohibition Party platforms which was never enacted was the 1916 platform which supported the global abolition of all armies and navies, with international disputes to be resolved at a world court. Support for a World Court and later the League of Nations was repeated a few times, but that call for the global abolition of all armies and navies was a one-off.

  13. dL

    All of that can be found in Prohibition Party platforms between 1872 and 1928.

    Yes, it was a knee jerk analogy by Capozzi.

  14. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Well, thanks, I’m OK with the existence of NAP Fundamentalism; I just don’t like the odds of its being successful, and I notice its many flaws.

    It’s quite true that social norms have markedly moved over the centuries. It strikes me that, for the most part, the progress that’s been achieved was not due to the wholesale adoption of an entirely new thought system. There were and are many thought systems that edged away from slavery, public beatings, etc., due to concerted persuasion campaigns.

    Marxism qualifies as a new thought system that has been adopted widely, and its flaws became readily apparent as it was enacted.

  15. paulie Post author

    That’s actually a good example of a radical thought system change which did in fact come to power in many countries and is incrementally making changes in others. I believe that same model of change can work for radical libertarianism, but I think it will work out a lot better because I believe our ideas are sound unlike those of Marxism. We shall see.

  16. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Seems to me the big difference is that Marxism has the “advantage” that it “offers” the masses “something for nothing” and plays on the guilt of the Haves. NAP Fundamentalism is far more abstract in its appeal, and is a more stoic offering. “We’ll all be MUCH richer if only the State was non-existent to near non-existent.” I don’t like the odds that such moralistic stoicism will be widely adopted; yes, the thousands of Fundamentalists have grown to the low millions, but my sense is the ceiling is fast approaching. I’m just not seeing the notion of abolishing the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service having mass appeal with soccer Moms.

    Do you? (Short of the Frankel Singularity, of course.)

  17. Eric Sundwall

    I’ve known a lot of soccer moms over the last ten years and they are not a universal lot. Some point to the European model of healthcare and see a vehicle for increased leisure activity based on that free ride. Others are immigrants that avoid the sidelines packed with PTA prima donna Division I tongue wagging suburbacunts staking out there next AirBnB getaway. MOre are decent hard working folks who grudgingly engage in any political discourse because that one day transaction is ultimately meaningless in the day to day pursuit of survival and happiness. Still others are single moms doing a great job, with a great kid who just loves the sport. That mom has a thousand other interests and ideas other than this one supposed stupid demographic box . . . . that just doesn’t exist. *ahem* But never has the USDA abolition come up, in any conversation, far and wide. But Aleppo, they heard that. So yeah, RC is right about that USDA and soccer moms. The Dad’s frequently vote for the LP because the R’s and D’s are clowns looking to loot their wallet because travel soccer costs 5 grand this year.

  18. dL

    Seems to me the big difference is that Marxism has the “advantage” that it “offers” the masses “something for nothing” and plays on the guilt of the Haves. NAP Fundamentalism is far more abstract in its appeal

    Seems to me Bob doesn’t have a clue what Marxism is. “Something for nothing,” which is how conservatives describe marxism, is actually a better descriptor for conservative economics, which has shown a reliable dependency on massively running up the public debt; i.e, big government on a credit card.

  19. dL

    Marxism qualifies as a new thought system that has been adopted widely

    Marxist-Leninism was adopted by some in the early to middle part of the 20th century and largely ended in repudiation by the late 20th century.

  20. dL

    I’ve known a lot of soccer moms

    “Soccer mom” is played. It’s a Clinton 90s term that the Bushies replaced with “security mom” in 2004. We are talking about middle-aged white women in the suburbs. I imagine the prospect of a more libertarian economy producing $30 botox and $100 fillers might hold some appeal for that demographic. lol

  21. dL

    but I think it will work out a lot better because I believe our ideas are sound unlike those of Marxism. We shall see.

    One would do well to take seriously why Marxism has made a comeback after it was seemingly relegated to the dust bin of history after the Soviet Union dissolved and China went capitalist. If Marxist-Leninism discredited socialism at the conclusion of the 20th century, one is now faced with the prospect that the Washington Consensus(US Capitalism) has similarly discredited capitalism a mere generation later. Capitalism was supposed to nudge China toward liberal democracy within a generation. Instead, a mere generation later, capitalist states have now adopted the security organs of the old Marxist-Leninist states. Who saw that coming in 1992? Well, libertarians should have seen it coming.

  22. paulie Post author

    Seems to me the big difference is that Marxism has the “advantage” that it “offers” the masses “something for nothing”

    We offer a much improved lifestyle for everyone, far more prosperous, peaceful and free.

    and plays on the guilt of the Haves.

    Got that covered too. Libertarianism properly explained tells the haves that they have benefited unfairly from the tilting of the playing field by corporate-government collusion and the unequal effects of red tape among other things.

    We’ll all be MUCH richer if only the State was non-existent to near non-existent.”

    Exactly.

    I don’t like the odds that such moralistic stoicism will be widely adopted

    How is that stoicism? It doesn’t come close to fitting any definition of stoicism I have ever seen.

    he thousands of Fundamentalists have grown to the low millions, but my sense is the ceiling is fast approaching.

    My sense is that we’re just beginning to scratch the surface. The vast majority of people have not even really heard our ideas yet. If they have it was likely either isolated snippets which did not connect the dots for them or some socially awkward libertarian somewhere on the autistic spectrum making a terrible case for libertarianism to them. Perhaps they have argued with a libertarian troll or several online, someone who is meek and mild in person and lets all the aggression out in condescending internet arguments. Whatever it is, the ideas have not really penetrated their mental sphere yet. Or they don’t connect the ideas with a name, or the name with any kind of action plan, or the party preference with any personal need or want to get actively involved.

    Far be it from the ceiling, we are barely off the floor, if that. But we’re getting there. The pace is frustrating, but the movement is happening.

    I’m just not seeing the notion of abolishing the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service having mass appeal with soccer Moms.

    Do you?

    Yes, I do. Ron Paul began to connect with a bunch of them. But then got short circuited by the newsletter crap. Johnson got a few million votes, and could have had a few million more, but stuck his foot in his mouth too much. Harry Browne had his great libertarian offer, but it was before we had the platforms we have had since then such as much more widespread internet usage and Ron Paul on the national debate stage with leading candidates for a duopoly party nomination. The next Harry Browne can make that offer to a lot more eyes and ears.

    I remain long term optimistic. Short term there may be some pain, maybe even very severe, which will probably involve setbacks, perhaps very significant ones. And I don’t know what the timeframe will be. But that’s my overall analysis, still.

  23. robert capozzi

    es,

    Dads don’t “frequently” vote L. Very few do. Same with Moms.

    pf,

    NAP Fundamentalism is “stoic” in the sense that it’s all about delayed gratification. The message is something like: “Let’s abolish all or most government as quickly as possible and, while that might lead to some dislocations, we’ll all come out the other end much better off.

    “Abstract” might be a better word than “stoic.” Such moralistic abstractions ask A LOT of voters. Single-constraintist Fundamentalism tends to force Ls to advocate that all government must be rolled back, at least.

    Whatever the current equivalent is for “soccer Moms” (I hear “suburban women” more recently) will translate that as “Oh, now, my mother-in-law will come live with us when her SS benefits are cut.”

    Bumper or VS or whomever is the next Browne might be inspirational to impressionable extremists, but I’m highly skeptical that they can convert large numbers. RP1 (as a Shiny Badge R) is the high water mark for applied NAP Fundamentalism. Even without Newslettergate 1.0 and 2.0, his agenda lacked mass appeal. It was still a sub-10% offering.

  24. The Prohibitionist

    Can we all just agree that Capozzi is the smartest person to have ever lived and just move on? Milnes and PLAS got moved. Why not Capozzi and NAP? This just gets boring. Hell, bring on Ogle and his fantasy parliament BS. We haven’t heard that crap in a while. Geez Louise!

  25. paulie Post author

    But who would we talk to then? All the people who kept saying they were not here because of Andy are…still not here. At this point, maybe we really should let Ogle, Milnes and the rest spam IPR comments again. The place is so dead, I don’t see what we have to lose. Well besides me ever posting under my recognizable pseudonym ever again, or if I manage to have more discipline than I have thus far, under any name.

  26. robert capozzi

    TP,

    I’m certainly not the smartest person ever, but thanks. Nor am I the wisest, which for my money is the more important character trait.

    I simply share the idea that NAP Fundamentalism doesn’t work, and why, from the perspective of a NAP Fundamentalist in recovery.

  27. paulie Post author

    I simply share the idea that NAP Fundamentalism doesn’t work, and why, from the perspective of a NAP Fundamentalist in recovery.

    Do you know any other cool tricks?

  28. dL

    I simply share the idea that NAP Fundamentalism doesn’t work

    What problem was this Bob Capozzi straw man supposed to solve?

  29. robert capozzi

    Jim: Rhe Prohibition Party had alcohol prohibition as its signature issue, but it had a full platform and a lot of it became law.

    me: Interesting. Did the Prohibitionists have a singular ideological stance like the NAP? Any insight as to how they assembled such an eclectic platform? Were those all just (in their minds) “good ideas”? Were those just applied Christian ethics?

    Some Ls take a bow for gay marriage and weed legalization. I see no evidence that Ls deserve much, if any, credit for either.

    Otherwise, it seems that the PP MIGHT have been far more effective than the LP in their respective first 50 years. The PP seems like an important force in Prohibition itself, but perhaps their other issues were just after thoughts. Or maybe not. Maybe they were they folcrums of change in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    What was the PP doing right and the LP wrong for half a century?

  30. paulie Post author

    It was far easier to organize then. Ballot access barriers just did not exist, or were nowhere as bad. Those mostly came in as a reaction to some limited Communist and Socialist success in the 1930s. For the first couple of decades of the Prohibition Party there were no government printed ballots. Politics was not the massive money pit it is today, so it was much more possible for alternative parties to raise money and volunteers to become competitive than it is now in the era of mass advertising. In fact, national media did not really exist during that era, before the rise of national radio and later TV networks and syndication. Newspapers were often explicitly, not implicitly, partisan, and as such a non-duopoly party had a relatively more level playing field than now.

    Since the federal government did a lot less back then, far fewer people were beholden to it, although local political machines were prevalent. Nevertheless this left a lot of people who were much less constrained in being associated with a non-duopoly party. In fact, at that point, it had been much less time since the membership of the duopoly club changed; it had changed more than once in the 19th century, so it seemed much more plausible that it could change again. Now that’s it’s been the better part of two centuries it seems harder to see it happening.

    The non-prohibition parts of the early Prohibition Party agenda sound a lot like the overall Progressive agenda of that era, which had other parties pushing it and proponents within the duopoly. They were hardly the only ones carrying the torch on those issues. I don’t know how much emphasis they put on them, but it made sense that their name was the Prohibition Party, not the Progressive Party or the Other Progressive Party etc.

    I think the LP has a lot to do with cannabis decrim and legal gay marriage. It was a relatively lone voice in the wilderness for decades. The issues became more popular at the end, and others jumped in to lead the parade, but it would have never reached that stage without the early and largely thankless toil for many years before.

    For that matter deregulation is another idea we can posit was spurred by the rise of the LP. Rather than ask what we are doing wrong, it would be good to ask what we are doing right. In the past half century many alternative parties of all sorts of ideologies have come and gone; some remain tiny, with ballot access in only one or a small handful of states. Some made a big splash around an individual and didn’t last long. Some have made a dent in state politics, usually involving fusion, while not focusing on national politics. Only a couple have really risen to challenge the LP in the non-duopoly national party space in any sustained manner. None as successfully as the LP.

    These have included one issue parties, far right parties, far left parties, moderate/centrist parties, libertarianish parties… yet the LP has among a wide range of indicators and the course of several decades done better than they have. Rather than comparing us against a standard no other party has achieved in over 150 years – joining the ranks of the major parties – and none have ever achieved without one of the establishment parties collapsing in US history, or against the achievements of parties which faced a much different ballot access, funding, media and campaign climate a century ago, let’s judge what the LP has been able to do against what others who have been trying to do something similar have within the same time frame. By that more realistic standard we have done and continue to do incredibly well.

  31. paulie Post author

    NAP Fundamentalism is “stoic” in the sense that it’s all about delayed gratification.

    Agorism, countereconomics and volunteerism fills in that gap. Our gratification does not have to be delayed. We can and are starting to replace failing government services now. Apps and gigs are doing the same thing. The shift to a many-to-many information flow means we can get out information about fully informed juries and make victimless crime laws unenforceable; that actually played a huge role in the end of alcohol prohibition.

    “will translate that as “Oh, now, my mother-in-law will come live with us when her SS benefits are cut.”

    Fewer will do so when they learn that they will also get to keep the money they pay in taxes and cut the red tape which makes other housing and care options unaffordable for most.

    I’m highly skeptical that they can convert large numbers.

    It’s OK to be skeptical, I understand. I am much more optimistic in that regard.

    RP1 (as a Shiny Badge R) is the high water mark for applied NAP Fundamentalism.

    I disagree, but then you already knew that.

    Even without Newslettergate 1.0 and 2.0, his agenda lacked mass appeal. It was still a sub-10% offering.

    I saw plenty of mass appeal in my travels. A breakout in early primaries was very close. Newslettergates were well timed. Likewise Johnson 2016 had a lot of potential early on which was killed by gaffes and lack of inspiring performance in interviews. We were about half way to the level of support needed for national debate stage inclusion with Trump and Clinton. It’s very plausible that another LP ticket could hit that level of support. If the Democrats and Republicans actually agree to the debate, and if the Libertarian does a decent job in it, that would bring libertarian ideas to far more people than Paul, Johnson and Browne combined in all their campaigns put together ever could. Even if those libertarian ideas are in a watered down form it will lead a lot of people to discover more hardcore libertarian views as they dig deeper.

    Or, perhaps a street performer like Vermin will catch enough people’s attention, even without debate inclusion, for a critical mass to look into the ideas more seriously.

    There are a lot of ways for us to reach people. Only some of them involve elections. If you go to FreedomFest or LibertyCon or PorcFest etc, the libertarian movement as a whole is growing. I think it will keep growing and is very far from any point approaching any kind of ceiling. If anything I think our momentum will increase.

  32. NewFederalist

    Paulie’s post on Sep 9 at 8:02 is absolutely right on! Paulie, this is really insightful and extremely well thought out and written. This is the reason I keep coming back to this site. Kudos!

  33. robert capozzi

    pf,

    I stipulate that the election-law challenges were tougher in the 1970s til now vs in the 19th century. Jim was implying that they were pivotal in a range of issues, and it seems you don’t go along with his assessment. On those they were probably along for the ride. They probably were an important factor in enacting Prohibition, I suspect we all agree. OTOH, iirc, the Methodists get a lot of “credit” for that “achievement.”

    I’d also stipulate that the LP was early-on advocates of both gay marriage and weed legalization, although it seems to me that most of the heavy lifting was done by the Supremes. Some states brought the issue to a head, but I’ve never heard of the key LPer in, say, VT, that could claim fatherhood. I do note that a significant fraction of the NAP Fundamentalist community opposes gay marriage on the grounds that they oppose ALL state-sanctioned marriages.

    As I recall, the LP was more about legalizing ALL drugs, not just weed, and it still is. It seemed to be more precisely pushed by High Times. Of course, attributing causality for such a thing is (I’d say) impossible.

    I agree that RP1 08 and GJ 16 were encouraging. To gain traction, we’d need to break into the double digits first. Amash/Chafee 20 might do the trick. Supreme/Vohra 20?…I suppose anything’s possible, Donald Trump is president.

    Anyway, do you think there’s anything to be learned from the PP experience, or do you discount their longevity since Prohibition’s adoption and then repeal as just a hollow shell of a political party? Put another way, was their relative success of a single-issue focus (vs the LP’s NAP-ideology focus) was due to the fact that they made progress in a different time, when election law was far less burdensome? And that the husk of what remains is irrelevant to the LP’s experience?

  34. Chuck Moulton

    Robert Capozzi wrote:

    Some states brought the issue to a head, but I’ve never heard of the key LPer in, say, VT, that could claim fatherhood.

    Is this a joke? Steve Kubby, an LP activist and presidential candidate, was largely responsible for California’s medical marijuana initiatives. Rob Kampia, an LP activist, founded MPP and got legalization rolling state by state across the country. State LP activists championed marijuana initiatives in many states. LP groups were used to network early marijuana interest groups and identify early donors. Would all of this have happened without the LP? Maybe… but I think it would be a conservative estimate to say the LP moved marijuana legalization up by a decade.

  35. dL

    Some Ls take a bow for gay marriage and weed legalization. I see no evidence that Ls deserve much, if any, credit for either.

    Libertarian ideas were the driving force behind both. Whether the LP itself can take any credit is debatable, but it’s not debatable RE: so-called lessarchy receiving any credit.

  36. dL

    although it seems to me that most of the heavy lifting was done by the Supremes.

    Bob, your memory of contemporary history is faulty. Pot legalization got its start with medical marijuana legalization(i.e, prescription pot) in Cali in 1996. That set off a steady momentum to recreational pot legalization in Colorado in 2012. SCOTUS has yet to rule on recreational pot. The only pertinent SCOTUS ruling on the matter was in 2005 Gonzales v. Raich, wherein the court decided the federal government could seize the home grown plants of medical marijuana users under the pretext that the controlled substances act does not recognize medical marijuana.

    Pot, medical or recreational, is still illegal under federal law, and the federal government could at any time crack down on the entire industry. If you recall, Sessions’ Justice Department intimated that it would do exactly that, but it never followed through.

    Gay marriage began with civil unions in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Cali in the early 90s, and if you recall, this prompted DOMA passage in 1996. But that didn’t stop anything. By the time SCOTUS got around to nullifying DOMA in 2015, the heavy lifting had long been completed. Textbook example of paving the cowpaths.

    In 1996, the year DOMA passed(which was signed by Clinton) and the year Cali first legalized prescription pot, public opinion on both issues was at least 2/3 against. 10 years later, public opinion had shifted dramatically to 2/3 for. A Bob Capozzi LP would have a sorry track record of old CSPAN clips on Youtube documenting opposition to pot legalization and gay marriage on the grounds of both being an affront to the sensibilities of suburban white women. The only bright side to that, of course, is that we would have been spared a Barr/Root LP ticket in 2008…because there would have been no LP in 2008.

  37. robert capozzi

    cm,

    Sorry, I was referring to gay marriage with that sentence.

    And, yes, of course, individual Ls were involved in critical ways on the weed issue. Whether the party itself was pivotal is what I question.

  38. Jim

    robert capozzi “Did the Prohibitionists have a singular ideological stance like the NAP? Any insight as to how they assembled such an eclectic platform? Were those all just (in their minds) “good ideas”? Were those just applied Christian ethics?”

    As Paulie said, they were progressives. Wikipedia has a great one-sentence definition of progressivism:

    > Contemporary progressives promote public policies that they believe will lead to positive social change.

    The Prohibition Party’s progressivism was informed by Christian morality, as well as the more generic progressive policies popular at the time. They believed that society would be better off if everyone behaved like a Christian, and wanted the government to make sure that happened. Oddly, they were very careful to call for a separation of church and state. They wanted Christian behavior, but wanted to officially keep God and established churches away from politics. They opposed government funding of religious schools and supported the rights of adherents of minority religions to vote and hold office.

    robert capozzi “Jim was implying that they were pivotal in a range of issues, and it seems you don’t go along with his assessment.”

    Pivotal on those other issues may be giving them too much credit. What I meant was, the reason single-issue organizations can be more popular is that people can imagine that the rest of the agenda matches their values. One issue means people can have 100% agreement, which means a 100% positive impression. So if a candidate runs on opposition to internet censorship and nothing else, many people will take that positive impression and just fill in the blank spots with their own ideas. They can assume that, if the candidate is like them on one issue, he will be like them on other issues as well. But people couldn’t do that with the Prohibition Party because the Prohibition Party actually did have a full platform behind it. Because the Prohibition Party made it clear that prohibition was their prime issue, maybe people were willing to overlook any other disagreements. But it’s not quite the same as being a one-issue organization.

  39. Jim

    Johnson 2016 exceeded the peak presidential performance of the Prohibition Party. But the Prohibition Party had a string of 9 presidential elections in a row where they got 1.0% – 2.3% leading up to the passage of the 18th amendment.

  40. Carl Milsted

    I have recently built a new tool that is useful for anyone who wants to see more third party success.

    https://quiz2d.com/p2020

    It’s a voting system demo based on the 2020 primaries. It is not meant to promote any particular third party. The main people it should interest would be Democrats this year, since they are the ones faced with too many candidates to make Plurality Voting work.

    Point your Democratic friends and acquaintances to the demo. Get them familiar with better voting systems.

  41. robert capozzi

    Jim,

    PF’s contention has been that the LP’s staying power is due to its NAP foundation. What I’m trying to understand is why longevity is so important for him. The PP has been around longer and it appears they “peaked” in their 50th year, where their effectiveness was demonstrated with the enactment of Prohibition.

    PF seems to conflate any L influences on public policies with the LP itself. He’s now added to the list with “deregulation,” which seems like an even bigger stretch to me.

    Perhaps the more effective tack would be for Ls to found single-issue parties…The Cannabis Party, The Machine Guns for Tots Party, etc. Like the Prohibition Party, maybe they could have some other L-flavored planks to make themselves seem less one-dimensional.

  42. Eric Sundwall

    Perhaps “Minding the NAP” might help.

    The NAP community is now recruiting and proselytizing exclusively to the skateboarders of Austin, TX. The hope is that this robust crew of characters can influence that locality to expand the “muh parks” effort. Re-defining a public good is not for the feint-hearted. Every boarder knows that a kick-flip takes time to learn. Boarders have been utilizing training from the executive community, a webinar based on Doug Stanhope addressing the Bisbee city council.

    So far reaction has been warm. Boarders in Austin are urging their elected officials to tear down 70’s era skate parks and selling them to successful companies that have transformed the 5 billion dollar industry. One member, Anthony Balk, says, “this type of transformation in the public’s thinking will transform society into a voluntary one.”

    Of course critics like J. Galbraith are barking, “What about tax payers?” “Who will fund boondoggles based on the concept that “the” public good is conflated with “a” public good?”

    Experts are in agreement that reducing the risk or war, economic collapse and global bleeding can only be done on an incremental basis and are recommending supporting these unique skaters in considering that taxation is indeed theft.

    We’ve come a long way since the vice-principal has confiscated a board.

  43. Chuck Moulton

    Bylaws committee application email:

    We’re sending this email only to active members of the LP to tell you that the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) is seeking applicants to serve on the Bylaws and Rules Committee for the May 21-25, 2020 national convention in Austin, Texas. The LNC expects to make the appointments in an electronic meeting near the end of October.

    The LNC appoints all 10 of the Bylaws and Rules Committee members. The committee proposes changes to the party’s bylaws/rules and the convention delegates vote on whether to approve those proposals.

    This committee typically has in-person meetings at least once, several months in advance of the national convention, and then a final meeting on the day before the national convention begins. In the interim, there is likely to be a large volume of email discussions and several electronic meetings.

    Committee members will be expected to invest an appreciable amount of their time into doing their jobs including a high tolerance for heavy email traffic. Any travel costs incurred will be at personal expense.

    If you are interested in serving in one of these LNC-appointed seats, apply by completing the form at

    https://www.lp.org/bylaws-and-rules-committee-application/

    no later than October 15th 2019.

    *Please note that these applications (excluding street address and phone number) will be publicly viewable. Please do not include any information that would be considered private.

  44. paulie Post author

    Interesting…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-10/majority-americans-hate-both-parties

    That’s been the case for some time. But a combination of hating and fearing one more than the other, cynicism, apathy, paranoia, fatalism, disinterest, voter suppression, widespread disagreement on what a better alternative would actually be, and unrealistic expectations that lots of other people will build a better alternative without personally helping do so – or trying, and walking away in disgust at the infighting and lack of success – have prevented an actual real world challenger from rising to their level of performance or coming close.

  45. paulie Post author

    What I’m trying to understand is why longevity is so important for him.

    Takes a while to build something. LP has taken this long to get this far. Prohibitionists took 50 years to get prohibition. Socialists, progressives and populists worked for decades before getting major policy changes adopted by duopoly politicians to head them off at the pass. None of it was quick or easy. They were ignored, laughed at, attacked. And eventually, in many important respects – albeit not in the sense of winning the presidency or a large share of major offices – they won.

    conflate any L influences on public policies with the LP itself.

    The party has been a key part of the growth of the movement. Many people who later left the LP, or are no longer active in the party, or are much more involved in other aspects of the movement, came in to the movement through the LP.

    “deregulation,” which seems like an even bigger stretch to me.

    I think it’s significant that it began to happen right after major resources came into the LP and the party began to get on a lot of state ballots. It may have seemed like a real threat it would grow much bigger and faster than it subsequently has to some establishment politicians back then.

    Perhaps the more effective tack would be for Ls to found single-issue parties

    Feel free, but personally I like what we are doing and I think it is paying off, not always as visibly or as fast as I would like by any means, but slowly building over time, albeit with many missteps.

  46. paulie Post author

    There’s an article pending (Not Mine).

    Looks like it got approved.

    You know what I’ll ask, Can we get more publishers so people’s articles can be published faster (I’ll volunteer)

    I’ll bump you up one level and see if that lets you do it. But there’s a bunch of format fixing I have to do on everything from categories to headline issues to you name it; so make sure to read the rules and keep them in mind, and fix stuff that need to be fixed, if you want to do that.

    Also, it helps when the authors communicate that they have a pending draft to our email list as well as here.

  47. paulie Post author

    But the Prohibition Party had a string of 9 presidential elections in a row where they got 1.0% – 2.3% leading up to the passage of the 18th amendment.

    I’ve read Richard Winger explain that they also were credited/blamed with swinging the presidential race twice, and prohibition passed right after the second time.

  48. paulie Post author

    I have recently built a new tool that is useful for anyone who wants to see more third party success.

    Thank you, and thanks for stopping by and letting us know about it.

  49. paulie Post author

    Whether the LP itself can take any credit is debatable

    It’s too bad more people don’t have a fuller appreciation for system/ripple effects.

  50. paulie Post author

    most of the heavy lifting was done by the Supremes.

    Putting the final nail in and most of the heavy lifting are two different things.

    I’ve never heard of the key LPer in, say, VT, that could claim fatherhood.

    Real change is not nearly that simplified.

    opposes gay marriage on the grounds that they oppose ALL state-sanctioned marriages.

    Pretty much the same people who oppose allowing black people on government buses because they don’t support government buses. Well, granted, I don’t think government should run bus systems either, but they do, and while they do I don’t think they should discriminate.

    As I recall, the LP was more about legalizing ALL drugs, not just weed,

    And, lo and behold, some jurisdictions are starting to decriminalize natural grown psychedelics, while acceptance of the harm reduction model over the enforcement model is growing in regards to other drugs as well, albeit still with a lot of room for growth.

    Anyway, do you think there’s anything to be learned from the PP experience

    Persistence eventually can pay off.

    or do you discount their longevity since Prohibition’s adoption and then repeal as just a hollow shell of a political party?

    Their greatest achievement more recently has been in the field of ballot access litigation, which has helped other parties besides their own.

    Put another way, was their relative success of a single-issue focus (vs the LP’s NAP-ideology focus) was due to the fact that they made progress in a different time, when election law was far less burdensome? And that the husk of what remains is irrelevant to the LP’s experience?

    Election law did make a big difference, but that does not mean that nothing can be learned or applied, just that the differences need to be kept in mind.

  51. paulie Post author

    Paulie’s post on Sep 9 at 8:02 is absolutely right on! Paulie, this is really insightful and extremely well thought out and written. This is the reason I keep coming back to this site. Kudos!

    Thanks! Glad to be of service.

  52. Jim

    paulie “I’ve read Richard Winger explain that they also were credited/blamed with swinging the presidential race twice, and prohibition passed right after the second time.”

    Maybe the Prohibition Party swung an election in a particular and relevant state. But looking at the national vote totals, no.

    The Prohibition Party finished 4th, being beaten by the Socialist Party each time, in 1916, 1908, and 1904.

    In 1912 they finished 5th, behind both the Socialist Party and Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party.

    3rd parties did cover the difference between the top two finishers in 1912 and 1916, but it was by the Socialists and Progressives, not the Prohibition Party.

    The Prohibition Party did cover the difference and finished in 3rd place in 1888 and 1884. And they also had a 3rd place finish in 1900, but they were no where close to making a difference.

  53. robert capozzi

    pf: Real change is not nearly that simplified.

    me: For sure. The influence of theorists is very difficult to “prove,” I’d say more like IMPOSSIBLE. The LP positions itself as a guerilla force, throwing out extreme theories in an electoral context, some of which MIGHT stick in some form.

    Whether that helps to increase individual liberty decades later is unclear. To me, I suspect that a more applied approach is more likely to be impactful, given that most laymen tend to think in more concrete vs theoretical ways.

  54. paulie Post author

    For sure. The influence of theorists is very difficult to “prove,” I’d say more like IMPOSSIBLE. The LP positions itself as a guerilla force, throwing out extreme theories in an electoral context, some of which MIGHT stick in some form.

    We aren’t just theorists. We’re a long term funnel for the libertarian movement and its ideas taken in whole, in part or one by one.

    Whether that helps to increase individual liberty decades later is unclear.

    It’s not unclear to me, as I’ve observed the chain reactions in way too many cases and ways to recount or impart the full impact of.

    To me, I suspect that a more applied approach is more likely to be impactful, given that most laymen tend to think in more concrete vs theoretical ways.

    There are lots of approaches and they can all coexist. What works best for some people is not what works best for others. I’m going to do it the way that works for me. I’d suggest getting in where you fit in and helping pull, push or grease the skids for the freedom train somehow, some way. But you’re set in your ways so it’s all good, do what works for you and the rest will do what works for them/us/whatever.

  55. paulie Post author

    Jim, Richard comment in question was

    The LP doesn’t need to become a major party in order to influence policy.

    The Prohibition Party costs the Republicans the presidency in 1884 and again in 1916. The first time it happened, the Prohibition Party presidential nominee, John P. St. John, was burned or hung in effigy in Republican towns across the nation, after the election results were known. But the second time it happened, in 1916, the Republicans in Congress decided to end the threat posed by the Prohibition Party for good. They did that by passing the 18th amendment in Congress early in 1917. It had been sitting in every session of congress since 1875 and had never made any headway until 1917.

  56. robert capozzi

    pf: But you’re set in your ways

    me: Curious. Recall that I was once a NAP Fundamentalist, then a Cosmotarian, then an L Reformist,now a semi-Georgist, kinda-greenish lessarchist independent, occasional LP voter. I’m open to going back to my Fundamentalist roots, but I find that approach is self-defeating and often incoherent.

  57. Tony From Long Island

    The 18th Amendment was probably the dumbest piece of legislation passed since the Alien and Sedition acts . . . . so if that’s the example you want to give of how a minor party can influence policy, I sure hope it doesn’t turn out like the 18th Amendment.

  58. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, thanks. What works for others is impossible to know, aside from very accurate mind readers.

    When something appears to NOT be working, it can be helpful and useful to ask someone who sees it otherwise how they see it differently. When they dodge and deflect, however, it’s often a sign of denial.

    TfLI,

    Yes, the PP may well have been effective in their first 50 years, although their goal was an unpeaceful one. The reason I brought them up was that PF often cites the LP’s longevity as evidence of its virtues. He believes it core commitment to the NAP as the secret to their success.

    The PP’s been around 3x longer, and appears to have been pivotal in bringing about a major change to the social fabric, in their case, a dysfunctional one. We may or may not gleen insight from why a 3rd party’s longevity might indicate that a 3rd party is doing something “right.”

    Personally, I’m unimpressed with longevity as a metric for virtue. Intentions are more important than effectiveness, but being both effective and having virtuous intentions seems to be obviously better.

    For PF, a few states legalizing weed and Denver decriminalizing psilocybin is attributable to decisions made by the LP’s Founders in 1971. Really not seeing it….

  59. paulie Post author

    . Really not seeing it….

    That’s OK. We’ll keep growing and getting more accomplished, and we’ll pick up the pace. There will be more setbacks ahead, but we are on the right path.

  60. Jim

    paulie “The Prohibition Party costs the Republicans the presidency in 1884 and again in 1916. The first time it happened, the Prohibition Party presidential nominee, John P. St. John, was burned or hung in effigy in Republican towns across the nation, after the election results were known. But the second time it happened, in 1916, the Republicans in Congress decided to end the threat posed by the Prohibition Party for good. They did that by passing the 18th amendment in Congress early in 1917. It had been sitting in every session of congress since 1875 and had never made any headway until 1917.”

    1884 seems to be because New York switched from Republican to Democrat. But Cleveland had just been elected Governor of New York in 1882 with 58.5%.. It isn’t obvious to me that he wouldn’t have won New York without the Prohibition Party drawing votes from the Republicans.

    1916 seems to be because of California. That’s the only state where the Prohibition Party covered the difference between the Rs and Ds, where the R lost, and it made enough of a difference in the electoral college. But the Republicans didn’t lose California because the Prohibition Party took votes from them. They lost California because the Democrats took votes from them. Wilson did 5% better in California in 1916 than he did in 1912, 14% better than William Jennings Bryan had in 1908, and 20% better than Alton Parker did in 1904. The Prohibition Party got less than 3% in 1916. Yes, that 3% covered the spread between the Republican and the Democrat. But Democrats won because the Democrats did better, not because the Prohibition Party took away votes. The Prohibition Party did worse in California in 1916 than it had in 1912 or 1908.

    Democratic percentage in California:

    1920 24.3% (James Cox)
    1916 46.7% (Wilson)
    1912 41.8% (Wilson)
    1908 33.0% (Alton Parker)
    1904 26.9% (William Jennings Bryan)

  61. paulie Post author

    I was just quoting Richard Winger. I think maybe the point was that the Republicans blamed Prohibitionists for taking California and thus the election from them, even if that was not what happened. The evidence doesn’t back up the common belief that Perot got Clinton elected either but still people believe it. It was the belief that Prohibition had again cost them a presidential election which spurred them to enact prohibition, even if that belief was not factually correct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *