Holiday message from Vermin Supreme, Libertarian for President: ‘I dream of a world of holidays without cages’

Holiday message from the Vermin Supreme campaign:

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I dream of a world of holidays without cages.

As we hit Christmas, I am reminded of those in cages who are not allowed to enjoy the most basic of freedoms. Tonight we think about all of you, and shed a tear that you cannot be with your families. May justice swiftly exonerate you and allow you to return to the ones you love.

Ross Ulbricht was a very smart kid. He caught on quickly and learned at a rapid pace. He earned a degree in physics and a master’s in material science with a focus on crystallography. It was around this time that Ross discovered libertarianism and the concept of a free market. He worked to create an online market he called the Silk Road where anonymity and cryptocurrencies were utilized. Ross was arrested in 2013 and was tried and sentenced in 2015. He was convicted of conspiracy to traffic narcotics, hacking, and money laundering. He was sentenced to double life plus 40 years. Tonight he spends his Seventh Christmas locked away.

Chelsea Manning joined the Army to see if it could help sort out her confusion about the way she saw herself. The Army only alienated her further. While working with classified information, Chelsea stumbled upon several things that she felt the world needed to know about. She tried to give the information to major news sources, but was met with no interest. She then reached out to Wikileaks, where she found a willing accomplice. After the publishing of thousands of classified documents, Chelsea Manning was found guilty under the Espionage Act and sentenced to 35 years in prison. President Obama commuted that sentence after she had served 6 years of that time. She is once again in jail for contempt of court for failing to testify against Julian Assange.

Julian Assange has been a wanted man for a large portion of his life. Since founding Wikileaks in 2006, he has been viewed by several governments as an enemy, especially the US. An attempt to charge him with rape was filed, then closed, then reopened, then dismissed. Assange was forced to take refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK. He stayed in the Embassy from 2012 until his arrest in April of 2019 for failure to appear in court. He could be extradited to the US under a sealed indictment. He is spending his Christmas in solitary confinement under conditions that doctors say may result in his death.

There are many more political prisoners, but one more group that we hold dear to our hearts are those who came to America seeking a better life. Too many of them are imprisoned currently by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Mothers and fathers are separated from their children. Reports of abuse abound throughout the system, including sexual abuse of minor children. There is no system that would allow for these people to enter the US legally. They try to enter because circumstances in their home countries are so terrible that they are willing to risk everything for a chance at a better life. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I am pretty sure I would be willing to risk a lot to give my family a better life.

We here at Team Supreme wish you all a very Happy Holidays. We hope you are feeling safe and secure in the comfort of your own home. We just find it tragic that so many are unable to enjoy this time with their families, especially over such trivial “crimes”. Vermin Supreme and company are dedicated to righting these wrongs and fixing the systems that cause this. Will you join us?

📷 This can be a tough time of year for some people. Finals, colder weather, longer nights and not everyone is looking forward to Christmas. Did you know that if you text 741741 when you are feeling depressed or suicidal, a crisis worker will text you back immediately and continue to text with you? Many people don’t like talking on the phone and would be more comfortable texting. It’s a FREE service to ANYONE – teens, adults, etc. – who lives in the U.S. It’s run by The Crisis Text Line.

You. Matter. #youmattertome

I invite my friends & family to join me in raising awareness for mental illness.
You just have to copy & paste and share in your social media networks.
Do it for the people you love – more people struggle with mental health than you think.

All My Love,
Vermin Love Supreme

86 thoughts on “Holiday message from Vermin Supreme, Libertarian for President: ‘I dream of a world of holidays without cages’

  1. fred stein

    Great message. You are a funny guy. BUT I hope you don’t run for the LP nomination for President wearing a boot on your head. There is alot of discrimination against people dressing too funny. But then again having body piercing, tattoos, blue jeans with holes in them , men wearing long hair ( Those DAMN BEATLES) were at one time deemed absurd. What is next people wearing shirts with stains on them ? Or Music with no melodies and just beats? ooops that’s called hip hop. Stay well my friend.

  2. paulie Post author

    From a Libertarian who recently served in the State House in New Hampshire:

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3139968532781661&id=100003056361389

    Rep. Caleb Q. Dyer
    29 mins

    I have been asked a number of times over the past months who I plan to support for the Libertarian presidential nomination. As I expect to return in 2020 as one of New Hampshire’s several delegates, I take this responsibility of choosing a presidential candidate on behalf of New Hampshire’s Libertarians very seriously. I have examined the candidates in the field closely. I have discussed the merits and demerits of the candidates with trusted friends and family. I have spoken with candidates who have taken the time to come to New Hampshire to participate in the primary process that occurs here every four years. Many of the candidates are excellent people and principled libertarians. Several of the candidates communicate the ideas of human liberty effectively. But only one candidate has demonstrated all of the above and invested the time and effort to necessary to bring that message to people who have never heard it. Only one candidate has EARNED my support.

    When we as Libertarians choose a candidate we must choose someone who has demonstrated that they can effectively communicate the principles of radical human liberty to the widest possible audience. We must choose someone who has a proven record of challenging the cult of the omnipotent state no matter who its figure heads are. We must choose someone who understands and is proven capable of the work required to mount a national campaign. We must choose the candidate who will best represent the Libertarian Party to the voting public. I believe there is one one candidate who fulfills this criteria.

    As a result of this candidate’s well-organized campaign we have seen membership of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire increase by over 25% with equally impressive gains made elsewhere across the country. As a result of this candidate’s hard work and dedication I have seen people have their minds opened to new ideas and become willing to think outside of the traditional political box. His professionalism in debates and forums has truly impressed not only myself but many people who had never heard him speak or respond to questions. As a result of this candidate’s love and kindness I’ve seen people rethink what it means to be a Libertarian.

    I am truly honored and humbled to call him a friend. It is with great enthusiasm and pride that I announce my support for Vermin Love Supreme for the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States.

    #SupremeSpike2020 #PonyUp #FITN #NHpolitics #LPNH #Libertarian

  3. Tony From Long Island

    What an embarrassment . . . . and that guy was an elected official . . .

    And you sometimes wonder why you only regularly get 0.5% of the vote.

    Go ahead. . . . get laughed at. . . . nominate this clown.

    Sorry . . . not sorry . . .

  4. dL

    And you sometimes wonder why you only regularly get 0.5% of the vote.

    There’s no “sometimes wonder” about it. The LP gets 0.5% of the vote b/c it raises less than 0.5% of the money compared to major party candidates. Shit, Bloomberg is going to spend a billion dollars just to try to win the Democratic nomination.

    Go ahead. . . . get laughed at. . . . nominate this clown.

    Tony, what do you have against free ponies for everyone? Scrooge!

  5. paulie Post author

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Getting laughed at is progress from the 0.5% stage, maybe by an order of magnitude or more. It helps that Vermin has a great serious side. The current president of Ukraine is a comedian, and won by a landslide. And the clown in chief of the USA right now is a reality TV sideshow. So we’ll see who gets the last laugh.

  6. Tony From Long Island

    Well . . . I do like ponies 🙂

    Lack of policies people actually like rather than lack of dough is much more likely the reason for the 0.5%

  7. paulie Post author

    And from the LPNH chair:

    Brian C. Shields
    7 hrs

    President of the United States.

    Let’s be honest here, Federal politics is a disaster.

    To run a candidate and win is a MONUMENTAL task, even for the major parties. Hillary Clinton spent a billion dollars just to retire one day after the election.

    We’re talking real power both visible and behind the scenes, and DEEP behind the scenes. We’re talking foreign espionage. Every major news outlet in the world is covering the election.

    There is so much noise that a candidate has to cut through that only wild, brash candidates are front runners. Trump. Sanders. Warren. Anti-establishment, populist candidates promising the world knowing they can’t deliver.

    So when I look at the Libertarian Party crop of candidates, most can’t even cut through our own noise, forget trying to compete outside of the bubble.

    One candidate can cut through that noise, and gain the media attention, enough to get a new generation of apathetic voters to realize the system is rigged, and the Libertarian Party is the only ones fighting for individual rights, the only ones not trying to spend their money, the only political party with a sense of morality.

    Vermin Supreme

    When I look at the role of the Libertarian Presidential ticket, the only way we succeed is if we draw attention to ourselves and stop running forgettable half assed failed politicians looks to lifeboat their political career.

    We win by drawing attention. Get them in the door and slap them around with some liberty. Teach. Grow the party. Grow our base. Inspire a new generation of activists.

    Vermin Supreme draws attention. Vermin inspires. Vermin highlights the elephant in the room: that federal politics is a joke, and we might as well be in on it.

    Let’s be honest. A vote for Vermin Supreme is not a vote wasted. It is a vote against the system. It is a protest vote. It is a double barreled middle finger telling the establishment to fuck off.

    You want to energize a generation of apathetic voters? You do it with satire. Free healthcare? Free ponies. Gun confiscation? Gun exchange. Government force? Mandatory tooth brushing. Environmental programs? Zombie power.

    Highlight the absurdity we all know exists in that three ringed circus. Call it out for what it is.

    That’s why I am supporting Vermin Supreme. He gives the Libertarian Party the largest chance at growing. He gives a voice to the LARGEST voting segment out there, people who know that Washington doesn’t represent them.

    All hail the magic boot.

  8. paulie Post author

    Lack of policies people actually like rather than lack of dough is much more likely the reason for the 0.5%

    Our policies test in the teens to twenties. And that’s before we get on a debate stage with the leading contenders. The 0.5% is old news anyway; we do better than that in non-presidential races, and in the last two presidential. Unfortunately, politics is more about dough, organization, ground game, air game (ads), media attention and perception of chances of winning. This is especially true of presidential politics. Nerding out on policies and taking the time to find out what they even are for parties that don’t have a billion dollars to tell you is an obsession for maybe, well, 0.5% of the population. The rest tend to consume their political knowledge passively if at all.

  9. paulie Post author

    Chris Rogers: All of the “infest some other party” or “Frightening and sad” comments about Vermin running are, frankly, puzzling in the context of actually getting ballot access for down ticket candidates. I mean, if you want to play political games, then play the damned game, but don’t play by their rules.

    The LP is in a difficult position. Anyone they put up will be ridiculed and/or ignored by the press. To add to that, one thing that the Rs and Ds do very well is collaborating against third parties, especially in national elections. They will do everything they can to prevent a “reasonable” third party candidate from changing the conversation. This is where Vermin comes in. He turns their little house of cards upside down.

    Have you ever seen how Vermin responds to people slandering and verbally attacking him? It’s like water off a duck’s back. Then he comes back with something witty and intelligent and people listen because here is someone who isn’t just being rolled over by the press. The fact that he as a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to mock the clearly under-mocked political process is a huge PLUS.

    He has a solid campaign run by capable people. He fully supports the LP platform as explained at https://verminsupreme2020.com/platform/ It also doesn’t hurt at all that Vermin has a huge appeal to younger voters who feel disenfranchised and disinterested. He is bringing those voters into the LP rather than letting the R’s and D’s infest their minds.

    In short, if you want the LP to be taken seriously as a party that will win elections, Vermin is actually a sound choice. If you want the LP to continue to be laughed at and mocked as the little party that could go ahead and vote for another stuffed suit from the duopoly masquerading as a libertarian.

  10. paulie Post author

    Jeffrey Scott: Vermin Supreme promises free ponies for everyone and wears a boot on his head.

    Meanwhile the so called real politicians who don’t wear boots on their heads lie, cheat, steal, kill, and spend our great grandchildren’s taxes like water.

    Call me silly but after 35 years of listening to suits who got us to this point i am going with the guy promising ponies who wears a boot on his head.

    It’s the only sane choice.

  11. dL

    Lack of policies people actually like rather than lack of dough is much more likely the reason for the 0.5%

    Then no POTUS candidate should ever spend more than, say, a million bucks. Because dough doesn’t matter, right?

  12. paulie Post author

    Why would they even spend that much? Conversely, why do those other folks spend so much time and effort raising and spending all that money if it doesn’t matter?

  13. paulie Post author

    Neil Rawson
    4 hrs

    #MyVerminStory and official endorsement

    I first heard about Vermin Supreme during his 2008 presidential run via memes about a deranged hobo running for president wearing a boot on his head. I considered myself a Democrat/liberal at the time, but didn’t really pay much attention to elections since I wasn’t old enough to vote yet.

    By 2012, I would’ve called myself a “moderate social libertarian” based on the results of PoliticalCompass and other online tests, but I was still fairly disengaged from politics. That November, when I went to my local polling place to put in my vote for Obama, I found out I wasn’t registered to vote yet. (I discovered my filled out registration form in a pile of old mail a few years later.) In retrospect, I’m happy to announce that I’ve never voted for anyone who’s A-okay with drone striking brown people overseas. I registered as a Democrat, and went back to being disengaged until 2015.

    By the 2016 election, my interest in politics had increased, as I was working long overnight shifts, with a lot of quiet down time for mediocre pay. Disgruntled over my working and living conditions, I supported Bernie Sanders. His populist message of making corporations pay their fair share was very appealing to me, and helped fuel my interest in the election process. When he lost the nomination, I was disappointed and disgusted, changing my registration to Green and swearing off the Democrats forever.

    Fast forward to this year, where I’ve supported Andrew Yang up to this point. Yang’s outsider status, data-driven approach, and message of Human-Centered Capitalism make him the most appealing Democrat of this cycle by far, but that is exactly why the powerful players behind the curtain will never allow him to win the nomination. Mentioning that to his supporters tends to upset the ones who have yet to learn just how unfair the system really is.

    In both Bernie and Yang’s camps, I noticed a trend in the way we interacted with other people online. Our electoral system fosters a culture of groupthink, where differing opinions within a circle are often silenced or ignored out of fear of creating dissent and harming their candidate’s chances of success. People feel so desperate for their party or candidate to win right now, they are willing to be cutthroat not just to outsiders, but to people within their respective movements. Whenever someone made a legitimate, constructive criticism of our candidates’ policies or respective campaign, there would be a virtual pile-on of people accusing them of being a disruptor; implying that they’re trying to take down the movement from within.

    My path to working with Vermin Supreme started on something of a whim. I had done a large ink marker drawing of him riding a pony naked, wielding a giant toothbrush, which I posted on Twitter. Vermin said it was beautiful, retweeted it and asked me if he could have a copy of the file. I happily obliged, and Libertarians for Vermin Supreme contacted me asking if it could be used on merch. This encouraged and inspired me to draw the Santa Vermin and make the first tree ornament, (both of which are now available in Vermin’s shop as merch.)

    Feeling increasingly out of place in the Yang Gang, I started paying more attention to Vermin as someone worth seriously supporting and not just a living meme. When I saw he would be speaking at the Olean Libertarian Presidential Debate, (about 150 miles from where I live,) I decided to take a trip there in hopes of learning more about the Libertarian Party, maybe even getting a chance to meet Vermin and show him my artwork!

    I drove to Olean by myself, a little nervous about what to expect. I still had some preconceived notions about the party being mostly alt-right bigots, and wasn’t sure how my rainbow paint hoodie and rainbow-glitter fingernails would be received. As I entered the auditorium, the first thing that caught my eye was a brightly-colored flag hanging at the back of the stage: the Gadsen “Don’t Tread On Me” snake overlaying a Pride rainbow. I was both amused and reassured, (and later found out that it belongs to Vermin.) He has a reputation for making people feel welcome and comfortable in his presence, and he succeeded at that before I even met him.

    The debate itself was engaging and informative, clearing up some incorrect beliefs and assumptions I had about libertarianism. I was impressed by the wide span of differing ideas within the party, unlike what I’ve seen in 2019’s Democrat debates where the policy differences are usually inconsequential. Vermin impressed me with his natural leadership presence. I expected him to ride in on an inflatable pony and throw glitter around, yet there he was speaking as the most well-versed Libertarian on stage, even literally reading from the official LP platform at times. I could tell that behind the boot, Vermin is the real deal.

    Through Messenger, Desarae (campaign manager, Libertarians for Vermin Supreme) introduced me to Matt, an organizer for Vermin and vice-chair of the Cattaraugus County LP, during the intermission. He introduced me to Vermin and Rod Webber (running for president as EspteinDidn’tKillHimself.) I think they were all a little surprised to see me there proudly waving around my drawings. Vermin greeted me with a hug like family, and Rod bought my first Vermin drawing on the spot. I also met Dan Behrman and a handful of local Libertarians. As an outsider, they all made me feel right at home. These were people I could imagine myself being friends with – and I’m not exactly the sort of person who goes around looking for new friends.

    When it was over, we chatted about the idea of using my designs on merch, and possibly collaborating with the team in the future. I gave Vermin the Santa drawing, and he gave me a sparkly new glitter tie and something to be excited about. I gained a new perspective on what it means to be a libertarian, and left with a renewed sense of purpose. In the following weeks, I began networking with the campaign, making a few more pieces of Vermin art. They graciously featured me as an artist on VerminSupreme2020.com/shop, and ever since, helping the campaign succeed has been one of my main ambitions. Desarae has talked about our need to shift the party’s culture. I wholeheartedly agree, and I think I’m just the right colorful, bearded weirdo for the job. I believe in Vermin Supreme and am proud to support his cause, despite knowing he won’t win.

    To me, there’s something strangely liberating about accepting that the person you’re rooting for will never be elected. I’ve been called a nihilist and a cynic for holding this view, told that I must not care about other people if I’m willing to “throw away” my vote or “steal votes” for someone who can’t win. However, I see that as a narrow and misguided perspective.

    Winning a presidential election in the United States as an honest, upstanding person who is not corrupted by power or influence is virtually impossible as we approach 2020. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying to you, or is still blindly optimistic. Our corrupt duopoly is not conducive to good people finding a path to the Oval Office. This is why even without the character, someone like Vermin Supreme would never win – and that’s okay. What’s very possible though, and what Vermin is achieving with his magical boot, is moving the needle in a measurable way. He’s essentially breaking the fourth wall on our political theater in a manner that is just as genuine as it is absurd. He’s making people like me ask ourselves difficult questions about what we believe is required for people to be free and happy in this world.

    Like any campaign, Team Supreme has measurable goals and objectives to work towards. What sets us apart is that our stakes are much lower. We have nothing to lose but time and money, both of which are given freely in exchange for a lot of laughs, insightful discussions, and great company. We don’t need to resort to attacking other candidates’ supporters, or bicker over minor differences in implementing make-believe policies that will never even see the light of day. We already understand that the system is a joke. This allows us to spend our collective efforts in a way that builds each other up, and works to improve our strategy (and the world as a whole.) We have fun without suffering from the crippling anxiety of what will happen if we don’t win.

    Our passion is genuine because WE may be genuine. I believe that is a key component that makes our campaign so special, and why just about every single person I’ve met in it has been awesome. For the first time in my life, I have found a community where my weirdness is not only accepted with unconditional understanding, it is embraced as a valuable asset. Vermin and his team are all driving me to be the best (and weirdest) version of myself that I can be.

    I endorse Vermin Love Supreme for the Libertarian Presidential Nomination because he is the embodiment of what all libertarians should stand for. Living up to his middle name, Vermin shows love and acceptance for all. He is unapologetically true to himself and his values; a defender of liberty and a shining example of all the good things that can be achieved if one is willing to think outside the box. Not everyone will understand or appreciate Vermin’s unconventional methods, but no one (Libertarian or otherwise) should have a shred of doubt about the quality of his character or his ability to empower people who would otherwise feel like misfits. Combined with his name recognition, memeability, and the climate of this current dystopian political hellscape, the man with the boot on his head is quickly becoming the obvious choice as the Libertarian Party’s best shot at hitting that elusive 5%.

    From the bottom of my heart, I consider it an honor and privilege to be collaborating with this campaign, and see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave my mark on the world. Vermin is one of my personal heroes, and I believe we may all find joy and success by following his example. Let’s change the culture. Be bold, be brave, be colorful, be accountable, be kind, be humble, always question authority, work hard at what you love, take care of each other…
    …and most importantly, don’t forget to floss! ?

    For peace, liberty, humanity, and ponies,
    Neil?Rawson
    #TeamSupreme, Moral Hygienist, future Glitter Pirate

  14. paulie Post author

    Desarae Lindsey shared a link.
    Admin · 46 mins

    Email draft to LPNY leadership – the entire EC. Please review for me if you have a moment. CC: Matt Peterson-Volz

    Good afternoon!

    It has been brought to my attention multiple times that the Vermin Supreme New York Campaign Coordinator has not been looped in on any information regarding petitioning and delegates requirements. Further, I have been made aware that there has been a lot of negative talk from leadership about Vermin Supreme as a candidate. I hope, for the sake of the Party we all cherish, that this isn’t the level of professionalism being publicly displayed, and I would like to take a moment to respectfully request that our campaign staff be included in any pertinent information our campaign is entitled to, along with all the other candidates. As Libertarians, we put a heavy focus on the rights of the individual, and therefore a top down attempt at sabotage, no matter how unintentional, of a candidate who’s met all requirements to be considered for the Libertarian Party nomination, can most certainly be perceived as a violation of Libertarian principles.

    My contact information is below, and I invite anyone who would like to discuss any questions or concerns to call, text, or email me anytime. I certainly wouldn’t mind having an opportunity to plead my case and hopefully put any potential concerns to rest. I have been active in this party since 2011 and I have worked extremely hard in many different capacities over the years – I would never, ever do anything to jeopardize my work or anyone else’s, and I assure you that Vermin Supreme is, in fact, running a very serious and legitimate campaign.

    Also – please bear in mind that he has traveled to New York twice since filing his candidacy with the FEC last summer, including participating in the debate in Olean. He has also created new Libertarians in New York – and all over the country – and will continue to do so. As some of you may be aware, he grew LPNH’s membership by 25% – a feat unmatched by any other campaign.

    Thank you for your time and for your prompt attention in this matter, and I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I look forward to working with you all to make 2020 a historic year for the Libertarian Party! 🙂

    For Love and Freedom,

    Desarae Lindsey

    Campaign Manager

    Vermin Supreme for President

  15. paulie Post author

    Another elected Libertarian endorsement:

    Spencer Dias – Libertarian
    8 mins

    Official Notice of Endorsement:

    The United States presidency is an office that has been historically held to a high regard. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your vantage, this regard has began to falter. Like all institutions that don’t keep up with contemporary culture and issues, they eventually capitulate, and from the ashes of the old, a new. The Libertarian Party seeks a retrospective outlook on the future of US Politics, federal, local, and at all levels in between. For the US Presidency, the Libertarian Party should be no different. Bringing back the ideas of liberty and individuality to the forefront of US Politics will be, and has been, a difficult task. Not impossible, even though some may say otherwise.

    Out of all Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates thus far, one stands out from the rest due to his experience and stature against the other. I, Spencer Dias, formally endorse Vermin Love Supreme for the Office of the US Presidency for the 2020 Election cycle as of December 27th, 2019. As State Director of the Supreme campaign, this should come to no surprise. I intend to be a delegate to the Libertarian Party National Convention where on the first ballot I will have Vermin Supreme as my first choice.

    In Liberty,
    Spencer A. Dias

  16. dL

    Why would they even spend that much? Conversely, why do those other folks spend so much time and effort raising and spending all that money if it doesn’t matter?

    Because money obviously matters, and the amount of money being spent is generally inversely proportional to the merit of the ideas being promulgated. That’s why Vermin wears a boot on his head and promises free ponies. He’s intentionally personifying the NOTA protest option. The thing with the LP and “respectable” GOP retreads is that the latter never brings over a respectable wallet.

  17. NewFederalist

    As much as I respect paulie’s opinion and persuasive arguments in favor of Vermin Supreme, I look at the Monster Mad Raving Loony Party in the UK which does much the same thing as Vermin Supreme and yet they never seem to get much attention. Don’t get me wrong I really like the idea of an outrageous nominee since running “serious” nominees whether true libertarians or GOP retreads hasn’t produced a “breakthrough” result as yet. In the highly charged partisan environment that is most certainly likely in 2020 the Libertarian Party does need to try a different approach. As Darcy Richardson has suggested alternative party vote totals are likely to be suppressed due to the extreme partisan divide. I guess the question for me is this… is it better to go with a comical and therefore less intimidating candidate like Vermin Supreme or a hard core libertarian like Hornberger, Kokesh, Vohra or Jorgensen. That’s for the delegates to decide. I sure hope the party doesn’t do another Republican-Lite. Just my $0.02 worth.

  18. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    The LP needs a unique position on an issue that people are passionate about for 2020, and it doesn’t have one.

    What reason can the LP give for obtaining people’s votes?

    * Drug legalization? Marijuana is mostly legal in much of the U.S. The Dems support it, and the GOP has largely ceded the issue. The LP goes further, but most Americans do not. Most voters are satisfied with the current drug laws. Those who aren’t, are already in the LP’s 0.5%.

    * Gay marriage? Issue won, so the LP has nothing to offer.

    * Taxes? Dems want more taxes on the rich. Trump wants less taxes for all. Or so they say. Most voters seem content with one or the other. “All taxation is theft” is not going to attract more voters than in past years.

    * Foreign intervention? Trump has trimmed back, and suggests he wants to trim further. The Deep State won’t let him. At least that’s the perception of most voters. The LP’s promises of total non-intervention will sound unrealistic (how will an LP president overcome the Deep State?) and will thus fall on deaf ears.

    * Internet censorship? The LP can insist the First Amendment be imposed on all social media beyond a certain size. That would attract some voters, as the Dems and GOP both ignore this issue. But many Libertarians say that private companies can do as they please, so the LP is similarly ceding this issue.

    * Immigration? The Dems are the open borders party in the public’s mind. The Dems are already ignoring all immigration laws, and are declaring sanctuary cities and counties all over the U.S. The LP can promise to make open borders official, but the LP has nothing practical to offer beyond what the Dems are already doing.

    The LP needs an issue that many voters are passionate about, and on which the LP’s position is starkly different from the Dems and GOP. I don’t see any such issue. The big issue is Trump. People are either passionately for or against Trump. The Dems and GOP have those two bases covered.

  19. paulie Post author

    I look at the Monster Mad Raving Loony Party in the UK which does much the same thing as Vermin Supreme

    Not quite.

    I guess the question for me is this… is it better to go with a comical and therefore less intimidating candidate like Vermin Supreme or a hard core libertarian like Hornberger, Kokesh, Vohra or Jorgensen.

    Vermin is actually both. He has a serious platform, which is in fact hardcore libertarian, as well as a parody/comedy platform. He plans to utilize both when and where appropriate in this run, unlike his past runs.

  20. fred stein

    I am very thankful Bill Weld is not running for the LP nomination……………….. Drew Carey , Mark Cuban,
    or Penn Juliette would have been interesting candidates. Mark Cuban favorite book is The Fountainhead,
    owns a sports team, hosts Shark Tank, colorful personality, loves attention, and has expressed desire to run for President.

  21. paulie Post author

    Marijuana is mostly legal in much of the U.S.

    Sure, if by “mostly legal” you mean you need to wait for a doctor’s appointment, pay fees, get a doctor’s note, pay higher than market prices in select locations which are bound by many local and state restrictions, if they exist at all (in many states it’s just a theory); if off premise consumption is even legal at all, you’ll be subject to many restrictions about that everywhere you go, including in many cases your own motel room, rental apartment or house, or even your own home even if you are the property owner depending on where you live. In a small handful of states the doctors note thing no longer applies, but the rest is still true. In many other states, like here in Alabama and pretty much anywhere we border on….it’s just plain old illegal, period, with little in the way of short term hope for change.

    Even in the states where it is “legal” or “medicinal” you may be subject to being treated like a criminal if you actually try to run one of those businesses. You can still face federal charges, and even local and state raids despite the law. Banks may refuse to do business with you. Landlords may be scared of renting you space. You may have no legal protection against robbery. If you are a doctor, your license could be at risk. So could any other professional license if you are a patient. And oh yeah, your self defense rights. You can still be arrested, have that on your record, and have it mess up your life; you just may be able to use an “affirmative defense” to beat the charges. But when employers, landlords, cops, and many others ask if you have been arrested you will still have to explain that – if even given the opportunity.

    Your property may be legally stolen by various government agencies, for running one of these legal businesses, growing your own, even for being a consumer of a “legal” product or allowing (or not knowing about) its consumption on your property. Sharing some, for money or not, with someone who turns out to be under 21, or allowing it, or not knowing about it, could also get you in a lot of trouble as a “trafficker.”

    The Dems support it, and the GOP has largely ceded the issue.

    Not so much. Tons of people are still being arrested, jailed, dispossessed, forced to move, and saddled with a criminal record because of pot. if the two largest parties are on our side or out of the way on this issue how could this still be happening?

    The LP goes further, but most Americans do not. Most voters are satisfied with the current drug laws.

    Trailing popular opinion is a poor niche for an alterative/”third” party. Some cities are starting to decriminalize psychedelic plants and or implement harm reduction policies towards hard drugs. There’s plenty of room for the LP to continue its work on the drug issue, including the broader issue of criminal justice policy reform. The Democrats are at best tepid allies on this and in many cases old line drug warriors. The Republicans are still mostly the latter.

  22. paulie Post author

    Taxes? Dems want more taxes on the rich. Trump wants less taxes for all. Or so they say.

    Pay more attention to what they do, less to what they say. Trump is ratcheting up deficit and debt growth. More and more of the tax burden is going to service debt payments, which generally amounts to an upward redistribution of wealth. He is expanding military spending rapidly and doing nothing at all to curtail entitlement growth. In reality taxes or some tax-like effect of government policy are squeezing all but the super-wealthy more and more. Democrats are not doing much to stop any of this, even when they get in office, and certainly not right now.

  23. paulie Post author

    * Foreign intervention? Trump has trimmed back, and suggests he wants to trim further. The Deep State won’t let him. At least that’s the perception of most voters. The LP’s promises of total non-intervention will sound unrealistic (how will an LP president overcome the Deep State?) and will thus fall on deaf ears.

    The “deep state” is Trump-Putin propaganda, as is the rest of that. I’ve seen no evidence that “most voters” buy the “deep state” conspiracy. US troop levels in the middle east are actually higher than when Trump took office; they have just been moved around. More people, not less, have been killed in an equivalent amount of time by drone. Tensions with Iran have been ratcheted up. Recently, Da’esh fighters have been unleashed from prisons in Syria. There’s one-upsmanship and saber rattling with similarly minded foreign dictators and long standing US allies alike. Military spending is being increased more rapidly than before. Trump even managed to weigh in on the side of Hindu hardliners against Muslims, along with aligning with the most extreme elements in Israel and exacerbating tensions there.

    His trade wars from Europe to China to Latin America are formenting the prequel for conflicts all over the world. His support for torture, silencing of journalists and other dictatorial tactics have emboldened dictators all over the world and given them more excuse to oppress their own people more, abuse minorities, ratchet up military spending and confront their neighbors. His anti-Muslim immigrant policies have helped terrorist recruiting and radicalization among Muslims.

    All of this hasn’t led to a world war yet, but he’s probably going to get another term, so he’s just setting the stage right now. When the global depression reaches these shores, look for a major war move on his part. Maybe even before that, if his domestic scandals keep escalating and he needs a big enough distraction in time for the election.

  24. paulie Post author

    Internet censorship? The LP can insist the First Amendment be imposed on all social media beyond a certain size. That would attract some voters, as the Dems and GOP both ignore this issue. But many Libertarians say that private companies can do as they please, so the LP is similarly ceding this issue.

    Having the federal government exercise more control over social media, news, people’s conversations, etc, sounds like a wonderful, libertarian idea to me. NOT! As for “First Amendment” it begins with “Congress shall make no law…” not “Congress shall make laws….”

  25. paulie Post author

    Immigration? The Dems are the open borders party in the public’s mind. The Dems are already ignoring all immigration laws, and are declaring sanctuary cities and counties all over the U.S.

    This would come as news to the millions of people deported under the Obama administration, millions of other forced to endure long waits, pay hefty fees and jump through all sorts of insane hoops to visit the US, move here, be reunited with their families, go to jobs and other opportunities here or abroad, etc, etc; or forced to immigrate illegally and live in fear and second class status as a result because these burdens are too onerous for most people to overcome. Yeah, I think the LP has quite a bit to practically offer here and on the rest of these issues and many others beyond anything being offered by Democrats or Republicans.

  26. paulie Post author

    Most voters are satisfied with the current drug laws. Those who aren’t, are already in the LP’s 0.5%.

    This is false. Lots of voters are dissatisfied with some aspects of drug policy or the drug war. Most of them are not LP voters, and are a lot more than 0.5%. For that matter LP votes have been well above 0.5% in most races we run in, and that includes the last two presidential elections, so why is 0.5% still even a talking point?

  27. paulie Post author

    The big issue is Trump. People are either passionately for or against Trump. The Dems and GOP have those two bases covered.

    A lot of people are neither one. And even the ones who are aren’t necessarily going to support the duopoly. For example I’m in the against camp, but in no way tempted to support the Democrats. On some issues they are actually worse, And even if that was not true, at best they represent the alternative of being choked more slowly. Is that better? Not so much. They lost my support when they nominated their first Clinton in 1992, and have done nothing to regain it in 27 years since then.

  28. paulie Post author

    Because money obviously matters, and the amount of money being spent is generally inversely proportional to the merit of the ideas being promulgated. That’s why Vermin wears a boot on his head and promises free ponies. He’s intentionally personifying the NOTA protest option. The thing with the LP and “respectable” GOP retreads is that the latter never brings over a respectable wallet.

    Bingo.

  29. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    So Paulie, which issue do you think would catch fire with the voting public? An issue that would propel many Americans to vote LP, beyond the previous levels obtained by GOP retreads (Barr, Johnson) and party faithful (Browne, Badnarik)?

    From what I see, most Americans are focused on Trump, Pelosi, and the Dem candidates. Third parties seem even more invisible than in past years. How would you change that? A man wearing a boot might get 15 minutes of attention, but I doubt he’d hold voters’ interest.

  30. paulie Post author

    I don’t know that there is one single issue, It will depend on a lot of things including the personal style and ability to get attention of the LP candidate, and the abilities of the campaign staff in managing and ramping up resources over the course of several months. But I’m far less concerned with getting more votes than Johnson – or even as many – than I am with translating those votes into LP dues paying members and activists, future party officers and candidates and campaign staff. Browne did that better than other candidates I have seen the LP run since then, despite getting a lot fewer votes than Johnson and about the same as Badnarik and Barr.

    I think a guy wearing a boot has a leg up in getting attention, which is the first step. Whether he can translate that into more sustained attention, and then into organization, is highly dependent on him. Early signs from New Hampshire – he increased their party membership by 25% and earned endorsements from all/most/many of the state party leadership – are encouraging on that front. How well that will scale with a national audience we’ll see, but there again there are good signs such as his excellent numbers on newer social media that appeal more to a younger generation as the active usership of e.g. FB and twitter becomes older.

    I disagree that alt parties are becoming less prominent. The LP has more campaigns seeking its presidential nomination that are relatively well organized earlier on, and more likely crossovers from the establishment parties. Unlike in the past, the last two national conventions have been packed with delegates to the point where getting a delegate slot is actually competitive and 2020 shows every sign of being the same. In fact, early hotel and package sales are better than ever before. As Jim’s charts demonstrate there is slow steady growth over the years across a broad range of LP indicators from voter registration to vote results for various offices etc etc.

    https://www.lp.org/ballot-access-news-libertarian-party-had-best-legislative-vote-totals-in-2019-comparing-the-years-prior-to-presidential-election-years/

    We are coming into 2020 with the best presidential ballot access at the start of the presidential year ever.

    Other alt parties? Hawkins shows signs of running the best sustained party building Green campaign for president ever. Stein set new records, aside from the celebrity Nader endorsement in 2000 – Nader never joined the party, had an unsustainable one time result which did not build the party and ran separately from them for the next several cycles. Blankenship has the money and at least potential for setting new records for the Constitution Party. De la Fuente shows signs that he may get on 30-40 state ballots as an independent/Reform/Delta candidate, if that’s the direction he decides to go post-primaries.

  31. paulie Post author

    There could also be other big money / big name alt parties and independents. McMullin got into the race very late and could only get on a tiny number of ballots last time, yet still got pretty decent media and vote totals with that in mind. There’s still a huge amount of time for someone to start earlier than that in regard to the cycle and deadlines.

  32. paulie Post author

    Media Earned.
    Vermin Supreme·Saturday, December 21, 2019·
    Who Is Vermin Supreme documentary

    This Is Vermin Supreme documentary trailer –

    Vermin Supreme, Volodomyr Zelensky & Political Spectacle – Being Libertarian https://beinglibertarian.com/vermin-supreme-spectacle/
    The Case for Supreme – The Liberal Libertarian https://the-liberal-libertarian.com/?p=210&fbclid=IwAR2Th9P2ne8Qy8QQTAbktg15SziPMrLiN3cge-Y8_m_i4s_hh832Xc3jB3o
    The RNC Stayed Safe Because Of This Clown (Seriously) – Cracked https://www.cracked.com/blog/vermin-supreme-hero-rnc-protests-need/
    Vermin Supreme: The protester who would be president CNN – http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/02/politics/rnc-protest-vermin-supreme/index.html
    Vermin Supreme’s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test) Vote Smart – https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/53133/vermin-supreme
    i Side With – https://www.isidewith.com/candidates/vermin-supreme
    Vermin Supreme: A Presidential Candidate for the People. – 71 Republic
    https://71republic.com/2019/05/28/vermin-supreme-a-presidential-candidate-for-the-people/
    Walter’s World on FOX https://www.mediaite.com/tv/__trashed-47/
    Snopes – https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/vermin-supreme/
    Vermin Supreme: Executions For Pony Parity to Marianne’s Orbs – The Libertarian Republic https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/vermin-supreme-pony-parity-marianne-williamsons-orbs/
    Presidential Candidate Switches to the Libertarian Party – Libertarian Republic https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/has-a-presidential-candidate-switched-to-the-libertarian-party/

    “Coping with political upheaval and spiritual malaise” Dec 21, 2019 on Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) https://mountainx.com/living/in-the-spirit-issue-coping-with-political-upheaval-and-spiritual-malaise/

  33. dL

    So Paulie, which issue do you think would catch fire with the voting public?

    Vaping…There’s like 40-50 million e-cigarette users in the United States. Pro-choice/anti-prohibition on everything is always a good slogan.

  34. dL

    Further note. I believe Mitt Romney has a bill that not only ban all vaping flavors but would also ban the battery and cartridge apparatus. Yep, ole Mitt, part of William Weld’s old pragmaticrat coalition.

  35. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    dL, in a close election between Trump and the Dems, few people will “throw away their vote” to protect vaping.

    America is highly polarized. Many people REALLY HATE Trump and want him removed more than anything. It’s their top issue. Other people REALLY HATE the Dems, and more than anything, want to keep the Dems out. It’s their top issue.

    And the LP offers … vaping rights? Forget whether Trump wins or loses, cast a protest vote in favor of vaping! Seriously?

    The California LP already tried this. In 2003, they ran Ned Roscoe for governor. Roscoe owned a chain of tobacco stores. His main issue was to relax anti-smoking laws. In the end, Roscoe received 2,250 votes, or under 0.1%.

    Not all that impressive.

    This was the famous California recall election, so it was an unusual election. Even so, smoking rights didn’t attract that many votes.

  36. paulie Post author

    Vaping…There’s like 40-50 million e-cigarette users in the United States. Pro-choice/anti-prohibition on everything is always a good slogan.

    That’s a good one. And there are potentially many others.

  37. paulie Post author

    in a close election between Trump and the Dems

    It’s not necessarily going to be close. It very well might be, or it may be a landslide in either direction. A lot of things can happen in the next ten plus months.

    It’s also not necessarily going to be Trump. He could be removed, assassinated, resign, or die or either accidental or natural causes. While it is most likely going to be him, it may not be.

    few people will “throw away their vote”

    Lots of people are disgusted by both Trump and the Democrats, or will be by the very ugly campaign that is likely to ensue between them. In highly polarized elections like this, yes there is even greater than usual pressure on people to “not throw away their vote” — but there’s also a higher than usual number of people who are absolutely disgusted by both of the establishment offerings.

    And even that assumes a basically two way race, which may turn out to not be the case. A lot of billionaires are feeling their oats and might yet mount a big money independent/alt party run, or several. It’s far from being too late from that. It could be a 3, 4 or more way race, not just nominally, but in terms of competitive campaigns.

    Even if that is not the case there will still be plenty of room for alt parties to pick off voters who are disgusted by both establishment party offerings. A lot of people who would otherwise most likely not vote at all, or may very reluctantly vote for the D or R trash heaps, could be drawn out to vote by other candidates – but first those have to make it on those folks’ radar.

  38. paulie Post author

    America is highly polarized. Many people REALLY HATE Trump and want him removed more than anything. It’s their top issue. Other people REALLY HATE the Dems, and more than anything, want to keep the Dems out. It’s their top issue.

    That’s far from everyone. A lot of people really dislike both of them. A lot of people who ended up voting for Trump in 2016 were not his hardcore supporters, but rather moderate Republicans and disgruntled Democrats or independents who grudgingly made up their minds to vote for him late in the process, or even at the last minute. Many of those are not sure yet how they will vote in 2020 or will change their minds. It’s a distorted picture of reality to believe all voters fall into the “hate Trump” or “hate Democrats” camps. And even those who do aren’t necessarily a bloc vote; anyone who reads these comment sections more than every once in a while knows what I think of Donald Trump, yet I would not feel tempted to support Democrats. They lost my support in 1992 and have done nothing to regain it since then.

    The California LP already tried this. In 2003, they ran Ned Roscoe for governor. Roscoe owned a chain of tobacco stores. His main issue was to relax anti-smoking laws. In the end, Roscoe received 2,250 votes, or under 0.1%.

    It’s not 2003. Vaping bans are new. Many vapers experience it as something that helped them quit smoking, not as smoking per se. There also won’t be 130-something candidates on people’s ballots. Not even in the states with the largest number of candidate choices. Not even close.

    In short, this is not a comparable situation.

  39. paulie Post author

    Deadbot
    16 hrs

    We don’t believe in the electrification of our political system. We hereby endorse Vermin Supreme to be our next leader of the bot free world. We’ve dug deep, hired investigators, interrogators and other types of gators native to this great analog land and have determined that Vermin is our man. 2020 Shall happen very soon (3 days). He is unimpeachable, uncollsional, slightly delusional yet supremely constitutional. Vermin Supreme for President

  40. NewFederalist

    I have to say that I find Vermin Supreme’s advocacy of socialize medicine to be a real show stopper. That’s what his “I Side With” answers clearly stated.

  41. paulie Post author

    I have not dug into the isidewith answers. Those are not always accurate though. Gary Johnson told me he agreed with about 95% of what they said he believed.

  42. NewFederalist

    He did not appear to just select one of their answers. His answer appeared to be one he wrote in.

  43. NewFederalist

    I just reviewed Vermin Supreme’s “I Side With” answers in some detail. I cannot see how he could be considered libertarian. His party on the site is identified as the Democratic Party. He has many inconsistent answers and actually contradicts himself several times. I like the comical side of his “campaign” but otherwise… not so much.

  44. paulie Post author

    I just reviewed Vermin Supreme’s “I Side With” answers in some detail. I cannot see how he could be considered libertarian. His party on the site is identified as the Democratic Party. He has many inconsistent answers and actually contradicts himself several times. I like the comical side of his “campaign” but otherwise… not so much.

    As you point out it identifies him as a Democrat, so this is probably from several years ago. It may also have been filled out by someone who was helping him with a past campaign. I’m guessing https://verminsupreme2020.com/platform/ is more current and accurate, but we can do an IPR interview to clear up any questions people have and I will pass along the questions to the campaign group so we can get some replies in the meantime.

    What are some questions people here would like to see answered if I do an interview?

  45. paulie Post author

    Vermin Supreme
    Vermin Supreme i will say that i have no recollection of any contact between me and isidewith. idk where they got there answers from. gonna have to look into that.

  46. paulie Post author

    Vermin Supreme “PERSONAL ANSWER
    This candidate has not responded to our request to answer this question yet. Help us get it faster by telling them to answer the iSideWith quiz.”

  47. paulie Post author

    Vermin Supreme: So near as i can tell the answer that comes up is claimed to be the position of the “Vermin Voter” So some sort of algorithm thing that was not designed to deal with supporters from opposite ends of the spectrum.

  48. dL

    I have to say that I find Vermin Supreme’s advocacy of socialize medicine to be a real show stopper. That’s what his “I Side With” answers clearly stated.

    read the fine print…”Vermin Supreme Voters” response is not Vermin’s personal response.

  49. dL

    As you point out it identifies him as a Democrat, so this is probably from several years ago.

    From what I gather, Vermin is more of a left libertarian…which is good.

  50. dL

    America is highly polarized. Many people REALLY HATE Trump and want him removed more than anything. It’s their top issue. Other people REALLY HATE the Dems, and more than anything, want to keep the Dems out. It’s their top issue.

    If Americans were highly polarized, Independents wouldn’t be the largest voting block.

    And the LP offers … vaping rights? Forget whether Trump wins or loses, cast a protest vote in favor of vaping! Seriously?

    You ask for an issue and then pooh-pooh an answer by downplaying it next to the issue paramount to a “highly polarized” America: Trump winning or losing. I take it your original question was only meant to be a rhetorical one.

    The California LP already tried this. In 2003, they ran Ned Roscoe for governor. Roscoe owned a chain of tobacco stores. His main issue was to relax anti-smoking laws.

    Vaping is not smoking

  51. Jim

    Root’s Teeth Are Awesome “The LP needs a unique position on an issue that people are passionate about for 2020, and it doesn’t have one.”

    But the LP does have a unique combination of policy positions. Single issue voters are rarely actually single issue voters. Even with the most emotionally charged issues, there comes a point where things can just go too far for most people. A voter might be horrified by Trump’s immigration policies, but also believe that a $50 Trillion Green New Deal, mandatory gun buyback, break up of the tech companies, and expansion of the Supreme Court to 15 Justices is just too radical.

    It isn’t difficult to create an abbreviated campaign platform with which a large number of people will agree, that will be distinct from both Trump and the Democrat, and perhaps lead to further interest in libertarianism. Example:

    1. End the inhumane policy toward immigrants.
    2. End the tariff war immediately, before it helps push the country into recession.
    3. No new multi-trillion dollar spending programs.
    4. No corporate bailouts – because you know they are coming in the next recession if either Trump or the Democrat are elected.
    5. Keep the government’s hands off the internet – don’t tax it, censor it, or break up the tech companies.

    More important than the details of the campaign platform, provided it doesn’t violate libertarian principles, is to paint the recent activity of the Democrats and Republicans as making a radical departure from the American tradition, and the Libertarian candidate as a return to the normalcy of limited government with checks and balances, free markets, and social tolerance. It doesn’t have to have actually been the American tradition, it’s just the impression that matters when turning people away from the Rs and Ds and towards the Ls. We need to create a psychological break between the major parties and a large segment of voters and the shit that the major parties have been up to lately has provided plenty of ammo.

    But that can only be done if a lot of people hear from the LP candidate. Vermin Supreme might be capable of getting the message across, but few people will ever hear from him. Gary Johnson might have flubbed his CNN town hall, but Vermin Supreme will never be given a CNN town hall opportunity.

  52. dL

    Gary Johnson might have flubbed his CNN town hall, but Vermin Supreme will never be given a CNN town hall opportunity.

    It’s not 1992, jim. No one cares about CNN town halls.

  53. Jim

    And yet, a CNN town hall was one of the largest audience events secured by the Johnson campaign. I’m not checking, but IIRC, Johnson got 800,000 viewers for a 90 minute show. Any Libertarian candidate would jump at that. And you can bitch all you want about how pathetic 800,000 viewers watching 90 minutes of Libertarian candidates is, but I’ve seen nothing better from you.

    And I am sure that more people would watch a CNN town hall than base their vote on a candidate’s position on vaping – if they ever even became aware of it. There are 22 million marijuana users every month and more than 100 million Americans have used it at least once but, even before the recent legalization trend, the LP never got more than a small chunk of their vote. Why would you think vaping would be different?

  54. dL

    And you can bitch all you want about how pathetic 800,000

    A succinct one line statement of fact is bitching? lulz

    the LP never got more than a small chunk of their vote. Why would you think vaping would be different?

    Without a fat wallet, it won’t be any different than weed. Weed wasn’t a winning issue because there are no winning issues without a fat wallet. 100 million dollars, quarter of a billion dollars, a billion dollars. That’s what it takes to be competitive; that’s what it takes to win. If you got the cash, your briefcase of position papers don’t matter nearly as much as your personality and charisma.

  55. Jim

    As a Connecticut resident during the time of the Linda McMahon campaigns, I can assure you that money doesn’t buy votes. Every single potential voter in the state was getting mail from her, every single day, for months. That’s in addition to her tv, radio, and other media. She spent an absolute fortune trying to buy a US Senate seat. Twice.

    Money doesn’t win elections. Big money donors flock to the campaign they think is going to win. They’re buying influence with the person they already expect to win. They don’t care which party the candidate is from, as long as he seems pliable.

    We aren’t going to get big money donors until we have already attracted a sufficient base of support.

    Small dollar donors are more ideological. But they only donate to candidates who support issues that they are emotionally invested in, not candidates who support issues that they generally agree with, but aren’t particularly passionate about.

    As of November, the top emotionally invested issues among Republicans are:

    1. Don’t impeach Trump
    2. Don’t ban guns
    3. No slavery reparations
    4. Build the wall
    5. Don’t reduce military spending
    6. Military support for Israel
    7. Oppose the Green New Deal

    In the poll I’m looking at, more than 90% of Republicans supported universal gun background checks… but they didn’t really care. Republicans generally want universal gun background checks, but whether or not a candidate supported that, it wasn’t going to change their vote. They cared very strongly about 1 – 4, significantly less about 5-7, and then the depth of their support just fell away on all other issues, even as the breadth of support sometimes was very strong.

    And the top emotionally invested issues for Democrats:

    1. Don’t separate immigrant children
    2. Impeach Trump
    3. Oppose an abortion ban
    4. Don’t build a wall
    5. Universal gun background checks
    6. No mass deportation
    7. No ban on Muslim immigrants
    8. Dreamer path to citizenship
    9. Ban assault rifles

    As with Republicans, more than 90% of Democrats support universal gun background checks. Unlike Republicans, that is an issue on which Democrats will base their vote.

    56% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats supported legalizing marijuana in that poll, but neither side feels particularly strongly about it. Most people won’t base their vote on that issue. People care even less about vaping.

    The fear of an imminent recession can climb those lists very rapidly. So if Trump’s trade policy can be tied to that fear of recession – and most of the Democrats have been wishy-washy in opposing that policy – that’s a potentially winning issue for the LP. Then throw some support to the moderate base of both sides (end the inhumane treatment of immigrants, opposition to multi-trillion dollar spending programs like the Green New Deal, and nobody supports blatant corporate welfare except during a crisis) and now the LP candidate has a more comprehensive policy list that mainstream voters can rationalize their support for. It makes the LP sound like the sane choice, rather than an extreme choice. The one about the internet is just a wildcard, but I think a lot of damage can be done against the Rs and Ds with it.

    Sticking to a platform like that and getting some exposure on a media platform the size of CNN, and they can start to climb the polls. If they climb the polls enough to start looking competitive, then the big money donors will follow.

    I just don’t think Vermin Supreme will get that media exposure. I really don’t know which LP candidate can.

  56. Eric Sundwall

    Single plurality districts create the either/or expectation for major parties. Gerrymandered districts usually make it one or the other. About 2-5% of the voting electorate will consider third party options. Meaningful third party protest does not require gobs of cash. Go Vermin!

  57. dL

    I can assure you that money doesn’t buy votes.

    There’s a difference between a necessary condition and a sufficient condition. Money is not a sufficient condition but it is a necessary one. Citing candidates who did not win elections after spending a shitload of money does not demonstrate money is not a requirement.

  58. NewFederalist

    And in other news… Rocky De La Fuente may seek the Libertarian nomination at the invitation of Nicholas Sarwark. This according to Darcy Richardson’s Uncovered Politics website.

  59. paulie Post author

    More important than the details of the campaign platform, provided it doesn’t violate libertarian principles, is to paint the recent activity of the Democrats and Republicans as making a radical departure from the American tradition, and the Libertarian candidate as a return to the normalcy of limited government with checks and balances, free markets, and social tolerance.

    I don’t think a call towards a return to moderation is what will drive a lot of people to take the rather radical step of voting for another party/candidate rather than what have been by far the three most popular choices election after election after election – not voting, voting D or voting R. For most people these are lifelong voting patterns and unlikely to change. Young people are recently naturalized citizens are among the few exceptions to that. Vermin does very well with the youngest voters or eligible voters, and could position himself well with immigrant communities.

    We need to create a psychological break between the major parties and a large segment of voters and the shit that the major parties have been up to lately has provided plenty of ammo.

    Yes, but that’s not new, and in the vast majority of cases people either hold their nose and vote for them anyway (because they fear and loathe one more than the other) or just write the whole thing off and stop voting altogether.

    But that can only be done if a lot of people hear from the LP candidate. Vermin Supreme might be capable of getting the message across, but few people will ever hear from him. Gary Johnson might have flubbed his CNN town hall, but Vermin Supreme will never be given a CNN town hall opportunity.

    I don’t know why you are assuming that, he very well might be, depending on how well his campaign develops on other fronts. So far it is already developing very nicely on newer social media that appeal to a younger crowd than more established ones (with an aging frequent user base such as FB and twitter). He’s already substantially expanding the membership of the LPNH in the real world. This is all very early in the process and well before the nomination.

  60. paulie Post author

    And yet, a CNN town hall was one of the largest audience events secured by the Johnson campaign. I’m not checking, but IIRC, Johnson got 800,000 viewers for a 90 minute show. Any Libertarian candidate would jump at that. And you can bitch all you want about how pathetic 800,000 viewers watching 90 minutes of Libertarian candidates is, but I’ve seen nothing better from you.

    But you very well might from Vermin. You are just assuming you won’t.

    There are 22 million marijuana users every month and more than 100 million Americans have used it at least once

    Marijuana was illegal for decades and the war on pot has been slowly thawing for the last few decades, with the pace of the thawing picking up recently. Vaping bans are brand new and the national one is not in effect yet but soon will be. That does create a potential for the LP to capitalize on large niche market outrage.

  61. paulie Post author

    If you got the cash, your briefcase of position papers don’t matter nearly as much as your personality and charisma.

    Yep. Without it you just get ignored in all but a handful of exceptional cases. A boot on head does help get notice though even in the absence of money, and money may follow.

  62. paulie Post author

    And the top emotionally invested issues for Democrats:

    1. Don’t separate immigrant children
    2. Impeach Trump
    3. Oppose an abortion ban
    4. Don’t build a wall
    5. Universal gun background checks
    6. No mass deportation
    7. No ban on Muslim immigrants
    8. Dreamer path to citizenship
    9. Ban assault rifles

    So aside from being catastrophically wrong on guns, they are on the correct side on all of their top priorities and much better than the Republiclowns:

    1. Don’t impeach Trump
    2. Don’t ban guns
    3. No slavery reparations
    4. Build the wall
    5. Don’t reduce military spending
    6. Military support for Israel
    7. Oppose the Green New Deal

    Categorically wrong on impeachment, border, military spending, and foreign aid. Right on guns, but blind to Republican administrations chipping away at gun rights, thus worse than useless on that issue except when Democrats win. Right on government administered reparations and Green New Deal being bad solutions that lead to more problems than they solve, but wrong in typically denying the problems those government solutions are ostensibly meant to address.

    Thus people who end up supporting Democrats – especially younger ones who have not yet fossilized in that voting pattern – are a better recruiting target for LP than those who typically end up voting Republican. But it takes the correct kind of LP candidate to reach those people and overcome the frequent impression both our own candidates and the media leave that we are on the right wing or some kind of conservative or far right party. I’ve only been making these points for a few decades now.

  63. paulie Post author

    And in other news… Rocky De La Fuente may seek the Libertarian nomination at the invitation of Nicholas Sarwark. This according to Darcy Richardson’s Uncovered Politics website.

    Cool!

  64. paulie Post author

    There’s a difference between a necessary condition and a sufficient condition. Money is not a sufficient condition but it is a necessary one. Citing candidates who did not win elections after spending a shitload of money does not demonstrate money is not a requirement.

    Exactly.

  65. paulie Post author

    and now the LP candidate has a more comprehensive policy list that mainstream voters can rationalize their support for.

    If mainstream voters thought like that the Reform Party would be an establishment party by now instead of a brief personality based blip on the radar, followed by a shitstorm and fading away to a tiny shadow existence.

    Money, personality, and boldness are more important now than then in politics, wishiwashiness and moderation are faring poorly lately….

    Sticking to a platform like that and getting some exposure on a media platform the size of CNN, and they can start to climb the polls.

    CNN is well past its prime as a way to reach voters, especially younger ones whose voting (or nonvoting) patterns have been decades long and less and less likely to change as they get older.

    I just don’t think Vermin Supreme will get that media exposure.

    I think he’s better positioned to get it than any conventionally dressed washed up establishment politician or obscure LP or movement activist.

  66. paulie Post author

    It’s not 1992, jim. No one cares about CNN town halls.

    That’s an exaggeration, but when you boil it down I think you are closer than Jim to being correct here.

  67. Jim

    paulie “If mainstream voters thought like that the Reform Party would be an establishment party by now instead of a brief personality based blip on the radar, followed by a shitstorm and fading away to a tiny shadow existence.”

    Not a valid comparison. The Rs and Ds hadn’t gone off the rails back then in the way that they are now.

    paulie “Money, personality, and boldness are more important now than then in politics, wishiwashiness and moderation are faring poorly lately….”

    I would not describe Hillary Clinton as either bold or having a dazzling personality. She won the popular vote. She did raise more money than Trump, but that is because she was expected to win and money tends to follow the expected winner.

    paulie “I think he’s better positioned to get it than any conventionally dressed washed up establishment politician or obscure LP or movement activist.”

    Vermin Supreme is perceived as a joke candidate. That’s the point of his art – to make a mockery of the political process. If the LP nominates him it will be treated even more like a joke party than it already is. And any media host will be worried that if they take him seriously, their program will also be taken as a joke. He will get almost no air time.

    The best case scenario for Vermin Supreme is that the LP is blacklisted in the media, but voters en masse say “fuck it” and vote for him out of disgust with the major candidates. Not because of anything they heard him say in the media – he will never be mentioned in the media, other than to point out he is making a mockery of the political process – but because his name best gives the finger to the Rs and Ds. The best case scenario doesn’t move anyone closer to libertarianism. In the worst case scenario, that media blacklisting he earns for his candidacy will become permanent on the LP.

  68. Jim

    Caleb Dyer “As a result of this candidate’s well-organized campaign we have seen membership of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire increase by over 25% with equally impressive gains made elsewhere across the country.”

    What is that based on?

  69. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Jim, I don’t think the media would blacklist Vermin Supreme. They will treat him as a joke.

    Many news shows have a “lighter side of the news” segment. Supreme will get on those.

    While Supreme talks, the newscaster will mug for the camera, popping out her eyes in feigned astonishment. Perhaps they’ll edit the segment with wacky sound effects going off while Supreme speaks. A coo-coo clock, for instance.

    Then after the Supreme interview, some light-hearted banter by the newscasters back at the studio, with silly jokes like, “Well, he’s got my cat’s vote. She loves Puss in Boots

    So yeah, Supreme will get media attention. And yeah, it will make the LP look like a joke party.

  70. dL

    And yeah, it will make the LP look like a joke party.

    Wayne Allyn Root already took care of that. May as well make the satire intentional.

  71. paulie Post author

    “If mainstream voters thought like that the Reform Party would be an establishment party by now instead of a brief personality based blip on the radar, followed by a shitstorm and fading away to a tiny shadow existence.”

    Not a valid comparison. The Rs and Ds hadn’t gone off the rails back then in the way that they are now.

    I think it is still a valid comparison. Mainstream voters generally calculate that one establishment party or the other will win. They vote for the one they fear and loathe the least, or the one they have voted for for a long time, or the one their parents or their spouse or someone they trust votes for. Or they get disgusted and stop voting.

    I would not describe Hillary Clinton as either bold or having a dazzling personality. She won the popular vote.

    She cheated to even get the nomination, and so utterly failed to mobilize her base that she lost the electoral vote to Trump. The difference between Obama’s wins and her loss was almost entirely likely Democratic voters who were bored or disgusted by her and chose to stay home. A few crossed over to Trump, but not nearly enough for the win. It was primarily the ones who chose not to vote who really made the difference.

  72. paulie Post author

    Vermin Supreme is perceived as a joke candidate. That’s the point of his art – to make a mockery of the political process.

    Mocking the political process and being a joke are two different things. He may be a joker but he’s no joke.

    He will get almost no air time.

    I don’t think that is true. I think he will get more air time than anyone else who doesn’t have a lot more money. And since not all of the campaign will be satirical, he’ll actually get more opportunity to make serious points as well.

  73. paulie Post author

    Caleb Dyer “As a result of this candidate’s well-organized campaign we have seen membership of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire increase by over 25% with equally impressive gains made elsewhere across the country.”

    What is that based on?

    Statistics provided by LPNH officers, you know, the people who manage the state party’s membership data; the same people quoted above all saying the same thing. Furthermore, I’ve seen them all say it on FB.

  74. paulie Post author

    So yeah, Supreme will get media attention. And yeah, it will make the LP look like a joke party.

    I agree with the first part.

  75. paulie Post author

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win

    The LP has been largely at the ignore stage. Being laughed at is progress at this point. I think we may get more than that. But not with cargo cultists, washed up politicians or obscurity.

  76. Jim

    paulie “Statistics provided by LPNH officers, you know, the people who manage the state party’s membership data; the same people quoted above all saying the same thing. Furthermore, I’ve seen them all say it on FB.”

    Is there a link? I saw Caleb Dyer’s comment on his facebook page.

    I remain skeptical. I’m sure that the LPNH membership has increased by a good amount, and I’m sure many other states have as well. The national party donor count has increased by 1,700 over the last 4 months. But I find it difficult to believe that the LPNH officers surveyed all of their new members and that Vermin Supreme was the cause of a 25% increase over the baseline membership.

    I’m even more skeptical that the LPNH officers would have survey data of new members from other state parties.

    OurCampaigns has election data on 9 campaigns with Vermin Supreme as a candidate going back to 2004. He got between 1 and 265 votes 8 times. And once, in 2012, he got 833 votes.

    80,027 people like Vermin Supreme on Facebook. 83 of them voted for him as a write in in the 2016 general election. His audience either believes he is strictly entertainment, or they don’t vote.

  77. paulie Post author

    You can inquire with LPNH officers how they know where their new members come from or due to. It’s not esoteric information because in a state party that size they most likely have less than a hundred members. If they come in because of events or candidate links, or tell people why they are joining, it’s easy to know. Vermin lives in that area and is actively campaigning in person, online, through various media and at events up there. I doubt he has expanded the membership of other state parties by anything like 25% yet. The point is that he can when he actually campaigns somewhere. And no, the press is not ignoring him. Nor are “survey results” needed when you are meeting the new members in person or hearing from them directly. But again, ask LPNH if you need more details.

    Facebook is not a good indicator of VS support. Many of his supporters are just becoming eligible to vote and prefer newer social media platforms. They tend to think of FB as something their parents and grandparents might use. His past electoral results are not a good indicator either. He has never had a party nomination or taken any past race nearly as seriously as this one.

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