For the third time, for the third different party, third party activist and blogger Tom Knapp is running for Vice President. In a statement on his Kn@ppster blog from Wednesday, Knapp wonders whether he has set a new Guinness World Record with the run. Knapp was the 2008 vice presidential nominee of the Boston Tea Party, which he founded. In 2016 he was the running mate for historian Darcy Richardson while Richardson unsuccessfully sought the presidential nomination of the Reform Party. Now he is running for the Libertarian Party’s second fiddle.
Knapp links to the Guns and Dope Party Position Paper #23 as his campaign platform:
Little Tony was sitting on a park bench munching
on one candy bar after another.
After the 6th candy bar, a man on the bench across from him said,
“Son, you know eating all that candy isn’t good for you.
It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you fat.”
Little Tony replied, “My grandfather lived to be 107 years old.”
The man asked, “Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?”
Little Tony answered, “No, he minded his own fucking business.”
In the comments on Knapp’s blog, Libertarian activist and petitioner Andy Jacobs expressed his opposition to Knapp’s run:
I fail to see how Tom Knapp is a good candidate. Several months ago I offered him the opportunity to debate Stefan Molyneux (I contacted Molynuex, and much to my suprise, he actually responded to me, and he agreed to participate in such a debate) on how to property apply libertarian philosophy to borders and immigration, and Tom CHICKENED OUT. Tom’s first response was to act like he was not even sure if he was going to attend the 2020 Libertarian National Convention. I had proposed raising money (Molyneux was willing to let me put up a fundraising link on his YouTube channel, which has over 925,000 subscribers, and over 297 million views) to cover the expenses to have the debate in Austin during the week on the Libertarian National Convention, and to video record it (livestream it if possible) so people could watch it online for years to come, and the only thing Stefan asked for in return was that his expenses get covered (as in he did not even ask for a speaking fee). After I said that I knew Tom was at the last few conventions (minus the time period when he quit electoral politics, which did not last that long), and that we could raise money to cover his expenses, he then said that he would not debate Molyneux, because he claimed that Molyneux is an “authoritarian cult leader.” I pointed out that Molyneux is not an authoritarian or a cult leader, but that even if he was, this would not be a valid reason to not debate him. Tom remained steadfast in his refusal to debate.
So now fast-forward to today, and now we have Tom declaring himself a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for Vice President. Well, part of the job of a candidate is to participate in debates. There are debates with other candidates for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, and there are also debates with media figures and other personalities, and there are debates with other candidates in the build up to the general election. So should Tom win the nomination (which I doubt he will, but this is besides the point, because as candidate for the nomination, he theoretically could win the nomination), Tom would go on to represent the Libertarian Party as its candidate for Vice President in the general election season, and during the general election season, opportunities will arise to debate other candidates, such as candidates from the Green Party, the Constitution Party, independent candidates, etc…. The Libertarian Party has tried in vain for many years to get in the big debates with the Democratic and Republican party nominees for President and Vice President, and there will likely be an effort to do this again this year. This effort will likely fail, but just for sake of discussion, let’s say that there is a breakthrough this year, and the Libertarian Party gets into the big presidential and vice presidential debates. Should the Libertarian Party have a candidate who refuses to debate because he says his proposed debate opponent is an “authoritarian cult leader”? I’d say that “authoritarian cult leader” is a more accurate description of Vice President Mike Pence (and President Donald Trump), as well as former Vice President, and current Democratic Party nominee, Joe Biden, and likely whoever his vice presidential running mate ends up being, than it is a description of Stefan Molyneux.
I’ve got a VHS tape buried in a box somewhere from back in 2000 when Harry Browne was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, of him appearing on Hannity & Colmes as well as on The O’Reilly Factor, Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, and especially Bill O’Reilly really tried to put Harry Browne on the hot seat, especially O’Reilly, who I’d say was hostile. Did Harry Browne run away, or dodge these appearances, and call the show hosts, “authoritarian cult leaders,” and say he would not talk to them? No, he manned up, went on these shows, and engaged in verbal combat with the hosts.
Tom isn’t the only candidate running for a spot on the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket right now who was too much of a coward to accept my proposal to debate Stefan Molyneux on this subject. Another person I contacted was Jacob Hornberger, and he also declined. I got it clarified that there was nothing in the By-Laws to prevent him from participating in a non-LNC sanctioned debate while being a candidate for the presidential nomination. Also, the debate did not necessarily have to take place in Austin, it could have just been done online, which would have been cheaper. I just thought it would be better to do it in front of a live audience. Regardless, Hornberger turned it down.
Jacob Hornberger turning my debate proposal down is one of the reasons I am not supporting him for the nomination. I am supporting Adam Kokesh, who actually DID debate Stefan Molyneux on this topic, and although I think Adam lost that debate, I respect that he got in there, and I also like that his platform calls for dismantling the federal government, which kicks all issues, including immigration, back to the states, which means that if any state wants to continue the current mass immigration insanity, they could do it, but other states could opt out of doing that. Adam understands the goal is a private property anarcho-capitalist society, and his campaign platform of dismantling the federal government is a big step in that direction.
Having said this, it is possible that I MIGHT end up voting for Jacob Hornberger IF there are multiple rounds of voting, and IF Adam Kokesh gets eliminated, and IF there is nobody else left who I think is a viable candidate. My hunch is the top 4 contenders are going to be Kokesh, Hornberger, Jim Gray, and Justin Amash. I do not think that Gray is a good candidate, and I’ve got some reservations about Amash as well, so I might end up voting for Hornberger even though I do not like the fact that he’s a MINARCHIST who thinks the state should have an open border” unlimited, unrestricted, immigration policy, and that he was too chicken to defend this position in a debate against Stefan Molyneux.
I will say that in spite of the flaws I mentioned above, Hornberger has more going for himself as a candidate than does Tom Knapp.
For the campaign, Knapp promises to demand a recount if he wins. He refuses to promise not to use mescaline as nominee.
Others who have announced their intention to seek the vice presidential nomination at the 2020 Libertarian National Convention include 2018 New York gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe (Jim Gray’s running mate), businessman John McAfee (Adam Kokesh’s running mate), podcaster Spike Cohen (Vermin Supreme’s running mate), and former Coast Guard Officer Ken Armstrong (link). Libertarian National Committee chair Nick Sarwark is rumored to be a potential candidate as a running mate for Justin Amash.