We Are Libertarians Holds 2020 Libertarian Presidential Debate

The group We Are Libertarians yesterday produced a 2020 Libertarian presidential debate, which Reason‘s Matt Welch moderated.

Participants were 1996 vice presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen, Future of Freedom Foundation founder and president Jacob Hornberger, 2012 vice presidential nominee Judge Jim Gray, antiwar activist Adam Kokesh, and former NAACP of Grady County  (Georgia) president John Monds.

This is notable for being the first Libertarian debate since the withdrawal of Libertarian Congressmen Justin Amash.

See the debate embedded below:

See also:

 

60 thoughts on “We Are Libertarians Holds 2020 Libertarian Presidential Debate

  1. Fred Stein

    Adam Kokesh won the debate The other candidates put me to sleep. We can’t afford to be liberal, it is too late to be Conservative, time to be Radical. Push the envelope. The Beatles did it in music, Dave Chappele did it in comedy, Andy Warhol did it in Art, and Ayn Rand did it in literature. Be Bold Be Brave.

  2. Bondurant

    What envelope did Chappele push in comedy? He’s good but nothing he’s done is edgy or pushing the envelope. Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Dice would be more fitting. They actually pissed people off and changed the game.

    The debate last night was pretty good. Kokesk and Hornberger are too redundant. Vermin was missed.

  3. Donkey Shame

    Was a Democrat all my life, union guy, 100% Democrat family. Never voted for a Republican before TRUMP now will never vote for a Democrat again. Build the wall, build it now, build it wide, build it tall. Stop giving away American jobs, bring them back to the USA. Drain the swamp in DC and lock up the DC swamp creatures that sold us out to China. ReOpen America NOW. RE ELECT TRUMP 100% 100% 100%

  4. William Saturn Post author

    DL just attempted to remove the above legitimate comment. I reverted his deletion. It is unacceptable to police this page based on political views.

  5. William Saturn Post author

    In case he deletes it again. It read:

    “Was a Democrat all my life, union guy, 100% Democrat family. Never voted for a Republican before TRUMP now will never vote for a Democrat again. Build the wall, build it now, build it wide, build it tall. Stop giving away American jobs, bring them back to the USA. Drain the swamp in DC and lock up the DC swamp creatures that sold us out to China. ReOpen America NOW. RE ELECT TRUMP 100% 100% 100%”

  6. William Saturn Post author

    I just caught it this time. How often does dL remove legitimate comments? Has he already driven away conservative commenters that used to frequent here?

  7. NewFederalist

    I’m beginning to see the value in a comedy act for the LP national ticket this year. 50 state ballot status is shot… the “wasted vote syndrome” will be in overdrive… the absolutely disgusting polarization that has taken over American politics is at fever pitch. Perhaps Vermin Supreme and Dan “Taxation is Theft” Behrman (aka The Mad Hatters) would fit that bill nicely. Perhaps comedy relief is what the country needs right now.

  8. dL

    DL just attempted to remove the above legitimate comment. I reverted his deletion. It is unacceptable to police this page based on political views.

    Yeah, I deleted it because the IP(OVH SAS, Canada) is on my anonymous spammer blacklist. the fact that you restored that post literally 5 seconds after I trashed it is pretty good circumstantial evidence that “Donkey Shame” is actually William Saturn trolling.

  9. William Saturn Post author

    The comment was posted 36 minutes ago. You deleted it 22 minutes ago. I was on dashboard 21 minutes ago and saw a trashed comment that was legitimate. How often do you delete legitimate comments and get away with it because nobody’s looking? Where have all the conservative commenters gone?

  10. dL

    I just caught it this time. How often does dL remove legitimate comments? Has he already driven away conservative commenters that used to frequent here?

    Never. i do delete comments posted from known IP Addresses/VPNs that have spammed this site in the past with anonymous (white supremacist) troll spam.

  11. paulie

    the “wasted vote syndrome” will be in overdrive… the absolutely disgusting polarization that has taken over American politics is at fever pitch. Perhaps Vermin Supreme and Dan “Taxation is Theft” Behrman (aka The Mad Hatters) would fit that bill nicely. Perhaps comedy relief is what the country needs right now.

    Agreed

    .

  12. NewFederalist

    “50 state ballot access for the LP presidential nominee is NOT shot, and there is no rational reason to think it is!!!!!” – Richard Winger

    I hope you are correct and you are the acknowledged expert. However, I just have a feeling we will come up short and with COVID-19 to hide behind the major parties will do what they can to thwart the Libertarians from grabbing the brass ring yet again. Perhaps if we nominate a comedy ticket they will feel less threatened and let us slide by.

  13. ATBAFT

    If they tell us we are “wasting our vote” why do they try to keep LP off the ballot? Obviously, they want our votes wasted on themselves.

  14. robert capozzi

    I would not be surprised if there are no elections.

    But if there is, the ideal L ticket is clearly:

    Supreme/Exotic.

  15. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Thanks. I was unaware. The point of Supreme/Exotic is to field a complete joke of a ticket, the logical outcome of the 88 20-Somethings Stalinist handiwork.

    I don’t think Exotic’s alleged racism would come up, as he’d be in the slam and unavailable for campaign events. Vermin might get a few interviews doing his wacky routine, and he can make reference to his running mate Tiger King, who’s in jail.

    Best thing the state LPs can do now is to disaffiliate en masse from the LNC and reconstitute under a less oppressive and workable structure.

  16. NewFederalist

    Hey Capozzi… what’s wrong with the Mad Hatters? Get with the program, bud!

  17. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Use of the word “seriously” in the same sentence as “Vermin” might indicate a temporary cognitive impairment.

  18. robert capozzi

    “Serious” for Supreme is not the same as “serious” for most.

    The last debate I saw he was talking about the value of satire. Which, as far as it goes, tracks. But he is not a serious candidate by any normal standards that I’m aware of.

  19. Anthony Dlugos

    this conversation took a turn into the surreal if we’re considering a guy with a boot on his head and policy positions including mandatory toothbrushing and ponynomics…”serious.”

  20. paulie

    That’s his satiric platform. He also has a serious one which is libertarian. He doesn’t always wear the boot, either. Most of the debates he is out of character.

  21. Anthony Dlugos

    well, I’m starting to sympathize with RC’s Vermin/Exotic ticket just to blow the whole thing up, but I think by Friday my more conventional side is gonna win out and I’m gonna go with Gray and be okay if Jo wins. At least she’s a woman, that might get her a dram of coverage.

  22. Fred Stein

    Jo would probably would get more attention since she is a woman. She seems to be more likable than the other candidates.I would vote for her on the second ballot.
    My first ballot would go to Adam.

  23. Anthony Dlugos

    the Prag Caucus took 14 rounds today, right?

    Considering this is gonna be done online…it could get interesting.

  24. robert capozzi

    PF,

    If he dropped the name “Vermin Supreme,” you might be making sense. He hasn’t, so you are not. Hence, my concern.

  25. Anthony Dlugos

    “It’s his legal name.”

    haha…not a helpful point in his favor.

    btw, the Pro-Choice Libertarians did our own poll, and V.S, finished first, with Gray second.

    I actually don’t have a problem with that, as V.S. has been unapologetic about reproductive rights, and I’d rather he be out there as an example to the qualified candidates to get their sh*t together and stand for abortion rights WITHOUT equivocation.

  26. robert capozzi

    PF,

    OK, so this “serious” guy changed his name to “Vermin Supreme.”

    Got it.

    Takes all kinds…

  27. Anthony Dlugos

    and I say it once again…the lessarchist and NAPist/radical/anarchist minds are incompatible at a fundamental level, with missions as different as the PETA vegan and the food scientists at Jimmy Dean sausage.

  28. paulie

    No one is denying he is a satirist. Changing his name was part of taking his role as satirist seriously. That doesn’t mean that he is limited to only doing satire for the rest of his life.

  29. paulie

    Desarae Lindsey is with Spike Cohen and Vermin Supreme.
    2 hrs ·

    As many of you are aware, Vermin Supreme has been running for President for quite some time now. Before, it was always a farce, a joke, a way to reveal the corruption and evil of the duopoly and pull aside the curtain. Whichever party he chose to “run in” was decided by which was pulling the most shenanigans of that election cycle. There was most certainly a method to the madness.

    There are some who are concerned that this campaign is also a farce. I assure you, it is not.

    What makes this one different?

    Vermin was ready to hang up his boot hat and call it a day. He had certainly made a difference and had to have known that there would be others inspired to reveal and smash the duopoly that attempts to claim ownership of us. His hope was that more and more people were awake to the fact that the only ones who own us are, in fact, ourselves…he was inspired by seeing so many young people taking a stand and felt like perhaps it was time to retire and live his humble life in the woods.

    But Donald Trump is the freakin President, y’all. Of the United States. HE HAS THE NUCLEAR CODES. A belligerent, rude, orange man occupies the highest office in one of the most rich, powerful, and corrupt countries on this planet. I mean, what world even IS this!?

    I was on the phone with Paul Stanton one night, who ran for Congress in 2016 in Florida in a highly contested primary, which he SLAYED. As always, we were plotting out plans to solve the world’s problems. We started talking about how great it would be if Vermin Supreme were to run for the Libertarian nomination. He had, in fact, found his political home here and we had, in fact, embraced him. The more we spoke about it, the less silly it sounded, and by the end of the conversation we’d decided we were DEFINITELY going to ask him.

    We both reached out to Vermin, and I believe it was I who actually got in touch with him first. I remember the conversation well. For the record, we’d joked on Facebook about him running back in 2018, but it was just that: a joke. It went no further at that time. However, probably because of that, I don’t think he was THAT surprised when I asked him to make a serious run for it – but he WAS definitely cautious and, dare I say, hesitant in even considering it. For him, this was uncharted territory. He’d never filed with the FEC, put together a serious organization, raised funds, or gone out of character publicly for long stints. But, to know Vermin is to love him, and even if you only know the satirical work he’s done, that alone displays his sheer brilliance.

    He’s deeper than that, though. A few years back, Josh Barton had recommended I watch the Steve Onderick documentary “Who Is Vermin Supreme?”, and seeing that turned me into a legit, no-turning-back Vermin Supreme fangirl. I had only been aware of the satire. I was ignorant to all the direct action activism, all the de-escalation, all the mutual aid he’s done in private. (He is a VERY humble man. VERY. He NEVER talks about having given his Mother a kidney until asked about it, and even then he looks SO uncomfortable talking about having done something so selfless and heroic.)

    Back to the conversation. I remember him laughing, seemingly uncomfortable at the thought of running seriously or even at all, but I laid out my case. To me, it was SO simple: This country is divided. There are people being physically harmed, even murdered, simply for BEING WHO THEY ARE. Racist and bigoted organizations were starting to emerge from the shadows and spew their hate in the light of day because they felt safe in doing so. When Trump was elected, I remember some of my GSM friends being legitimately scared, and I didn’t understand why at the time. Until I did.

    This country desperately needs to heal. We need to re-embrace our humanity. Laughter is healing. The Libertarian message offers solutions. We have a beautiful platform, a beautiful demonstrable love for our fellow human beings. Vermin Supreme, to me, personifies all of these concepts: Laughter, Healing, Love. His middle name is Love! He possesses a certain gravitas that cannot be mimicked or captured. You can’t help but pay attention to him, and once that initial shock of “What the fuck even just HAPPENED!?” is over, you’re getting boot-pilled with the Libertarian message, and I have seen, throughout the (LONG) duration of this (VERY EXCITING) campaign, in person, how effective this is. To ALL walks of life, not JUST the young people – but dammit young people eat it up. My son is 23 and we have dedicated staffers on our team who are younger than him. They’re hungry for change. And, to them, Vermin Supreme represents that change.

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible” is a quote by Frank Zappa that had a profound effect on my 14 year old self when I first heard it. It has since been my life’s mantra.

    Vermin took a few weeks to get back to me. He had to soul search. He had to have serious discussions with his wife. He knew they would both have to make many sacrifices and their lives would be drastically changed. He knew he would be asked to do things he had never done before, as a serious campaign is a major contrast to a few months of trolling the duopoly primaries every 4 years. The more time went by after our phone call, the more nervous I got. To me, it was so obvious that he should do this, but I KNEW I was asking a lot of him. He finally called back and said, “Okay…..let’s do this.” And burst into uncontrollable laughter.

    He offered himself to the movement because he knew it was important to us and that we believed with all of our hearts that only Vermin could bring about the change we so desperately hoped for in the many ways that he knew how.

    We started building the campaign as soon as midterms were over. I’d managed several campaigns in 2018, run for Congress myself, and thought I would need to take a break, but I was ready to hit the ground running for him. I felt honored that he agreed to work with us. By January 2019, we had a full blown legitimate staff, a full blown legitimate campaign plan, and full blown legitimate love and passion in our hearts.

    There was something special happening here. Over time, this team became a family. We love one another VERY deeply, and we want to welcome so many others into this movement. Once Spike was added to the team as Vermin’s running mate, we knew there was something unique and beautiful growing around them and it is the hope of #TeamSupreme that you will join us in boot-pilling the country. We’ve GOT to get the beautiful message of Laughter, Love, and Healing out to the general public and get as many eyes and ears on our beautiful platform and message as possible.

    I really cannot stress enough what an honor it is to be a part of this. Regardless of whether we win the nomination, we will continue to work with one another in many other capacities, but DAMN I think our candidates would REALLY be THE VERY BEST nominees we could put forward.

    I am really, truly #inonthejoke and hope you will be, too. #thisistheway

  30. robert capozzi

    PF,

    There are words. They are not true. Yes, perhaps VS is becoming a bit more serious, but he is not and can not be a serious candidate. HIS NAME IS VERMIN SUPREME!

    One glaring flaw in the NAP Fundamentalist mind is its propensity toward hyper-literalism. A often-boot-wearing man who for decades has been a satirical spoof can’t say, “Oh, now I’m gonna be serious,” and most will not buy it. If the American population were asked, “Do you think that a man named ‘Vermin Supreme’ is a serious presidential candidate?'” most would say “Are you freaking kidding, man?”

    And, yes, Trump is a joke, too. But not nearly as much of a joke as Supreme.

    I would vote Supreme. I might vote for Gray. The rest, no way, I can’t endorse NAP Fundamentalism as a political strategy. Ideally, if Bumper get the nod, I hope he gets fewer votes than Bergland in a field featuring the 2 most flawed candidates in US history.

    Perhaps that might wake some of the NAP Fundamentalists up. (It won’t for Bumper himself, since he himself says he doesn’t care about votes. Amazing!)

  31. Anthony Dlugos

    precisely.

    People who want to be president get law degrees, build a career in law, run a city, run a state, THEN run for president.

    As a wild outlier, a man who ran a multi-billion dollar 23,000 employee monster corporation was just elected.

    the uncharitable reading of that letter is that a satirist who wanted to draw some attention and perhaps launch a Joe Exotic style insta-career thought hanging around the political scene (hollywood for the ugly people) might be a good way to do so.

    here’s an article summarizing his attempt to do so as far back as 2004:

    https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/article/13028216/running-gag

    at some point between 2016 and now, he probably became aware that he had the dumb luck to fall into a political party batsh*t crazy enough to actually take him seriously. All he had to do is tone down the satire a little, create a separate “serious” platform, and he might land a shot at the highest profile public office on the planet.

    he has to be thanking his lucky stars he found us.

    That’s the uncharitable interpretation.

    The charitable interpretation is that it is a wonderfully poignant and heartfelt letter by someone who wants NOTHING AT ALL to do with politics, finds the whole endeavor anything from a waste of time to downright abhorrent, and finds a ready audience in a startlingly large segment of the party. And I say startlingly large even though I am well aware of our party’s flights of fancy. It still flabbergasts me that anyone genuinely concerned about making a difference in the political arena would take him seriously.

    But that’s just it: his LP supporters DON’T take politics seriously. He is their champion.

    RC,

    hyper-literalism nails it.

  32. Jared

    A man who legally changed his name to “Vermin Love Supreme” and still keeps his actual birthname a secret is married to his character. I like the guy. He’s principled, intelligent, and well spoken, but the fact he even has a parody platform shows his campaign isn’t ready to let go of his comical, Diogenesque, fool-for-freedom persona.

  33. paulie

    I’m fine with that. It appeals to a lot of people who would never even notice if he only ran on the serious platform alone. Some of them will make their way to the serious platform and like it.

  34. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Again, hyper-literalistic. No matter which platform a few might actually read, the man is named:
    V E R M I N S U P R E M E.

    He’s a joke. I like the joke.

    You REALLY don’t see it?

  35. paulie

    Daniel Behrman
    Conversation Starter · 5 hrs

    A joke is a broken pattern:

    Setup: define a pattern
    Punchline: break the pattern

    Example setup: yesterday I went to the zoo. It was empty except for a single dog.

    This is a pattern because you know what zoos and dogs look like. If I had told you I went to the x and it was empty except for a single y, you wouldnt have a picture in your head.

    Example punchline: it was a shih tzu

    That breaks the pattern because you are no longer picturing an empty zoo, you are picturing a dog.

    It’s not a very funny joke because the pattern is not very complex. The more complex the joke, the funnier it is. If you can comprehend the complexity.

    Now we have a pattern of politicians. Dems and reps, basically the same. Throw a libertarian in there and it doesn’t match. It breaks the pattern. It causes the same reaction as telling a joke.

    Example: here’s a politician running for office
    Now you have a picture in your head of someone telling you they know exactly how to solve the world’s problems with their new program.

    Punchline: the politician is a libertarian who says his new govt program is to eliminate a govt program.

    That’s a fucking joke!

    Get it?

    People will laugh. Let them. And if you laugh with them, they’ll say “man, that’s some funny fuckin shit mother fucker.. but he’s right tho…”

    So what can we do w this information? We can use it to our advantage and embrace the fact that the LP and it’s candidates are a joke, but that’s ok.

    Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, they are jokes. Comedians. And there are a million people who would rather vote for them over Trump or Biden. You can’t be the joke and not be #inonthejoke.

    A joke doesn’t mean the LP is worthless, it means it’s a pattern breaker. Isn’t that what we want? Don’t we want to break the pattern of politicians, lies and new govt programs to fix everything? Do we want to smash the fucking pattern? And be proud of the fact that we are doing so?

    Or do we want to put on our suits and try to fit in where we don’t belong?

    I say get me a fucking sledgehammer.

  36. Anthony Dlugos

    “We can use it to our advantage and embrace the fact that the LP and it’s candidates are a joke, but that’s ok…Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, they are jokes. Comedians. And there are a million people who would rather vote for them over Trump or Biden. You can’t be the joke and not be #inonthejoke.”

    I have a copy of The Libertarian Reader, a collection of readings including pieces written by luminaries of philosophy like Madison, de tocqueville, Paine, Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, Kant, and Bastiat.

    And I’m being told by Behrman that we gotta act like clowns in order to get our point across.

    Its not okay that self-aggrandizing loons like Behrman want to turn a legitimate philosophy with legitimate outlooks on policy into a joke.

    We’re not a joke.

    As an aside, I’m not upset. I understand the thought process of many of the NAPist/radicals/purists.

    They aren’t stupid. They hate politics. This is a rational outpouring of a faction of the movement that can’t stand the whole idea of practical politics.

    Of course they’re gonna want to nominate joke candidates.

  37. robert capozzi

    DB: Dave Chappelle, Joe Rogan, they are jokes. Comedians. And there are a million people who would rather vote for them over Trump or Biden.

    Me: Perhaps. They are also celebrities whom millions know and love. Behrman, Supreme, and Hornberger are largely UNknown by comparison.

    Chappelle and Rogan already HAVE sledgehammers. Behrman, Supreme, and Hornberger are more like single gnats buzzing about a swamp in the middle of nowhere. They are lone moralizers, not politicians. Hornberger wants FEWER votes in the hopes that he and the LP can mobilize a vanguard of true-believers. Oy vey!

    My guess is the pearl-clutching, Roberts-Rules-memorizing, spectrum-cases will completely botch this weekend’s festivities, forcing no decision, validating JA’s decision to steer clear of this perpetual Gilligan’s Island.

    Can the state LPs disaffiliate en masse and reconstitute under a more serviceable, Roberts Rule-free, without the Stalinist Bylaws, structure?

  38. paulie

    Chappelle and Rogan already HAVE sledgehammers. Behrman, Supreme, and Hornberger are more like single gnats buzzing about a swamp in the middle of nowhere.

    Vermin actually has a pretty decent media profile outside the party/movement. Granted not on Chapelle or Rogan’s level at this point. If he got the nomination it would be bigger.

    They hate politics.

    I both love and hate it. Sort of; I’m not sure hate is the right word, as I try not to hate in general. It’s complicated.

    can’t stand the whole idea of practical politics.

    I have a decent grasp of practical politics, and play in that field when I feel it’s warranted. Cargo cult “practical” politics and picking up NSGOP dregs repeatedly ain’t it.

  39. robert capozzi

    Google searches
    VS = 1.2MM
    JR = 28.5MM
    DC = 10.1MM

    My sense is that Supreme is not 1/10th as famous as Chappelle, probably more like 1/30th at most. But, like I’ve said, I’m for the LP nominating him to confirm what a joke the 88 20-somethings wrought.

    Can the state LPs disaffiliate en masse? Is that possible?

  40. Anthony Dlugos

    “My guess is the pearl-clutching, Roberts-Rules-memorizing, spectrum-cases will completely botch this weekend’s festivities, forcing no decision, validating JA’s decision to steer clear of this perpetual Gilligan’s Island.”

    RC,

    participating in the practice session last night, that exact thought did occur to me, and it occured to me that a guy wiser and with better advisors than I probably told him that exact thing.

  41. Losty

    Anthony,

    Well, there is always One Choice they can make… and this year it may not be the worst choice… Well, for the Country at least…

    And it could be done 2 ways…

    If the Convention this weekend either does not nominate, or the Judicial committee says the nomination is void? The LNC can simply not fill the Vacancies in nomination.

    Or? Every List of candidates leaves one out.

    Say it with Me: None of the Above is a candidate for election or nomination at every election in the Libertarian Party.

  42. Anthony Dlugos

    Losty,

    never was a fan of NOTA.

    I’ll say this: her platform is pretty boilerplate Harry Browne type stuff…which means I expect similar poor numbers…but Jo appears to be a pleasant person, and I’m growing more and more okay with the idea of a female LP candidate for once…especially considering the cretins the dinosaur parties are gonna run.

    We could do a lot worse, and she’ll get some leeway when and if she appears on t.v.

  43. wolfefan

    Behrman undermines his own point without realizing it. Yes, there are a million people (maybe 2x – 3x as many) that would prefer Chappelle or Rogan to Trump or Biden. That means they’d do about as well as Gary Johnson at best. Supreme wouldn’t do anywhere near that well.

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