The Independents

Gary Johnson on Why the LP Is Better Than GOP-Lite; Ralph Peters and Stephen Hayes on Why Libertarians Are 'Naive' About Foreign Policy


On Friday night's special "What's the Matter With Libertarians" episode of The Independents, 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson made the case that Libertarians, not libertarian Republicans, are where the best action is at in American politics:

Also on the show to beat up on libertarian foreign policy pronouncements were former Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes:

More Independents video at this link. The live show returns tonight at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT.

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  1. Is this the comment thread for tonight’s show? I can’t tell anymore.

    1. No, it doesn’t seem to be.

      By the way, last Friday’s show was, in my opinion, a bust. There was absolutely no engagement with the guests save a for a few objections and no clear explanation or definition of what libertarianism means or what libertarians stand for. At times it seemed like the hosts were almost agreeing with the guests in their objections, instead of turning the tides and asking them to explain why their positions were more moral or less objectionable.

      1. I have to agree with this assessment.

        Being libertarian vs. being a Libertarian would probably be a good place to start.

  2. I am not tuning in to listen to Gary Johnson justify association with The Worst Tool for Accomplishing Libertarian Ends Ever. Seriously, fuck the LP. It has been a dysfunctional time sink since it was formed that could not be more efficient at dissipating libertarian energies if the statists designed it to. Gary Johnson is not as smart as I thought.

    1. your reflexive contrarianism = automatic cool.

      1. Glibness is often a feature of TEAM ORANGE partisanship.

        Face it, I’m right, as usual.

  3. “””Why Libertarians are ‘Naive’ about Foreign Policy”””

    I would think that being naive about foreign policy would be to take at face value the reasons for US foreign policy and the claims that US foreign policy officials make for their ability to get their stated goals.

    I keep hearing them say they do X for Y reason in order to get Z outcome and yet in the end X Y and Z are no where to be found.

    1. Well X is still around, usually with someone in an official status telling us that what we really need to get to Z is a lot more X, and we should just forget about Y.

  4. I disagree with Johnson. “Social conservatism” and tolerance are not mutually exclusive. In order to have a shot at electoral success, libertarians need to build coalitions — and liberals sure as hell aren’t going to come on board.

    The bigger problem is that the Libertarian Party has had 4 decades of failure and nothing has changed. Does Johnson think the duopoly will all of a sudden start including the LP candidates in polling, media coverage, or debates? Not to mention ballot-access and fundraising. Even if you could overcome those obstacles (and the party dysfunction), the LP brand is toxic among most voters.

    1. Why bow to the SoCons and NeoCons when you can just haggle with Democrats for a couple of points on the top-end tax rate?

      You really don’t think the GOP is interested in reducing the size of government, do you? Why would you think that?

      History shows they like to cut taxes to 35% and increase the size of government faster than Democrats do.

      1. You don’t have to “bow down” to anyone to get what you want. And no, the differences between libertarians and Liberals is not a tax rate…

        What do you mean by GOP? Do you mean the establishment? Then no. Do you mean the GOP voter? I’ve NEVER seen one that wanted an increase in govt (net) and never found one that wanted to spend more on “defense” after I explained how much we spend on it (and the Founders’ objections to a standing army).

        I challenge you to back up your last sentence, even though it is a red herring.

      2. Why bow to the libertarians when you can just haggle with SoCons and NeoCons for a couple of points on the top-end tax rate?

        This has been the Dem strategy for 30 years, and the opposite has been the Rep strategy. Two sides, same coin. And people like you who are actually stupid enough to believe that they are different are the reason they can continue to pull it off.

      3. We call it TEAM BE RULED for a reason, Plugs.

    2. Re: crazyfingers,

      I disagree with Johnson. “Social conservatism” and tolerance are not mutually exclusive.

      Completely correct. How many times have these so-called “libertarians” commit the sin of muddling the waters when defining libertarianism and what it stands for? Rather than explaining and defending the Non Aggression Principle and all that implies and making it clear that the objections of libertarianism have more to do with aesthetics rather than morality, the hosts and some guests, most of the time, bend over backwards to reassure people that libertarians are not assholes.

      I say: So WHAT if there are libertarians who are assholes? Or bigots? Or whatever? Can’t a person be free to believe whatever he or she wants and engage the people he or she wants without an external force exerted upon the individual to turn him or her into a “virtuous” person?

    3. I’m sure many people would mistake me for a social conservative because I believe certain things are wrong due to what the Bible says!

      But recognizing that “A” is wrong doesn’t mean that “A” should be illegal. Perhaps those Christians should read the New Testament better to see what Christians are supposed to get govt to do (very little). We are never told to make people “good” with govt. That’s not how Christianity nor Salvation works.

  5. “Also on the show to beat up on libertarian foreign policy pronouncements were former Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes”

    I think this was an unfair matchup, because it paired the default ‘libertarian (non) foreign policy position’ up against, “two screaming douchebags”.

    It didn’t make any sense, and I ended up hating everyone. Can’t you at least get someone from FP like Stephen Walt or Dan Drezner to test yourselves out on? When you stake out a couple of irreconcilable extremes it comes across as enlightening as “alex jones v Piers morgan”.

    1. Peters and Hayes were great. Peters stomped on Matt a bit. Intelligence all around.

  6. Ah Ralphie Peters the armchairiest commando!

    1. lol you just called LTC an armchair commando.

      1. Uh, ralph peters spent Vietnam behind a desk. Being a lt col doesn’t mean shit necessarily – it means you kept your nose clean enough for a couple of promotion cycles.

        As Fred says, ‘a surprising number of officers are Peters’. Read the piece.

        1. I did read it. It was kind of silly. Especially the part where Smedley Butler is supposed to be some kind of revelation.

          Peters might not be a Hackworth, or a Butler for that matter, but that doesn’t make him an armchair commando either.

          Barack Obama is an armchair commando. Dick Cheney is an armchair commando.

          1. Hack lost his credibility when he called retired officers opposing the runup to Iraq treasonous for doing so in a time of war. Talk about a lack of self-awareness.

            Peters might not be an armchair commando but he strikes me as a certain type that I saw in the service. Too young for Vietnam, spent forever and a day getting ready for the Soviet hordes to come through the Fulda Gap, and missed out on the splendid little wars in between Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan.

            1. I was referring to Hackworth’s record as a combat soldier more than any of his political or policy views.

              1. Ah, gotcha. Someone mentioned the Trieste occupation here recently. First thing I thought of was Hackworth.

                1. I’m happy being that “certain type”. I never got an order to kill anybody and learned to appreciate my mother’s cooking.

  7. It didn’t make any sense, and I ended up hating everyone.

    I watched once, last week, and the whole thing came across as a lot of pointless, disjointed jabbering. I have no idea what they thought they were accomplishing.

    1. I haven’t watched, but it sounds like they really need to criticize people on their premises more.

  8. “the whole thing came across as a lot of pointless, disjointed jabbering”

    “…with Matt and Kmele sitting nearby!”


  9. Nice conversation with LtC Ralph Peters and Stephen Hayes. Love Ralph Peters. Heed him Reason, heed him.

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