Election 2016

Updated w Audio! Nick Gillespie Talking Gary Johnson, John McAfee, Austin Petersen at 10 AM ET

Listen live online.

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Reason

UPDATED 12 NOON: Here's the audio link!

I'll be on Charlotte, North Carolina's WBT radio station at 10 A.M. E.T., talking Gary Johnson, John McAfee, Austin Petersen, and the Libertarian Party's chances in the 2016 election with Keith Larson.

Go here to listen along online (takes less than a minute to sign in via Facebook or Twitter).

My most-recent thoughts on Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico and the 2012 LP presidential candidate (who pulled 1.2 million votes and about 1 percent of the popular vote):

This much seems certain: The Libertarian Party will go the farthest in 2016 with Gary Johnson at the top of its ticket. If this is the winter of our electoral discontent, American voters still aren't so pissed off that novices such as McAfee, whose gnomic invocations of libertarian dogma and piercing eyes can be quite beguiling, or Petersen, no matter how much "pussy" he's swimming in, are capable of reaching anything like the 11 percent that Johnson has already registered.

The LP meets in Orlando in May to pick its presidential candidate and, even assuming Johnson regains the form that earned him 1.2 million votes in 2012, there's still a non-trivial chance that the party faithful may dump him in favor of somebody less capable. In the past, after all, the LP has chosen candidates who eschew driver's licenses and any possibility of electoral success.

But if the party does back Johnson, and he does get his act together, and Hillary and The Donald go after each other like Adams and Jefferson once did…well, let's just say it will be the most entertaining election this side of South Park's [infamous "Douche & Turd" episode, where kids must choose between one or the other to be their new school mascot]. Except that this time, there will be an actual third choice that might actually represent the plurality of American voters who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

More in that vein here.

UPDATED 12 NOON: Here's the audio link!

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  1. McAfee is a far better choice than GayJay. The LP should have learned it’s lesson on running washed-up Republican retreads with Bob Barr.

    1. I think the whole murder of his neighbor thing makes him a less than serious candidate.

      Johnson’s more like a moderate Republican, but libertarians may have to go pragmatic to break single digits.

      1. break single digits? They only broke into one single digit in 1980. GayJay got %.99 of the votes in 2012

  2. I completely agree with Nick’s assessment.

  3. All 3 are libertarian enough. Now pick the one that has the highest potential to get heads in the tent.

    If and when we ever see a libertarian movement in the US, it will be because Liberty becomes cool, attracting people to want to learn more about it.

    1. I thought the movement was all about picking the fly shit out of the pepper in order to determine who the “real” libertarians are?

      1. We can do that among ourselves. Need to convince the straights that liberty is in their best interests before we start complaining about their degree of purity.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if the two parties morphed into the Anarcho-Capitalists and the Minarchists?

  4. I like all three, I honestly do. Johnson I like as a flagbearer and ambassador for the movement, but I also think he says the most stupid, nonlibertarian things. Austin I probably agree with the most point-for-point, but I can see why people wouldn’t like his personality. McAfee I need some more time with to wrap my head around him, but he’s definitely the most charismatic of the three.

    Now’s not the time to throw up a candidate with serious baggage. Gary will be fine at doing what he needs to do – reminding people there’s a third option and improving on last cycle’s performance.

  5. I like McAfee a lot, but I can’t see him getting a lot of votes and Peterson’s “dorky conservative kid running for class president by quoting the founders” routine is like nails on a chalkboard to me. It’s Johnson by default.

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  7. Just what the country ordered-another total financial deadbeat:

    ‘FEC Orders Gary Johnson’s 2012 Campaign to Repay $332k

    In a letter dated April 5.2016 and addressed to Governor Gary Johnson and Gary Johnson 2012, Inc., the Federal Election Commission states that it has “determined, after administrative review, that Governor Johnson and the Committee must repay $332,191 to the United States Treasury. Governor Johnson and the Committee must repay this amount within 30 calendar days after service of this determination.” Attached to the letter is a detailed statement of reasons, summarized as a finding that “the Committee used matching funds to defray non-qualified campaign expenses.”

    Gary Johnson 2012, Inc. received a total of $632,016.75 in FEC matching funds for the 2012 election cycle,..Ballot access expert Richard Winger notes (via email) that “it is very common for candidates who receive primary season matching funds to be audited and for the FEC to find that the candidates owes some of the money back again.”

    As of its most recent FEC filing (year-end for 2015), Gary Johnson 2012, Inc. lists remaining unresolved campaign debt, prior to the FEC’s demand, of $1,538,118.73.

    Johnson is seeking the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination as well.-www.independent political report.com

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