John McAfee

Libertarian Candidates, Moderated by Penn Jillette, Debate in Las Vegas

Anti-discrimination fights and debate disses shape the last pre-convention debate of leading Libertarian Party presidential candidates.

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The Nevada Libertarian Party worked hard to put together a prominent forum for the three leading presidential hopefuls in a debate held yesterday in Las Vegas. The debate, featuring former Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, movement activist and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen, and antivirus software legend John McAfee, was moderated by noted stage magician and libertarian Penn Jillette, known professionally as just "Penn." (The event, whose attendance I estimate at around 300, was also a fundraiser for Penn's favorite charity, Opportunity Village, which provides opportunities and aid for the intellectually disabled.)

McAfee, after patiently and effectively participating through the multi-hour four-part debate, chose in his closing remarks to attack the very concept of it. "You may think you learned something by watching this debate. I assure you you have learned nothing at all." He then attacked the polished soundbite culture and canned answers of debates and hinted at the complicated truths they obscured. (He also used language unfit for most TV twice in this closing statement.)

I disagree with McAfee that the average viewer would "learn nothing" from the debate.

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It is scheduled to be aired later this week on Glenn Beck's The Blaze network—numerous times, Nevada's L.P. Chair Brett Pojunis, who wrangled the event, tells me. That audience in particular may learn of an interesting political universe they barely knew existed. One longtime L.P. national committee member told me he hopes via The Blaze that this debate can become a moment of historical signficance for the L.P. and even emulate the political ferment caused by Rick Santelli's famous summoning of a new "Tea Party" movement in 2009 on CNBC.

The debate's four parts allowed the candidates to answer questions from Penn while alone on stage in "town hall" style; from local and state party members and politicos in the crowd; from famous people from afar; and to issue quick lightning round responses to various policy issues.

McAfee flashed his libertarian hard core in the lightning round and won frequent audience applause with answers in the style of: Should we end the war on drugs? We should end the war on everything. Should birth control be available without a prescription? Everything should be available without a prescription. Would you have invaded Iraq? Why invade anyone?

In his "town hall" portion conversing with Penn, McAfee jumped right in discussing his latest media controversy—being called a liar by Gizmodo over claims his compatriots hacked WhatsApp's encryption. McAfee insists that publicity only helped the stock price of the company he was recently named CEO of, MGT Capital Investments, whose stock price has more than quintupled this week, with the rise continuing after the Gizmodo article.

This seemed part of his general strategy of making sure no one can say anything bad about him he hasn't already said himself. McAfee also called himself a "walking revolution" and for those who doubt sudden and extreme change can come from unexpected places, reminded us of a couple of fellows named Lenin and Gandhi.

Penn asked McAfee to explain the most likely troubling part of his career, his eventual flight from Belize in 2012 tailed by accusations of possible complicity in the murder of a neighbor there. McAfee reiterated his innocence in the death of Gregory Faull, and he said his Belizean troubles were really a story of a "man willing to stand up to corruption at the risk of his life," one that should be a plus on his resume, not a minus. He reiterated his epigram summing up his vision of libertarianism: "our bodies and minds belong to ourselves." 

Austin Petersen in his "town hall" segment discussed his pride in his own campaign's progress from scrappy outsider to seeming contender. (We won't really know for certain what's going on with L.P. delegates until they vote over Memorial Day weekend.) Petersen thinks libertarianism is a core belief of most Americans once they understand it. He instructs Libertarians to stop feeling snobbishly superior to the average American if they aren't already on board the L.P. train.

While Libertarians cannot promise a utopia on earth or that government can solve all their grievances, as he thinks your Trumps and Sanders try to do, Petersen announced that Libertarians do understand that no one knows how to live your life better than you do. (When he opined that some on the youthful Social Democratic side might want to vote for him just because he's the youngest candidate, it seemed overly optimistic.)

Gary Johnson also seems to think Libertarian views already do represent a majority of Americans, though that can never be apparent unless the party gets into the presidential debates. He hyped his New Mexico gubernatorial record of vetoes and acknowledged that he "got his ass kicked" in 2012 when he was the L.P.'s candidate, but insists his people are "a team of winners" who just happened to be beat, and are ready to redeem themselves if given the chance.

The celebrity questioners (not actually present at the debate), whose common denominator seemed to be a relationship with Penn, included Dee Snider asking how they plan to save America from Trump and Clinton, comedian/roaster Jeff Ross on what the candidates would build a wall around (Petersen repeated his quip, "Donald Trump, and get Bernie Sanders to pay for it!" which got some laughs), Drew Carey on how they'd make the L.P. relevant, Larry "Ratso" Sloman on what regulations they think should be placed on legal weed, Greg Gutfield wondering why these Libertarians don't love the American military as much as he does, and Arsenio Hall on their thoughts on Black Lives Matter. (To that Petersen made a rather tone-deaf call for blacks to be more vigorous in understanding and asserting their constitutional rights when dealing with cops, and McAfee mentioned his black wife.) Clay Aiken asked their stances on transgender bathroom regulations. (McAfee noted his times in third world countries where the streets are used as toilets and wondered how an issue like this became a national worry.)

None of the debaters made any major flubs or said anything that might seem shockingly out of line to most libertarians. (Though this particular libertarian isn't as enthusiastic as all three were about ensuring all otherwise unregulated political donations are public and transparent, since such reporting requirements for campaign donations can create mischief and disincentive effects worth considering, including wrecking innocent citizens' lives for daring to participate in politics.)

Johnson was, as usual, the least doctrinaire in Libertarian terms. He was unwilling to be across-the-board against government funding of scientific research, or to rule out foreign interventions not in defense of the homeland. He said a President Johnson should not be expected to be asleep at the wheel if a holocaust were occurring somewhere on the globe. Johnson was also, unlike the others, willing to say our involvement in the United Nations was a positive good. And in a movement where lots of people seem to think our country is suffering unprecedented destructive depredations at the hands of out-of-control government, Johnson was willing to say that in most senses he thinks that life has never been better in the United States.

A typical Blaze audience of conservatives who might be looking for a non-Trump option would at the very least from this debate become aware these Libertarians don't look for government solutions to any problem. When it comes to veterans, though, they all agreed government needed to spend on their care. They all also thought that something more like a voucher system for purchasing health insurance or care in the private market would be better than the Veterans Administration as it exists.

Some other aspects of the debate that stood out: although Austin Petersen often frames himself as the Libertarian most likely to appeal to disenchanted conservatives (largely in how he combines strict constitutionalism with a pro-life stance), today he also sounded the most left libertarian with the most frequent stabs at crony capitalism and a system whose regulations and income-shifting often reward the powerful and connected at the expense of the powerless. He also issued the movement-centric crowdpleaser most likely to confuse a normal TV watcher on The Blaze when he shouted "Austrian economics for the win!"

Austin Petersen Facebook

John McAfee is settling more and more comfortably into the position of "notorious crazy man," using terms redolent of insanity to either describe himself or his proposed strategies for libertarian communication well over five times during the debate, including calls for ranting naked libertarians in the street as a way to get earned media.

I've spent some time with McAfee and do not in any way think he's crazy, nor do I think he thinks he's crazy. But he does seem to have decided in the year of Trump that a reputation for wild thought and behavior won't be a political minus.

Another curiosity about McAfee's performance was that, even when given a perfect tee-up to talk about it, he never once mentioned cybersecurity, the issue that first got him interested in running for president last year with his aborted "Cyber Party" before seeking the L.P. nod.

When asked the greatest threat to national security, he merely quipped "Laziness." When I interviewed him for my forthcoming July Reason feature on the L.P. presidential race, he was quite set on discussing the existential threat that Chinese cyberattacks posed to the U.S. Johnson gave a legit foreign policy answer to that question: North Korea. Petersen gave the Libertarian-pleasing quip: "The U.S. federal government."

The most heat in the debate came when Petersen and Johnson went at it on an issue they first made famous during their first nationally televised debate which aired in April on John Stossel's Fox Business Network show. Petersen, in a move that had become a common reference point/running gag in the Libertarian social network world, got Johnson to say that his vision of anti-discrimination law could justify legally requiring a Jewish baker to bake a "Nazi cake." 

Petersen stressed that priests should not be forced to marry people they don't want to marry; we should all have such freedom of conscience, though he himself approves of love in all varieties. They began talking over each other about whether Nazis were a protected class under American civil rights law. (Johnson never explicitly said they were, but Petersen was steamed that his "Nazi cake" answer seem to imply it.) Johnson insisted that he would have signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and said the Libertarian Party should not seem to support legislation that would allow discrimination that is not currently legally allowed.

In essence, Johnson thinks it's important for Libertarians to not seem to condone intolerant discrimination of any kind, especially emphasizing modern debates about intolerance of gays and LGBT folk. Petersen wants to stress the distinction between government, which should and must treat us all equally, and private citizens who should have freedom to decide who they want to deal with or do business with.

Petersen told me in an interview after the debate he thinks this discrimination law matter can be the issue that sinks Johnson with the L.P.'s delegates at their nominating convention in May.

From chatting with some people in the crowd, I learned that McAfee's reputation can indeed, in the case of a couple of local software engineers I met, bring in curious non-Libertarians to just see what's going on with the wild man. I found only one Libertarian who admitted that he's "petrified" at the thought of what a general election crowd would make of the eccentric McAfee if he's the party's standardbearer. No one I talked to said they had been completely turned around on their favorite by this debate, though many said they gained new respect for contenders not their first choice.

The Nevada L.P.'s electoral crown jewel was there: John Moore, a former Republican who switched parties in the middle of his state Assembly term, currently the only sitting state legislator for the L.P. Moore will be a delegate in Orlando; he was not yet willing to say who his presidential choice is.

The fight for delegate's hearts and minds between these three, and any of the many other contenders, seems as if it will be a heated one down to the wire. Libertarians' concerns, one learns from random chatting and eavesdropping, can be huge and systemic, like the Federal Reserve leading to a currency collapse; and as prosaic and personal as being steamed when a 99 cent soda can't be bought with a dollar because of sales taxes.

NEXT: Weak Enforcement Will Blunt the Impact of New York's $15 Minimum Wage

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  1. He was unwilling to be across-the-board against government funding of scientific research, or rule out foreign interventions not in defense of the homeland.

    Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick. I know libertarians can have rather diverse views (as the comment sections here show every day), but I honestly thought the latter was pretty much a non-negotiable requirement to be a libertarian! Most real libertarians I know barely even consider World War II to have been a just war.

    1. The forced taxpayer funding of science is even worse

      1. In what way? War uses way more tax dollars, and people get killed.

        1. That’s not a good argument, LP. Just because there are more egregious wastes of taxpayer dollars doesn’t justify less egregious wastes. We do have to prioritize, though, to focus on the most expensive and rights-eroding programs.

          1. But SIV specifically said taxpayer funded science was worse than non-direct-defense wars.

          2. There are legitimate reasons for public expenditures on science that fall under the heading of national defense, and not just in the area of weapons.

            Smallpox was a legitimate threat to national security. As was polio. Government spending and regulations wiped them out.

            This kind of public science spending is kind of a no-brainer.

            But there are other areas of public funding that have national security implications. Areas like alternative energy research. Purely libertarian philosophy would leave it to the private sector. But in a world where wars are fought over access to resources like oil, finding an alternative energy source that mitigates the risk of these wars is arguably an act of national defense.

            Then there’s the purely “because it is good to have” scientific funding. Basic research in medicine, physics, materials science, etc. all have the potential to give massive boosts to the economy and the national wealth. So there is a pragmatic argument for science funding outside of anything that could be directly argued as libertarian.

            1. Funding for basic research is a good indicator of which side of the minarchist/classical liberal line you fall on. Regardless, I think there are bigger fish to fry.

              1. Regardless, I think there are bigger fish to fry.

                This.

                This is about the second or third to last issue I’d fix on the march to Libertopia. Somewhere just above roadz.

                1. ditto. Johnson is a pragmatist. He knows the libertopia ain’t a happening thing.

            2. Government spending and regulations wiped them out.

              Pay no attention to the vaccine behind the curtain.

              1. Yes, that is what I was referring to. Much of the work in development of the polio vaccines was publicly funded. And then government mandates required the vaccination of everyone. Nothing free about that.

                But we have nearly managed to eradicate the virus in the wild. Where does it hang on? In Pakistan, where the government is often ineffective and unable to enforce its mandates, despite a nasty authoritarian streak. Bonus stupid: the anti-vaccine rhetoric in Pakistan seems to be having success because of things like the CIA using a vaccine ruse to collect samples that led to the identification of Bin-Laden’s hideout.

                Bonus conspiracy theory fodder: once the last of the virus is killed in the wild, nobody needs to get vaccinated ever again. So no more vaccine sales for big pharma. So who is really keeping the polio virus from being eradicated in Pakistan?

                1. So no more vaccine sales for big pharma. So who is really keeping the polio virus from being eradicated in Pakistan?

                  I’m sure that “big pharma” is keeping polio alive because they depend so heavily on the 0.001% of their revenue that comes from selling polio vaccines to Pakistanis.

                  1. Your kids here in the west still required to have the Polio vaccine before starting school, even though it hasn’t been circulating for decades. As long as the virus exists in the wild, an unvaccinated population is still vulnerable to a single traveler. Kill off that last little island and you don’t just lose a few thousand doses a month in Pakistan, you lose tens of millions every year worldwide.

                    I included that tongue in cheek conspiracy theory fodder because that’s how some people think. If there is a semi-plausible financial incentive, then that must be the explanation. (in this case xenophobia, religious fundamentalism and general ignorance combining with an ineffective central government are a much better explanation)

                    1. ineffective central government

                      Pakistan’s “central” government is very effective, in the same way that the corner laundromat or quaint ethnic restaurant are effective fronts for the mafia.

            3. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis was a private, voluntary organization.

            4. Cyto, I hate these kinds of arguments. You are saying that smallpox could not have been wiped out without government coercion. That kind of reasoning could be used to justify just about any government program in the name of some public policy. Sad!

              1. I’m pretty hard core libertarian. Really hard core in fact. But there are always edge cases that help illustrate both the strengths and limitations of an idea.

                In this case, there is a very powerful argument that some form of government (or other) coercion might be required. You might be able to argue that because smallpox was so horrible, people would have participated without government intervention.

                But then there’s that last little bit. When polio has almost, but not quite, been wiped out. People stop caring. If we didn’t have a list of required childhood immunizations, most folks would skip the polio vaccine. Likely a few others as well. And then there is no longer herd immunity.

                And along comes some tourist who visits Sudan and gets a case of polio. But it is mild and he doesn’t even see a doctor. But he does spread it all around. And before you know it, polio is back.

                We are seeing something like this with measles right now because of the nutty anti-vaxxer crowd. And if you are in the fraction of folks for whom the vaccine is not protective…. well, sorry! Maybe you lost lost your vision. Oh well.

                I’m 100% in the “swing your fist anywhere you’d like, short of my nose” camp. This is one of those weird cases where swinging your fists doesn’t look like swinging your fist at all, and you can’t tell that you hit me, nor can I tell that it was you. But I’d be blind all the same.

            5. There is an argument for it, but in my opinion, not a good one. If there is a true need for one type of research or another, the private sector will provide that research. Why do some people believe laissez-fair capitalism works best…unless its something really important, then we need the government involved. Freedom doesn’t only work best on the trivial, it works best on the important issues as well.

      2. Are there any science programs you’d let slide by in order to get rid of the rest?

        1. In a minarchy I’d accept government funding of science which had a clear constitutional (US) basis such as national defense.

          1. Or outside of the current constitution, I would personally argue that there would be a great benefit if we had channeled some of the money from the Iraq war into energy research.

            We will spend somewhere between 2 and 6 trillion on the Iraq war – all in. The latter number includes ongoing veterans benefits.

            We have been spending somewhere around a half-billion a year on fusion research. If we had instead been spending 5 billion a year… where might we be? 20 years at that burn rate would get us to 100 billion. What if we spent 20 billion per year on all forms of alternative energy? Could we have discovered something that would render the middle east and its oil irrelevant in the last decade and a half? It wouldn’t be a rounding error on what we’ve spent on the war. But it might make middle-east war obsolete.

            At some point there is a law of diminishing returns. But if we diverted just a small part of our defense budget into basic scientific research of all types, the dividends might be well worth it.

            The human genome project was a huge expenditure of probably extra-constitutional money (inconsequential to the overall budget though) – and the spinoff benefits are huge. Because of the leaps in sequencing technology that were fostered by the project, we are entering an era where your doctor can find out what bugs are growing in you by mass sequencing. Everything about healthcare is about to be impacted. And mostly it doesn’t match what was projected.

            1. But if we diverted just a small part of our defense budget into basic scientific research of all types, the dividends might be well worth it.

              Why, there would be so many new phoney-baloney jobs, you couldn’t even count them all!

              1. Alright anarchist, go for anarchy all you want. Some of us are happy that government can spend on things other than mass genocide and persecution, but it looks like no matter what the government spends on, you won’t be happy.

                Retreat to your bullshit imaginary world where anarchistic rule will EVER fucking exist.

                Because it won’t in the real world. If you can’t think pragmatically at the expense of your ideals, your views will 100% never see fruition.

                Good luck, cynic.

                1. As a more serious response to your screed of non sequiturs, the government is not an organization for allocating resources. It doesn’t exist to collect taxes in arbitrary amounts and then figure out how to spend the money. Government revenue should always be tied to a necessary function of government.

                  Defense is one of those necessary functions. If you feel that it is overfunded, then refund the excess to the people. They can then choose how to spend their money, whether on scientific research, personal necessities, or hedonistic enjoyment.

                  This is not about anarchy but about the stewardship of stolen wealth. Furthermore, anyone who believes that the U.S. Government is perpetuating “mass genocide and persecution” should hardly be throwing around the term “cynic” like an insult.

            2. This is an interesting argument and does justify some government spending in the sciences where it could implicate defense of life, even broadly construed, especially given how modest it is compared to the alternatives.

              Although there is the remaining problem is that government may not often be competent to effectively allocate money to deserving projects or defining research goals. Many of the criticisms about the weaknesses of incentives from government grants compared to private sector returns carries over here.

              Government funding may be most appropriate wherever there are positive externalities, so that the potential private gain from particular areas of scientific research does not adequately capture its total value (e.g. because of issues of excludability from benefits). Vaccines, energy, etc. might be good examples.

          2. Let’s prioritize here. If I were king and could just start abolishing government programs, funding for scientific research would be pretty far down on the list. Way after egregious “defense” spending and bullshit “infrastructure” pork. Another top priority would be the DEA and ATF. The agencies that violate the most rights get the axe first. Then let’s see how that goes before eliminating Meals on Wheels and WIC.

    2. First of all, we were attacked first in WWII. I know it was complicated by some of our aid and so forth, but let’s get a grip about it not being a “just war.”

      Second, I’m curious what the NAP has to say about third party involvement. I understand that there are major limitations to what wars we should be fighting, that we should not be the world’s police, and that 99% of things we should stay the hell out of. However, is there never an instance where we defend others who have had extreme violence put upon them? I would think Hitler attempting to conquer Europe and offing millions of Jews would be a good place to start the conversation, at least.

      1. You can defend anyone you want.

        1. This.

          I’m down with offering any able-bodied citizens the opportunity to join any country currently at war. People have convictions. That’s cool. Go on then, we wish you the best of luck.

          Voting that someone else’s kids need to die because someone think the cause is just makes me question one’s ability to recognise “just” if it bit one on the arse.

          1. Japan declared war on us, attacked US territories and shipping
            They even shelled the West Coast at least once by submarine.

            Hitler declared war on us and openly began attacking our shipping.

            Granted there were never any real mainland US invasion attempts made but assuming we did nothing such would eventually have occurred unless Russia/Britain were able to stop them.

            As a practical matter, probably better (for Americans at least) to fight them on their turf rather than ours.

            1. Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant. Go ahead and roll with that theory.

              1. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you. I don’t think I am though.

                You mentioned politicians deciding xyz is a ‘just war’ and voting to send other peoples kids to fight it

                I was demonstrating that our entry in WW2 was not exactly decided in that manner.

                The governments of Japan and Germany made clear that as far as they were concerned a state of war existed between the US and themselves. What do we do in response? Wait till they get here, or bloody them up somewhere else to hopefully spare Americans from the possibility of their homes becoming battlefields?

                1. The problem with Johnson’s position is that in every situation that comes up for US military involvement the argument will be that military force is necessary and therefore justified. Just like Bush the Elder argued that Saddam was Hitler and Bush the Dimwitted babbled about an Axis of Evil. Or when Truman, Kennan and company over-hyped the Soviet threat to launch the Cold War and the domino theory that gave young American men the opportunity to spend their “gap year” in Northeast and Southeast Asia.

                  In 99% of the cases, libertarians will later conclude that US involvement was neither necessary nor justified.

                2. Of course you don’t think you are. Otherwise you wouldn’t have written an entire post detailing why you feel you know my intent better than I do.

                  First of all, we were attacked first in WWII. I know it was complicated by some of our aid and so forth, but let’s get a grip about it not being a “just war.”

                  SoT. You’ll notice no one addressed this. This is often an indicator that this point could be stipulated.

                  Second, I’m curious what the NAP has to say about third party involvement.

                  The stipulation, and then an indication of interest in more nuanced discussion of the NAP.

                  However, is there never an instance where we defend others who have had extreme violence put upon them? I would think Hitler attempting to conquer Europe and offing millions of Jews would be a good place to start the conversation, at least.

                  And the question, followed by illustrative example. You’ll note straffinrun, Tonio and I all answered this hypothetical question.

                  But go ahead and argue again that you can read my mind. I’m sure that would be a productive use of our time.

            2. You should really more deeply examine the shit that FDR pulled in order to provoke Japan and compel us to join the war – embargoing an emerging industrial nation of the principle resource it needs to join the 1st world, knowing they cant produce it themselves, among others. You could probably stand to the the same for FDR+Churchill with regards to the conduct of the early war with Germany.

              1. The way you describe it someone who doesn’t know history might think that Japan was peaceably becoming a 1st world nation when FDR cut off the supplies it needed to do so.

                The embargos were instituted in 1940, after several years of Japan warring against neighbors.

                I don’t know if the extreme brutality of their military actions was known at the time, but direct knowledge that they were engaged in acts of war was in fact widely known.

                Timeline perspective

                1. Even after being told it was in answer to a hypothetical…

                  Because of course. At this point there’s emotional investment in believing we’re rehashing history.

                  Don’t let my lack of participation stand in your way. Hell, it hasn’t so far.

          2. We’ll fight for liberty for ourselves, but not for you.

          3. Voting that someone else’s kids need to die because someone think the cause is just makes me question one’s ability to recognise “just” if it bit one on the arse.

            Why do people keep saying stupid shit like this?

            There is no draft.

            That means that we’re sending people who sought out the job, and were hired and trained to be soldiers. Yes, they’re someone’s kids. Everyone is.

            We don’t let the fact that everyone has parents be an excuse why anyone elseshould not have to do the job they sought out and are getting paid to do. Why is it different with people who decide to become soldiers?

            They might die. They know this going in–it is a factor in the job.

            Why is it so easy to deny them agency?

        2. Fair enough.

          I do believe in a voluntary military. Mercenaries are fine by me.

      2. +1 Man in the High Castle

      3. I would think Hitler attempting to conquer Europe and offing millions of Jews would be a good place to start the conversation, at least.

        Sure, I’ll bite. Those are two separate issues: US security in the foreseeable future and do we have a duty to stop crimes against humanity on a large scale.

        Strict interpretation of the NAP would require that we not go to war with anyone unless they directly attack the US. But there’s still a some wiggle room wrt things like their u-boats in our waters, constructing a bomber whose only mission is to bomb NY, etc. Also, a libertarian government would probably not be involved in entangling treaties such as we had and have.

        There is nothing in the NAP requiring us to come to the aid of people such as during the holocaust. And that’s a PR problem for libertarianism. However, there is also nothing preventing private citizens from involving themselves in efforts to stop that.

        1. Totally agree.

        2. Is there anything in the NAP preventing a libertarian government from intervening in a case such as the holocaust? Not a slippery slope argument about stupid leaders and fake tragedies, but from first principles?

          In personal self defense, the NAP is perfectly compatible with me seeing SoT pistol whipping Tonio and stepping in to stop it. Defense of others is part of the deal.

          But what about nations? Presumably we are not talking about conscripts in a libertarian government. But what of national treasure and the volunteer paid army? Could they be devoted to intervening in defense of groups of people against foreign states? Direct analogy to the personal would argue in favor of this stance.

          1. Why would a “libertarian government” need to intervene? If the people of this hypothetical libertarian society want to get involved, they can truck their own butts over there and get involved.

            The more interesting question would be, is “libertarian” foreign policy compatible with the Westphalian model?

        3. Strict interpretation of the NAP would require that we not go to war with anyone unless they directly attack the US.

          Not to pick nits, but I feel this is an important one. The NAP says you don’t initiate aggression. If aggression is initiated upon another, you are perfectly justified in coming to their defense.

          If a mugger attacks a little old lady in front of your house, you can certainly come to her aid. You simply not obligated to. That is your decision and it should be decided via cost/benefit.

          When that concept is expanded to governments, it becomes a question of who benefits and who absorbs the cost. That bar needs to be significantly higher than it is currently.

          1. This more closely matches my understanding.

          2. You can certainly come to the aid of someone under attack. You cannot, however, coerce others into joining you in helping the victim. Therefore, this concept cannot be expanded to governments, because in that case, millions of unwilling people are being coerced into “helping.”

            1. When you say:

              coerce others into joining you in helping the victim

              To whom are you referring? Soldiers or the population supporting the soldiers?

              The soldiers are voluntarily contracted to fight wars so they aren’t being forced.

              If you are talking about the population supporting them you can use that argument for anything government does, which would make you an anarchist.

        4. The NAP is only meaningful within a libertarian domestic law context.
          International law is anarchistic in nature, and we should not be constrained by libertarian restraints that only meaningfully apply within a libertarian legal structure.

      4. “First of all, we were attacked first in WWII.”

        FDR did everything in his power to provoke the Japanese to attack because he WANTED to join into WWII and he wanted to invert the mostly anti-war feelings of the US populace. He hit the Japanese with trade embargoes and repeatedly antagonized the Japanese ambassador’s attempts to open diplomatic channels to discuss removing the embargoes. FDR knew and expected something like Pearl Harbor would happen. That doesn’t excuse the Japanese for their actions, but it hardly makes FDR’s blatant search for a way to enter the war excusable.

        “I would think Hitler attempting to conquer Europe and offing millions of Jews would be a good place to start the conversation, at least.”

        Fuck you, the victims of the Holocaust were more than just Jews. Stop blatantly forgetting the five million non-Jewish victims.

        If stopping major war crimes and conquest should be a US priority, then there is no way around it: The USA SHOULD have sided WITH the Nazis and invaded Russia. Russia killed more people. Yet no one advocates this position, so I posit that support for US intervention in Germany was not fully about stopping a war criminal. If it was only that to consider, the US would have allied with Germany to take out the greater evil of Russia.

        1. I posit that support for US intervention in Germany was not fully about stopping a war criminal

          It wasn’t even a little bit about stopping a war criminal. No one found out about the Holocaust until well after the war had started.

          Then it was “look – we’re saving people from concentration camps! Good for us!”

        2. FDR did everything in his power to provoke the Japanese to attack

          Yes. And that’s where the WW2 analogy breaks down. Because a truly libertarian government wouldn’t have provoked anyone. So it’s unfair to ask what a hypothetical libertarian president would do when confronted with a situation which was clearly the result of statist, progressive policy.

          A more valid question for current libertarian candidates is what would they do about ISIS/DASH? What constitutes a threat to the US?

          1. And it is a tough question, even if you leave out the whole bit where we were integral in creating the situation that allowed it to flower.

            They clearly have their sights on an end game that includes world domination and subjugation of all people to their religious and legal system. At what point do we take them seriously?

            Today they are only a threat to harm a few handfuls of individual Americans, mostly outside the country. But what of tomorrow? If you had a crystal ball and you knew that absent intervention they would eventually succeed in taking over all of the Middle East, then Africa, then central Asia and Europe…. well, then it would be easy. Taking them out now is much easier than waiting until they are much more powerful.

            But absent that crystal ball? Who’s to suspect that they’d ever be successful even on the small scale? One could easily posit that absent our (US and allies) actions, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Russians would whack them up and take control of most of Iraq in the process. No Caliphate to worry about.

            A different set of problems to be sure, but still no direct military threat. But what is the end game really? And when can you be “sure enough” to take action?

            1. Libertarianism works so much better at the state and local levels. That’s why we should focus our energies there.

          2. Let ISIS in! Let me get at one!

            Have them force the states give our gun rights back!

            There’s some ISIS member following me on Facebook, or at least he’s way suspicious (only male friends; they all only say “nice” and “praise [yadda yadda somethin]” to all his pictures; has multiple accounts both based in Afghan country).

            Lemme take him out! The blood lust only rises, and I ain’t signing up for no damn military!

            Other than that, if US military wants to destroy ISIS, whatever. But, they’ve been funding this bullshit, too; Get the jews out, let the middle east implode on itself, and then let the Jews and Christians immigrate back there. That’s my solution. As far as I can tell, we’re paying these OPEC countries protection money so they don’t hurt the minorities too bad, and the arabs are of course, laughing behind our backs about it.

      5. Maybe they are, but let’s remember the actual reasons we got involved in WWII had little to do with the first and nothing to do with the second. When I was in grade school in the 1960s, history class pretty much treated the holocaust as a footnote to the war. Mostly it was cited as a suplimental reason why Hitler was a bastard. It didn’t become the central event of the war until decades later.

    3. Gay Jay is also playing to win votes from outside the movement. Which brings us back to the longstanding purity vs practicality debate. Elections will not be won at any level by hewing to strict libertarian principles; compromises will have to be made.

      1. The purity vs practicality debate is pointless if your purity can’t make any practical difference.

        1. True, from a practical POV. But, the purists will tell you that any compromise of principle renders you Not A True Libertarian.

          1. I know. And if distinguishing between what I want and what I can get (both from a real politik and human nature perspective) makes me Not A True Libertarian, I’m perfectly OK with that.

      2. Elections can also not be won by adhering to strict conservative principles. Apparently, only progressives can win while sticking to their principles, because Americans like to hear promises to give them free goodies.

        1. Progressives have principles?

          1. Progressives believe in the rights of everyone to enjoy goodies from the government and to put their faith in progressives to create a better life for all people.

        2. Therefore, if Libertarian candidates want to have a chance, they need to talk about what largesse they intend to distribute from the government treasury.

          1. They can talk about it, by showing how much more money Americans would have from that largesse when the govt stops funding unnecessary and unrepresentative projects, programs and overseas adventurism.

      3. Except, I think Johnson’s making a pretty odd play for outside votes. Sorry, but you look where he’s compromising principle and it does look pretty consistently on the left (government science, public accommodation). But, if the LP wants to pick up a lot of outside voters this go-round, how many do you think are really up for grabs on the left versus disaffected Republicans?

        1. You are forgetting that there are independent and independent-leaning voters. Those are the prize.

        2. there are not enough disenfranchised republicans to win. you would have to pull the entire right side to win, with that approach. even optimistically speaking, the best case would be 25%, and Hillary wins in a landslide. the only approach that is plausible, is pulling votes from both sides.

          still a fools hope to dream of victory, but it seems wrong to start with a plan that is not even possible of winning.

          1. Except how many people on the left are going to defect from the Democrats, even if you sell out Libertarian principle completely to them? They might be flirting with Bernie, but at the end of the day they’re going to go home with Hillary because otherwise “OMG TRUMP!!1ELEVENTY!!”

            This go-round you’ve got a lot of Republicans who simply can’t stomach lining up behind Donald Trump. For a party that’s maxed out a 1% in recent elections, 25% of the vote would be a quantum leap forward. Hell, 15% of the vote would be a quantum leap forward.

            I’m not suggesting selling out libertarian principle to the right. But, taking stances with the left that specifically alienate all of these voters doesn’t seem like the smartest strategy.

            1. Beyond that, what is reasonable for the LP candidate to have as a goal? He ain’t winning the presidency, barring double indictments for child molestation (with video) on the eve of the election. And even then they’d probably postpone to let the main parties put up viable candidates.

              Johnson has been hammering on the 15% poll numbers now required to get into the debates. This limit clearly creates an almost insurmountable barrier to any 3rd party candidates, particularly if their names are not even listed in the polls. But a strategic campaign that usurps the support of one particularly weak or unsavory candidate might surpass that number and perhaps get the party grandfathered in for the next go around.

              Ross Perot managed to pull in nearly 20% of the vote – but he was able to have a podium on the debate stage. Of course, this resulted in the creation of a set of rules designed to prevent that from ever happening again. If Jill Stein and the LP candidate could share the stage with team red and team blue, the prospects would be much different. Hillary would have to protect her left (from both of those candidates) and Trump would have to protect against the LP small government appeal to conservatives and Tea Party types. You could see 20% of each party’s support getting stripped away.

              I’d say getting on the stage permanently is the only reasonable goal. And even that might not be achievable.

              1. Beyond that, what is reasonable for the LP candidate to have as a goal?

                1) Preserve ballot access for down-ballot contests (city council, state representative).
                2) Get libertarian ideas out there without scaring off potential voters, again with an eye to helping down-ballot candidates. That means talking about tangible stuff like licensing for shampooers, raids on lemonade stands, etc.

              2. The wouldn’t have to postpone anything. The electors of president & vice president would just vote for replacement candidates.

              3. The best goal for the LP candidate would be to do so badly as to discourage most activists from further involvement in LP, and turning their activism to efforts more likely to bear fruit favoring freedom than disfavoring it. See the essays linked from the bottom of http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/political.html

                1. Sorry, “turn”, not “turning”.

            2. …at the end of the day they’re going to go home with Hillary because otherwise “OMG TRUMP!!1ELEVENTY!!”

              You could make the same argument in reverse for Republicans and Trump. Honestly, I think this is all just so much masturbation. No matter who the LP nominates:

              1) They won’t be allowed into the debates
              2) TEAM partisans will line up to vote for their TEAM’s awful candidate rather than “throw their vote away”
              3) Independent voters will be swayed to vote for whichever they consider to be the lesser evil and/ or hate less because of all the “OMGZ MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVAR!!1!!1111!!!!!!” crap coming out of the media and both campaigns
              4) The LP candidate will be lucky to break 1% regardless of who it is.

              1. That seems to be a much more realistic assessment.

                You might throw in something about getting branded “nutty”, “crazy”, “not serious” and a “joke” along the way. And probably “evil” too, because “libertarian”.

              2. In elections with heavily-disliked major party candidates, third-party and independent candidates tend to do well because of the “none of the above” phenomenon.

              3. The LP candidate will be lucky to break 1% regardless of who it is.

                Totally disagree. Obama got 66 million votes in 2012. Clinton will get fewer. Romney got 61 million votes. Trump will get fewer. 20 million registered voters did not vote. That last number is the pool that is up for grabs for LP – and it is going to go up if the LP does not go hard after that group. Ignore eligible but not registered – roughly 70 million.

                Obviously LP isn’t going to win even if gets all 20 million. But it has to target that group like a laser. It will not get them via a purity test. But that group ALREADY has decided to turn off the messages that the main parties want to deliver. And presumably they don’t much care about the goodies that both main parties promise. It is relatively minor messaging to turn that into an actual vote for LP.

                And if the LP can get even 5 million of that 20 million, it will be an earthquake. Not an easy challenge – but certainly a doable one.

                1. I totally agree.

            3. we can resign to being a spoiler vote for the GOP, or we can try to be relevant to both sides. in modern society, the purist libertarian ideal…. where the government spends absolutely no money, on anything, ever… is simply not practical. that is a long term goal, and not one we should delude ourselves into thinking could happen with one presidential cycle.

              you can either be for drastic spending cuts, while allowing some things to continue (hopefully with reduced funding)… or you can continue to be ignored. (“cut all spending on everything, immediately,” is what sets off the crazy sirens for many outside the party).

              once the trend is changed form government growth, to government reduction, then you can look more at the long term goal of cutting it all.

            4. Actually, living here in the People’s Republic of California, I know plenty of Bernie supporters who have dug in their heals ever more deeply that they will not vote for Hillary, should she win (steal, in their opinion) the Democratic nomination. These seem to be a prime target for such an adventure.

              1. And Sanders supporters could easily be turned libertarian if a libertarian candidate actually modified ideas from a 19th century libertarian like Henry George (tax the rentier/crony class – not working stiffs or savers/investors). But libertarians seem to have a real difficulty understanding why people like William Buckley and Milton Friedman could accept an economic idea that appeals most to people who care about inequality poverty and similar memes.

          2. Winning isn’t the goal. The goal should be bringing people under the tent. Get them interested in liberty. Then you can teach principle.

            1. How the fuck are people going to get interested in liberty by a guy who can’t coherently talk the language of liberty? Johnson sucks.

              1. Because they will reject the kid and the most interesting man in the world outright and NEVER listen to a word they say.

                1. Yet they’ll listen to a guy who sounds like a stoned geriatric goofball? I’m skeptical.

                  Apparently they already didn’t listen to him much last time he ran (0.99% total vote).

                  1. He wasn’t running against Trump and Hillary.

                    1. Romney & Obama were awful enough.

        3. if the LP wants to pick up a lot of outside voters this go-round, how many do you think are really up for grabs on the left versus disaffected Republicans?

          Maybe some disaffected BernVictims? Although I doubt they’ll go for Johnson no matter how attractive he may look on the “gay wedding cakes” issue and others where he’s tilted “left.” Once they find out that he’s not down with free healthcare, free tutiton, free… everything else, they’ll either hold their nose and vote for Her Cankleness or vote for Jill Stein.

          Peterson may be correct in pointing out that he’s got a better chance of attracting disaffected Republicans.

        4. Except, Johnson’s Kosher Nazi gay wedding cake statement was idiotic. It offends almost everybody’s sensibilities.

          It also demonstrates that he does not understand the the difference between a crime and a vice.

          To coerce a baker to make a creative expression against his will is a crime. To deny courtesy to others based upon bigotry is a vice. With respect to the business practices of American bakeries, Johnson has advocated that state should be an enforcer in the prevention of vice and promotion of virtue. His policy objectives are opposite, but the methods necessary to accomplish those objectives are very much like those of Saudi Wahhabi religious police.

          1. the gay nazi cake is the stupidest thing for us libertarians to get hung up on.

            yes, he might turn off some from the right… but i really doubt anyone who feels that strongly about legitimizing discrimination is ever going to stray from the GOP. (and lets make no mistake, that those who are pushing these laws, are certainly not libertarians…. we are just giving them the excuse to use)

            in the meantime, being for these laws completely turns off anyone who leans left on social issues, but might be open to the government not being driven further into debt. most people see discrimination as wrong, whether the government does it or a business. they also know that the motivation for those pushing these laws is bigotry… so we can talk about freedom of association until we are blue in the face… they don’t buy it.

            and finally, we keep using the bakers as the example. photographers, caterers, officiators… fine… these are independent contractors, who form individualized contracts and require participation, or at least attendance, in the thing they don’t like. the bakers are public storefronts, where people come in and order from a catalog, at standardized prices. they are little different from any other store, that operates as a public space. you can’t make the baker make a swastika, because he wouldn’t make it for anyone, but he is not inconvenienced in any way to make a cake identical to one he would make for anyone else.

            1. Not true. Christian conservatives have come a come a long way toward the realisation that they have lost the cultural wars and that the best they can hope for is just to be left alone. (Google for example “the Benedict Option”, which calls on American Christians to withdraw from negative cultural influences such as public schools). Conservative Christians will accept legalised drugs and gay marriage (though they won’t like it). What they won’t accept is being forced to violate their religious consciences.

              Many of the Ted Cruz backers fall into this category. They might make up about 10-20% of all voters.

              They should be easy converts to libertarianism. However, I know many here hate Christians more than the State, so that probably won’t happen anytime soon. The LP will remain “pure” and will continue to garner 1%.

              1. “What they won’t accept is being forced to violate their religious consciences.”

                the problem is, that there is nothing religious about refusing to sell a cake…… never heard of one refusing to sell a cake to a Jew, or a protestant, or an atheist. the religious argument just doesn’t fit, because there has never been any religious significance placed on the frickin’ cake, and there is no precedent of anyone claiming there is.

                which is precisely why the bakers are such a terrible example for the argument. the idea that the standard cake, identical to other cakes they sell (and frequently end up smeared in peoples faces), carries some religious significance that precludes letting gay people eat it is just beyond preposterous. the baker does absolutely nothing different, and they are not involved in the ceremony.

                photographers can get some sympathy, because they have to be there to take the pictures. a caterer can get some sympathy, because they have to be part of the reception. but the baker does literally nothing different…. for them it is blatant bigotry, trying to hide behind religion.

                1. Some including Christians are using the Jewish/Nazi example as a foil to turn the focus away from Christian bakers who don’t want to bake for gay weddings. It is a false equivalence.

                  Jews aren’t against Nazis getting married. They are against Nazis. Is that bigotry? Perhaps, but understandable bigotry.

                  Christians should be happy to bake for gays, I should think, because their religion calls them to love them. But their religion also calls them to reject sin. They do not want to aid in the celebration of something–a wedding–which is for them sacramental, sacred and inherently religious.

                  If you cannot understand that, for the Christian baker, aiding and profiting from a ceremony that Christians consider sinful renders the Christian baker culpable and thus violates her conscience, then you are the bigot.

                  Why do you want to use the State to force Christians to do something they consider sin?

                  Libertarians have a great opportunity to attract Christian Conservatives by celebrating “religious liberty” as Ted Cruz did. Too bad they mostly won’t, because most Libertarians cannot conceptualise a religious conscience.

                  1. “If you cannot understand that, for the Christian baker, aiding and profiting from a ceremony that Christians consider sinful renders the Christian baker culpable and thus violates her conscience, then you are the bigot.”

                    they profit from weddings for other denominations, or even non-christian weddings. they are not saying they will only sell to weddings that correlate with their specific faith, just icky gay people… the whole argument that they are being coerced to support anything is pure bullshit. they are selling a cake identical to what they would sell to any other straight couple.

                    also, fun fact… the cake is not used in the wedding, or the gay sex… it is eaten at the party in between. (just one more reason bakers are a terrible example)

                    “Too bad they mostly won’t, because most Libertarians cannot conceptualise a religious conscience.”

                    another BS statement. they are openly attempting to promote bigotry and discrimination, and claiming “religious conscience.” i can call my dog a cat… won’t make it true.

                    1. “they are openly attempting to promote bigotry and discrimination, and claiming “religious conscience.” i can call my dog a cat… won’t make it true.”

                      No, they just don’t want to participate in an activity they consider sacrilege. That you don’t understand this demonstrates your bigotry and ignorance.

                      But even if they are just bigots, so what? Organise a boycott if you want and let the market drive them out of business.

                      That you would use the State to violate their consciences shows that you side with authoritarians in suppressing their liberty to engage or not in private commerce. For Christians, that’s offensive and for libertarians, that’s untenable.

                      So you are alienating both purist libertarians and religious conservatarians.

                      Well done. That’s hard to do.

                    2. “No, they just don’t want to participate in an activity they consider sacrilege.”

                      AGAIN … they are not participating.. they are selling a cake.

                      “That you would use the State to violate their consciences shows that you side with authoritarians in suppressing their liberty to engage or not in private commerce”

                      you assume too much. i support the very libertarian ideal of the aggrieved party being compensated for the harm incurred from the actions of another. that meaning, the attempted customer has the right to sue for damages incurred from the owner refusing to sell them the product… whether that is the time and extra distance to find another baker, or other hardships if this extended to other businesses. what i am expressly against, is using the power of the state to remove that right. (which is, in fact, what these laws are… not freedom of association laws, but freedom from consequences.) you are free to not sell the cake… but you have to face the consequences if that causes unreasonable hardship. (and, “because they are gay” falls within most people’s definition of unreasonable)

                    3. “So you are alienating both purist libertarians and religious conservatarians.”

                      the thing these two groups have in common… both are easy to upset…

                      religious conservatives are usually trying to use the state to force their views (as they are in this case… using the state to enact laws permitting a specific type of discrimination, while protecting their own right not be discriminated against…. otherwise the laws would not include religious objection specific language). I’m ok if they don’t like me.

                      purists are so eager to see a libertarian thought process used (free association), they don’t recognize/care that it is being totally corrupted into something else, or that it risks alienating a substantial part of the public. i live too much in the real world to share their vision, on this topic… no matter how much i admire the dedication to principle… i simply cannot agree with the position…. sorry

                    4. Ok, then good luck with your Libertarian Lite party. You’re statist alternative will generate huge enthusiasm, since we don’t have any other statist parties.

                    5. did you even read the first part? i very specifically limit the states involvement to resolving the harm incurred through the unreasonable refusal. these laws remove personal responsibility, while shielding a selected group from the same treatment… and they use the state to do it. it is specifically limited free association (free association for some). they are not libertarian laws, just because they used some libertarian words. saying this is wrong, and that bakers are a terrible example to dig in on is hardly a statistic position.

                    6. lets try to explain this a different way. lets say, by some miracle, all criminal DUI laws were repealed. the situation we have with these bakers is more like someone, who likes drinking, thinking they should not be held responsible for any damage they do while drinking and driving either. libertarian-ism is about believing you should be allowed to do what you want, but you have to pay the consequences of your actions.

                      unlike DUI, no one faces jail for refusing to sell a cake. like DUI, they can be held liable if that refusal harms another. those who choose to refuse service for unreasonable reasons can be held liable if it results in hardship for the attempted buyer. the laws being proposed are to remove liability, not to force behavior. (they already have the right to refuse service, they will just face consequences if the reasons are not reasonable, and it causes harm to the shopper). it is not inconsistent, at all, with libertarian principles to say that someone who chooses to discriminate this way should be held liable for the imposed harm. (cake specializing bakeries are hardly on every street corner… there would definitely be some extra cost associated with going to another… even if it’s just a few bucks for gas.)

                    7. I see what you are proposing, but it is little less statist than passing laws to force bakers to conduct commerce the way you want them to.

                      You are effectively imposing a tax on conscience, in this case religious. The costs of lawsuits would be incorporated into the cost structure of the religious baker and eventually passed on to consumers, thus penalising owners, customers and employees of religious bakers who don’t embrace your particular worldview.

                      What other commercial decisions will you tax this way to force businesses to violate their consciences? Will you sue vegan bakers for the cost of your having to drive to an eggy pastry shop in the next town?

                      If you don’t like Christian cakes, don’t buy them and let market forces drive them out of business.

                    8. So indiscriminately risking mortal harm on others by drunk driving is analogous to witholding a service that results in an inconvenience?

                      Is committing harm the same as not alleviating it? If so, you could sue me for not proving all kinds of services to you: cutting your lawn, washing your dishes, etc. I don’t do these things and I could, so my not doing so could be harming you.

                    9. I understand the litigious approach you are suggesting, but the effect is statist control of commerce, categorically similar to forcing bakers to conduct commerce the way you would like them to.

                      Your proposal is basically a tax on religious conscience. If businesses don’t renounce their religious conscience and adopt yours, you will sue them for harm, increasing their costs and penalising their customers, employees and owners. Tort law becomes your whip to force conformity to your worldview.

                      What other bakers’ decisions will you tax to conform to your particular beliefs? Will veganist bakers be forced to compensate you for your costs of having to drive across town to find an eggy pastry shop? Will gluten-free bakeries suffer an additional cost because you had to drive a few more clicks to get your gluten fix? What about the harm the sizeist wedding dress shop inflicts on you because they didn’t have extra large gowns, forcing your gluttonous partner to have to order by mail?

                      Want to drive Christian bakers out of business because they don’t sell cakes decorated with two men holding hands? Simple: shop elsewhere.

                    10. they are taking an unreasonable position that causes harm to another. it is not in keeping with libertarian principles to marginalize that fact because the harm is minor. when you deny someone the same rights that you would give to any other random stranger… that is harm… even if that harm is just a couple hours of their time, and 20 miles of driving. (and the fact that it is something they would provide to anyone else is key.)

                      the dress shop does not correlate, because they don’t sell big dresses to anyone. the vegan shop does not correlate, because they only sell vegan products to anyone. the baker has a standard product that they are refusing to sell… that is identical to what they would sell to anyone else.

                      it is one thing not to provide a service that you don’t normally provide to anyone. it is entirely different to not provide a product that is identical to what you would sell to others (at a price that you have already set to ensure you profit).

                      and before you waste much more breath on the baker’s conscience… i think this would be a good spot to point out that that Colorado baker had no problem providing a cake for a dog’s “wedding.” the religious significance of his work is kind of dulled when he has no problem providing cakes for fake weddings for dogs.

                    11. Well, I don’t want to beat a dead cake, but I think you are missing the point. A cake is not generic; it is decorated for an occasion. That occasion is a gay wedding. The Christian baker does not make that product, due to their religious objections.

                      You want to force them to amplify their product offering, sell a product they don’t want to, and litigate against them if they don’t.

                    12. it is decorated according to standardized options. it is not a one of a kind. it is a lot more generic than people want to pretend. the only thing that could be said to be unique would be two guys on the topper, instead of a bride and groom….. and i think i could be convinced that the baker could refuse to put said topper on the cake. (though these are standard bits, usually plastic molded, that the baker does not even make… at least you can argue it is different from the standard options.) the cake itself is indistinguishable from one made for a straight wedding, or a dog wedding.

                    13. This is libertarian–

                      . i support the very libertarian ideal of the aggrieved party being compensated for the harm incurred from the actions of another.

                      This is not–

                      that meaning, the attempted customer has the right to sue for damages incurred from the owner refusing to sell them the product… whether that is the time and extra distance to find another baker, or other hardships if this extended to other businesses

                      No one is under any obligation whatsoever to sell anything to anyone. The aforesaid Is libertarian. You have no right to the fruits of my labor, so no ‘harm’ can come from me not selling them to you.

                      It is a strange kind of ‘libertarian’ that thinks compelled labor is a libertarian value

                    14. the idea they are being compelled is the farce of the whole thing. if a doctor is on shift, at the hospital, and a gay person comes in with a gunshot wound, they have to treat them. no one compelled the doctor get that degree, to work there at that hospital, or to be on shift that night. these were decisions he made for his own benefit, that led to him being in a situation where his job duties dictate that he serve the patient he does not like. you can call that “compelled,” but it is the result of his already made decision to be there.

                      no one compelled the baker to start baking, no one compelled him to open a public storefront, and no one compelled him to make wedding cakes a standard item he offered for sale. these are all decisions that he made, for his own benefit, that lead to him being in a situation where he has to sell to someone he does not like.

                      the baker chose to operate a business with public access, because this benefits him financially with more sales opportunities. he chose to standardize cake options for ease of operations, better shopping experiences for customers, and better management of operations (to ensure profitability). the fact that a gay person walks in the store does not change the long series of decisions he made to be in that position. (if we were talking about someone operating through Craigslist, or by word of mouth, i would be with you)

                    15. i don’s see how it is remotely libertarian to say that people hold no responsibility for the decisions and commitments they have made. if you open a public business, you have to sell to the public. if the baker does not want to sell to everyone, then he should not open a store. he wants the benefits of operating a public business, without the consequences.

                      if you run a utility company, you will have to supply power to the gay people who live where you provide power. of course there are acceptable reasons you can shut the power off, but being gay is not one of them. just as there are acceptable reasons for a public storefront to refuse customers… but being gay is not one of them.

                    16. That says it succinctly.

                      A fundamental part of libertarianism is self-determination, if you own yourself you get to say what you want do with yourself, and that includes who you decide to associate with, and who you decide to work for.
                      Who you decide to work for includes who you decide to make a cake for as well.

                      The best argument the pro-mandatory cake maker’s camp could say about this, is that as a publically offered cake maker, a such a cake maker has strongly implied (maybe even contractually bound) that he does not discriminate, and that subsequent discrimination is a civil violation of that public representation.
                      If the cake maker makes it clear up front in advertising his products, that he does not sell to Nazis, Jews, blacks or gays, then he would be completely non-liable for any discrimination.

              2. Christian conservatives have come a come a long way toward the realisation that they have lost the cultural wars and that the best they can hope for is just to be left alone.

                I wish that were true. But I am beginning to believe that too many of them are simply reverting to an apocalyptic-based ‘left alone’. I’ve read the Benedict Option stuff too – but the reality is that Christians don’t need to search around for examples from late Rome and whine about how difficult it is to do anything (unless they are apocalyptic). The Amish are as obvious an example as can exist. And ‘Amish but able to use an ipad’ would have already taken off like hotcakes – if Christians were simply interested in being left alone.

            2. Not true. Christian conservatives have come a come a long way toward the realisation that they have lost the cultural wars and that the best they can hope for is just to be left alone. (Google for example “the Benedict Option”, which calls on American Christians to withdraw from negative cultural influences such as public schools). Conservative Christians will accept legalised drugs and gay marriage (though they won’t like it). What they won’t accept is being forced to violate their religious consciences.

              Many of the Ted Cruz backers fall into this category. They might make up about 10-20% of all voters.

              They should be easy converts to libertarianism. However, I know many here hate Christians more than the State, so that probably won’t happen anytime soon. The LP will remain “pure” and will continue to garner 1%.

            3. I don’t think freedom of association is a stupid thing to get hung up on. I think it’s rather important. Even for people who own stores.

              1. what makes it stupid, is that when you open a store, you are expressing your freedom to association by opening the store. you could just as easily trade your products through word of mouth, Craigslist, personal references, etc…. of course you will get less business that way. when you open your store as a public space, and set your products up with standard options and prices, you are accepting that people you might not like can come in and buy things.

                of course, stores and and do place limits. no shoes, no shirt, dress code, codes of conduct, etc.. but we don’t let them discriminate on any grounds. there are rules and limits to that discretion. no one seriously suggests supporting people who put out “no blacks” signs.

                1. you are accepting that people you might not like can come in and buy things.

                  sure. in the same way that when you get mugged, you “accept” that you don’t get to keep your wallet.

                  but we don’t let them discriminate on any grounds

                  I’m not part of your “we”. I believe in freedom of association.

                  1. “sure. in the same way that when you get mugged, you “accept” that you don’t get to keep your wallet.”

                    they are not coming into your store through force. if i put out a bowl of candy, with a sign saying it is free to all… i can’t call it theft if a gay person takes a piece…. i made it available and free to the public…. i can’t change my mind when the public happens to be gay. you opened a business open to the public, which means the public can come in.

                    “I’m not part of your “we”. I believe in freedom of association.”

                    then you are also not part of the “we” that lives in the real world. or the “we” that wants to see libertarian ideals actually have a hope of being implemented. (most of the population sees the purist view of this as bigoted and wrong-headed…. and they stop listening as soon as you spit it out.) I’ve already explained my perspective on how opening a pubic business represents already making your choice on freedom of association.

                    you are also ignorant of the fact that allowing this type of discrimination does create harm to those discriminated against, that is, typically, more concrete than the harm to the store owner’s “religious conscience.” (even if minor) what if the next store is 20 miles away? 50 miles away? what if we are talking about a gas station, and your tank is nearly empty? what if it is a utility, and you have no alternative? where do you draw the line, before you say the discrimination constitutes harm?

                    1. “then you are also not part of the “we” that lives in the real world. or the “we” that wants to see libertarian ideals actually have a hope of being implemented. (most of the population sees the purist view of this as bigoted and wrong-headed).

                      Prove it. There has been huge sympathy on the right for “religious liberty” issues like this one and arguably both Cruz and Trump have capitalised on it.

                      Show me data that suggest that we should suspend liberty because by doing so we will see greater liberty in the long run.

                    2. there is no hard data. the polls flip completely, depending on wording. if worded in a way that includes those who are active in the wedding, it goes far in favor of the religious types…. if left as a generic business question, the overwhelming majority of people think its wrong. if you use the word “religious” its about 50-50. (likely that many people assume you are talking about the weddings) so, basically, to the general public, the religious objection is legit, but it has a limit….. they only buy it, when the religious objection is actually relevant to the service provided. they are not at all on board with complete unadulterated free association.

                      i have said….. repeatedly… that i support the right to refuse service by those who’s work requires attendance/participation in the event. i reject that a cake holds any religious significance, or that the bakers are harmed by selling it. i see it as no different than a convenience store that refuses to sell a bottle of water to a black person, on a hot summer day. it is a stupid example to dig in on.

                      of course, it is the example we are stuck with, because this has only happened like 3 or 4 times nationwide since gay marriage became legal, and 2 were bakers. another thing that boggles the mind is libertarians wanting to use the state to prevent something that has happened 4 times…. and is likely to get less frequent as people get used to gay marriage. libertarians for more unnecessary laws?

      4. Yeah, I got the impression from the Stossel debate and other times I’ve seen/ heard him speak lately that he sounds like he’s already essentially running a general election campaign, trying to position himslef not too far outside the mainstream in an effort to appeal to “average voters.” Things like the whole “nazi cake” furor. Unfortunately, it may bite him in the ass if the LP delegates decide they’d rather go with someone more “pure” and fail to crack 1% than go with someone who can appeal to more than the couple thousand (if that) Libertarians in the general electorate.

        1. I suspect he may be trying to yoink a page out of The Orange’s playbook, aiming for voters like a market rather than a team political identity. I don’t think it’s actually working, mind you, since Trump’s been doing it bigger and better for months now. GayJo just comes off as a mild attack of insanity in that shadow.

          There’s an understandable whiff of Lie Back And Think Of The Party among libertarians who see the possibility of an electable big-L Libertarian. Perhaps he thought this would serve him as well as it did Trump.

          1. There’s an understandable whiff of Lie Back And Think Of The Party among libertarians who see the possibility of an electable big-L Libertarian.

            That’s kind of the problem with political parties in general. It’s really hard to maintain ideological purity and expect to bring in enough votes to actually win elections. You can have one or the other: an electable candidate or a pure candidate, not both.

            Unfortunately a lot of libertarian positions don’t sell well with average voters. The “gay wedding cake” issue is a good example. Yes, in an ideal world people would be free to associate, or not, with anyone for any reason. Private businesses would be free to turn away customers they don’t want to serve, and of course those customers would be free to take their business elsewhere, along with anyone else who doesn’t like the fact that the business owner turns away certain people. But unfortunately most people seem to be stuck on the idea that the state should force private businesses to associate with anyone and everyone whether they want to or not.

            1. But, if you’re trying to make an incremental win, this should be the time to do it. As I said, a party that’s been pulling in 1% of the vote would have a sea change if it could get 15%. And the very people he’d need to do that are just about certainly going to be alienated by his deviation from libertarian purity.

              Think about it this way, let’s say you’re an activist trying to convince a disaffected Republican to take the plunge and vote Libertarian. My guess is it will go something like this:

              LP Activist: Yeah, that Trump really sucks. You should vote Libertarian, instead.
              Disaffected Republican: I don’t know. Don’t they want to legalize drugs?
              LPA: Well, sure. You might not approve of people doing drugs. But, the government shouldn’t be forcing them not to.
              DR: Well, yeah, maybe. But, what about gay marriage?
              LPA: It’s the same thing. You might not approve of gay people marrying. But, the government shouldn’t be forcing them not to.
              DR: Wait, but isn’t your guy saying the government should force bakers to make cakes for gay marriages?
              LPA: Well, sometimes you’ve got to bend principle to get vote.
              DR (under breath): well you’re certainly not getting mine…

            2. But unfortunately most people seem to be stuck on the idea that the state should force private businesses to associate with anyone and everyone whether they want to or not.

              No, not anyone & everyone, just Negroes. That’s about the only sizable group that the great majority of Americans think should be privileged that way. Maybe, just maybe, Puerto Ricans (though not other Hispanics) too. Gays, Jews, Chinese, women…nah, they’re doing well enough already. Many groups have the sympathy of a middling to large sector of America, but only with the blacks would nearly everyone agree that businesses should be forced to do biz w them.

              1. Oh, yeah, probably in some cases the disabled too. At least people think some special arrangements need to be made for them, although they probably think there are too many handicapped parking spaces.

                Basically people think, who both needs & deserves a favor that’s worth coercing out of businesspeople? And what kind of favor is reasonable?

        2. Unfortunately, it may bite him in the ass

          I suspect this will be the case.

          The libertarian dilemma.

        3. That has/had been the same challenge that Trump had too.
          He had to cater to the Republican delegates at the risk of turning off the general electorate; now that he is the nominee he has to tone down his fervor so as to be palatable to the general voter.
          Johnson could be making the mistake of jumping right to the general voter even before he got the more hard-core libertarian delegates’ nomination.

      5. completely agree. this is what gets missed in practicality versus purity. purity is nice, but there should be a little more focus on what CAN be done. do we want to get more libertarian policies enacted and candidates elected, or do we just want to feel superior to the people who are in control… and never get anything done?

        also, on the issue of military intervention, a president who indicates they will not intervene, ever, on anything short of direct attack, is not a good thing for international relations…. but it is good if they just say, “i really don’t want to bomb you,” and avoid conflict as much as possible. saying there might be a justifiable reason is hardly the same as the hawks who want to bomb our way to peace.

      6. Johnson is certainly the most principled. I think, however, he would be the best choice if the goal is to further the libertarian cause.

        I support him, even though he’s not perfect.

        1. I am beginning to think that McAfee is more libertarian principled than Johnson, albeit not nearly as electable.

    4. I’d say the NAP says that ‘for the good of others’ is not sufficient justification to initiate the use of force.

      So, it comes back down to the same questions as before – what does defending another nation do for this one?

      1. Well – we do have treaties of alliance in place. Like it or not those are contracts. The legitimate way to eliminate our overseas obligations is to reduce those treaty obligations – not to one-sidedly abrogate them. And yes – that is gonna take time – and realistically there is pretty much zero chance that all of them will ever disappear.

        And some of them are actually the real cost of ‘free trade’ (Oddly most countries don’t much care to base trade on book theories but on ugly little things like quid pro quos).

    5. Before compromising, we must figure out the ways to compromise that are actually strategically viable.

      What motivates the left at the moment?? Mostly Free Stuff, with antagonizing SoCons as a secondary interest. Those dissatisfied with Clinton are dissatisfied because she is not Pro-Free Stuff enough. Only way to capture dissatisfied Democrats is to promise MORE free stuff than Clinton. Being pro-antagonizing SoCons doesn’t mean anything unless you are also promising more Free Stuff.

      The only way I could see fulfilling a Free Stuff promise and compromising Libertarian small government economy philosophy would be to advocate starting some sort of government online college free to everyone, funding it through cutting funding to all other public universities. That might work, but it might be seen as an attack on Free Stuff and not Free Stuff. You’d need someone very savvy and salesmanlike to actually sell such an idea.

      1. Next, dissatisfied Republicans. Trump dissatisfies Neocons with his more restrained foreign policy, social conservatives who don’t think he’s Christian enough, and free market oriented conservatives.

        Free Market conservatives may indeed be easy to pick up. I don’t think there’s a large number of them, though, and we can’t pick up both Free Market conservatives AND Free Stuff Dissatisfied Democrats. Free Stuff Dems are more numerous, so focusing on them would be strategic.

        Johnson’s an unrepentant pot-smoker, McAfee was a literal drug dealer. It’s safe to assume the SoCon vote is lost to the LP no matter what.

        Finally Neocons. The only way to appease the Neocons is to be completely, totally gung-ho for war, like Clinton is. The level of “compromise” we’d need to do to claim them is almost certainly not worth it, the libertarians would need to be /totally/ pro-war. Even if we WERE to compromise on this front, you won’t get the Neocon vote. Clinton is a bloodthirsty warmonger, and is a “safer” vote for the Neocons.

        Based on the above, I think the only strategically viable method of compromise would be to offer more Free Stuff than Clinton. And the only way I can see to reconcile that with libertarianism is by funding free stuff at the expense of current free stuff. And to be able to sell such a scheme, we’d need a very, VERY good salesperson at the helm. I don’t think we have that now.

        1. Next, looking at Johnson’s Compromises. Johnson is compromising on the Left by getting aboard the “antagonize the SoCons” boat. The DISSATISFIED Democrats, the only ones that have a chance at being flipped, are motivated not by that, but by Free Stuff. Johnson is also trying to appeal to Neocons by advocating being open to foreign intervention. But, to actually flip dissatisfied Neocons, he needs to pull right of Hillary when it comes to a pro-war stance. I don’t think being more pro-war than Hillary is really possible. Johnson’s compromises only risk dissatisfying SoCons, which is fine, because he wouldn’t get the SoCon vote anyway. So I don’t think he’s loosing much by compromising where he is, but I also think he isn’t getting anything out of it. The people who truly care about the positions he has budged on either care about something else, more, or have a different candidate who is even more aligned with them.

          1. There’s another widely-excluded sector that could be appealed to: bigots. However, bigots seem to be taking a few of Trump’s statements as code language for bigotry, so they’re going for Trump.

            The paranoid could be appealed to. Of course they may be discouraged from registering to vote. But there may still be something there.

            Retirees vote in large numbers. Mixture of motiv’ns there, combination of being old & sick, having grandchildren, & collecting benefits.

        2. That’s such an amazing (& true) thing about neocons that I wonder how they manage to have gotten a sizable following. Could it be that a lot of Americans just relish the idea of beating up foreigners while not even hurting their own fists much? Maybe the drop in popularity of pro boxing has led to this?or has resulted from this.

      2. Before compromising, we must figure out the ways to compromise that are actually strategically viable, and which compromise our core principles to the smallest degree possible.

        FTFY.

  2. Hold your cake and vote for GayJay. Hold your ego and vote for Austin. Hold your blow and vote for McAfee.

  3. I’m happy to see GayJay destroying any chance he had of winning the Libertarian Party nomination.

  4. was also a fundraiser for Penn’s favorite charities, Opportunity Village, which provides opportunities and aid for the intellectually disabled

    Talk about throwing us a hanging curve ball.

    1. I wonder how much aid they’ve given to Am Soc, PB, Tony, et al?

  5. While I think Johnson may be the weakest candidate from an issue standpoint he probably would do the best in a national election.

    1. I agree. While Petersen might appeal to some conservatives, I think Johnson stands the best chance of being taken seriously by some of the electorate, and maybe, *maybe* even making it into one of the major debates.

      1. Not going to happen dude. These guys are all a joke and a blip on the national radar, and the quixotic lawsuits aren’t going to work any better this time around than they did in 2012.

        1. Probably. But if there was ever a chance, it’s probably this year. Might as well try to maximize those chances.

    2. The successful governor of the state, matter how boring and goofy he is, is a better candidate than maybe murderer and douchey Internet bro.

      Johnson is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as well.

      1. No, he is a worse candidate, by virtue of not having an R or a D tacked on to the end of his name.

    3. I think if humanity worked on pure logic and reason, you’d be right.

      But answer me this: How well did compromising work out for Paul??

  6. It has become clear that McAfee is the only acceptable option

    1. …for sacrificing hard-won ballot access in all fifty states.

      1. Gary Johnson is vote poison. Nazis as a protected class? Not even Nazis want this.

        1. Few people care about that except for ‘pure’ libertarians who probably aren’t going to vote anyway.

          1. And Trump-obsessed asswipes looking to use it as a cudgel.

        2. Nazis as a protected class? Not even Nazis want this.

          True, they want the Jew in the oven, not the cake.

  7. Why isn’t Penn running?

    Oh yeah, I forgot- he’s actually intelligent and engaging.

    1. Plus, he makes more than $400k a year in Vegas.

      1. I’ve just got this vision of him doing the bullet catch trick with the Secret Service.

  8. I’m voting L. Regardless of the candidate. Fuck the Republicrats.

    1. Yeah, this, though I don’t want to see McAfee get the nomination. But I’d volunteer for either Johnson’s or Petersen’s campaigns.

  9. Let’s Brewster’s Millions this shit and vote a straight “None of the Above” ticket.

    A gal can dream.

    1. But you’re transgender. Stop dreaming.

      1. Stop dreaming.

        Never! And you can’t make me.

  10. Petersen won’t get the nomination because he flirts with racism by arguing for freedom of association.

    1. It is clear you have never been to an LP convention.

      1. What gave it away?

        And what do vinyl records have to do with it, you hipster wannabe?

  11. LGBT folk, Doherty? Try LGBT*I*, you hateful white cis shitlord.

  12. They began talking over each other about whether Nazis were a protected class under American civil rights law. Johnson insisted that he would have signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and said the Libertarian Party should not seem to support legislation that would allow discrimination that is not currently legally allowed.

    What’s GayJay smoking buttchugging?

    1. You cannot be allowed to think differently from the wise majority of Democrat Progressive voters. Otherwise, you would actively try to reinstate Jim Crow.

    2. GayJay doesn’t drink or smoke. He uses edibles.

  13. Calling yourself a “Libertarian” who appreciates the founding principles of the country and then buying a house in another country just seems hypocritical. I like Petersen ideologically but I’m leaning Johnson because of experience. I’m not sure that Petersen can resist the corruptive pressures of the nation’s highest office.

    1. Calling yourself a “Libertarian” who appreciates the founding principles of the country and then buying a house in another country just seems hypocritical.

      Provocative!

    2. Then you simply do not understand what libertarianism is about.

      Hint: Its not about nationalist identity politics.

  14. McAfee is trolling the LP. Peterson talks like he really believes he has a divine mission.

    Gary Johnson is a pretty lame libertarian, but he at least has some real-world political experience and would clearly be the most sane candidate in November if nominated.

    1. clearly be the most sane candidate in November if nominated

      Not in evidence.

      1. Hillary is probably equally sane, just much, much more corrupt.

        1. Hillary is a power-mad, pathological liar. Everybody knows this.

          Trump is a delusional narcissist. Everybody knows this.

          Johnson is not a consistent libertarian, but he’s not crazy.

          1. And Trump and Clinton have better shots at winning. Face it, America ~wants~ a madman in power. Sanity is the key to loosing this election!!

    2. “clearly be the most sane candidate in November if nominated.”

      Have you even been paying attention to the election?? Do you really have any evidence that the electorate wants a ~sane~ candidate??

    3. Petersen is a religious one. He quoted the bible in the Stossel debate and is pro-life. Fuck him.

      1. Petersen is an atheist

  15. Johnson should drop out of politics and return to his crony canabisness.

  16. So…with his nazi cakes stance Johnson whips out his namesake, pisses all over the libertarian platform *and* pisses on discontented conservatives who are uncomfortable with Trump.

    This isn’t a bold rejection of “purity tests,” it’s preferring fashionable leftism to reality. It’s prematurely surrendering an issue which is still being contested.

    1. “*and* pisses on discontented conservatives who are uncomfortable with Trump.”

      The first part I agree is a bad move. But the discontented conservatives he was pissing on, the SoCons, would not have voted for an unrepentant pot smoker anyways.

      1. That’s so liberating – Johnson may as well go for broke and pile up a bunch of Bibles and American flags and burn them, and it won’t affect the race, because the kinds of people who object to such things wouldn’t have voted for him anyway.

  17. He instructs Libertarians to stop feeling snobbishly superior to the average American if they aren’t already on board the L.P. train.

    But that’s all some of the folks here have!

    1. Don’t make me fire up the flamethrower to test your blood for libertarian purity.

      1. +1 The Thing (Kurt Russell version)

      2. I’m the libertarianist libertarian since libertarianism came to Somalia, Crusty.

    2. Ironic considering he himself comes off quite snobbish.

  18. I disagree with McAfee that the average viewer would “learn nothing” from the debate.

    We certainly learned a lot about Gary Johnson (nothing good).

    1. OK, show us on the doll where Gary Johnson touched you.

      1. He’s probably just worried that if Johnson gets the LP nomination he might somehow steal votes from his man-crush. Which is stupid, since in all likelihood Johnson would steal as many disaffected Democrap votes as he would disaffected Republicunts. But stupidity is par for the course these days.

      2. He’s very outraged that a faggot would run for president under a party he will argue against voting for once the general election heats up.

        1. I’ve never voted for a Republican presidential candidate in a general election.

          1. But there’s something about that Trump musk that just draws you in…

            1. I endorse Trump as the least bad candidate to win the Republican nomination, after Rand withdrew.

  19. Look, never mind the intra-LP debates, the activists and conventioneers probably would follow this stuff without the public needing to do so.

    Wait until the LP and Greens have their candidates, then let them join the Constitution Party candidate for a third-party debate.

    To liven things up, get a Republican celebrity and a Democratic celebrity to make the case for Hillary and Trump against the third-party option. Trump, Hillary and their parties won’t agree to participate, but find a couple camera-whoring celebs willing to volunteer to make the case for their own parties.

    1. Consult these lists.

      Harrison Ford can do Hillary. Sarah Michelle Gellar can do Trump.

      1. Jessica Biel for Hillary, Chuck Norris for Trump.

        I’m sure they could work something out.

        1. Jessica Biel for Hillary, Sarah Michell Gellar for Trump. But they have to do the debate nude. RATINGS GOLD.

      2. Wait, “The Rock” is on team red? That’s really surprising. I can’t believe he’d be a SoCon.

        If he has any libertarian leanings at all, we should draft him to run on the LP ticket ASAP. They guy seems pretty bright and is super-charismatic. He’d get on the debate stage, no question.

        Plus, seeing him flex down on Trump would be gold. Or climb on Hillary’s podium and ask her if she could smell-l-l-l-l-l what he is cooking!

        1. Maybe the Rock just likes guns and free-enterprise.

          1. That is, there are valid reasons to vote R without being a shitty SoCon retard.

        2. To be fair to the people on the ‘conservative’ list.
          That list includes Drew Carey who is most assuredly not a team red guy.

          1. So it probably means several others on the ‘team red’ side are also there because they default non democrats to that list.

        3. What color is Libertarian again?

      3. interesting that the team red list is more diverse…..

  20. “wheel if a holocaust were occurring somewhere on the globe”

    If you think WWII was about stopping Nazi atrocities, you must ask yourself why we didn’t ally with the Nazis to go after the greater, Soviet war criminals.

  21. A shame we couldn’t convince Cuban or a bigger name to run as the Libertarian candidate. He could self-fund and it would be awesome to see him debate Trump and Hillary.

    1. Judging by some of the histrionics over Johnson’s “impurity” I doubt Cuban would be considered pure enough for the LP nomination either.

      Although it would be hilarious to see him say that Hillary isn’t qualified to “run a Dairy Queen” and point out that Trump only got rich through crony deals. I’d definitely watch the shit out that.

  22. OT – One of every five refugees resettled in Minnesota by the federal government tested positive for latent tuberculosis in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Health.

  23. The equivalent of yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater is yelling “Pass Christ!” at the Libertarian convention SO DON’T DO IT.

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  25. If the nominee is Johsnon, he will need a veep candidate who can get him some exposure. if not Cuban, how about a feminist with some libertarian chops, like Camille Paglia or Christina Hoff Sommers?

    1. Jill Stein is the best choice for potential Johnson voters. Christina Hoff Summers is too right wing.

  26. As someone that listens to Glenn fairly regularly, and is a #NeverTrump Cruz supporter, one thing I’ll point out is that Glenn Beck has extensively covered Austrian economics, Mises (led to Socialism jumping in Amazon rankings), Hyak and Road to Serfdom (causing a huge spike in Amazon rankings among other effects), keynesian economics etc on and off over the last four or five years. His audience, at least a portion, will understand the reference.

    For those that don’t listen, his show is dramatic change from what people knew of at FOX and has been since he left FOX. It’s no longer focused on current issues of the day and talking head debates. It’s focus is on principles/values, current themes running through the issues of today and how we got here, heavy focus on the history of progressive, with more of a focus on shared constitutionalist ideas and solutions.

    1. And with this being aired on the Blaze, I fully expect Glenn to cover it on his show. This and a few other things I’ve seen/read about the debate from Petersen seem tailored for The Blaze and I expect Glenn will talk about them to his audience.

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  28. McAfee, after patiently and effectively participating through the multi-hour four-part debate, chose in his closing remarks to attack the very concept of it. “You may think you learned something by watching this debate. I assure you you have learned nothing at all.” He then attacked the polished soundbite culture and canned answers of debates and hinted at the complicated truths they obscured. (He also used language unfit for most TV twice in this closing statement.)

    Sounds like my kinda guy.

  29. Basically most pro-Johnson people above are saying that, because Johnson is awful at articulating Libertarian principle, Libertarians should compromise on principle and be more accepting of GJ’s Prog-lite positions.

    1. We need to fund science, bomb brown people, introduce a new federal tax, and force those Christ-fags to bake gay wedding cakes (and Jews to bake Nazi cakes).

  30. If you weren’t one of the 300 in Nevada or a subscriber to asshat Beck’s service, you missed this. There were the Stossel A-card debates, and the RT B-card debate, but otherwise most libertarians who might want to be convention delegates, or vote intelligently for local delegates, has little to go on but secondhand information such as this article. Why doesn’t the LP sponsor debates and put them up at the website? I’d make an extra contribution for that.

    From what I’ve read and what little I’ve seen, the top 3 all have serious liabilities, but the 3 on RT were amazingly articulate and libertarian.

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  34. Your last couple paragraphs are disconcerting.

    Do Libertarians want to actually freaking win anything??? Or do you just want to have debates about 99 cent soda and how we should have toll roads? Are you willing to deal with voters as they are or the way you want them to be?

    The obvious best candidate is Gary Johnson. Put that guy in there, start looking credible, get some money and lets go.

    I’m a “Libertarian Leaning Republican”, gun owner, Iraq War veteran so I have seen folly first hand. Most Muslims are OK. Mexicans just want to work hard. Gays should be able to just live their lives. Could we balance our budget please? I don’t want to vote for Trump or Hillary. But I’ll vote for Trump to keep Hillary out. Give me a rationale alternative, please!! We’re need it. You can actually make a difference or keep arguing with the vending machine about 99 cent soda.

    1. Right on Achmed! This in fighting is just the process of how we are going about selecting our nominee. The debate is healthy and informative. I’m backing Petersen, but I will unite under my L party banner whomever we nominate. Trying to reach you and others who hold the same values has proven tricky for Ls. The whole “don’t throw away your vote” meme is a powerful one. These arguments may seem quixotic, but they are mostly founded in our core philosophies of classical liberalism and Austrian economics. We feel they are important because this is essentially what separates us from the D/R paradigm and other statist parties. Once you realize that Hillary and Trump are not much different (they are both ardent statists) then ditching either for the cause of liberty is not such a bad idea. Besides, liberty is a valiant and noble cause, even if it is a forlorn hope!

      1. Gary Johnson, a career Republican politician, is far more statist than citizen-entrepreneur Donald J Trump.

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  39. I very specifically limit the states involvement to resolving the harm incurred through the unreasonable refusal. these laws remove personal responsibility, while shielding a selected group from the same treatment.

  40. RE: Libertarian Candidates, Moderated by Penn Jillette, Debate in Las Vegas

    I’m sure this convention got as much coverage at the two socialist slaving parties will get later on this year.
    Nah, no one wants to listen to common sense, reason and logic.
    Almost everyone in Amerika wants to see how we can chase out immigrants who want to share the Amerikan Dream or get free shit.
    How sad is that?

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