Libertarian Party

Meet the Libertarians!

While #NeverTrumpers flail, America's third party readies an unprecedentedly newsworthy 50-state run

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Good morning, America, how are ya? ||| Fox News
Fox News

A new nationwide poll has Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson pulling an eye-opening 10 percent. Johnson's newly announced alliance with the former liberal Republican governor of Massachusetts is producing Wall Street Journal headlines such as "William Weld Teams Up With Gary Johnson, Boosting Libertarians." As the L.P. gears up for its nominating convention next week, it has become clear that the only tangible political action in the #NeitherTrumpNorHillary universe is happening not in the transient fantasies of Bill Kristol, but in long-haul work of America's third political party.

I write about the Libertarian alternative in this morning's Los Angeles Times:

For the majority of non-Beltway Americans who prudently maintain unfavorable opinions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Libertarian candidate is certain to advocate several welcome policies that neither major-party nominee will touch with a 10-foot pole. In a political year that has broken one precedent after another, the Libertarian Party may well shatter its previous record of 1.1% of the vote.

Fiscal conservatives anxious about the country's $19-trillion debt will be happy to hear that all three leading Libertarian contenders — former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson (who was the party's 2012 nominee, pulling 1.0%), antivirus software designer John McAfee and 35-year-old libertarian media entrepreneur Austin Petersen — want to eliminate large swaths of the federal government. Those alarmed by Trump's cavalier approach to the Constitution will notice Petersen waving around a pocket-sized copy while Johnson talks up repeal of the 17th Amendment.

Progressives who dig Sen. Bernie Sanders' opposition to drug prohibition and military interventionism — issues on which Clinton has been awful for decades — can rest assured that the Libertarian Party embraced these positions decades ago. Johnson as governor in 1999 became the first major American politician to come out for ending the drug war; McAfee's core message is that "our bodies and minds belong to ourselves," and Petersen dreams of a world in which "gay married couples can defend their marijuana fields with fully automatic machine guns."

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. while Johnson talks up repeal of the 17th Amendment

    I’d rather seem him talk about repealing the 16th.

    1. I’d rather see him do really, really great things and repeal the 13th Amendment. That could make great, great, amazing even things happen in America and really open up the workplace for new ideas that could bring great, unimaginable prosperity to middle class America. It would be incredible to put people back to work again in businesses that used to be fantastic.
      -The Don

      1. Is that the Hair’s idea, or the Hat’s? The Hat seems a bit more under control….but that Hair, brrrrr!

      2. The 16th amendment repealed the 13th, homes.

  2. Matt, nice piece. Now go back on Pete Dominick’s radio show and shove these polls in his face. He was literally mocking third parties earlier this week.

    As an added incentive, I’ll be happy to call in again and go off the rails.

  3. GayJay got 0.99% of the vote.

    1. But that was against the Lightbringer/Lawgiver and His Romneyness. 10% against Turmp-Clinton is believable.

  4. Meet the Libertarians!

    I’d rather not

    /scrivener

    1. Wait a minute…. this isn’t a sequel to Meet the Fockers?

      /confused movie goer

      1. It would have been, but the MPAA wouldn’t rate it because of all the marijuana inhalation and anal intercourse by southern immigrants.

        1. “Rated NC-17 for extreme liberty, Messicans, weed and butt sechs”

        2. Call it an art film and show it at Cannes. You’d win lots of awards from people who won’t bother to watch it.

          1. “Somalia! The Musical” is a better idea.

            Ooh, ooh, can we make this a thing?

            1. South Park sort of did this, a few years back.

              1. Shit, with the pirate episode. I had forgotten.

          2. You’d win lots of awards from people who won’t bother to watch it.

            I doubt it. Not nearly enough socialism.

  5. I’ll just be content that the LP is getting the exposure.

    Small victories.

    1. “You don’t want us ‘exposing ourselves'” – Dr Venkman

    2. Not just exposure, but preserving ballot access for winnable down-ballot contests.

      1. Whatever it ends up being, it’s a small step in the right direction, even if it pisses off the purists. Have we come to a consensus on what a pure Libertarian is yet?

        1. Strict adherence to the NAP over utilitarian concerns seems to be the prevailing opinion here, although that would shut out classical liberals.

          1. Label it “Dystopian”.

  6. On the front of Drudge, Rasmussen just released a poll that verified this, trump by 5% with 13% liking “someone else”. They didn’t bother to name that someone else though in the report.

    1. Hitler?

    2. It is also possible that that’s how the poll was worded – Trump, Clinton or someone else. The LP is likely to pick up maybe 1% of the popular vote from “none of the above” voters even if they neither know nor care what the LP stands for.

    3. Probably Melania.

    4. I’d wager a few of those are Berniebots and SoCon holdouts hoping for a brokered convention. Still, the numbers are encouraging.

    5. Ming the Merciless?

      SMOD?

      Almanian/Cthulhu?

  7. Make sure your voice is heard and support the site.
    Leave a comment here at the top. Click the “add promoted comment” button below and bid more points.

      1. But Michael Robertson demands it!

    1. It’s like a microcosm of the LP, isn’t it? Making sure our voice is heard would probably involve compromising and icky grandstanding

  8. I suppose Kristol’s beef is Trump would be too much of a dealmaker in foreign affairs and not enough of a Mad Bomber.

    But as for dissatisfied conservatives, what appeal would Gary “mandatory cakes” Johnson and William “spread the wealth around” Weld hold for such people?

    1. Their last names aren’t “Trump”?

    2. Some of them like smaller government, I would hope.

  9. You know who else was unprecedently newsworthy?

  10. If Johnson and Whatshisname are representing the Libertarian Party this go around, we’ll prove we can blow golden opportunities just as effectively as the two major parties.

    We don’t need people with proven governing experience when they can’t win. We need people with charisma who can get the word out. These guys ain’t them.

    1. We need people with charisma who can get the word out.

      Like John “suspected murderer” McAfee or Austin “Seth Macfarlane lokkalike no one’s ever heard of” Peterson?

      Not saying I agree with either characterization, but you know that if they’re nominated the media will make sure that’s all anyone knows about them. While continuing to ignore the Cackling Cankle Queen’s obvious corruption, they’ll make sure everyone knows that McAfee is “wanted for murder” in Belize and Peterson will just be ignored. Of course, so will Johnson if he gets nominated, or they’ll everyone knows he’s a weirdo who uses pot and ran a pot business.

      I still predict that regardless of who the LP nominates they’re not going to break more than 1% of the popular vote. Voters are just too fucking stupid to break away from the “MOST IMPORTAN ELEKSHUN EVAR/ CAN’T LET THAT EVUL SOB FROM THE OTHER TEAM WIN” mentality. It sucks, but that’s reality.

      1. Yesterday someone posted a link of “Republicans” in Hollywood. It included such notables as Drew Carey and Bruce Willis. So I assumed that they included a bunch of libertarians, because it must be easier to be out of the closet as a Libertarian than as a Republican in Hollywood.

        Also on the list was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. If he is indeed a Libertarian, we should immediately draft him as our presidential candidate. He has spent 20 years doing improvisational acting – so he can handle public appearances and debates. He’s very charismatic and very popular.

        With him on top of the ticket, the LP wins this contest between a Turd Sandwich and a Giant Douche, hands down. Everybody likes The Rock. He makes kids movies and action movies. Nobody likes Trump or Hillary.

        Plus, we’d have the comedy gold of him asking Hillary if she can smell-l-l-l-l what he is cookin’.

        Come on people, let’s make this happen!

        1. I’d support this, even if it means we’re one step closer to Idiocracy.

          1. Sounds like a good idea, scro. Kick ass.

  11. Petersen dreams of a world in which “gay married couples can defend their marijuana fields with fully automatic machine guns.”

    “Fully automatic machine gunz?! OH NOEZ!” *clutches pearls, falls over onto fainting couch* /Progtard

    “Gay marriage and devilz weed?! OH NOEZ!” *clutches pearls, falls over onto fainting couch* /Socontard

  12. Nothing excites libertarians more than a northeastern prog republican.

    1. Is Jack Kemp still available? Oh, dead? Nevermind then.

      *shuffles off grumbling*

    2. +1 Jewish Nazi cake.

  13. Don’t you people realize that a vote for Johnson is actually a vote for [Trump? Clinton? Choose the worse of two evils]

    As stupid as this argument is, you will hear it continuously until Johnson’s vote totals fall back to the normal

  14. Don’t you people realize that a vote for Johnson is actually a vote for [Trump? Clinton? Choose the worse of two evils]

    As stupid as this argument is, you will hear it continuously until Johnson’s vote totals fall back to the normal less than 1%. Then you will hear how Johnson lost the election for Trump especially if Trump loses by 10%.

    Sorry for the double post. The first time I inadvertently used an HTML symbol that eliminated most of the post.

  15. I have my reservations about Johnson but if William Weld is chosen as the VP candidate I have to vote against him.

  16. I have my reservations about Johnson but if William Weld is chosen as the VP candidate I have to vote against him.

  17. Wow, 10%!!

    I wonder which part of Johnson’s platform is resonating more strongly with the general public: keeping open the promise of the possibility of more non-defensive wars of choice, or the threat of government force to coerce Jewish bakers into baking cakes for Nazis.

    1. For a candidate who has been almost entirely blacked out, that’s pretty impressive.

    2. 90% of that 10% doesn’t know who he is at all. He’s just “None of the Above, who’s actually qualified this time.”

  18. Which “wide swaths” of the government is Petersen planning to cut? He’s only cutting spending by 1%.

  19. Don’t worry, if the Dem-Rep party is running a choice as unpopular as Trump-Clinton, and the LP has a more qualified, mainstream alternative (Johnson), they will certainly nominate someone unelectable like McAfee instead.

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