Election 2016

58 Percent of Voters Willing To Go With Someone Other Than Trump or Clinton

Can the LP and other third-parties rise to the opportunity?

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Wikimedia, Michael Vachon

Pollster and political consultant Douglas Schoen has released a new poll showing that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are effectively tied among likely voters, with each pulling in the low-40s. (This finding is replicated in other polls, some of which show Trump slightly ahead of Clinton but msot within the margin of error).

The most interesting finding in the Schoen results involves responses to questions about independent or alternative candidates. The short version tells us what we've known for a long time: Increasing numbers of people are effectively done with the two major parties, at least when it comes to their presumptive nominees for president. As Matt Welch and I wrote in The Declaration of Indepedents (2011/2012), politics is a lagging indicator of where America is already headed and the same forces that have remade our cultural, commercial, and personal lives are coming to politics. Every aspect of our lives besides politis is shot through with increasing choices and proliferating, personalized options. Due to our electoral system, the United States will always have two dominant parties, but what they stand—and how broadly they appeal to people—can vary widely. But until the Dems and Reps figure that (if ever), they will appeal to fewer and fewer voters who are desperate to see a 21st-century politics that reduces the size, scope, and spending of government while giving more options and freedom to people to live the lives they imagine for themselves.

Schoen Consulting

On top of that, 58 percent of respondents said they're open to voting for a non-Republican, non-Democratic candidate.

Trump and Clinton are both north of 50 percent in terms of disapproval and it seems unlikely that will change all that much. Election 2016 may well be a battle of attrition, where the ultimate victor squeaks in with considerably less than 50 percent. Recall that in 1992, 1996, and 2000, the winner pulled less than a majority of the popular vote, and since then, voters have become even less enamored of the major parties.

All of which is to say this election is already providing the most-fertile ground for a powerful third-party or independent run. Is the Libertarian Party (LP), the only other party that will be on the ballot in all 50 states, ready for that challenge? The LP picks its nominee next weekend and whether it turns out to be the 2012 nominee, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, or someone else, the candidate will need to be serious in a way that he didn't need to be in past elections. What is the grand theme of the LP candidacy? What are broad-brush points on war, spending, taxes, and the like? It's worth pointing out that Johnson is already getting 10 percent in a new Fox News poll and got 11 percent in a Monmouth University survey a month or so ago. That almost certainly reflects the interest in anybody other than Clinton or Trump rather than anything specific to Johnson or the LP.

Tim Moen

As Matthew Dowd noted on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning, the role of a third party or independent candidate isn't necessarily to win but to represent large numbers of people who feel left out by the visions of America sketched out by the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Particularly when it comes to the LP, that means having specifics to show you're competent and serious (what parts of government are you going to cut, Mr. LP candidate?) but also a large vision of what sort of America the LP envisions. One of the LP candidates, Austin Petersen has already trotted out a version of Canadian politician Tim Moen's 2014 vision: "I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns." (For what it's worth, Moen's electoral results haven't been great so far.)

But what about his slogan? Is it a starting point for suggesting what a Libertarian presidential candidate should be saying? Suggest thematic frames and slogans for the LP and independent candidates in the comments below.

[Trump image URL]

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  1. No. In fact, they can’t even get enough votes to play spoiler.

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  2. On top of that, 58 percent of respondents said they’re open to voting for a non-Republican, non-Democratic candidate.

    Which would really only mean something if that openness continued right on to Election Day and if they were voting for the same independent candidate.

    1. I think Bernie as a third party run would siphon off quite a few votes. This isn’t unprecedented – Ross Perot. You just barely hear about most independents/third party candidates.

      1. Having an election with trump, clinton, and the lp with Sanders as solo would probably lead to no one winning outright. How grand!

        1. Sounds good to me. Statistics show gridlock is good for the economy.

        2. That means the elitists will have a chance to get their guy in. The house would pick the prez, and the senate the vp. IOW, the reps would be able to choose another loser candidate, maybe romney again, or ryan and have little marco as vp.

    2. True. You give them the choice of any particular candidate, they’ll say, nah, haven’t you got any others?

      Trump already captures the lion’s share of the disaffected. If people want to vote against politicians generally, they’ll vote Trump for prez. That’s what his campaign’s mostly about. In Trump they already have a much better choice than they do in most prez elections.

      Also, the best way to get what may seem to be consensus among the NOTA crowd would be via a candidate who seems to have no ideology at all. A candidate who pretends that there are simple, common sense solutions that are opposed only by people who are “political”, because they are “political”, which is a kind of malevolence, or else they’re just crooks. But guess what, Trump already fills that role pretty well too.

  3. Looking at vote totals from 2012, about 20% of the population votes for the winning presidential candidate. Gotta love democracy.

    1. Newsflash homey: we are a constitutional republic 😉

      1. We’ll see how long that last

      2. -If you like your constitutional republic, you can keep your constitutional republic. Trust me.

        HRC

      3. Democracy = republic. Constitutional democracy = constitutional republic. They’re synonyms.

        1. Go back to school

        2. Not exactly. Republic covers pretty much any non-monarchial form of government. China is a republic. But it sure ain’t a democracy!

          1. The “German Democratic Republic” was a democracy, including elections and parties. It just happened not to be a very free society.

            Robert is right: for practical purposes, democracy and republic are fuzzy terms that you can use interchangeably. Neither guarantees that a society is free.

    2. If we were a democracy this might be a problem.

  4. …Trump slightly ahead of Clinton but msot within the margin of error…

    Ahem, typo? I am disappoint…

    As Matt Welch and I wrote in The Declaration of Indepedents (2011/2012)

    Typo again? How long and often have you been pushing this creation of yours and Matt’s???? This is Mike Riggs levels of syntactical malpractice. This is pathetic!

    Boy, Gillespie, you really *ARE* slipping in your old age! You neglected to shamelessly pimp link to that book of yours as well. You may want to consider an appropriate Assisted Living Community at this point.

    1. Whoa.

      Groovus? Our real Groovus?

      If so it is a great pleasure to see you back. Welcome.

      Would love to hear about your adventures.

      1. Da!-D ‘Tis I.

        This thread will update you with the basics.-))))

        1. Doc, just read through that thread.

          The “Preview button” cat has been skinned. If you change your email address, in your profile, from an email to a website the Preview button works.

          Don’t ask me why.

          1. Spasibo bol’shoe! Very helpful to know, FdA! That appears to explain all the webbies in people’s handles as opposed addies.

            Since I am a creature of habit, methinks I will keep as is for now.

            1. GROOVUS!!!

              Strasvoy’te, kak dela?

              I read the other thread, just thought I’d ask. Welcome back! We have missed you!

            2. Holy moly Groovus! Welcome back!

              I think my screen name is still the same as when you vanished. If you recall, we both were working in EDs when we last chatted. I’ve changed a few things since then, including my employment arrangement, but would still consider myself an EM physician at heart.

              Glad to know you are OK and the family sounds fantastic! I wonder how many times your ears were burning when people were wondering about you on this board, it was not uncommon.

        2. Wow, good to see you are still out there. From what I read on the other thread, assuming you aren’t a very elaborate hoax, you are a very lucky and remarkable man. Congrats on the family and everything.

    2. This is like the worst chat room ever.

      1. STAY ON TOPIC!!111!!!!ELEVENTYONE!!!!!!

    1. And this is what a third-party candidate still ultimately has to overcome.

      The peer pressure and the indie-shaming from those who’ve been brainwashed with TEAM is almost insurmountable. You’re either inundated with “But TRUMP!!!” or “But HILLARY!!!” or even “But SCOTUS!!!” until you’re browbeaten into holding your nose either way.

      I’m hoping against hope that there IS a serious third-party challenge once the conventions are over and the voting public realizes that their choices from the Big Two are set in stone. If those 58 percent manage to withstand all the indie-shaming they’re gonna get and coalesce behind one other candidate, that could send a clear message to the Big Two that they’re both piles of shit that finally need to be flushed.

      1. That has never worked on me. I regularly shove it in their faces. My favorite thing to do, to troll those people is to promise I will vote for the candidate they oppose expressly to nullify their own vote – drives them ape-shit.

  5. I have the utmost confidence that, with hard work and perseverance, we’ll manage to get 1.5 percent of the popular vote. Once the Dems, Reps, and independents get their head around the fact that both major parties’ candidates suck balls, they’ll fall in line and vote for the lesser of two evils like they always do. Breaking 10 percent is a pipe dream, especially with the snoozefest we’re about to nominate.

    1. The Libertarian candidate always polls around 10% this early in the election cycle. But it never seems to make it to the voting booth.

      1. The media may let Johnson in to pull GOP votes away and elect Hillary.

        1. What makes you so sure he won’t pull votes away from Hillary? Maybe given the path the left is on, the Commuist Party can steal votes from her. Wonder how they’re polling?

          1. Isn’t the Green Party still out there? Them and the Socialist parties would peel votes away from the Democrats a lot more than the libertarians will.

            1. Don’t be so sure. Polling indicates Johnson pulls equally from the left and right.

              1. I thought we quit doing euphemisms.

            2. Yes, Dr. Jill Stein is still exerting her iron grip on Green Party Politics – and she’s about as effective as sexually assaulting a bronze statue of Rhodan (yes, the big, weird, flying dinosaur created by Toho Studios) with a concrete dildo.

              Suffice to say, she is no Ralph Nader

              Also, an interesting statistical paper and breakdown of voting influence of both the Green and Reform Parties circa 2000 and 2004. (PDF format)

          2. What makes you so sure he won’t pull votes away from Hillary?

            Because libertarians are just really radical conservatives.

            /anyone on the left

            1. Since radical conservatism has been redefined as one who believes in pesky individual freedoms tilted away from identity politics, this is accurate.

            2. GayJay is a moderate conservative. Like a slightly less belicose Lindsey Graham.

              1. GayJay is a moderate conservative

                Bullshit!

                1. Gary Johnson On the Issues:

                  More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War.
                  Built private prisons to replace out-of-state prisoners. (Aug 2012)
                  Private prisons cost $20 less/day than public control.
                  Level playing field for Main Street vs. Internet sales tax.
                  Nazis choose who bakes cakes, not bakers

                  1. Yeah, read the whole thing instead of cherry picking, troll.

          3. For several presidential elections in a row now, the Communists endorse the Democrat.

        2. Nope, they just can’t resist their innate compulsion to paint Libertarians as wack-a-doodles. I’m sure the editor of this piece was muttering under his breath “Why can’t Weld have blue skin?”

    2. If disdain for the two major party candidates drives down turn-out sufficiently, yes 10% of the popular vote might be attainable. It will mostly be the same 1% that voted Libertarian last time around.

    3. It’s not just that. It’s also that every non-major candidate sucks balls too, as far as most voters are concerned. Ask them what they want in a candidate for any office, and you’ll find just about everybody’s ideal is full of deal-breakers for everybody else.

  6. If the Libertarian Party had an ounce of brains in their collective heads, they would have tried to merge with the Reform party two decades ago. Had they done so, we’d likely have a strong three party system and at least a little of the retardation going on today might be gone.

    Yeah, I know there was trade protectionism within the reform party but they had an expel the Lobertarian Party never generated because they had actual candidates with energy and that the media didn’t treat like lepers.

    1. Here is their platform as of 2008. I see some common ground we could have gotten behind. And I also see some fundamental differences. But much of that can be rectified through communication. Instead the LP was putting Bob Barr on the ticket and embarrassing themselves

    2. The US can’t have “a strong three party system” because of the electoral college’s winner-take-all method of allocating votes for the presidency. We would have to change to a proportional allocation system, which would then give us more of a parliamentary government.
      The reason the electoral college uses a winner-take-all system is to add weight to smaller states, IOW, the States elect the president, not the popular vote. Without this system, large states like New York and California would elect the president.

      1. Parties have nothing to do with the EC. There really is no reason we couldn’t have multiple parties other than they tend to occur when major social shifts are happening (end of Whigs, birth of Republicans; original Progressive era, civil rights movement) and the parties themselves refuse to adapt. That is the big question hanging over the Republicans today – if they are going to become a European ‘conservative’/nationalist party under Trump (or is he just a passing fad). I think Palin plowed some of that ground and now Trump is harvesting it. The Know-Nothings preceded the Republicans, maybe the modern counterpart will succeed them.

        Since there are no longer conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans, we have today more ideologically consistent major parties than have existed for a long time. The unpleasant reality is that the America body politic is a mushy centrist political philosophy bracketed by Dems/liberals and Reps/conservatives. Progressives/real-lefties aren’t much more numerous than we [L/l]ibertarians, though lord knows we all are sure that the world is just on the verge of admitting how right our philosophy/policy really is!

        1. Parties have nothing to do with the EC.

          That is incorrect. Here, let Spark Notes give you the quick and easy explanation:
          “In the United States, a candidate wins the election by gaining a plurality, or more votes than any other candidate. This is a winner-take-all system because there is no reward for the party or candidate that finishes second. Parties aim to be as large as possible, smoothing over differences among candidates and voters. There is no incentive to form a party that consistently gets votes but cannot win an election. As a result, two political parties usually dominate plurality electoral systems to the disadvantage of smaller third parties, just as the Democrats and the Republicans dominate the American political system. No one person or organization prevents third parties from forming, but the plurality system itself usually hinders their efforts to win votes.”

          1. I might accept your ‘correction’ if we are talking Congressional representation – but for the Presidency (and specifically wrt the EC) NFW.

      2. The US can’t have “a strong three party system” because of the electoral college’s winner-take-all method of allocating votes for the presidency. We would have to change to a proportional allocation system, which would then give us more of a parliamentary government.

        And it’s a good system because without it, the president/chancellor would be determined in parliamentary backroom deals as they are in Europe. Hitler is only one of many disastrous leaders that got into power that way.

  7. My hope for this election is that more people will be educated about libertarianism and might actually give a hard look at the libertarian candidates in future elections instead of not even knowing we exist. I certainly think there are issues where people will relate to the libertarian stance.

    1. I’m pretty much with you, although the LP needs to broaden their appeal by standing up a little more strongly for private property rights and free association. That is a winning strategy now to appeal to SoCons who are tired of their businesses being shit on lately by the SJW brigade. They already mostly share the same economic principles, even if their chosen party (the GOP) merely pay it lip service.

      1. And the left has gone completely around the bend with their strong arm tactics intended to impose their will on their opponents. We should give up sharing any common ground with those asshats because their methods are that of the jackboot thug. They will never believe in the NAP and are more trade protectionist than Trump. So we should make our appeals to SoCons and grow our ranks through disenfranchisement with the GOP and their constant compromises that have bankrupted the country financially and eliminated private property rights socially.

        1. Well I certainly think there is an opportunity to get people to start thinking differently about those things. The problem is that most people don’t think that deeply on a conceptual level. They think about things on a case by case basis as to what they want. Smoking bans are a good example. People don’t give a shit about property rights of the owner. Majority rules is how they look at it. Most don’t even care about the reason for the laws which is supposed to be health concerns. They don’t want to smell it so they vote for the ban.

          1. Freedom of aassociation is another issue that’s fairly complex for the average voter. Sure to socons will agree about gay wedding cakes but they see that as more of a freedom if religion issue anyways. The implications and history in the south relating to freedom of association makes it one of the more difficult sells for libertarianism. Which is why I don’t think that is the best place to start the selling process . Start with the easy stuff and get people headed down the road to liberty and freedom. Once they get further down the road, those more complex issues become easier for them to grasp and relate to.

          2. They need some sympathetic examples to make them see it differently. Like finding a business owner being compelled to do something by a protected, yet despicable to the media, class. Maybe a Jewish holocaust survivor being forced to work for a skinhead or a Islamist. Or a Sandusky survivor being forced to bake a cake for NAMBLA’s anniversary party. That would resonate better than some guy refusing to bake a cake for a pair of gays that have never done anybody wrong in their life (until they wanted to force somebody to bake them a cake or go to prison).

            1. The opponents of freedom of association are going to go well beyond the gay wedding cake and straight to the “Whites Only” and “No Niggers or Jews” signs in store front windows. Sure it’s a straw man but with media propaganda, it’s a powerful one. You have to sell it using freedom of speech as a starting point ie supporting the right does not equal condoning all of the behavior it allows and you can’t outlaw being an asshole. You can also talk about the fact that consumers already have the right to discriminate and that social media and the power of the boycott is a better and more effective way to handle bigotry than government force.

            2. Hypothetical examples can never and should never work as well as ACTUAL examples. And the reality is that a purist ‘freedom of association’ argument can never take hold until it explains how the actual reality of Jim Crow could have actually been dealt with in any other way – in any reasonable timeframe – without infringing on the segregationists use of the phrase – backed by tens of thousands of municipal ordinances and private terrorists and social/cultural expectations imposed on that ‘freedom’ to ensure acquiescence/conformity.

              I understand Goldwater’s objection. And agree with it in principle. But I don’t think he really understood that ‘freedom of association’ in the South meant that a black man in the wrong town who couldn’t find gas/food/lodging/etc as the sun was going down was in serious danger from those locals squawking about ‘freedom of association’. The New South did not just happen (assuming it did). It happened because of that CRA overreach.

              1. Does one really need to explain why something would or would not have worked 50 years ago? Anyone discriminating in that manner today would be boycotted as would the businesses of the people who continued to do business with them. They would be pariahs in every major city as well as most small ones. Wouldn’t a lot of people rather know who the bigots were so they could choose to not give them money. Freedom of Association works both ways. If I know you don’t like me for some dick reason then I can act accordingly.

                1. How many hotel or restaurant owners who get most of their business from travelers are going to want to be on the BigotMap App. And how many people want to be seen or have their picture taken and posted online going there?

                  1. BigotMap App

                    *Fd’A runs off to meet with his orphan programmers*

                2. Does one really need to explain why something would or would not have worked 50 years ago?

                  Uh – yes. That law is the one that is used in the challenge. You can argue that maybe that section of the law needn’t be ENFORCED for gayNazibakers. But the freedom of association argument is that that section of the law shouldn’t EXIST. Two very different thangs.

                  Freedom of Association works both ways.

                  That’s the whole point. Freedom of association isn’t just a phrase. It actually does have to work both ways – or you really should ask yourself whether something called ‘freedom of association’ is actual individual freedom of association or merely a social consequence of ‘that’s just the way we do things around here and always have done’. If a biz owner says ok I’m gonna open my biz to hated group A and gets burning crosses or boycotts or somesuch and then changes his mind to keep his biz from failing, is he exercising his freedom – or is his freedom being driven by what will always be a one-way social pressure at the local level?

                  1. “the freedom of association argument is that that section of the law shouldn’t EXIST”

                    That’s exactly what I’m saying. Part’s of laws can be repealed. I don’t have to argue that it wasn’t needed 50 years ago, only that it is not needed now.

                    1. I don’t have to argue that it wasn’t needed 50 years ago, only that it is not needed now.

                      Is the principle of ‘freedom of association’ timeless and universal or not? If it is, then solve Jim Crow with it. If it isn’t, then the repeal itself forecloses all possibility of someone in a vilified out-group from even finding personal protection from what is often a socially-driven (v individually-decided) ‘freedom to hate’. I hope you can see why people who argue that are often seen as either tone-deaf or in lalaland.

                      Maybe we don’t need it now. Maybe the thought that we don’t need it now is just a bit of Whiggish/Enlightenment optimism about human nature and history (We are better than our ancestors).

                    2. At core I guess my belief on CRA Title2 now is that the libertarian position on it needs to be that if it is not needed now, then we can let it wither away like legislation that ‘horses pulling carriages must wear diapers on public roads’. Challenging its enforcement expansion is enough – both pragmatically (since that expansion is the focus of progs) and philosophically.

                      Rearguing CRA is an astonishing disservice to libertarian ideas. It minimizes the libertarian-friendly accomplishment of actually getting rid of a Jim Crow system. And honestly, why in hell do libertarians feel compelled to carry water for segregationists? If they want to make their case, our only obligation should be to ensure they have the freedom to do so. We shouldn’t be aligning philosophical stands to make them comfortable.

                    3. Is the principle of ‘freedom of association’ timeless and universal or not? If it is, then solve Jim Crow with it.

                      Yes, it is and no I don’t need to solve Jim Crow to prove it.

                      Rearguing CRA is an astonishing disservice to libertarian ideas. It minimizes the libertarian-friendly accomplishment of actually getting rid of a Jim Crow system.

                      “Defending” the rights of one group by eliminating the rights of another can hardly be claimed as a moral victory, even if it did, as you claim, get rid of Jim Crow. The parts of the CRA applying to private citizens are immoral on their face and and the ends do not justify the means.

                    4. Exactly and it’s up to government to justify restricting freedom not up to the people to justify freedom.

                    5. “Defending” the rights of one group by eliminating the rights of another can hardly be claimed as a moral victory, even if it did, as you claim, get rid of Jim Crow. The parts of the CRA applying to private citizens are immoral on their face and and the ends do not justify the means.

                      Well the Supreme Court opined 9-0 on title 2 in Heart of Atlanta Motel v US. So you got an election-year Goldwater and a bunch of bigots on one side 50 years ago and the rest of the world on the other. Ignore the moral/immoral and ends/means. By ANY definition this is quixotic/futile. And every fringe group gets only ONE of them in the effort to sell hearts and minds on limited government. Before eyes glaze over and people start looking for an escape route. Choosing CRA means you’ve chosen to avoid other quixotics like banker bailouts, Wickard v Filburn, and the endless slew of others.

                      Me? I think Goldwater was just wrong in letting his philosophy override reality in this case – and hindsight supports me. And if that jeopardizes my Scotsman of the Year award, so be it. Your mileage may be different at the Paranoid White Bakers Convention.

                    6. We could likely end terrorism by killing all the muslims. You down?

                    7. If there’s anything that’s a bit of Whiggish/Enlightenment optimism about human nature and history, it’s the belief in universalism.

                    8. Is the principle of ‘freedom of association’ timeless and universal or not? If it is, then solve Jim Crow with it.

                      You fundamentally misunderstand the Jim Crow system and the CRA. The Jim Crow system was a governmental restriction on freedom of association. All that was needed to end the Jim Crow system was to lift those governmental restrictions on freedom of association and end discrimination by government itself. The CRA did that, and that was a good thing.

                      But the CRA went further and imposed a different set of restrictions on freedom of association. There is no evidence that the CRA’s new restrictions on association were necessary or even beneficial.

                      If it isn’t, then the repeal itself forecloses all possibility of someone in a vilified out-group from even finding personal protection from what is often a socially-driven (v individually-decided) ‘freedom to hate’.

                      In fact, numerous “vilified groups” had no problems overcoming vilification without anti-discrimination laws: Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, homosexuals, etc. The CRA has primarily been used in an attempt to help African Americans, and it has turned out to be a complete failure at that. In fact, African Americans stopped making social progress just about the time that the CRA started being enforced, and that’s no coincidence.

                    9. You fundamentally misunderstand the Jim Crow system and the CRA.

                      No. I understand both far better than you – and probably the actual politics surrounding Goldwater’s vote as well. I’m just not trapped in some philosophy pretzel trying to reconcile contradictions via logic.

                      I mean yeesh. Goodman/Chaney/Schwerner were killed (by private terrorists) the day after Goldwater voted against CRA. They were there in the wrong place because a private church had been burned down by private terrorists because they were exercising their freedom of association. So of course – everything else must all be about govt and systemic and the stuff the day of CRA is just a misunderstanding or an exception to the rule. WTF you people.

                      Goldwater voted for every civil rights bill except the one that actually passed. Maybe he voted against it on principle. Maybe he merely justified it on principle (for a Northern audience and maybe himself) and voted against it in order to turn from ‘lesser of two evils’ Prez candidate to ‘friend’ in order to kill off the unpledged electors petitions in the South (successfully killed everywhere but Alabama which had already set theirs up by then). IDK.

                      To elevate this stuff to the cornerstone of a political philosophy is just simply insane.

                    10. I concur that it’s not the best place to start which is why I began my argument with this:

                      “The implications and history in the south relating to freedom of association makes it one of the more difficult sells for libertarianism. Which is why I don’t think that is the best place to start the selling process . Start with the easy stuff and get people headed down the road to liberty and freedom. Once they get further down the road, those more complex issues become easier for them to grasp and relate to.”

                    11. I concur that it’s not the best place to start which is why I began my argument with this:

                      “The implications and history in the south relating to freedom of association makes it one of the more difficult sells for libertarianism. Which is why I don’t think that is the best place to start the selling process . Start with the easy stuff and get people headed down the road to liberty and freedom. Once they get further down the road, those more complex issues become easier for them to grasp and relate to.”

                    12. I’m pretty sure murdering people was already illegal. The CRA obviously had absolutely nothing to do with whether murderers decided to murder people or not.

                    13. The CRA obviously had absolutely nothing to do with whether murderers decided to murder people or not.

                      You’re wrong. The groups killed to enforce social/cultural norms re segregation (ie freedom of association). Nothing random about their victims or the origin of the norms. Jim Crow originated as a direct consequence of the overturning of the 1875 CRA. Uppity blacks were killed because uppity. Whites were intimidated/killed because ‘nigger-lover’ violates the freedom of association norms demanded of whites. Laws re murder were undermined not (mainly) because of government but because of ‘a jury of their peers’ (iow CULTURAL nullification of the law). Even up to the moment where a lynch mob pulls on the noose, ‘freedom of association’ can be a defense (hey we’re just good old boys having fun)

                      And the reality is that BOTH SC decisions (the 1875 CRA overturning and the 1964 CRA constitutionality) remain legally valid – so all the slippery slope fearmongering re ‘freedom of association’ is just complete BS.

                      Maybe this shit sells ‘libertarian ideas’ in the South – or at the Mises Institute – or for whoever writes ‘the libertarian case for Trump’. IDK. But to every non-wackjob, this is Exh A for why brainfarts are not the path to truthity.

                  2. Your 2nd argument doesn’t make any sense to me. That’s like saying I don’t have freedom of speech if I can’t call some nfl linebacker a little bitch to his face because I might get my ass kicked. All actions have consequences. That goes well beyond the legal concept we were discussing.

                    1. That’s like saying I don’t have freedom of speech if I can’t call some nfl linebacker a little bitch to his face because I might get my ass kicked.

                      I would certainly argue that it’s a violation of your rights if he did, though.

              2. I think Goldwaters argunent was that most of the discrimination was caused by local ordinances which were unconstitutional to begin with. I was a baby and know only what I read or was taught in school so while I’m no doubt very skeptical that this would have been fixed by just striking down those local ordinances, I’m certainly no expert on the era.

          3. Smoking bans are a good example. People don’t give a shit about property rights of the owner. Majority rules is how they look at it.

            It’s mostly the fact that the Q is on the agenda that decides it. You’re asking me if smoking should be banned on premises? That means it’s already been decided that this can be determined politically, so I don’t have to think about consider’ns about whether that kind of law should be permissible. Obviously it must be “OK” to ban it, or you wouldn’t be asking me. So then, do I want smoking here or not? We, the voters, are in charge, we just need to see where the balance of preference lies. Well, is smoking good or bad for the people exposed to it? So it goes.

        2. Ayn Rand said that in any compromise with evil, evil always profits. The left is evil, and any in any compromise with them, liberty loses.

          1. Same for Dark Helmet when he said “now you see why evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.”

          2. I reached this point a few years ago, where I can’t even with progs. They not only never give an inch, they keep advancing, like Patton. Or like herpes, where MAYBE they’ll temporarily lie dormant, but they’ll come back with a vengeance.

          3. Ayn Rand was wrong. Any compromise has to be judged relative to the actual otherwise-likely outcome, not an ideal one. Better treatment for slaves was better than letting slaves be treated as badly as anyone wanted, and for millennia better treatment for slaves was the best that could be achieved. As a result, slaves lived better lives than they would otherwise have.

    2. My hope for this election is that more people will be educated about libertarianism and might actually give a hard look at the libertarian candidates

      Completely agree. Get em in the door.

      1. By running 2 Republicans, with the lead guy believing I don’t own my labor. Fuck this.

        1. Can you name one issue, other than PA law, that Johnson’s libertarian principles falter?

          Please cite.

          1. Agreed. Plus Austin is just death to listen to. He spends so much time and effort pretending to be serious, it’s very off-putting.

          2. That’s a big fucking principle, isn’t it?

            But in addition to that, while talking about how great the EPA is, “Gov’t exists to protect us against individuals, groups and corporations that would do us harm.” at 20.00.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGQ4htj4V78

            1. That’s a big fucking principle, isn’t it?

              Agreed. But when was the last time you found a politician that you agreed with on everything except one issue? Hell is there anyone here you completely agree with on everything (except me, perhaps 😉 )? And it’s not like he’d be able to overturn the CRA during his tenure anyway.

              Me thinks we’re setting the bar a bit high here.

              Yes, McAfee is more consistent. Completely agree. I like him…A LOT. But Johnson will be better for the movement going forward.

              “Gov’t exists to protect us against individuals, groups and corporations that would do us harm.”

              Um…

              That is precisely the ONLY legitimate function of government. Nothing unlibertarian about that statement at all. Prolly much better ways than EPA regulation to achieve that end, but protecting individual rights is why the government exists. Such a position may be anti-anarchist, but it certainly isn’t anti-libertarian.

              The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

            2. I never noticed before how similar Gary Johnson’s nose in profile is similar to an eagle’s beak.

              Can’t get much more presidential than having an eagle beak for a nose.

              1. Can’t get much more presidential than having an eagle beak for a nose.

                Yet we still haven’t had a Jewish president.

  8. On top of that, 58 percent of respondents said they’re open to voting for a non-Republican, non-Democratic candidate.

    People might want a different choice than just one flavor of vanilla ice cream and another flavor of vanilla ice cream, but some want chocolate, some want strawberry, some want butter pecan, some want cookie dough. No matter how logical it seems when you try to figure out what appeals to people, bacon taco pizza-flavored ice cream probably ain’t gonna be a big seller.

    1. Bernie has already explained that 23 brands of deoderant are too many while children are dying. Hasn’t the brainwashing gotten to you yet?!

  9. So, I know most people have convinced themselves Hillary is a sure bet, but I’ve been reviewing Bill’s sexual misconduct over the years…christ is it a long list. Multiple rape accusations, a score of sexual assault claims, and then just a ton of affairs.

    And then 26 flights on the “Lolita Express” with Epstein continuing to donate to the Clinton Foundation after the scandal, and his girlfriend at the time (who was accused of arranging underage prostitutes) attending Chelsea’s wedding.

    There is a different climate today. How the fuck after the whole Cosby fiasco and while pushing the listen and believe narrative can the media just pretend all these women are discredited liars when Trump throws them in her face?

    Accusations of rape/assault have followed him throughout his entire life.

    1. “How the fuck after the whole Cosby fiasco and while pushing the listen and believe narrative can the media just pretend all these women are discredited liars when Trump throws them in her face?”

      Watch them. They’ve been doing it for years. Tgat said, I agree that this election is not a lock for Hillary.

    2. “So, I know most people have convinced themselves Hillary is a sure bet”

      Which people are those? Whatever they say they believe, the support for Sanders clearly demonstrates that many Democrats see Hillary as a horrible candidate who is highly likely to lose.

  10. On top of that, 58 percent of respondents said they’re open to voting for a non-Republican, non-Democratic candidate.

    People might want a different choice than just one flavor of vanilla ice cream and another flavor of vanilla ice cream, but some want chocolate, some want strawberry, some want butter pecan, some want cookie dough. No matter how logical it seems when you try to figure out what appeals to people, bacon taco pizza-flavored ice cream probably ain’t gonna be a big seller.

    1. That sounds amazing

  11. Apparently Nick never took math in school or didn’t learn much if he did. As long as the system is winner take all, it doesn’t matter if third parties do better. They still will end up with zero influence. Let the L party or the Green party win 25% of the vote. Whoever wins will still end up with 100% of the Presidency.

    1. That’s correct, but that’s not the point. If you win 25% of the electorate, you’re a major factor on who wins. That sticks in the mind for next election. Which means you can no longer be ignored. It’s going from being a bug on the side of the road, to being the redheaded stepchild in the back of the car. Shitty, but no longer irrelevant.

      1. Not necessarily. You are really only a factor in who loses. Yes, the losing party looks at the 25% and says “if only we had gotten them”. That is nice and all, but that just means the major party changes a bit and wins some of them back. Either way the third party is still out in the cold.

        1. No, it’s worse than that. “Sure we lost, but at least we came in 2nd, instead of 3rd like them. Let’s never get to be like them, OK? Gotta stay competitive.”

    2. It matters a lot. Free Soil Party got 10% (on issues theretofore ignored by everyone) in the 1848 election – and took enough from both major parties that neither could reassemble their coalition. The entire purpose of the 1850 compromise was to eliminate the Free Soilers completely and pull them back into the mainstream. When that didn’t work as planned (5% in 1852), the existing party system broke apart completely – and re-formed along the lines where the Free Soil issues dominated completely.

      Winning is a lot more than just who is Prez in one election.

      1. Sure, you can drive the issues and get a major party to change to capture your voters. When that happens, where does that leave the third party? Out in the cold. And yes it is good to pull the major parties towards you, but since most Libertarians think politics is a religion and all about ideological purity, I don’t think they are going to be happy with that.

        Finally, there is no guarantee it would even work like that. Remember, the party that wins has an interest in things remaining the same. So, they are likely to do things to keep the third party alive and strong and as a result the opposition divided. So what might happen is the opposition stays divided and the winning party just keeps winning.

        1. John are you really saying a 3rd party is more important in itself than the principle being adopted by one of the big two?

          Now, I get that you are probably thinking that like everything else from the big two, support for principle X is a lie intended to capture one election. In which case, it wasn’t really an issue of principle to begin with. Suppose on the other hand, that the principle becomes fundamental to the adopting party – then a 3rd party dedicated to that principle is superfluous is it not?

          1. No. I am saying a lot of other people think that. I don’t think that. But I think a good number of Libertarians do. The major parties do agree with Libertarians on some issues. The Republicans are very good on guns. The Democrats were all about gay marriage. Yet, Libertarians still hate both parties and won’t vote for them out of principle. Why would say the Democrats getting religion on the drug war or the Republicans coming around about foreign intervention cause them to feel any differently?

          2. John are you really saying a 3rd party is more important in itself than the principle being adopted by one of the big two?

            They sure seem to act that way.

            Now, I get that you are probably thinking that like everything else from the big two, support for principle X is a lie intended to capture one election.

            Almost, but not quite. It’s a lie intended to capture a minority following. The election? Ptooey on that!

        2. Sure, libertarians are never going to be happy about the state of politics. But most can acknowledge that some states of affairs can be preferable to others while still being very imperfect.

    3. If you get 15% in the polls (regardless of the vote), you get into the national presidential debates. That’s a huge platform to present libertarian ideas as an alternative to the progressive and authoritarian choices on the current menu.

  12. The LP should focus ALL efforts on New Mexico, Maine, New Hampshire, and Texas.

    If they spend all their time and money on these states, playing up their independent nature’s and their natural cultural libertarianism, they could, maybe, win electoral college votes and really make a difference like we’ve never seen before.

    If they could win these, that would be 47 electoral college votes. However, even 4 would be revolutionary.

    1. Lol!

      Libertarians only get electoral college votes from faithless electors.

      1. What? SIV has gone full blown moron.

    2. Winning 51% of one state is way more important (if less realistic) than winning 10% nationally.

      1. I agree. But being the margin of difference in half or more of the purple states is probably as/more important and probably very doable. Votes in bright red/blue states are near irrelevant (but that is precisely what many will advocate as ‘strategic’ – ie I’ll vote L since my vote doesn’t matter) no matter how easy it is to run up the numbers there.

        300,000 L’s in FL; 400,000 in OH, etc. Hits the D’s and R’s right where it hurts politically – where their coalition is already only barely good enough – where they are gonna be spending all their money – where to have it fail/backfire (ie go negative – and L numbers go up) is a big prob – and polls can’t provide the info to reset problems in time. That leads to even more mistakes and backfires during the election season when they start flying blind.

        1. Might even make for a good slogan in those states

          Because your vote does matter – Vote Freedom

          1. Or

            Liberty needs you (with the WW2 Lady Liberty or Uncle Sam thingie)

        2. The only problem with your theory is that the partisan hacks won’t take the hint. They really believe that those votes were theirs to begin with and now you’ve just gone and fucked with them.

          KDW at NR with a pretty good analysis.

          1. Elections are different in purple states than they are elsewhere. I never really thought about it until I moved to one. A totally different dynamic that I can’t even explain well. The mere existence of real competition among the two majors makes all the top-down DC-based ideas of ‘how to run an election campaign’ vulnerable. If the other purples are anything like CO, adding an actual third-party choice would be like adding dynamite to the mix.

            It wouldn’t be about issues or feelz or polls or partisan hacks. But about attitudes to outside money/themes, alternatives to the TV bombardment (not ‘campaign strategy’ but ‘how do I escape’), some local wrench. Cheap to get from 0 to 20% – expensive as hell to get from 40-41%. I can see now why pols try so hard to gerrymander things. Competitive elections don’t just threaten their job security – they threaten their channels of manipulation. Big money doesn’t go into politics in order to face yet another expensive competitive market.

            LP should be ideally suited to DO competition and not just talk about it. But I don’t really think it is good at that. One thing to read Hayek on diffuse knowledge – quite another to apply it to an election.

    3. I doubt it. I’ve been culturally libertarian for years but I’ve never seriously considered voting for the Libertarian Party. They’ve shown themselves again and again to be an incompetent and useless organization, and having the “L” word in their name doesn’t change that.

  13. stated preferences, revealed preferences.

    I don’t care what people *say* about their ‘willingness’ to consider alternatives.

    What they do matters. and what the majority are going to do is vote against the Other Party. They may not like either of what they’re offered, but most know which they think is ‘worse/worst’

    1. The problem is the “considering” part. Same with all the “issues” of the campaigns – every 4 years everybody decries the negative ads and the sloganeering and the lack of substance, and nobody really gives a damn about substance. All they want is a 5-word slogan that encapsulates their feels. They can’t pay attention to anything more than a bumper sticker and can’t grasp anything more complicated than a bumper sticker. If you’ve got such a great idea, why can’t you distill it into 5 words? There aren’t really any issues to consider, just vague ideas about issues because that’s what people want.

      1. “Make America Great Again” says it all in just four words, you losers.

        1. Its four words that say one very important thing “I am on your side”. That is why that appeals to people and why someone like Ted Cruz who thinks showing his ideological purity is enough, doesn’t. This stuff is not difficult.

          1. I agree. And it will work even better when things get noisy. Clinton and the Dems are in more trouble than they think. Trump is a much stronger marketer than Romney/McCain and the GOP poobahs.

      2. Disagree. Voters in purple states will get bombarded with MONTHS of TV ads before the election. So much so that most voters get desperate for the crap to just stop already. An easy slogan is fine for those in states where they will spend no more time contemplating their vote than they do a cereal purchase. But the voters who matter in an election are gonna be forced to pay attention – and their feelz are a result of too much not too little.

  14. OT: Food in Cuba

    Robert Miller spent his early years in Cuba before the revolution. His father is American, his mother Cuban. He’s writing articles on Cuba, some of them memoirs. This one is about a recent trip to Cuba and talks about food.

    Cuba has garnered a reputation for, and has been touted as, a model of green, organic, non-GMO sustainable production and consumption. According to the Organic Consumers Association (quoting Cultivating Havana: Urban Agriculture and Food Security in the Years of Crisis, a study), many of the foods that people eat every day in Cuba are grown without synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides.

    Some of this is true, but because the regimen has been adopted out of necessity and not out of ideology (unless you count the Communist ideology that brought this on in the first place), it is not rigorously adhered to in the way in which, for instance, an organic farmer in the US might adhere to it. It is expediency, with ideology added after the fact to capitalize on necessity.

    1. On my recent bike trip across Cuba, I was accompanied by a bourgeois socialist couple ? retired on government pensions, upbeat about Castro’s “reforms,” berning-for-Bernie ? who wanted to see the island before it was “ruined” by McDonalds, Walmarts, discount dollar stores, and other popular tendrils of free choice that might invade once the embargo is lifted. Fair-weather vegetarians (don’t mention bacon around them!), free-range egg fans, supplement-swallowing, sugar-hating, GMO-abjuring, organic-food faddists, they were also looking forward to eating “healthy” food in Cuba.

      Well, Cubans don’t do vegetarianism. Castro pushed salads ? mostly cabbage ? on them during the “Special Period” in the ’90s; and, at least for tourists, greens remain a dependable staple, composed mostly of cabbage, tomatoes, beets, and cukes topped with canola oil and vinegar. But Cubans much prefer meat, beans, rice, and starchy veggies ? yuca, malanga, and plantains, preferably fried ? plus anything with sugar: rum (and any other alcoholic drink, such as the mojito, with an added dollop of sugar), guarapo (pure sugar cane juice), raw sugar cane, churros, cucurucho (a mixture of honey, nuts, coconut, and sugar), coffee brewed with sugar (traditional), malta (a thick, extremely sweet version of non-alcoholic malt stout), coke mixed with sweetened condensed milk, ice cream, and extra sweet pastries.

      1. You can read the rest. There is some hilarity involving the socialist couple.

      2. (unless you count the Communist ideology that brought this on in the first place)

        But…environmentalists do. Marxism is completely ingrained in the environmentalist and sustainability movement. Sustainability is code for the West accepting less and spreading its wealth around. The intellectuals behind this crap know exactly what they are espousing, and it’s to the point where they don’t even hide it anymore.

        The ridiculous nonsense that is the Earth Charter serves as a prime example:
        http://earthcharter.org/discov…..h-charter/

  15. Can Bernie still run for the Green Party nom and run as the Watermelon rep? If Cruz runs as the Constitution Party rep and peels off the Jesus vote and the LP gets the remnants of the small government TEA Party vote, we could see Hillary and Trump at about 35% each and a House vote electing President Biden.

    1. That might be the best case(

    2. “…and a House vote electing President Biden.”

      BWAHAHAHAHA that’s a good one.

      Unless the Constitution or House rules specifically state that the elected Representatives for the upcoming Congressional session – and not the Reps in there already – get to pick the President in case of an Electoral College clusterfuck, the GOP-dominated House isn’t gonna go for Biden. In that case, our next President may well end up being Paul Ryan, Rubio or, yes, even Jeb.

  16. Watching Weld on CNN right now.

    1. CNN still plays on teh teeeveee?

    2. If Bernie can run as a Democrat, and Trump can run as a Republican, then Weld can run as a Libertarian.

  17. I will say this about the current state in my town, I see TONS of Bernie stickers and haven’t seen a single hillary sticker. Not one. I believe I may have seen a Clinton sticker eight months ago.

    1. +1 Brokered Convention.

    2. I’ve seen one ‘ready for Hillary’ sticker here in Indiana.

      The same vehicle had one of those riduculous ‘coexist’ stickers as well.

      Progs must be terminally irony-impaired.

      1. I haven’t seen a single one here in deep blue MD, only Bernie stickers. Well, I did see one Hillary sticker, a Hillary for prison sticker, right below a Bernie sticker. She’s so repulsive that no one will even publicly admit they’re for her, even in a solidly democrat state.

  18. Vote McAfee: He’ll pay you $180 million if you can convert his gay daughter!

  19. And? so far nobody’s running any serious 3rd-party candidates with a real message. So this is all inane fantasy.

    1. So this is all inane fantasy.

      The very definition of politics.

    2. The last thing a 3rd party needs this year is a)earnest intensity or b)attention-seeker

      After three months of the Barking Harpy and Angry Hyena, I think people will vote for a bowl of oatmeal if it promises to STFU and leave us alone.

      Hey – LP is totally positioned to win

  20. “I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns.”

    This is great, and I love it, but unfortunately only appeals to the choir. I’d like to see more of the anti-authoritarian McAfee ads; I think that has a shot to wake up some of the inner rebelliousness of the yutes who’ve been brainwashed into being pussies.

    1. That line is about as thoughtful as “I want to live in a world of ass sex, pot and Mexicans”. That statement just affirms the worst stereotypes of libertarians; that they are just douche bag leftists who think gays and pot smokers are the only people whose rights matter. What if you are one of the people out there that doesn’t enjoy sodomy or smoking pot? What does this douche canoe offer you then? Guns, I guess but conservatives do that too. It is the one issue the Republicans ever get right.

      This guy wants to live in a world where gay couples use machine guns to defend their pot plants. Well, I want to live in a world where the Fish and Wildlife Service can’t effectively condemn my property because someone saw an endangered species on it. I want to live in a world were people can practice their religion and gay married couples can’t sue anyone who doesn’t want to be a part of their wedding into bankruptcy. I want to live in a world where the lights are not going to go off because environmentalists want to save Gaia by sending us back to the stone age. I want to live in a world where the government doesn’t have me under constant surveillance waiting for me to break a traffic law so they can snap a picture and fine me. I guess those things pale in comparison to the sacred gays growing the sacred weed.

  21. RCP average today, Trump + 2. Hillary has managed to blow a 40 point lead in the polls.

    This article. Please, spare us. 58% of people are not going to vote for an alternative candidate. I’m voting LP if the candidate is not Johnson and the east coast Republican he chose for VP, then I might just stay home. But let’s just face reality here, I am part of a tiny minority. 3rd party candidates will get less than 3% of the vote, same as always. People can say anything now, but come November, they will get a severe case of team pants shitting and vote for whoever they have determined is the lesser of 2 evils.

    1. Gilmore hit is on the head above, revealed preference versus stated preference. What do you vote based on not what you like is what matters. The thing is that even if Libertarians won and got a majority of voters to express a revealed preference for some libertarian issue, one of the major party candidates would figure that out and ride to the nomination and presidency on that issue. That is what Trump is doing with immigration. If the country ever really has had it with say the drug war, someone would do the same thing with that. So the L party is not going anywhere.

      1. “got a majority of voters to express a revealed preference for some libertarian issue, one of the major party candidates would figure that out and ride to the nomination and presidency on that issue”

        Here’s my take on that. If election after election some candidate rides to the white house on a major libertarian issue and actually implements it then that is progress.

        1. I completely agree. But I think we are in the minority on that. Most libertarians would still be butt hurt because that candidate would be unlibertarian in other ways and being pure is what it is all about.

        2. Yes, I agree. But it’s not really what we are seeing. Politicians actually care very little about what people think. You either have to vote for them or the person on the other side, who is obviously worse than Hitler and Pol Pot combined, will win. How long has cannabis prohibition been something that the majority has been against? 10 years? And yet only a few states have legalized it and the feds have not budged. Gun control has been a loser for how long? And yet, Hilary is doubling down on that very issue.

          The problem is that the teams are in some type of collusion. You get a package deal. You want legal weed? Ok, then higher taxes and more destruction of the 2nd amendment. You want lower taxes? Ok, but more war on drugs and more foreign wars. Take your pick, suckers.

  22. My write-in candidate: Jodie Foster.

  23. This is a load of crap. It’s like the number of people who say they are socially liberal and economically conservative. When you pin them down, they want “drug lords” extra-judicially murdered and want to expand Social Security. They can always be counted on to spend more money on “defense” no matter how much is wasted.

    In this election there is one and only one issue – “I want someone who’ll stick it to my enemy and make them do what I want”. This is, without a doubt, the most authoritarian election in my lifetime and I was born during the Truman administration. Hillary will bring the rich to their knees and Trump will make Mexicans pay for [the wall, welfare, crime etc]. “My guy will beat the shit out of you scumbags” is the raw essence of both candidate’s appeal.

    1. So much this.

  24. People say they want less government, but they mean less government when it comes to things they don’t like.

    Hell, even Libertarians are like that. Reason is for government spending when it’s for abortion or national museums, Or for paying the travel (and possibly other stuff) for immigrants/refugees.

    1. When has Reason ever been in favor of any of these things? Link?

  25. No. It’s a two party system/ The only winning move is to survive, and outlast the system through the Agora.

    1. “Can the LP and other third-parties rise to the opportunity?”

  26. 58 Percent of Voters Willing To Go With Someone Other Than Trump or Clinton

    They’re willing to – they won’t *actually do so*, because they’d be wasting their vote, but they’re willing to.

  27. 58 percent of respondents said they’re open to voting for a non-Republican, non-Democratic candidate.
    Sure. They’re willing to. But they won’t.

  28. The Libertarian Party is blowing a once in a century opportunity for a breakthrough by nominating Gary Johnson or one of the other weirdos – Austin Petersen is the most viable of the three. Are there really no libertarians in America with charisma, a relevant resume, “gravitas”, etc.?

    1. “Are there really no libertarians in America with charisma, a relevant resume, “gravitas”, etc.?”

      Sure, lots of libertarians. But they aren’t Libertarians.

    2. Two terms as governor doesn’t count as a relevant resume?

  29. Boy, if only we could get a generic abstraction on the ballot instead of an actual person, we might win that 58% instead of one or two percent.

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  31. Meh. I low-risk poll like this is almost assuredly going to show a high percentage of people who are “open” to voting for an independent candidate. Heck, I’m “open” to it. But my chances of actually voting for one, barring Jesus announcing his candidacy, are near 0. Especially this election.

  32. I find many of the comments here disappointing. The “it will never happen” attitude is counter-productive, and so is the bickering over policy details and who has the most correct understanding of history. I have been voting libertarian for the last 15 years or so and this is the FIRST time that I’m running into people who
    a) Have heard of the Libertarian party
    b) Have heard of one of its candidates (Gary Johnson)
    c) Are considering voting for him

    So, I really think we’ll do better than pulling 1.5 percent in the popular vote. Maybe we won’t pull 10 percent, but we never will if the attitude is that “doesn’t matter because we never will”. People are fed up and they are to look for solutions. So, we’ve reached the point where we need to get some recognition.

    This is the time to aggressively let people know that there are alternatives. I ask all of my friends to consider voting for ANY third party candidate – whichever one fits their ideals. It just so happens that libertarianism fits most of them. I am encouraged by the polling, and social media can be our friend. I think I’ve actually swayed a few of my friends with my persistence and I think the time is now to start planting a seed. If folks are “open” to it, then this is the perfect time to convince them why a vote for a third party is NOT throwing away a vote.

    Here ends my pep-rally speech, thanks be to God (or whatever/whomever you believe in). 🙂

    1. Since you’re serious, I’ll be serious. The question isn’t “How many people despise the major party candidates?”. The question is “Why do they despise the major party candidates?”

      It isn’t because they believe that Hillary-Trump will take away their freedom or their money. It’s because they believe that the government can fix their lives and that these two can’t be trusted to do that. The unsatisfied voters are looking for salvation and libertarians are promising to limit the instrument of their salvation – the government.

      Between the SJ warriors screaming that cutting any benefit will cause mass slaughters and the war-now, war-forever NeoCons screaming that any cut in defense spending will have jihadists marching triumphantly down Pennsylvania Avenue, there is no room for rational discussion. All arguments are countered with visions of the Apocalypse.

      After about a half century of watching liberty consistently rejected by the vast majority of Americans I can only conclude that no serious advocate of individual liberty can get the support of 5% of American voters.

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  36. RE: 58 Percent of Voters Willing To Go With Someone Other Than Trump or Clinton
    Can the LP and other third-parties rise to the opportunity?

    Let’s hope so.
    You get more socialist slavery with Heil Hitlrey, and outright fascism with Trump the Grump.
    Perhaps the people of our country is finally waking up to see there is no real difference between the two socialist slaving parties, and they are just a bunch of closet fascists who want to turn our beloved republic into a socialist paradise like Cuba or North Korea.
    The real reason these three (I’ll include Comrade Bernie with them) are running for the executive office is to satisfy their humongous egos. None of them have any good ideas to improve our country’s current plight. This has to be the worst presidential race since Nixon/McGovern in ’72.

  37. Got it: you don’t like either candidate, you have your own website, great, nice job, super duper. But we don’t need another Ross Perot, and the specter of HRC being president outweighs whatever collective utility you people might have in being able to honestly say you voted for a third-party candidate. Such a vote is not going to prevent you from routinely lamenting the two-party system anyway.

    Pragmatism principle in this 2016 election, if not almost always.

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  43. the choice is between Clinton and Trump. Don’t kid yourselves. Anybody drumming up support for a “libertarian alternative” in 2016 is just gaming votes for Hillary. Like it or not, but acknowledge it for what it is

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