Libertarian Party

6 Reasons Libertarian Party Delegates Are Wary of William Weld

And 2 reasons why he may yet win the VP nomination of a party that lustily boos its own likely presidential pick

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Will they be smiling? ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

If, as seems as plausible as not, the Libertarian Party today decides to nominate Gary Johnson as its president while rejecting Johnson's hand-picked selection of former Massachusetts governor William Weld as his vice-presidential running mate, the sneering headlines will write themselves: "Party Boos Drivers Licenses, Rejects Veep for Being Too Normal." Or maybe, "MegaCon or LP: Which Convention Had the Most Costumed Freaks?"

The Libertarian Party National Convention has been largely a celebratory affair, as delegates, alternates, and longtime activists coming out of the woodwork bask in the exponentially increased media attention, and salivate at the prospects of being the third-party beneficiary of America's two-party nervous breakdown. The number-one question delegates ask me, unprompted, is some variation on "Isn't this great?!"

Freak flags gonna fly. ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

But that doesn't mean there aren't tensions and age-old divides that are being exposed and exacerbated along the way. The party of anti-state anarchists and proudly marginal weirdos has to grapple with nominating a normcore ticket of 1990s Republican governors in an election year that elsewhere has been electrified by the wild-eyed Bernie Sanders and the mores-shattering Donald Trump. Though the betting money is still solidly on the side of Gary Johnson repeating as presidential nominee, the loudest conversation all convention long has been whether these fundamental tensions will see their biggest expression in today's subsequent vote on William Weld.   

Weld's perceived lack of Libertarian bonafides has drawn audible booing here, produced several moments of dissonance at Friday night's vice-presidential debate, and generated such headlines as Politico's "Libertarian 'dream ticket' in peril as Weld bombs in Orlando." Johnson, who I interviewed and hung around with Friday, is responding to this reaction with a mixture of incredulity, humility, fatalism, and defiance. "I will not be elected president of the United States if Bill Weld is not my vice presidential pick," he told Brian Doherty. "It's not going to happen. It's just that simple."

Weld, who is maintaining a sense of equanimity about it all, told me in an interview yesterday that he'll do what he can to help the Libertarian ticket and party for the rest of his active life no matter what happens today. Meanwhile, gossips are sketching out various Plan B and Plan C scenarios, often involving either VP candidate Larry Sharpe (who was impressive at Friday's debate), or Austin Petersen, should he lose the presidential vote and should there emerge a subsequent groundswell of support for changing the rules so that he could throw his hat in the ring, which party longtimers say is a fairly routine matter.

Reason has covered many of the controversies over Weld's candidacy; start backward from this search. But first, as a sort of snapshot of where the Libertarian Party is at in May 2016, here are the six most common complaints I've heard about him at the convention, listed in no particular order.

1) He showed up 10 days ago, after 10 years of being alienated from the Libertarian Party. Even 2008 nominee Bob Barr—who would retreat back to the GOP less than four years after his run—came over to do some spade work with the L.P. 18 months before running for president, points out longtime Georgia Libertarian activist Doug Craig. Springing the Weld announcement just prior to the convention rubbed a lot of people here the wrong way, including, privately, several members of party leadership. His performance at the vice presidential debate suggested someone not particularly fluent with the arcana of L.P. philosophical debates.

The Libertarian Party during its 45 years has been more or less continuously riven by a fundamental divide between idealists and pragmatists, between people focused on making sure the Messenger is bringing the right Message and those focused more on maximizing the widest possible audience. The fact that Weld's suggested nomination brought forth a possibly unprecedented level of media attention and respect to the L.P. reinforces the view of both camps: Hooray for more free and positive media! Fie on the statist preferences of journalists!

Those who have sweated over years and decades to make this plucky little collection of political oddballs the third biggest party in the United States feel some completely understandable human emotions of underappreciation when faced with recent converts who want to step off the boat into leadership positions. And, they also smell an unprecedented electoral opportunity. Conflict!

2) Weld is yet another former Republican, at a time when the juice within the party just doesn't have much of a Republican flavor. Not only was 2008 nominee Bob Barr a former Republican congressman, his running mate, Las Vegas hustler Wayne Allyn Root, had written a book three years previously titled Millionaire Republican. (Root, like Barr, would leave the L.P. in 2012, becoming at first a Tea Party champion and eventually an evangelist for Donald Trump.) There is a palpable wariness at becoming a way station for lower-tier Republicans trying to opportunistically worm their way onto a coveted ballot slot. Favorite VP alternative Larry Sharpe even claimed to me in an interview that the selection of two mainstreamish former Republican governors could "set the party back 10 years," because it would alienate the decidedly non-Republican activist base, who would then have to be painstakingly wooed back.

The party as it exists now is experiencing a historical surge. Yes, some of this is directly attributable to the American public waking up after the Indiana primary and realizing that we've got six agonizing months ahead of us of Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, but as LNC Chairman Nicholas Sarwark told me, Libertarians over the last two years have been the only political party to see its membership rolls increase. There are new candidates, young candidates, competent candidates and activists, who are making real inroads in states like Washington, real change in states like New Hampshire, and spurring giddy talk about the most promising third-party moment since 1860.

Who are these characters injecting palpable energy into Orlando and elsewhere? They're the Ron Paul kids from 2007-2008, who just were never that Republican to begin with. Or people who were exposed early on to the ideas and its practitioners (including Reason, as I keep hearing here). Or youngish lawyers, or entrepreneurs or Free State freakers or motivational speakers or campus activists or dozens of other flavors of human who finds the word "libertarian" (capitalized or not) a natural fit requiring neither hyphenation nor tortured explanation for alleged deviation from the norm.

At Friday's vice presidential debate, Sharpe, an energetic black management consultant from New York, scored heavily in his closing statements by saying that he's not against his former-Republican brothers and sisters being in the Libertarian Party, it's just that they need to realize that they're only a part of the party, not its permanent managerial class. (Sharpe made a similar crack about "old white guys," prompting a growly Gary Johnson Saturday to kick off his nominating speech with the line: "I want you all to know that I am NOT an old white guy. And I am NOT Republican-lite. I'm a Libertarian, and I'm proud of it!")

3) Weld supports U.S. membership in the United Nations. "That's a potential dealbreaker," said one delegate who supports Weld's candidacy. To give you an idea about the temperature of the L.P. grassroots on such issues, three of the five leading candidates who participated in the presidential debate Saturday night unequivocally advocated withdrawing the United States from the U.N., the International Monetary Fund, and NATO (a fourth candidate, wiseacre Marc Allan Feldman, joked around the answer). Only Gary Johnson dodged the question, with a rambly answer about getting the Chinese to help bring the dangerous North Koreans to the diplomatic table.

4) He defended his prior support for gun restrictions in part by calling himself a "lifelong hunter." What's wrong with that, you say? Code-words, say the gun-rights people here. When a politician emphasizes hunting over self-defense, it's a sign that he disrespects the fundamental purpose of firearm ownership.

5) He screwed over the Libertarian Party in New York 10 years ago. It's a complicated story given the Empire State's unusual multi-party politics, but Weld was going to be the great Libertarian hope in the 2006 gubernatorial race but then backed out of the party's nomination when he did not also concurrently win the Republican Party nomination. People in the New York delegation here remember this incident like it was yesterday, and have vowed revenge. (In his interview with me, Weld chalked up the conflict to a series of cascadingly negative political events that overwhelmed him.)

6) He supported John Kasich for president as recently as 2016. While L.P. activists who bring this up have been irritated mostly by the Ohio governor's role in blunting Libertarian Party ballot access, certain non-L.P. libertarian journalists whose names rhyme with "Fat Belch" also point out that the liberal media's favored GOP candidate this cycle had an easily discoverable campaign record as an interventionist nightmare on foreign policy. Weld told me that his Kasich endorsement was merely based on the former congressman's role in balancing the federal budget way back when.

Despite these six reasons (and plenty of grumbling besides), there's still a strong chance that William Weld may yet win the nomination. How is that possible? Delegates here have given me two reasons, over and over again:

1) That's who Gary Johnson wants. If the presidential nominee says campaigning without Weld is like running a marathon on one leg, then by gum we should listen to the guy. Maybe he knows a thing or two about the realities of campaigning that the average An-Cap undervalues.

2) The outside world would use a Weld rejection as evidence that Libertarians can't even score on a free kick, because they're too busy being crazy Libertarians. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had here in which delegates have asked me, anxiously, about how the political/media world outside the convention building would treat a Weld rebuke. "Will they think we're just crazy?" they ask. I reply that it will be very difficult for non-libertarian journalists to understand. Hence this long blog post!

NEXT: Libertarian Party Presidential Debate: Gary Johnson is From a Different World

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  1. Good summary.

    My takeaway: The Libertarian Party should’ve just nominated a few choice superdelegates who would’ve then determined the party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees. That’s true democracy.

    1. Let Mary Ruwart pick the candidate.

      1. Why not Thunderdome?

      2. Is Mary even there? Why isn’t she in the running? She is awesome.

    2. Well, we did do that, de facto. Every LPer who is an elected member of Congress could be a superdelegate, just like the Democrats.

      Doubt any of the candidates would scramble to nail down those zero votes, though.

      1. Ooooh, sick burn.

    3. Why not RAND PAUL?

  2. Last night, any mainstream media paying attention saw through a debate featuring:
    1. A rapping Jew who doesn’t even endorse his own candidacy.
    2. A guy who looks like the offspring of STEVE SMITH and Spock.
    3. A tech millionaire wanted for connections to a murder in Belize and a history with ever psychoactive substance known to man.
    4. A former Republican governor who wants you to force bakers to make cakes for Nazis and who may or may not be a closeted gay.
    5. A white dude who put up dating ads looking to become a sugardaddy
    6. And a sixth guy I can’t remember right now

    I’m sorry to break this to you, Matt, but they already think you, your party, and your candidates are fucking whack jobs. They are mildly humoring the libertarian party because they are sharks who smell blood in the water.

    You won’t get the respectability you crave.

    1. STEVE SMITH NOT TALK ABOUT WHAT DONE TO BE A RED SHIRT EXTRA ON ORIGINAL SERIES

    2. Which one is Austin Peterson?

      1. The sugardaddy, I think.

    3. In a normal year, that would be deadly to the ticket. In 2016…

  3. “I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had here in which delegates have asked me, anxiously, about how the political/media world outside the convention building would treat a Weld rebuke.”

    That depends on whether they think it will help or hurt Hillary.

  4. Jesus Gary Johsnon, the ‘serious’ candidate, plays Eminem and some awful custom rap for himself as his campaign intro. Combined with him angry I’M NOT AN OLD WHITE GUY denial and he is only a step above Gillespie in self-denial.

    1. All this time and I had no clue Johnson’s first name was “Jesus”.

      Do you pronounce it the Spanish way or the KJV-way?

      1. Still salty because you were wrong in claiming Howard Stern is not the top draw in radio, huh?

        1. That’s hilarious. You are so insecure that when I make a joke and you take it as an attack. Another data point in favor of Freudian psychological projection, I guess.

          And on a similar note, I also like how you rewrote history in your own mind, cognitive scientists call this “mental accounting”. Despite your mental accounting, the fact remains that I was the only one who supplied empirical data to support my claim and you just ranted and raved like the bitter, hysterical little queen that you are. I found it especially risible that you switched gears mid-argument to claim that you meant the idiom “top drawer”, that was some pathetically funny shit, Toasty Bread.

          1. I don’t know. I would think pointing out that Stern is paid significantly more than Limbaugh is providing data myself. By contrast, your claim that the difference came from Howard Stern being on America’s Got Talent was flat-out wrong.

            Whose really playing pigeon chess here?

            1. I would think pointing out that Stern is paid significantly more than Limbaugh is providing data myself.

              And you would be wrong. Again, the original claim was who had the biggest “draw” (i.e. ” to cause (someone or something) to come : to attract (someone or something)), in this case drawing listeners. The income doesn’t matter. If A sells 1,000,000 widgets at .50 cents each, and B sells 50 widgets at 1,000,000 dollars each, B may have made more money but A drew in more costumers.

              Your “reasoning” continues to be fallacious, and since, no matter how many times this is explained to you in simple, mono-syllabic Anglo-Saxon you continue to hold your erroneous premise in bad faith, the pigeon is you.

              Now, let’s return to your butt-hurt over a joke about Johnson’s first name.

              1. “And you would be wrong”

                That’s not providing data? It sure looks like providing data.

            2. Whose what playing pigeon chess?

              1. Careful Ted, he clearly is a grudge-holder. He’ll probably call you a pretentious grammar pedant 3 weeks from now in the P.M. Links or something.

              2. As an aside, Memorial Day guests have arrived. Let me know if he gets on your case, Ted, and we’ll take the proper steps to rectify that.

            3. Re-litigating the past is what I do.

              The original dispute was over who was ‘top draw.’ Not ‘biggest.’ Here I thought we were libertarians, and acknowledged that the payment one receives in some way reflects value added and productivity. Yet here you are dismissing that as any barometer of who is the top draw in radio just because you want to try and force a definition of the phrase to mean the one metric that you think proves you right.

              Howard Stern is the top draw in radio. That’s what his pay reflects. No one else could draw in the subscribers he does. If Limbaugh could, he’d be getting paid what Stern is.

              If A sells 1,000,000 widgets at .50 cents each, and B sells 50 widgets at 1,000,000 dollars each, B may have made more money but A drew in more costumers.

              Stern isn’t selling widgets. He’s paid to draw in subscribers to his radio platform. If Limbaugh could draw in more customers for Sirius XM, they’d be banging at his door to give him $90m instead.

              1. Not necessarily.

                Perhaps at the time Stern was available and Limbaugh wasn’t. Perhaps Sirius/XM overpaid for Stern.

                1. Honestly Ted, B may be wrong but those are two of the dumbest attempts at a rebuttal to her point that you could have come up with.

                2. Sirius doesn’t have to pick between Limbaugh and Stern. Howard Stern has been consistently paid more than Limbaugh throughout their careers. Even in the pre-satelite days Stern was still racking in more advertising dollars and paid more as a result. Limbaugh is paid roughly $20m less. The last contract negotiations between Stern/Sirius weren’t cordial, he’s sued them before over his contract. Sirius isn’t overpaying him out of love.

                  Heroic Mulatto desperately wants the narrow the scope of top draw to mean ‘biggest’ draw – as in, audience. While ignoring that one guy is on a paid subscription serve and the other guy hosts a daily show in the mid-day which is a less competitive timeslot in the radio world.

                  Stern has more market value. HM is wrong technically and materially.

                  1. “Heroic Mulatto” fled. What he thinks can be safely dismissed.

                    1. It may surprise you to find that he actually has a life and other things to do beyond arguing with dummies on the internet.

                    2. So says you, “Renegade Jew.”

                    3. That’s quite poetic.

                    4. I was kind of hoping you were Marc Allan Feldman.

                    5. No, guys with three names are usually mass murderers or assassins. I’m a gentle matzo-eater, crusading for the glory of Yahweh.

                    6. Thank you, “Renegade Jew.”

                    7. Iyere bagrisin, chaver.

          2. I’m glad I missed this squabble as it originally occurred. :-p

            1. [Mental note: Bring up Howard Stern’s irrelevance in every argument with Brochettaward]

              1. You shall henceforth refer to him as your King Of All Media.

  5. The problem with democratic compromise on getting things done is that nobody gets what they want and when the plan doesn’t work everybody blames everybody else for the failure. “See, if we’d done things my way things would have worked out so much better.” The split between ideologues and pragmatics means you have somebody neither side wants, neither side thinks can win, neither side thinks of as “our guy”.

    A better approach might be to say “okay, we’ll try your plan – but if it doesn’t work you have to agree to shut up and try our plan.” Ideological purity doesn’t seem to have worked too well, maybe it’s time to try pragmatism. But no squishy middle ideological pragmatism – turn the party over to Johnson and Weld and their sorts of advisors and strategists, and tell everybody they have to get onboard with it. Say “here, you say you can do something with this? Fine, show us what you can do – but no bullshit excuse-making if you fail. If you fail, you have to admit you failed, admit you were wrong and didn’t know what you were talking about, you have to go sit in the corner over there and shut the hell up while somebody else gets a shot at trying their plan.”

    1. Fine, show us what you can do – but no bullshit excuse-making if you fail. If you fail, you have to admit you failed…

      How do you define success? What is the goal? At this point, it’s not “winning the presidency.” There aren’t enough libertarians to do that. So what is to be accomplished? Greater than 1%? 2%? 10%? Get into the debates? Be the spoiler? X number of new registered Libertarians?

      If you define success as winning, there will never be a long-term game-plan under your proposal, as Libertarians will not win until there a shit-ton more libertarians out there, and the LP will bounce back and forth between pragmatism and purity every 4 years.

      The LP needs to become respectable in the eyes of the public to attract the “straights.” Only then, will they win.

      1. Hi! Thanks for not calling me ‘crazy’ and using that as an excuse to bomb me today. 🙂

        1. You are crazy, but that doesn’t mean you should be bombed.

          1. Thank you for reluctantly deciding not to bomb or institutionalize me today. 🙂

    2. Well to your point, Gary Johnson did get his shot and failed.

  6. Well, based on the interview I saw you and Gillespie do with Smerconish yesterday morning and the one I saw Johnson and Weld give on Friday, I can tell you a few things:
    1: they sound more sensible than either of the other “major” candidates and I believe it will resonate.
    2: Gillespie saying the vast majority of libertarians are big fans of abortion rights (paraphrased) is not really accurate.
    3: you are a much better interviewee than Nick, who looked jumper than Michael J Fox after a case of red bull.
    4: this is out best chance ever to not just compete but to effect the outcome if we poll our way into the debates.

    1. Yeah. I’m surprised and not surprised and the Johnson-Weld hate. We’re super good at purity tests. But the difference between the big L and little l libertarians is that the big L’s are a political party (note I am not big L). They have shit to try to do.

      Why is it so nuts to have two converts as the standard bearers? MOST libertarians are converts and most of the people they want to try to get to vote for them would be, too.

      For fuck’s sake, if I have to wait a while on complete freedom of association but in exchange I get stopping drone wars, stopping surveillance, and cutting a few bucks from the government I’ll take it. Fuck, if we even get a televised debate where people ACTUALLY BRING UP any of those topics I’ll take it.

      I don’t give a fuck who’s president. I just wish people would stop doing evil shit. Forcing people to bake cakes is evil shit, but I am happy to start with ending some of the murdering and thieving, if that works. We ain’t gonna fucking privatize the roads in the next four years, guys.

      Prediction: the big-L’s will fuck this up. Again. And I’ll get another four years of statist assholes telling me how juvenile and unrealistic the little-l version is.

      1. Fuck, if we even get a televised debate where people ACTUALLY BRING UP any of those topics I’ll take it.

        Or, just get in a national debate almost solely on the “Not only am I not those two disgusting people, I will legalize marijuana.”

      2. Johnson, I don’t have so much of a problem with.

        Weld, I’m not so sure about.

      3. “Why is it so nuts to have two converts as the standard bearers? ”

        Two converted politicians? You can answer this one come on man, what are we doing out here?

    2. On pt. 2, a 2008 study found 62% of libertarians were pro-choice. Not having listened to the Gillespie bit I can’t say whether that was in line with what he was saying. If you were saying that it’s not an 80/20 split then yeah, but it is a clear majority. As if that matters…

  7. I don’t get the idea of withdrawing from the UN. I can get not funding it, not granting it any special immunity, not acknowledging it as a sovereign above the US; but leaving makes no tactical sense, if for no other reason just so you know what batshit things they are discussing trying to force on you.

    1. Because the government should have no foreign policy, no treaties, no embassies. If stupid hikers want to vacation near the Iranian border and be kidnapped for political points, it should be nobody’s business, and if the government had a reputation for ignoring such matters, they wouldn’t have been kidnapped in the first place.

      That’s why to withdraw form the UN. Goerge Washington said it well — no foreign entanglements.

      The problem with an official US stance on any matter, whether fracking, GMO labeling, or foreign entanglements, is that it is a one-size-fits-all stance, liable to flip-flop on a whim. Much much better to let foreigners figure out what the public thinks, to get into a PR battle if they want, to get foreign aid from private donations if they want, but NOT to create an arbitrary and lying single official government stance which falsely purports to stand for everyone.

      1. having a representative at the UN doesn’t mean that any of those things have to be true, it’s just someone you send to sit in a room and listen, they don’t even have to be entitled to speak. like I said, as a matter of strategy you want to keep an eye on what’s going on.

        That being said, I do believe, and constitution gives the authority, for the government to negotiate with foreign entities. (trade deals are worthless, if people want trade, they will trade). Foreign entanglements isn’t the same thing as not talking with foreign governments.

        1. Talking with foreign governments implies the US government, who would be doing the talking, represents a single solitary position on some matter. This is one-size-fits-all at its worst. If foreign governments want to deal with people in another country, go ahead; it only hurts their own people, who lose their multiple voices to a false single position.

          If polity were so united on a subject that there was no dissent, then there would be no need for a government position. A government position is only “necessary” when the elites want to stifle dissent by pretending there is none.

          And even assuming the government should talk to other governments, that doesn’t require joining a club and abiding by its extra-constitutional rules or relying on its non-binding resolutions as a fig leaf for foreign intervention.

          The UN is entirely extra-constitutional and the US has no business being a member.

      2. Because the government should have no foreign policy

        The constitution says otherwise (e.g., Article I, Section 8, Clauses 3 and 12). I think the more honest argument is that our foreign policy does not benefit us overall, so we need one which does. That means no military actions where our national interest isn’t directly threatened and a freer trade policy.

    2. Neither do I. I would immediately change our status to a non-binding observer but it’s good to be there if for nothing else but to observe what collectivism/cronyism/corruption looks like without risking anything. I mean Jesus, just look at the corruption with the African aid programs. It’s staffed almost exclusively with family and friends of UN power brokers and the bags of rice never get to their destinations. I think exposing Americans to that level of idiocy is a good thing, especially if we end it here and use it as a contrast to our free market.

      1. Then why not join Greenpeace, the Illinois Nazis, and the Hoboken Chess Club as non-binding observers too?

        If you had to be a member of some club to talk to somebody, even just a non-binding observer, no one would talk to anybody.

      2. During the Soviet Union days, Jeanne Kirkpatrick suggested having the UN change locations between NY and Moscow, just for the educational benefit. That seems like a good idea, but these days, I’d add in Pyongyang, Riyadh, Caracas, and Tehran.

  8. the selection of two mainstreamish former Republican governors could “set the party back 10 years,” because it would alienate the decidedly non-Republican activist base, who would then have to be painstakingly wooed back.

    The euphemisms for Mexican assex are going Victorian.

  9. Great article, Mr. Welch. I especially like that you highlighted the philosophical vs. practical wings of the party. That’s usually one of the first things I explain to outsiders when they ask me questions about the LP.

  10. I too wold like to say thanks for this excellent summation of a tangled convention.

  11. I want you all to know that I am NOT an old white guy. And I am NOT Republican-lite.

    #NeverJohnson

    1. “if” you’re bored or “if you want to be bored”?

    2. Entitlements. Bubble blowing. Quantitative easing. Medical care is eating into a growing percentage of GDP, enabled by protectionism.

      None of those are even the worst part. The worst part is that we’re forbidden to innovate our way out of this crab pot. We’ve become a You Can’t Do That America. Robots and automated ordering kiosks stealing the jerbs of low-skilled humans is a problem – an ordinarily short-term, temporary problem – but it is not the problem. The problem is that these humans and others can’t create new jobs without overcoming barriers to market entry that protect politicians and their besties. Control. Force. You can’t do that. Is that safe? Do you have an impact study? We’ve never been more diverse and tolerant. Now shut up while others decide what you can do or say or wear or even think, based on your skin tone and genitals as the sole criteria.

      We could fix this. We’ve created the capability to have the sum of human knowledge at your fingertips for a trifling sum. We use it to behave like cunts, post cat memes and reinforce our personal ideals of absolute control.

      A society which views stifling innovation and crushing outliers to a perceived norm as fundamental goals will malinger and stultify. Stability breeds fragility. We could fix this, but we’d have to take the hands off the levers to do so.

      1. The problem is that these humans and others can’t create new jobs without overcoming barriers to market entry that protect politicians and their besties.

        Have I mentioned I love you?

        1. Me too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

      2. You say this as though cat memes were a bad thing.

      3. We’ve created the capability to have the sum of human knowledge at your fingertips for a trifling sum.

        The Internet is probably not the solution to either the socialist calculation problem or the cronyist/monopolist calculation problem.

        1. And if you think that’s what I meant, then neither are you.

  12. OT: Government frustration story #3,280,623,874,387,349,812

    All the prison employees are required to log in to some department website and do these online “lessons” so that the department can say they trained employees on violence prevention, Prison Rape Elimination Act stuff, etc.

    Some of the lessons are videos, and they look like extremely high-budget CGI. One of my co-workers was watching one that looked like a surreal sequence of human heads flying through the matrix with crosshairs zooming past them with a voice-over talking about situational awareness.

    You just KNOW that they spent a million fucking dollars of taxpayer money on those fancy videos. And most employees just skip through them and answer “yes” to the part where it says “did you watch the video”.

    1. Look at the credits at the end of the video, then do a search for who owns the production company, then google those people. Ten bucks says they are politically connected or even office holders.

    2. Possibly, but these days many “canned” CGI clips are available for video producers, and even without such things, it’s not hard to make flashy video effects on a laptop.

    3. Most of the regulations-mandated “training” I have to do is utter bullshit. Just use some fucking common sense.

  13. I went to a State LP convention way long ago. There was a lot of purple hair, the distinct smell of patchouli, Indian costumes, lots of speeches about freedom for me and my pet cause but not for thee or yours and a fair number of demands for ponies.

    From the articles I have read here it doesnt seem the party has improved its chances of being taken seriously.

    I am more convinced than ever that the way to affect change is from inside one of the major parties, one of being the R’s. There is zero chance the pinko party is going to move us in the direction of liberty. It is going to take serious minded, mature, articulate people who at least look mainstream and advocate for issues that affect everyone. Whether or not we should have driver’s licenses or if we were right to fight in a world war a century ago are not those issues.

    1. Really? We’ve just seen the “Rs” have been taken over by a movement that featured more than it’s fair share of overweight guys in tricorn hats and toy muskets. At this point in time, the fact that the liberty movement attracts “individualists” is not really what is keeping it from an imagined mainstream.

      1. “…featuring more than it’s fair share of…toy muskets.”

        I think I see the problem with that.

        You do have a point without a doubt. Much of the R base does not find true liberty very appealing, but they are not repelled by it the way the D base is. They can be swayed on some issues. Some progress is better than none.

        One of the points I tried to make is that the ‘individualists’ are not as much of fans of liberty as they like to think they are. Most people will agree with the premise of self-ownership until they start looking at the logical consequences of it.

        1. Much of the R base does not find true liberty very appealing, but they are not repelled by it the way the D base is. They can be swayed on some issues. Some progress is better than none.

          You are more optimistic than I am. In pretty much every fusionist interaction, I’ve only seen capitulation on the part of the liberty movement. When I actually see some swaying on their side, I’ll be more amendable to that strategy.

          One of the points I tried to make is that the ‘individualists’ are not as much of fans of liberty as they like to think they are. Most people will agree with the premise of self-ownership until they start looking at the logical consequences of it.

          It’s hard to agree without a specific example. For the most part, I don’t, or I can’t, surmise someone’s political ideology merely by how they dress. Purple-haired, smelly, Indian dresser could be the most principled defender of liberty as far as I know.

          1. “I’ve only seen capitulation on the part of the liberty movement.”

            We could back and forth all day about many things, all of which would be pointless until that one thing changes. You are absolutely correct on that. It is the one single thing that pisses me off more than all of the rest of it combined. No one seems to ever be willing to take the gloves off and really fight. It is always compromise and every compromise moves us ever closer to complete totalitarianism.

            *Specific examples:

            Me to self professed liberty advocate – Regarding the War on Drugs – “You already agree that your mind, your body, your conscience are your property. How then can you say that someone else is qualified to tell you what you can or cannot ingest into your own body that you own and they fucking don’t?”

            Him – *Looks down his nose and sneers* “Well that is a fine Libertarian argument.”

            Me – “Yes, it is.” *waits for response or critique…crickets*

            This guy was an advocate of liberty regarding property…land, money, possessions…but could not seem to extend that to his actual person. He was unable to see how destructive to property rights that is and how the destruction of property rights he doesnt like extends to the specific property rights he likes.

            1. Pick almost any issue and you will find some liberty advocate making the same mistakes.

              But, these people are not set in stone. They can be reasoned with. I was eventually able to sway the guy to legalizing MJ, just not other drugs. It took a lot of explaining, but he finally got it. Destroy the forth amendment, allow cops to seize property in drug crimes and pretty soon they are taking the things he likes from him. I used real life examples not just speculation.

              1. I find it difficult to get people to see how the cops are thugs *in general*, whether it be BLM types, or people who say it just the BLM types complaining, And since black people commit more crime, they deserved to be thugged against, anyway.

            2. He’s really skittish about extending it to *other* actual persons.

  14. “normcore”

    at the concerts, everyone wears rockports, dockers and izods

    they don’t have mosh pits; they bring folding chairs. and sit in them.

    they rat people out who snuck booze into the show. “Sir! Sir!” (waves to security) “I believe there was a posted rule about containers?”

    Weld’s perceived lack

    Oh “its us”, not him. We’re not getting him from the right angle.

    (looks at picture of weld)

    There doesn’t seem to be a right angle. he looks like he needs a drink.

  15. His performance at the vice presidential debate suggested someone not particularly fluent with the arcana of L.P. philosophical debates

    “What this country needs is more laws! and why aren’t we spending more on defense, amirite?! USA USA USA”

  16. I am NOT an old white guy

    but

    1. Gary Johnson = Old White Guy with strong Authoritarian tendencies.

      Who the hell picks an anti-self defense candidate for Libertarian V.P.?

      What Libertarian says the state should physically force Jews to serve Nazis?

      How’n Hell are we even considering Gary Johnson at this point????

      1. First off, i don’t think there’s anything wrong with being an old white guy.

        I think its just silly when Gary Johnson thinks the first words out of his mouth should be to “deny what he obviously is”

        How pathetic is that? “I HATE OLD WHITE GUYS TOO, YO!” I suppose his intent is to try and “show he’s hip with the young people” or something, but its pathetic, embarrassing, stupid, and emblematic of everything wrong with his candidacy.

        What Libertarian says the state should physically force Jews to serve Nazis?

        Technically the issue is not “serving Nazis”. Its serving “Nazi Cakes”. The distinction being that the former is just a question of accommodation, while the latter is compelled speech.

        People who try and defend government action say its simply to enforce “accommodation” when in reality they’re covering for their enforcement of compelled speech.

        This bullshit handwave-move goes back to the Memories Pizza kerfuffle, which tried to paint people who ‘theorized that they’d probably choose to not cater Gay Weddings (were they ever hypothetically asked)“…. as being discriminatory towards gays in general.

        which they weren’t. They said repeatedly they served their products to any and all comers. Just that as devout Christians, they’d choose not to participate in what they saw as a religious event.

        People constantly change the argument in order to force people to defend the wrong things.

        1. Honestly re gayNazicakes, the issue is simpler than it appears and it doesn’t require rearguing the CRA unless someone has a hidden (but usually obvious) agenda re the CRA.

          Title 2 public accommodation section was upheld by the SC in 1964 on the basis of ‘interstate commerce’. The almost identical section of the 1875 CRA was overturned by the SC on the basis of due process and equal protection clauses. Both of those rulings are still valid. Which means nothing more than that:

          a)Congress not the states are authority when it comes to interstate commerce and a public accommodations violation is legally speaking an infringement on someone’s interstate mobility. Anyone who argues that wedding cake baker should be forced to sell to anyone would have a hell of an uphill battle arguing that so many people travel out of state to purchase wedding cakes that it becomes an issue worthy of a court to opine on.

          b)The only area where ‘public accommodations’ rise to the level of a constitutional – as decided by SC due process or equal protection violation occurs when a private property owner enforces their private claim via means that violate due process or equal protection (eg arrests for trespassing, private forcible intimidation/murder that is not punished). Easy to see a winning argument here re blacks in Jim Crow country. Hard to see a winning argument here re gayNazi weddings.

          Propertarians are a bit too busy wrapping themselves in victimhood here.

        2. Johnson and I are both old white guys. Unlike myself, Johnson is ashamed of the title.
          Anyway,
          Forcing the Jewish baker is an extension of Obama’s “you didn’t build that”.
          It’s a Marxist/collectivist philosophy asserting ownership of all by the collective – the idea that your rights are issued and retracted by the state on an as needed basis. In this case the Baker’s rights are rescinded by the collective for “the general welfare”.

          People “changing the argument” can be an excellent educational tool. I use it all the time – it’s why I changed the argument from a Christian baker and gays to a Jewish baker and Nazis.

  17. On to more important news: Tragically Hip: The most Canadian band in the world

    But the Hip, as they are known, are not ordinary musicians to Canadians. Rather, more than any other artist, they have reflected the sense of what it’s like to love and live in a small, beautiful, overlooked country.

    To understand why the Hip resonates, it’s essential to understand Canada’s place in the world. From Confederation in 1867 to the end of World War II in 1945, the country lived in the shadow of Great Britain.

    After the United States became the dominant world power, Canada became dwarfed by America.

    “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant,” Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau told Americans in 1969.

    “No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

    The Hip treat their country the way Bob Dylan treats America: as a source of endless poetic fascination and mystery. And as with Bruce Springsteen, the band became a cherished national symbol, even if only to itself in this case.

    1. Every band in Canada is the most Canadian band in the world. Its like they all get prizes just for showing up.

      I still think Barenaked Ladies deserves the title. No other country on earth could possibly have spawned that.

        1. Oooh, good one.

          Gordon Lightfoot?

          1. I thought it was Mariah Carey

    2. Springsteen is a cherished national symbol? I’ve always thought of him as overrated crap. Most overrated singer since Dylan.

      1. I’ve always thought of him as overrated crap. Most overrated singer since Dylan.

        No one rates either of those 2 as “singers”. they’re credited with being earthy songwriters who succeeded through sheer tenacity and heart rather than good looks or talent.

      2. Who is the most American band? Or has the “most American” voice? My choice: Bob Seger. Bob Seger is the voice of America.

        1. Grand Funk Railroad.

          1. I would have accepted Creedence.

            1. All 3 pretty good

        2. It’s funny how the people who quote “Like a Rock” ignore the ending where the guy realizes he’s wasted 20 years of his life.

          And the people who sport yellow ribbons should be asked if they support restoring all rights to released felons.

        3. Prince, when he was alive. He could take elements of anything and mash them together into something great.

        4. The .most American band would be the Lawrence Welk band. 😉

        5. Duke Ellington’s Orchestra.

        6. Poopy Lungstuffing. Would a foreigner sound like that?

      3. No, that title belongs to James Hetfield. Dude sounds like Elmer Fudd on a bad trip.

  18. Weld told me that his Kasich endorsement was merely based on the former congressman’s role in balancing the federal budget way back when.

    Similarly, I only wear this “I Love Hitler”-button because i’m a huge fan of his early artwork.

    1. The budget hasn’t been balanced since 1969 anyway.

  19. But who is this secret Fat Belch?

    1. I’ve got a team of investigators working on this at the moment

  20. I reply that it will be very difficult for non-libertarian journalists to understand.

    Not really.

    Democrats and Republicans, for all their hundreds of millions of supporters & dollars… put up complete, utter retards as candidates in 2016. I mean the whole lot of them on both sides.

    I think it would be far more confusing if the LP put up good-looking, charming, witty, articulate & concise individuals with an iron grip on the issues and a near-psychic grasp of the popular mood.

    I think the lesson here is that “politicians suck” and the only people who want to be them tend to be terrible people that just make you want to look away.

    1. “…”politicians suck” and the only people who want to be them tend to be terrible people that just make you want to look away.”

      Bingo. Thus my suggestion that we press people into service. You cant seek an office, it seeks you. (kidding, of course)

    2. IME politicians tend to be very much people persons.

  21. “He defended his prior support for gun restrictions in part by calling himself a “lifelong hunter.” ”

    Whereas I defend my support for the 2nd Amendment for my right to shoot treasonous politicians who want to lie about what the constitution says.

    1. Top 5 McAfee VP picks =

      Madison Young = Because Porn
      Cody Wilson = Because Why Shouldn’t People Be Able to Print Guns?
      Andrew WK = Because When Was the Last Kegger at the White House?
      (cont)

    2. Dennis Rodman = Ambassador to Any Possible Alternate Dimensions
      Cara Delevingne = Because This Eyebrow Thing Won’t Last Forever and We Need To Milk It While We Can

      1. I don’t get it, is she supposed to be attractive? Whenever I see her I think of that frowning unibrow baby from the Simpsons.

        1. It doesn’t matter if I think she’s attractive or not. She plays for both teams , and used to date Michelle Rodriguez, so, hot enough for a hot actress GF.

          Like I’d have a shot if she were 100% straight! 🙂 – Kevin R

        2. I don’t get it, is she supposed to be attractive?

          You’re asking the wrong guy. I also think she looks like unibrow-baby. I also think its not the best look, esp when mixed with a personality that doesn’t compliment it. If you’ve got brows like that, please don’t ever let me hear the words “safe spaces” come out of your mouth.

  22. He’s not perfect, but like it or not, he will add legitimacy to the party. The simple truth is that most people are only just now learning about the Libertarian Party, & they will have to wade through all of the demagoguery from the Ds/Rs to really understand what we’re all about. Nominating a 35 year old glorified blogger who nobody outside of L/libertarian circles has ever heard of, or an eccentric billionaire who most people only know for his criminal allegations, will just push potential converts away. Whether you think GJ & WW are “pure enough”, they have proven records in blue states, and that will appeal to people who have been disenfranchised by the Ds/Rs. They will put us on the map…& we can expand our reach from there. Anything else, & we’re relegated to debate club status permanently.

    1. Most everybody (except Apple-fags) knows McAfee as a brand.

      1. Most everybody hates McAfee as a brand.

    2. Actually it is really easy for LP to ‘spread the word’ to voters about what the LP is about without the demagoguery of the R’s and D’s. But the LP first has to be willing to accept those voters as LP.

      Put millions of door knocker hanger thingies with Nolan Test and local LP contact info. Preferably on registered independent voters doors – not R’s or D’s. And then accept them as LP if they self-identify in that quadrant.

      Can the movement types accept that mongrelization of the purity of the faith? who knows but that’s the only thing keeping the LP from being a major player.

  23. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had here in which delegates have asked me, anxiously, about how the political/media world outside the convention building would treat a Weld rebuke. “Will they think we’re just crazy?” they ask. I reply that it will be very difficult for non-libertarian journalists to understand.

    Wait, you mean journalists who are statist fucks might not understand why an-caps might not be wild about a statist fuck lite?

    Who knew?

    1. Yeap

  24. What is the story with the winged woman in the picture?

    1. “woman”? sheesh, dude. Really? that’s a multigender transmayfly. Pronouns, please. zzzZZZzzz.

    2. She identifies as a butterfly.

    3. She’s mine. They’re all mine, just some of them don’t know it yet.

    4. I still want to know.

  25. Wow what a load of nonsense. Weld is perfectly fine. The only problem here is the thin skin of the candidates. So what if you get booed for supporting drivers licenses? I mean seriously, anyone who boos you is trying to undermine the party by making it seem crazy. Stick to your guns. Johnson/Weld is far better than Trump (evil) and Hillary (horrid).

  26. Well if there’s one takeaway from this article, it’s obvious Matt Welch thinks Libertarians are all “wierd”, “crazy”, “freaks”, “oddballs”, “little”, “marginal weirdos” and “kids”.

    Wow.

    With friends like that who needs enemies?

    1. “little”

      Just had to fill out that rant a little bit, but couldn’t find anything actually offensive.

    2. True – the purpose is to give credence to the anti-Libertarian shibboleth: “OK let’s get rid of all the laws and then we can be just like Somalia.” (Note how quick many “Libertarians” are to both act ‘crazy’ and accuse people of being ‘crazy’ – the goal is to discredit the party by making it look like anarchy.)

    3. The Libertarian Party is NOT “Libertarianism”

      or even representative of all libertarians.

      its just a political party, and most actual libertarians i know aren’t much interested in joining clubs/being on teams.

  27. GayJay wins. Fuck the LP.

    #NeverJohnson

    1. Congratulations to Gov. Gary Johnson.

      Next up, the VP vote, in 45 min.

      Kevin R

  28. Root ended up supporting Trump? Figures. He always had a bit of slimy douchebag air about him.

    -jcr

    1. Root’s been back with the Pachyderms since before the 2012 Romney campaign. – Kevin R

  29. Good journalism requires balanced expository. Not all Libertarians are anti-state anarchists or “marginal weirdos.” Some of us simply believe the government to be too large, intrusive, and acting beyond its limited mandate; such as Ron Paul.

    While including this in your copy may not generate extra readers, it is the responsible thing to do. Live up to your name.

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  36. “They’re the Ron Paul kids from 2007-2008, who just were never that Republican to begin with. ”

    The entire “Ron Paul Revolution” was a fraud. Ron Paul wasn’t the fraud, his followers were. Two-thirds of those who voted for RP in Iowa jumped to Donald Trump instead of Rand Paul. These people weren’t interested in liberty, they were interested in chaos and destroying that which is. Donald Trump is a full blown fascist “strong man” and there can be no justification for supporting him even if he were running against a Hitler/Mao ticket.

    If the Libertarian Party shows any strength at all it will be pulled from the ballot in as many states as it takes to cripple them. What will they do? Sue the states and win their case sometime in the year 2022 when it gets to court?

    It’s true that politics is downstream from culture but the culture has been in free fall for years. Will Uber and legal weed triumph over safe spaces and forced cake baking? Will cheap cell phones and free immigration triumph over tariffs and border walls? Will our military concentrate on defense instead of “going abroad in search of monsters to destroy”?

    The Libertarian candidate will have no effect on the cultures that support force over freedom.

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  40. RE: California Looking for More Chances to Punish Businesses over Climate Change Positions
    Some want to legally target those who donate to think tanks that encourage skepticism.

    I am one of those dubious of Mr. Weld especially after I reviewed his record as a “public servant” in the commonwealth of Massivetaxes.
    You would’ve thought the LP would’ve been much more selective and careful in its choice of VP.

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