Gary Johnson

How Last Night's Gary Johnson/William Weld CNN Town Hall Was a Disappointment in Libertarian Terms

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The Libertarian Party presidential ticket of former Republican governors Gary Johnson (N.M.) and William Weld (Mass.) succeeded in seeming human, humane, decent, calm, and at least compared to their major party competitors, thoughtful this evening at their second CNN Town Hall.

Johnson/Weld Campaign

But I'm not sure they succeeded in seeming very Libertarian, or selling the Party's position as a distinct outlook on politics and government that someone could grasp and understand.

They often seemed to go out of their way to just seem like a centrist, independent mixture of what someone might see as good aspects of both other parties.

In fact, when host Anderson Cooper would occasionally remind the candidates what the traditional libertarian stance was, often relying on the Party platform, he might have done more to sell libertarianism's unique stances than the candidates.

Herewith, a (not necessarily comprehensive) list of places where a Libertarian might have been frustrated with the candidates tonight, with a few (again, not comprehensive) nods to when they got it closer to right. The emphasis, though, will be on the disappointments, which dominated in my eyes.

  • Weld repeating the notion that they would fill their administration with "the best people from the Democrats…the smartest from the Republicans" though he was smart enough to add his own Party as third in the list. This implies, against evidence, that there are somehow loads of politicians or "public servants" from the major parties that actually understand and can be relied upon to pursue libertarian policies; but he framed the issue as if it were more about bipartisan (or tripartisan) cooperation as a good in and of itself than pursuing a particular vision of what government should do and how.
  • While optimism about the wonders of an even hobbled and restricted market and technology, and cheering the huge moral progress in acceptance of more types of people in the polity, is a constitutive part of a huge strain of modern libertarianism, Johnson saying that "life has never been better" without any specifics about how things might need to improve (while alluding to only one surviving problem, discrimination) elided any chance to explain a core part of the libertarian message: that government does more than it ought to, morally or practically, and that that needs to change. For the most part, Johnson's answer made it sound like he just wanted to be a decent middle-of-the-road defender of an absolutely amazing and never-been-better status quo. This is a complicated issue, and he hit only one (important) side of it.

    Weld made this worse by alluding to that awful bugaboo of every useless "centrist third party" movement in my lifetime, the supposed tragedy of ferocious partisanship "getting in the way of effective policy being made."

  • Weld stressing their tenure as successful Republican governors of states with Democratic legislatures as just about their wonderful ability to "compromise" again does not seem like people even trying to sell a distinct message of government size and purpose, even though Weld did start with his sort-of-inspirational re-quip from 1992 about keeping government out of your pocketbook and your bedroom. (It was also good of Weld to point out the huge tax hikes involved in Clinton's plans.)
  • The best they managed in outlining what was supposed to be a distinctively libertarian foreign policy was being against regime change, which even Trump manages, without any larger sense of what America's mission in the world is and whether any sort of warwaging overseas is either in our interest or just or affordable.

    It was decent of Weld to stress that the actual domestic threat of terror could and should be dealt with as a law enforcement matter, even if he was perhaps too gleeful in calling for how much more spending would be necessary to do so, but it would be worth it. But he was far too casually supportive of the idea that drones would be necessary for those "ISIS training platforms in South Yemen." It didn't sound like Weld's notion of what to do in the Middle East differed in any significant respect from the Obama status quo.

  • Good of Johnson to stick to the idea that trying to ban semi-automatic weapons would be hopeless given their wide presence, but would have also been good of him to hit on how it would also be pointless toward solving any actual national problem, and very, very wrong to boot.
  • Johnson continues to awkwardly meld his winning dislike of discrimination, and even his winning dislike of associating libertarianism with bigotry, but again continues to miss the point that there is a difference between not wanting to discriminate and punishing people legally for their associative choices, and leaning on "existing law" isn't a sufficiently smart way through the problem.
  • Johnson's talks about research into CBD and whole-plant pot as medicine was interesting, but drug warrior woman Diane Carlson (and more importantly the audience) needed to hear more about why criminalizing pot has been a national disgrace and nightmare, not just the possible scientific benefits of varying approaches to the plant as medicine. Again, an opportunity to talk distinct principle was dribbled away.
  • A total bouquet to Johnson for following through on something he promised in an interview with me back before he won the nomination: that he'd be willing to tell the American people that government just cannot guarantee that terror attacks won't occur domestically and can't promise to eliminate them.
  • A half-bouquet to Johnson for a stumbling but in the right direction answer to Sanders supporter Robyn Summers on the differences between redistributive equality (bad) and equal opportunity to succeed and how the political system can muck up the latter.
  • Weld went out of his way to give an unlibertarian answer to the question of what he thinks of Black Lives Matter, and even flagged the point himself, saying we must "concentrate the power of government to make sure there are jobs available" and that that is a "national emergency to which government has to respond, libertarian or no libertarian."
  • The prostitution answer was a perfect set up for some basic libertarian philosophizing, which they messed up badly; Johnson by saying that in his opinion the "victims" in prostitution are the prostitutes themselves (while also giving lip service to Nevada's legalization and claiming to believe the L.P. platform's bold statement against victimless crimes when Cooper read it) and Weld outright saying that in his prosecutorial experience, and I don't really know what he meant exactly, that it's "far from victimless"and that the public's the loser and we "can't see the crime being committed when it happens." [UPDATE: I've read others interpret Johnson comment far more charitably than I did, insisting he meant that in the current environment where it is illegal that prostitutes are victims, presumably of the law. This is possible, though I didn't read it that way and not sure every viewer would.]
  • When Cooper congratulated Johnson for his willingess to say he might be wrong and hedge his observations with "perhaps," a more consistently thoughtful libertarian could have spun that into an opportunity to talk about the fatal conceit (not necessarily using that egghead term) of big government and its pretense to understand how to make all the right choices for us and use force and other people's money to back up their hubris. Johnson did nothing close to that.
  • Johnson muffed a chance to make a point about government's proper role by praising Michelle Obama's diet busybodyism and promising to "lead by example" in a way that an uneducated watcher would assume that Johnson totally believes it's part of government's job to worry about our weight.

The two governors mostly seemed thoughtful, humble, decent, not aggravating control freaks or rampaging ids. They did not seem like bold representatives of a distinct philosophy and practice of government, one with a well-developed philosophy about what government is for, and why.

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NEXT: Johnson/Weld Come Out of CNN Town Hall Looking Like "a sensible alternative to the two main options."

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  1. this is a shitty article, Brian.

    1. Dude, give him a break.

      He wrote an extensive (shitty indeed, but extensive nonetheless) article late at night!

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    2. Actually this was the most accurate and detailed summary of the Townhall anyone anywhere will ever do on the subject, and echoes all of the complaints made by people who listened to every question in the prior thread.

      I have no idea why you would say that… and challenge you to explain why/how you think it falls short.

      1. I watched the whole interview. Near as I recall, Johnson outlined that prostitution was safer in Nevada because it is legal there. And unless my feed just jumped at that moment and I didn’t notice it, Weld’s response was in reference to corruption, not prostitution. He was addressing the idea of victimless crimes, not prostitution. Weld said enough stupid big government shit without all of this inventing things and misrepresenting things.

        Over and over, people are furiously spinning the answers to say shit that wasn’t being said. Many of you people are purposely interpreting the entire campaign in the least libertarian way possible, just so you can jerk off to your libertarian bona fides by playing the “he’s not a libertarian!” game.

        These comment threads always devolve into whining and crying and bitching and moaning about how unfair Reason is being towards Donald Trump, and the same people come on here and fucking invent their own interpretations of what Gary Johnson has to say. Over and over and over and over. His answer about the cake thing was as clear as it could possibly be ? he stated that according to the law, if you sell cakes you have to sell them, but that you don’t have to take the step of decorating them or putting any message with them. And that’s a fact. That is in fact how the world works. If you want to die on the hill of putting black people back at separate lunch counters, that’s the only way to face that issue down.

        1. I’m all about freedom of association, but it’s time we get real here. If you can’t tell a black person to go fuck themselves because they’re black, you’re not going to be able to tell a gay person to go fuck themselves because they’re gay. That’s the reality, that’s what he said from day one, and the lies and misrepresentation continue.

          Libertarian hate the Libertarian candidate because Libertarians won’t stop justifying their preconceived notions long enough to actually listen to what he has to say.

          You should all quit pretending to hate liberals so much, you behave and argue exactly like them. This board has turned into a couple dozen Tony’s, question-begging and selectively interpreting their way through the election.

          1. Any law that says you have to sell a cake to or make a hire of anyone you don’t want to is not libertarian, and IS despotic. Yes – you have the right to to not enter into any association or economic transaction you don’t care to do.

            1. Again, I’m all about freedom of association. But recognize the world you live in. If you’re going to make that argument, you’re going to have to make the argument that black people can be denied service for their skin color. That’s suicide, politically, largely because of the actions of 400 years of government.

              1. Plus, as Gary notes, correctly, most of the state religious freedom laws are more anti-gay than pro-religion. And “a sincerely held religious belief” is like smoke in a hurricane.

        2. No, Johnson just kind of sort of hemmed and hawed about prostitution in Nevada, he didn’t bother to explain why banging a prostitute in Nevada is safer than banging some Craigslist hooker. Or explain why Nevada hookers are less exploited than hookers in the other 49 states.

          Make it legal. Have the hookers go in for STD tests every six weeks. Give them Yelp reviews, “I got the clap from Sindy. 0/5 stars, would not visit again.”

          He could have just said, hey, it doesn’t make sense to make illegal what it’s OK to do for free. Or he could have just pointed out that that he’s running for president, and the feds don’t usually handle hooking charges.

          Those are all arguments he could have made, and he made none of them. Whenever Johnson’s asked about any sort of controversial libertarian position, he just stalls for time, rather than admitting that he has any actual position about the controversial issue.

          1. Gov Johnson did say that prostitution is a state-level thing, so you’re making Tulpain’t’s point

          2. No, Johnson just kind of sort of hemmed and hawed about prostitution in Nevada,

            he didn’t bother to explain why banging a prostitute in Nevada is safer than banging some Craigslist hooker. Or explain why Nevada hookers are less exploited than hookers in the other 49 states.

            Why would he have to?

            Those are all arguments he could have made, and he made none of them. Whenever Johnson’s asked about any sort of controversial libertarian position, he just stalls for time, rather than admitting that he has any actual position about the controversial issue.

            That’s not true. And this is an election.

    3. Agreed

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  3. he just wanted to be a decent middle-of-the-road defender of an absolutely amazing and never-been-better status quo

    Yep, mealy mouthed reformers who are either total liars hiding a more radical agenda (which their opponents will not exploit and will not upset voters) or promise just more of the same.

    Weld made this worse by eluding to that awful bugaboo of every useless “centrist third party” movement in my lifetime, of the supposed tragedy of ferocious partisanship “getting in the way of effective policy being made.”

    I thought “useless centrist third party” was the goal of the LP in this campaign?

    1. I thought “viable alternative to the crazy Trump or the crooked Clinton” was the goal of this campaign.

  4. Many missed opportunities. I don’t know if it’s because they are not practicing, or because they are intentionally trying to stay middle-of-the-road to avoid controversy to get into the debates. But either way whoever is running their campaign strategy should be fired.

    1. I hear this theory from LP shills all over. “They don’t really believe what they’re saying, they’re just trying to get in the debates.”

      Do they drop the “act” and start acting like libertarians as soon as they get in the first debate? If libertarianism is so toxic that to speak it means political death, wouldn’t they just get kicked out after the first debate then? If it’s safe to act libertarian then, why would it not be now?

      Or are they going to continue to peddle this center-left bilge all through the debates? In which case, why did the LP even bother nominating a candidate at all. They couldn’t even claim they were educating the public on libertarianism.

      Rather than go after a very vulnerable segment of Republicans who hate Trump, they are going after the Democrat vote, which is much less likely to go against Hillary.

      1. Maybe Johnson & Weld do these things because they actually believe these things . . . And I’m cheered by their transparency as I decline to vote for them

      2. The LP picked the wrong candidate.

        1. Yes I imagine CNN would have hosted a town hall for Petersen, Perry or McAfee. Get real.

  5. Johnson didn’t rise to the occasion?

    1. He went soft when a hard thrust was necessary

    2. Plenty of pot but no Viagra makes Gary a soft boy

  6. Let’s start with the fact that no individual vote is going to decide any election. Now, we can go further and point out that, since I live in CA, my presidential vote has an absolute zero effect on the state electors. Nor am I alone.
    We can also presume the chance of a Johnson/Weld ticket winning is close to that of a diamond pipe opening under Obo as he sits on the can tomorrow, albeit with differential preferences on my part.
    No, I didn’t watch it; I read about it second hand from the commenters. Seems they didn’t scream “TAXATION IS THEFT!”, nor “END SOCIAL SECURITY”, nor “REPEAL O-CARE”, all of which we here (I think) would prefer.
    But then go back to the first paragraph; J/W might be plowing the field to grow term “libertarian” for those who find it toxic.
    You don’t find them pure enough? OK, neither do I, but were they purer yet, they prolly wouldn’t get even this air-time.
    My vote will likely be for that ticket; enough ‘protest’ votes and the MSM might take notice. My I have no illusion that mine will ‘push ’em over the top’.

    1. Why not move to where your vote will matter? Perhaps your life will be more pleasant, as well.

      1. Where might that be? I see no place where that is true, and where I would like to live.

    2. I live in California too. So why not vote Trump if it is a “protest vote” you’re after?

  7. Brian Doherty, defending the intellectually bankrupt anti-gummint faction, confirms his leading role in helping Ron Paul’s cult destroy the libertarian movement

    This implies, against evidence, that there are somehow loads of politicians or “public servants” from the major parties that actually understand and can be relied upon to pursue libertarian policies

    What it really implies is how badly out of touch is the Doherty/Paul wing. There are no “libertarian policies,” not a single one. Policies are more than anti-government slogans and soundbites to excite less than 2% of the voters. And why put “public servants” in quotes, to lie about what was actually said. Progs aren’t the only ones easily manipulated

    Rand Paul has just proven the uselessness of the Paulista Cult, For pure stupidity it’s hard to top going to Berkeley to promote civil liberties and non-intervention … then piss it all away by calling for religious tent revivals. A strategy worthy of George Custer.

    This is why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of even libertarians (per Cato). Johnson/Weld must carve out their own niche to take advantage of a political opening many of us have worked and waited over 40 years for. These openings happen only once or twice per century, but lets piss it all away on purity tests for 2% of the voters.

    1. I agree with you about this one issue – I have no problem with the Libertarians picking good people from both parties to run various things at which they are competent. And I also think it’s reassuring to know they are not trying to overturn the entire system. Like Johnson said, things are actually pretty good. So let’s keep things that way. But I agree with Doherty on everything else, mostly that Johnson blew one opportunity after another to talk about Libertarian principles and especially the Constitution. So you can’t guarantee no more terrorist attacks. Good. Now what? So you had your head in the sand on BLM. Aww. Now what? Even if the answer is “Government should do nothing because most of these problems are caused *by* government.” That’s what I would have liked to hear. But you can tone it down with “But I defer to states’ rights.” Make everyone happy.

      1. Nobody gets elected on principles. Not ever. This is an election, not a Civics class. If they had any policies to show how those principles would make things better, instead of vague theories and buzzwords … but the libertarian establishment (Cato/Reason/Mercatus) have no such policies, and lie about economic history.

        But you can tone it down with “But I defer to states’ rights.” Make everyone happy.

        Only libertarian and conservative ideologues use that evasion. States don’t have rights. Only people do. And on fundamental rights,states have the exact same restrictions as the central government (per Ninth Amendment).

        1. Then why bother with the LP at all.

          They can’t win.

          They can’t keep a worse candidate from winning.

          They don’t advance libertarianism, at least not this time around.

          Why vote for them?

          1. Then why bother with the LP at all.

            Already answered. You wouldn’t understand the answer. anyhow..

            They can’t win. How does this have anything at all to do with what I said? Can you be specific? Try to be specific.

            They don’t advance libertarianism, at least not this time around.

            How would you know?

            They’ve been re-elected as governors in Democrat states, as VERY fiscally conservative, What are your qualifications? Do you really not know how liberal Massachusetts is?

            1. “They’ve been re-elected as governors in Democrat states, as VERY fiscally conservative,” That doesn’t make them libertarian.

              “What are your qualifications?” Someone who votes.

              “Do you really not know how liberal Massachusetts is?” Irrelevant

              1. \“They’ve been re-elected as governors in Democrat states, as VERY fiscally conservative,”

                That doesn’t make them libertarian.

                More libertarian than a thug who glorifies feeding people into woodchippers.

                “What are your qualifications?”

                Someone who votes.

                None at all on campaigns and elections

                “Do you really not know how liberal Massachusetts is?”

                Irrelevant

                Further confirming your incompetence on matters libertarian.
                I do admire your honesty in admitting it.

        2. They need to come up with a new term to replace “states’ rights”. Too many people still see that as codespeak for “bring back Jim Crow”.

          1. They need to come up with a new term to replace “states’ rights”.

            I was states rights which replaced federalism\.

            Too many people still see that as codespeak for “bring back Jim Crow”.

            Like the entire Ron Paul cult who, like bobbleheads, reject the 9th amendment with the same fervor as Orval Faubus, George Wallace and the southern racists who originated the perversion. It’s pretty cranky to believe states have rights which have never been delegated,

            States don’t have tights, people do. That’s the key.

            1. You are one angry old man. And for what reason? Will all this anger convince anyone to believe as you do?

              Basically, no one gives a rat’s ass what Michael Hiln thinks or cares. No one.

              1. You are one angry old man.

                Will you throw ME into a woodchipper too, thug?

                Set aside your potty mouth bullying, and your lust for feeding people into woodchippers, and simply state your disgagreement with this … as an adult

                like bobbleheads, reject the 9th amendment with the same fervor as Orval Faubus, George Wallace and the southern racists who originated the perversion. It’s pretty cranky to believe states have rights which have never been delegated,
                States don’t have tights, people do. That’s the key.

                I didn’t think so.

                (my tone and boldface in self-defense against aggression by a thug who BRAGS about feeding his opponents into wood chippers. The same mentality that drives all statists)

        3. Wow, you are one angry dude.

          You hate everyone. Cato, Brian, Paul, the libertarian establishment. No wonder your movement failed.

          Remember this – you’ll be dead sooner rather than later & you have nothing to show for it but failure.

          1. Wow, you are one angry dude.

            Says the thug who would feed opponents into woodchippers … in the name of Christ

      2. How in the fuck are things “actually pretty good”!?!? Workforce participation is as bad as it’s been in 40 years. We haven’t had a single year of 3 percent growth in the last eight years. That dollar in your pocket is worth less and less each day, and you’re also less safe because of all the fucking wars we’re in all the fucking time.

        How is any of that good?

        1. How in the fuck are things “actually pretty good”!?!?

          He listed them

          How is any of that good?

          He’s responding to Trump’s doom and gloom.
          It worked fine for Reagan, during THE worst recession in the the past 83 years,
          This is an election.

      3. The democratic party is devoted to socialism, to turning the US into France at the least and the USSR at the worst. No member of their party is fit to hold office under a properly functioning government. To say otherwise, to say you would appoint them to office, to be a John McCain petanist who seeks to curry favor with the enemy, is to reveal oneself as a useful dunce in service to that enemy. Johnson/Weld are apparently such dunces; no surprise, Weld accepted an appointment from the rapist/criminal/tyrant clinton.

        1. Fucking Democrats are as screwed up as the Republicans, but they each have loyal tribes eager to be manipulated. God help America!

    2. Ron Paul was far and away the best presidential candidate any party fielded in the past century.

      1. Back then, before he started sucking up to the Christian Taliban and promoting the perverted version of states rights that first used by southern racists and the KKK.

        MY constitution still has a 9th Amendment, and I still know that states cannot have powers that were nevr delegated.

  8. The two governors mostly seemed thoughtful, humble, decent, not aggravating control freaks or rampaging ids. They did not seem like bold representatives of a distinct philosophy and practice of government, one with a well-developed philosophy about what government is for, and why.

    Hell… I’ll settle for that.

    1. Except you won’t get it because they have 0 chance of winning.

      1. Except you won’t get it because they have 0 chance of winning.

        He’s talking about campaigning. What should they do to win? Keep in mind, 59%of Americans are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, “Nolan libertarians,” but 91% of them reject the libertarian brand (per Cato). Why not target 59% of the electorate, especially in a three-way race???

        1. There was a path to victory, though it would have been hard. They’ve blown any chance now by alienating conservatives.

          They should have appeal to independents and #NeverTrump Republicans, in the hopes of beating Trump in the EC and keeping Hillary from getting a majority. The GOP probably keeps its edge in state delegations, and may favor Johnson over Clinton. Handing him the presidency.

          1. There was a path to victory, though it would have been hard

            “59% of Americans” is a much easier path.

            They’ve blown any chance now by alienating conservatives

            .Only a tiny minority, to gain many more voters and focus on the 59%.

            They should have appeal to independents and #NeverTrump Republicans, in the hopes of beating Trump in the EC and keeping Hillary from getting a majority.

            Your bias is screaming, and you want them to target a MUCH smaller target. Why?

            The GOP probably keeps its edge in state delegations, and may favor Johnson over Clinton. Handing him the presidency.

            Your ignoring perhaps half of their current target.. Independents are nearly twice as many as the conservative faction you’d replace them with.

            Why are you ignoring the 59%? Why should they target less than 15%?

          2. Conservatives were never going to vote for them anyway. Neocons want war, and socons don’t like Johnson’s centrist stance.

        2. “. . . Keep in mind, 59% of Americans are fiscally conservative & socially liberal . . .” Now, that is funny, given the evidence. You must be falling for talking points & ignoring facts on the ground.

          1. This from “Woodchippin’ for Jesus” … as Christ weeps in silent shame.

            “. . . Keep in mind, 59% of Americans are fiscally conservative & socially liberal . . .”

            Now, that is funny, given the evidence. You must be falling for talking points & ignoring facts on the ground.

            …. wait for it ….

            http://bitly.com/1AGaBU7

            In our Zogby survey we found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way. Voters we identified as libertarian identified themselves this way: ?.”Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal?” We asked the other half of the respondents, “Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian?”

            The results surprised us. Fully 59 percent of the respondents said “yes” to the first question. That is, by 59 to 27 percent, poll respondents said they would describe themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.”

            Zogby is a top independent pollster.
            59% are libertarian. 100-9 = 91% rejection of the libertarian brand. PRECISELY as I stated.

            given the evidence. You must be falling for talking points & ignoring facts on the ground.

            One of us is. And THAT evidence points at YOU.

            Any questions?

    2. Hell… I’ll settle for that.

      WHAT? They should NOT bellow like jackasses and appeal to 2% of the voters???? Radical, dude. 🙂

      1. How old are you? 70 or 75?

        1. I can count. You cannot.
          You’re not gonna feed me into a woodchipper are you?

    3. Yeah, would hate to seem like an aggravated control freak by saying people should be free to do what they want.

      1. Achieving that requires more than slogans and soundbites.

  9. The village idiot is a better choice than Lucifer or Satan. It may not be the most exciting vote to cast… but it will let me sleep at night knowing that I didn’t help grant legitimacy to either of the frightfully awful anti-freedom-in-almost-every-instance candidates.

    1. I understand voting for a candidate who can block the greater evil. I can understand voting for the candidate you agree with. I cannot understand voting for a candidate who you don’t agree with and who can’t block the greater evil.

      1. When you get to high school, you’ll learn about the Presidential veto.
        You just say he can’t win as an excuse to adopt a PROVEN losing strategy.

      2. This, aftertouch, is by and large what I think of the whole thing. I guess an argument could be fashioned that if a third party or candidate – no matter what it was or what it stood for – received enough votes at the same time as our political duopoly was selfimmolating, it could help to fatally damage one or both of them. But it seems a bit like clutching at straws for a reason to bother to vote for J/W.

        1. Explain your hatred of liberty and your (all-too-common) ignorance of governing.

          1. But why do you keep losing, Hiln? It’s been forty years and you got nothing to show for it.

            1. Woodchippin’ 4 Jesus|
              “Explain your hatred of liberty and your (all-too-common) ignorance of governing.

              But why do you keep losing, Hiln? It’s been forty years and you got nothing to show for it.

              How many elections will you win, by feeding people intop woodchippers … in the name of Christ? I’ve been elected in two states, launched a winning tax revolt, helped elect dozens of libertarians, many as the first paid Director of a state LP.

              What have you ever done, except advocate feeding people into woodchippers? And again,
              explain your hatred of liberty and your (all-too-common) ignorance of governing.

              (My tone and boldface in self-defense of aggression by a PROUD aggressor …for Jesus)

      3. You’re assuming Johnson can’t win, even though he represents the largest slice of the electorate. The only thing holding him back is habit.

    2. ^exactly.

    3. The village idiot is a better choice than Lucifer or Satan

      I didn’t know you’re running! On how many state ballots.

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  11. “While optimism about the wonders of an even hobbled and restricted market and technology, and cheering the huge moral progress in acceptance of more types of people in the polity, is a constitutive part of a huge strain of modern libertarianism, Johnson saying that “life has never been better” without any specifics about how things might need to improve (while alluding to only one surviving problem, discrimination) elided any chance to explain a core part of the libertarian message: that government does more than it ought to, morally or practically, and that that needs to change.”

    Whew! That may be the longest sentence I’ve read in the last ten years.

    1. that government does more than it ought to, morally or practically, and that that needs to change.”

      Voters don’t give a shot. They want solutions, not a lesson in Civic. Plus that has led to an unbroken 40-year string of failure.

      1. Voters don’t want solutions. They want to take the measure of the man. And validate their tribe.

        That is all. Nobody votes based on policiy, not really. If they did, there is no chance in hell that Hillary would have gotten the nomination. She’s more Republican than any of the Republicans on most issues. She’s a crony capitalist’s crony capitalist. Yet she gets the Dem nomination by mutual assent. They wanted a winner and a member of the tribe who would give them a special bonus badge for their sash. (Yeay! We nominated a woman!) That is all.

        As Reason.TV clearly pointed out, delegates to the DNC were much more in alignment with Johnson than Clinton on the issues.

        1. Cyto|8.4.16 @ 10:28AM|#
          Voters don’t want solutions. They want to take the measure of the man. And validate their tribe.

          Like you and your tribe?

          That is all. Nobody votes based on policiy, not really. If they did, there is no chance in hell that Hillary would have gotten the nomination.

          (lol) She has several policies. They just differ from your own tribal chants

          As Reason.TV clearly pointed out, delegates to the DNC were much more in alignment with Johnson than Clinton on the issues.

          Reason TV is famous for lying about their tribe.
          Like the laughable libertarian movement. Or Ron Paul being libertarian.

          Why else would the libertarian brand be rejected by 91% of libertarians? (per Cato)
          There’s a Libertarian Ethos … versus a Libertarian Ideology which promotes he exact opposite of a free society. duh.

          1. Michael Hiln – I have a suggestion – you should create your own version of Reason TV. You could have whomever you want to on, you could cover the areas of interest and importance to you. Then, whatever Reason does or does not say would be irrelevant.

            Why don’t you do that before you die? Create your own version of Reason TV?

            1. Michael Hiln – I have a suggestion

              Since 91% of libertarians agree with me, you lose again.

          2. Mike,

            your take is stupid. Full stop, stupid. You didn’t even remotely address my post. It appears that you just saw the word “Hillary” and went into full defensive attack mode, leaving all reason by the wayside.

            I didn’t say anything at all about libertarian voters vs other voters. Just voters as a group. A mass stereotype, if you will.

            Clinton is a big government war hawk. She’s not in alignment with the Democrat caucus in any significant way. Abortion and lip service to gun control are not significant issues outside of the spin machine. She could just as easily be the Republican nominee if we are only measuring issues.

            But since you want to slice it off and make it all about your team vs team L, I’ll bite. Small L libertarians are split among the two tribes plus independents. They are probably mostly tipical voters.

            Big L libertarians and Green party members are “True Believers”. They are issues first voters. They stand on principle. They are somewhat unique in this. That is why they are weirdo fringe parties who don’t pull more than 1% of the vote. People who stand on principle don’t get mass support.

            The Republicans weren’t alone in having Ron Paul standing on principle. The Democrats had their own Ron Paul in the person of Denis Kucinich. Like Paul, you knew where he was going to come down on an issue without asking. Like Ron, not the most popular guy in his own caucus, despite hewing most closely to its core values.

            1. Your take is stupid. Full stop, stupid.

              (smirk)

              You didn’t even remotely address my post.

              Starting with my very first sentence/

              It appears that you just saw the word “Hillary” and went into full defensive attack mode,

              What a shameful lie. Here it is again

              your first fuckup: Nobody votes based on policiy, not really. If they did, there is no chance in hell that Hillary would have gotten the nomination.

              (lol) She has several policies. They just differ from your own tribal chants

              Now ANOTHER fuckup (and lie)

              I didn’t say anything at all about libertarian voters vs other voters. Just voters as a group. A mass stereotype, if you will.

              Which i why you fucked up — ignorance of the electorate. . And now you’re lying about what I said.

              Your “mass stereotype” bullshit was countered with FACT about 59% of the voters. Still confused? 59% is …. A MAJORITY. Since when is a stereotype defined by A MINORITY???

              Since you’re also an outrageous liar, my good graces have expired.

              (my tone and bodface in self-defense of aggression by a thug and a proven liar)

              1. Sorry. I take it back. That was incoherent and bizarre. Not stupid. Mentally ill, rather than stupid. My error.

                Hey guys! My first time being successfully trolled on Reason! Do I win a cookie?

                1. Cyto:
                  It appears that you just saw the word “Hillary” and went into full defensive attack mode,

                  What a shameful lie. Here it is again

                  your first fuckup:

                  Nobody votes based on policiy, not really. If they did, there is no chance in hell that Hillary would have gotten the nomination.

                  (lol) She has several policies. They just differ from your own tribal chants

                  Now ANOTHER fuckup (and lie)

                  I didn’t say anything at all about libertarian voters vs other voters. Just voters as a group. A mass stereotype, if you will.

                  (smirk) Your “mass stereotype” bullshit was countered with FACT about 59% of the voters. Still confused? 59% is …. A MAJORITY.

                  *******Since when is a stereotype defined by A MINORITY???*******

                  Belligerent blowhards ALWAYS run away when called out.

                  (my tone and bodface in self-defense of aggression by a thug and a proven liar)

      2. “Voters don’t give a shot. They want solutions, not a lesson in civics. . .”.

        Bingo! Exactly right. Which means those so-called “socially liberal/fiscally conservative” Americans easily embrace solutions at the expense of their social liberalness & fiscal conservatism.

        Voters don’t give a shot

        1. Exactly right. Which means those so-called “socially liberal/fiscally conservative” Americans easily embrace solutions at the expense of their social liberalness & fiscal conservatism.

          Name a single policy solution from the entire libertarian establishment, Sparky. Just one, so I can humiliate you again.

          “Git gummint out” is not a policy.

  12. I have now watched the interview twice. Compared to the first outing this was night and day. He came off humble, bright, and actually coherent this time. Unlike previous Libertarian forays into the presidential field of battle we have a perfect storm. For the first time in history the two major party candidates are completely detested. We need to be the sane voice in the fray. Talking about making sweeping changes to the federal government is a great way to have people dismiss the cause yet again. Tell the truth but don’t shove it down their throats.
    This country is sick and tired and it’s not going to be easy to heal what has been done to it. Right now people are scared and the last thing you want to do is hit them with the same thing Trump did. Hillary and Trump feed off fear. We need to encourage and let people know they are more like us by not shouting out the differences. They will come to know us better if we talk to them from an angle they can understand.

    1. +1.
      orders of magnitude better this time than round 1.
      still work to do in getting the message across, but the trend is encouraging.

  13. Listen, nobody is going to question Brian Doherty’s passion or ideological purity, given that he’s spent his entire adult life working in pursuit of Cato and Libertarian ideals. Good for you, it’s a noble cause. The platform is solid and has great end states fully developed.

    In the meantime, we have two governors with solid track records and a centrist/pragmatic approach who are actively trying to sell a “generally mainstream liberaltarian” ticket to the american people, many of whom have little to no understanding of what Libertarianism is.

    We’re never going to have the first Libertarian President show up with the Doherty-Pure platform. Such a creature couldn’t hold a Senate or Governor seat, and certainly couldn’t pass the American electorate in the next 3-5 cycles.

    What we COULD have, however, would be a ticket of decent human beings with some executive experience who are willing to be flexible and adjust the message to be an iterative improvement of the status quo. That will set the groundwork for more libertarian ideas in further iterations of the executive, and hopefully legislative and judicial branches.

    With all its truth and honesty and purity, this article is, at the end of the day as much a pissing in the wind as my own dumb layperson’s opinion on anything. Keep up the good fight, and sorry we won’t see the revolution you dream of in our lifetime.

    -A 20 year veteran of LP voting, loud opinions, and trying to help people understand what the LP stands for.

    1. They can’t win, can’t stop a worse candidate from being elected, and they’re not advocating libertarianism. Why should a libertarian bother voting for them?

      1. This is my problem too. I really yearn to vote libertarian this year, but alas I cannot bring myself to color in a circle with “Weld” (especially) next to it, given that he has never met a gun control policy he didn’t love.

        Johnson’s problems with religious liberty/forcing people into contracts with which they disagree are also very irritating to me, even though I’m agnostic-at-best.

        So, that leaves me wondering if I want to vote for the worst libertarian ticket ever in order to publicly show my disgust with the worst democratic and worst republican tickets in modern times, but my general allegiance to libertarian and constitutional ideals?

        I’m really scared that if Johnson/Weld get an unprecedented percent of the vote that the oversimplification of “fiscally republican, socially democrat” will become the new standard platform.

        1. And if you start trying to defend libertarianism, then your opponents will be able to reply with a quote from “YOUR OWN CANDIDATES!” and show that you’re extreme even for an libertarian.

          1. And if you start trying to defend libertarianism, then your opponents will be able to reply with a quote from “YOUR OWN CANDIDATES!” and show that you’re extreme even for an libertarian.

            Where would it not be?

        2. Voting for Clinton does not help the cause. Voting for Trump does not help the cause. Not voting does not help the cause.

          One cannot get from point A to point Z without first getting to point B. Making it just that far is progress that should be seized at every opportunity.

          1. 4 months of a perfect storm provides only so much time to enlighten the 2-party beholden.
            Seize the moment as the sensible alternatives to Clintrump and have 4 years of Johnson at the helm to further the cause in a meaningful way.
            4 years of ClinTrump furthers the cause in a rock-throwing at the burning embers way, but only if you prefer rock throwing to actually trying to fix anything. Rock throwing is fun

        3. given that he has never met a gun control policy he didn’t love.

          Worse than Reagan and Scalia, who believed a ban on military style weapons is constitutional?

          Johnson’s problems with religious liberty/forcing people into contracts with which they disagree are also very irritating to me, even though I’m agnostic-at-best.

          He didn’t explain it well. He ties it to the Utah compromise in a recent op-ed. there.

          “Religious freedom” laws — based on the Nazi cake con — are really anti-homosexual not pro-religion, which is fairly obvious.

          In Utah, LDS leadership worked with the LGBT community on a win-win compromise. Gays are added to non-discrimination in housing and employment, no more than (say) blacks. And the bakers and photographers can refuse to serve gay weddings,

          … my general allegiance to libertarian and constitutional ideals?

          You seem to have been deceived on what libertarian ideals are

          … the oversimplification of “fiscally republican, socially democrat” will become the new standard platform.

          That’s always been in the platform. And the very definition of libertarian since 1959 (fiscally conservative and socially liberal.)

          1. Sorry, typo. “definition of ibertarian since 1969 (fiscally conservative and socially liberal.)

          2. Words matter. I said republican/democrat, not conservative/liberal. Doesn’t matter, since either way none of those four words is found in the platform.

            By that same token, Democrats are set to repeal the Hyde amendment, which restricts them from using revenue to pay for abortion, given the number of people (of whom I am not one) who consider the practice to be murder.

            The Official Libertarian Party Platform says that it recognizes abortion to be a sensitive issue, and thinks that government should stay out of it.

            Abortion is THE benchmark social issue since miscegenation laws.

            So… which way should the good libertarian/Libertarian go on the issue, if the sole benchmark is “What’s most socially liberal”? Clearly, the government should fund it. What if it’s just “What’s most fiscally conservative”? An argument can be made that the savings from welfare payments and law enforcement (child support to start with, apprehension, adjudication and incarceration of criminals borne of mothers who never wanted them, later) will reduce taxes in other areas enough to be the more fiscally conservative idea.

            Except that “What’s most socially liberal” or “What’s most fiscally conservative” are not, in themselves, in themselves, the guiding principles.

            The guiding principle is, and should be, that you can swing your fist, free of government interference, until it hits the next guy’s nose, which is a self-consistent and beautiful philosophy of governance.

            1. Doesn’t matter, since either way none of those four words is found in the platform.

              Why would they have to be? Again, it’s been the definition of libertarian since 1959. It’s visualized in the Nolan Chart created by David Nolan, who later founded the party.

              The Official Libertarian Party Platform says that it recognizes abortion to be a sensitive issue, and thinks that government should stay out of it.

              Right. Government can’t ban it.

              So… which way should the good libertarian/Libertarian go on the issue, if the sole benchmark is “What’s most socially liberal”? Clearly, the government should fund it.

              Not a benchmark at all. You just said government should stay out.

              Except that “What’s most socially liberal” or “What’s most fiscally conservative” are not, in themselves, in themselves, the guiding principles.

              Nobody said they were. What’s your point?

              The guiding principle is, and should be, that you can swing your fist, free of government interference, until it hits the next guy’s nose, which is a self-consistent and beautiful philosophy of governance.

              It has nothing to do with governing, per se. It illustrates the principle of competing rights, no rights are absolute, which justifies abortion (among others) What’s your point? Are we clear that you had expressed concern that libertarians would become what we’ve always been?

              1. Why I like this reply and other’s like it: no frothing at the mouth.

                1. Only in self-defense. But thanks.

          3. Yes, worse than Scalia & Reagan.

            1. Thanks for confirming the ignorance I only suspected.

      2. . Why should a libertarian bother voting for them?

        You seem confused about what libertarianism is. It’s fiscally conservative and socially liberal, by definition, since 1969.

        1. “‘ . . . You seem confused about what libertarianism is . . . ” Socially liberal, fiscally conservative – and that’s it?

          1. Uhh, yeah. Since 1969. By definition.
            Do you know who the first US President was?

            Here’s a quick example of how goobers have fucked up our movement.

            In a libertarian society, we’d all live in gated communities with private police forces and competing court systems. John Galt’s statue stands in every town square.

            In a free society, Galt’s Gulch could exist right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans. All are voluntary communities (for those who choose). The statue would be Voltaire, inscribed: “I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

            Thanks to the anti-gummint goobers, the libertarian movement has estranged itself from even …. libertarians, 91% of which reject libertarianism.

            The libertarian ethos verse the libertarian ideology. Thanks for being a threat to all of us.

            1. I totally get you have a point to make that you feel everyone MUST HEAR (or read). I don’t see how it grows the movement without giving away something for nothing. Democrats have free stuff–college, health care, child care, tax free tampons, republicans have fear of the other/”safety”/”keeping your stuff”/religion…..how do you get more freedom without shrinking government, I just don’t get it

              I like guns, that’s my point

              1. I totally get you have a point to make that you feel everyone MUST HEAR (or read).

                I merely corrected a bullshitter.

                I don’t see how it grows the movement without giving away something for nothing.

                Me neither. What are you babbling about?

                Democrats have free stuff–college, health care, child care, tax free tampons, republicans have fear of the other/”safety”/”keeping your stuff”/religion…..how do you get more freedom without shrinking government, I just don’t get it

                Again, what are you babbling about?

                I like guns, that’s my point

                WHERE? This is your second comment on the page, and your only mention of guns …. how is that relevant to anything in this thread? …. Or anything else you say in THIS comment? … Anything at all?

                “ladylost”

                Indeed.

    2. Maybe it’s just me, but I find a delicious irony in the notion that libertarians detest all loyalty oaths except their own.

      1. It can be difficult to see the difference between pro-liberty and anti-government libertarians. Only the latter have purity tests and all, have achieved nothing and never will, except for destroying the libertarian brand..

        “Nolan libertarians” are 59% of the electorate, 40,000-50,000 of us are in public office, but all as individuals since 91% of them reject the libertarian brand. THAT is the tragic failure of the libertarian ideology versus the libertarian ethos.

  14. Weld outright saying that in his prosecutorial experience, and I don’t really know what he meant exactly, that it’s “far from victimless”and that the public’s the loser and we “can’t see the crime being committed when it happens.”

    Weld was making an analogy to public corruption cases that he prosecuted. He said that those corruption cases were also called victimless crimes, but they were far from victimless because the public was the loser and we can’t see the crime being committed when it happens.

  15. Thanks for the article. Doherty’s continual praising of Libertarians with faint damns is distressing to many. That he is thought of as a ‘purist’ is surprising to many as well.

    Johnson and Weld are doing what the LP was created for by principals the LIO (http://www.libertarian-international.org ): Help promote libertarian-direction (more federal/local) centrist policies, calm, and discussion on the theme of less government/more freedom, and give a means where people can express concerns and discover libertarian dialogue. CATO was created for libertarian-oriented (democracy) issues.

    A Trump/Clinton administration with a 7% Libertarian vote will be very, very different from one without such a vote. Fans of the non-partisan Libertarian International work for their own ‘Gary Johnson’ teams in every country, and have created a group for libertarian-direction parties worldwide at: http://www.IALP.com As people get familiar and more conversant with Libertarian eco-tools and themes, in due course we will see strict LIO Libertarian, and increasingly strict libertarian-direction, and at least one liberal/libertarian-oriented troika of teams/parties in every country.

    Our current main dialogue is this: A libertarian-interested 7+% national vote everywhere in a world of peaceful sister Floridas of no income tax/localism, and increasingly legal Libertarian eco-homes/-communities will not be a bad thing.

    RE: https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..am-weld-to

  16. I’ve never looked at voting Libertarian before. But knew I couldn’t vote Hillary, so Trump was my only other option. But he’s just pissing off too many people that he’ll need to be able to work with. He said he could act presidential when the time came. I think that time started at the convention. I now don’t think he’s capable of acting presidential. So what’s my other option? Johnson/Weld. I don’t really care if they are pure Libertarians. I looked up Johnson here – http://www.ontheissues.org/Gary_Johnson.htm – the things he supported while governor are a good match for me, regardless of how pure a Libertarian he is. And while they may not be the most polished speakers, they at least seem somewhat sane, reasonable, and like people who will do the least amount of harm, and maybe even be able to get some good changes made. There’s nobody else running that I can say that about. So in that respect, they pulled me in the Libertarian direction, even if they are not pure Libertarians. I don’t even know what a pure Libertarian is. But what I take away from the way J/W want to do things – reduce Fed govt, move some things back to the state, which are better left there for the local needs (min wage, edu, etc…), and let people make their own personal decisions on things that don’t harm or affect others in bad ways.

    I want the govt less a part of my life, and this election cycle is a good example of why. Hopefully J/W can help move things in that direction.

    1. excellent post, gthomson

  17. Gary Johnson’s position reminds me of libs who call ISIS a “right wing” organization because they’re religious, ain’t down with gays and “oppress women”.

    He’s focusing entirely on superficial overlap between libertarian and socialist / populist causes and ignoring the ideology’s core values. Gay marriages and non interventionism (in a vague sense) is already in with the national mood. A socialist who cries out against wars would empower the government “intervene” elsewhere. Venezuela isn’t fighting in the middle east.

    Ron Paul was uncompromising to a fault, but his dedication to limiting the size of government was unmistakable. He wanted to shut down “Departments” of a lot of things, close military bases, and reduce federal workforce by 10% He voted against foreign aid, expanding hate crime laws and affirmative action. He made a lot of enemies on the left and the right.

    Gary Johnson is like….. the exact opposite. I see a centrist republican who tries to have it both ways. You’re down with SSM, but you (apparently) still think prostitution is icky, even though they’re both acts between consenting adults….. OK. That’s understandable for moderate, but not libertarian.

    Ron Paul wanted to END medicare at one point. Gary Johnson will probably insist that “we can make it work with the free market”. Reprieved!

    1. I think they are trying hard to be a Trojan horse. Let’s get in and then we can abolish a bunch of BS. And while the pundits and media start freaking out, in 4 years, we’ll be re-elected in a landslide because some of these issues (like BLM) instantly get better when LESS government is involved. Pre-election, every time you hear “Libertarians believe …” it is a pejorative. They are not wanting to hear our philosophy – they are handing him rope to see if he hangs himself. To that extent, this Town Hall was great. (No heroin overdose question.) And while I would have liked a better answer to the prostitution question, the fact that they went a little into political correctness was smart. They still gave it a wink with Nevada’s laws, agreement with LP platform, and suggesting that the victims were the ones afoul of the law, not the partakers of the act. For every one of us shaking a fist at the screen yelling, “Come on!” there were probably 1,000 watchers forming their first thoughts on it.

      1. I read in a book once (and thus it must be so) that “Americans vote based on candidate attributes (personality, image, authenticity, vibe), not issues. Americans would rather have a candidate with genuine common sense as their leader than almost any other attribute.” I think it was something like a 75/25 split between the candidate’s persona and the candidate’s stance on issues.

    2. Ron Paul was uncompromising to a fault, but his dedication to limiting the size of government was unmistakable

      To his cult perhaps and only on fiscal issues.. He’s anti-constitutionalist, lies about the 10th amendment, totally rejects the libertarian amendment (the 9th) and defends a perverted version of states rights promoted by southern racists and the Ku Klux Klan.

      Ron Paul wanted to END medicare at one point.

      Who doesn’t? He also wants to repeal the income tax, replace it with nothing and run the entire federal government on a quarter-trillion dollars LESS than FICA taxes. His cult confuses “want to do” with “can do.”

      Gary Johnson will probably insist that “we can make it work with the free market”.

      That’s backwards too. It’s Ron and the libertarian establishment dealing in soundbites and slogans.

      This is an election campaign not a course in Political Philosophy.
      Oh wait, if Gary stands and screeches pure libertarian theory (which version?) then a libertarian society will somehow spring from the earth spontaneously. “Fuck persuasion, voters are too damn stupid anyhow.” (pounding chest in a Tarzan yell)

  18. For every Libertarian screaming at our screens, there were 1,000 voters who saw two adults compared to the other children. It was a conversation, without screaming, without condescension, without pretense. I didn’t agree with many of their answers, BUT those answers were still as-good-or-better than any other answers we could get in 2016. I am starting to think of Johnson/Weld as popping the cork on Libertarian champagne: Once the country has a taste, they aren’t going back to the swill that the other two teams are slinging down the bar. If it makes a generation Liberty Curious, then I might not even have to move to Singapore.

  19. I sympathize with the approach that they are taking. I know it’s easier said than done. This is why I miss Harry Browne.

  20. Would someone delete this article? This is not three fighting kids on a playground we’re fighting the biggest most powerful most wealthy people in the world, we can’t have people writing this crap, just hurting ourselves. SO disappointing

    1. They should strut around like assholes, shaking their fists into the the wind, and that will defeat the forces of government?

  21. Say what you will about the purity of the platform but at the end of the day, we’re a bunch of mostly old white men splitting hairs on the platform for the last 20, 30, 45 years. Yes our statist, self-service, too-large government sucks. Yes, our personal freedoms have been diluted. But not a one of you has addressed the crux of the political issue: How do we get there from here? And my point stands: it may not be Johnson-Weld, but from a credentialism and polish standpoint, they’re our best hope yet. To get to a plurality you must first have a recognizable majority.

    1. “recognizable minority,” rather. Sorry, no coffee.

      1. How do we get there from here? I have to go with “Not look or sound like assholes” as step one. Johnson-Weld pushes in that direction, but the “movement” (if there is such a thing) needs an influx of rank-and-file non-assholes as a counterweight to the mostly old white men who have been spanking their monkeys to Rand and the Austrian School for decades. If Johnson-Weld can’t blow through 15 percent with two of the most odious candidates for political office in recent memory, hey, it just ain’t happenin’.

        1. The millenials are coming. TeAm red millenials are very libertarian and have always been. We played in the red sandbox as it was the only option to legitimacy but the sand is now orange. Johnson is beAting trump in this demogrAphic–and these aren’t former team blue kids (they are going for Jill). Trump being nominated is the best chance to move this party forward. The SJWs are also pissing off a lot of young White males to this direction too so there will be some younger ones arriving Shortly. Every late 20s republican friend I hAve has moved here at least for now.

      2. “recognizable minority,” rather. Sorry, no coffee.

        59% is not a minority. Sorry, no brains. You’ve just defended shitting on 59% of the voters and sucking up to your glorious 2% tribelet..

        When people ask me why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians, per Cato, I tell them to read 3 or 4 pages of Reason.com comments.

  22. A disappointment in Libertarian terms? The Town Hall discussion had zero impact on the political landscape or the national races currently underway. Reasonable discourse quickly devolved into ideological hairsplitting, pedantry, and general boorishness.

    Isn’t that the gold standard for the LP? 🙂

  23. The one thing that bugged me was the black lives matter comments. I think there is a middle ground that doesnt piss off either side. Instead he took one side with a vague response that pissed off a lot of potential no Trump Republicans.

    1. I think there is a middle ground that doesnt piss off either side. Instead he took one side with a vague response ….

      Shame on you.

      …that pissed off a lot of potential no Trump Republicans.

      Bullshit
      1) It was not vague
      2)Republicans are anti-Trump because they oppose his fucking bigotry. Gary’s answer hit their sweet spot head on, and also wavering Democrats … exactly as he should be doing. That’s the entire purpose of libertarian politics!

      Pro-Trump Republicans wallow at the feet of Fox News with their power-seeking manipulative war, on Christianity, cops. Last night I heard O’Reilly promote totally outrageous bullshit about cop killings … bullshit that Reason had reported correctly weeks ago. O’Reilly is the same damn motherfucker who says slaves were well-fed.

      With luck, Trump will destroy the entire authoritarian right,

  24. If i could bitchslap the author right now i would. I’m pretty sure everyone here wouldn’t need to ask me why or decide it was a bad idea. I’m not even going to mention why i would do this as it is more effective to leave it in silence while they contemplate what they are doing here.

  25. I don’t think we can shift this country immediately over to Libertarianism, unless by small degrees at a time. They are far more Libertarianish than any other office holders in history, so that is movement in the right direction, even if they are far from a core Libertarian.

  26. As a lifelong libertarian, a regular Reason reader, and a proud supporter of the Johnson-Weld campaign, I immediately rolled my eyes at this article. It appears Mr. Doherty is acting as another purist who would kick out the baby with the bathwater just because the candidates didn’t say everything he wanted to hear, exactly how he wanted to hear it.

    This, over just about any other reason (no pun intended), is why libertarians have struggled to become a successful party: the rejection of our own, by our own, simply because they aren’t 100% dogmatic in their approach or beliefs. You can’t build a party, much less a revolution that way.

    So what if the candidates didn’t speak to the purists of the party? They spoke to the general audience by which their message was going to be heard. CNN isn’t ReasonTV or some fringe YouTube channel. Give these guys a break and perhaps approach the article with something like: “here are my pointers on how they could have done even better!”

    1. Don’t forget, Doherty launched the Ron Paul cult within libertarianism, which has brought down the entire movement, which is now controlled by the cult.. As also seen by most of the comments here.

  27. There is nothing libertarian about William Weld, not a goddamned thing.

    1. He needs to wave his cock and feed his enemies into wood chippers, while bellowing into the wind..
      Anyone who glorifies feeding people into wood chippers is not worth even thinking about.

  28. Bill Weld, or how not to choose a running mate.

  29. There is no path forward at the federal level without first converting millions of citizens to libertarian philosophy. And I would rather spend my little time on earth doing something more rewarding. As such all we can do is take a page from John Galt and stop enabling them.

  30. It’s very simple, Trump seems to be an idiot in public. People say he acts normal in person . He had my vote but not sure anymore. Hillary is so crooked even the Democratic Party agrees she is but will still vote for her even knowing she lies . I watched the town hall last night(most of it) I did not agree with some of what was said but that being said . They acted like adults so I am giving them a closer look. I have always felt like its a wasted vote but I think the two other party’s have left this universe and are out in la la land so it might be time.

  31. I have yet to find a political party or it’s representative that meshes perfectly with my positions. The same can be said of friends and girlfriends, for that matter. The goal for me has been to maximize the compatibilities while (attempting) keeping an open mind about resolving the differences.

    After over 30 years of voting, I find Johnson/Weld to be the closest fit to date. They are certainly more congruent to libertarian sensibilities than any *viable* presidential ticket in my memory.

    To label their performance as a, “disappointment” because it failed to meet criteria for the ideal libertarian position is, in my view, overly harsh and detracts from the momentum the candidates are building.

    I’d be sleeping on the couch most nights if I described my “less than ideal” (aka: real-life) spouse as a disappointment.

    And deservedly so…

  32. I’ll come back to the party when it comes back to its senses. Even after the Barr fiasco, they never learn. Calling Clinton a wonderful public servant? I wish Johnson would have just passed out from the weed before anyone heard him speak. I won’t be surprised at all if they decide to add him to the debates, regardless of whether he makes it to 15%, just to prop up Hillary, while simultaneously torpedoing the LP for decades to come.

    1. while simultaneously torpedoing the LP for decades to come.

      You’ve got it backwards. and understandably. Your ilk has caused the Libertarian party to be rejected by 91% of libertarians. (per Cato)
      Go away. The rest of us must now rebuild from your wreckage.

      1. Rebuilt using recycled parts from the Republican and Democrat parties. You’re welcome to it. Makes it easier not to care when they fall on their face.

        1. Rebuilt using recycled parts from the Republican and Democrat parties.

          You people don’t mind exposing such total ignorance in public.

          when they fall on their face.

          Your ilk has been falling it your face for decades. That’s why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians, “Stupidity is repeating the same thing over and over, expecting the outcome to change.”

          You’re like progs when Keynesian stimulus fails. “We didn’t spend enough.”

  33. weld said, weld commented, weld clarified – I have a feeling I’m glad I didn’t watch if the guy that supported gun control and eminent domain was doing most of the talking on actual policy. I’ll give $10 to any average lay person who can tell me a single thing Pence has said on behalf of the Trump campaign or that Kaine has said on behalf of Hillary.
    Maybe if Johnson would grow a pair, we could actually have a viable alternative candidate.

    1. if the guy that supported gun control and eminent domain was doing most of the talking on actual policy

      Eminent domain is in the Constitution.
      No rights are absolute, and even Scalia rote a majority opinion said gun control was not unconstitutional.

  34. the guy that supported gun control

    WHAT? The sumbitch stands with Reagan and Scalia???? Treasonous.

  35. They might get fewer votes than if they had just run as libertarians. At least then libertarians and small government conservatives could register a protest vote.

    Backing this card wouldn’t be a protest vote—that would take ideological consistency and a message libertarians actually believe in.

    1. Toast88|8.4.16 @ 6:10PM|#
      They might get fewer votes than if they had just run as libertarians.

      How high was Gary polling in 2012, when he ended with 1% of the vote? Anything else?

  36. i get Paid Over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    Heres what I’ve been doing,……… http://www.CareerPlus90.com

  37. Christ, even in an election with trump and clinton we can’t get a decent, coherent nominee out there.

  38. Good article, I think Brian nailed the missed opportunities and misstatements of libertarian goals and policies. I’m not going to condemn a strategy of libertarian-lite when it’s clearly geared toward getting a foothold on the ladder, rather than moving a few listeners a few inches closer to acceptance. But on the other hand, I’m not motivated to “pay” for it unless I first see results. So if this is your tack, get in the debates, THEN I’ll get out my checkbook. Otherwise I’ll just keep explaining to the curious that these guys aren’t the real deal.

  39. Do you understand polling?
    Cause and effect (cause comes first)?

  40. They often seemed to go out of their way to just seem like a centrist, independent mixture of what someone might see as good aspects of both other parties.

    Almost as if they are running to win, against 2 extreme and unlikable candidates.

  41. I’m not sure they succeeded in seeming very Libertarian, or selling the Party’s position as a distinct outlook on politics and government that someone could grasp and understand.

    Browne and Badnarik did that pretty well, and got 0.4% of the vote.

    1. But they were publicly humiliated on principle.

  42. Well they seemed disappointing for a very simple reason, they are not Libertarian. Having said that I am a Libertarian and I will vote for Johnson and Weld because there is no choice. On one hand you have a man running on the Republican ticket that has a screw loose and on the other hand a woman running on the Democrat ticket that has a major trust issue, which one do you want to have their finger on the nuke button?

    I’ve been a Libertarian since ’92 and ever since then I have been tell people please stop voting for the lesser of the two evils because no matter which one wins, you still wind up with evil. But this time I am asking people to please vote for the lesser of the three evils. Just hold your nose and vote for Johnson and Weld and don’t refer to them as Libertarian.

    They are far from perfect but far better than what we have now and better than the other two that are on the ticket.

    1. All those years and you never learned what a libertarian is. So sad.

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