Liberarian Party

Did the Libertarian Party Blow It in 2016?

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Objectively speaking, 2016 was the Libertarian Party's best year ever. It was also a savage disappointment.

On the positive side, the presidential ticket of two former Republican governors, Gary Johnson of New Mexico and William Weld of Massachusetts, received more than 4.46 million votes, amounting (as of press time) to 3.28 percent of the national haul, smashing the party's previous highs of 1.28 million and 1.06 percent, respectively. The L.P. nominee was on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the first time since 2000, and he outperformed the Green Party's Jill Stein in each one.

"We are the only political party in the country that's growing," Libertarian Party National Chair Nicholas Sarwark crowed the morning after the election. "We've tripled our vote totals [over] 2012.…We control a bloc of the electorate that covers the spread in almost all if not all of the battleground states. We've beaten the other third party…in every single state."

For the first time, the L.P. now has more than a half-million registered voters. The Johnson/Weld campaign raised around $12 million, according to internal accounts (the final Federal Election Commission reports have not yet been filed). That destroys the previous record of $3.5 million, set in 1980 (and $2.1 million of the 1980 total came from billionaire vice-presidential candidate David Koch). The national party pulled in nearly $3 million in additional donations this year, too. U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller of Alaska received 30 percent of the vote in his race, the highest such total in party history—especially impressive as he had both a Republican and a Democratic opponent. (Generally, if an L.P. candidate for any legislative seat gets double-digit percentages, it's because one of the major parties sat the race out.) GOP defections in 2016 also gave the L.P. sitting state legislators in Nevada, Nebraska, and Utah.

All told, the party has come a long way since its founding in 1971, when a small gang of dreamers hoped it would become a vehicle to get press attention for libertarian ideas.

Still, measured against expectations—let alone the basic standard that successful political parties must win elections—the Libertarian Party had its most disappointing year ever.

"We wanted to win, and we didn't achieve that goal," Johnson's campaign manager, Ron Nielson, acknowledged shortly after the election. "We were hoping to get into the presidential debate, and no matter how hard we tried we could not achieve that goal. After that our goal was to get 5 percent, and for the last 45 days we pushed toward that effort, which was entirely achievable but for the fact that the election came down to such a tight margin between Clinton and Trump. That put pressure on third-party support, and a lot of Johnson support moved in the end toward Trump, or possibly chose not to participate."

While 3.28 percent marked an all-time high for the party, it was also just a third of the campaign's highest polling average, which came in late July. All summer long Johnson had avoided the typical third-party fade, with such forecasters as FiveThirtyEight projecting a finish higher than 7 percent for months on end. But the plates came crashing down over the final eight weeks, prompting much anguish and fingerpointing among activists and supporters.

"The Libertarian Party," wrote 2016 L.P. presidential runner-up Austin Petersen on Election Day, "has blown a chance that it may never have again in my lifetime."

There was plenty of bad news to go along with Johnson's late collapse. One of the party's sitting state legislators, Utah Sen. Mark Madsen, did not run for re-election and will be gone in January. A second, Nevada Assemblyman John Moore, suffered what might be a historic mangling for an incumbent, finishing a distant third place with just 7 percent of the vote. (The third legislator, Nebraska Sen. Laura Ebke, faces re-election in 2018.) The party still has precious few elected officials, and many of those are in officially nonpartisan jobs.

The races that Libertarians were excited about before Election Day vastly underperformed expectations. Massachusetts U.S. House of Representatives candidate Thomas Simmons thought he actually might win against an incumbent Democrat with no Republican in the race, but he ended up with just 10 percent of the vote. Florida Senate candidate Paul Stanton anticipated 5 or 6 percent, after polling as high as 10 percent. He finished with just 2.

Most activists interviewed for this article presented a glass-half-full interpretation of the L.P.'s historic year. But assessing and strategizing the party's fortunes going forward will depend heavily on figuring out what went wrong and what went right with the Johnson/Weld campaign. And that question is still heavily in dispute.

"Wherever it turns out," Gary Johnson predicted on the morning of the election, "I think it's important to point out that last time it was 1 percent, and this time it's going to blow that away. For some, that's just horrible. For others it's recognized for big-time gains."

Pragmatist Converts vs. Stalwart Radicals The record number of credentialed journalists at the Libertarian National Convention in May all seemed to be there to ask the same question: How could the L.P., facing two historically unpopular major-party candidates (including one total novice), do anything but nominate two popular governors with impressive national profiles? Yet even the internally admired Johnson, who had sailed through the process in 2012, needed two highly contested rounds of voting before he won the nomination. And his far more controversial vice presidential recommendation, amid noisy objections on the convention floor, barely squeaked by on a second ballot of his own. (For more on him, see "Bill Weld's Weird Tuesday" on page 56.)

Such intra-party division, while baffling to most outsiders, represents a real split not just in 2016, but in how party members size up next steps for 2018 and beyond. Roughly speaking, a more pragmatic camp wants to keep finding standard-bearers with real-world experience to sell a palatable, big-tent version of libertarianism that stresses fiscal conservatism and social toleration. A smaller group of radicals is increasingly impatient with recent converts who don't seem to grasp some fundamental tenets of the party's philosophy, and they worry that a posture of apologetic libertarianism will dilute the message and repel sympathizers. A third wing shares the radicals' preference for homegrown libertarianism but emphasizes polish and presentation over passion and philosophy.

By calibrating its pitch to the country's normals, the ticket hoped to—and did—drum up massive new interest. But in doing so Johnson and Weld also set up inevitable conflict with some in their own party.

These broad tendencies were on display before, during, and after the May Libertarian National Convention, where 928 delegates wrestled over what everyone agreed was a historic opportunity. Darryl W. Perry, a member of the L.P. Radical Caucus—a group whose goal is to "celebrate and promote the Radical tradition of American Libertarian thought"—ran, representing "the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party." He came in fourth place with less than 7 percent in both rounds of presidential voting, then warned in his concession speech that "if we nominate two Republican governors as our ticket and we compromise what we believe…THIS. PARTY. WILL. DIE!" In September, citing "the numerous instances of the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket running in opposition to the LP Platform," Perry announced that he was making himself available as a write-in candidate in 17 states plus D.C. (Write-in results had yet to be tabulated at press time.)

Third-place finisher John McAfee, the gonzo anti-virus software pioneer who brought celebrity sizzle and creative weirdness to the Libertarian primary season, also refused to endorse Johnson after the convention, citing the nominee's character and his tendency to rhetorically "compromise" on issues such as gun rights. Among the leading contenders, only runner-up Petersen, the self-styled "freedom ninja" who made his name as a producer for Fox Business Network's Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano, actually backed his vanquisher, though only after repeatedly dinging Johnson's muddled position on religious liberty and calling him a "spoiled, entitled brat, prone to public fits."

Such colorful discord conveyed the impression of a party not quite ready for prime time, a judgment enhanced by the convention's most talked-about moment: when James Weeks II, a portly young Michigan activist who'd been running for national party chair, elected to use his speaking time—which was aired on C-SPAN right when viewers were awaiting the results of Weld's second ballot—for a striptease. The act was controversial inside the hall as well as out; Weeks was suspended by Michigan's Libertarian Executive Committee for two years, producing further rounds of recrimination. ("I was far more ashamed of those who turned their heads in disgust than by anything Mr. Weeks did," McAfee wrote on his Facebook page.) For some longtime libertarians who were getting into capital-l party politics for the first time, it was a wince-inducing moment.

Gary Johnson. Reason TV

Philip Harvey—an entrepreneur who founded the sex product company Adam & Eve and a philanthropist who specializes in distributing contraceptives to the developing world—donated hundreds of thousands to Johnson-supporting super PACs this year. (He has also contributed over the years to Reason Foundation, which publishes this magazine.) Asked whether he'd paid much attention to the L.P. before 2016, Harvey says, "I haven't paid attention to the L.P. even this year. I know very little about it, but it does seem to me that the kind of clownish antics I saw at the convention work very much against the party. If I have anything to say about it, I would try to discourage that, and let the radical, weird material come through as policy."

For all the attention garnered by the radicals and freaks, the pragmatists clearly won the day at the convention, and the party entered the general election behind a softer version of the freedom philosophy, casting libertarianism (in Johnson's oft-repeated phrasing) as "a six-lane highway down the center of the road." By calibrating the pitch to the country's normals, the ticket hoped to—and in fact did—drum up massive new interest. But in doing so Johnson and Weld also set up inevitable conflict with some in their own party.

William Weld. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

"A lot of more radical types such as myself are upset because there are some positions that we do not agree with," said Colorado L.P. official, Radical Caucus member, and national committee member Caryn Ann Harlos two days before the election. "But the way I look at it is that the campaign is bringing brand new people in, and then it's going to be my job to make consistent Libertarians out of them. I'm not going to look that gift horse in the mouth; I think that's entirely the wrong attitude."

Johnson defenders rightly point out that the Libertarian alternatives were, in order of popularity: a 35-year-old social-media pop-off with no elected experience, an enigmatic septuagenarian and recent party convert who had been wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of his neighbor, and a guy who angrily disputes the propriety of government-issued driver's licenses. But in choosing political palatability as a primary virtue, Libertarians ran up against a paradox: Their lead salesman just wasn't particularly gifted at sales. The candidate whose whole strategy was to get into the televised presidential debates was inconsistent at best on TV, by his own admission.

"I constantly apologize for being not the best candidate when it comes to articulating these issues," Johnson said from the Libertarian National Convention stage, in a formulation he would echo throughout the campaign. "So many understand these issues so well, and do such a good job talking about these issues, of debating these issues, discussing these issues, and because of your efforts here we arrived today on the brink of changing America, something that we've always dreamed of. This is the opportunity!"

But was the ability to articulate those positions necessary to seize the opportunity?

'What Is Aleppo?' On the morning of September 8, before Gary Johnson walked on the set of MSNBC's popular program Morning Joe, his polling average on RealClearPolitics was 9 percent, in the ballpark of where it had been for two months. That's when interviewer Mike Barnicle asked him a fateful question: "What would you do if you were elected about Aleppo?" Johnson's wide-eyed, four-word answer became the one and only time that the Libertarian would dominate headlines all campaign long: "And what is Aleppo?"

One week later Johnson saw the last of his 9 percent polling averages, then began hurtling southward. By September 26, the day of the first presidential debate, he was under 8 percent for good. The 7s were left behind two weeks after that, and before anyone had much time to process it, the critical 5 percent threshold—which would have given the L.P. official "minor party" recognition from the federal government, making it eligible for millions in taxpayer financing—was also in the rearview mirror.

In the aftermath, and even with the caveat that both Hillary Clinton and eventual winner Donald Trump had each said demonstrably worse things about the Middle East, many Johnson supporters pointed to the gaffe as a turning point.

"It really deflated a lot of the momentum that we were having," says Judge Jim Gray, the 2012 Libertarian vice presidential nominee, who is now the honorary chair of the Johnson-created nonprofit Our America Initiative.

"Pre-Aleppo, you'd have a lot of strangers giving thumbs up, honks, claps, screams of 'Gary Johnson!'" while out waving Johnson signs or passing out campaign flyers, says the D.C.-based L.P. activist and frequent candidate Bruce Majors. "Post-Aleppo, every eight steps some negative comment, some guy in a loft while I'm going down the street putting Johnson literature on windshields, [was] shouting, 'What is Aleppo?'"

"I shouted back, 'Isn't that the city Hillary Clinton sold weapons to?,' but…"

Aleppo reinforced the impression, among those who were eager to believe or propagate it, that Johnson was ignorant of foreign affairs, disqualifyingly unprepared, and/or just plain goofy. He compounded those narratives by weirdly sticking out his tongue for 10 seconds of an MSNBC interview on September 23, and then volunteering on the same network six days later that he was "having an Aleppo moment" in not being able to come up with the name of Vicente Fox after Chris Matthews asked him to name a foreign leader he respected.

Perhaps the questions were gotchas. Perhaps the media compounded the problem by misreporting his comments, as when his response to Matthews was inaccurately described as an inability to name any foreign leader at all. Regardless, the result was the same for most of the people we spoke to who did retail campaigning for Johnson: Aleppo became the No. 1 objection to the L.P. ticket.

Gary Johnson on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Libertarians, Austin Petersen stressed in an interview after the election, have to realize "that people are going to give [them] a much harder time than a major-party candidate." After all, "Trump doesn't know what the nuclear triad is, Clinton has all her scandals," but something as simple and silly as the Aleppo gaffe can prove fatal. "A Libertarian candidate has got to be on your game," Petersen says.

But September brought plenty of other problems besides Johnson's occasionally tied tongue. National polls, as they always do, began switching their topline results from "registered voters" to "likely voters," thus lowering the results for third-party candidates and making any bad polling trends look worse. The New York Times published an article on September 15 about the Clinton campaign's panic over millennial defections to third-party candidates, and then the nation's comedy newscasts and op-ed pages erupted in a spasm of anti-Johnson content. Environmental activist/billionaire Tom Steyer immediately announced principal backing for a $55 million campaign targeting young people in swing states.

The Debate Gambit The biggest blow to the Libertarian Party's chances came on September 16, when the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit launched in 1987 and still managed by representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties to gatekeep presidential discourse, announced that the Libertarians failed to meet the 15 percent polling threshold to qualify for the first presidential and only vice presidential debate.

Johnson blowing a kiss to Trump, CNN screen capture.

Making those debates had been the campaign's singular goal since even before the Libertarian National Convention. Johnson used it as his primary sales pitch for Weld; the campaign fundraised on a "$15 million for 15%" slogan, and Libertarians hit the commission with two separate lawsuits. (One was dismissed in August but is in the appeals process. The other is scheduled to have first hearings on motions for summary judgment in January.) Weld spoke almost threateningly about the technically nonpartisan body jeopardizing its nonprofit status; Johnson tried pleading for a one-time relaxation of its standards. In late August, the candidate said on CNN that it would be "game over" should these efforts fall short, a prediction that more or less came true.

"No human being not already a sports star [or equivalent celebrity] can get to 15 percent in their time frame," says Sarwark, the party chair. Even though strong majorities in three national polls favored third-party inclusion in the debates, and even though some Libertarians are bullish about the prospects of legal action, nothing happened in time to matter for 2016.

Still, there were moments when even 15 percent looked tantalizingly possible. In mid-July, just before the Republican National Convention, a CNN/ORC poll put Johnson at 13 percent. "Wow, within the margin of error!" recalls Campaign Field Director Carlos Sierra. "We had just started a national TV buy, the SuperPACs were doing their thing, ground game was up and running, we were making tens of thousands of calls a day, visions of how much money we'd get if we got in the debates, all the hiring we could do, offices we could open."

But that proved to be Johnson's high-water mark in the polls. Once it became obvious that he wouldn't make it into the debates, multiple sources with the campaign say, the money spigot pretty much turned off.

"I think if we'd have been in the presidential debates, I think that you would have seen a twentyfold increase in the amount of money that we did raise," Johnson said the morning of Election Day. "I think that we would have raised hundreds of millions of dollars if we would have been in the presidential debates."

As it stands, the campaign did have a banner year raising money, even while falling far short of the $50 million that insiders say is the absolute minimum for running a potentially competitive presidential campaign. In addition to the $12 million for Johnson/Weld, there was also around $2.3 million given to the Gary Johnson Victory Fund (essentially a conglomerate of state parties combining their legal maximums to allow people who'd maxed out on the $2,700 campaign contribution limit to give as much as $117,000 more, which at least one donor, B. Wayne Hughes Jr., son of the founder of Public Storage, did), plus around $3.4 million donated in total to four separate super PACs that supported the campaign.

Asked if he was disappointed that more money didn't flow in, Johnson says, "No, I'm pretty satisfied," then emphasizes that the L.P. routed the competition when measuring votes per dollar. "We raised $12 million bucks, Hillary $1.8 billion, Trump $1.3 billion," he said. "When you do…the votes divided by the money, we're going to get outspent by Hillary 40 to 1."

The 50-State Strategy Not all the theories of what went wrong center on TV brainfreezes or the debates.

"The mistake made," says Austin Petersen, "was the complete dismissal of the 'never Trump' movement and [Johnson/Weld's] play entirely to the left." The ticket's reluctance to attack Hillary Clinton harmed it, Petersen says, as did the tone-deafness to conservative concerns. Johnson "shouldn't have gone to Liberty University and talked about abortion."

These choices provided an opportunity for conservative independent Evan McMullin to steal the campaign's hoped-for Utah thunder, Petersen says. Utah, home base of campaign manager Nielson and campaign spokesman Joe Hunter, was one of a small set of Mountain West states the campaign thought it could excel in. McMullin, a Provo native and Mormon, ended up carrying 21.4 percent of Utah to Johnson's 3.5 percent, and he also topped the Libertarian in the country's second-most-Mormon state, Idaho, though he lagged far behind in the nine other states on which he made the ballot. (Nielson suggests that the Mormon Church's official objection to legalized pot, which Johnson fervently supports, was the prime killer of the L.P.'s chances in Utah.)

Petersen is confident that he could have "raised as much money" as Johnson/Weld via endorsements and support from Republicans disgruntled with Trump. Prior to the Libertarian National Convention he had received an endorsement from longtime GOP strategist Mary Matalin, another boost from RedState editor Erick Erickson, and much positive attention from Glenn Beck. "I was the right candidate for this election cycle," he insists.

Most of the funders and campaign staffers interviewed for this article had a counter view, summed up by Johnson/Weld staffer Andy Craig, who also ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wisconsin this November and received an impressive 11 percent in a three-way race (against a Democrat and an independent, with no Republican). "You can't run some random person with no qualifications no one has ever heard of for president," Craig says, "and expect anyone to take it seriously."

The biggest strategic complaint from those interviewed for this story was that the campaign should have more seriously focused on trying to actually win a state, with Johnson's native New Mexico (where he received 9.3 percent of the vote, his best result) being the most obvious choice. If Johnson had treated New Mexico like McMullin treated Utah, perhaps he could have gained the L.P. its first electoral votes since a "faithless elector" gave the party his ballot in its first presidential run in 1972.

Nielson doubts it. "It would have been a selfish endeavor, trying to win a state," he says. "Great for our personal egos," but bad for the Libertarian Party. Johnson's record vote totals across the country, since they came with some impressive state-level results, led to new or renewed ballot access in over a dozen states, including Oklahoma, where the national party spent more than $100,000 to get a Libertarian name on the ballot for the first time since 2000, says party chair Sarwark. Next election cycle, such money can be plowed into actual campaigns instead of time-consuming and expensive petition drives.

McMullin's one-state strategy did lead to those two third-place finishes, but the other nine results came in at under 2 percent. Johnson's national focus got him bronze medals in 47 states plus Washington, D.C. (Johnson's other fourth-place finish came in Vermont, where write-in votes propelled Bernie Sanders into third.) The trick for the party going forward is to make those relationships more permanent. As New Mexico State Party Chair Marty Swinney says, "We don't want people next time thinking, 'Oh, Gary Johnson's not on the ballot, I guess I have to go back to the Democrats and Republicans.'"

One reason for optimism on that score was Johnson's impressive support throughout the campaign among millennials. "It's often said that however you vote twice when you are young, that's the party you are likely to stick with," says Bruce Majors. "I suspect voting Libertarian even once makes it easier to do it again."

The Next Wave The Johnson campaign's biggest long-term influence may be in the first taste of campaigning it offered to thousands of activists: putting political flyers on car windshields and doorknobs, distributing yard signs, manning tables, making get-out-the-vote calls, and talking up candidate and party. Jacqueline Passey Mason, who has been involved in the L.P. for more than a decade, was amazed at the "hundreds" of new faces she saw doing gritty retail work in Virginia.

The campaign "provided an incredible learning experience," says Indiana Libertarian Mark Rutherford, who has decades of experience in the party. "No campaign anywhere doesn't have some bad sides. But the great thing for the party is that even people with negative experience now have experience working on a real campaign with real money, and that's going to be great."

Colorado L.P. Chair Jay North says that in 2016 alone, state party registration (distinct from dues-paying membership) grew from around 33,000 to 40,000, which he credits mostly to growing disgust with the Democrats and Republicans. A similar dynamic was at play among millennials, says Jason Weinman, who ran Youth for Johnson. Younger voters have been attracted to the L.P. "not because of old libertarian dogmas, certainly not people going around saying 'taxation is theft,' not the Non-Aggression Principle, not young people reading Hayek or Rothbard," but rather because of a general sense that the old ways of governing have been discredited.

But new blood exacerbates old conflicts, such as the party's foundational tension between philosophical purity and political success. D.C.-area activist Robert Swartzwelder says he formally joined the Maryland L.P. when he saw too many newcomers with big plans to change the party. "I don't think we should be conforming to public opinion," he says. "We have a sound platform and principles."

And yet even Swartzwelder acknowledges that "I have seen a lot of Libertarians, myself included, be really bad about running off potential new members because we have an abrasive way of expressing ourselves. If we can stop being so off-putting, we have a great opportunity to grow dramatically" while maintaining the L.P's unique identity. "We can't become Republican-lite or Democrat-lite. I don't consider us to be a centrist party."

But centrism is precisely how Johnson and Weld tried to position themselves. And many of the campaign's most influential supporters consciously reached outside the usual libertarian box to bring in converts unfamiliar with the word. "Millions of new young people who didn't know they were libertarians are now aware of and turned on to the ideas of liberty because of Johnson," says Matt Kibbe, who ran the Johnson-supporting AlternativePAC. Kibbe's PAC created an enormously successful online video, starring "Dead Abe Lincoln," aimed at linking voters scared of Clinton with those scared of Trump so that they could both vote for Johnson without fear.

AlternativePAC "very specifically did not go after the low-hanging fruit, not after self-identifying libertarians," Kibbe says. Activists fighting over purity, he warns, "really don't want the L.P. to grow at all, seeing it more as a philosophical debating society or club." But "if you are a political party, winning votes is fundamentally your business."

If Gary Johnson had focused his energy on trying to win New Mexico, some activists now wonder, could he have gained the L.P. its first electoral votes since a "faithless elector" gave the party his ballot in 1972?

The votes for president are the most coveted prize for any political party. Johnson said repeatedly that he's done running for office. Petersen definitely has his toe in the water for 2020. Many activists are fond of Larry Sharpe, an African-American corporate consultant and a close runner-up to Weld for the vice presidential nomination, who stressed the attractiveness of libertarianism to traditionally disadvantaged communities. Weld, meanwhile, said on election night that "the Libertarians have a very clear path in Washington, and I intend to participate in that," but he will likely face fierce internal resistance.

Virginia State L.P. Vice Chair Andy Bakker is adamant about the carpetbagger issue. "The young activists I talk to have a real desire for someone to come from the inside," he says. "Politics is about trust and looking out for your people, and if we keep bringing in outsiders, we can't be surprised if they don't trust us and don't look out for [the L.P.'s interests]. There's a big movement to make sure there are no former anythings on our stage in 2020."

The Next Big Thing? The Libertarian Party finds itself in a place it's never been before, with momentum stronger than ever. But the L.P. still can't manage a lot of things a major party is expected to do. D.C. activist Majors points out that the national headquarters found it hard to cope with such mundane tasks as shipping campaign materials. Internal polling is too expensive, tending to cost at least $20,000 per survey. Libertarians don't currently have a thorough database of their own registered voters, let alone likely prospects, though the Johnson campaign will be sharing elements of its database with the party moving forward. (The specific details of this database sharing are currently covered under a confidentiality agreement signed between the L.P. and the campaign.) "The L.P. doesn't currently have the institutional culture to know how a big campaign is supposed to be run, how to raise money and how to spend it," says Youth for Johnson's Weinman. Nearly every local candidate interviewed laments that neither their state nor the national party machines are able to do much of anything for them other than provide ballot access.

One conflict almost certain to come up at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention is what to do should the next presidential candidate break through the 5 percent barrier nationally. Clearing that milestone would make the party eligible for federal campaign funds. Most of the activists, candidates, and funders interviewed for this story would have been perfectly happy to see the party's candidate accept the money, which comes from voluntary taxpayer contributions. ("It's a game changer," Johnson says. "You can't compete in politics without money.") But the Radical Caucus is much more circumspect about taking what they characterize as a "welfare check."

What the party needs most, nearly everyone agrees, is more people willing and able to be candidates—particularly if they have the willingness and ability to ask for money, since the L.P. can't really help them with that. Johnson campaign worker and House candidate Andy Craig thinks the party needs to focus on intelligently learning about every state and federal legislative race in which a major-party candidate is running unopposed. Such targeted investments of as little as $20,000–$30,000 via either the party or affiliated super PACs could win state House seats, with as little as $100,000 enough to win a federal one, Craig believes.

Some lifelong activists are glum about third-party prospects in a two-party world. "I have been a member of the Libertarian Party for 32 years and never regretted a moment," says Bill Redpath, credited by many insiders for being the party's prime mover for ballot-access success. "But I do not think it will be an electoral success until some form of proportional representation is adopted in the U.S.," or perhaps ranked-choice voting, an idea Maine voters approved in November.

Being America's biggest third party does come with one distinct advantage: If the other major parties should fracture or dissipate, Libertarians stand ready to expand. "I think in eight to 12 years the Libertarian Party could become the No. 1 party in the United States in terms of size," Bill Weld enthused on election night.

The line between here and there is not necessarily straight. Chris Rufer, a California-based tomato magnate (and occasional donor to Reason Foundation) who gave over $650,000 to efforts related to the Johnson campaign, thinks libertarianism's eventual electoral victory is as inevitable as gravity. But how to get there from here "for now is a puzzle," Rufer says. "It's not going to happen tomorrow and that it's a puzzle makes it interesting."

Jeff Yass, who gave over $1 million to Johnson super PACs and who was new to supporting L.P. candidates this year, says he's not at all discouraged that his investment didn't lead to electoral victory. "No matter how small the chance [to] live in a libertarian world," he says, "I don't have to figure out the odds. The payoff is so high it's worth it."

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403 responses to “Did the Libertarian Party Blow It in 2016?

  1. I’m going to offer a few comments clarifying my remarks, which were given in a very long phone interview back in late October, when we thought this article might have been a mid-November article about whether Libertarian should or should not accept federal funds if Governor Johnson got 5%.

    1) I think Governor Johnson is great and deserves everyone’s thanks. I’m sure he could have studied up even more and been even more prepared, as almost everyone always can. But I think what “Aleppo” mainly tells us is that if an LP candidate begins to seriously pull votes from a Democrat or Republican, the media (in the case of Democrats) will follow the Alinsky playbook to freeze and frame any gaffe and repeat it over and over, with smear merchantry and spin, to the exclusion of the Libertarian’s thousands of other speeches etc.

    Libertarian candidates in the future will have to be like the first woman or first black person in an organization is always alleged to have to be: twice as good to get half the credit. The bias against us is a fact of reality.

    2) I even think Governor Weld was overall positive, given the increased initial attention he generated. But perhaps an articulate (and radical) African American would have helped bring in millennials of color who were already giving Gary Johnson a look. Maybe I wish I had voted as a delegate for Sharpe. Or that Johnson had been more neutral in the VP race. Hindsight.

    1. Aleppo simply showed the usual establishment dirty tricks and hypocrisy. Was it the New York Times whose crowing had its own two mistakes (not the capital of Syria; not the biggest city in Syria)? Yet nobody talked about that, because the establishment doesn’t make mistakes.

      1. The Aleppo brouhaha was a typical media smear. One Johnson was totally unprepared for even though he should have been. Then he made the situatuin much worse by doing an apology tour and acting weird in other ways (specifically the tongue out interview).

        Hopefully, the next libertarian candidate will learn from the success of Trump’s tactics and go on the offensive when the media tries to smear him.

        1. That could be true and he could still be the best candidate we had to run. And we could still be grateful for his work.

          1. And yet, he wasn’t good enough to get Penn Jillette’s vote. Didn’t Penn moderate a libertarian townhall?

            Penn Jillette voted for Hillary Clinton. Because his principles are up for sale.

            1. I think any libertarian – or Objectivist, and there apparently were a couple – who voted for the apex predator level grifter instead of Johnson or Trump or McMullin or even Stein or a write in vote for one of the Pauls – has to be written off as a special needs personality who is delusional or deficient.

              Prima facie that includes Mr. Jillette.

              “Shut up and sing!”

        2. There’s no doubt that the Aleppo brouhaha was a smear by media scum. In fact, the particular media scum who set it up was Mike Barnicle, the “journalist” who had to resign from the Boston Globe. According to Wikipedia, Barnicle was caught in serious misconduct in two separate stories: In the first, he plagiarized humorous material from George Carlin; in the second, he could present no evidence to support fake news that he had made up.

          The problem is that 2016 wasn’t Johnson’s first rodeo. He really had no excuse for being so poorly prepared for such smears. The correct candidate response to Barnicle’s question would have been, if the candidate did not understand what “journalist” had asked, something like this: “In your question, a leppo is a synecdoche, a figure of speech. What aspect of a leppo do you literally mean?” He also should have known to eschew intentional goofiness because it would be looped over and over again.

          1. True, it wasn’t Johnson’s 1st time around. He was awful in the 2011 debates for the GOP nomination. Still LP nominated him in 2012 because they thought he was a big shot. He was still pretty bad as a national campaigner. What made anyone think he’d be better in 2016? Probably the same idea that makes people think LP still has great potential after 45 yrs.

            1. Ron Paul and Bob Barr had gone back to the GOP and Mike Gravel has retired. So the choices were limited.

          2. It’s a “smear” to ask a candidate for US President a question about a city that is a major focus of current foreign policy events?

            If Clinton or Trump had been asked that question and given the answer that Johnson gave, Reason would be tripping over itself to repeat the event endlessly as evidence that they were dangerously ignorant of current events.

            1. I don’t think many Americans thought of the Syrian refugee crisis in terms of the word “Aleppo,” until after that exchange.

              That’s why there was a spike of people googling the term that day.

              I think the MSNBC people even knew that and deliberately had a question (and maybe a list of them) worded in a way to try to exploit the fact that Gary doesn’t read policy journals and international news.

              They knew what they were doing.

              For any libertarian to not see how the American media is a political party engaged in machinations for power, not information, is almost as bad as not knowing how price controls work.

      2. Trump’s not knowing what “nuclear triad” meant is not comparable, because that’s just a bit of jargon, trivial to the discussion of the actual issues involved. Aleppo by contrast is the name of a place that’d been in the news quite a bit, so Johnson’s not knowing it shows he wasn’t taking the campaign seriously enough to pay att’n to foreign affairs.

        1. No you are completely incorrect. I read about the Syrian refugee crisis daily before that and I didn’t think of “Aleppo” either. http://www.breitbart.com/2016-…..-benghazi/

    2. But perhaps an articulate (and radical) African American would have helped bring in millennials of color who were already giving Gary Johnson a look

      *facepalm*

      You aren’t going to get blocks of votes by pandering to SJWs and the people controlled by the SJWs. The LP isn’t going to be more relevant with a black VP or a transgender VP or a monkey in a tutu VP. The people who would be impressed by that are owned by the Democrat Party, and you will not win that fight. There’s a reason that Sarah Palin didn’t impact the ’08 election nearly as much as the GOP had hoped, and it’s because the racists, sexists, and bigots that vote based on skin color, gender, and other characteristics are dyed in the wool Democrats.

      If the LP wants a serious look from a large block of people, they need to reach out to their ideological similars, the conservatives that aren’t super into social conservatism. A ticket that talked about restoring private property rights to business owners, rolling back and modifying some of the 2nd Amdmt regulations, restoring sovereignty to the States, and nuking the IRS, while also talking about overhauling how this country handles drugs and marriage, would have been a great home in the ’16 election for disaffected voters from both parties that either held their nose for their respective candidate or didn’t bother to vote.

      1. It is precisely this attitude that repels monkeys with tutus

        1. Oddly, in the “Planet of the Apes” movies and series the simians are all very binary and heterosexual. They seem to have deported the bonobos.

          1. Koja is a bonobo.

            1. So perhaps a racy adult spin-off series is in the works?

      2. “If the LP wants a serious look from a large block of people, they need to reach out to their ideological similars, the conservatives that aren’t super into social conservatism.”

        ^^This.

        There are many conservatives around who for a variety of reasons are disenchanted with the GOP. Given that the Democrats are all in for statist progressivism, while the GOP at least pays lip service to individual liberty and personal responsibility, it would seem that this is where the LP should be looking. Anyone who buys what the Democrats are selling is basically unreachable.

        Of course, I’m no professional political strategist. But then, the professional political strategists did get their collective ass handed to them this election. The LP should learn from this.

        1. Because courting those icky conservative types means giving up on open borders. Reading comments i think there are a lot of ‘libertarians’ that are statist assholes trying to escape the label (while not actually stopping being statist assholes).

          1. a lot of ‘libertarians’ that are statist assholes trying to escape the label (while not actually stopping being statist assholes).

            99% of them follow the statist bigotry of the Paulist Cult. (It helps if they know NOTHING about the Constitution, thus easily manipulated by Ron’s raging authoritarianism.

      3. Trump got more black voters than Romney did. Hillary got fewer than Obama.

        Why couldn’t Johnson 2016 get more than Johnson 2012?

        And why couldn’t Amash 2020 get more than that?

        1. Q: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

          A: It doesn’t matter.

          I think you missed his point, Bruce. Identity politics is a game of the left, which incidentally, didn’t work out very well even for them this time. Libertarians shouldn’t follow the Democrats down this rabbit hole.

          1. No I think you missed the point by failing to make distinctions.

            I don’t think say Larry Sharpe etc. running on an LP ticket and talking about school choice or criminal justice reform or the war on drugs or how regulations kill small start ups and jobs is identity politics. It’s just Larry Sharpe talking about what he believes.

            But young black voters (and even voters of other races) might pay more attention than they did to Bill Weld, because his candidacy seems different or he looks more like them, etc.

            I know I pay slightly more attention to what gay public figures say (usually I am even more irritated and offended) because I’m gay. I lots of people do this.

            That’s not the same as running on some divisive platform where you play a victim card or only talk to one group or only talk about your identity.

            1. I think I understand you very well. And just to be clear, I’m not trying to demonize your positition, but I emphatically disagree with you, and I want to respond to your points thoroughly.

              “I don’t think say Larry Sharpe etc. running on an LP ticket and talking about school choice or criminal justice reform or the war on drugs or how regulations kill small start ups and jobs is identity politics. It’s just Larry Sharpe talking about what he believes.”

              Great! Then let him run and win or lose on the merits of his ideas and his positions, not the color of his skin, sexual orientation, etc.

              “No I think you missed the point by failing to make distinctions.”

              It is a distinction without difference. If the LP begins to pick candidates in an attempt to target specific groups on the basis of these types of personal characteristics because “he looks more like them,” that most certainly is identity politics. No overt victim mongering is necessary for this to be true. Underdog–and therefore special status–is implied by giving any preference to a candidate based on these types of things.

              “I know I pay slightly more attention to what gay public figures say (usually I am even more irritated and offended) because I’m gay. I (sic) lots of people do this.”

              That doesn’t make it right–or even very smart.

              1. I’m still not convinced it is identity politics.

                It’s picking a candidate who you think voters you want to reach will pay attention to and favor.

                For decades parties have picked men, tall people, people who had some charisma and looks and sex appeal when they could find them, people with blue eyes (way disproportionate among elected Presidents I am told), and people who are from populous states or who balance the geographical appeal of their running mate by being from another area.

                Were those identity politics?

                Is picking a tall Westerner or a Southerner with charm identity politics?

            2. I should also mention that incidentally, I would’ve preferred Larry Sharpe or any number of others to Bill Weld for the VP nominee. Incidentally.

              1. I understand that Larry Sharpe would get votes at the margin that a white candidate wouldn’t get. Just like GayJay got votes from gay and stoner voters that another candidate wouldn’t have gotten. People really do vote on such silly things.

                But, the LP convention focus should be on whoever can deliver our message as best as possible, regardless of such extraneous factors. We need someone smart, articulate, and principled. If Larry Sharpe can win their support on that basis, then great. But not because he has a bit more skin melanin than someone else on the stage.

                That being said, Larry would have been waaaay better than that jackass Weld.

            3. You want to get more black votes? Play to their clergy, not to their issues.

          2. Identity politics is a game of the left,

            Another severe denial on the right, who play the same game with different voting blocs … who also deny their own forceful imposition of PC speech codes … their own trigger points and more.

            The war on Christianity” is identity politics. And all it’s related hysteria. (Which is a trigger point, but Fox News is a Safe Zone)

            Libertarians exposed their fraud and bullshit decades ago. A simple equation Left -Right=Zero

            Umm, that means no difference. Two warring tribes of thugs. Fighting over which’s values should be mandated on everyone by force. Even counterfeit libertarians, also both left and right.

            A growing majority of American rject them both. Liberty is advancing, as libertarianism remains stuck in the same quagmire of self-righteous irrelevance for 30 years.

        2. I see no reason why a libertarian can’t. But, libertarians are never going to win the identity politics game. It’s a collectivist game and collectivist libertarianism just doesn’t make sense as an ideology.

          The way for libertarians to pick up votes isn’t demography. It’s to make the case for libertarianism to different groups. Hell, the case for libertarianism for blacks is very straightforward (even if it’s just “We won’t throw your young men in rape cages!”). It just strikes me that too many libertarians are afraid to make it.

          1. That’s the case for the -ism, but it’s not the case for voting. People don’t consider issues that much when voting for politicians. More often they’re voting for a friend of a friend of a friend. That’s why I say if you want more black votes, you should play to their clergy rather than to their issues. Or play to their entertainers. Or to their barbers/beauticians or cab drivers or doctors or dentists.

          2. libertarians are never going to win the identity politics game. It’s a collectivist game

            But you play it even worse than they do!

            The way for libertarians to pick up votes isn’t demography. It’s to make the case for libertarianism to different groups.

            IDENTITY POLITICS!!! ….. PROOF:

            Hell, the case for libertarianism for blacks is very straightforward (even if it’s just “We won’t throw your young men in rape cages!”).

            APPEAL TO THEIR RACE!

            This is why liberty is advancing across the board,…. leaving libertarianism in the dustbin on history.
            Abandon David Nolan for Ron Paul … and die.

        3. Marginally improving performance in a demographic that you’re losing badly can make the difference between major parties in an election that’s close. When you win the whites, losing a little less badly among the blacks can put you over the top.

          But that has no relevance to a candidate who’s losing among everybody badly & doesn’t expect to come anywhere close to winning. In that case it’s better to plow more fertile ground. There are more whites voting, & it’s easier to get their votes.

          1. You’re debating which type of identity politics!

            People don’t consider issues that much when voting for politicians.

            Because ….. .

            More often they’re voting for a friend of a friend of a friend.

            That won’t elect a dog catcher in any town over 1500 people. Most 12-year-olds can do the math.

            That’s why I say if you want more black votes, you should play to their clergy rather than to their issues. Or play to their entertainers. Or to their barbers/beauticians or cab drivers or doctors or dentist

            FUCK liberty, which is NOT an intrinsic value for all of humanity.
            Liberty can be advanced by .,… identity SCHMOOZING. Who knew?

            This is why we lose.

            In a libertarian society, we 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 exists right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans. Each community would be voluntarily populated. And that statue would be Voltaire, inscribed: “I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

            Americans can smell the self-righteous contempt at 1000 yards.
            THAT is why John/Weld was humiliated

            The defense rests

      4. “If the LP wants a serious look from a large block of people, they need to reach out to their ideological similars, the conservatives that aren’t super into social conservatism.”

        Then you say the candidate should be for “rolling back and modifying some of the 2nd Amdmt regulations,” which is part of the media’s very definition of social conservatism.

        1. Seriously, your average voter will identify the classic socon issues as God, guns, gays and abortion. And you’re looking for a non-socon candidate with a socon stance on guns.

          1. Guns are a socon issue? If it is, it’s one socon issue that lots of non-socons agree with the socons on. But I’d say the classic socon issues are God, gays, abortion, and porn.

            Sure, the media loves to paint guns, along with home schooling, as “socon” issues, but that’s because the media wants to smear those two issues by association with those nasty socons. And even if the average voter does associate guns and home schooling with socons, support for those two issues is still (a) consistent with libertarian principles, and (b) a refutation of the charge that libertarians are just “liberals who want to legalize pot.”

            1. Maybe Johnson should have stolen Austin’s bumpersticker about protecting the 2A rights of gay couples guarding their marijuana fields.

            2. I can’t believe I forgot homeschooling – yes, there’s a classic SoCon issue.

              1. I can’t believe you forgot porn as being a classic SoCon issue.

                1. “Deep Lurker” is taking on a whole new meaning. I knew I’d seen that on something in a store somewhere.

      5. If the LP wants a serious look from a large block of people, they need to reach out to their ideological similars, the conservatives that aren’t super into social conservatism.

        Or someone who simply isn’t afraid to make the case for libertarianism for that block. I remember the CNN Townhall. Johnson got a question about BLM from a black woman. Now, this should have been a golden opportunity for a libertarian to hammer home the fact that libertarians have been pounding the table about overpolicing and law enforcement excess for longer than most of the BLM folks have been alive. Instead, we got Johnson prattling buffoonishly about how BLM is a wake-up call and we need to spend more money on inner cities. Pathetic.

        1. Dalasio says we should be talking about OURSELVES ,…. instead of VOTERS.
          19-year-old salespeople are smarter than that.

          That’s the price we pay for never electing anyone … abject ignorance.of electoral politics.

      6. Wouldn’t work in 2016, since the GOP was running just such a candidate, and people like winning.

    3. The media won’t care if the LP pulls voters from the GOP, Bruce. They may very well cheer it.

      1. The media won’t. I think what I posted reflects that.

        The GOP will and they will use whatever tools they have (e.g. ballot access); the Democrats use what they have, which includes the media.

        1. Baloney. If the media wanted to stop Johnson, they merely had to deny him coverage. They INVITED HIM onto their shows.

          1. >> They INVITED HIM onto their shows.

            The media didn’t consider Johnson a threat to Hillary. They gave him air time because they thought he’d steal votes from Trump. In other words, he was a useful idiot. Unfortunately for them, he hurt Hillary too.

          2. Chip, Chip, Chip…read your Austrian econ. You are thinking statically, not dynamically.

            At first the media loved Johnson-Weld because they thought they would sap GOP votes being former GOPster guys.

            When they realized, kind of retardedly late actually, that polls showed them hurting their grifter queen, they still covered them but only to belittle them.

    4. . But perhaps an articulate (and radical) African American would have helped bring in millennials of color

      FUCK principles. Identity politics could bring us an entire 3-4% of the vote!
      But this movement has not gone totally off the rails, right?.

      What failed was the wacky notion that vague mumbling about “libertarian ideas” — without a single policy solution — could win the day in an opening that many of us have worked 40 years or more toward.

  2. 3) I actually said or meant to say before Aleppo I only got thumbs up, honks, claps, and affirmative shouts when I was wearing a Johnson t-shirt or putting out yard signs. After Aleppo I still did, though about every 8th person, not “every 8 steps,” was someone who said something negative.

    4) I didn’t actually criticize, or mean to criticize, the LP national HQ as being dysfunctional. I said that BOTH the Gary Johnson campaign and the LP national office were unable to deal with the huge demand for signs, shirts, buttons, stickers, door knockers initially. Initially I had to order buttons from private vendors on Amazon Prime to have them in time for a gay pride table and other events in June, as it was clear the order I placed with the campaign would take weeks to be filled.

    Both organizations eventually caught up with the huge demand for Johnson material – the LP national HQ called in volunteers from the DC metro area to help do shipping, the Johnson campaign began sending massive boxes of signs and t shirts and bumperstickers to each state campaign chair. Though I did, as the DC Johnson campaign chair, run into DC residents who had donated money to the Johnson campaign and never had anything (t shirt, button etc.) sent to them – so I was able from my massive stores to give them something (if anyone wants a bumpersticker just contact me brucemajorsdc@gmail.com – and a SASE will get you one).

    1. Interesting. Not a single word about issues or solutions. (sigh)

      1. What Bruce said still has bearing on the analysis of GJ’s defeat. I absolutely agree that the Aleppo moment illustrated the media’s extreme bias against third party candidates, especially Libertarians, and this is a teachable moment to all future Libertarian candidates: Assume that the media is an enemy and be prepared to have to fight all the unjust caricatures that they like to box Libertarians in with.

        That means LOTS of media training with special focus on adversarial interviewing techniques (how to stay in charge of the message without seeming combative).

        1. I think it’s an overstatement to view Aleppo as some sort of turning point. GJ was in trouble before that (religious liberty is a black hole, etc.), and Aleppo was the final nail in the coffin. The biggest enemy to the LP ticket this go-around was the LP ticket.

          1. >> The biggest enemy to the LP ticket this go-around was the LP ticket.

            Absolutely. For several reasons:

            1. Gary Johnson wasted time trying to appeal to the left. The left hates libertarians to the depth of their souls. If the LP ever wants to break 10%, they’ll need conservatives. That, of course, means abandoning open borders – a loser of a platform.
            2. Leave the identity politics to the Democrats, who themselves suffered the consequences of calling people racists. I cringed when GJ corrected people’s speech when they used terms like “illegals.”
            3. GJ comes across as a bit loony when he gets in people’s faces and yells at them. Then he stuck out his tongue during that one interview, which surprised the hell out of the interviewer. That looked bad.

            1. 4. Bill “vouching for Hillary” Weld

            2. Hey, dumbfuck! (aka paradigm)
              Libertarians have been socially liberal since 1969.

              1. Can you engage in a mature discussion without insults? I haven’t seen substantial evidence to suggest you are capable, or willing.

                I wasn’t talking about social liberalism (gay rights, abortion, etc.). I was talking about how Johnson would act like a SJW on the campaign trail. He would say this or that is racist. He’d act like a progressive brown shirt by correcting people’s speech when they used words like “illegal” instead of “undocumented.” And whether you want to admit it or not, open borders will only help progressive Democrats. They’ll see to it that the “undocumented[s]” get enough benefits to keep them voting for bigger government, which precludes the LP’s winning anything.

                1. Can you engage in a mature discussion without insults?

                  I sincerely apologize for my totally unjustified reply to your errors.

                  I haven’t seen substantial evidence to suggest you are capable, or willing.

                  You turn to apologize. Scan the page.

                  I wasn’t talking about social liberalism (gay rights, abortion, etc.).

                  Umnnn, that’s part of the left. And MUCH larger than you surmise.

                  The left hates libertarians to the depth of their souls.

                  Same error.
                  Only extreme fiscal ones … who are as useless to liberty as extreme social conservatives

                  If the LP ever wants to break 10%, they’ll need conservatives. That, of course,means abandoning open borders

                  Same error. Bias and ignorance of defining issues. Open borders are socially liberal.

                  I’ll spell it out. The common thread linking fiscal conservatism and social liberalism is … individual liberty, Opponents of marriage equality and the like want government to impose and mandate THEIR values on everyone, by force … no better than health insurance mandates from the fiscal left.

                  59% of Americans would accept the description of “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” — so why would you target a mere fraction of that?

                  Don’t forget the apology.

                  1. >> I sincerely apologize for my totally unjustified reply to your errors.

                    Apology accepted

                    I think we probably agree on several things. In using the word “conservatives,” I am not talking about the Jesse Helms types on the extreme right who want gay people to crawl under their beds. I don’t even consider them conservatives – they’re evangelical Christians, and they’re a lot like the hard left. They are jealous, intolerant, and they vote based on useless items like the fact that Romney is a Mormon. Like leftists, their greatest fear is that someone, somewhere is having a good time.

                    The 10 to 15% of voters on either extreme end of the political spectrum are not conservatives and liberals in my opinion. They are just inflexible pains in the rest of our asses. Johnson should not be wasting time and money trying to appeal to them. And, in behaving like a SJW (hurling racism charges, policing people’s speech, giving legitimacy to climate hysteria), he went after the 10-15% on the hard left, not social liberals. Even if he doesn’t think he’s campaigning to the hard left, the roughly 70% of people in the middle are turned off when we hear the SJW crap come out of his mouth.

                    Just my observations. The left will find it very difficult to win elections from now on. They have been calling people racists for 30 years and don’t know how to do anything else, and neither does the media.

                    1. I haven’t seen substantial evidence to suggest you are capable, or willing.

                      You turn to apologize. Scan the page.
                      Don’t forget the apology.

                      Apology accepted

                      You forgot.

                    2. ok…I apologize. This will be my final post as this article is moving down the list.

        2. dchang0,
          Blame the media instead of a fucking movement that has NO policy solutions to ANYTHING.
          EVERY candidate had a screwup that big .., and they ALL got ridiculed. But they had substance. Dumb substance. But substance. Gary had nothing. He relied on the movement, which was suicidal.

          Hell Trump fucked up worse than that 2-3 times every week!
          And he still is!!

          1. I think you’re reading too much into what I said.

            I’m not blaming the media as the sole or main source of GJ’s failure. I’m saying that as a bare minimum, any LP POTUS candidate needs media training and lots of it.

            And I fully agree with you that GJ and the national LP did not present any serious policy solutions (not beyond one-liner soundbites, at least).

            But, I don’t agree with you that every other candidate had substance, especially Hillary (relying on identity politics, avoiding presenting any solutions at all). Out of all of the candidates, the only ones that went beyond soundbites were, IMO, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, but both of them are already known for getting deep into policy details as Senators. The rest offered platitudes that were essentially carefully-tailored dog-whistles to certain constituents.

            1. But, I don’t agree with you that every other candidate had substance,

              I did say DUMB substance. Hilary had the most, by far, well over 50. Trump had a fraction of that — and has since reversed almost all of them — but his bombast played well.

              especially Hillary (relying on identity politics, avoiding presenting any solutions at all)

              Huh? She had over 50 DETAILED policy positions and papers,on every major issue, plus hot button issues for all the main Dem constituencies — nearly 40 TOPICS here, all in simple English. …

              https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

              Each topic has at least 2-3 policy proposals behind the soundbite.

              The rest offered platitudes that were essentially carefully-tailored dog-whistles to certain constituents.

              Preciseiy like Rand and Ted. Extreme social conservatives are a powerful constituency, but too small on their own and too divisive to build a meaningful coalition

              That’s how Rand shot himself in the foot He spoke to a cheering crowd at Berkeley on nonintervention … then, less than a week later, he pissed it away by calling for nationwide religious tent to oppose the severe threat if …. marriage equality. THAT is identity politics! He was pandering to two totally opposites constituencies.

              1. Jesus Christ.

                He spoke to a cheering crowd at Berkeley on nonintervention … then, less than a week later, he pissed it away by calling for nationwide religious tent to oppose the severe threat if …. marriage equality. THAT is identity politics!

                Being for nonintervention and against “marriage equality” is not automatically pandering to two different groups.

                1) Someone can be a straight-up isolationist and against gay marriage simultaneously. Not everyone can be shoehorned into the left-right identity groups.

                2) There are perfectly libertarian arguments to be made against the Obergefell version of “marriage equality.” It’s simply the expansion of a state licensing program for marriage; something the government shouldn’t be involved with in the first place. It’s really akin to the notion that to “regulate and tax” marijuana is not the same thing as to “legalize and let go of it.” And that is the position Rand Paul holds.

                He wasn’t pandering to anyone. Those are consistent positions.

                1. He spoke to a cheering crowd at Berkeley on nonintervention … then, less than a week later, he pissed it away by calling for nationwide religious tent to oppose the severe threat if …. marriage equality. THAT is identity politics!

                  Being for nonintervention and against “marriage equality” is not automatically pandering to two different groups.

                  Berkeley liberals would NOT be offended?

                  2) There are perfectly libertarian arguments to be made against the Obergefell version of “marriage equality.”

                  Do you have any? Or just memorized slogans.

                  It’s simply the expansion of a state licensing program for marriage; something the government shouldn’t be involved with in the first place.

                  What do we do while government is still involved, limited my that pesky constitution?
                  Government should not be involved ,,,, except to dole out hundreds of special legal and tax preferences.

                  (As a strict constitutional conservative, you would piss and shit on the Constitution … if government does things it shouldn’t. If government overreaches, then punish … THE PEOPLE? )

                  He wasn’t pandering to anyone. Those are consistent positions.

                  Umm, is it TOTALLY STUPID to assume Berkeley liberals would NOT be repulsed by nationwide religious tent revivals to promote severe violations of civil liberties, equal rights and several constitutional guarantees?

              2. Podesta is that you??

                1. Tyler.C
                  Bully

                  Confused by Tyler’s incoherent screeching? Do page search for his name. See a total of 5 comments … so far … every single one an unprovoked attack against me. Not a single comment on any issue or topic. Not one.

                  Pure aggression And a lot of self-righteous whining Two possibilities

                  1) He runs with the pack of wild dogs here, which tracks and kicks the shit out of anyone who challenges their Politically Correct rules and restrictions.

                  2) He made a total public ass of himself, so created a new identity for the sole purpose of attacking me. Quite common. Part of the wild dogs, but a raging psychopath.

                  Reason comments are teeming with them, Like any market, the only place which does NOT ban or moderate cyber-bullies attracts an ever-growing number of them …. as their asses get thrown off every other site.

                  PLEASE do not judge libertarian values by our own wacky extremists. Every tribe has at least one faction to be ashamed of.

        3. The assault on Aleppo was ALL OVER the news. He’s running for president! He should have known about foreign policy matters in the news. Maybe the question wasn’t phrased in the most helpful way, but that’s not the point.

          This is especially damning since we’ve been drubbed over the head with how qualified and credentialed and experienced Johnson-Weld was.

          1. It was bullshit because the media hack asked him “what are you going to do about Al Eppo?” Which is complete nonsense. The implication is that he asked “What do you think the US should do about the Syria Civil war?” or even more specifically “What is you position on refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war?”

            But note that said hack did not ask either of those straightforward questions. It is analogous to someone asking a presidential candidate in 2004 “What are you going to do about Basra?”

            1. But note that said hack did not ask either of those straightforward questions. It is analogous to someone asking a presidential candidate in 2004 “What are you going to do about Basra?”

              “It’s unfair of them to ask you questions like that” is not an interview strategy.

              Ask them to rephrase the question to be less vague and more on point. Stall a little, get clarification, until you understand that they are talking about a city in the Middle East that’s being fought over by statists, then answer something like, “We should have done the same thing that JFK should have done about the Bay of Pigs.”

              And do some fucking debate prep beforehand.

              1. Ask them to rephrase the question to be less vague and more on point.

                He did that too much in 2011 already! Somebody asks you a vague question, then good, use it as an entry for a point you want to make.

                If somebody’d asked me, I’d’ve said leave it to the Russians or to Assad.

              2. This is the exact point I’ve made before about why I so disappointed in Johnson’s performance. The man was elected to statewide office twice (admittedly in New Mexico, but still, I assume it requires some degree of skill!), so he should have the ability to deflect or spin his way through a question he doesn’t immediately understand or know the answer to.

            2. Doesn’t matter how they phrased the question if he didn’t know what Aleppo was in the first place. He didn’t even know it was the name of a geographical location for heaven’s sake.

            3. said hack did not ask either of those straightforward questions. It is analogous to someone asking a presidential candidate in 2004 “What are you going to do about Basra?”

              That seems to me like a perfectly straightforward Q that a prez candidate should’ve been able to address.

          2. Chip Your Pets
            The assault on Aleppo was ALL OVER the news

            As were at least 50 MASSIVE fuckups by Trump. You need a new excuse.

        4. ” I absolutely agree that the Aleppo moment illustrated the media’s extreme bias against third party candidates, especially Libertarians, and this is a teachable moment to all future Libertarian candidates: Assume that the media is an enemy and be prepared to have to fight all the unjust caricatures that they like to box Libertarians in with.”

          That’s an incorrect analysis and part of the problem. The bulk of the media are out to get anyone who’s not a Left wing candidate. If you assume that they are merely targeting third party candidates you are going to continue to make mistakes.

          I’m not saying Libertarians should ally with the right, but Libertarians should realize that while the Right might occasionally target Libertarians as a target of opportunity, the Left will consistently target you.

        5. ” I absolutely agree that the Aleppo moment illustrated the media’s extreme bias against third party candidates, especially Libertarians, and this is a teachable moment to all future Libertarian candidates: Assume that the media is an enemy and be prepared to have to fight all the unjust caricatures that they like to box Libertarians in with.”

          That’s an incorrect analysis and part of the problem. The bulk of the media are out to get anyone who’s not a Left wing candidate. If you assume that they are merely targeting third party candidates you are going to continue to make mistakes.

          I’m not saying Libertarians should ally with the right, but Libertarians should realize that while the Right might occasionally target Libertarians as a target of opportunity, the Left will consistently target you.

      2. My comments were only to clarify the quotes and paraphrases of me in the article.

        Your contention is that Johnson’s failure to press issues hurt him more than gaffes, or allowed gaffes to define him.

        I’ll buy that.

        If he had announced a block grant type incentivization of charter schools and vouchers before Trump did and harped on that, and about 2-4 other such proposals that could be implemented in less than 4 years, it might have made a difference. White papers addressing it would have helped.

        At the convention in May one delegate told me we were nominating an athlete who wanted to surf, not a policy scholar. I still think we should be grateful to him and that an athlete can hire a policy team to write papers. But she was prophetic.

  3. Yep. Blew it BIG time. A crushing rejection of anti-government libertarianism. They hate Gary, but he ran their type of race … totally devoid of a single policy proposal … when Americans were eager for change … the type of opportunity that appears only once or twice per century.

    But nothing on jobs and the economy, Nothing on health care. Nothing on overall reform. Nothing on anything, He COULD have won with almost ANY comprehensive platform.

    “Fiscally responsible and socially accepting” is a slogan not a platform. We’ve now seen how wacky it is to run on “libertarian ideas.”

    “How will they govern?”
    “I have no idea. Does anyone”?

    Gary is wise enough to know Ron Paul is no libertarian. But, somehow, two experienced governors ran a Ron Paul campaign … on nothingness. Slogans and soundbites. They braggged of being successful governors, but conveyed nothing on governance. Not a single word.

    Some of us have worked and waited 40 years or more for an opportunity like this, How totally shameful,
    How would libertarians govern? Apparently we cannot. So who needs us — the us we saw last year?
    And spare the tribal bullshit. How many of those votes were anti-Trump and anti-Hillary?

    1. “Gary is wise enough to know Ron Paul is no libertarian.”

      That is really tough to conclude given his own statements.

      1. He said those exact words, in 2012.

        While Paul may be the most libertarian-minded candidate in the field of prospective GOP presidential candidates, Johnson said, Paul doesn’t fit the libertarian mold on a host of issues: from abortion to marriage equality to immigration and marijuana

        “He’s a Republican,” Johnson said. “Great, I mean terrific,” Johnson said sarcastically. “I mean, the most libertarian candidate that Republicans may end up fielding.”

        Plus he’s always stressed social; .tolerance or the equivalent

    2. Gay Jay is a joke. Period. Say what you will about Ron Paul (and there have been a lot of insults being hurled by the sellouts that manage the ‘Liberaltarian’ Party), but his brand actually wins elections (Massie, Amash, the Pauls). That can’t be said for the sellout brand so popular with the Reason staff.

      1. That’s an unhinged troll you’re talking to. Just saying, Just Say’n.

        1. That’s an unhinged troll you’re talking to. Just saying, Just Say’n.

          I don’t commit aggression. (laugh)

          1. Why the switch from Hihn to this screen name?

            (giggles, soils diapers)

            1. What’s YOUR name and what can you link to? (lol)
              I’m not the one hiding my identity … as I frequently link to the archive of my published works … mostly to jam it up the ass of those who assume I MUST be a lefty, because I escaped whatever brainwashed them.

              Galt seems an appropriate alias for someone who defends Galt’s unyielding opposition to aggression and other forms of oppression and thuggery.

      2. The Ron Paul brand? Republicans running as Republicans pretending to be libertarians.

        Which is actually what the reason.com community is: mostly Republican.

        In that sense, Drumpf is the perfect candidate. All that remains is for him to be normalized here.

        March. By March.

        1. Johnson was a Democrat with an R on his name. NM ‘Republican’

          1. Austrian Anarchy|1.7.17 @ 10:48AM|#
            Johnson was a Democrat with an R on his name. NM ‘Republican’

            1) Learn what he accomplished as Governor.
            2) Are you one of those who thinks socially liberal equates with only Democrats? And.or only progressives?

            1. No. Saying this or that is racist equates with Democrats. So why did Johnson do it repeatedly?

              1. Because he is a Democrat. See also, Bloomberg.

              2. Because it often is racist … and wacko bigots hate to be called out as such.

                No. Saying this or that is racist equates with Democrats.

                And libertarians. Now answer the questions you’re running away from:

                1) Learn what he accomplished as Governor.
                2) Are you one of those who thinks socially liberal equates with only Democrats? And.or only progressives?

            2. I think our own internal LP “consultant class” thought running a successful governor trumped all other resumes.

              Ann Coulter argued just 4 years ago that the GOP should only nominate governors and other people with executive experience.

              Trump’s election does somewhat overturn this conventional wisdom.

              Maybe we should have run Penn Jillette (or Drew Carey). Maybe he would have voted for himself.

        2. Which is actually what the reason.com community is: mostly Republican.

          Excuse me, but here we call them by their proper name, the Stupid Party.

      3. Say what you will about Ron Paul (and there have been a lot of insults being hurled by the sellouts that manage the ‘Liberaltarian’ Party), but his brand actually wins elections

        You donl’t know where to look. 40,000 elected ones prove the opposite. 57% of voters a Nolan libertarians, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. And 91% of THEM reject the libertarian brand. (Cato survey)

        “In our Zogby survey we found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way.” -David Boaz and David Kirby

        1. Correction 59%

    3. By the way there are people who argue that Trump and Johnson voters should be aggregated, as should Hillary and Stein voters, which leaves the “smaller government” side with 51%.

      1. By the way, you’re talking mostly anti-gunmint libs .. who destroyed the movement … MAYBE 2% of the electorate. The 59% have nothing to do with “smaller government,” which suggests how badly they may have misled you. Here’s a basic principle of salesmanship that I once taught to sales trainees as young as 19.

        You’re not there to prove your prospect wrong. You’re there to AGREE with your prospect, and ti show how your product or service will best provide what he or she ALREADY WANTS.

        Instead of babbling that free markets are better — to our own choir ? why not give EXAMPLES and NARRATIVES on HOW to it better?

        Our establishment has NO CLUE what reality even is. So neither do you.
        Most Americans believe Obama that a $50,000 school teacher pays a higher income tax rate that millionaires. Is that true? What are the actual rates?

        You call ME ignorant of the work by Mercatus, Cato, Reason Foundation, etc! What has ANY of them reported on those tax rates?

        The Great Recession was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Was it? What’ has our establishment said?

        Lady Liberty is in the middle of a boxing ring, arms at her side, getting punched repeatedly in the face.
        Because NOBODY defends or promotes her. They aren’t even looking at her.

    4. He COULD have won with almost ANY comprehensive platform.

      Extraordinary claims require conclusive evidence.

      If the LP can’t win with a moderate 2-term governor at the top of the ticket, and an even more moderate 2-term governor as VP, tweaking the platform won’t help enough to close the deal. Johnson did great — tripling the LP’s historical high for support.

      Libertarians think he should have done better running against two unpopular major party candidates, but their unpopularity (and the closeness of the race) is what kept voters from abandoning them — they didn’t want the other hated guy/gal to win. Trump is a divisive celebrity billionaire — how could any third party candidate have won against that? I mean really. 4 million votes for the LP was a miracle.

  4. With regard to Aleppo, I think the question asked was itself telling as it included no context which I think most major party candidates would have been given in some form.
    It was a question that was almost setup for Johnson to fail.

    When I attended conventions, most attendees seemed to be on the radical side – that obviously has changed a lot.
    I also think choosing Johnson again as a repeat seemed a mistake to be . Many of Johnson’s statements were amazing for their implication of his lack of understanding what the LP was supposed to represent.

    lastly I think Johnson played too much of a standard candidate who never seemed to really look for attention apart from his opportunities to talk on the media. This too was a big disappointment to me as I questioned how committed Johnson was.

      1. Austrian Anarchy
        His literally biggest advocate voted for Clinton.

        That’s as bullshit as your link.

        1. Careful with the aggression and the bullying Hihn.

          1. Don’t feed the last tard left who doesn’t know who Penn voted for. Or that Penn is 6′ 7″ish.

            1. Austrian Anarchy
              Don’t feed the last tard left who doesn’t know who Penn voted for.

              Here’s the entire exchange, you pathetic fuckface

              Austrian Anarchy
              His literally biggest advocate voted for Clinton.

              John Galt
              That’s as bullshit as your link.

              Hey The Grinch. THAT is bullying and aggression (snort)
              1) He never mentioned Penn
              2) He’s full of shit that Penn is “literally (Johnson’s) biggest advocate”
              3) And his link is useless … he can’t even link to his own blog!

              Or that Penn is 6′ 7″ish.

              NEVER MENTIONED THAT EITHER (OMG)
              But the Austrian is NOT a pathetic fucking liar, con man and bully!

              (watch his revenge)

              My tone and boldface in response to blatant aggression by a proven psycho.
              Psycho? The exchange is ONLY THREE COMMENTS BACK. (vomit)

                1. ompey: Ho Class Mothersmucker
                  Bully!

                  Mine was self defense.
                  Yours was aggression. By definition, chump.
                  (lol)

          2. Careful with the aggression and the bullying Hihn.>(yawn) I “attacked” his link, not him. But you probably don;t know the difference.

            1. You really shouldn’t attack his link in public, unless you supply an actual video.

              1. Oh man, you fed it!

                Attack video should always be live streamed on Facebook.

              2. You really shouldn’t attack his link in public, unless you supply an actual video

                A photo is all I need to expose his bullshit (four times). This is a screen shot of the blog page he linked to, in case the psycho changes it.

                http://libertyissues.com/AustrianAsswipe.jpg

                1) Do you see anything more than a picture of a Reason cover?

                2) Do you see a single word about ANYTHING …. let alone what he falsely claimed about Penn voting for Hillary?

                3) Do YOU believe that Penn Jillette was “literally” Gary Johnson’s biggest advocate?

                Here’s his lie. For which he has no assaulted me seven times.
                So far/

                https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6664999

                (boldface as counter to AustrianAsswipe’s latest aggression, directly below what I replied to.

          3. See? You triggered it with food.

            1. Austrian Anarchy
              See? You triggered it with food.

              Is that meant to excuse your truly shameful lies and aggression here?
              Or do you need a Safe Space?

              1. Might as well switch back to your Hihn tag, you’ve been outed.

                1. I never denied it dumbfuck.. And proudly admitted it on this page. OOOps.

          1. Tyler.C
            Bully

            Confused by Tyler’s incoherent screeching? Do page search for his name. See a total of 5 comments … so far … every single one an unprovoked attack against me. Not a single comment on any issue or topic. Not one.

            Pure aggression And a lot of self-righteous whining Two possibilities

            1) He runs with the pack of wild dogs here, which tracks and kicks the shit out of anyone who challenges their Politically Correct rules and restrictions.

            2) He made a total public ass of himself, so created a new identity for the sole purpose of attacking me. Quite common. Part of the wild dogs, but a raging psychopath.

            Reason comments are teeming with them, Like any market, the only place which does NOT ban or moderate cyber-bullies attracts an ever-growing number of them …. as their asses get thrown off every other site.

            PLEASE do not judge libertarian values by our own wacky extremists. Every tribe has at least one faction to be ashamed of.

    1. I actually thought Johnson-Weld’s “liberaltarian” flavor of soft scoop yogurt was a strategy for appealing to independents and Democrats who could not bring themselves to vote for Hillary, including millennials of color, and millennial generally ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-…..-to-shine/ ).

      But someone who was a paid staffer has since told me nothing was that conscious.

      Either way I think it was harder to emphasize policy proposals like deregulation or school choice if those sound just like GOP proposals, when you are trying to sound not like the GOP in your cozying up to MSNBC and other media.

      Of course in 2020 NBC and MSNBC will be populated by Megan Kelly and Gretchen Carlson and Greta van Susteren.

      1. when you are trying to sound not like the GOP in your cozying up to MSNBC and other media.

        Actually the opposite. MSNBC expected them to sound like GOP, that’s why they had them on. The obvious way of increasing LP vote totals was to peel off Republicans from Trump, and MSNBC liked that idea too.

        They only got hostile when Johnson acted like he was trying to steal Democrat votes from Hillary.

        1. That may be why MSNBC had them on, but Johnson-Weld had their own reasons for going on and they were to appeal to liberals, Democrats and independents.

          They were kind of successful, polls show, in that appeal, which is why the media turned on them.

          1. Successful? They got 3%, and judging by the differences between 3-way and 4-way polls, probably 1/3 of that was people randomly selecting someone who wasn’t Clinton or Trump.

      2. Either way I think it was harder to emphasize policy proposals like deregulation or school choice if those sound just like GOP proposals, when you are trying to sound not like the GOP in your cozying up to MSNBC and other media

        That’s what we’ve done for over 40 years, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Crosses party lines and a majority of voters. Well, until lately.

  5. Libertarian Party National Chair Nicholas Sarwark crowed the morning after the election:

    We control a bloc of the electorate….

    Now I know that he really means something less “control” and more “represent”, but jeez, could you please be a little less tone deaf? That’s the language I expect from Hillary, not a libertarian or even Libertarian.

    1. Kinda like the libertarian moment!

    2. Not to mention that he’s wrong — they don’t have any influence over even the meager sliver of the electorate who voted for Johnson. Can the LP tell them who to vote for in 2018 or 2020 now?

      1. The numbers are clear. Cato ‘s Brand Preference survey was a shocker.

        59% of Americans were libertarian, would self-describe as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. That’s the “product.” Marketers compare that with the brand, to see if the brand enhances or detracts from the product.

        Of those who would call themselves fiscally conservative and socially liberal …. 20% walked away if that’s “also known as libertarian. Not if that means they’re libertarian.
        It got worse.

        When they measured “libertarian” on its own … 91% of libertarians refuse to be labelled as libertarian. Our brand is … toxic … the marketing term. Deadly for the product.

        The survey is still on Cato’s website., but it’s essentially buried. Reason and Cato now cite a Gallup poll, which doesn’t actually measure libertarianism. But they say it does.

        So 52% of Americans are Nolan libertarians. If they follow the averages, that’s 40,000-50,000 in elected local office, actively engaged on their communities, plus 150,000-250,000 activists.

        So …. WHO is moving America toward supposedly libertarian ideas? Is it 52% of Americans, with a quarter-million or more engaged in their communities … or 5.3% who are “movement libertarians?” 5.3%?

        Take those 5.3%. Add all the anti-HillTrump protest votes and Gray got …. 3.2%.
        Are we being hustled?
        Still?

      2. Record numbers of people are becoming LP members. Of course that might only be a couple of hundred thousand or so.

        After Martin Moulton ran for office in 2014 in DC on a slate of 8 Libertarians, I did see someone he knew (and African American Democrat I believe) tweet out that he had voted for his first Libertarian ever.

        I think once you do it once, and tell all your friends you did it, it makes it more likely you can do it again.

        1. Record numbers of people are becoming LP members. Of course that might only be a couple of hundred thousand or so.

          That’s registered libertarians. Actual members are much smaller, of course. How is that even remotely relevant? When 15-20 times as many reject even the brand?

          Libertarian Richard Winger is the expert. His newsletter was reported by Politifact

          325,807 registered Libertarians nationwide….. the number of Libertarians was substantially lower than two catch-all categories which Winger calls “indp. misc” at 26.8 million and “other” at 2.9 million….
          477,129 American Independent Party, California..
          430,072 Independence Party New York.”

          Common knowledge the LP is the third largest “national party,” – which means organized nationally. But any number of state and regional parties have MUCH higher registrations, so it’s a bit of word play.

          When I was Executive Director of the LP in Washingington State (1998-2000) we had a little over 500 members. I was also active in the national party, which was highly secretive about total members. A few EDs and State Chairs did our own research and estimated fewer than 20,000.

          1. Godddamn Hihn keeps posting, and documenting, FACTS. (gasp)

  6. Demopublican pols promise to get things done, Libertarians don’t think the government should do so much. That’s why we can’t even get a Libertarian dog catcher elected – he’d say it was the owner’s responsibility to catch the dog. Maybe more Libertarians should run as major party candidates in the Primaries.

    1. There aren’t that many around.

    2. That’s why we can’t even get a Libertarian dog catcher elected –

      Ignore the goobers and a lot of us win.,

      he’d say it was the owner’s responsibility to catch the dog.

      Or the ones who run for city council on repealing the federal income tax!

      Maybe more Libertarians should run as major party candidates in the Primaries.

      The best ones do, and win, and achieve things. When I was the (paid) Director of the WA LP, a guy “joined” the Party. He’d been active around 15 years ago, won a school board seat in a major suburb, then ran for the state House as a Republican, formed a Libertarian Caucus, bipartisan, Dems and Reps. (WA may be the most libertarian state). He rose to chair the House Finance Committee, the third most powerful office in the state. He rejoined the LP when he retired. He had great insights which he shared in our newsletter.

      Engaged in his community, he learned things that few people see. My favorite, that many people oppose pot legalization because they don’t want their kids to see someone high on pot. His legalization pitch was that being high in public would be a misdemeanor with a small fine, like public drunkenness . The goobers went ape-shit with rage, said,he was treasonous, conspiring with statists. Yada yada.

      He probably did more every month in office than they would do in a lifetime. Which is why the libertarian brand is literally toxic (a marketing term)

      1. Except for you, you don’t win. You just about the shit out of everyone. Oh does that make me a BULLY?

        1. Tyler.C
          Oh does that make me a BULLY?

          (laughing) YES. Totally unprovoked aggression, Chump.

          Confused by Tyler’s incoherent screeching? Do page search for his name. See a total of 5 comments … so far … every single one an unprovoked attack against me. Not a single comment on any issue or topic. Not one.

          Pure aggression And a lot of self-righteous whining Two possibilities

          1) He runs with the pack of wild dogs here, which tracks and kicks the shit out of anyone who challenges their Politically Correct rules and restrictions.

          2) He made a total public ass of himself, so created a new identity for the sole purpose of attacking me. Quite common. Part of the wild dogs, but a raging psychopath.

          Reason comments are teeming with them, Like any market, the only place which does NOT ban or moderate cyber-bullies attracts an ever-growing number of them …. as their asses get thrown off every other site.

          ******PLEASE do not judge libertarian values by our wackos and fanatics. Every tribe has at least one faction to be ashamed of.

    3. You actually have to collect massive numbers of signatures most places to get on an establishment party primary ballot.

      In Virginia right now people are collecting 10,000 signatures so Ed Gillespie can run in a primary as a Republican for Governor. (If the LP fields a candidate I think they may have to do that to be on the general ballot too.)

      You also have to have major donors, a machine, and PAC money to do that.

      Though as Amash, Massie etc show, all those libertarians y’all are talking about in this thread who don’t vote LP will give money and knock doors for an effort like that that “can win.”

      I am in favor of both strategies.

      I’m especially in favor of running LP candidates where one major party is weak or where a really bad major party candidate can be hurt by the LP (like Sean Haugh in North Carolina in 2012 I think).

  7. When your candidate can be summed up to most people as “just get him a bong already”, you’ve failed.

  8. The problem was not Aleppo, but GJ’s inability to recover from the gaffe. And his inability to make a basic case for voting libertarian. Even the baseline case – “vote for me as the lesser of three evils” morphed into the less compelling “vote for the clueless one instead of the creepy one or the crooked one.”

    If I vote third party, i expect to be told I’m wasting my vote. I shouldn’t also be told “your candidate is an idiot.”

    GJ had the most impressive resume we have seen or likely will see for a libertarian candidate. Unfortunately, it was necessary but tragically insufficient – he was an absolutely terrible candidate. His national performance was enough to make me question my belief that smoking marijuana is harmless… clearly a self made millionaire and highly successful 2 term governor was transformed into a bumbling, inarticulate, ill-prepared presidential candidate…maybe it was the weed?

    1. Even Limbaugh came up with a better libertarian answer to an Aleppo question for Johnson than anything Johnson came up with on his own.

      Dressing up a Democrat like a Libertarian never works.

      1. Dressing up anything as a Libertarian does not work. Best vote Republican and convince yourself that you voted Libertarian.

        1. If a Republican is what you want, sure, but the R’s didn’t even nominate one of them!

    2. He had no platform, Running on theories and slogans is totally useless. Voters were EAGER for change. And had NO REASON to vote libertarian. I heard him describe voting for him as “becoming libertarian” which was a sure sign he’d go nowhere. He was SO much better in 2012. I fear the movement may have destroyed him.

    3. You know, not that I think Gary needs to be explained, but people who write about Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard or libertarians generally when they have lapses (usually crankiness and hostility) never seem to just realize part of it is maybe age.

      1. Or perhaps they merely disagree?
        Can one disagree without crankiness and hostility? Is it possible?

        1. You mistake my meaning. I wasn’t referring to Ayn Rand vs Murray Rothbard. I was referring to how both were brilliant in middle age and nastier and less interesting in their dotages.

          Ayn Rand at 80 wasn’t the same person as Ayn Rand at 40.

          1. Ayn Rand at 80; Crusty would.

          2. I wasn’t referring to Ayn Rand vs Murray Rothbard.

            They disagree with YOU, so they’re cranky.

            nastier and less interesting in their dotages.

            Rand did the OPPOSITE, which makes many libs cranky. She even warned about wackjobs like Ron Paul, who was FAR too extreme for even her!

            Virtue of Selfishness, Chapter 15, Government Financing in a free society http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/taxation.html

            “Any program of voluntary government financing is the last, not the first, step on the road to a free society – the last, not the first, reform to advocate. … It would work only when the basic principles and institutions of a free society have been established. It would not work today.”

            Dumbing down for RonPaultards:
            1) The first step to a free society is … educate the voters
            2) The second step is reduce government to the minimum necessary.
            3) Final, voluntary taxation (a term then in use)

            REALLY pissed off all the libtards, who think you START by repealing the income tax (with a fucking stupid argument)

            Rand ridiculed Libertopia ? the opposite of a free society ? by noting that Galt’s Gulch was possible only because everyone there had the same values. Libs promote a free society for only us.

            We get a wacky 1,000-point list of rules by Mary Ruwart.
            “How would a libertarian society handle ? anything.”
            “Whatever its people freely decided.”
            duh

            We REJECT voters, so they respond in kind.

  9. Win a governorship first. As a Libertarian. Show the principles working in practice.

    If your record is based on your background when you were a Republican, well, Aleppo is the difference that stands out. A Republican who did not know what it was.

    1. I agree. One thing we seem to have overlooked in the Trump/Hillary election is the powerful role that national parties play.

      A huge number of Democrats lost elections at the state level. This is due in no small part to being hitched to the unpopularity of the national party (Pelosi) and Obama. What that means is that the party is a franchise brand, and most Democrats and Republicans understand this. If other Democrats damage the party brand, then down-ballot candidates take a hit. On the flip side, a no-name Democrat can get elected just because he has a (D) next to his or her name; the franchise brand lifts them up.

      We also see the Dems shitting bricks because they don’t have a deep bench of experienced candidates to draw from for future elections AND a pipeline of up-and-comers being groomed/trained for higher office.

      The LP has to build the same kind of political machinery that “raises” a huge stable or candidates up from lower office all the way to POTUS. Just like people are used to seeing a Starbucks on every street corner, they need to see a Libertarian on every city council, every county gov’t, and so on up to establish the mindshare needed to win POTUS.

      1. I agree. As much as I admire the LP’s efforts, I don’t think they will be as effective at advancing liberty as the “coopt the GOP” strategy taken by the Pauls and liberty caucus.

        Downplaying and eventually eliminating the SoCon side of the GOP will be incredibly effective judging by the behavior of millennial conservatives who tend to roll their eyes at that stuff.

        1. The Republican Liberty Caucus seems to me to have been dying and fractured before this election.

          They often appeal to people in the DC LP to help them get a DC RLC chapter going.

          They seem to have been quicker partly by over half their members organizing Republicans for Johnson chapters.

    2. LP already runs candidates for state offices. They have never done anything but play spoiler even there.

      1. LP already runs candidates for state offices. They have never done anything but play spoiler even there.

        That’s why EFFECTIVE libertarians run and get elected to state office as Dems or Reps. The libertarian brand is toxic. And the anti-gummint libs screech that seeking election is conspiring wiith statists!

        When I was still in WA. around 2000 or so, a guy rejoined the party after 15 years. He been elected to school board in a large suburb, parlayed that to the state House as a Republican. When he retired he had chaired the House Finance Committee, the third most powerful office in the state, He said he’d met dozens more at political workshops and conferences, The LP has little interest, if any, in electing people. I saw that as a state LP Exec Director, and on many national convention committees through the years. Scary.

    3. Win a governorship first. As a Libertarian. Show the principles working in practice.

      Showing the same principles work doesn’t count if one is elected as a Republican governor?

      Principle are secondary to party affiliation?

      Ron and Rand Paul are even WORSE?
      No executive experience at all!

  10. OT and fun for the whole famiy:

    Time is running out to pass this along to your unhinged leftoid friends. Say you saw it on a lawyer’s website. Use link to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 at Wikipedia, and of anybody says they can’t find the clause, just tell them Trumpsters have been deleting important info from Wikipedia.
    ********
    Since Joe Biden was obviously hacked by the Russians, it is time for the Senate to implement a never before invoked article of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    If the President and Vice President in an Electoral College vote have different numbers of votes (Trump had 304, Pence had 305), the Senate Minority Leader (Chuck Schumer of New York) can invoke the Disenfranchised Minority Clause and reapportion up to 20% of the EC vote into line with the Popular Vote.
    Make sure to call the Senate Switchboard. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senator Chuck Schumer’s office on your request and tell him to invoke the DMC!

    1. All my leftoid friends have banned me from speaking with them about politics for not toeing the SJW line.

      1. I haven’t gotten that ban. Last ban I know of was from one FB friend who was upset at my opposition to marriage licensing. Somehow, true marriage equality made me homophobic, or a gay basher, I’ve forgotten the technicalities.

        But I have banned a few commie strangers and acquaintances from my HS days after they launched all manner of accusations. The usual stuff, racism for not being on the Obama train, Nazi for not being in a Sanders cattle car, etc.

        I had a surprise accusation from an aunt of mine, who used to be a very sharp minded woman. A few months ago she called me a Trump supporter (and ill educated) for daring to criticize Mrs. Clinton. She showed up again today calling me a Trump supporter for posting an earlier version of that plan to keep Trump out of office!

        Anyway, you have other friends and they have triggery little snowflake friends, so share the plan with those you know and eventually it will make it to the Right People and the Senate Switchboard.

    1. OK, looks like it is safe to talk down here because nutjob troll of the universe has not discovered these subthreads. Shhh!

      1. https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6665152

        Austrian Anarchy
        Don’t feed the last tard left who doesn’t know who Penn voted for.


        Here’s the entire exchange, you pathetic fuckface

        Austrian Anarchy
        His literally biggest advocate voted for Clinton.

        John Galt II
        That’s as bullshit as your link.

        Hey “The Grinch”. THAT is bullying and aggression
        1) He never mentioned Penn
        2) He’s full of shit that Penn is “literally (Johnson’s) biggest advocate”
        3) And his link is useless … he can’t even link to his own blog!

        Or that Penn is 6′ 7″ish.

        NEVER MENTIONED THAT EITHER (OMG)
        But the Austrian is NOT a pathetic fucking liar, con man and bully!

        (watch his revenge) (((I’m responding to it now)))

        My tone and boldface in response to blatant aggression by a proven psycho.
        Psycho? The exchange is ONLY THREE COMMENTS BACK. (vomit)

      2. Looks like it is triggered to tears even without food. Value of further study is in question.

        1. Kicking your ass all over the place ain’t tears, Sparky.

          1. Get some help, Hihn. You are not well.

            1. There you guys go feeding the tard. However, doesn’t seem to matter. It seems to survive on nothing.

              1. He’ll miss quote this with lots of HTML tags. And then say your words are aggression. The guy need his kids to come visit him at the home and make sure he’s taking his meds.

                1. Upside, the blog hits are up and the links work for everybody but trigger tard.

                  1. Part 1: Ridiculing Austrian Asswipe (again)

                    (yawn) I set him up ? caught ANOTHER psychopath (AustrianAsswipe) ?.. Will the goobers ignore THIS proof? (laughing)

                    Austrian Anatchy
                    Upside, the blog hits are up and the links work for everybody but trigger tard.

                    Blog hits are up … because people checked his claim … what did they find? (snort)

                    Pay attention. Here are links to the proof
                    The link I posted above.

                    His literally biggest advocate voted for Clinton.

                    Compare with HIS original comment here. (laughing hysterically)

                    https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6664999

                    I’ll go slowly. Dumb it down for goobers
                    1) His link SAYS it’s about Gary’s biggest advocate (Jillette, he lied ) voting for Clinton.

                    2) Touch your cursor to either link, Look to the lower left on your browser’s task bar.
                    After the blog link is the page title. “Corrected Reason Cover January 2017”

                    (will you check, or are you a goober?)

                    3) The POST TITLE is about a Reason cover. Now click the link and read the post.
                    a) Anything about Jillete voting Hillary? BURNED HIS ASS!
                    b) Is the ENTIRE post no more than a picture of Reason’s cover? RED WELTS ON HIS ASS!

                    1. Part 2: Ridiculing Austrian Asswipe (again)

                      4) Maybe his blog bitched about Jillette voting Hillary, maybe not. BUT IF IT DID …. HE CAN’T EVEN LINK TO HIS OWN BLOG … precisely as I said. (pees in pants from laughter)

                      5) Now go back up the thread, to where I kick his ass so severely. Click the very top link. It’s the FIRST TIME I posted the exact same content. READ IT. I called him out as a bullshitter ? FACTUALLY

                      …. a) “He” never mentioned Penn. (“”He” is a fellow thug, who I also documented as
                      ……….a liar, so AustriamAsswipe defended THAT thug ? with aggression

                      …. b) AustrianAsswipe is full of shit that Penn was “literally” Johnson’s
                      ……… biggest supporter. FAIL

                      …. c) AustrtianAsswipe’s link to proof, was also bullshit. FAIL

                      …. d) And his comment on Penn’s height is drool running down his chin.

                      SO .,.. CALLED OUT “FACTUALLY” HE ATTACKS ME, REPEATEDLY FOR *DARING* TO CHALLENGE HIS DIKTATS ? with more lies and aggression

                      OTHER GOOBERS — SEEING THE PROOF … JOIN THE ASSAULT ANYHOW … (TYLER.C INVENTING HIS OWN SPECIAL CLASS OF PSYCHO.)

                      He’s like Trump. Can say ANYTHING ? knowing his tribe will defend and assault.
                      It’s just another vast conspiracy to the nodding bobbleheads.

                      See Part 3

                    2. Part 3: Ridiculing Austrian Asswipe (again)

                      In fact AustrianAsswipe is SO psychopathic that he MAY go edit and change his blog. So I took a screenshot. Posted on my website. Click here to see it.

                      http://libertyissues.com/AustrianAsswipe.jpg

                      Do YOU see anything about Jillette voting for Clinton? (sneer)
                      Will you join me in laughing at Austrian Asswipe,
                      and his entire pack of snarling wild dogs?
                      Or be in the goober tribe?

                      AGAIN acting in self-defense. This thread will be linked to ? as long as the aggressor continues stalking and attacking me.

                      No better than the very worst progtard tribe. BellowingBlowhards for Liberty!!

                      Thank you Reason, for the ONLY unmoderated political comments. And for actually defending the cyber-bullies who so badly defame our movement.

                2. HOW stupid?

                  1) A thug, whining about “bans” by “leftoids”
                  2) documented proof of his own aggression and lies.
                  3) His psychopathic reference to food, also invented.
                  4) Fellow gang members pile on, circling and kicking his victim.
                  5) Pkay because they’re NOT “leftoids”!
                  6) Thug ridicules aggression, as he commits it!

                  And then say your words are aggression.The guy need his kids to come visit him at the home and make sure he’s taking his meds.

                  (snicker)

                  Reason BRAGS of having the ONLY unmoderated comments. Defends a few dozen raging thugs inside the cult … kicking the shit out of anyone who does not Groupthink … versus those who come to learn about libertarianism.

                  It’s like any market. If there’s just one unmoderated forum, then it attracts a growing number of cyber-bullies …. who’ve been thrown off everywhere else.

                  So ? a Cato survey, by a top pollster, finds the libertarian brand rejected by 91% of LIBERTARIANS

                  In the election, start with Cato’s proclaimed libertarians at 5.3% of voters ? add a yuge HillTrump protest vote ? equals Gary Johnson’s 3.2% of the vote (with “ideas” but NO policies) ? and declare a libertarian milestone!

                  They act like Moonies, Branch Davidians and Jonestown ? but their KoolAid is a different flavor. So they’re NOT a cult.

                  Just another political tribe of goobers.

                  1. HEY, I WASN’T CONVINCED BEFORE, BUT ALL THE BOLDING WORKED!!!!

                    *follows Hihn, zombie-like*

                    1. Yes, I am convinced too. Bernie 2020.

                    2. (Yawn) Now AustrianAsswipe says I’m a Bernie supporter, because only a libertard would DARE to resist his non-stop aggression. Well, here’s the archive of my published writings. Note especially Taxes, Healthcare, Education and Governance. http://libertyissues.com/archive.htm

                      Unlike my assassin, that link actually contains what I say it does. (gasp)
                      (Why does this feel like making fun of the handicapped?)

                      (my tone and boldface in defense of repeated aggression … by a documented thug and liar)

                    3. Bolding is ridicule.
                      The logic and proof is for convincing
                      For non-goobers.

                3. Tyler.C
                  And then say your words are aggression.

                  (laughing) Says the aggressor!

                  Confused by Tyler’s incoherent screeching? Do page search for his name. See a total of 5 comments … so far … every single one an unprovoked attack against me. Not a single comment on any issue or topic. Not one.

                  Pure aggression And a lot of self-righteous whining Two possibilities

                  1) He runs with the pack of wild dogs here, which tracks and kicks the shit out of anyone who challenges their Politically Correct rules and restrictions.

                  2) He made a total public ass of himself, so created a new identity for the sole purpose of attacking me. Quite common. Part of the wild dogs, but a raging psychopath.

                  Reason comments are teeming with them, Like any market, the only place which does NOT ban or moderate cyber-bullies attracts an ever-growing number of them …. as their asses get thrown off every other site.

                  ******PLEASE do not judge libertarian values by our wackos and fanatics. Every tribe has at least one faction to be ashamed of.

            1. Another one stalking me, because I had humiliated him in the past.
              And he’s too cowardly to deal with any issues.

              Look at his handle, PROUD to be a goober!

                1. An unprovoked assault is a bully.
                  Like the 6 year old who yells “shit” then giggles at his boldness.
                  This is what they grow up to.
                  Are their parents proud??? Would YOU be .. of YOUR son?

  11. “All told, the party has come a long way since its founding in 1971, when a small gang of dreamers hoped it would become a vehicle to get press attention for libertarian ideas.”

    Maybe they should start leveraging it for that again.
    Beyond that Johnson and Weld do appreciate you keeping their names in the contemporary lexicon and ensuring they can translate their pop culture fame into continued business opportunities.

  12. I have voted Libertarian since 1973, but these two certainly did not represent my Libertarian thinking, so I wrote in Ron Paul, and did not vote for the abominable Libertarian offering.

    1. did not represent my Libertarian thinking, so I wrote in Ron Paul,

      So “(your) Libertarian thinking” includes:
      1) EXTREME social conservatism.
      2) Lying about the 10th Amendment and ignoring the 9th
      3) Denying that SCOTUS has any power to defend our constitutional rights — which means NO defense of our rights — thus denying balance of power, checks and balances and three co-equal branches, all while claiming to be a strict constitutional conservative!
      4) Promotes the version of States Rights invented by the KKK, but calls it Federalism (strict constitutional yada yada yada) States rights is an excuse to deny rights guaranteed to all Americans ? in support of pure bigotry.
      5) Claims states have powers which have NEVER been delegated
      6) Sponsored a bill to forbid SCOTUS from hearing ANY challenges to DOMA, an open assault on equal right, and trying to make homosexuals the first group of Americans denied constitutional protection since … slavery. Dem uppity negroes
      7) Claims we can repeal the income tax and run the entire federal government on FICA taxes — even though the FICA revenues are a quarter TRILLION less than Social Security and Medicare alone

      THAT Ron Paul?
      Might he be why the libertarian brand is rejected by 91% of libertarians? (Cato/Zogby Survey)

        1. Don’t feed it. You will make it cry.

          1. And Austrian Anarchy will go bat-shit crazy with lies, attacks and various aggressions.
            The authoritarian “mind.”

            https://reason.com/archives/201…..t_6665152.

              1. These dumbfucks confuse bullying with self-defense.
                They enrich my entire life!

    2. I’ll send the van round later to collect you.

      1. You shouldn’t soil a van for that. People will have to ride in that thing later.

  13. The mistake these guys made was to run as Libertarians. But then they could not get nominated on any other ticket. The U.S. has grown too large for the populace to pay attention to libertarians. If the federal government would collapse in some kind of convulsion resulting in a breakup of states into two or more nations, libertarians might have an opportunity in the reorganization of a new government. But that’s the only way they have a prayer. In the meantime we are stuck with finding the least liberal-socialist-Marxist-Fascist candidate we can support in local, state, and national contests. Personally I like the way the Confederate States of America was organized in 1860, but we’ll never see that again either.

    1. All they needed was a policy platform, but the entire libertarian establishment has not one single credible policy for any major issue. Not a one. And they have how much money? For how many decades? For an opportunity that arises only once or twice per century?

      1. No, the libertarian establishment – Mercatus, the Independent Institute, the Reason Foundation, Cato – have a lot of policy proposals. Even the LP platform does.

        The Johnson campaign should have issued the kind of thick policy white papers the Clark campaign did. (I tried to hint they should do so here: http://www.breitbart.com/2016-…..town-hall/ )

        But the media might not have covered them much anyway. It kept claiming Trump had no proposals, and it really didn’t cover Hillary’s either. Pussy grabbing etc were bigger topics.

        Maybe the next Libertarian candidate should take a page from Trump (or a chapter) and speak to more local media and do more tweeting and find other ways to bypass the establishment national media.

        1. “Maybe the next Libertarian candidate should take a page from Trump (or a chapter) and speak to more local media and do more tweeting and find other ways to bypass the establishment national media.”

          Not a bad idea. The media is not a friend to libertarians, the LP, or our candidates.

        2. Johnson tweeted a bunch in 2012 and this time around. The media would just ignore them.

          Trump’s tweets got media attention because he was already famous and got spread by the media because they were interpreted as harming his appeal.

        3. No, the libertarian establishment – Mercatus, the Independent Institute, the Reason Foundation, Cato – have a lot of policy proposals. Even the LP platform does.

          Not a one. Slogans and sound bites aren’t policy. Cato’s are so stupid they could be intentional fraud. Michael Tanner is …. SCARY.

          His Social Security “privatization” is bat-shit crazy. He admits the transition would be costly “but a one-time event.” ….OMG, a one-time event that lasts 30 years, with a first-year cost OVER $350 billion. Look for details and ?. Paying for it is Congress’s job!

          Medicare vouchers are crazier. Insurance companies will increase competition — in the wrong market! Insurance ain’t health care. Duh It LOOKS like privatization ?. to goobers. But insurers would add a costly and useless middleman between government and providers.

          The Johnson campaign should have issued the kind of thick policy white papers the Clark campaign did

          Ignore voters? How many would even GLANCE at substantial white papers?” We keep preaching to the choir ? and ignoring our majority (who HATE us).

          Maybe the next Libertarian candidate should ?. speak to more local media and do more tweeting and find other ways to bypass the establishment national media.

          Sorry, sounds like another excuse to avoid solutions.

          “Liberty works better for everyone. Just don’t ask us HOW!”

          1. This comment only convinces me that you are ignorant of the work Mercatus, Reason Foundation, Cato, etc. do.

            1. (laughing) Name one. I quoted their bullshit. You just babble and add more trashmouth. Like the Trump supporters.

              Want to see a Mercatus report that lies about spending cuts .,.,. including manipulated data?
              Published by Reason? (lol)

  14. Gary Johnson merely benefited from enough sensible Americans defecting from Clintrump, which was historically unpopular. He was never a compelling candidate who could bring together enough a coalition to threaten either of the major party.

    When a white majority political party can’t win the majority of white votes, they will be forever irrelevant. The LP didn’t field a single minority candidate and the few non white libertarians with any influence (Larry Elder, Sowell) lean more conservative. Reason has no espanol counterpart and the one at Cato is a ghost town.

    Johnson could hardly compete with the likes of Santorum in the GOP primary. He secured the LP nomination the same reason my dad could be voted “president of the family” by my mom and my siblings. A very small group of like minded people could effectively decided the nominee among a small group of nobodies who made half hearted attempt at running for the position.

    1. The LP fielded a number of non-white candidates. I didn’t pay that much attention nationwide but in D.C. Martin Moulton got 6% of the vote running against Eleanor Holmes Norton, and regained our “permanent” ballot status for the next 2 years.

      https://ballotpedia.org/Martin_Moulton

      1. The DC non-voting delegate has less power than the Podunk County dog catcher. Talk about a stupid office for them to be running a candidate for.

        1. Yes but Delegate Norton has a lot more influence within a major party, the government, and the press, than you do. Probably more than everyone at reason put together.

          And she isn’t non-voting. They let her vote on committees even now.

          When Democrats are in the majority they create a fake, to be rubber stamped “committee of the whole,” and put her on it and let her (and the other territorial delegates I believe) vote on it, which is de facto the final vote.

          1. And she isn’t non-voting. They let her vote on committees even now.

            She doesn’t vote on floor votes. Committee votes are just procedural affairs set up apart from the Constitutional powers of Congress — and even in committee, her vote is meaningless. If her vote is the deciding vote, they throw it out.

          2. Yes but Delegate Norton has a lot more influence within a major party, the government, and the press, than you do. Probably more than everyone at reason put together.

            Ah so now we’re talking about ability to get invited to talk shows and public speech occasions, rather than any actual power. Move those goalposts!

            By that standard, Donald Trump was more powerful than the entire House of Representatives 10 years ago.

  15. Hihn, use your actual account.

  16. “You can’t run some random person with no qualifications no one has ever heard of for president,” Craig says, “and expect anyone to take it seriously.”
    Umm, might disagree here.

  17. Did the Libertarian Party Blow It????

    Early leader for understatement of the year!!

    The irreparable harm that Gary Johnson did to libertarian politics is a mystery to only those writing for Reason.

    1. Yes. Gary Johnson did indeed damage libertarianism:

      1. He comes across as a bit of a nut.
      2. Open borders will kill a candidacy. People don’t want what Europe has, which will probably end in widespread violence. Europe may not have many guns, but neither did Rwanda. And even absent any violence, people don’t want to pay for government benefits for non-citizens, which will only benefit Democrats – not libertarians. Why would welfare recipients vote for fake Democrats when they can have real ones who won’t run afoul of their party on growing government? The Democrats will eventually see to it that illegals can vote.
      3. Saying policies (and people) are racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic will also kill a candidacy. People are sick to death of that, myself included.

      1. The solution to open borders is to advocate for the end of the War on Drugs along with the exportation of capitalism to Central and South America. Ending the WoD stops the violence people are fleeing and implementing capitalism improves the lives of the people so they don’t want to leave their home.

        1. “the exportation of capitalism to Central and South America”?

          Moar socialismz?

      2. I somewhat agree with both of these.

        Calling Trump a racist because he has been rude on a variety of subjects and he opposes unregulated immigration was a lie.

        And given terrorism and also the attempts to replace American voters with new foreign voters I think LP candidates need to find a libertarian formulation about green cards and a free labor market that absolutely does not include easy citizenship and that involves much better vetting than Obama did.

        1. >> I think LP candidates need to find a libertarian formulation about green card

          I agree that they need to find a way to make legal immigration easier. But increasing the flow of immigrants needs to not end in higher taxes so the immigrants can get government benefits. If American citizens have to pay for free stuff for people who didn’t pay into the system, immigration will remain the toxic issue that enabled Trump’s election.

  18. Its pretty clear the lp won’t win a presidential run yet.
    With that, I think the lp should run the best advocate for Libertarian thought. Philosophy. We should run people who quote Mises and Friedman on the fly.
    They get invites to tv, lets put the best message on that.
    The focus for winning should be at a local and state level. That is doable in any state, and the national party would be wise to back the beat chances, states the national party did better than average.

    1. I agree that the focus should be on winning at the local and state level, but for a more important reason than just winning: we need to develop a pipeline for training LP candidates from the ground up.

      You see this in Calif. with the Democrats. The whole state is basically a massive machine meant to propel Democrats from local office into national office (like Kamala Harris to the US Senate). The state’s offices look like a game of musical chairs, where Dems hop from office to office gaining momentum, name recognition, and political connections (but not skill and actual governing experience, because they fuck up everything they touch).

      It works. Several management books from the 90s talked about how the biggest corporations spend quite a lot of resources training up future management. It is the same thing done in the political sphere.

      1. But LP candidates have been running for those offices for decades. They’re still ridiculously far from creating such a promotional machine, because they get elected only rarely, because it’s almost as hard to get elected to those offices as a newcomer as it is to get elected to high offices.

        So don’t try forever to create such a machine, join an existing one. That’s what they’re there for.

    2. I think the lp should run the best advocate for Libertarian thought. Philosophy. We should run people who quote Mises and Friedman on the fly.

      No. People should quote them to politicians. Pols should not quote them to other people. Philosophy should be an input to politics, not an output from it.

  19. Why is a party with 1% support trying to compete at the highest level? Win a city, a county, a state. Then worry about more. Don’t start at the finish.

    1. But they started in 1971, so it is their turn.

      Up at the party level, and apparently the magazine level, they begin sounding a lot like Clintonistas.

    2. They justify running a presidential candidate by saying it gets more attention for libertarianism.

      Of course the media usually utterly ignores the LP candidate, and the one year they do show some interest, the LP candidate was espousing the positions of a moderate Democrat, not a libertarian.

      1. They didn’t ignore the LP Democrat this time. He got plenty of attention.

        1. Like I said, the media gave him attention because they thought he’d take votes from Trump, not because they took him seriously as a presidential candidate.

          1. The media gave attention to Trump because they thought he would make Clinton look appealing, not because they took him seriously either..

            1. Agreed. But, the American people evidently took Trump seriously and didn’t listen to the media.

              1. Sorry to have to remind you, but Trump got fewer votes than Clinton.

                Not denying the legitimacy of the election. The electoral college is the agreed-upon method of choosing the prez. But it’s not true that “America chose Trump”. Three normally blue states (MI, WI, PA) chose him by razor-thin margins, rendering the opinion of the rest of the country irrelevant.

                1. Trump got fewer votes in the imaginary popular vote. Without Los Angeles and NYC, Trump would have won the popular vote by over a million. Hillary only won around 300 of the 6,000 counties in the US.

                  There is no perfect method, but I’d rather submit to those three states in the electoral college than deal with endless Democrat fraud in the popular vote. Obama won 100% of the votes in certain districts in 2012. That is statistically impossible.

              2. So the lesson is, Johnson could have preached the Libertarian message (if only he knew more than the pot line) and the press would have been all over him as a crazy guy. Lots more visibility and likely lots more votes.

    3. Why is a party with 1% support trying to compete at the highest level? Win a city, a county, a state.

      But they have only 1% support in the vast majority of the cities, counties, & states too.

  20. “We are the only political party in the country that’s growing,” Libertarian Party National Chair Nicholas Sarwark crowed the morning after the election. “We’ve tripled our vote totals [over] 2012.?We control a bloc of the electorate that covers the spread in almost all if not all of the battleground states. We’ve beaten the other third party…in every single state.”

    Basically “we got our ass kicked a little less hard this time”. Like a football team losing 48-3 and celebrating because they didn’t lose 51-0 like last week and can claim improvement. Paying no attention to the fact that this time was against a much weaker opponent.

    It’s funny. The LP justifies continued existence despite electoral drubbing by claiming they’re “educating” the public about libertarianism. Then they run a ticket with fundamentally unlibertarian positions, utterly useless for promoting libertarianism obviously, and claim victory because they got a couple of percent more votes.

    This kid is a total moron, fits right in with the LP.

  21. Looking forward to LP convention 2020, where Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders ally to defeat Austin Petersen.

    Penn decides to double down on Clinton, prompting Reason to run this cover with a new date, ala Time and their ice age.

  22. Yes. Yes you blew it.

    You wanted to attract voters who didn’t want to vote for Clinton or Trump? Ok. Those people are all conservative republicans. Everyone else votes for whoever will give them the most free stuff, unless they are already libertarian.

    So, because you guys hate religious people more than you love liberty, you nominate the guy who is the least libertarian of the three people running. You didn’t give us a chance to move toward you – you told us you didn’t want our vote. So we held our noses and voted Trump. I didn’t – I voted for Gary – but now that Trump has won I am relieved, to be honest, and I’ll be voting to reelect him.

    1. The problem the LP has is how do you get anarchists to vote for you?

    2. “You didn’t give us a chance to move toward you – you told us you didn’t want our vote.”

      Like I mention below, this was the LP’s version of “pragmatism.”

  23. He was a terrible advocate for libertarianism.

    Instead he tried to pander to Bernie bros.

  24. The LP should drop open borders. Not only is it a political death sentence, but, in placing a financial burden on American taxpayers, it violates the non-aggression principle.

    1. The LP isn’t holding a gun to anyone’s head to make them pay.

      1. Their open borders policies, if left unchanged or increased, will end in government force to make people pay. To say otherwise is incurably naive.

    2. Keeping the borders closed is placing a financial burden on American taxpayers – someone’s got to pay the salary and benefits for 600,000 CPB employees and lose time in those lines when crossing. And that’s not including the cost of the wall that’s *a;ready been built* (in money and civil liberty violations – do you know how many Americans now live *south* of the current border wall and must go through a checkpoint? How many had their property ED’d to get the right of way to build that wall?

      There’s costs on both sides of that issue.

      1. BS. The agents are not currently allowed to enforce the law.

        And most Americans would gladly pay that “financial burden.” Do you want the LP to win? They won’t win dog catcher if they don’t enforce the law. Simple as that.

      2. So you want no inspections at the border.

        No checks for explosives, weapons, diseases, etc.

        Cuz if you’re checking for any of those, you are going to have those lines and need a boatload of border patrol.

  25. Mike Rowe/Kmele Foster 2020….I’m in.

  26. I’d suggest the Libertarian Party run actual “libertarians” than failed Republican centrists who smoke pot like GayJay.

    1. What would that mean, and what might it achieve?

      1. Unfortunately it will not get your kids to come and visit you at the home. I’m sorry Hihn. Mostly because then they might keep you away from here

        1. Bully!

        2. Tyler.C called out
          Runs away
          (yawn)

        3. Tyler.C
          will not get your kids to come and visit you at the home

          (laughing) Confused by Tyler’s incoherent screeching? Do page search for his name. See a total of 5 comments … so far … every single one an unprovoked attack against me. Not a single comment on any issue or topic. Not one.

          Pure aggression And a lot of self-righteous whining Two possibilities

          1) He runs with the pack of wild dogs here, which tracks and kicks the shit out of anyone who challenges their Politically Correct rules and restrictions.

          2) He made a total public ass of himself, so created a new identity for the sole purpose of attacking me. Quite common. Part of the wild dogs, but a raging psychopath.

          Reason comments are teeming with them, Like any market, the only place which does NOT ban or moderate cyber-bullies attracts an ever-growing number of them …. as their asses get thrown off every other site.

          ******PLEASE do not judge libertarian values by our wackos and fanatics. Every tribe has at least one faction to be ashamed of.

  27. They don’t have to be a purist if they have CHARISMA. Johnson had the charisama of a wet towel.

    1. You’re a towel!

      1. You’re a beaner towel!!!

  28. Heard on radio about a protest at Twitter HQ in San Fran. The protesters demanded Trump be banned, because he’s the next Hitler, etc.

    In other news, Ryan Lock, a former British chef, and Nazzareno Tassone, a former Canadian parking officer, were both killed fighting ISIS this week. They were 20 and 24 years old.

    About 800 foreigners are fighting with the Kurdish YPG forces against ISIS. The YPG also known as the peshmerga (those who face death) have lost about 1,600 to ISIS, including about 30 foreign volunteers.

    1. How much has ISIS lost to the Pershmerga?

    2. Since so many are actually answering the question in the title, I will too.

      Yes, you tards, you blew it. Why you are even asking is the puzzle.

      Didn’t you know you blew it when Reason’s staff was lining up to vote Clinton?

      Didn’t you know it when you were pimping Johnson when you had an actual Libertarian who made it to the top two? Maybe you didn’t notice the Libertarian in the room.

      DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM YOUR STD TREATMENTS AFTER JEFF FLAKE? Hell, that has been years.

      Yes, the answer is yes, you blew it and nothing will change. Others may laugh or spit at my earlier comment of a Sanders/Stein LP ticket in four years, but the way you are going, it is fully within the realm of possibility.

      1. And for my lesson in learning nothing, that was not supposed to be a response to Derpetologist.

        1. Exactly like Trump?

      2. Austrian Anarchy
        Didn’t you know you blew it when Reason’s staff was lining up to vote Clinton?

        Show of hands, is THIS hysteria wackier than his claim that Penn Jillette, who he calls “Iliterally (Johnson’s) biggest advocate” voted for Hillary?

        Unless you swallow, on tribal obedience, that Jillette actually WAS Gary’s biggest advocate.
        Or the Austrian’s revelation that Hillary was born in Kenya.

      3. Yes, Jeff is a Flake. I didn’t like him then, and I don’t like him now. I don’t like the way he votes most of the time. I voted for someone else in the primary in the election he won.

        1. And he replaced the wrong senator.

  29. But the Libertarian Party fail this year?

    Well, the sub-editors sure did.

    But, yes. And no.

    Because of several things happening at the same time, leading to quite possible the two worst candidates of all time being offered up by both parties solely for the sake of securing a win – no matter the cost, short or long-term – The Libertarian Party was in a position to increase the profile of third parties. And they did. Johnson, because of his ‘centrist’ positions and relative normalcy (I like McAfee – but he’s crazier than Trump is) were able to show that 3P’s are not just a bunch of kooks.

    At the same time, from the way he dressed to his choice of Weld – not a libertarian nor a Libertarian (just a career politician) and who couldn’t keep himself on message – and a whole bunch of other things, showed that Johnson was unprepared to handle the scrutiny that comes with being a serious candidate.

  30. uptil I saw the paycheck for $7608 , I accept that…my… friend woz realey bringing home money in there spare time on their apple labtop. . there aunts neighbour has done this for under 18 months and at present paid the loans on there house and purchased a new Chrysler . Check This Out

    ==================== http://www.homejobs7.com

    1. “on their apple labtop.”

      Fruit scientist?!

  31. “For all the attention garnered by the radicals and freaks, the pragmatists clearly won the day at the convention”

    Only in the bizarre context of internal LP politics can Johnson and his supporters look like pragmatists.

    Sure, he’s a pragmatist in comparison to the murder suspect, the youthful-looking activist who resembles a student government president, and the stripper dude, but from the standpoint of normals Johnson’s approach to politics this year doesn’t seem pragmatic at all.

    But if you were trying to fashion a candidate from scratch who pragmatically appealed to discontented voters in 2016, breaking out of the Libertarian ghetto and associated cliches about libertarians, you wouldn’t come up with a guy who ran a pot company, who sticks out his tongue at reporters, and who in express words endorses compulsory nazi cakes.

    “Ay yi yi, if this is the pragmatist, what do the impractical people look like? [Watches LP convention] Ew, never mind.”

  32. Now, on a superficial level, Weld looks like a truly pragmatic choice.

    Despite a strong physical resemblance to Leslie Nielsen, Weld can come across as a Serious and Experienced Candidate, the sort of fellow who can talk and gesture like a Seasoned Statesman.

    So if an experienced, well-spoken politician in a suit is the vibe you’re going for in 2016, Weld looks OK.

    And if “pragmatism” means nominating someone who pisses all over your party’s platform, then Weld’s nominee is doubly pragmatic.

    Of course, while I’m not a political consultant, I’d think a party trying to be pragmatic would nominate someone who supports the ticket. In fact, that’s basically the job description of a vice presidential nominee.

    Where’s the pragmatism in nominating someone who just goes and “vouches” for one of the other candidates?

    1. All along they billed it as they were gonna be kind of co-presidents instead of the normal President and Vice President distribution. Which I found very strange. Not only is it stupid and weird, it evokes thoughts of communes, which is anti-libertarian.

      1. At least their campaign videos didn’t have mawkish, sentimental footage of their wives and children.

        On the contrary, where a regular campaign video would have had family footage, the Johnson/Weld videos had just two guys talking about how much they liked each other. NTTAWWT.

  33. Good grief. The entire L campaign was one giant facepalm.

    1. One giant “pragmatic” facepalm!

  34. Well, since it’s only 30 degrees down here in the Nation’s Oldest City, I imagine some of you are a bit chilly this morning so as a public service I am providing the following that I saw this morning when I opened my dead tree edition of the NYTimes — perhaps it will warm you up a bit.

    “A Winery Battles Warming”

    “But on this day, Ms. Jackson, the vice president for sustainability and external affairs at Jackson Family Wines, was not just minding the usual haul of cabernet, chardonnay and merlot grapes. She also checked on the sophisticated network of systems she had put in place to help crops adapt to a changing climate.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01……html?_r=0

    1. Oops. I just opened the opinion section and found something even better. Here’s the headline to Kristof’s opinion piece re the drought in Madagascar:

      “AS TRUMP DENIES CLIMATE CHANGE, THESE KIDS DIE”

    2. Meanwhile, a guy two hundred miles away who finds climate change has led to his fields now being perfect for growing wine grapes can’t get a permit for opening a winery because Jackson Family Wines has successfully lobbied for regulations restricting competition in the wine business. He will, however, soon have to start paying a climate impact fee every time he farts, the proceeds of which will go into a fund to subsidize Jackson Family Wines installation of 5 MW cooling fans to maintain a more suitable temperature in their vineyards and which will be powered by electricity purchased from a coal-fired power plant in South Dakota.

      1. What are you saying? It sounds like you are saying the whole global warming hysteria is one giant scam.

    3. “the vice president for sustainability and external affairs at Jackson Family Wines”

      I am guessing this winery’s days are numbered.

      1. Oh, California, capital of Retardia.

      2. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how much I loath the word “sustainability.”

        1. Nor do I, but it occurs to me that the country really is more polarized than I have ever seen it. The left has surged more than I ever dreamed it would. Growing up with the Soviet Union as an example of everything wrong with the left, in a time where no one would openly admit to being a pinko, what I am seeing now is kind of shocking.

          Their every premise, every conclusion, every course of action is so different from the rational that they don’t even seem like members of the same species. In addition to that the spittle flecked rants calling for actual blood and murder worry me quite a bit. Lefties are the same always and everywhere. The only difference between the ones we have here and the ones who shoved bodies in ovens in Europe, who confiscated food and burned fields in The Ukraine and China, who led the struggle sessions in China is lack of opportunity.

          I am hoping that a Trump presidency might put a bit of a damper on all that but it looks like they are just going to double down and dispense with all pretense.

          1. The only difference between the ones we have here and the ones who shoved bodies in ovens in Europe, who confiscated food and burned fields in The Ukraine and China, who led the struggle sessions in China is lack of opportunity.

            I have to disagree with that – I think the majority of the Left here have been too deeply inculcated with the learned helplessness of the identity-group politics of victimhood that they are psychologically incapable of exerting any actual physical effort beyond whining and crying. It takes a certain amount of strength to commit actual violence and to people whose primary grievance is that they’re helpless as new-born babes from being shackled by “the Man”, constantly whining for somebody else to free them, constantly complaining that everybody else has to change to suit them, it would create an insurmountable cognitive dissonance for them to actually demonstrate the power to take matters into their own hands to effect change. They’re basically only capable of passive-aggressive cry-bully whiny-bitch baby crap that you can (and should) slap out of them in about 5 seconds.

            1. Which is why I really wanted Hillary to win – either way, there were going to be a lot of very unhappy pissed-off people with a pretty strong belief the election was rigged and illegitimate, but only one side has the will and the means to do anything about it. (I believe Trump referred to those people as “second amendment folks” but I’m not going to speculate as to what exactly he meant. No, sirree, Bob, not me, not suggesting anything.)

            2. I get your point but I disagree for this reason: there are people available for hire to do the dirty work. It’s not as if your next door neighbor has to personally get his hands dirty. My god, you only have to look at the war on drugs: how many Leftist citizens would physically drag someone into a jail cell for smoking pot? Yet they sit by, content with the status quo, as their fellow citizens ARE dragged off to jail by the uniformed minions that they claim to be happy to pay for with their taxes.

          2. Beatings will continue until you decide to vote what we decide is in your best interest.

    4. It is 20 here in central Louisiana. I went out at 4am to buy cigarettes and sausage biscuits. The doors on my jeep were frozen shut, had to yank like hell to get them open. I sloshed water on the windshield to clear the ice and it froze on contact. I ended up scraping it.

      I don’t think it is going to be above freezing today, there is some ice on the roads and people here are morons behind the wheel in this kind of weather so I am staying in. Y’all are stuck with me all day. What time is it? Is it time to start drinking yet?

      1. I didn’t know you were allowed to *stop* drinking in Louisiana.

        1. Last time I was in Louisiana, I stopped drinking around 4am. I slept on a park bench in Jackson Square (?). I woke up at 6am and went back to the bar. We still had the pool table, so I kept drinking and playing pool.

      2. Pretty clear to me these are symptoms of catastrophic climate change

      3. I sloshed water on the windshield to clear the ice and it froze on contact. I ended up scraping it.

        Next time try a 1/3 water-2/3 rubbing alcohol solution.

  35. Yes. They blew it.

    I had great hope for Johnson. I was a “never Trump” who had decided to vote for Johnson as soon as Trump started running away with the nomination.

    But the more Johnson talked the more I heard, “I want to legalize dope”. All I heard from Weld was, “I want more gun control.”

    Those are unfair representations of their whole set of positions, but that is what stuck with me. It came down to the three choices:

    1. I promise to raise your taxes and take away your guns.
    2. I promise to lower your taxes and let you take your guns into other states.
    3. I promise to legalize drugs and may or may not put more restrictions on your guns.

    I had to vote for Trump, as much as I personally dislike the person.

  36. The 2016 performance by the LP candidates was not a serious campaign to win anything. Not votes or respect. Johnson is a decent guy, but has no interest in being President, that was obvious. Libertarian or not, the Office of the President is a damn serious and important position, and Mr. Johnson’s campaigning never ever reflected and acknowledged that fact.

    Weld was a Democrat plant. He was working for the DNC and HRC the whole way. Failure to perceive (based on his governing in MA) where his real interests lie makes the LP look like a bunch of idiots. Worse, far worse than the fool Johnson, who set an honest (if low and unserious) bar.

    I no longer take political Libertarianism seriously. Philosophically, I get it and am warm towards it. Practically? Not so much. It is a pity when we see how actively bad the other parties (including the Greens) are, but there you have it. The LP does not present a serious voice, or a viable choice. Nothing but an interesting sideshow. My advice is to concentrate on New Hampshire, and see what you can do in one place.

    1. The LP is an organization of humans. Political libertarianism does not begin or end with it.

    1. Well Penn, it is not like they were enacted in an above-board manner or anything.

    2. Can anyone tell me how the Ft Lauderdale shooter was apprehended? I haven’t seen it. The lack of explanation has roused the tin-foil-hat part of me and I can’t help but wonder if there was another “civilian” nearby with a gun.

      1. He sat down and waited for the police to arrest him after he was done shooting.

        1. Thanks — I didn’t see that.

          My hunch is that this is a simple case of PTSD. IOW, not much to learn from this incident (other than how to handle/treat these guys with PTSD in the first place, of course.)

          1. He adopted an islamic name in 2007 and was doing some kind of crazy Allah praise music well before he was deployed anywhere.

            A while back he turned himself into the FBI complaining of voices. He was hospitalized for four days, his guns confiscated, and then returned to him.

            If only the authorities had some warning!

      2. The timing of a crazy person killing people with a gun right after the administration moves to take guns away from those they deem “crazy” is awfully convenient, no?

      3. Maybe you didn’t know, he was in the gun free zone of an airport, where all guns are supposed to be locked up unless it is a cop’s gun.

        1. I find the talk about being able to check guns in your luggage humorous. Just a matter of time before people are clamoring for banning such behavior. Common sense, on the other hand, is knowing that anyone meeting an arriving flight can waltz into the baggage area from the sidewalk with no security check. Anyone can do that today and avoid buying a plane ticket.

  37. I predicted GayJay wouldnt break 1?. I guess he got 3.2%. I am so overwhelmed. Wait. No I ain’t.
    The LP where never get anywhere for a bunch of reasons. 1) Human beings ate cowards. Freedom scares them. Being responsible for your own actions? Fuck thay shit. 2) Libertarians:. You guys couldnt agree on anything. I mean yeah the pizza and beer memes are funny, but there isnt anything Say the sky is blue and some dochebag is gonna come along and talk about index of refraction. 3). Libertarian attachment to dogma. Take the border issue. In a perfect world, yeah sure there shouldnt be any brders. But i dnt live in a perfect world but libertarions wont let that utopia go. Grow the fuck up. Marxism isnt going to gets its utopia and niether are you.
    4. You guys are usually good at the dialectic. Buy you get an F-. And because you cant do rhetoric, you’ll persuade anyone that might be symapthetic libertariansim.

    1. Get and F-in rhetoric.

      1. I am idiot. Youll never convince…..
        ..

        1. Ummm… are you okay, Troy? Let me know if you need any help buddy.

        2. Is this a good time to mention that you misspelled “douchebag”?

          1. It’s like he’s doing an over-the-top parody of the Johnmenter.

            1. I will take that as a compliment

          2. It would be a failure of the HnR commentariat if one didnt.

      2. Even your attempt at a correction isn’t correct.

        1. Sorry about typos I am really sick. A cold maybe the flu. Bitv ueah

          1. Typos on the Internet!! Oh no! I blame global warming.

  38. Johnson defenders rightly point out that the Libertarian alternatives were, in order of popularity … and a guy who angrily disputes the propriety of government-issued driver’s licenses.

    They say it like meekly accepting having the automotive equivalent of a cattle brand is a bad thing.

    Though Darryl Perry would be more effective with less anger and more mild understated sarcasm.

    1. It is a little out of place in a defense of the LP’s viability, to use the fact all their candidates for the presidential nom were terrible.

    2. Government issued drivers’ licenses? I have bigger fish to fry.

  39. We control a bloc of the electorate…

    THAT DOES IT!! I. AM. OUTTAHERE!!!!

    *rips LP card in shreds and throws it in the air while exiting room*

    Buncha statists.

  40. 5. I suspect the libertarianish dont fuck enough. That is, if looked the birth rates of libertarians they are below replacement level. Why? I wouldnt know. Some of you dont fuck enough because you are ugly.

    1. Pretty sure a marginally literate 14 year old wrote this.

    2. Some of you dont fuck enough because you are ugly.

      To be fair, Crusty picks up a large share of other’s slack.

    3. Sometimes when you fuck too much you end up living out of your car.

  41. This was a race against a, likely, criminal who set the world on fire who would solidify Obama’s disastrous positions and an ignorant bigot. The bigot could be dealt with later.

    Johnson, IMHO, lost for three reasons;

    1. Johnson tried too hard to be a Libertarian. If he stuck with his gut instincts, he may have lost some Libertarians but he would have pulled in many others. Of course his lack of foreign policy knowledge did a lot of damage.

    2. Weld, as much as I think he would have been good in office, was too concerned with preventing Trump from winning. Clinton sucked, just as bad, and I wasn’t going to vote for someone who was just trying to sway, potential, Trump voters.

    3. The media was Clinton’s lap dog. When Johnson became a, perceived, threat, to the would be queen, they mobilized. Otherwise, Johnson’s name was virtually banished from MSM.

    Libertarians may have a shot in 2020. A moderate, reasonably, positioned candidate may have a chance against a collapsing Democrat Party and an ignorant bigot. But, your candidate needs to avoid the head in the sand, extreme, positions of the Libertarian party. Taxes are necessary, but, they could be reduced. Foreign interventions may be necessary, in extreme cases. If you want to argue whether we should have been in WWI or WWII, you won’t get my vote.

    Would Libertarians prefer a radical democrat an ignorant republican or a, too moderate, Libertarian as their next president?

    1. Think about it terms of the dynamics. Some people are solids, some liquids, ans some gaseous. The libertariansh are gasses. We are by nature atomistic.

    2. 4 years is a long time. Trump is going to suck at governing and has made a lot of enemies among TPTB. Right now our economy is held together with duct tape and tissue paper, and the Fed, the banks, and many other interests could easily collapse it on a whim just by not doing their part.

      No way the Dems are collapsing. They gained in both houses of Congress and won the popular vote for president. The loss of MI, WI, PA was a Hillary Clinton thing. You can bet they’re retooling for 2018 and 2020 as we speak, and it won’t be hard.

      If anybody is collapsing, it’s the GOP, whose leadership is lining up behind Trump like sheep to the slaughter. It might not be such a good idea to hitch their wagons to his hairpiece.

    3. We want less coercion, fewer and better laws. None of us want to be politicians and owe a debt of thanks to our candidates who help frighten the looters by earning spoiler votes.

  42. Libertarians are into weed, not blow.

  43. I voted for Johnson, but it wasn’t cheerfully.

    i sincerely believe that the LP “could have done better…. in theory”, but not with the crop of candidates available.

    GJ and Weld managed to estrange people they already had in their corner with rhetoric to appeal to lefties that would never succeed in attracting anyone. the votes they got they would have gotten if they’d snoozed through the campaign and skipped all their highly-touted media-exposure.

    My longstanding POV is that the LP is a very poor vehicle for “libertarian ideas” overall.

    I think if you want to influence politics in a libertarian direction, you need to

    1) pick specific policy areas where there is opportunity for change, and
    2) help elect congresspeople who are committed to change in those areas.
    3) once there, help them in their efforts by explaining to the public why these changes are good ideas.

    implicit in this is also knowing what battles *not* to fight.

    i don’t think a “total package”, ideological libertarian candidate is ever particularly attractive to voters. even libertarian ones; frankly we don’t even like each other very much. a handful of ideological representatives is less useful than a few dozen competent ones who enable change in selected areas.

    just my opinion. i just don’t see the LP brand being all that useful.

    1. So Weld perhaps cost the LP some 1,000 votes among the cognoscenti. Not even noticeable in the overall results.
      If he was flakking for Hillary, it didn’t do her any good did it? When it all sorts out, I believe there are about 100,000 to 200,000 committed libertarians in this country (“real libertarians”). All the rest of the LP vote are protests against one or the other of the major party candidates. The size of the protest vote going to the LP will, of course, depend on the visibility of the LP campaign and the perceived “kookiness” of the candidate. Going forward, the LP needs to decide if it wants to build upon the pure protest vote, run “real libertarian” candidates who can articulate the platform and scare off 90% of the potential protest voters, or do some pragmatic campaigns where the candidates acknowledge the platform is a dream but “here’s the practical things we can all agree need to be done now in order to expand individual liberty.”

      .

      1. So Weld perhaps cost the LP some 1,000 votes among the cognoscenti.

        No, that’s pretty much the opposite of what i’m saying.

        they sacrificed scads of people on the #nevertrump / normally vote GOP ticket who were aghast at Trump… and instead chose to try and appeal to ‘disaffected bernie voters’.

        But whatever. my larger point is that the LP is a shitty vehicle for libertarian ideas. Whether they do marginally better or worse in how much they lose by is in my view, sort of meaningless.

    2. +. P.S. congratulations on your receipt of drunken shout out on #40 of Fifth Column.

  44. Did the Libertarian Party blow it in 2016?
    Short answer: yes.

    To the left, McAfee wasn’t the personality to bring it home either. It’s questionable whether Libertarians had anyone in the candidate stable who would have done the job any better than Johnson, Trump and Clinton did. Perhaps that’s the wrong question. Perhaps all these political parties blew 2016 back in 2012 and 2008, and we need to ask why there’s such a shit crop of politicians with vanishingly rare up-and-comers and bright new sparks to replace them.

    If they did, though, McAfee should have run the digital campaign. That ad was pure genius.

  45. I’ve been a lower-case-l libertarian for decades–I’m more than a little opposed to the official capital-L Libertarian position on open borders–and in trying to persuade people to libertarianism have repeatedly encountered the same objection: most people seem to think libertarianism is just another name for anarchy. If the Libertarian Party ever wants to be a real player in American politics, it’s going to have to work hard and make some noise to correct that misapprehension.

    (And, as far as I’m concerned, paragraph 3.4 of the platform needs a lot of work. “Free trade” is great–as long as all parties play by the same rules and are of similar economic circumstances. When China, for example, cheats on currency and in other ways, and their workers are paid a fraction of what our workers are, free trade falls apart. And “Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human … capital across national borders.” No way, if only because not every human is any kind of asset, capital or otherwise. That little caveat, “…we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property,” is nowhere near strong enough. US immigration needs to be an earned privilege, based on value brought to the country, not a right.)

    1. When China, for example, cheats on currency and in other ways, and their workers are paid a fraction of what our workers are, free trade falls apart.

      So free trade falls apart when one side has an inherent advantage in producing certain goods?

      When Guatemala can grow bananas without greenhouses, free trade falls apart? When the US can grow wheat without having to desalinate seawater, free trade with Saudi Arabia falls apart?

      That’s the entire flipping purpose of trade — to exchange what you can produce better for what I can produce better.

    2. Henry Miller2 parrots the same lie the Republicans made up. The short platform says: “However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.” This only shows the platform ought to be more to the point and distributed as mp3 in many languages so the League of Non-Readers cannot be so easily gulled. The platform is only 20 minutes long.

      The Republicans spent billions lying about our platform and hoping nobody would read and understand theirs. When a Republican tells you the LP wants to welcome in berserkers with nukes, ask them if “All persons born…” is better in the 14th Amendment than “All ova fertilized…”

    3. We also would do well to make sure that people who need political asylum can get it here. They usually are an asset, by the way.

  46. Here’s my take. For now, the goal of a libertarian presidential candidate is two-fold. One, get enough votes in order to be taken seriously and build a foundation for the guy who runs 4 years from now. Two, educate people on what libertarianism truly is.

    Gary did the first one better than anyone before him has ever done, and kudos to him. Of course, he has the deplorable Trump vs. Clinton dichotomy to thank for much of that.

    As far as education, I think he failed. Nothing wrong with the old “fiscally conservative, socially tolerant” argument — but only up to a point. After the Ron Paul campaigns I think it was time to move past this simplistic argument (hell, I was touting that argument to acquaintances over 30 years ago) and emphasizing the two primary libertarian arguments: (1) the NAP, at its most fundamental philosophical basis, and (2) the practical, unquestionable benefits of free markets, a la the economist Don Boudreaux.

  47. The Libertarian Party will never do well in elections because people are rightly afraid a vote for a LP candidate is a wasted vote. There is a solution.

    The LP should organize a campaign with state party affiliates to organize referendum campaigns to promote IRV – Instant Runoff Voting.

    Once it passes in states and people find it successful then some day it will have a chance on a federal level and only then will we have a chance for success for major offices.

    1. The LP actually does better than the other parties when all factors are considered. LP members are regularly elected locally.

      Libertarians welcome alternate/PR systems and just had a successful campaign in Maine. The main focus, however, is spread of direct democracy as in Florida.

      1. LP members are regularly elected locally.

        You must have a very loose definition of that word.

    2. Yet LPers piss & moan about non-instant top-2 runoff systems where those have been instituted.

    3. Wrong. Our spoiler votes scare the crap out of the looters. Problem is the Ku-Klux Tea Party and Econazi Green party ALSO scare the Kleptocracy with their spoiler votes. But the Kleptocracy has to pretend otherwise and persuade the small parties to be so clueless as to sell out to kleptocracy promises to betray kleptocracy platforms. Both DemoGOP programs promised asset-forfeiture, shoot-first prohibitionism, socialized medicine and bombing the other side of the planet.
      Our big advantage is that religious fanaticism of both the mystical and socialist varieties are waning colossal failures. Wealth and happiness increase in a smooth, differentiable function as freedom replaces coercion, and our model is way better than the low-tariff mercantilism Adam Smith preached. Will they surrender meekly? We may have to bitch-slap them with some more spoiler votes covering the gap. So what?

  48. RE: https://reason.com/archives/201…..party-blow

    The Gary Johnson campaign is now considered a model by world Libertarians. Libertarians getting 4.5 million votes–4.5X past totals–set a goal of 3% in every country in Presidential elections. In time the effect will be revolutionary, even as pro-libertarians continue their non-partisan and local-office focus. Activists from Afghanistan to Zambia have found his name brings immediate interest in discussions with prospects.

    The REASON staff should deepen basic research (actual LP goals) and commenters miss many facts. The article is unhelpful. One problem is the article ignores actual Libertarian structures/goals and assumes they’re similar to other parties. They are not. Libertarian post-2016 goals recommend work towards spreading the Libertarian Pledge and 30 local non-partisan libertarians in public office and this is driving everything else, and emplacement of direct democracy. Libertarians seek to develop partisan regional and eventually Congressional people in office. They also are at work doing this in all nations, starting with creating or being a resource to libertarian-direction/interested parties in all nations. These 3 goals that provide the soil and ‘farm team’ for additional campaigns are outside the US LP –and handled by 3 other groups: Libertarian Program, the Libertarian Congressional PAC, and the IALP.

    1. The Gary Johnson campaign is now considered a model by world Libertarians.

      The Johnson campaign is considered a model and not Otto Guevara and Costa Rica’s Partido Movimiento Libertario?

      Really?

    2. What the flying hades does direct democracy have to do with libertarianism? Sounds like a really bad idea.

      The Gary Johnson campaign is now considered a model by world Libertarians.

      1. Have the other two parties nominate Trump and Clinton.
      2. Alienate your own base by opposing freedom of association.
      3. Display your lack of knowledge about current events in foreign policy, and even the places they are happening, on national TV.
      4. Have your running mate endorse one of the other candidates.
      5. Get 16x fewer votes than the winner.
      6. ???
      6. Libertarianism!

    3. The US and Canada LPs set an example for the rest of the world. Most places communist anarchists scribble libertardio on a scrap of cardboard and screech about nationalizing stuff and legalizing murder. But the Geneva LP published a good platform in French, and when mp3 recordings of LP platforms become available in many languages, I’m betting the tide will turn.
      Besides… berserkerism, the initiation of force and socialist genocide sorta quit paying dividends after nuclear weapons arrived on the scene.

  49. Note also: Johnson was the ‘purist’ backed candidate, and ran a Libertarian therefore centrist directionist on the accepted motto for this phase of attention to less government and more rights. His policy positions were well-articulated at his site, and he did everything the LP recommends based on what interests voters. He was considered well-likes and made Libertarianism (unobjectionable) with majorities asking the LP candidate be included in debates. Politics is a trailing indicator of activism, however, and it must be remembered that Libertarian focus is on voluntary personal lifestyle choices and local non-partisan office.

    Those who voted for him were fairly evenly split among new/infrequent voters, DEMS (largest group), GOP, and independents. He did better across minorities (4+%) and women than whites overall. Hispanic women and especially young professional progressive minorities loved him.

    The Clinton/leftist Aleppo and other smear campaigns backfired, bringing international attention and raising his acceptability among progressive youth dramatically as they websearched what happened and realized the truth. Her attacks also undercut non-LP libertarianist support that then stayed home or went to Trump. Perhaps Clinton should be recognized as LP recruiter of the year.

  50. Finally, note also: The or a main purpose of the LP Presidential campaigns is to boost Libertarian brand and improvements with public momentum, and get the public comfortable with having an LP candidate in in the Presidency. Johnson in 2012 did this with LGBT/medical marihuana, and in 2016 with the debate barriers essentially reversing public opinion. In terms of acceptability, a left poll group using a Borda calculus found he would have won, showing that Libertarians are the ‘number 2 choice’ for a growing number of US voters across the spectrum. These’re all LP firsts inspiring local and international activists. They show the opportunity is in future elections and between elections.

    LP members according to polls feel the LP should continue, as the farm team develops, to run retired or retiring distinguished past officials of libertarian bent from both older parties as it has since 2012, possibly with a VP who has done well as an LP member and explicit LP libertarian in state/local office. They wish the candidates to always hammer away at the debate issue as Johnson did as their main ‘platform.’

    For ongoing and past data-driven work by L/libertarians in nearly every country, see the Libertarian Poll Data FB workgroup: https://www.facebook.com/groups/736882696414329/

  51. I voted for Johnson in 2012 pretty enthusiastically. In 2016 the last month of the campaign I was sorely tempted to go with the Orange Middle Finger, but in the end cast a vote for Gay Jo. The LP has been a complete and total failure. This will not change, at least any time soon. They should not be even putting up candidates for President until they score a couple seats in Congress. The goal for the next decade should be to get 3 or 4 elected to the House and possibly 1 in the Senate. The argument that running a candidate for Pres will give more exposure to the LP has obviously failed miserably.

    Any LP candidate or any libertarian candidates in the future would also do well to learn some of the lessons from this election from the guy that won. Perhaps the most important is to never apologize to the media and progressives. When attacked, attack back harder.

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  53. Advice from an old fart: for real progress, forget the presidency. Get the whole LP organization behind a Senate seat (or two or three.) Rand Paul needs help. So do Lee and Amash. I think this would be easier to do, and also do as much to further libertarian philosophy as a Ron Paul type presidential campaign. This idea is not mine — it has been around for decades and I think it has a lot of merit.

  54. LP Libertarians don’t want to hear it, and don’t need to listen really. They can carry on with their 40 yr old party which has gone basically nowhere with no prospect of going anywhere. They won a few % points more this time because the Dem/Rep presidential candidates were so particular personally terrible. So what.
    The home for small ‘l’ libertarians is the GOP. I know a lot of you hate ‘bible thumpers’ but they pose much less of a threat to real liberty than socialists do, whose number in the Democratic base are growing.
    If Gary Johnson didn’t seem like such a stoner he would have done a little better. If you’d run Weld at the top of the ticket (I know, even more distasteful to ‘true’ libertarians than Johnson) a little better still. Doesn’t change the basic fact. The place for libertarians is the GOP, fighting the statist populists (true believer Trumpkins) with some chance of taking back over the party. So grass isn’t legal. How many really serious people care about that?

    1. Normally I would agree but the GOP is in serious trouble. Trump is going to crash and burn in office, and the idiot GOP leadership is lining up behind him like sheep to the slaughter.

      1. Serious trouble being both houses of Congress, the WH, and 32 governorships with even more state legislatures lined up with them….yeah, they might just vanish tomorrow.

        1. That can change very quickly.

          Coming out of the 2004 elections, GOP had both the presidency (won with a strict majority of the popular vote) 55 votes in the Senate, and nearly the same majority in the House that they have now. Dick Cheney was talking about a permanent electoral realignment in favor of the GOP.

          4 years later, they had lost both houses of Congress and the presidency, and even the ability to filibuster.

          As incompetent as Bush’s second term was, Trump will almost certainly be worse.

          1. The Great Disappointment will come when energy advocates realize they’ve been had, and the abortion-banners see that Robert Dear is not going to be pardoned and put in charge of enforcing prayer and abstinence. Ku-kluxers will not get to nuke Mecca, and Trump will see to whatever dumb laws Congress foists upon us–including tax hikes, asset-forfeiture and Mohammedan-style prohibitionism.
            I can already taste the delicious tears and hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
            Let there be schadenfreude!

  55. Alternately, the Libertarian Party could promote actual libertarian principles and choose candidates who actually promote those principles, but that would wacky, right?

    1. Crazy talk straight up! They have decided that playing dress up as a big Party also means everything is a bait-and-switch.

      1. Don’t be mean. Nick Sarawak or whatever his name is needs a paycheck too.

  56. It’s been 45 yrs., & all this has been said repeatedly & in cycles. What reason is there to think LP has a future any different from its past?

    1. It took the Prohibition Party 11 campaigns to make beer a felony. That’s 44 years. The LP has forced the looters to make many changes so they could pretend to ignore us–just like the Kleptocracy pretended to ignore the prohibition, greenback, populist, socialist and communist parties while stealing their planks.

      1. But in the meantime they had much greater gains in the states than LP has. LP hasn’t forced the looters to do anything; LP has discredited libertarian ideas by associating them w losing & losers. By losing so badly, they keep confirming that our ideas can safely be ignored.

        1. LP has discredited libertarian ideas by associating them w losing & losers. By losing so badly, they keep confirming that our ideas can safely be ignored.

          Ideasm a/k/a slogans and soundbites totally devoid of policy solutions, deserve to be ignored. Most prominent foundation libertarians agree. Sharon Presley stated the challenge in an online Reason interview. 2:15

          “It is my personal belief, that the libertarian movement is not really going to go too far forward, until they get a better idea of how to appeal to the average person. Because the average person doesn’t give a flying handshake about theory … or Austrian economics

          6:10 “We can’t just say ‘government is ba-ad’ … theory is just not going to convince most people./”

          As we saw on November 8th.

  57. Liberty isn’t going to happen through government action; it mostly happens through the failure of government action.

    In fact, I think Assange describes what actually happened and what it means pretty well:

    Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better.

    So, the real work begins now.

    1. Good one! WILL ROGERS: Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.

    2. In fact, I think Assange describes what actually happened and what it means pretty well:

      Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States

      .Which is why only a special kind of fool swallows his denial on the Podesta emails. Hardly a neutral party (on the payroll of the Russian government).

    3. Liberty isn’t going to happen through government action; it mostly happens through the failure of government action.

      Government action has been failing tor almost a century.
      Only if we can clearly articulate an alternative, which we have so far failed horribly.

  58. Yes, the LP blew it but I don’t see how any other candidate could’ve gotten higher than 3%. Johnson was not ready for primetime, especially in the foreign policy arena. His tax plan was also pretty questionable. Going forward, I think the “pragmatist” wing has a better chance but the party can use a guy or gal who is more battle-tested.

  59. Winning means changing bad laws. The LP has been winning since it cowed the Republican Supreme Court into the Roe v. Wade ruling shortly after our Hospers-Nathan slate got a single electoral vote. I’ll bet the looters also repealed laws against gay marriage the summer before this election because of the LP platform. The close fight over electoral votes feeds us law-changing clout. Even the candidates were better than we usually field for (let’s face it) a brave show so we can gather votes and maybe elect a few candidates down-ballot. Every LP vote has 6 to 36 times the effect of sellout votes or single-issue lobbying.
    The prohibition amendment made beer a felony with 1.4% of the popular vote on average. We can repeal the income tax with similar numbers if we play out cards right. I am also proud of Nick Sarwark’s performance.

    1. Since when is a Supreme Court ruling that gives benefits ONLY to mass prenatal axe-murderers a libertarian ruling? Women need and deserve legal protection from abortionists. Women don’t benefit from Roe v. Wade. Abortionists do. Men who want to use us a sex objects do. We bear the consequences: medical, emotional, and spiritual. And most of the time, we didn’t make a decision for abortion anyway. Someone else did, and we were coerced.

  60. Yes, the LP blew it. Libertarians blew it. They should have gotten behind Rand Paul 100%. Gary Johnson was an awful undisciplined, inarticulate candidate.

    Rand Paul is a good politician, who can stake out a position, stay on message, win debates. Paul is the only chance libertarians have this generation to get anywhere near the presidency.

    Trump will implode. The economy is not improving. Baby boomers are retiring. The welfare state is bankrupt. America is 20 trillion in debt. Trump will preside over continued stagnation or collapse.

    Libertarians and liberty/limited government Republicans should prepare for a primary challenge against Trump in 2020 – Trump will be too old anyway. If libertarians don’t get their act together, the next president will be a millennial socialist.

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  62. I like Libertarian economics, and the commitment to non-intrusive government. But the party always seems to end up being the Drugs & Prostitution Party, and appears to be overrun by kooks. There’s the small minority of thoughtful economists, but then the rest are tin-foil-hat people. Gary Johnson seemed clueless (not to mention slovenly), and came across as a man whose brain was addled by marijuana.

    You can’t build a coherent movement on being anti-authority, and “do not aggress” is too simple-minded a motto for dealing with the world’s international complexities. Number 6 makes a great protagonist for an allegorical TV series, but would be a horrible civic administrator.

    1. Well put.

      And by the way, most libertarians I have talked to fail to recognize the only way we can deal with aggressors from other countries is on their own turf. Jefferson knew this. He pursued and conquered the Barbary Pirates on the high seas. Libertarians need to follow in his footsteps. The last thing we need is for foreign terrorists to be able to plant IEDs on our roads.

      I should also add that most libertarians want to hoard liberty for ourselves, and do not recognize that we do have some kind of duty to help other people become free.

      1. I agree. The idea that we never do anything militarily to an enemy, even though we have reliable intel that the enemy is about to launch attacks on us, is “Be a sitting duck.” If a foreign enemy is readying an attack, they have already aggressed.

        That semi-pacifist approach is _not_ government protecting the lives and happiness of its citizens, which Jefferson said was the primary purpose of government. I remember that was part of what sank Ron Paul’s candidacy — his absurd notion that we should only act after we’ve been attacked. In other words, after scores of our own friends and neighbors have already been killed. How is that government fulfilling its job?

        The same applies to the drugs-&-prostitution policies. Drugs and sex-trafficking infect and wreck whole communities, most of whose residents (especially children) have nothing to do the original commercial exchanges. But Libertarians seem to think that human beings are just marbles who coincidentally happen to roll around in the same box as other marbles, rather than as an organic body of interconnected people.

        Consent in itself, alone, doesn’t make an exchange okay. Another example of that same simple-mindedness.

  63. I voted for Johnson, but it made me sick to do it. His mealy mouthed, idiotic performance made me embarrassed. His inability to understand concepts like religious liberty (I’m agnostic for the record) and a Business’s right to decide who they serve and hire, made me angry. I voted for Johnson because I wanted to help give the Libertarian Party more legitimacy. There was no way I was going to wave a Johnson flag, or put one in my yard. There was no way I could convince other people to vote for Johnson for the reasons I was voting for him. People like my dad, who’s very Conservative, but liberty minded, wouldn’t even look at Johnson because Johnson treated them like scum and didn’t even try to find common ground. If the Libertarian party wants to be a serious party, they need a serious candidate who will clearly articulate libertarian ideas, but also reach out to the sympathetic ears from both major parties. What is the point of gaining lots of media attention if the candidate is a moron who can’t articulate anything without looking like he fell off the short bus?

    1. Seems likely the LP would have a serious problem finding a serious and viable candidate. Those who qualify will want to run for a major party. Not the LP’s fault.

  64. As I see it, if the LP wants to clear the 5% barrier, it needs to start aggressively promoting vote-swapping. Trade your vote in a swing state for half a dozen or a dozen Libertarian votes in a safe one, and suddenly half the Libertarian votes come from safely red or safely blue ones, and I suspect the party clears 5% easily.

  65. I can’t wade through this leviathan waste of words. Gary Johnson is a joke. Seems like a really nice guy, BUT where is the fire in the belly? It’s just not there. I think he was just masturbating for the camera most of the time.

    1. He wasn’t crazy enough for you?
      No enough mindless rage like Rand/Ron Paul?

      His mistake was running THEIR type of campaign ,.. slogans and soundbites, totally devoid of a single policy solution. That pisses of the Trump-style libs.

  66. The LP will always be a tiny, minor party. The best it can hope for is that it becomes a bloc of voters one of the two Levianthanic parties need for victory. The LP may or may not be that useful, in reality. The Libertarian
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    freedom and liberty are the very gifts given by the country’s founders that will allow us to move forward as a nation, and stop the Punch and Judy Show called the federal goverment.

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  70. Dear LP. I will not vote for Johnson a 3rd time. And if Bill Weld or anyone remotely similar is anywhere near the LP nomination, I won’t be donating money to the LP either. Give us a fucking Libertarian ticket or close shop and shut the fuck up.

  71. The choice of Johnson and Weld was a disgusting sell-out of libertarian principles AND a complete waste of an opportunity to get those principles heard. Running a RINO alongside a NeoCon and calling that Libertarian was an obscenity.

  72. There are a number of problems not mentioned in this article, in addition to the ones that were mentioned. I did not perceive Johnson as a true libertarian. He was willing to let the EPA run roughshod over property owners in northern New Mexico, I understand. In addition, he supported the right of abortionists to commit physical assault (sometimes deadly) on women and their children, and opposed the right of women to have the legal protection against abortionists we deserve. He also is deep into marijuana profiteering. Recreational marijuana use is not a victimless crime. My husband and I and one of our children are all victims of other people’s reactional marijuana use. If recreational marijuana becomes legal, we will suffer many more problems from users. And finally, I just plain didn’t like JOHNSON. All other things being equal, I wouldn’t have voted for HIM anyway.

  73. The Libertarian Party also suffers from a number of problems. Opposition to property tax seems to have slipped off the radar. Property tax is the most powerful and insidious attack on the right to property, essentially completely negating it. Your home and your car do not belong to you. They belong to the government. The LP’s failure to recognize the distinction between licentiousness and liberty has resulted in its being overtaken by people who want to legalize drugs, and who have very little interest in true liberty. Licentiousness is actually destructive of true liberty. Liberty requires self control. Licentiousness is the lack of self control. As long as taxpayers must pay for the upkeep of people who self destruct, it is especially true. Don’t ask me to support the legalization of licentiousness as long as I am being taxed to pay for those people. The LP’s failure to recognize a woman’s right to legal protection from abortionists is another serious problem, as is the failure to have a viable position on protecting the liberty of weak people (the disabled, the unborn). Libertarianism REALLY only seeks to protect the liberty of the powerful.

    And by the way, taking taxpayer money for your campaigns is anti-libertarian. Cut it out! Stand on principle. That’s unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter that it is “voluntary” to divert funds. It is still taxation.

    1. I never contribute. Why should this presidential slush fund even exist? I mean, look at the last several elections and note the hordes of republican candidates – most of which were never going to pull more than 5% and knew it from the get go. What were they doing there, as they pretended to be the smartest man in the room? Waving with one hand, and dipping the other in the treasury. Smiling the entire way…

    2. I would appeal to Constitutionality, and propose that the Personal Income Tax is even worse than a property tax. The Founding Fathers permitted property tax, but only collected by the individual states. Jefferson actually firmly rejected the idea of a tax on labor, describing it as “tak[ing] from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

    3. I would appeal to Constitutionality, and propose that the Personal Income Tax is even worse than a property tax. The Founding Fathers permitted property tax, but only collected by the individual states. Jefferson actually firmly rejected the idea of a tax on labor, describing it as “tak[ing] from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

    4. I would appeal to Constitutionality, and propose that the Personal Income Tax is even worse than a property tax. The Founding Fathers permitted property tax, but only collected by the individual states. Jefferson actually firmly rejected the idea of a tax on labor, describing it as “tak[ing] from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

  74. The cause of liberty would be much better served if the libertarians got back into the major parties to assert their influence there. Thanks to libertarians leaving the GOP, the GOP has drifted steadily leftward ever since. I am not the only person who thinks this. Plenty of other libertarians do, too. They have stayed within the ranks, where they can assert much more influence. At present, the only thing the LP can accomplish is to have the potential of throwing the presidential election to the lesser libertarian from the two major parties. The election system is structured so that it is a two party system, and this cannot be easily changed. The GOP only became prominent because of unusual circumstances, and I sincerely hope it won’t take another civil war to destroy a major party so the LP can take its place. But something that serious is what it would require.

    1. We have a media today that is largely fascinated by what the government has to say, which leaves the people as a footnote. If that isn’t behind the looking glass, I don’t know what qualifies. It certainly is backwards: freedom of the press was intended to secure liberties to the people, not pravda for peasants [in service to the power class]. The good news is the brats inheriting Fox are busy making it just like all the other networks which should render them to obscurity in short order. The left will never forgive them their past, and they will find a place lower than CNN in the coming decade. An opening for a fresh perspective is about to present itself, but networks are a billion dollar gamble.

  75. I think so. The campaign run by them was a loose one. The companies backing them were not even interested in their win. A sincere campaign would have helped them a lot. Nidhi Company Registration Services

  76. I have to admit: I was always lukewarm when it came to Gary. I recall his “what’s an Aleppo” statement, and while I recognize it was ‘gotcha’ politics being played by the diabolical and hateful within our media, it was not his answer that put me off: it was him blowing it off his gaffe as irrelevant and plowing into some other useless bit only to distract. No, he shouldn’t have kow-towed to the imbecile “journalist”, but honestly: most of the public never heard of Aleppo either, which means Obama was NOT engaging world terrorists, which was an issue worth grabbing.
    I don’t know what the wheels are looking at these days, but if they are studying our media looking for a “middle”… they are shoving their head in a very dark place. Remember, it’s the same media where nearly 90% were in the tank for Bill Clinton when he took office, and that was before the purge involving hundreds of illegally obtained FBI files [and lord knows what else]. This past cycle may have had more media exposure, but it was also… impotent. If there was a lesson to be learned from Harry Browne’s candidacy [and the historic event of getting on all states ballots], it was that libertarians are never going to be able to get onto that stage where the so called Commission on Presidential Debates shuts out anything that doesn’t fit into their good cop/bad cop template in support of those actually running the country: the Cocktail Party. You and I are not invited, and have to build our own stage.

  77. Part of the Johnson/ Weld problem was that, after 4 years of left-wing attack on First Amendment freedoms, Johnson was unwilling to defend the free -speech rights of disfavored groups, such as Masterpiece Cakes. Asked in the debate by both Austin Petersen and John Stossel a hypothetical question about a Nazi cake being forced on a Jewish baker, he answered, I believe, incorrectly. (search Google or any search engine you trust for this bit) That bit lost my vote. The right to free speech includes, I believe, the right to remain silent, and the right to choose who you will speak for. It would have been one thing if he affirmed that a grocery store did not have the right to select their customers, (or a gas station, fire department or other essential service) But wedding cake is not an essential service, and free speech should have applied here, just as is does to those who choose not to patronize a business for any reason. The final convincing act, Bill Weld’s description of Hillary and Obama, encouraged me to either abstain from voting or find another party to vote for.

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