National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark on the Libertarian Party's Plan for 2016

LP sees membership doubled, revenue quadrupled

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"The ideal is that we use [the 2016 election] as a springboard to mass defections and the destruction of at least one of the old parties," explained Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. "It's time for the Republican Party to fall apart and go away," he added. "Or the Democratic party. I don't really care which."

Sarwark sat down with Reason's Matt Welch at the Libertarian National Convention in Orlando, Florida to talk about the recent increased attention the Libertarian party has received over the past few weeks.

"Our vote totals and our vote floors keep rising across the country," says Sarwark. "We are in it for the long term, we are in it to win. It may take two years, four years, 20 years, but we are not going away. And the old parties are, frankly, dying."

Approximately 8:30 minutes. Produced by Joshua Swain and Zach Weissmueller.

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  1. It’s absurd that I have to hit two links to comment. ABSURD, Reason. Get your shit together.

    1. Libertarians prefer to spread their shit all around. It’s the American way.

  2. “For the last three weeks, I haven’t been off the phone”

    Unless he was on speaker during the interview, he’s lying!

  3. National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark on the Libertarian Party’s Plan for 2016: New At Reason
    LP sees membership doubled, revenue quadrupled

    Could it be there are signs of intelligent life in Amerika?
    Could it be that the concept of not harming other people, not stealing their possessions and leaving other people alone has finally caught on?
    Could it be people in Amerika are finally facing the fact there are no real differences between the democrats and republicans?
    Could it be the LP will make a real difference on the presidential race?
    Could it be now is the time for Libertarians to run for Congress and the Senate (federal and state) so we Libertarians can re-launch liberty that our Founding Fathers had in mind?
    As the wise man said, “We’ll see.”

    1. Membership & revenues always rise in the presidential election years.

      Let’s see where the media att’n goes if/when Wm. Kristol follows thru w what he’s been teasing today about an independent candidate.

      1. Of course it’s all going to scramble again when Hillary slinks schlongsbows out of the race.

        1. She won’t bow out.

          There was a poll earlier where something like ~78% of HC supporters affirmed they’d still vote for her if she was indicted.

          1. She’ll bow out as part of a deal or other move to stay out of jail. I joked about her absconding to Arabia, but I’m starting to think there’s a serious possibility of that. Or she’ll have a medical excuse.

            The only thing keeping her in the race now is Sanders. The party can’t afford to have too many delegates be Sanders supporters come the convention.

            You think the Democrats want a president undergoing impeachment & trial proceedings for most of her 1st term? If that happens, she’ll drag it out as long as possible, and the Republicans will be glad too to drag it out. Congressional Democrats and probably some Republicans in the House aren’t going to like that.

            1. Everything you’re saying makes total sense to me, with respect to how a ‘normal electorate’ can be expected to react.

              This is an increasingly abnormal electorate though, wherein identity politics has effectively become the only politics, so I’m not sure conventional expectations still apply.

              The familiar politics of civic institutionalism may venerate pretenses about rule of law, respect for public office, and so forth. But in the emerging politics of cutthroat tribalism, the only mandate is to eat or be eaten.

      2. Nobody listens to the idiot. He’s the worst in all areas, sans trump.

      3. Kristol went French with his “impressive” candidate. So much for that.

    2. To quote Theodoric Of York: Naaaah!

  4. “The ideal is that we use [the 2016 election] as a springboard to mass defections and the destruction of at least one of the old parties,” explained Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “It’s time for the Republican Party to fall apart and go away,” he added. “Or the Democratic party. I don’t really care which.”

    Why not both?

    A guy can dream, right?

    1. I was coming here to say the same thing?

  5. The D’s and R’s are not going away and never will. There will always be two ‘governing-oriented’ parties who compete for the levers of power in order to wield the power. They will, by necessity, have to focus on elections and in so doing minimize the role of ‘citizen’ to election day pigeon pecker. Between elections, governance is done by the winning party – and citizens are expected to shop and STFU.

    The LP should not even try to emulate that model. Emulating that model is why classical liberalism died. What the LP needs to do is upend the model to DEMONSTRATE how self-governance works regardless of a result on election day. It’s time for show – not tell.

    1. The D’s and R’s are not going away and never will.

      I’ll be satisfied when one consists of an-caps and the other minarchists.

      1. If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

        I’m pretty sure I won’t see angels until I’m dead. I’d be happy for the LP itself to be the auxiliary precaution – the serious check on government. But it won’t get even there with ancaps.

    2. “There will always be two ‘governing-oriented’ parties who compete for the levers of power in order to wield the power. ”

      Yet there are many large cities where the Democrats are, essentially, the only party. Probably couldn’t have one completely dominate party in the country as a whole but it is certainly possible in states and localities.

    3. I don’t disagree, but there are a ton of voters, maybe the majority, who believe that this is a personnel issue, not a structural issue. Most people believe that reducing the power of government in people’s lives would result in chaos. I had an interesting conversation with an older guy this weekend about eliminating the office of the presidency. His standpoint, albeit a bit muddled from booze, was that the absence of a leader would just result in a vicious game of king-of-the-hill (actually, he mentioned both ISIS and 9/11, but I saw where he meant to go) and, though flawed, at least the process we have mitigates the chaos. Basically, if you’re going to be extorted, better to pick your extortionist rather than leave it to chance for fear you wind up with someone really horrible.

  6. They really should focus on 2 things:

    1) Winning a state.
    2) making sure Austin petersen stays away from politics.

    1. I don’t get the Austin Petersen hate. I swear, y’all talk like he was libertarian Ted Cruz. At least he understands freedom of association well enough to know that I shouldn’t be forced to hire a handicapped lesbian from space just to fulfill my diversity bingo card

    2. Petersen is fine. He should be running for a state legislature somewhere.

  7. Eh. The dreams of the Libertarian Party replacing Democrats or Republicans is a bit Pie-in-the-Sky. Even if one does implode (and I believe reports of their demise are premature), it’s much more likely that they would coalesce around something new, rather the migrate to something old. The Libertarian Party might grow a bit from the collapse, but they would not be the big winner.

    1. Yeah, the Dems were supposed to die off after the ’68 National Convention fiasco, but they’re still here, stronger than ever. The Republicans survived the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation only to come back less than a decade later with Reagan, an iconic two-term president. These fuckers are pros.

    2. The LP could be the big winner, if it becomes the centrist big tent envisioned by Johnson-Weld and their “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” mainstream positions.

      Hopefully it does, but then pro-liberty activists would have to start a new party to advance liberty again.

  8. Things I learned in this video:

    Nicholas Sarwark pronounced it in-UN-dated that makes me think that’s code for United Nations supremacy.

    Nicholas Sarwark almost hit gold but fell short by not calling her corporate shillary.

    Nicholas Sarwark allowed in the most afterthoughty way possible that the Libertarian candidate could be female.

    Nicholas Sarwark wears a mesmerizing brooch of some kind.

    Nicholas Sarwark doesn’t know the definition of voter.

    Matt Welch lobs softballs easier than my sister.

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  11. Sarwark is blowing sunshine up your butt. The Libertarian party is only on the ballot in 32 states and will probably lose some of those before the election.

    In every blue state the party is a threat to the Democrats. In every red state the party is a threat to the Republicans. In a race of tyrant versus tyrant lawsuits begin and rules get suspended. The very fact that Johnson is getting 10% of the vote in several polls means that he has to be stopped and he will be.

    Prediction – The Libertarian party will be on the ballot in no more than 30 states and upon the news that Johnson is a serial killer who sodomizes little children while smoking weed and praying to Satan the Libertarian party’s donations will evaporate, their staffs will be let go and the Libertarian party will disintegrate, not the Democrats or Republicans.

    1. Enough with the doom and gloom. The LP will be on 48-50 state ballots. Johnson will get 5% of the vote as things stand now, and a lot more if voters start taking him seriously.

  12. Why didn’t HE get nominated as the LP’s presidential candidate? So much more eloquent that Johnson!

    1. No experience such as 2 terms as a state governor, CEO of a major small business, or climbing Mt. Everest?

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