"The Libertarian Party should never again put up national candidates whose views are similar to those of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld."
That was the resolution of a public debate hosted by the Soho Forum in New York City at the SubCulture Theater on September 10, 2019. It featured comedian and podcast host Dave Smith and Nicholas Sarwark, the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. Soho Forum director Gene Epstein moderated.
Arguing for the affirmative was Dave Smith, whose 2017 comedy special Libertas was ranked as the number 1 comedy special on iTunes for three weeks. Smith is the host of the popular libertarian podcast Part of the Problem and a co-host of the comedy podcast Legion of Skanks.
Nicholas Sarwark argued for the negative. Sarwark is currently serving his third term as chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, which is the executive body of the Libertarian Party.
It was an Oxford-style debate: The audience votes on the resolution at the beginning and end of the event, and the side that gains the most ground is victorious. Smith won the night by convincing 20 percent of the audience, while Sarwark convinced 16.8 percent.
The Soho Forum, which is sponsored by the Reason Foundation, is a monthly debate series at the SubCulture Theater in Manhattan's East Village.
Produced by John Osterhoudt.
Photo credit: Brett Raney