Category Archives: Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Alliance (UK): “Paleoism and the Traditional Britain Group”

Here is an interesting article from The Libertarian Alliance blog, a libertarian organization based in England. The article does a good job of chronicling the “paleolibertarian” phenomenon of the ’90s. Paleolibertarianism seems to mystify some people, so I thought it was worth posting.

In January 1990, Lew Rockwell wrote in the magazine ‘Liberty’ on ‘The Case for Paleolibertarianism’[1]. In this manifesto, he argued that while libertarians are often correct in their criticisms of conservatives, conservatives are often right in their criticisms of libertarians. He cites people like Russell Kirk and Robert Nisbet, with the latter claiming that libertarians were drifting so far from conservatism that they were coming to view the “coercions of the family, church, local community and school” as almost as corrosive of liberty as that of the state.

In this paleolibertarian manifesto, Rockwell states that if libertarianism is to make any real progress, then it must do away with its “defective cultural framework”, stating that Western civilisation is worthy of praise and that social or ‘natural’ authority – like the authority of the family, the church, the local community and the school – is essential to a free society. Libertarianism’s cultural framework had become a blend of moral relativism, egalitarianism, modernism and libertinism with the modal libertarian often conflating legality with morality. In addition to the error of assuming that because X must be legal, X must also be moral, the modal libertarian had conflated freedom from aggression with freedom from social authority, tradition, and bourgeois morality.

See more here…

Hat tip to my FaceBook friend Rex May, whose post directed my attention to this article.

Cross posted with some slightly different wording at Independent Political Report.

Some Advice to Libertarians

This post is inspired by New Year’s Eve.

If libertarians really want to broaden their appeal to redneck types, they should focus their legalization battles on fireworks. A lot of self respecting rednecks aren’t going to want to be associated with legalization of pot and prostitution even if they might secretly want to indulge on occasion*, but every red-blooded American wants the legal right to set off fireworks free from the fear of snitching neighbors and pesky police. :-)

* Present company excepted, of course.

Potential 2016 GOP Candidates not Looking Good

Here is a Townhall 2016 straw poll. Vote if you like. It’s quick. You do have to enter your e-mail which will get you on some e-mail list, but I already get Townhall e-mails so no biggy. You can also always unsubscribe. I post this mainly to illustrate how abysmal the potential 2016 lineup is. I voted other/none of the above because write-in were not allowed.

Here is the list of candidates:

Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida
Benjamin Carson, Doctor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas
Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio
Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska
Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky
Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida
Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin
Rick Santorum, former Senator from Pennsylvania
Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin
Other/None of the Above

What a sorry lot. Rand Paul is the closest to acceptable. As I said before, we need to start talking up potential acceptable GOP primary candidates and potential Constitution Party and Libertarian Party candidates.

Here is the comment I left.

There is no one in this list that represents non-interventionist conservatives. Rand Paul comes the closest, but he has already drifted too far away from the principled non-intervention of his father. I will not vote for a GOP interventionist. If they don’t do better than this it will be third party for me in 2016.

A Couple More Write-in Suggestions

Below, I suggested that we need a coordinated campaign to write-in a candidate in 2016 Presidential polls given the dismal list of potential candidates that currently make the list.

Here are a couple more:

Mike Church – He’s hard core and he has a platform. Plus he describes himself as a paleoconservative.

Paul Craig Roberts – He actually has a plausible Presidential resume.

Who Should I Write-in in 2016 Presidential Polls?

OK, so the 2016 polls are starting to appear in my inbox and as pop-up ads, etc. The current list of potential candidates is abysmal and depressing. It includes RINOs like Chris Christie and so called conservatives like Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint who are just mainstream movement cons of one degree or another and are therefore wrong about all the things mainstream cons are wrong about (foreign policy, surveillance/police state, trade deals, etc.) Rand Paul is the best of the lot, but is off my list because of his PC pandering and waffling on immigration and foreign policy.

The problem is, as far as I know, there aren’t any rumored paleoish candidates to talk up. Worse, there aren’t really even that many paleoish figures who aren’t rumored that can be credibly talked up. I’m sure our constant critic Sav and others would say this points to a failure of paleoism and perhaps they would be right, but that doesn’t solve our immediate problem of who to tout as a potential candidate.

Here are a few thoughts. Let’s discuss it.

Potentially Serious Candidates:

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions comes to mind. I haven’t heard him talked up as a candidate, but if he did run he would be serious because he is  a Senator. He has been by far and away the best person in the Senate on the immigration issue. The problem is that Sessions is generally wrong on foreign policy and police state issues. But because Sessions has  been so out front on immigration, a vote for him could be seen as an endorsement of immigration restrictionism. As an actual vote, it might be hard to justify, but as an exercise in immigration issue message sending a case could be made for writing him in. (For the record, I consider immigration the most important issues because all the other issues [abortion, taxes, spending, etc.] hinge upon its outcome. Unless current demographic trends are halted, the GOP and by implication any further right alternative party will become irrelevant at the national level.)

Semi-serious Candidates:

Tennessee Rep. John Duncan and North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones come to mind. Neither have the voting record of Ron Paul, but both are know as Republican (relatively) non-interventionists so a vote for either would likely be interpreted as an endorsement of non-interventionism. As far as I know, neither has been seriously discussed as a possible candidate.

Actually Rumored Message Candidates:

Judge Andrew Napolitano has been widely discussed as a possible candidate. He is a natural heir to the Ron Paul Revolution, especially for those unwilling to support Rand Paul. As a widely known Fox News commentator, he is a semi-plausible candidate. A vote for him would be the most direct way of endorsing the continuation of the Ron Paul Revolution. The major problem with Napolitano is that he is absolutely horrible on immigration. He has completely swallowed the libertarian Kool-Aid on the issue.

Ted Nugent has thrown his own name out there. Besides guns and not liking Obama, I’m not sure I know exactly where he stands on other issues, and I’m sure I’m not alone with that. But where The Nuge stands on every issues is hardly relevant. A vote for Nugent is simply a way to stick a great big thumb in the eye of the Powers that Be. As I said before, Nugent is a visceral Red and a vote for him would be an endorsement of visceral Redness.

Pure Message Candidates:

If you want to send a single issue immigration message then you could write in Tom Tancredo. He’s not good on war and peace issues, but since he is so identified with the immigration issues, the message of a vote for Tancredo would not be missed. An alternative might be to vote for Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, who is also closely associated with the immigration issue but likely not as well known as Tancredo.

Tom Woods has been suggested as a possible candidate and has even addressed the issue. I think Woods would be an excellent candidate. He is articulate and funny. He would put nullification and secession on the table, and since he is a Traditional Catholic he could appeal to cultural conservatives and couldn’t be accused of being an amoral libertine. Also, like Judge Nap, a vote for Woods would be an endorsement of the continuation of the Ron Paul Revolution.

If you wanted to send a pure ideological message of the whole no-compromise package – non-intervention, immigration, Constitutionalism, abortion, anti-Lincoln, etc. – you could write in Chuck Baldwin. Since he has actually run before, the idea isn’t quite as out there as it might otherwise be. Or, on that note, you could write in Michael Peroutka. Peroutka has been the center of some controversy recently since he is now on the Board of the League of the South, so a vote for him would be an even bigger rejection of the status quo.

Those are some of my preliminary thoughts. Discuss.

(FTR, I limited my choices to people that actually could conceivably run for President. So no Patrick Henry for example. If we have a problem of no rumored candidates we can get behind, we might as well start rumors about people who could really run.)

Adam Kokesh to Run for President in 2020

Liberty activist Adam Kokesh says he will run for President in 2020 on a platform of abolishing the US government. He does not say what party’s nomination he will seek. Kokesh is currently in jail on drug and weapons charges.

The former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq plans to someday bring his anti-government views before voters. “ARE YOU RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT? Yes sir, in 2020 on the platform of: orderly dissolution of the United States government. WHY IS THAT A GOOD IDEA? Why is having a federal government a good idea at this point?”

Adam Kokesh believes the U.S. military is more harmful than helpful to American security, and the government — as a whole — has burdened its citizenry with debt.

Populism: A Party Alternative to Libertarianism

The growing, relatively-soon-to-be majority (link is likely an underestimate), nonwhite population favours handouts. Rather than fighting a futile struggle to convert this group to an absurd libertarian ideology that few of us are deluded enough to believe in, perhaps we ought to reconsider our priorities.

Democracies are said to fail when the voting poor realise they can vote for handouts; but if this is going to happen anyway, then we ought to be the ones buying votes. Perhaps we ought to be the ring-givers, so to speak. Adopt popular positions; drop unpopular positions: sell-out except on the most vital issues. What is more important than saving working Americans from being overtaxed by the lazy? Immigration for starters! Also trade agreements, foreign wars, free speech, homeschooling, gun rights, affirmative action, the banking system.

Currently the GOP is fighting a losing battle for its foreign empire. A populist revolt would abandon these war hawks as dead weight. The war hawks are destined to fall as the US goes bankrupt. Populists should not allow themselves to be pulled down with them if possible.

I’m not a political science guru – just my thoughts.

An alternative is to pursue a strategy of political marginalisation to encourage secession by a dispossessed white minority. This latter seems to be the strategy most on the right favour. Rand Paul might win in 2016. That would be wonderful if he could reform the banking system, but beyond that libertarianism obviously has no future in the US. The ideology is like communism, unworkable; and voters want handouts.

Third Party Watch

The results of the 2012 elections for the three biggest non-major parties (Libertarian, Green and Constitution) clearly show the LP is strongest of three as of right now. And that’s not just because Gary Johnson broke 1% of the electorate or gained the LP’s largest vote total in a Presidential election since 1980. Across the board in elections for the Senate and House there were many LP candidates who finished with over one percent of the vote as well and in some cases much higher than that. Indications are the LP cost the GOP at least nine seats in Congress and if one combines votes for Gary Johnson plus votes for Ron Paul in the GOP primaries of Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, it seems the LP’s influence was there on the Presidential race as well. Combine these good results with the fact that culturally the country may well be going in a more libertarian direction (at least amongst whites: Romney carried young whites 55-40 percent) and LP finds itself in its strongest spot since the early 1980s. If they can continue to build their party in places where said candidates ran strongest (places like Colorado, Indiana and Georgia for example) and continue to identify young, they could become a long-term threat to the GOP. That is, if they avoid the kind of destructive infighting which plagued the party the last time they were in this spot. Finding someone who can fill Gary Johnson’s leadership will be their next big step.

For Greens and the Constitution Party, the results were not positive. The partisan nature of the election took votes away from both parties for their potential bases on the Left and Right. Only consolation for the Greens is they did win state legislative seat in Arkansas. Neither party’s base is getting any younger. However, the future is not completely bleak for either.

With Obama ensconsed for a second term, the Greens can better their activism for their agenda, especially if they hook-up with larger groups on the Left like the Occupy Movement for example. They don’t have to worry about “costing” Obama anything. Remember, the Greens greatest period of growth took place during Clinton’s second term, culmination with Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign. Back then, it was the Greens who were the most powerful of the nation’s non-major parties.

The Constitution Party finds itself in a position to take advantage of the ferment going on the Republican Party. If GOP decides to jettison its anti-immigration wing or make other changes displeasing to conservatives, it could pick up those groups by emphasizing their concerns. Even with Goode’s disappointing showing, the CP is still the largest conservative alternative to the GOP. And they can get larger if other such parties who are smaller or not as successful join with them

A ConservativeTimes.org Symposium on the Paleo Vote

We at Conservative Heritage Times have been inspired by the TAC symposium to do one of our own, although one with more of a paleo edge. I’m actually not sure symposium is the best characterization of this. It is a virtual symposium I suppose. But I’m going with it because we are blatantly riffing (not ripping :-)) off TAC’s effort.

Not all the people here would be best described as paleoconservatives, and some would not claim that label, but the attempt was to try to get people who might be considered part of the paleo/traditionalist sphere. I asked CHT’s own contributors, plus people I know (both actually and virtually) whom I thought would represent a broad cross section of the paleo/traditionalist sphere, plus some of our regular commenters. Other of our regular commenters volunteered their services.

In order to avoid the appearance of favoritism, I have arranged the contributions in alphabetical order by first name. I am still expecting some more to roll in. They will be added in their appropriate alphabetical order as they do. Please check back frequently and please promote this on Facebook, Twitter, with you email contacts, etc. Thanks, enjoy and discuss. The endorsements commence below the fold. ~ Red

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A Conservative Heritage Times Paleo Election Symposium: Coming Tomorrow

Inspired by TAC’s conservative vote symposium, CHT has decided to do a symposium of our own with a bit more of a paleo edge. Tune in tomorrow for the first installment  We hope to add others as they come in. You might be surprised by some of the talent we have managed to attract.

The American Conservative’s Symposium on “The Conservative Vote”

I don’t mean to steal Sean’s thunder below, but I made this post for IPR and wanted to cross post it here. There are some additional links you should be aware of.

TAC has a “symposium” of multiple writers discussing whom they plan to vote for. Some endorse voting for one of the major party candidates and some endorse not voting, but several endorse third party votes or write-ins. Some of the writers include Andrew Bacevich, Justin Raimondo, Paul Gottfried and friend of this website Sean Scallon.

Daniel Larison has a separate endorsement here that wasn’t included in the symposium for some reason.

Samuel Goldman has a separate endorsement here because Hurricane Sandy precluded his participation in the symposium.

Here is a summary of the endorsements.

Johnson — 6 (Bandow, Brimelow, Galupo, Giraldi, Goldman, Kauffman, Larison if he could, Bovard if he doesn’t write in Ron Paul)

Romney — 4 (Coombs, Pinkerton, Tippins, Zmirak, Antle and Birzer leaning)

Obama — 4 (Bacevich, Hadar, McConnell, Millman, Giraldi in a pinch)

Goode — 1 (Scallon, Brimelow and Gottfried would if they could)

Rand Paul — 1 (McCarthy)

Hapsburg Monarch — 1 (Lind)

Not voting/ambivalent/unclear — 7 (Dreher, Dougherty, Gordon, Murphy, Raimondo [rooting for Obama], Richman, Russello, Beer, Sailer)

Gary Johnson Endorses Independent (NM) Jon Barrie for Senate: See Correction Below

From an e-mail form the Barrie Campaign:
 
Governor Johnson says, “Jon is committed to lowering and eliminating taxes, minimizing the size of our federal government, restoring our Liberty and Freedoms, and the limits placed on Government as explicated in our Constitution.  His commitment to Liberty and demonstrated conservative economic principles make him the best qualified candidate for the US Senate in New Mexico. Be Libertarian with me!  Vote for Jon Ross Barrie for the United States Senate.”
 Jon Barrie says, “Our nation needs leaders that will guide us back to the freedoms and liberties set forth by our founding fathers.  Governor Johnson and Judge Jim Gray will return us to freedom and prosperity.”
 
Addendum: Well maybe not. Read this thread. This is a mess.

Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson Confirm for Third Party Presidential Debate

I came across this article on Facebook:

Free and Equal Elections Foundation announced today that four candidates have confirmed their participation in the 2012 Presidential Debate at the University Club of Chicago on October 23: Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson.

This debate is the only 2012 Presidential Debate featuring four candidates. The top six candidates were invited to participate. Democratic Party candidate and incumbent Barack Obama and Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney are welcome to participate in this historic debate. The moderator will be announced shortly.

Read more…

 Cross posted at IPR.

Examiner Article: Arguments Against Third Parties and How to Counter Them

Here is an excellent article from Examiner.com defending third party voting. The author is Matthew Reece. I particularly like this gem:

1. Voting for a third party candidate is a wasted vote because the candidate cannot win.

Anyone who claims this is claiming that the election process in America is rigged. Let us set aside the matter of whether this is actually the case and focus narrowly on the claim being made. A person who believes this should be trying to convince people either not to vote at all in protest of a corrupt system or to take up arms to start a second American Revolution, not trying to convince people to vote for Republicans or Democrats.

Read the whole article here…

Also posted at IPR.

James Antle on Options for Anti-War Conservatives in November

Check out this article at The American Conservative.

Antle covers Virgil Goode (CP) and Gary Johnson (LP). I promised to lay off Goode until after the election, and I have, but this is a perfect example of how the Constitution Party has harmed its brand by nominating Goode. Anti-war conservatives can’t unequivocally embrace the CP nominee. Any endorsement has to be hedged.

This dilemma is particularly acute this year. Let’s just go back to 2008, when the two major party candidates were Obama and a far more committed hawk than Romney in John McCain. At least the Constitution Party nominated Chuck Baldwin, a candidate who had opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. The Libertarian Party nominated Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman who had turned sharply against the war. Both men were fairly decent choices for the antiwar conservative.

Four years later, the Constitution Party nominee is a former Republican congressman who (like Barr) voted for the Iraq War but (unlike Barr) hasn’t had much to say about his second thoughts since. In his acceptance speech, Virgil Goode apologized for his support for the Patriot Act but not Iraq. In an interview with this writer for the print edition ofTAC, Goode seemed not to have gotten the memo — or the Duelfer report — on Iraqi WMD.

The Libertarians have nominated Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, for president. Johnson opposed the Iraq War. He wants out of Afghanistan and never wanted into Libya. Johnson hasn’t exactly been humming McCain’s catchy tune “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran.”

But Johnson is much less conservative than Goode on issues like immigration (he’s as close to open borders as anyone this side of the Wall Street Journal editorial page can be) and abortion. His eagerness to dispatch U.S. troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda while talking cheerfully about a 40 percent cut in military spending could be a forgivable bit of third-party incoherence, but it sounds like a prescription for disaster.

See more…

Similar post without the editorial content posted at IPR.

2008 Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr Endorses Mitt Romney

This after he endorsed Newt in the primary.

I promised to lay off Virgil Goode until after the election, but this is one reason I’m not so sure that ex-major party elected official are the best sort of “big name” candidates for a third party.

More on that after the election.

 

Ron Paul: to Third Party or not to Third Party

Here is a recent  article from Justin Raimondo urging Ron Paul to run third party.

Here is a reply from Ron Holland that appeared today at Lew Rockwell.

Read them and give me your thoughts. Here are mine.

While I would love to have someone I could enthusiastically support in November, especially with the Constitution Party likely to nominate Virgil Goode who is not a clear cut non-interventionist and the Libertarian Party likely to nominate cosmotarian favorite Gary Johnson, I hope Ron Paul doesn’t run third party or independent, but not for the reasons Ron Holland gives.

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Two-thirds Would Vote Third Party According to Poll

From Politico. The Washington Post has the original story.

More than two-thirds of Americans would consider voting for a third-party presidential candidate, while nearly half of all voters think a third-party is needed, a new poll shows…

The most likely to support the creation a third party? A majority of independents (61 percent), liberals (60 percent) and moderates (51 percent) said that a third party was necessary…

Read more here…

First of all, I don’t buy this. People always support the idea of a third party in general but not when they actually go into the voting booth. Just like they say they will support a third party candidate early in the polling season but that support evaporates by election time.

The good news here is that this probably means there is a solid base for easing ballot access barriers. And while the internals of the polls need to be examined, on the surface this doesn’t bode well for ideological third parties. The greatest percentage of support comes from independents who likely think the major parties are too “extreme.” This might bode well for Americans Elect.

Cross posted at IPR minus my editorial comments.