The Libertarian Party

Moderator: Super Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
voguy
Pirate
Posts: 4175
Joined: 06-01-2011 05:47 PM
Location: Moving Target (soon SA)

The Libertarian Party

Post by voguy » 06-04-2016 06:37 AM

LINK to story

The Libertarian Party ticket has more executive experience than Trump or Clinton
Dara Lind, VOX Media - May 30, 2016


If you want to see an experienced candidate in the White House, you might have a chance to cast a vote in November for a ticket with a combined four terms of experience running governments. But if you care about these things, you might not be interested in voting for the Libertarian Party — the party running such a ticket — which, as a matter of principle, has the least faith in government at all.

The Libertarian Party has selected Gary Johnson, its 2012 candidate and a two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, as its presidential nominee for 2016. Furthermore, his running mate is another former two-term Republican governor: William Weld of Massachusetts.

They're running against two of the least-liked presidential candidates in recent history.

In a Morning Consult poll released in late May, Johnson got 10 percent of the vote versus Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That's an impressive haul, and one that (if he made it through November) would qualify the Libertarian Party for federal election funding in 2020.

But the all-important number right now is 15 percent. That's the threshold to participate in the fall debates — a standard no third party has met since it was instituted in 2000. The Morning Consult poll shows Johnson isn't there yet. And maybe he won't be able to get there.

Libertarians used to have a home in the Republican Party. Not anymore.

For a couple of generations, many libertarians have considered the Republican Party to be the natural home of their movement. They've been an accepted part of the conservative coalition forged by intellectuals like William F. Buckley in the mid-20th century, then brought to the electoral fore by candidates like Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Republicans don't agree with libertarians on social issues, and many of them are more interventionist on foreign policy than libertarians might like. But for many libertarians, the cost of routinely supporting people who disagreed with them on many issues was worth the benefits: Libertarians had a seat at the table in the Republican Party, and Republican candidates could reliably be counted on to reduce government in at least some regards.

Though the libertarian-Republican alliance has been a happy marriage since the days of the Cold War (when the fight against communism justified foreign intervention on libertarian grounds), in 2016, the Republican Party has nominated the candidate of libertarian nightmares.

Not only does Donald Trump want to expand government in ways that you could describe as "conservative" but not "libertarian" — like deporting all unauthorized immigrants from the US, and temporarily barring Muslims from entry — but he threatens to erode the few victories libertarians have had in the Republican coalition.

"Free trade" had become a consensus Republican ideal? Too bad: Donald Trump wants to reinstitute prohibitive tariffs and trade wars. Republicans were beginning to express concern over government seizure of private lands via eminent domain? Too bad: Donald Trump loves him some eminent domain. Republicans were firmly committed to a "free market" solution on health insurance? Too bad: Donald Trump promises to guarantee health care to everyone, in a bigger, better, shinier way than the Affordable Care Act ever could. (And then there's the promise to expand libel laws and go after publications that criticize him; the apparent disregard for federalism or checks and balances; etc., etc., etc.)

By nominating two ex-GOPers, the Libertarians showed that they see a huge opportunity in 2016

As long as libertarians had a home in the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party only appealed to a narrow slice of people who described themselves as libertarians. It was too purist for the most practical libertarians (who could just work with Republicans). And it was far too practical for libertarians who believe that the current electoral system is so compromised that participating in it at all is a waste of time.

(Certainly you can try to participate in a system as a way of pointing out it's corrupt — one of the Libertarian Party's 18 candidates for president didn't register as a candidate with the Federal Election Commission, because he believes "it lacks constitutional authority" — but it poses certain practical difficulties.)

But if the Republican Party isn't a home for libertarians anymore? That might open up some opportunities.

The Libertarian Party is still a little ambivalent about naming a pair of former Republican governors to represent its party in 2016. Neither Johnson nor Weld was nominated on the first ballot at the party's convention.

Weld, in particular, came up against some resistance. He's always been too libertarian for the Republican Party — back in the 1990s, Senator Jesse Helms blocked his nomination to the ambassadorship of Mexico because Weld supported drug legalization — but he's pretty much always been a Republican.

In 2006, he accepted the LP's nomination for governor of New York while also running for the Republican nomination (a process called a "fusion ticket") — then dropped out of the race entirely when the GOP didn't nominate him, leaving the LP scrambling for a candidate. And as recently as this spring, he supported Republican John Kasich for the presidency in 2016.

The fact that the Libertarian Party was ultimately willing to nominate Weld shows just how much trust the party has in Johnson — and that it sees 2016 as a serious opportunity to grow.

The case for the Libertarian opportunity in 2016: experience grants credibility

One of the themes of Johnson's 2012 campaign was, "Be Libertarian with me, for one election." At the time, the theme made a certain amount of sense — there were certainly plenty of people who weren't excited about Mitt Romney or another four years of President Obama. But it's not surprising that he's recycled the slogan for 2016, because it fits this cycle even better: It's a perfect description of the opportunity a Trump/Clinton campaign poses for the right third-party candidate.

The LP has lucked out on timing. Their convention is happening at a point when both voters and pundits are beginning to realize who, exactly, they're stuck with as major party nominees — and trying to come to terms with a choice between two candidates whose approval ratings are underwater. That's not a bad time to make some news by naming the candidate who could be a third option.

The Libertarian Party has a chance to be the only minor party on the ballot in all 50 states. That is by no means a sure thing — Johnson was on the ballot in 48 states (plus DC) in 2012; the party is trying to get on all 50 states' ballots in 2016, but it's currently only assured a spot on 32. That's better than any other third party, but, again, it's a battle Trump and Clinton won't have to fight.

Here's where Johnson's selection of Weld as a running mate will really pay off. For one thing, Weld is a huge fundraising asset. His lobbying clients include casino magnate Steve Wynn. (There have been rumors that David Koch would donate millions of dollars to a Johnson/Weld ticket, but those rumors don't appear to be founded just yet.)
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
Riddick
Pirate
Posts: 12254
Joined: 11-01-2002 03:00 AM
Location: SE WI
Contact:

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by Riddick » 06-04-2016 01:40 PM

Nice how the deck's stacked against third party participation in debates.

VO, what do you know about who "instituted" the 15 percent rule?

My guess is it was one of those rare bipartisan decisions (or maybe transpartisan, the way things are going these days eh?)
\
Anahoo, anything Dems & Reps can agree on, I'd say it's that they don't need or want to encourage challenges to their duplicitous duopoly

User avatar
voguy
Pirate
Posts: 4175
Joined: 06-01-2011 05:47 PM
Location: Moving Target (soon SA)

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by voguy » 06-04-2016 04:39 PM

Link to Story

Libertarians Johnson and Weld offer a credible alternative to Trump
Editorial by the Boston Globe


In normal years, the Libertarian Party convention might not attract much attention. But at its gathering in Orlando on Sunday, the party ensured it would be relevant in November by nominating two serious candidates, including former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who accepted the vice-presidential nod. Third-party and independent candidates always face an uphill fight, but a unique circumstance this year means that Weld and Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson of New Mexico deserve real consideration.

The circumstance, of course, is Donald Trump. The presumptive Republican nominee is the least qualified major-party candidate for president in generations. And while Trump hasn’t yet selected a running mate, any Republican who would choose to run alongside him can safely be assumed to have very poor judgment.

Johnson and Weld both served as Republican governors, giving them significantly more elective experience than Trump. Weld’s record in Massachusetts may not be spotless, but he appears statesman-like in the context of the Republican campaign thus far. As for the Libertarian Party itself, its platform combines some fringey ideas, including total drug legalization, with a reasonable emphasis on limiting government power.

For disillusioned Republicans, then, the Libertarian Party and candidates represent credible alternatives to Trump’s GOP. It’s quite a role reversal: Usually one of the main impediments to third-party offerings is that voters just can’t imagine those candidates actually serving as president. Now it’s a major party that seems to have nominated a protest candidate, while a minor party has nominated candidates capable of governing.

If the Libertarian ticket actually gains traction in the polls, Johnson and Weld will undoubtedly face accusations that they’re acting as spoilers, taking votes away from Trump and handing the election to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The ghosts of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, 1992 and 2000 independent candidates who’ve been accused of acting as spoilers, haunt both parties. Weld’s personal ties to the Clintons may amplify the suspicion that he’s trying to help the Democrats.

But the notion that any candidates are owed any voters has always been a fallacy. Yes, it’s hard for third-party candidates to win, and voters are free to factor such political logistics into their voting decisions if they choose. But at least now voters have another real option to consider in November.


VO Comments: If some people can look past the fact that these guys were Republicans, and then were disenfranchised with the party and process, they should be considered as options to what the republican's and democrats have trotted out.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
voguy
Pirate
Posts: 4175
Joined: 06-01-2011 05:47 PM
Location: Moving Target (soon SA)

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by voguy » 06-04-2016 04:44 PM

Riddick wrote:VO, what do you know about who "instituted" the 15 percent rule?
As I recall, the Commission on Presidential Debates put this rule in effect to curb the hundreds of people who would want to be president and take away from the leaders of the pack. The committee, or commission, is supposed to be made up of an equal number of democrats and republicans, so right there you see that any outside party is blackballed. Why would they want them if it would muddy the playing field. As an ex-media guy, I would advocate for the elimination of the rule for the very reason we have today. But I also recognize that without some sort of rule, guys like me could easily claim debate time and thus make it non-stop debates.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
Riddick
Pirate
Posts: 12254
Joined: 11-01-2002 03:00 AM
Location: SE WI
Contact:

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by Riddick » 06-04-2016 04:56 PM

voguy wrote:As an ex-media guy, I would advocate for the elimination of the rule for the very reason we have today. But I also recognize that without some sort of rule, guys like me could easily claim debate time and thus make it non-stop debates.
If not in the debate, mebbe you could do a online video with rebuttal commentary either concurrent with or after the proceedings. Give 'em hell, VO!

User avatar
voguy
Pirate
Posts: 4175
Joined: 06-01-2011 05:47 PM
Location: Moving Target (soon SA)

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by voguy » 06-04-2016 05:05 PM

Had I not had this court thing going on against the medical establishment, I did register six domains with my name For President. The intent was to post my views in sort of a sarcastic approach. With a program like Sony Vegas I could have easily edited myself into a debate.

It would have been fun to do, but it would have been very time consuming. With any hope the fish on the line will stop wriggling and figure out they are permanently caught, and I can close this chapter. Maybe in another four years I'll pull the trigger on the web site.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

User avatar
Riddick
Pirate
Posts: 12254
Joined: 11-01-2002 03:00 AM
Location: SE WI
Contact:

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by Riddick » 06-04-2016 05:22 PM

voguy wrote:As I recall, the Commission on Presidential Debates put this rule in effect to curb the hundreds of people who would want to be president and take away from the leaders of the pack. The committee, or commission, is supposed to be made up of an equal number of democrats and republicans, so right there you see that any outside party is blackballed. Why would they want them if it would muddy the playing field.
Yah, folks could get confused being so long it's been they should pick from Coke or Pepsi. Bring RC in, well that's just silly. Worse yet they should ask for an Uncola.

At that rate and the way it's going I favor a sarcastic flavor. Don't keep it bottled up, feel free to let loose here VO!

User avatar
voguy
Pirate
Posts: 4175
Joined: 06-01-2011 05:47 PM
Location: Moving Target (soon SA)

Re: The Libertarian Party

Post by voguy » 06-04-2016 06:17 PM

When have you know me to keep my mouth shut. There's a reason I've been kicked out of press conferences. :)
LetterFromEditor.jpg
LetterFromEditor.jpg (215.2 KiB) Viewed 2716 times
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

Post Reply

Return to “Politics and Government 2010-2013”