May 29, 2016

The Libertarian Party picks its candidate today.

"Unlike the major party conventions later this summer where the nominees will likely be known well in advance, there's no telling who will come out on top of Sunday's Libertarian vote."

I hope they pick Gary Johnson. He's sensible enough to offer a real choice to the many, many people who are horrified at the choices we're getting from the 2 major parties.

But Austin Petersen is an attractive, articulate guy. If he could poll 15% and take the debate stage alongside Hillary and Trump, it would be a sight to behold.

Mary Matalin wrote a piece in National Review endorsing him. Why Petersen over Johnson?
Because Austin Petersen represents the best opportunity for a principle-based victory this November. Inasmuch as Petersen is a consistent advocate for constitutional government, the free-market economics of Friedman and Hayek, reverence for the dignity of universal human liberty (which necessarily includes unborn Americans), and a classical liberal understanding of the pursuit of happiness — not to mention his next-generation promise — he hits the political sweet spot for millions of fed-up Americans. He is skilled and ready to compete in our information-age political arena: Petersen is studied, thoughtful, curious, practical and personable — and capable of more than just delivering a clever quip. Most importantly, Petersen is principled.
But that's the problem. By "principled," she means ideologically hardcore, and that's fine for the fans, and that will be one more thing — after Hillary and Trump — for those of us who want something more normal to freak out about.

Here's Gary:



ADDED: Here's a Politico article about Johnson's VP pick, William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts: "Libertarian ‘dream ticket’ in peril as Weld bombs in Orlando/Party activists could reject the two-term Massachusetts governor as ‘Republican-lite.'"
Asked if his reception [at the convention] was worrisome, Weld told POLITICO, “I wouldn’t use the word worrisome, but I would say the convention is highly unpredictable. And having two former Republican governors who were successful in blue states — who knows — that could turn out to be a negative in the minds of delegates. Stranger things have happened.”
AND: Johnson wins the nomination.

47 comments:

Gahrie said...

Great news if you want four years of getting nothing done. Neither party will cooperate with a Libertarian president in Congress.

Bob said...

No one is mentioning his position as CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc.. They want to be the standard oil of pot, guaranteeing the product.

It's bound to come up.

Ann Althouse said...

"Great news if you want four years of getting nothing done. Neither party will cooperate with a Libertarian president in Congress."

Nothing is a high standard.

Don't do anything unless it's better than nothing.

robother said...

Mary Matalin. The kind of principled conservative one only finds among the Bush family retainers. She no doubt worked out with her husband, Jim Carville (the ultimate Clinton family retainer) which Libertarian might siphon the most votes away from Donald Trump before writing this piece. An aging whore, now putting on her Sunday best to work the Libertarian/Evangelical trade, at least for this election cycle. But Donald Trump, he's the shameless one. Riiight.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Nothing is a high standard."

I always love this koan of Althouse's.

I'd wear it on a shirt.

I am Laslo.

AllenS said...

Does not look like things are going that well for the Libertarian Party.

link text

Bob Boyd said...

On principle he's great.
Unfortunately he's boring as hell.
Boring is probably better than exciting in a President, but not in a candidate.
He's like listening to your high school principle at assembly, which is to say, beyond the powers of most people.
He's also a little too nasal for the big leagues.

Mark said...

Never knew libertarians were such hardcore pro-lifers.

Johnsons the only one with crossover appeal.

Except for being pro weed, I don't see a lot that would appeal to the left or young voters with his opponent. Legislating uteruses is more republican than libertarian, ditto on most of his beliefs. A Republican with two libertarian thoughts, IMO

Ann Althouse said...

@AllenS

I had already done an update to the Politico article when I read your comment.

The problem is the people at the convention don't want their party taken over by what looks like a couple of old Republican governors, but for some of us who feel left out by the awfulness of Hillary/Trump, that sounds great.

Ann Althouse said...

"Never knew libertarians were such hardcore pro-lifers."

What does that refer to? Johnson is very clear that he's pro-choice -- it's a hard choice, but the woman gets to make the final decision about her own body.

traditionalguy said...

Give them Libertarian Dreams or Give them death. OK. That was easy.

AllenS said...

Out of the couple of old Republican governors, and Hillary, Trump is the only one who isn't a politician. There is your difference.

Chris N said...

'Crazy Eyes' McAfee would fit right in thie Clinton/Trump season.

Michael K said...

The Libertarians, no matter how hard they try, will not be able to elect Hillary.

Gahrie said...

it's a hard choice, but the woman gets to make the final decision about her own body.

Stop repeating this lie..she's not making a choice about her body...she's making a choice about the life of another human being.

JCCamp said...

While the elected officials have brought much (most) of this down on themselves, I suggest anyone thinking Libertarian Party first read their platform.

It's quite insane, frankly, in today's world, when taken in its entirety.

No foreign entanglements (read: treaties). Free and open borders (Yep, unrestricted human movement across borders) The right of citizens to secede from political governments. (Republic of Texas, here we come) Oh, a particularly good one: government is not allowed any secrets, so no more military or intelligence secrets. No more compulsory primary education, goodbye Social Security, much more fun stuff. No more income tax or government borrowing (No mention about how the Feds will finance, say, national defense, so we'll need those guns we own sooner or later).

By the way, when Johnson answered in the affirmative to a question that the state could in fact ban blind persons from driving on public highways, he was booed.

This isn't a high or low standard, it's a suicide pact with nutjobs.

Don't take my word for it.

https://www.lp.org/platform

AJ Lynch said...

"Two horrible choices" said the law professor who voted for Obama.

Tommy Duncan said...

So does the Democrat or the Republican get hurt worst by a Libertarian candidate?

My current sense is that the Republicans are quietly forgetting #NeverTrump and are realizing they need to defeat Hillary. There are pitchforks aimed at Mitt Romney now.

The Democrats seem more entrenched. The Bernie fans have that "true believer" vibe about them. They despise Hillary and the continuing e-mail revelations fuel their sentiments.

Hillary's troops are angry Bernie has not stepped aside. Again, as a true believer Bernie wants a revolution (or at least a skirmish) at the Democrat convention. If Bernie hijacks the convention it will serve to galvanize sentiments for both sides.

This may be an election with a "Ross Perot effect" on the Democrat side, with the Libertarian getting the votes.

Mark said...

Ann, Petersons profile you quoted says he has 'everence for the dignity of universal human liberty (which necessarily includes unborn Americans)'

Based on another interview I read, he is among the fetuses are citiZens crowd.

Unlike Peterson, Johnson and most libertarians do not want control over the nations uteruses.

rhhardin said...

We need Galambosians to split the libertarian vote.

JAORE said...

"Because Austin Petersen represents the best opportunity for a principle-based victory this November."

Victory? This isn't a realistic assessment. It is a reflection on NR's bottomless pit of despair when contemplating the Donald.

rhhardin said...

Only the first guy to think of something has a right to talk about it.

This would cut down political arguments a lot.

Bob Boyd said...

"blind persons from driving on public highways"

Gary Johnson should talk more about that. Maybe people wouldn't fall asleep.
Is it legal to have Gary Johnson on the radio while driving?

Jim said...

Libertarian Party= Mental masturbation for intelligent, thoughtful people. the Holy Mother Church of politics.
Like Athens, we can all engage in long, thoughtful, meaningful conversations about our society.
Mean while, in the real world of 2016. Two choices, both either really bad or just kinda bad, depends on your 'purity'.
If you vote for anyone other than the two, you are voting for who ever wins. But being ideologically pure is important.

bagoh20 said...

I too agree that doing nothing is a standard that is very hard to beat. The problem is that government already does far too much, so getting back to that standard will take a lot of action at this point working to undo the strangling vines and muck that clogs up the works and saps our vitality.

As soon as you insist on reducing government to a reasonable size, scope, and spending, you lose a lot of people on both sides who want a much higher standard than doing nothing - even if they want different things done. I don't know who actually wants the government to do more: Clinton's supporters or Trump's. There really is no reasonable option for a less government person like me. I think the size and scope of government is the single overriding problem in the nation, but the Libertarian platform is just crazy. There is no candidate for a reasonable-sized government that can still protect and organize a nation of our size and importance to the world. The problem is all the government regulations and the huge number of employees with their completely outsized costs. Nobody will face that down. It requires forcing a bunch of lazy useless parasites to go out and find something constructive to do. Nobody has balls big enough to even promise that. If they did, they would scare today's citizens to death. We don't have the guts or fortitude to live with the size government our parents or grandparents did. The bigger the government - the smaller the citizen. Which came first?

bagoh20 said...

Venezuela is the Kryptonite for Bernie. It's the perfect refutation of everything he's about. It's big, clear, real and current. Hillary can't attack with it because she's just saying lets go there slower, but Trump would kill him with it.

bagoh20 said...

Democrats would allow the blind to drive. They would just insist that we use taxes to build them their own lanes all over the country with nice soft bumpers and audio road signs screaming out directions - $10 billion per mile - stimulus!.

AJ Lynch said...

Bago you just answered your own question of whether it is Hillary or Trump supporters who want the bigger govt.

Original Mike said...

"There really is no reasonable option for a less government person like me. I think the size and scope of government is the single overriding problem in the nation,"

Ditto.

Shawn Levasseur said...

I'm writing this from the convention floor. (Maine delegation)

Earlier Comment:"Never knew libertarians were such hardcore pro-lifers.", No, we're not. But Austin Petersen is, and his following is very vocal.

Kate said...

I've already seen people tweeting Peterson saying something like, "Borders are just lines drawn on maps by politicians."

This guy's done before he even begins.

Chip said...

I really liked Andre Marrou in 92. Johnson seems like a nice guy -- and I'll vote for him if he's the nominee -- but he's an inarticulate spokesman for libertarian ideas. If you're not going to win, you should at least be able to alter the terms of debate. Peterson is better suited to this task.

Hunter said...

Gahrie said...
it's a hard choice, but the woman gets to make the final decision about her own body.

Stop repeating this lie..she's not making a choice about her body...she's making a choice about the life of another human being.

The tough part is... it's not a lie. It isn't the whole truth either. What you said is the rest of the truth that pro-choice people will go to insane lengths (like calling a fetus a parasite -- yes, these are the people who style themselves as scientifically literate) to avoid acknowledging.

It is no less true to say a man who refuses to pay child support is making a decision about his own finances. This statement is literally true, and most anyone can instantly recognize why it is a ridiculous argument.

coupe said...

The guy looks like a Cabbage Patch doll, just like the Canadian candidate that quit.

bagoh20 said...

"Bago you just answered your own question of whether it is Hillary or Trump supporters who want the bigger govt."

Hey, I noticed that too. But really my point was that Trump can at least argue against socialism no matter what he actually does in office, Hillary can't even skirt the subject without countering her own message.

Gahrie said...

it's a hard choice, but the woman gets to make the final decision about her own body.

Stop repeating this lie..she's not making a choice about her body...she's making a choice about the life of another human being.


"The tough part is... it's not a lie. It isn't the whole truth either."

But it is a lie. There is a reason there are no Supreme Court decisions about ovarian cysts.

Hunter said...

Gahrie, think about this a little. Obviously carrying a baby to full term very much impacts a woman's body. Some women's health is affected for years or for a lifetime by complications that arise during pregnancy. Some women die. Even the most routine deliveries are still messy business. You could not simulate what a pregnant woman goes through by spending 6 months of your life wearing a bowling ball in a chest harness.

Pro-choice people like to focus on all these travails and rationalize away what it means to terminate this physically and psychologically taxing condition. It means ending a human life. Proactively killing a human being in order to escape the burdens of pregnancy and parenthood that are not wanted and to some women are mortally terrifying.

The pro-choice argument generally wants to make this easy to justify -- and so they focus exclusively on the cost of pregnancy and parenthood, and sweep the human cost of ending an unborn life under the rug with phrases like "a clump of cells" or referring to the fetus as part of the mother's body which it most certainly is not (contained, yes; part of, no). Or worse yet, othering an unborn human being by calling it a parasite, a foreign body, or for that matter insisting that only the word "fetus" is ever used to refer to it, and never the word "baby".

Gahrie said...

Obviously carrying a baby to full term very much impacts a woman's body.

That's true...however it is also basic biology, and until someone invents an artificial womb (and someone will one day), nothing can be done about it. I'm not particularly happy about the fact that my lifespan is shorter because I was born male.

I believe in choice. I believe the woman has the choice to have sex or not. Then, just like with men, the choice is no longer hers.

Rape is a much harder case, but again, the innocent child is not responsible for the rape, and hardly deserves the death penalty. (Especially when most of those who support killing the child, for some strange reason would protest the execution of the rapist)

Carry the child to term, and then give it up for adoption.

Every human life is unique and irreplaceable.

Gahrie said...

By the way..one of the reasons I believe in chivalry, or courtesy to women, is in recognition of the fact they have to endure the biological rigors of womanhood. My recognition of such is a major reason why I refuse to pretend that there are no differences between men and women.

Paul Bird said...

Johnson is the guy, which is a good thing. If Weld isn't picked, maybe Petersen could fill the slot.

JCCamp said...

I think Jim has the right of it @ 9:34 AM.

As tempting as it is to place a pox on both their houses, there are really only 2 choices, and if you go for Door #3, you are just allowing the winning party to get there easier. So, if the winner is Hillary, you assume some (small) responsibility for her Supreme Court choices and what damage they will wreak over the coming years to our constitutional rights. I suspect that will be a long list. On the other hand, if the Republican whack job gets elected, and one day, he does something unanticipated because he's never been told "No", again you big L voters are in part to blame. In the highly unlikely event that either after election actually works out, then you can brag about it.

But don't kid yourself that voting Libertarian is anything but stroking your own ego at the expense of the rest of us, who had to choke down the ugly task of voting for one of these 2 mainstream morons.

rcocean said...

Anybody want to make the case that Hillary believes in small government more than Trump? Anybody want to make the case that Trump - a billionaire businessman would be less capitalistic than Hillary?

Anybody want to make the Case that 3 more Ginsburg's on the SCOTUS would be better for "freedom" or capitalism?

If you refuse to vote for Trump, you're voting for Hillary. All your "justifications" are bullshit.

rcocean said...

Libertarian ism is incoherent political philosophy. Their own candidate doesn't believe in 60% of their platform.

Open Border, No tariffs, Isolationism, Massive defense cuts = no country.
Getting rid of Social Security, medicare, and welfare = social unrest.

Pure insanity.


R. Chatt said...

Up until this election I have been a Democrat, without question. Several hours ago I took that test mentioned in the video (isidewith) and the winner was Kevin McCormick, a Libertarian no one here has even mentioned and I never heard of before. Clearly there is more to becoming a president than representing ideological positions.

Update: I just went back to that site and McCormick just disappeared. (Johnson had just won.) My results: Trump is on top - 83%, followed by Gary Johnson - 74%, Sanders - 69%, Clinton - 68%. I could conceivably vote for any of them and be in agreement with at least two thirds of their positions. Was McCormick more or less of a Libertarian than Johnson? IDK

Fernandinande said...

R. Chatt said...
Clearly there is more to becoming a president than representing ideological positions.

"Political affiliations are tribal, not policy-based."

"isidewith" - strange that there is so much overlap:
Candidates you side with...
87% Gary Johnson
77% Donald Trump
58% Bernie Sanders
55% Jill Stein

Jonathan Graehl said...

I'd rather ally with christian social conservatives and AARP gimmedats against hillary and have a chance of winning than with Reason magazine. And I'm a fan of Reason. Also, I fear that the only part of the coherent (no handouts + open borders) libertarian package that will actually happen is the open borders part. No thanks.

Clyde said...

Prediction: Gary Johnson wins exactly 0 electoral votes.