The REAL Future of libertarian Politics

A couple of weeks ago, Brian Doherty over at Reason published an article about the recent gubernatorial election in Virginia. He included a few links to Virginia political blogs, and interviewed Chuck Moulton, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Virginia (and someone I consider a friend), Chris Stearns, the pro-liberty chair of the Republican Party of Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District Committee, Rob Sarvis, the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, and Arthur DiBianca, co-founder of Libertarian Booster PAC.

Libertarian Booster PAC is the PAC that assisted Sarvis’ campaign and has taken donations from Joe Liemandt, a major Democratic donor. This led a lot of pro-liberty Republicans to accuse Rob Sarvis of being a Democratic plant, a somewhat ridiculous allegation given his previous membership in the Fairfax Young Republicans (he signed up to be a delegate at the 2013 Young Republican Federation of Virginia convention) and ties to the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia (he came and spoke to our 2011 state convention about his race against Dick Saslaw for the Senate of Virginia that year), but by that point many Republicans were unfortunately susceptible to this sort of thing. I can personally tell you this PAC also assisted Laura Delhomme’s campaign here in the 47th HoD race, and they supported LP candidates in 2012. So allegations that this PAC came into being to support Sarvis are patently ridiculous. Having said that, I will take serious issue with Mr. DiBianca’s quote to Brian Doherty:

…it also helped Sarvis that the Virginia race was one of the only big political shows of the year and he was the most interesting thing about that race, which got him big free press coverage, very unusual for a Libertarian. He was also helped by the fact that McAuliffe and Cuccinelli were both assholes.

Oh, really? I’ve been critical of the horrible campaign that Dave Rexrode and Chris LaCivita ran for Ken Cuccinelli; they should never work in Virginia politics again. That said, what does THIS guy know about Ken Cuccinelli, or Virginia politics? NOTHING. That much is obvious by his characterization of Ken. I’ve met Ken around 8-10 times at events since 2005 or so. I’m just an activist, just a guy. not trying to get into politicians’ good graces or anything like that, or build a career through my activism. I’m simply one guy motivated by ideology, working within the Republican party, to advance my ideals, and I just happened to end up the chair of RLCVA. There’s no reason he’d remember who I am, but the man has never blown me off, always actually listened what I had to say (I encounter a LOT of politicians and I can tell when they’re not), and is generally a good guy. Nobody I know that actually KNOWS him thinks anything less. Mr. DiBianca is typical of the LP types who think EVERYONE in politics not associated with the LP is evil. Ed Crane, who long ago publicly renounced support for the LP, funneled a lot of money into the race through his Purple PAC, specifically to oppose Ken Cuccinelli. All of this is because purist libertarians have a narrow set of social issues that they disagree with Ken on, namely abortion, marriage equality, and the existence of the state’s sodomy law (which Ken has little to do with either way, the General Assembly tried to replace that law a few years ago, but couldn’t come to an agreement), so they recruited a gubernatorial candidate to run against him, and oriented their messaging and campaign to reflect that. To assert anything else is dishonest.

I spoke with Rob Sarvis himself, in early April, after I heard he was running. Despite having been complimentary of Ken in 2011, he told me directly that his run was motivated by Ken’s social conservatism, and that the LPVA had recruited him, not the reverse. As Nicki pointed out earlier, no candidate or party is entitled to the votes of pro-liberty activists or anyone else. So Rob didn’t ‘take’ votes away from either Ken or McAuliffe. That said, he, his supporters, and LPVA all jumped right onto the same dishonest message that Ken wanted to require transvaginal ultrasounds for every abortion (that was McDonnell’s bright idea; Ken opposed it), that he was not only looking to use the sodomy statute to regulate the sexual behavior of consenting adults, but that he was responsible for the law’s existence (both blatant lies), and that he would somehow use the office of the governor to move against legal abortion (something Ken directly addressed and denied). This was repeated by Rob’s campaign manager and volunteers every chance they got on social media and everywhere else. The secretary of LPVA actually (seemingly) seriously posited several times on social media and blogs that Ken was ‘taking’ votes from Rob because the LPVA convention happened a month before the RPV convention! Considering Ken had been in the race for close to a year before Rob even considered getting in, that’s utterly ridiculous and speaks to the level that LPVA was operating at.

Chuck Moulton had a few things to say about RLCVA, as it turns out In addition to a few comments he made on social media, Brian Doherty quoted him:

Moulton remembers attending meetings of the state’s Republican Liberty Caucus back then and “my impression was that they are misnamed; they are more like the Republican Fiscally Conservative Caucus, because they didn’t seem to care so much about social issues. I asked each candidate in a Q and A about those issues and Sarvis stood out as the only truly libertarian candidate there.”

No, Chuck, you are quite wrong. The difference between RLCVA and LPVA (and the LP in a broader sense) is that we understand that we have to ally with people we mostly agree with to achieve anything at all politically. You basically helped scupper a largely pro-liberty candidate in Ken Cuccinelli because of abortion and marriage issues. The LP is like the Goth children from South Park… if you’re not EXACTLY like them, they won’t hang out with you. This is why the LP is simply not serious about politics, and perhaps not even about policy. What about gun rights? Property rights? Marijuana legalization, where Ken has come our way significantly over the past four years? Plenty of other issues other than fiscal issues where Ken is great. The guy who’s with you 80% of the time is your ally, not your enemy.

Since this fight has been picked, let me address the LP in general. It is a WASTE OF TIME. LP activists are actually celebrating the fact they got 6.6% in a statewide election. I’m not kidding. In the American political system, from the local level on up to how Presidents are elected, it’s set up for two major parties, whoever they might be. The last time a major party collapsed was in the mid-19th century, when the Whig party collapsed. The American, Free Soil, and Republican parties struggled to the be the replacement; the Republicans won that struggle. The other two disappeared shortly thereafter. The LP has won some local races, and has even elected some state legislators in a few states. Good for them. But they cannot be taken seriously in Virginia until they at least elect ONE member of the House of Delegates, and their statewide candidates have no chance of winning. In U.S. politics, minor parties do nothing except help the major party they are further away from ideologically. In the case of the Libertarian Party, despite some agreement on social issues, that party is the Democratic Party. That is all the LP accomplishes, and both the genesis and tactics of the Sarvis campaign bear out that they understand that, despite their protestations to the contrary.

If pro-liberty activists in Virginia want to be effective politically, their best course of action is join the Republican Party and help us advance liberty within it. They can join local unit committees, and they can join the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia.

192 responses

  1. I am in agreement. This “third party” nonsense will only continue to elect Democrats. Our ONLY hope is to work within the GOP to return IT to its original purpose and intent…which is very similar to today’s LP. Democrats are a lost cause and can’t be salvaged. The GOP can…but we’ll have to primary out a bunch of RINOs who mostly agree with Democrats except where to spend our money.

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    1. Given that 40% (and growing) of the electorate do not vote in presidential elections, abjuring the two choices offered, that 15% or more (and growing) of voters describe themselves as libertarians in polls where they are given four choices instead of two (liberal, libertarian, conservative, populist), and that Libertarian Party voter percentages have been doubling and tripling in the past three years (from a very low baseline) in a number of states, your desired outcome would be achieved only if you outlaw the Libertarian Party. You must favor laws outlawing third parties, not just with the current burdensome hurdles to get on the ballot, but with a federal prohibition of there existence. Perhaps you should also outlaw discussion of them. Or people known to be from third parties acting as a caucus within the two responsible approved major parties. Generous federal funding of the two “too big to fail” historical parties, to protect them from new parties that sell platforms without all the required coverage should also be your goal.

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  2. Mark Raymond Cubbage

    I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils–I strongly dislike the Republican Party as much as the Democratic Party. I am a former Republican not interested in “fixing” a party that is so fascist bent that I wonder why I ever considered myself a part of it. Cheers to the Third Party–a wasted vote no matter who you vote for.

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    1. Then you insure that we’ll continue to be ruled instead of governed by far-left ideologues. If that’s how you wish to live your life and that’s the kind of country you choose to leave to your children and grandchildren, so be it. However, I choose to fight them–and you CAN’T do that by falling into that third-party trap.

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    2. Have you actually looked at the Rethuglicans support? They are just as totalitarian as the Demonrats. A vote for either is a vote for a hobnailed jackboot on your face.

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      1. In this case, Cuccinelli actually turned around on several issues important to me as a libertarian. He was far from a perfect candidate, but he was quite alright, as far as I was concerned.

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        1. I have to disagree with you Nicki on not running for office unless you think you’re going to win. (Or at least have a chance.) My buddy Neal Boortz said the same thing about voting for Gary Johnson last year. If every LP candidate only got the votes of those who thought they would win, they wouldn’t get many votes. Have you actually voted for an LP candidate that you thought was going to win? Maybe I missed something but that is the message I’m getting from your response to Sarvis. Tell me where I’m wrong.

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        2. No no. It’s not my voting. It’s one’s reason for running. I have cites for the LP presidential candidate every election cycle. That’s because I have found the GOP candidates to be absolutely intolerable. That’s all beside the point. It seems that Sarvis ran not because he wanted to win and not because he thought he could, but to make an LP showing, which would be fine if the GOP ran a piece of crap, which I don’t believe to be the case. Sarvis had very complementary things to say about KC in the past, and all of a sudden he’s somehow an unacceptable candidate? No. Spreading the message of liberty is one thing. Running to ruin the chances of a major candidate despite the fact that he’s FAR from intolerable in order to prove some kind of point is something else entirely. That’s why I asked the question.

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        3. So the LP can only run a candidate when the GOP runs a piece of crap? If the GOP fields a candidate that you approve of then no LP should run against him? Do you have any evidence that Sarvis was running only to hurt KC? Sarvis now wants to run for the Senate, and has announced. If KC decides to run for that office too, should Sarvis drop out?

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        4. They CAN run a candidate anytime they want. But running one just to teach the GOP a lesson when they don’t perfectly toe the libertarian line especially when the candidate is pretty decent and helping the scumbag of the century into office to send a message alienates potential allies, and I don’t consider this a good policy. Sarvis seems to have run, knowing he didn’t have a chance in hell of winning, just to send a message to the GOP. The libertarians helped spread the “Cuccinelli is a misogynistic Neanderthal who wants to control your vagina” message far and wide, which further alienates the Vagina First crowd. Why? To tell the GOP that they must move toward more libertarian positions, which a number of them are already moving toward naturally anyway. Well, that’s great. Thanks a lot. I don’t see Sarvis as having provided a good enough alternative to have voted for him in the first place. So… Oh well. Now we have slime of the century moving into the governors mansion.

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        5. Personally, I’m not against someone running just to send a message to the GOP. It’s the same message we’re sending to the Dems. I fully understand your point about McA! I can’t stand him. That said, I think the LP should run someone in every election. I don’t want the major parties becoming like libertarians, I want the Libertarians to win and that will take quite a few elections but I don’t see the other parties attracting new voters the way we are. Sooner or later the LP is going to surprise somebody.

          To your point about helping McA win, I have read that we took more votes from him than we did KC. You say a lot that I agree with and you say it better than I can. I believe where our thinking parts is that I am a Libertarian and I want to see them win. You are more inclined (I think) to be satisfied with a Republican with libertarian values. I just don’t trust the Reps once they gain office. Nor do I trust the Dems. Until I am proven wrong by their actions, I trust the LP to do what it says it stands for. Of course I have put my faith in politicians before and been immensely disappointed.

          Always interested in, and educated by, your point of view!

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        6. To your point about helping McA win, I have read that we took more votes from him than we did KC.

          Rob and I addressed this earlier. It’s not about taking away votes. No one is ENTITLED to a vote. It’s about helping spread ridiculous claims that Cuccinelli is some kind of misogynist that will control the V. Given the high percentage of voters who said in exit polls that their TOP priority was abortion, is it any wonder that Cuccinelli lost, given that McA and the LP were both hammering home the BS?

          I believe where our thinking parts is that I am a Libertarian and I want to see them win. You are more inclined (I think) to be satisfied with a Republican with libertarian values.

          Not exactly. To me, it’s the values that are important, not the party. Parties are names. The values matter. And if we have a Republican with libertarian values, I will vote for him, much like I will vote for a Democrat with libertarian values (although, I’ve yet to find one). I’m not a party follower merely because of party. I don’t care about party labels. I care about individual freedoms and free markets. Having grown up in the former USSR, I find the concept of party loyalty repugnant. I’ll vote for the candidate in whom I have the most confidence. I don’t care what party he is.

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        7. I used to vote for the candidate rather than the party. Unfortunately they belonged to either the Reps or Dems and I believe those two parties got us to where we are. Now, I support a party, the only one I’ve ever joined (and believe me, I ‘m not a joiner.) Perhaps I’m naive and will one day be disappointed yet again. If so, I’ll change the way I do things.

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        8. To clarify, my recollection when Rob came to the 2011 RLCVA convention is that said he liked him, but not to the point of showering compliments on him. You were there, too, do you recall differently?

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    3. Paul Jones seems to be reading my thoughts and putting them in writing! I’m sure he speaks for a lot of other people too. So there’s not much for me to add, except my personal perspective as a long-time activist in the Libertarian Party.
      I realize Ken Cuccinelli is a shining star in the RLC and a rising star in the GOP. But in the LP he’s not even a blip on the radar screen. Taking “the libertarian position” on some (or even a lot of) issues doesn’t carry any weight in the LP. For us, it’s HOW YOU THINK ABOUT issues that determines whether we respect you. Call Ken “libertarian” if you like, but from what I’ve seen, the guy has yet to dip his toe in libertarian waters. (Debating his Libertarian opponent would have been a start.) I’m guessing he dismisses libertarianism just like he dismissed the LPVa.
      Like half the electorate, I don’t trust the decision-making process of any politician whose guiding philosophy is conservatism. I only trust libertarians. And whenever possible I choose the name-brand.

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      1. Again, parties are merely brands… NOT representative of ideologies. Ken is a Republican. Any libertarian who wants to actually be effective in the political process should join the GOP.

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        1. I think the Reps are too in bed with  big business to be changed by a “libertarian wing”.  As long as they get the votes from that wing they will humor them some but they will not change.  There has to be a strong LP that will syphon votes from both parties before they will be taken seriously and listened to.  When the LP starts gaining seats, it will be too  late for the statists.  Plus, I think there is a large number of potential voters who are not now voting for anyone who would welcome libertarian candidates.  We just need to make our voices heard.

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      2. …and your support, both monetary and with your vote, for the Libertarian Party candidate in any election is just another way of insuring the election of the Democrat candidate. The LP has never won a single seat of any consequence in its 40-year history. It only very rarely has received enough votes to achieve permanent ballot status. I hate to tell you, but 10% or less of the vote in any election simply WILL NOT achieve anything for you but insure another far-left loon’s election…and that’s a tragedy that we simply cannot afford. Destroy the Democrats and the LP might become a Party of consequence. Without doing that, it won’t ever amount to a hill of beans.

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        1. Destroy the Dems and the Reps take over, big time.  Both parties need to be destroyed,

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        2. Disagree, Mr. Jones. The GOP is salvagable. Democrat’s are NOT. If the Libertarians would support libertarian-inclined candidates running as Republicans…even in order to primary-out the RINOS, who are easily identifiable…we can take over the GOP…at least in its majority…and get this country back on a Constitutional basis. Running AS a Libertarian Party candidate will only insure that the Democrats win…and we’ve already seen what a disaster that has been.

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        3. I’m afraid we’ll have to disagree on that, my friend. I see no indication that there are enough Reps who would embrace our principles so that we could “save” the GOP. I think we have a better chance of recruiting libertarian minded people from both parties in sufficient number to be a viable third party and then a major party. I think the LP is becoming attractive to a lot of Dems, maybe even more so than the Reps. We need to cull from both. I’m convinced that the Republican Party is a big business, big government party who tries to appeal to the libertarian mind but only to get votes and avoid facing a third party. They are not to be trusted. Neither party is interested in reducing our debt and that, in the end, will be our downfall.

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        4. Yet I see NO evidence that there are any “libertarian-minded” people populating the Democrat Party. If there were, they’d be howling like banshees as what this administration is doing…none are.

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        5. I’ve seen plenty of evidence in print and other media. There is definitely libertarian minded Dems. Just their social liberalism puts many of them right on the tipping point of libertarianism. Also, privacy rights, anti-drone, anti-war stands. They just need a little more educating, I think.

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      3. How many times do we have to hear the assertion that KC is not even close to a libertarian without anything to back it up. The heart of his political career has been standing up and defining our liberty; the big thing everyone seems to attack him on (abortion) is not even a libertarian v non-libertarian issue (it is a matter of perspective of when right to life begins). Is he perfect, no; but he was certainly one of the better ones that would have moved us in the right direction.

        And as Rob points out, the attacks also seem to be heavily focused on branding; i.e., “he’s not endorsed by the LP so I don’t trust him.” Followed by statements suggesting that you’d probably bail out on any LP candidate that did win because after all they are probably sell outs. That attitude may make some feel better, but it doesn’t do anything to promote productive change.

        I will say this though: this whole discussion revolves around the broken election system that forces parties to nominate their candidates prior to the general election and then allows victors based on a plurality rather than a majority. IMHO, all candidates should go onto a single massive general election ballot without any primary process followed by run-offs as needed. Then people would be able to vote for their real choice – but ultimately have the field whittled down to a small list until someone got 50%+1.

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        1. Agreed. Without that “plurality” system in place, we wouldn’t have gotten Bill Clinton sliming up the White House for two terms, have the White House offices left filthy with graffiti scrawled on the walls and the “W” keys stolen from the keyboards of the computers, or had to hear about Clinton staffers “stumping” each other over the staffs’ desks after hours.

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        2. Ken Vaughn said, “How many times do we have to hear the assertion that KC is not even close to a libertarian without anything to back it up….the attacks also seem to be heavily focused on branding;”

          My point is that Cuccinelli has done nothing to identify himself as a libertarian. Throwing out the term occasionally, or simply making an appearance at some Libertarian Party functions, might have done the trick. Libertarians are not so party-loyal that we would oppose a good candidate from another party. During his presidential bids Ron Paul had the support of virtually every LP member I know.

          I don’t think Cuccinelli is or wants to be a libertarian. His position on drug prohibition is especially telling. Can he make the case, arguing from first principles, that having certain readily-available chemicals in ones possession is as bad as having a known murder weapon? And if he can’t, does he lie awake at night trying to reason it out? I seriously doubt it.

          Politicians’ positions on issues aren’t set in stone. Cuccinelli looks good on paper, yes, but I can’t count on EITHER the Republican Party OR his own conscience to keep him in line once elected. Hence the need for a third choice.

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  3. Libertarians don’t need to “win” any election to have effect. If we can control 5-10% of the vote WE can decide who wins! The major parties had better decide to respect liberty or THEY will lose while the LP just gets stronger. The Dems and Reps can save their BS on how great they are, they both got us into this mess and all they want is to continue their hold on power. We will make it extremely difficult for them to maintain their monopoly.

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    1. The LP has been around for 40+ years. They’ve yet to have ANY meaningful impact. It will never happen.

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      1. Agreed and EVERY libertarian vote is a vote that SHOULD be cast for the most conservative Republican…until we can pack the Party with CONSERVATIVES. If you vote Libertarian, you’re actually voting for the Democrat–whoever it may be.

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    2. So. . . you CHOSE to elect Terry McAwful, a man so crooked he makes Rod Blagojevich look GOOD in comparison.

      As noted. . . . going for the “perfect” candidate is the enemy of actually getting someone who shares MOST of your values elected. . .

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    3. Yeah? So the LP wanted McAuliffe to win? Duly noted.

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      1. I would not at ALL be surprised if that were true, Nicki. Remember H. Ross Perot? He ran as a “conservative,” spouting conservatism as if he’d read up on it somewhere. The fact is, he HATED George H.W. Bush with a passion and actually TOLD him one time that he was going to do whatever he could to see to it he was a one-term President…which he did. He was also a close friend of the Clintons, having frequent dinners with them at the Governor’s mansion in Little Rock prior to the 1992 campaign. Democrats are usually single-minded. Republicans rarely are. Has a libertarian EVER been elected to any national office…other than Ron Paul, who was ELECTED as a Republican originally?

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      2. The LP wanted Sarvis to win. The LP can’t win the way the odds are stacked against them (not automatically on the ballot, etc.). We need to get a candidate to 10% to really make a move on electoral office. I will never vote for a candidate (Cuccinelli) that I don’t like just to deny office to another candidate that I equally don’t like (McAuliffe). If you are truly a libertarian you must vote for principles. At least that’s my thoughts, I could be wrong.

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        1. According to the last comment, the LP wanted to manipulate who did win. So according to that, they wanted McAuliffe to win, who is infinitely LESS libertarian than Cuccinelli. Awesome.

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        2. I don’t know at all where you’re coming from. “LP wanted McA to win”?? If that’s the impression I left, I’m just not doing o good job of communicating. As I said, LP wanted Sarvis to win or at least get 10%. If the LP doesn’t win, it matters little to me who does. The country is broke and will get broker whether a Rep or a Dem wins. You can pick your poison there. As I tried to say earlier, if LP can control 5-10% of the vote, the Reps OR the Dems will have to come to us for votes, ie. embrace more libertarian principles.

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        3. I got it from your direct quote, sir. “If we can control 5-10% of the vote WE can decide who wins!” Well, you decided who wins in VA. And we got the most repugnant governor we could possibly get. Thanks bunches for that.

          And I don’t see either major party going after libertarian votes, even though the LP has been in existence for more than 40 years. This is mostly because the left considers us extreme rightists, while the right considers us as nothing but spoilers. Something needs to change in our strategy.

          I see bad strategy all around. The LP is not set up to actually win statewide and national elections. Mostly because we’ve spent significant resources running campaigns that had no hope and ignoring campaigns we could do really well in, such as Laura Delhomme’s campaign in Arlington. She didn’t win, but she got 26 percent of the vote in a very blue area.

          Now that said, I’ve voted for a libertarian presidential candidate every time since 1996, because I simply could not stomach the alternative. In Virginia’s case this year, the GOP alternative was not just tolerable, but had the potential of being a voice of advancing at least some libertarian principles within the GOP. He’s stood up to establishment Republicans more than once. So I had a certain amount of confidence he could do it again, despite the social issues.

          I’m this case, the perfect was the enemy of good, and we wound up with a turd.

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        4. “We can decide who wins” is in reference to the fact that the winner will need to embrace LP principles in order to win, Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I talked to Laura last week and encouraged her to run again now that she has such name recognition. It’s a lot to ask of someone. Don’t think that because we’ve never won a major office that we can’t do it. I see a groundswell of support and think the future is bright.

          As to electing McA, we actually got more vote from Dems than Reps! As I understand it we almost cost McA the election. I will never again vote to keep a Dem out of office as long as I have an LP candidate to vote For. The LP will never win if people have the attitude that they must vote Rep to keep a Dem from winning. If you want the LP to win you have no choice but to vote for them!

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        5. As I said before, this “we got more votes from McA than from KC” meme is getting old. NO one stole votes from ANYONE. No one is entitled to a vote. But when a full 20 percent of voters tell exit polls that abortion was their #1 issue – not the shitty economy, not the bad tax policy, or anything else, you can definitely tell that the vagina-first campaign was working – something the libertarians in VA certainly worked hard to advance.

          I hope Laura does run again. She did good work. I consider her a close friend and I love her dearly.

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        6. I don’t know personally of any libertarians advancing the vagina first campaign but you may well travel in wider political circles than I do. I will offer up my advice to any libertarian leaning voters, quit complaining that the LP cannot win an election while at the same time voting for a major party candidate. That seems to be a common problem in elections. And as to “no one stole any vote from anyone”, maybe people could put to rest the idea that the LP cost KC the election. I firmly believe this country needs a strong third party. I believe it so much that I support the LP as much and as well as I can in every election. I don’t think you and I really disagree so much on anything too important. I feel that we want the same thing. It’s nice that we can discuss our differences (or maybe they’re just misunderstandings) without being disagreeable.

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        7. This country is not set up as a parliamentary system, so a strong third party won’t do anything. This is why we need to take over the GOP and force it to abide by actual ideals of freedom, free markets, etcetera, instead of just being crony capitalist swine.

          While I don’t subscribe to the “anyone siphoned votes from anyone” meme, the libertarians contributed loudly and shrilly to the vagina-first campaign. To me, we need to focus on economic issues first, and then deal with the theocrats later. Otherwise, we won’t have a nation left.

          No, there’s not much on which we disagree. I think it’s mostly strategy and outcome. I’m absolutely livid that the libertarians essentially helped tank a decent candidate. Beyond livid. Because now we have to live with the consequences of this for several years. But unlike some in the LP, I will not alienate allies because we happen to disagree on some issues. The only time I will get disagreeable is when someone either attacks me or mine, or just acts like an unbearable, arrogant jackass (see my reply to Mr. Sarvis).

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        8. The LP professes to be for small government and goes so far as to want the “legalization” of recreational drug use…just like the far left does, though presumably for different reasons. The left wants it to create a drug-addled population on the theory that it’ll be easier to control in other aspects of life…plus, a drug-dependent population can be literally blackmailed into voting for the Party that promises to keep drugs flowing. We MUST have SOME laws restricting some aspects of human behavior…even if you’re of the opinion that people should be allowed to do whatever they please (which most people don’t). Recreational drug use is NOT a “victimless crime.”

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        9. I don’t agree with everything the LP stands for but I do agree that free adults should not be made into criminals for drug use. I don’t use drugs or alcohol but I have no problem with others doing so, as long as it doesn’t hurt others. If it hurts the user so be it. You don’t have to agree with everything to be a libertarian. In fact, there are libertarians of many stripes. If you’ve a mind to, read up on prohibition. The P party controlled only 5-10% of the vote but they controlled enough state legislatures to change the Constitution! No one could get elected without their vote and to get it they had to be for prohibition. A very small minority got this horrible law enacted. The LP could get some good laws enacted using the same technique if needed. I think, though, that libertarian leaning voters will start really showing up at the polls and getting the LP some elected offices.

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        10. I doubt it, Mr. Jones, because recreational drug users NEVER “just hurt themselves and no one else”…at least not in my somewhat extensive associations with them. I’ve watched while hundreds–if not thousands–of young people have self-addicted and many have died…devastating their own families…all just to achieve a “better high.” My own grandson is currently on probation because he was caught with pot at school and he MAY miss out on his dream to become a US Marine as a result. He was caught with the pot 2 years ago, but has three times flunked drug tests required by his probation and just gets it extended. Pot users simply CANNOT seem to give it up…though my son has been clean for a year now after using for decades. Fortunately, he never moved on to anything worse–though his ex-wife has moved to Meth, which is one of the reasons she’s now an “ex.”

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        11. As someone with a brother, who died of prolonged heroin use, I disagree with you, even though one would think that I would be hardcore against every kind of drug possible. I know hundreds of casual, recreational users who hurt no one, who smoke an occasional joint in the privacy of their own homes, and who are productive members of society. It’s not the drug. It’s the user. And pot users CAN AND DO give it up every day. I have more experience with this stuff than you can possibly imagine – experience I’m not going to discuss publicly. But please believe me when I say people can and do give up weed and even harder chemicals every day. Even the government admits that only 9 percent of recreational marijuana users become addicts (although the numbers do vary with age and actual frequency of use). My own experiences with friends and loved ones who were at one point heavy users confirm that while the drug CAN be addictive, it is certainly not debilitatingly so, and the vast majority of users do not destroy their lives over weed.

          But all this is beside the point, because ultimately, if you do harm to yourself or others with your drug use, you should be held responsible by the law. If you do not, the mere use of drugs in and of itself should not be considered a criminal activity. Period.

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        12. There are different types of “harm” you can do to yourself and others by recreational drug use. I’m not talking about killing anyone while high–although that DOES happen…more frequently than most people realize. I’m talking about family abandonment or estrangement, or causing parents unnecessary stress and health issues from worry that they’re going to get that call one night telling them their child jumped off of a tall building while high or killed another family while driving under the influence–or themselves. Or smoking pot one evening and “forgetting” that their baby is in the tub alone. While it’s true that not all pot smokers move on to cocaine or heroin…not even MOST…it IS true that heroin or meth addicts ALL had their first experience with a mind-altering substance by smoking pot.

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        13. Correlation does not equal causation. You should know this from gun debates. Family abandonment and estrangement do happen – at about the same rate as with non-pot smokers. They are not crimes. Neither is causing families unnecessary stress, which also happens for reasons such as alcohol abuse. There is a difference between use and abuse. Child neglect, vehicular homicide, etc. are crimes and are already prosecuted as such. Exacerbated by drug or alcohol abuse? Make the punishment tougher, like is already the case with drunk driving.

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        14. I don’t necessarily disagree, Nicki, but I do think that families become estranged as often by drug issues as for any other reason. I’ve seen men literally BROKEN by their sons or daughters becoming druggies and they didn’t seem to be able to do anything to prevent it. My problems with my grandson have aged ME 10 years that I can’t afford.

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        15. Believe it or not, I know how you feel. I understand it more than I can or am willing to ever tell publicly. But believe me… I understand it.

          That said, I think what you’re exhibiting here is projection based on what you have experienced. It’s not irrational, but it’s also not correct. The APA’s studies indicate money/work/economy are the biggest stressors on family life. Drugs and alcohol are probably included in “health issues,” but they’re much lower on the list.

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        16. If pot was legal he could be a Marine. Of course addiction hurts others, but the use of drugs should be legal. Laws make criminals out of users and they do NOT stop drug use. See Prohibition. Speaking of which, is there a more dangerous, addictive drug than alcohol? Yet that’s legal and I would bet causes far more harm to the public (and the families) than any other drug. The majority of people agree with you but I think they are wrong. Could be I am.

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        17. For the record, if pot were legal, I doubt the armed services would change their regulations on drug use. You want to be a Marine? Stop using drugs. If you can’t, find another career. Last thing I would want is a stoner in my foxhole wielding an M4. No thanks.

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        18. I”m just saying if pot were legal he could join because he would not have a record. I have know a few stoner marines as well as the other services. The armed forces can outlaw pot but what would be the argument for allowing alcohol?

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        19. The armed forces do random drug tests, so even if pot were legal, if a drug test came up positive for THC, they would have the option of not accepting that individual. Even with booze, there’s a low tolerance for actual alcoholics. There’s mandatory help (ADAPC) and other disciplinary measures. Not saying there aren’t any drinks in the military, but there are definite consequences to that.

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        20. There are LOTS of more dangerous, addictive drugs than alcohol. If armed robber were “legal” he could still become a Marine if he were an armed robber, too…but I wouldn’t want either a pot head OR an armed robber in the foxhole next to me.

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        21. It also bears mentioning that Rob did well in places like Chesterfield and the Roanoke Valley, where Ken underperformed. That puts the lie to exit polls.

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        22. The problem, Mr. Jones, is that the LP has never had the public support necessary to win any significant race. I SERIOUSLY doubt that your candidate “took more votes from the Democrat than from the GOP”, but if that’s REALLY true, it shows me that I don’t want a Libertarian candidate to win any more than a Democrat, because it says your “principles” are closer to leftist ideology than to the right. I say this, because there simply ARE no conservatives left in the Democrat Party…not even in the rank and file. If you got ANY Democrat votes, it was because those Democrats WANTED you to appear “popular” and draw even more GOP votes away from Cuccinelli. In politics, perception is everything…except winning elections…and the left will do ANYTHING necessary to win.

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        23. How often has that happened, Mr Jones? To my recollection, NEVER. So what message are you conveying? Stand on some nebulous “principle” and LOSE? Worse yet, lose to a far-left loon? Thanks, but no thanks.

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        24. I’m saying that the LP will never win if libertarians continue to vote for a major party and then complain that the LP never wins. I happen to believe that the LP will soon overtake the Republicans since they (nor the Dems) have any principles. To me principles are important enough to vote for. That doesn’t make me right and it doesn’t make me better than those who vote for party, it’s just the way I feel. Over the course of my long life I’ve changed my views on many issues and reserve the right to do so again so I’m not preaching to others to follow me or do as I do. I do as my reason dictates while realizing I could be wrong. Just do what you think is best but if we can work together we have a better chance of reaching our goals.

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        25. You would be surprised at how many libertarians accuse me of not being a “real” libertarian, because I don’t toe the party line on certain issues. You would be surprised how many of them vote party, no matter what – not because they happen to disagree with a Republican or Democrat in question, but because LIBERTARIAN! Yes, libertarians come from all walks of life, from all sides, etc. There are left and right libertarians, just like there are different Rs and Ds.

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        26. Nicki, I don’t even know what a “real Libertarian” is. I don’t think there is such a thing so I’m surprised that someone accuses you of not being one. I wish they would tell you so you could share with us what their definition is. For that matter, what is a real democrat or a real Christian? People are stupid and that’s fine, I wish I was smarter than I am. The reason it doesn’t hurt to be stupid is that you don’t know you’re stupid. Thank God.

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        27. LOL!!! You would be surprised how many times I’ve heard, “How can you call yourself a libertarian, when you… *insert issue I disagree with the LP on here*. It happens. As an example: open borders. I don’t want to start a discussion here, because there’s a lot of other issues at play here, but I absolutely oppose open borders, and any kind of amnesty. You wouldn’t believe the kind of crap I get from Libertarians on that issue!

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        28. There are a lot of ways to solve a problem and libertarians don’t have all the answers. I’m with you on the open borders!

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        29. Well, then dammit, you’re not a REAL libertarian! LOL (that’s a joke, BTW)

          I really do appreciate your points, Mr. Jones. I’m glad you’re here to contribute to the discussion.

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        30. My opinion (for what it’s worth) is that you ARE wrong, Mr. Jones. As has been said, I can’t think of a SINGLE “Libertarian,” running AS a Libertarian who’s EVER been elected to any office….State OR National. In OUR system, winning is everything. If you don’t win, you have NO political power…ZERO. For good or bad, our system is designed as a two-party system. Our ONLY hope of saving the country from the left is to affect CHANGE in one party or the other. The Democrats are a lost cause. That leaves the GOP. Deal with it.

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  4. Rob, I apparently remember our lunch conversation MUCH better than you. For one thing, my motivation was about the GOP generally, not Ken specifically, but you kept saying Ken’s better than most, so I kept rattling off examples of how that was rank nonsense. I listed several non-social issues on which Ken was inconsistent to the point of hypocrisy, including on some that are supposed to be his strong suit, like federalism. More importantly, I also said that the GOP is totally unreliable (complicit, actually) on economic issues, and that Ken was totally unimpressive on economic issues, too. YOU kept making it about Ken and returning to the suggestion that I was running simply because I was pissed off about social issues, and each time I rejected the premise. I remember thinking it was like you weren’t even listening (or at least not processing). It would be one thing if you just didn’t agree with me, but you’ve made it clear from your characterizations of the convo that you spent no time trying to understand my thinking, or perhaps let your disagreement color your understanding or recollection. And, if I may remind you, you EXPLICITLY said, in that convo, that you didn’t really care about social issues (though you did disagree with Ken on them). That is pretty much the point Chuck is making about the RLC. Your point about allying with ppl you *mostly* agree with underscores the point. We DON’T “mostly agree” with Republicans. And to repeat, it’s not just the social issues; they don’t even believe what they say about economic issues, and they’re totally hypocritical on many other things, like federalism.

    There are a lot of other things in your post that are just silly or wrong, but I’ll let those pass. Unless you continue to peddle it as true; then maybe I’ll respond to them.

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    1. Wow… way to come in here and piss all over the place.

      There are a lot of other things in your post that are just silly or wrong, but I’ll let those pass. Unless you continue to peddle it as true; then maybe I’ll respond to them.

      Arrogant pedantic much?

      I was not there at the lunch you both refer to, so I can’t say much about it. I will say, however, that my husband is generally damn good at both listening AND processing, so if you feel your message didn’t get across, maybe the fault lies with your communication skills, and not Rob’s comprehension.

      I’ve been a libertarian for more than 15 years now, have voted for LP candidates in national elections since 1996 and was a proud delegate for Gary Johnson in 2012 at the LP convention. I’ve been involved in politics in one way or another for that long. There are things with which I disagree with the LP about, just like there are issues I ardently disagree with the GOP about. I already explained why I decided to vote Cuccinelli, instead of you this time around, so I won’t rehash that. I will say that Ken was far from a perfect candidate, but he was good enough that I felt comfortable giving him my vote despite my disagreements with his social issues. Property rights. ObamaCare. Energy policy. Jobs. Unions. And he has turned around on several issues and taken way more libertarian stances. I felt comfortable giving him my vote, ESPECIALLY given the alternative.

      Why WERE you running, Mr. Sarvis? I would really like to know. If you honestly thought you had a chance of winning, I have no issue with you, although it is delusional of you to have believed this, given existing history. But whatever… If you were running to “spread the message of liberty,” when you knew you didn’t have a chance in hell of winning, you did nothing but help McAuliffe right into the governor’s mansion.

      And no, it wasn’t by siphoning votes from either candidate, because no one is entitled to anyone’s vote. But by helping spread nonsense to the vagina-first voters about how Cuccinelli wants to control their reproductive organs, and by tossing out that bit citing the RPV effort to get gun owner info via the Freedom of Information Act, ignoring the fact that there’s not a single indication that KC supported this effort, and Mark Obenshain actually tried to stop this effort. Oh, but you were just condemning the Republicans, and you didn’t mention Cuccinelli? Well, gosh! No one would dare think that the GOP and Cuccinelli are interchangeable, even though he’s stood tall against them more than once!

      But hey, no biggie. So instead of a pretty decent governor, who has turned around on a number of issues, actually listens to the constituents and keeps enough of an open mind to actually represent them, we now have Terry McAuliffe, who is about as far from libertarian as he can get! Who is a petty tyrant who knows nothing about Virginia, and doesn’t care about the state anyway, because it’s just a little step on the ladder of his political career.

      It is instructive that you had pretty good things to say about Cuccinelli a few years ago, but all of a sudden decided he was crap, because it was good for your attention-whoring.

      Oh, but you helped spread the message of liberty?

      No, what you did is drop a turd in the punchbowl. Yeah, everyone saw it and everyone paid attention. But in the end all you did was make the punch taste like shit. So thanks!

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    2. Rob,

      You’re correct in that social issues aren’t a priority for me personally. I disagree with Ken on a number of those issues, vehemently even, but there’s no one issue or cluster of issues that would cause me to reject a candidate even if he were good on most everything else. Most of Ken’s deviation on federalism is related to his social conservatism. And yes, I also remember that you were unimpressed with and upset with the local unit committees during your campaign due to the lack of support you got. Sometimes, that’s how it goes. The Falls Church City Committee is all but useless from what I’ve seen, and the Fairfax County Committee isn’t much better, especially if you’re not in with “in” crowd there. Having said that, the answer is not to walk away and give up and leave the party. That’s what the establishment types hope you’ll do. The answer is to work incrementally to take the party over, which you do by demonstrating strength and demonstrating that pro-liberty people are team players. That’s what more establishment-oriented Republicans always tell me they’re worried about.. that when liberty activists don’t get everything they want, they’ll have a tantrum and sit things out. As to your assertion that Republicans don’t stand for what they claim, to some extent, you’re certainly correct. What I strive towards is for the Republican party to actually espouse the beliefs of the Republican Creed, which is something I’m sure most liberty activists can get behind easily. You cannot demand absolute ideological purity from a political party or its candidates, unless you’re prepared to be disappointed. Parties don’t represent idelogies; they’re brands. Like Coke, Pepsi, or in the case of the LP, JOLT! cola. High intensity… and no market share.

      There are a lot of other things in your post that are just silly or wrong, but I’ll let those pass. Unless you continue to peddle it as true; then maybe I’ll respond to them.

      Really now? Bring it on. Your arrogance serves you poorly at times like this, by the way.

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    3. Well, Robert, as a former officer of the FCYRs, a FCRC committee member for years, and even having run a few campaigns in the 90s. . . .can’t say I’ve ever even HEARD of you, but then I moved out of Fairfax County in 1998. But as Rob said, the FCRC and FCYRs are a shadow of what they used to be, back when the Fairfax County Republican Committee was a well-oiled political machine.

      So when will you be accepting your “bipartisan” reward on some minor state board from Terry McAwful ???

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  5. People yammer on and on and on, ad nauseam, about returning the Republican party to its conservative roots, which is something that will never happen unless you mercilessly weed out the Christianist assholes who think that having an imaginary friend gives them the right to tell other people how to live,

    Good fucking luck with that.

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    1. Their power within the party is slowly waning, and, in general, they’re a diminishing force. It’ll happen.

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      1. First of all, Rob, Christians aren’t all intent on “telling other people how to live.” They ARE intent on living THEIR OWN lives according to their own tenents without having their religious beliefs denigrated, demeaned or legislated against. Secondly, this country’s ONLY hope is to return to the principles of those that founded the country…and they were RELIGIOUS people–for the most part, Christians.

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        1. First of all, Rob, Christians aren’t all intent on “telling other people how to live.” They ARE intent on living THEIR OWN lives according to their own tenents without having their religious beliefs denigrated, demeaned or legislated against. — No one has a problem with this. Not a single person I know! What we do have a problem with is religious people – no matter what faith – using government force to impose their beliefs on others.

          As for returning to the principles espoused by the founders, those principles are not endemic or limited to Christianity. They founded a free society not BECAUSE they were religious, but because they loved freedom. That love is not limited to Christians, as many would love for us to believe.

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        2. Not necessarily, Nicki. It’s no accident that a substantial number of delegates to the Constitutional Convention were either ordained ministers or at least devout Christians…as were the people that sent them there from the various States. A few notables, such as Jefferson and Franklin were Deists who didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ, but ALL were religious folks.

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        3. Historically, that was society. But again, love of liberty has never been limited to religious types. Sometimes, the opposite is true. It is no accident that the constitution prohibits the establishment of a national religion in the very first article in the Bill of Rights, despite the fact that any founders were religious.

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    2. If you choose to be just another moron without faith in anything–your God, your country….anything–it’s YOU who needs good luck…not I.

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      1. Did you seriously call me a moron, because I refuse to have blind faith in a sky elf? SERIOUSLY?

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        1. That comment wasn’t directed at you, Nicki, but to another poster who implied that anyone who was religious was both a fool and outright DANGEROUS to the country. Check the date-take.

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        2. It doesn’t work that way on my phone. It’s just right below mine. When I do it on my phone, I just see it’s right below my comment. Who was it addressed to?

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        3. I’ll have to scroll through all the comments to find to whom I was responding. Back in a bit.

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  6. The LPVA had two specific goals, both largely the result of conditions the GOP, the Democrat Party and Democrat allied media establishment created. 1) It wanted to get 10% so it would have permanent ballot status as we do now in DC, and no longer have to collect 10,000 valid signatures every time they run a statewide candidate. This is a law the GOP helped write; the LP will now run someone in the Senatorial race next year to try again. The last minute smears on Sarvis from the Blaze repeated in the newly created conservative media echo chamber may have kept him from 10% of the vote. 2) The LPVA hoped to grow both interest in libertarianism and in the LP. By several metrics (social media contacts, inquiries, memberships) they succeeded in tripling their contacts list, and they more than tripled their public profile.

    I didn’t really keep a count of LP people repeating false charges against Ken, if any did, as opposed to simply not defending him. I was a partisan in this campaign, and other than privately remarking that I prefer Ken to McAwful and posting information on McAulliffe’s fraud and corruption on line, I never talked about Ken.

    As to Ken’s campaign I did attend one Cuccinelli fundraiser because it occurred in DC and our friend Mr. Hurtt organized it. I filled out a form to pay my minimum donation of $25 with my Visa debit card to attend (the gate keeping gal asked me how much I wanted to give and I told her $25 – she joked about me giving more and I said my checking account probably did not have any more) which I did since I simply wanted to be at the event, though I intended to donate more money to Sarvis than to Ken. Last week, after the election, I got my donation form back asking me to check the box for the amount I wanted to give, otherwise they could not charge me. At this point I am unlikely to help them out with that.

    I do agree with you that the LP, even for its own purposes, might consider trying to grow the LP in jurisdictions where the GOP is almost non-existent, from DC to Honolulu, and in attempting to run spoiler candidates who take votes from Democrats.

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    1. Obviously none of us kept a tally. I can honestly say, however, that the sometimes exaggerated and sometimes outright dishonest charges echoed significantly among the libertarians, and that to me is about as scummy as the sometimes ludicrous charges that were lobbied against Sarvis.

      As I said before in another blog post. Spreading the message of liberty is one thing. I was always very much a proponent of this. But helping tank a candidate who has an actual record of standing up to the establishment GOP we all dislike, and who is somewhat flawed in the social view sphere, but who has an open mind enough to listen and perhaps change, in order to garner attention for “the message of liberty” is pretty much like kicking yourself in the nuts. We got the worst governor possible, and still have no ballot access.

      Yay!

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  7. The WHY of it all is really very simple: whereas liberty Republicans were ready to declare a victory for liberty with the nomination of Ken Cuccinelli, Libertarians were not.
    Anyone with an intimate knowledge of the LP should know that PROHIBITION is a defining issue for Libertarians. Cuccinelli’s gradual shift toward thinking about maybe considering marijuana legalization barely gets him in the door. Unless Ken has a compelling LIBERTARIAN argument against flat-out ending the War on Drugs (and I haven’t heard one yet) he can expect Libertarians to tune out EVERYTHING he has to say. He certainly can’t expect their support, which is probably why he never bothered to ask for it.

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    1. So, to you, legalization of recreational drug use takes precedent over every really serious issue such as God-awful foreign policy, destruction of the military, economic policy that INTENTIONALLY puts more and more people on the dole and the rush towards fascism in the government? How “Libertarian” of you.

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      1. No, peppad, you misunderstood. Drug legalization is not a DECIDING issue, but rather a DEFINING one. Libertarians can and do have a range of opinions on foreign policy, the military, economics, immigration, abortion and so on. But waging war on chemicals does not in any way conform to our theory of government. So, to libertarians looking for a like-minded candidate to support, Cuccinelli’s opposition to marijuana legalization is a red flag.

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        1. Except that his views actually evolved on this issue. And the libertarians kept putting forth the same narrative, ignoring this fact.

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        2. Then you completely misunderstand what the “War on Drugs” is all about. It isn’t about “warring” against chemicals. It’s about warring against the unrestricted use of mind-altering substances for no other reason than getting “high”–and therefore rendering the user either marginally or totally unable to function in normal society. If you think “legalization” will STOP the illegal growing, manufacture or trafficking in these chemicals, you’re sadly mistaken–unless “the government” can somehow figure out how to make them LESS expensive on a retail basis than they are now….which ain’t gonna happen. Has “control” of pseudophedrin stopped the manufacture of meth? If anything, meth labs are INCREASING in number. “Legalization” of pot in Colorado hasn’t stopped the Mexican cartels from bringing it into the country. It’s just re-directed their DESTINATION for it. As a former LEO, I’m never going to agree with the Libertarian position on recreational drugs…ever.

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        3. First, it is the drugs themselves that are illegal, not the act of using them to get high. Mere possession is a crime. Use is only criminalized on a case-by-case basis (as a condition of parole, for example) or under certain circumstances (such as driving under the influence). A switch to use-only prohibition would be a great improvement over the current system, which grants extensive power to the government which is not in the Constitution. Pray no one ever drops a bag of coke in your car.

          Second, I do not think legalization would stop the importation or domestic manufacture of currently illicit drugs. Whiskey, for example, is still produced illegally just as it was during prohibition. But by most indications, legalization would create a significant price reduction. One of the chief aims of the drug war is to make the cost of the drugs prohibitively expensive. Only by assuming heavy taxes on the legalized substances can you confidently say the price would not be lower.

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        4. If you take away the profit you take away the crime.  Make drugs so cheap there is no profit.  No more robberies to get drug money.  No black market because there would not be enough profit.  Nobody will sell anything if there is no money to be made.

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        5. You forgot to mention that disputes would be handled through civil court, whereas currently they are settled with retributive violence. There are scores of pragmatic reasons to legalize drugs. But the libertarian position is based on principle. By what principle does the government rightly prohibit a SUBSTANCE? And would you be comfortable having that principle applied to other things? That is the question you must answer.

          For a in-depth analysis of what legalization might look like- http://cocainepoll.com/70-2#

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        6. You are right, of course. It is the principle that counts. I was just mentioning some of the effects if the principle was obeyed. The only reason we have a war on drugs is the political angle. It gets votes. (Much like the war on poverty.)

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        7. If you ACTUALLY believe that legalization is going to make drugs “cheaper” maybe you should think about hiring a keeper because you’re ‘WAY too naive to be allowed out of doors alone. 80% of the cost of a fifth of Jack Daniels today is government-imposed TAXES. That’s why moonshining still goes on in this country.

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        8. That is because we allow “sin” taxes, which is another ridiculous payment we have to make to the government. Additionally, the taxes are so high, because the government needed a substitute for faltering revenues during the depression. Generally speaking black market items will be more expensive (and more desirable at the same time). Just look at Turkey’s new liquor prohibitions! It’s basic economics.

          Ultimately, pot, at least, would be cheaper, because it would no longer be dangerous to obtain it, demand would likely go down (there’s plenty of research that suggests many smoke it precisely because it’s illegal and the risk is appealing) and the cost/benefit analysis to the dealer would skew toward not bothering. Additionally, it would also cost the taxpayers less in housing and prosecution of potheads, as well as the actual drug war costs, which are astronomical.

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        9. Nicki. While I generally respect your opinions–even agree with them 99% of the time–I think you’re wrong about this. First of all, it’s fairly rare that we incarcerate anyone for any significant period for merely “possessing” personal-use quantities of pot these days. “Prisons are packed full of prisoners there for merely being in possession of a lid of grass” is simply a myth. Those who ARE in prison for “possession” were in possession of large quantities and were (1) transporting it to some distributor or (2) preparing to sell it themselves and were arrested before they COULD break it up into lids and market it–mostly to kids, or (3) WERE marketing it to kids and were caught with it near a school somewhere, or (4) were caught selling it but “plea-bargained” the charges down to mere possession. I tend to judge drugs by the company they keep. I rarely busted someone in possession of pot that didn’t also have a few tabs of LSD, black-market meth, barbiturates or even cocaine or heroin in a few cases. As a detective, my primary emphasis wasn’t on drugs, but on murder, robbery, burglary and theft…which we had considerable experience with. I worked on everything from runaway kids to multiple murders and everything in between, and this was at a time during which in Texas, the penalty for mere possession of ANY USABLE AMOUNT of pot could be anything from 2 years in prison to LIFE in prison. (I never saw anyone ever get more than 2 years, except one guy from New Jersey who had a BALE of the stuff in his trunk. He got 10.) The law was changed in 1974 which reduced possession of small amounts to the status of a misdemeanor, but that was about the time I left law enforcement and began TEACHING it instead.

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        10. There’s no requirement that you agree with me on any issue. It’s more interesting that way, don’t you think? I never said that prisons are “full of prisoners for being in possession of a little grass.” What I said was “it would also cost the taxpayers less in housing and prosecution of potheads.” Even a court hearing and leaving some stoner in jail for a few days costs localities resources, and it’s ultimately unneeded. It also ruins the lives of people who would otherwise become productive members of society. I have personally run across these cases several times. Dumb college student gets busted with grass. Now anytime he wants to apply for a job that shit follows him, especially in a field that requires a clearance! It happens. It’s silly. And ultimately, our resources (significant ones used to fight the war on drugs) could be better spent elsewhere. If you want a good example of decriminalization, look at Portugal.

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        11. You mean the same Portugal that’s on the brink of becoming another Greece? Talk about a waste of scarce resources! My opinion of course–and only worth what you’re paying for it–is that people weak-minded enough to WANT a bit of artificially-induced “feel-good” via the use of chemicals–be it alcohol, pot, cocaine, crack, meth, etc.–isn’t someone I choose to have working for me, in whom I’m willing to place my life as a cop, soldier, airline pilot, bus driver or train engineer, or who I want making decisions on my behalf. I take a drink–rarely–by way of being “sociable” but NEVER more than two on any given occasion…even on the golf course or at the “19th Hole.” Some college kid that thinks pot is “harmless” and finds himself in jail and unable to get a job later because he has a “record” of smoking pot probably needs to RE-think whether or not it’s “harmless” and maybe exercise a bit better judgement.

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        12. Has nothing to do with drug decriminalization. Not a single thing.

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        13. Actually, it DOES connect to the issue of “decriminalization of recreational drugs.” It goes to WHY I think “decriminalization” is a BAD idea.

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        14. The economy in Portugal? Not at all. They spend fewer resources on trying to catch up with stoners, and that’s a good thing. The debt problem in Portugal is more a function of the global economic turndown of 2008-2009, which made public debt skyrocket. They received a bailout last year, and the bailout is set to end in 2014. They’re actually getting ready to sell 10 year debt. Nothing at all to do with decriminalization of pot.

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        15. This thread has gone way off topic.

          Attempts to legislate morality–whether right-wing morality or left-wing morality–are going to turn off huge segments of voters. Laws should reflect a general morality which EVERYONE can agree on, and that’s what Libertarians propose. We only run candidates who can articulate this message. It’s an idea most people are unfamiliar with, coming from a politician, so it’s a hard sell in that sense. But once you convince them there’s no hidden agenda–no NEW kind of morality–they are generally open to it. That’s why we have the “Libertarian” brand–because we’re selling something unique and different.

          I’m glad to see the GOP is making an effort to offer a better product. That’s part of the idea behind the LP–to demonstrate that improvement is possible and show what it looks like. Ken Cuccinelli lost not because he was a bad candidate, but because he is of the Republican brand, which doesn’t have a record of offering good product. The LPVa chose to run an opponent because Ken doesn’t fit the Libertarian brand, which is to say there is still a lot of room for improvement. With work, Republicans can take the Libertarian market share and win. I sincerely hope they keep trying.

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        16. Apparently it’s escaped your notice, but Republicans are MUCH closer, in general, to Libertarian philosophy than are Democrats. In our two-party system, all Libertarian candidates do is split off some of the conservative vote, thus INSURING Democrats have the advantage in a given election since they tend to be more single-minded and united. THEIR attitude towards Libertarians is utter disdain–except when they can funnel them money (as they did in the VA Gov race) to thwart a challenge to their hegemony by Republicans. Your candidate wouldn’t have “gotten his message out” NEARLY as effectively without the influx of Democrat money. Do you REALLY think the Democrats want a strong, viable Libertarian Party for any OTHER reason? And to think your party fell for it hook, line and sinker. Simply brilliant!

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        17. In my experience Republicans, as a group, have no philosophy. All that seems to unite them is a common fear of Marxist Democrats. The term “RINO” only exists because so many Republicans are closet socialists. That’s why I don’t trust them in office–because they’re capable of almost anything.

          Since Republicans are all about compromise, they could start by nominating candidates who have libertarian principles. That would effectively destroy the Libertarian Party (not to mention reverse the tide of socialism). But I doubt that’s going to happen, because the GOP has too many people like you, pappad (that is, people who can’t “allow” choices that MIGHT turn out bad.) So that only leaves the alternative: growing the LP to where it rivals the RP in votes. Then YOU will be the one who needs to switch parties.

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        18. You know… for a group that thrives and espouses individualism, Libertarians are sure a collectivist group. Parties are names and brands. Republican, Libertarian, Democrat, etc. Individuals are capable of betraying you in any one of those groups. And yet, Libertarians are very much into “vote LP or nothing.” Cuccinelli was a pretty decent libertarian-leaning candidate and had evolved on a lot of issues important to libertarians naturally, without pressure from the LP. But it was all or nothing, and ZOMG! He was a Republican! Never mind that he was a Republican who had stood up to a lot of the RINO socialist assholes we all hate, but he was a Republican, so it was more important to destroy him in order to build up the party. The purpose is not to destroy any party, but to protect freedom in our nation. I don’t care how that happens. I don’t want to “switch” from any party. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a joiner, and I will consistently vote for the best candidate, whatever party he happens to represent.

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        19. Agreed, Nicki. I recently thought seriously about changing my registration from Republican to “Independent.” I restrained myself because the best chance of CHANGING the GOP to one that will fight for our rights and stop “compromising” with the leftists is during PRIMARIES and my State doesn’t have “open primaries” (thank God–it’s the stupidest idea ever).

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        20. What in the hell do you think the TEA Party was all about. You remember them? The folks that are responsible for the takeover of the House and who WOULD have taken the Senate, too, without the connivance of the Democrats and RINOS already there.

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        21. It really is about branding. Constitutionalists and the RLC are like sub-brands of the GOP, but those names mean nothing to the vast majority of voters. Even the well-known Tea Party is only vaguely understood. Most people know it’s NOT an actual PARTY and is, rather, a bunch of right-wingy Republicans. But Paul Ryan probably comes to mind, rather than Ron Paul.

          One thing people DO have a clear idea of is “conservatives.” Your stereotypical conservative hates that his taxes go into welfare checks that buy pot for hippies who hate America. He wants to take away their pot, put them in uniform and send them overseas to see first-hand that communism isn’t so great as their leftist college professors told them. The conservative talks about foreigners and foreign-looking people and people who need to learn English or return to where they came from. He thinks Biblical laws ought to be reflected in modern ones, which includes prudish codes of decency and different rules for women. It’s the stereotype that spawned the unfortunate term, “compassionate conservative.”

          Ken Cuccinelli needed to dispel this characterization, but instead made himself an easy target: “My view is that…homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. … [I]t represents…behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society.” (2009) I doubt that scored him any votes with the smart crowd. If he had simply endorsed marijuana legalization he would have turned a lot of heads. But no; he chose to run a mostly negative campaign, which suggested he had nothing unique or pleasant to offer.

          I think the RLC desperately wanted to prove to the Establishment that a “real conservative” can win a big race. That having failed, we are now witnessing a case of libertarian envy. Hence I’m quite confident the LP accomplished its message-sending goal, and with no harm done (i.e. McAuliffe would have won regardless). It’s just taking a while for that message to sink in.

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        22. The LP is going to be accomplishing a lot of message-sending!  Both parties should be wary.

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        23. Yeah, mainly sending the message that we don’t know how to wisely target races to achieve our goals – as a result, the Dems will continue to use the LP as spoilers when it is politically useful.

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        24. The problem seems to be with your characterization or rather the MIScharacterization” of what “conservatism” really is, which reads like it came straight from the MSM–which you should REALLY ignore since they’re as big a bunch of liars as this administration is. Conservatives want, basically, six things: (1) Laws passed and ENFORCED that conform to the U.S. Constitution. (2) Our shores protected and our national interests guarded against those who seek to destroy them. (3) RATIONAL treaties written and enforced. (4) Operate a system of courts to PROTECT our constitutional rights, insure that our government OBEYS it, and insures that no one is subjected to a kangaroo court. (5) Raise the funds through taxes necessary to pay for its Constitutional functions and (6) LEAVE US THE HELL ALONE. THAT’S it. Conservatism has NOTHING to do with “forcing” anyone to do anything–certainly not worship the way we do, It DOES acknowledge that our form of government is suitable ONLY for a people who are moral, honest, individually generous and self-reliant. It is wholly unsuited for any other kind of people. We don’t believe in unrestricted and unregulated immigration of ANY people–as long as it’s understood that they come here to HELP us advance as a society and not to bleed us dry or change our unique American culture. Adopt it and join us, or go home.

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        25. Your post demonstrates how successful the media has been in improperly characterizing certain groups. KC is somehow grouped as wacko conservative despite is clearly “constitutional libertarian” views. For example, there is nothing in the quote you cited that said he wanted to pass a law to outlaw homosexuality. Are you so, close-minded as to not support someone because they have different moral beliefs than you – even when they don’t want to impose them on others? Or do you simply buy into the media scam that all Rs are the same and that the Tea Party is the Far Right (when any libertarian should immediately recognize that it is the Progressive Republicans that are the Far Right – they just happen to be closer to the Far Left because they are both so Authoritarian)?

          The lesson that the Progressive Republicans are trying to promote is that libertarian candidates can’t win because they are a part of the extreme right – the only way we win is to nominate a Progressive like Bolling. Yes, great message you sent. Next election you’ll more likely with a Progressive Dem vs a Progressive Rep and perhaps maybe a Libertarian who won’t have any money because the Dems will know that they will blow away the Progressive Rep and they won’t waste their money on the race.

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        26. Cuccinelli could save scored a lot of points by saying something like, “As a conservative I have some strong moral views, but as a libertarian I would never try to force my views on others. I believe people need to be free to make their own choices, even I don’t always approve of those choices.” But then he would be a liar.

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        27. He did say several times that he would not use the office of the governor to promote his conservative morality. He said it a lot. But then, you’ve just demonstrated that you wouldn’t have believed him anyway, so what the hell is the damn difference at this point? The guy had begun to turn around on several issues important to libertarians but that didn’t matter to you people. He wasn’t pure and perfect (and neither was Sarvis, by the way), and he didn’t run on the LP ticket, so he must be destroyed. Keep alienating allies. It will make you even more irrelevant than you already are.

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        28. I’m saying Cuccinelli is the one who’s alienating allies (if what you say about him is true). He could have avoided the whole 3rd candidate problem simply by joining the LP, which requires donating $25 and checking off a box that reads, “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.” Or, he could have debated Sarvis and demonstrated that there are more similarities than differences between them (again, if what you say is true). That might have shifted more libertarian votes to Ken (since libertarians don’t really like to lose) and more liberal votes to Sarvis (since Republican isn’t exactly their second choice). Either move might also have helped Ken with his other problem–convincing independent voters he’s not just another sleazy, do-nothing Republican. No one outside the GOP seems convinced of that.

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        29. Andrew,
          “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

          I can see why someone would not want to sign that. That is a anarchist statement. Do you believe preventing murder is a valid social goal? Do you believe the state has the right to set and enforce speed limits? Does the state have a right to collect taxes?

          Part of the beauty of true constitutional libertarianism is recognizing that people can have different opinions as to when the rights of one overrule the rights of others and when they don’t. The Constitution allows each state (and within those, each community) to define their own interpretation of what their interpretation is. The problem with Progressivism is that they want to impose their Marxist interpretation on the entire country (because they know that the only way people will accept it is if they do not have the option to leave). And the problem with the LP is it has almost a similar mindset – we want to force all states to provide extreme individual liberty without thinking about consequences (e.g., legalize hard drugs even if we can’t get rid of the social welfare state; which any sane person would recognize as a recipe for complete destruction of the country).

          The RLC and Tea Party appear to be the groups who best balance these. Can the RLC and TP gain control of the Republican Party? Who knows? Personally, I think the point is moot as the country is headed for financial collapse before any significant change can be made. Once that happens, all of your pre-conceived notions are off the table.

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        30. I assure you that I wouldn’t ever sign such a pledge. Were Pearl Harbor or the WTC “political problems?” Of course, they were and by signing the Libertarian “Oath” I’ve automatically taken away the option of fighting back. That’s simply STUPID. We have the “social problem” of black on white crime booming while white on black crime is so rare that every instance of such IMAGINED “crime” becomes a national news story. I’m not allowed to “solve” that problem using “force” means that I can’t defend myself.

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        31. It appears peppad has been grossly misled or misinformed. Attacks by terrorists and foreign militaries are what Libertarians call initiations of force–assaults on the lives and property of American citizens. “Fighting back” is what Libertarians call defending one’s rights against aggression.

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        32. Yet, accoring to your “oath” “fighting back” would be prohibited because it states: “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.” Once the Japanese planes had left the Hawaiian Islands, they were no longer “initiating force” and seeking them out and destroying them would have been a violation of your “oath.” It would have been seeking retribution, which your oath implies is “prohibited.” I believe the country has the RIGHT to conduct a pre-emptive strike at an Iranian missile carrier approaching our shores or a Soviet bomber in our airspace headed towards Washington DC–especially one that refuses to acknowledge challenges.

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        33. Pappad, I don’t think you’re listening to Mr. Akers.  Defending the country from attack is not prohibited.  I think you read too much into the oath.  I am a card carrying Libertarian and please believe me, I would never have signed the oath if it meant what you said.  I have never heard anyone in the party give it the interpretation you do.

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        34. It’s a “Who started it?” kind of thing. The idea is, you don’t start shit. You mind your own business and behave yourself. The problem is, many people are reluctant to apply such a basic principle to their “political or social goals.” That’s the controversial part.

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        35. Mr. Vaughn, the philosophy of libertarianism is that 1) only individuals have rights, and 2) those rights are defensible. There’s an implied contract with the state to defend rights on the individual’s behalf, wherein the state’s ABILITY, but not its AUTHORITY, can exceed the individual’s. Preventing murder is a “social goal,” yes; but it’s also an individual goal, based on the right to life, and not an “initiation of force.” The point where one person’s rights “overrule” another’s is a very complex thing that needs to be settled by the courts on a case-by-case basis, laws and legal precedents notwithstanding.

          Individuals have the right to own property, and to make rules and charge fees for using that property. Thus we get state-owned roads with driving permits, enforced speed limits and the like. (If I owned a highway I would require seatbelts to be worn.) The “Marxist interpretation” you mentioned is only a threat because taxes enable state enterprises to operate at a loss. Individuals cannot tax one another, as that would be extortion–an initiation of force. So neither should the state be able to tax on anyone’s behalf.

          One doesn’t exactly “force” liberty on people, liberty being the absence/removal of force. But I get your point. Drug legalization aside, I do think that abolishing social welfare without FIRST deregulating business would be a huge disaster. I wouldn’t vote for anyone who proposed it. We need people in office who have a thorough understanding of BOTH the benefits AND potential hazards of transitioning to a free society—essentially, people with an “advanced degree” in libertarianism. An economic collapse will only amplify that need.

          I wish the best of luck to the Tea Party and the RLC in achieving their goals. Hopefully they will produce more candidates like Ron Paul whom I can campaign for and vote for. Until then I will stick with the LP because in my view the only compromising to be done is by the individuals who get elected.

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        36. So you presumably believe a father should have the right to use force (deadly if necessary) to defend the life of his child. If the father believes the science that clearly indicates that the child’s life starts at conception, then he would have the right to use (potentially deadly) force against a doctor initiating abortion procedures on the mother. I believe this is just one example where the extreme LP argument falls apart as it begins to result in anarchy.

          Another example, directly from your ever so learned explanation is that the government essentially has no way to pay its debts, no way to defend itself or to provide police protection to its citizens since ALL of its income is 100% voluntary since, as you say, it should not be allowed to tax for any purpose. Once again, anarchy results.

          And of course, without taxes the concept of state-owned highways becomes moot because they do not have the money to buy the land, let alone build the highway. Instead, private firms establish roads and charge monopoly rates because when you are talking about transportation, location is everything!

          Of course, no one would build a road if true anarchy existed. The road would only be built, once the strongman (which always rises when anarchy exists) gains control – and then the strongman with his minions would own the road and control everything – including the police. In other words, anarchy is immediately followed by dictatorship.

          This is the problem with the simplistic view of libertarianism; it resembles the Articles of Confederation, which did not work. True libertarianism is embodied in the Constitution. It establishes just enough of central government power to set a common baseline; but it allows local governments to go MUCH further and to even impose religion constraints, free speech constraints, etc. The national baseline should rightly be focused on basic human rights, and limiting the role of the national government. However, we must recognize that ALL laws are communal agreements establishing moral norms.

          Some people think life begins at conception others a week after birth. Some would like to live where they don’t have to put up with pornography in stores and other places; others think we should be handing out condoms in public schools. Some believe they have the right to keep their earnings; others believe that we all have a right to what the community collectively produces.

          Who is to say what human rights are? The national government should only set the fundamental baseline that reflects the VAST community opinion (thus the high bar for a Constitutional Amendment) But local communities can establish a vast number of laws (or should be able to even with the current text of the Constitution). That ensures that most any minority group should be able to go establish their own community and set their own laws that respect the values of that community. With 50 states and hundreds of cities and thousands of communities, the design should allow the individual maximal freedom to live in an environment that is compatible with his/her preferences.

          This allows hardcore conservative Christians to establish a local community where abortion is illegal, homosexuality is shunned, pornography is banned, and alcohol is prohibited, etc; likewise, a satanist group could move in adjacent to them and establish a nudist colony with prostitution, gambling, etc. and the preaching of God was banned. In reality, few would live in either, but why should we prevent either from existing? Banning either is in fact forcing people to live according to OUR rules and is not maximal liberty.

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        37. Mr. Vaughn, I never said funding of government must all be voluntary, or that the government couldn’t own roads, or that pure anarchy was necessary, desirable or possible. Why throw up these straw men? To say something cannot be done is very presumptive.

          I see liberty as a weak and decentralized authority, rather than the opposite. I think liberty (and nothing less) is the umbrella under which the greatest variety of less-than-benevolent forms of government can co-exist.

          A limited government, in my view, is one that doesn’t necessarily intervene. I don’t think the government should always intervene to prevent abortion, or to prevent the scenario you describe above. Those are complex gray areas and if no one is ASKING the government to intervene, it shouldn’t.

          The world itself is in a state of anarchy. Do we really want to change THAT? Can’t we just IMPROVE on it somehow? The problem for me comes with a strictly communist community, where they would need a fence or some other means of keeping people from leaving the area, and a ruthless local police to keep the captive population in line. I would want to make that scenario impossible by enforcing rights of life, liberty and movement upon request. But there’s sovereignty to consider. And that limited budget, limited debt thing.

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        38. You’re advocating that a candidate join a rival political party. Yeah, that’s reality.

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        39. Well, there you go. It doesn’t matter what kind of views he holds, because he’s not a member of the little boys’ club. Gosh! All he had to do was join the LP. THIS is the problem. You want party. You don’t give a crap what kind of candidate runs.

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        40. Which he just admitted, Nicki. Gotcha in spades! I’m a Republican ONLY because I think reforming THEM is our only hope of stopping the headlong rush towards fascism in this country. I agree with some of what the LP stands for–or claims to–but I’ll NEVER take their pledge, and for the same reason that the US has never signed the non-use of chemical or biological weapons treaty. It PRECLUDES our being able to respond in kind to someone who’d use either against us.

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        41. You still don’t get it, Niki. I only support candidates who seem qualified in MY estimate. Being nominated by the state or national LP is a very good indication that someone has extensive knowledge of libertarian philosophy. Just being a member of the LP pretty much guarantees someone has absorbed at least one libertarian book. But simply having “libertarian” positions on a handful of conservative issues is not enough to pique my interest. Having the endorsement of the RLC, the Tea Party and even Ron Paul is (sadly) not enough either. I have no real indication that Ken Cuccinelli has even been EXPOSED to libertarian philosophy and analysis, much less studied it in depth. As far as convincing me or anyone outside the GOP of his libertarian credentials, Cuccinelli FAILED MISERABLY. You need to realize that and put the blame where it belongs.

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        42. You’ve already told us who’s to blame, Andrew. Those (like you, apparently) who voted for the LP candidate just BECAUSE he was the LP candidate. That’s no better than millions of black voters voting for Obama just BECAUSE they think of him as the “black candidate.”

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        43. I disagree Nicki,  I vote LP because I’m a Libertarian, which means something.  Being a Democrat or a Republican means nothing.  I am voting for a cause, unlike voting for skin color.

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        44. And this mindset is why the LP is, was, and will always be electorally impotent.

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        45. True, Rob. I always fail to understand that sort of mind-set. It makes no sense to me. One can only wonder if this guy thinks black voting for Obama wasn’t ALSO a “cause?” Their “cause” was payback for decades of real and imagined abuse by “whitey”–forgetting that MOST (not all) of whatever progress they’ve made in this country has come BECAUSE there were white people perfectly willing to look past their skin color at their character and intelligence…and it HASN’T been those on the left doing it. The left sees them as a voting block and little else. Decade upon decade of leftist “rule” in the major cities and ordinary black folks are just as far down the economic ladder as they ever were, living on the false promises of the left and gathering the crumbs from under their table.

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        46. It’s quite a stretch to say there is any connection between blacks voting for Obama and me voting for the LP.

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        47. How is it “a stretch.” You say you voted LP BECAUSE the candidate was LP and blacks, by in large, voted for Obama BECAUSE he’s black. I fail to see the difference.

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        48. Voting for color is not the same as voting for voting for political party. Eh?

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        49. Not MUCH different. Both votes are for a label and not for the individual’s personal qualifications, knowledge, exerience or abilities.

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        50. Really? One is voting for skin color, one is voting for your political views.

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        51. I think Principle is worth voting for. What principle(s) does the Democrat or Republican party stand for? Spending taxpayer’s money to stay in office? For God’s sakes man, these people are stealing from our grandchildren and you keep voting for them. . . because they win some elections?

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        52. Once again… PARTIES DON’T REPRESENT IDEOLOGIES. they’re brands. The LP ran Wayne Root. That guy is NOT pro-liberty. You don’t get it. The LP will never elect anyone to congress. Liberty Republicans have Amash, Massie, Yoho, Rohrabacher, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz.. We’re slowly gaining. But hey, stay in the LP and remain irrelevant.

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        53. Let’s just take a hypothetical situation. Suppose an LP candidate WAS actually elected President. What do you think he could get accomplished without even ONE fellow-LPer in Congress? Zero, Zip, Nada, is, of course, the answer. Then let’s take it a step lower. Suppose that an LP candidate DID actually get elected to Congress. What do you think HE (or she) would accomplish. Same answer. You guys can’t even get someone elected to a STATE office of any consequence and what have you so far accomplished? Well, you’ve helped elect far-left Democrats so far, because the VOTERS with whom you share the closest affinity are Republicans and your candidate simply draws their votes AWAY from the GOP in order to chase a hopeless chimera. We, the conservative voters can only say, “Well thanks a lot! You’ve helped put us in this pickle.”

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        54. Civics lesson: The President controls the whole Executive Branch, which controls the military and all federal departments of government. The president also has veto power over all acts of Congress.

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        55. You are partly right, SOME parties don’t represent ideologies. I worked for years trying to get the Republican Party to change, I guess now it’s your turn. Good luck with that. As they lose ground to the Dems they try to become more like them. As I said, and as I believe, Principle is worth voting for. It grieves me that good, thoughtful men like yourself continue to believe that change will come to the RP. I know you are sincere, as I am, and I take gratification that at least we both are trying to make a better country.

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        56. I think most peoples’ points here are–excepting yourself and a couple of others–that voting for Sardis was IDENTICAL to voting for McAuliff and a wasted effort to make the LP in Virginia APPEAR relevant when its not….except as a spoiler. We can’t change the GOP, as you say, UNLESS we are joined by kindred spirits in our efforts to clean it out of the Rockefeller-types who want big government, too, but on THEIR terms instead of the Democrats’. We’ll not be able to do that unless and until people get over the idea that it CAN’T be changed and go wandering off into third-party “heaven” and claim it’s over “principle.” The only “principle” at stake here is the survival of the U.S. as a free nation…and helping the left win elections betrays that principle.

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        57. I do believe that Sarvis took more votes from McA than from KC. You can check it but I’m sure I’m right on that (according to exit polls.) You, and many others, think the LP siphons more votes from your candidates than they do. The LP is on the rise, the RP brand is failing. You continue to support the RP, which helped get us in the situation we’re in today, and I’ll support the party of principle. You seem to think there is no principle involved here, that I am a naive dreamer. You are mistaken.

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        58. I’ll believe the LP is “on the rise” on the day they elect someone…ANYONE..,to a significant, political office. Until then…not so much. Secondly, you CANNOT rely on “exit polls” for anything. If “exit polls” are to be believed, John Kerry won the 2004 election. (He didn’t.) Some guys asked my wife, daughter and I to participate in an “exit poll” that year. When asked who we voted for we EACH said “John Kerry,” even though none of us did so. I love to skew these guys’ “polls”.

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        59. I’m not relying on exit polls but that’s all I’ve got to go by. What is your evidence to the contrary? Because the LP has not yet won a major office doesn’t mean that they soon won’t. The RP could not beat Harry Reid (!) or Obama or retake the senate. Some party. It will not get easier for them. I used to think the RP was the lesser of two evils, now I just think the party is evil, just like the Democrats. I’m not trying to be mean spirited but the RP is not the party I used to love. They have let the country down and there is no time to reform them. The LP is getting a lot of criticism from both major parties which tells me they are touching some nerves in a big way. If we were irrelevant we would be ignored.

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        60. It took 100 years to get us to this point. It ain’t gonna get fixed in one election. The RP “lost” to Harry Reid in 2010 because some moron gave responsibility for “maintaining” Programming and “storing” all of Las Vegas’ voting machines to SEIU, for Pete’s sake! What ELSE would you expect to happen. It’s a statisical impossibility for a candidate to go from 5 points down the DAY before the election to winning by 3 points unless there was A MONSTEROUS level of “hanky-panky” with the vote.

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        61. A lot of it comes down to strategy. If you really want to see the country move towards libertarian values, you should be willing to support (i.e., at least vote for) viable candidates that are (1) more libertarian than average for their party, (2) more libertarian than the other main party opponent, and (3) at least campaigning on a platform and reasonable record of being within the realm of what you can tolerate from a principle perspective.

          In other words, you never get who you think is ideal – you always have to compromise. I dislike the 2-party system and would like to see it reformed, but it is the system we have today (and it is entirely due to the structure of the system not due to any unique R/D thing.) Thus, the only logic of supporting a third party is essentially to replace one of the two major parties…

          But, as I believe you pointed out, there “is not enough time” (I think you said it in reforming the RP, but if that is true, it is certainly true that there is not enough time to replace 50% of the Senate with LP members — or even to replace 50% of the Senate, for that matter). The only hope is to replace ~30% of the R members (~15% of total membership) with more libertarian members, which will then shift the balance and momentum of the RP to focus much more on libertarian principles. Would that be enough to prevent disaster? Who knows, but any goal beyond that is almost certainly unobtainable in the ~4 year time frame remaining.

          Now, I would think that there would be general agreement that KC was far more libertarian leaning than mainstream RP, far more libertarian than his once opponent Bolling, and far more libertarian than McA. Further, his record is reasonable for libertarian values (perhaps the only exception that I am aware of would be the homosexual issue, but he had said he was not making it an issue). So the ONLY reasonable grounds that I see for abandoning the 2 major parties in the race is if you felt KC just wasn’t libertarian enough and we need to wait (at least 4 years) for someone better (knowing that there was zero chance that Sarvis would win)… (I still think this borders on the insanity since the message we just sent was someone as libertarian as KC can’t win – so your probably looking at 8 years, almost certainly past the financial collapse clock expires).

          So here’s the rub: If KC was not libertarian enough, and you really believe we are running out of time…. What is your plan? With the budget deal tonight, we agreed to, once again — gladly pay our kids next decade for a hamburger today. But we won’t last that long…. So what is your plan? Do you think that Virginia is going to do well with all of that reliance on the government nickel and McA as governor when the dollar collapses?

          IMHO, the 2012 cycle was likely our last real chance to change course. KC losing sends the wrong message for the mid-terms, if the Republicans gain control of the Senate, it will now likely be the wrong Republicans. I think there is a high probability that we will see the RP split in 2016. If Rand Paul or Ted Cruz gets the nod, the Progressives will walk; if someone like Christie gets the nod, the Tea Party and RLC will walk. The only candidate that has a chance at keeping the party together would be someone like Rubio or Ryan, but I doubt that they could even do it because the libertarian minded will realize that our debt load will be too great (~$20T by the time he takes office) for a half-measure candidate to save us — and it would be better for a D to be holding the reins when everything collapses this time.

          I suppose you’re thinking that the LP becomes the solution at that point. Once again, IMHO, that is delusional. The disaffected Republicans will simply start their own party (or for Progressives like Bolling will simply join the Dems) and the others will keep the term Republican. That RLC/Tea Party wing of the divided Republican Party (whatever their name) will be roughly 5-10 times larger than the LP. Yes, they will need to focus on libertarian values to win elections, but they will be the controlling stake, not the LP.

          Of course, that assumes the country stays together after hyper-inflation, mass unemployment, riots, gas lines, perhaps a terrorist attack, etc.

          My advice: Prepare. Pray. Seek Truth.

          BTW: How do you keep these two thoughts so tightly coupled in your head that they appear only 2 sentences apart:
          “I do believe that Sarvis took more votes from McA than from KC.”
          “The LP is on the rise, the RP brand is failing.”

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        62. I keep those thoughts so tightly in my head because that’s where the facts lead me. To those of us who think the way out of this mess is to have a viable LP, we would be crazy to ignore LP candidates because a Rep or a Dem “leans” libertarian. I do not trust the RP or the DP and find it hard to believe anyone else does. Looking at the history of those parties should show you that they will say anything to get your vote and, once elected, do anything to stay in office. I voted for Robert Sarvis not only because he was the LP candidate, I believe he meant what he said on libertarian issues. It confounds me when people (usually Republicans) tell me I’m crazy to vote LP when the RP is almost as good. My vote is precious to me and I will not be “shamed” into casting it for a major party candidate to please a party I do not belong to nor agree with. I joined the LP for reasons very personal and important to me. Unlike so many who cast their vote for a major party candidate because ” the LP doesn’t have a chance”, I will not vote for the second best candidate just to keep the third best from winning. As my friend Nicki suggests, and I hope everyones listens to her, I will vote my conscience.

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        63. So what you’re saying here is that you’ll vote for the LP REGARDLESS of the quality of the LP candidate, just because you don’t “trust” the RP candidate to stick to HIS (OR HER) conscience…even if the RP candidate is MORE qualified, intelligent and competent??? That’s not only crazy…it’s monstrous.

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        64. I will tell you what’s crazy, trusting an RP candidate to do what he says during a campaign. As to “monstrous”, that’s what my wife calls me.

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        65. I can imagine why, too. LOL. An INTELLIGENT voter votes for the candidate who best reflects his own political philosophy in his background, history and record–both in voting and accomplishments. If you don’t “trust” a candidate, it’s because you’re uncertain of his record…in which case, I would say DON’T vote for someone you don’t trust. However, refusing to trust someone because of their PARTY is stupid.

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        66. I would say that trusting the Republican (or Democratic) Party is not the smartest move I’ve ever made. I’ve trusted them both in the past and learned a bitter lesson. No, I don’t trust them and I never will, nor will I trust their candidates. They are a bunch of poltroons. If I were not a gentleman, I would say it is crazy to vote for them.

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        67. Nonsesense, of course. Every so often, the GOP runs an excellent candidate. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee..just to name two. Oftentimes, it’s against the Party Establishment’s wishes, but it happens anyway.

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        68. “Every so often” doesn’t cut it. Poltroons, I say!

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        69. The number of people who CONSISTENTLY vote Libertarian is less that 1%, which is less than the margin of victory in most elections. Your point is invalid.

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        70. Hey, now I can say with all honesty, “I’m in the 1%!”

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        71. Actually, I DO get it. There are plenty of Republicans who have read libertarian literature and respect libertarian ideals. They also want to get elected, and they understand that this won’t happen on the LP ticket. That’s why parties are brands, rather than ideologies.

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        72. True…to a degree. When you have a “choice” between a Progressive Democrat and a Progressive Republican, you really don’t HAVE a “choice.” Both are intent on spending us into oblivion. Both couldn’t care less about the restraints posed on them by the Constitution, and NEITHER of them are interested in much else but maintaining their positions of power and control. However, the answer is NOT a “third party.” The answer is purging the GOP of these “progressive,” elitist RINOS who have no respect for the history and traditions of the Republican Party.

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        73. What you’ve accomplished is demonstrating to everyone that left-libertarians are willing to throw everyone else under the bus. That’s the only ‘message’ you’ve sent. You might not be glad that you did.

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        74. Drugs would be much cheaper if left alone but you know the gov’t. is going to want to regulate (read tax) them. Now why would the govt’t. want to “regulate” drugs? What exactly would they regulate, purity? Who cares, the free market would regulate that. If you sold inferior or adulterated drugs you wouldn’t stay in business. If drugs were not profitable they would not be as readily available, hence, fewer users. You can defeat drug dealing (and use) only by dealing with the economics of it.

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        75. …which is what governments are doing to tobacco–or haven’t you noticed that what we paid 25-cents a pack for now costs upwards of $6? Virtually ALL of that difference is TAXES.

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        76. The same with beer. Taxes create the demand for a black market.
          but the gov’t. just has to tax everything!

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  8. Rob Sarvis getting 6.6% of the vote sent a huge message to the other two parties… Be libertarian or risk Libertarians taking even more votes next time.

    Ken Cuccinelli is very bad. I remember when he flat out lied to my face about cutting taxes when he was running back in 2003 (out in front of the Burke Giant Food). He said he was going to cut estate taxes and I said what are you going to cut service wise and he said nothing you won’t lose any of your services, we’ll raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and pornography. Sin Taxes.

    In addition, he almost caved on the GMU gun ban (showing his true colors), and he supported a “show your papers please” law that anyone would have to prove they were a “legal” US citizen in the state of VA.

    Would he be better than Terry McAullife? Doubt it, if he was anything like Bob McDonnell (who passed the largest tax hike in VA’s history as a “small government” Republican).

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    1. Mike. We don’t have a parliamentary system in America. Getting 6.6%,in a third party sends a message, all right. It means you’re politically stupid. Unless you WIN, you have no political power at all. Do you really expect the GOP (or the Democrats, for that matter) to be impressed by that? This demonstrates that the LP activists are driven by a few issues, and only those issues, and won’t compromise… Which makes you exactly useless in coalition politics. You’ll be discounted.

      Seriously, I’m betting guys like Rand Paul and Thomas Massie aren’t good enough for you because they don’t claim to be ‘libertarian’.

      As far as sin taxes go, has Ken ever proposed such a bill? Just maybe, once he got elected, he saw the utter folly of such things, or maybe his views on that have shifted on ten years.

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  9. Third party politics in this country tend to draw the real cranks – whether that’s a bug or a feature is up for discussion. I’ve been interested in what the Modern Whig Party is starting to do, but that’s for two reasons: 1) I’m curious to see what a party consciously founded by a couple of IAVA members can actually do, and 2) their official line is to be “non-ideologicial” – I’m smart enough to say that I’ll believe it when I see it, but a reduced role ideology in our politics would be a welcome change of pace. The “Big L” Party – from what I’ve seen in the larger state and national elections out of them – sorry, can’t do it. I’ve voted Libertarian quite often in local elections- where I think the party actually could have an impact, but I’m not convinced the “Big L” party itself works.

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    1. Them quoting Henry Clay puts me off right off the bat. He, like the old Whig party, was all about using government for his own ends, few of them good.

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  10. The LP (and to a lesser extent the RLC) has two serious problems.
    1. They go out of their way to alienate and belittle Christians, when many Christians are naturally moving towards libertarian positions. Instead, too many within the LP and RLC seem to be on campaigns against Christians. (e.g., Vic’s “mercilessly weed out the Christianist assholes who think that having an imaginary friend” comment above). An attitude like that ensures that you will not win elections.
    2. The assertion that the libertarians must be pro-abortion. That really demonstrates how little someone has thought about the abortion issue. Any libertarian should understand that the rights of any individual are limited when they conflict with the rights of another (otherwise, you’d be an anarchist). I believe reasonable people can differ on when they think a human entity gains the right to life – but any reasonably analysis has to concede that once the entity has the right to life, it must over-rule the right of a mother to kill it for any reason other than in defense of her own life. While I am a Christian, I personally look to science for the answer to this issue. It is undisputed that the science and DNA says that at the instant of conception there is a unique, living, human life. It seems to me that this is the logical point in time to grant the right to life. At the same time, I can appreciate that others disagree and think the right should only be granted after the first 13 weeks. I find it rather difficult to understand those who think it should be as late as 20-26 weeks, but I still accept that we live in a democratic republic and we can discuss things. I find third trimester abortions that the SCOTUS upholds to be entirely repugnant and people such as Obama who think it should be measured in days after birth to be equivalent to murder. Yet, even then, I respect the fact that we live under a Constitution and if they receive the votes we are doomed to live with their horrific consequences and the holocaust of abortion. What annoys me is when people suggest that simply because I want to defend the weakest among us that I am somehow anti-woman or not in line with libertarian values.

    In short, as long as the LP and RLC are dominated by voices that promote these bigoted views, they will remain insignificant. To Rob K’s credit, this is not the focus of the VA RLC – but as I moved to TX, I found that attitude all too present within the TX RLC.

    Oh, and as a side note, the tactic used on the gay marriage thing is also a bit stupid. The true libertarian position should be to get government out of marriage – a position that would attract many; instead, the attack is always against the R’s, which at least implies that the LP wants to require states to recognize who can be married, just like the Ds. Not only is that position is not very libertarian, the positioning does not help the LP to present itself as a third way – it only looks like they want to be just as controlling in a different way.

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    1. An entirely cogent post, Ken. I agree 100%. It’s what I’ve been preaching for a few decades now…at least since Roe v Wade. A baby comes into being at conception. Left alone, the body will either expel it naturally or it will grow to be a fully-formed HUMAN. It won’t be a fatworm, or a gazelle, or a crocodile. It will ALWAYS be a human life…unless some outside agency kills it. It is therefore, a third entity, sharing the DNA characteristics of BOTH parents…not just the mother’s. Intentionally killing it for any reason SHOULD be criminal unless doing so is the medically-acknowledged ONLY way to preserve the life of the mother. If “Mom” wants a “choice” THERE’S where she can exercise it. Carry the baby to term and lose your own life, or take the life of your baby to preserve your own.

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    2. Ken, while my position on the abortion issue is way too complex to discuss here (I do, however, find the late term abortion repugnant), I completely 100 percent agree with you on the gay marriage issue.

      The government needs to GET. OUT. OF. MARRIAGE. ALTOGETHER. It is not up to a bunch of politicians to sanction a relationship between two people, and FORCING a state to accept or not accept a union between consenting adults is a very anti-libertarian position.

      A free market position would be to offer equal protections under the law for all couples. If they find a church to marry them, great. If a church refuses based on religious principles, that’s fine too. If they find an officiant to marry them, great! But forcing one to do so if he or she believes it’s contrary to his or her values is repugnant to the very idea of liberty. If a church pastor/minister decides to perform a gay marriage ceremony, and the church loses congregants, it’s on them. Either keep the congregants they have by refusing to perform gay marriage ceremonies, or lose them and perhaps gain others. Overall it’s a business decision. But to FORCE a church to perform said ceremonies when it may be against their beliefs is antithetical to freedom.

      I personally have no problem with two (or more) people spending their lives together if this is what they choose freely, and as long as their decision doesn’t somehow obligate me to paying their way. No society, no government – state, local, or federal – should have the authority to prohibit that relationship.

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    3. Ken… Really? That’s disappointing to hear about the RLC down there. And surprising. I think the RLC should avoid that just as much as it should be avoiding Dominionists.

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  11. Found it. It was in response to someone styled “Vic” on Sunday.

    “People yammer on and on and on, ad nauseam, about returning the Republican party to its conservative roots, which is something that will never happen unless you mercilessly weed out the Christianist assholes who think that having an imaginary friend gives them the right to tell other people how to live,

    Good fucking luck with that.

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  12. And now we see Sarvis is “considering” running for Senate. Again, not that he can WIN, but, conveniently, it will guarantee the re-election of Mark Warner. .. .

    http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/12/robert-sarvis-considering-u-s-senate-run-against-warner-97560.html

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    1. Chances are Sarvis won’t win but he should get to the magical 10% mark. Liberty is winning slowly but surely. We can’t keep electing Repubs just because we don’t think the Libertarian will win. That kind of thinking keeps us where we are. It won’t be easy and it won’t be soon but we have to keep grinding away. I donate to the Libertarian candidates, not because I think I am going to get a return on my money but because I believe it will help the cause in the long run.

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      1. Cuccinelli is leaning against running. The GOP will probably draft a douchebag such as Bolling. Know what? I will proudly pull that lever for Warner. Fuck this.

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        1. If it’s Bolling, I will as well.

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        2. Can I just interject… 117 replies on this???

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        3. Nicki, are you going to vote your anger at Sarvis or do you think Warner and the democrats are better for the country? I have let anger cast its vote for me but I never felt good about it. Although my one vote has never decided an election, I felt like I let myself down. The older I get the more I realize I have only a few votes left. They are precious and I’m sure you realize that better than those of us born in this country so I’m not trying to preach here. I understand that you feel the LP tried (and succeeded) to cost KC the election. I feel like the low information voters outnumber the rest of us and they decided the outcome. You say you will proudly vote for Warner. If that is true, fine. Just be sure that that vote would make you proud.

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        4. Paul, yeah, I am pissed off right now and talking in anger. But fact of the matter is, Warner was not a bad governor. He’s unfortunately been a worse senator ever since he got to Washington. That place really corrupts people. In any case, as it stands right now, Sarvis won’t be getting my vote no matter what party he decides to run for. He’s bad on borders. He’s confused and uneven on the whole miles tax issue and thinks instead of getting government OUT of marriage completely, we should simply allow government to define marriage to include gays and lesbians. And he’s kind of a jerk. So no.

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        5. Why not, Mr. Jones. YOU seem “proud” of the fact that YOU helped elect Terry McAuliff, maybe the WORST governor possible for VA.

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        6. I don’t feel like I helped McA, I just didn’t help Sarvis enough! Better anarchy than despotism.

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      2. Sarvis’ arrogance has pretty much ensured he will not get my vote. So has his refusal to work toward shrinking the state, rather than using it to promote his pet causes.

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      3. Don’t understand, Paul. If, in 40+ years no Libertarian has ever won a significant election anywhere and Libertarians have no significant effect on ANY legislation as a result, WHY would you keep throwing good money after bad? Not that I really CARE how you spend your money, of course, but it seems to me foolish in the extreme…about like playing the Powerball with even LESS chance of seeing much of a return on your money.

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  13. Pappad, I believe in libertarian principles and I see our country heading the other direction. That is the long and the short of it. I could ask you, why do you keep supporting the republicans? What have they done for liberty? They actually win elections and what have we got to show for it?

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    1. Admittedly against the will of the Party establishment, the GOP IS moving toward conservatism–which I contend is the ONLY thing that will save us. I still don’t understand how helping elect people like Clinton, Obama and nowA Terry McAsshole are votes to make you “proud” of a political party that hasn’t EVER won much of anything because its philosophy resembles anarchy.

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  14. Nicki, I don’t agree with Sarvis on everything but I do agree with him more than with any of the others. I heard his answer first hand on the miles issue and I wasn’t pleased at all. That being said, they is nothing that comes to mind that I agree with Warner about.

    You mentioned how DC corrupts people and that raised a big red flag to me. I often wonder whether it will corrupt the LP should they ever get in power either on the state or national level? If it corrupts them, I will abandon them. Maybe power corrupts everyone. Maybe it would corrupt me? It’s a scary thought and , believe me, while I support the LP wholeheartedly, I have seen enough of politics to not be naive. I will continue to support the LP against the major parties because I have tried everything else to no avail. There is no fixing them and I won’t waste my time trying (although Pappad does not understand why I do it.) I’m sure many others don’t understand me but, what the hell, I’m not fishing for votes. I’d rather be alone in the wilderness than eat at the republican picnic.

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  15. Success in politics is all about strategy. If the Libertarian party wants to make an impact, it should focus on races where there is broad consensus that there is not a good candidate (rather than well-advertised close races) and in uncontested races. As an example, where I now live, Montgomery County Texas, the filing deadline for the major parties for the 2014 election is Monday evening. It appears that there will not be a SINGLE Democrat running for any office that is concentrated in this County, when all of the following are up for election and almost all of them are open seats!
    – Justice of the Peace (Pct 1 & 3)
    – County Commissioner (e.g., County Board) (Pct 2 & 4)
    – County Judge (e.g., Chairman of Board)
    – State House District 3, 15, & 16
    – State Senate District 4
    – US House District 8

    And Texas has a strong libertarian bent. You should be finding areas like this and concentrating your efforts on them – where you at least have a chance to become a viable SECOND party – rather than becoming a spoiler in elections and alienating the very people that you want to switch to your party.

    Instead, Sarvis gets the media and funding from Democrats to promote Progressive values under the guise of libertarianism and the LP is delusional enough to think that this did them a favor. In reality, you were just being used.

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    1. Ken, one quibble… the money to support Sarvis’ campaign largely didn’t come from Dems, it came from purist libertarians like Ed Crane (former chair of Cato) through Purple PAC.

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  16. As far as blacks voting for Obama, can you honestly say that if you were black you wouldn’t have? If a Mohawk ran, I’d vote for him just because of that.

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    1. My wife is 1/8th Cherokee but she’d NEVER have voted for Wilma Mankiller because of here far-left, “let’s-get-the-federal-government-to-give-us-stuff” attitude.

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      1. Yeah, you’re right. There are some Mohawks I wouldn’t vote for. (But they’d have to be way to the left or I’d be tempted anyway.)

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  17. A question for Rob Kenyon and others in the RLC:

    I understand that you heroes are working inside the Republican Party to create reform by nominating candidates who believe in aggressively reducing the size and scope of government. That’s great. But occasionally you will fail in that mission and a big-government Republican will be nominated. When this happens, what is the role of an average, uninvolved voter who wants to see government reformed in a libertarian direction?

    a) Vote for the Republican candidate anyway, to help keep the Party strong and on top.

    b) Vote for the Democratic candidate, to help deny Republicans a victory in that election.

    c) Vote for the Libertarian candidate (if there is one), to send a clear message to big-government types in both major parties.

    d) Write in “None of the above” as a protest vote against all the candidates.

    e) Abstain from voting in that election.

    f) None of the above; an uninvolved voter has no role to play when this happens.

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    1. My reply would be: Vote. Your. Conscience. Your clear, informed, educated conscience. Period.

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    2. The policy when faced with a bad nominee is “silence speaks volumes.” Then, yes, vote your conscience.

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      1. “Any of the above” is “none of the above” if it makes no difference what the voter does. So that would be f.

        I think it’s good to have some measurement of voter disgust, and I will opt for that as long as I’m disgusted. So I would say c, no question. And if the voter isn’t aware of an option c, I’d tell them to go with d just to make sure. e contributes to the least important measure of voter dissatisfaction–low turnout–but at least it shows. Options a and b simply affirm the status quo.

        But you are saying there is no real option for libertarian-leaning voters unless the RLC can pull one together. That there is no message to send by voting. That they need only wait patiently and rely on you to deliver miracles.

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  18. As Rob posted earlier, we don’t have a Parliamentary system in the U.S. What did your 6.5% GET you in VA? Terry McAsshole as your new “governor!” I can’t think of ANYTHING worse for VA unless it would be re-electing Obama to a “third term.”

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