Tag Archive | elections

Shut Up, FFS–Arvin Vohra is NOT Why the LP Loses

First of all, before I get into this, it’s worth pointing out that the LP isn’t really losing. In fact, we just won a number of local and state elections. The LP has no national Congressional officials and has never won the White House, but Libertarians of all people should understand the power of local governments. Yet we seem to have the same fascination with the Federal Government that the Big Government Party has–it’s all that matters to us. “Meh” we say to LP victories in local elections. Anyway.

I’ve noticed that libertarian types lose perspective on popularity almost as badly as anime fans. There isn’t an anime fan out there who doesn’t think their favorite show is extremely popular, even though there may only be 23 people who watch it. Anime fans, of course, tend to obsess over their favorite show, steep themselves in its forums and discussion boards, surround themselves with merchandise and other fans. Just like libertarians do with our political obsession. And with our cryptocurrency fascination. It’s hard to keep in mind that, though a few people know what I’m referring to, when I say something like “lol, S2X just got rekt” on Facebook, less than 1% of my friends have any idea what in the world I’m talking about. Seeing people regularly blame Arvin Vohra for the party’s relative unpopularity reinforces this notion: libertarians generally have no perspective on our reach.

The Libertarian Party is a minor political force in the United States. Running against the two most controversial and despised candidates in living memory, the Libertarian Party’s candidates failed to secure a single electoral college vote, not even from New Mexico, which was the presidential candidate’s home state. When this happens to someone in one of the major two parties, it spells the effective end for their political career (see Marco Rubio losing Florida during the GOP Primary). Absolutely nothing was accomplished by the total selling-out of the party to Bill Freaking Weld and Republican Lites, during the most divisive election in my lifetime.

Many people are looking for reasons to blame for this failure. It’s all rather simple, really. We ran two milquetoast, unlibertarian candidates in an election that a foul-mouthed, uncouth shock jock reality show star celebrity won via social media and jarring tweets. Despite this, people continue to insist that foul-mouthed, uncouth shock jocks saying jarring things on social media are causing election losses. This is quite clearly bullshit, though. Those things caused Donald Trump to win the presidency. It’s for this reason that John McAfee almost certainly would have outperformed Gary Johnson, and likely would have brought in the mythical 15% to secure a spot on the debate stage. Arvin doesn’t need to be toned down. He needs to be shared and given a larger reach, because this is the Golden Age of Grotesque.

“Why didn’t people see this coming?” is a pretty good question, but “Why are people acting like this isn’t the case?” is a much better one. Did these “Arvin is destroying the LP” people not notice that Donald Trump just won the White House? Did they miss that development?

But even if all that wasn’t true, the idea that the vice chair’s Facebook posts are the reason people aren’t Libertarians is horrendously stupid. They’ve lost perspective on the kind of reach the Libertarian Party has. Quick, who is the Republican Party vice chair? Who is the vice chair of the Democratic Party? What is the vice chair of the Democratic Party talking about on Twitter? The only people who know the answers to these questions are politics-obsessed Republicans and Democrats. Even Libertarians, who are notoriously obsessed with politics, by and large can’t name the chair and vice chair of any of the other parties. And those are major parties that regularly bring in more than 40% of the votes.

The Libertarian Party’s reach is a tiny, tiny fraction of what the GOP and Democratic Party’s reaches are. And the vice chairs in these parties have tiny fractions of their parties’ reaches. The only people who pay any attention to what the vice chair of the party says are members of that party. John Q. Public has no fucking idea who Arvin Vohra is, nor does he give a shit what Arvin Vohra is saying on Facebook during a non-election year. We need to step back and get over ourselves. The core idea here is that the LP has a tremendous reach, and that Arvin Vohra, being the vice chair, has a nearly equal reach. This is stupid and incorrect. The only people who know who Arvin is are members of the party.

If we are so overestimating our reach and the reach of the vice chair that we blame him for our party’s failures, then we’re going to overlook and not address the actual problem. The problem isn’t Arvin, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, or Nick Sarwark. The problem is obvious: a strong aversion to third parties, brought about by the fallacious myths that a vote only matters if the candidate its cast for wins, and that third party candidates can’t win. The latter is quite obviously a self-fulfilling prophecy–“Third party candidates can’t win, so I’m not going to vote for third party candidates.”

The former, of course, is equally stupid. A vote doesn’t gain value relative to the outcome, but relative to its effect on the outcome. If Donald Trump won by ten million votes and you voted for him, then your vote has much less value than if Donald Trump won by one vote and you voted for him. People understand this when you explain it to them. “The only vote that is wasted is the one that isn’t cast,” I said to a person once who said that she liked the LP but wouldn’t vote third party because it was wasting her vote. She agreed with the statement, said that she had never thought of it that way, and went on to vote for the LP.

If you voted for Donald Trump and he won by ten million votes, then your vote* was almost completely without value.

If you voted for Hillary Clinton and she lost by ten million votes, then your vote was almost completely without value.

If you voted for Donald Trump and he won by one vote, then your vote had extremely high value.

If you voted for Hillary Clinton and she lost by one vote, then your vote had extremely high value–you forced every single Trump supporter who voted to get out and vote. If even two of those had decided not to, your vote would have been the reason your candidate won. So while your candidate didn’t win, that doesn’t really matter.

LP Federal Fascination

As stated in the intro, Libertarians seem to focus almost exclusively on federal elections, seemingly forgetting that we’re a party that advocates that government, if it must exist, should be local and small, and this focus is so intense that many Libertarians continue to call the party a failure that doesn’t win elections despite having just won elections this very month. This is our Achilles’ Heel. We’ve let ourselves buy into the Federal Government Obsession.

We expect the Big Government Party to focus on federal elections–and they do. The Republicans and Democrats out there in the mainstream have no idea that an election just passed. I accidentally texted someone a few years ago telling her to vote in the election, and she replied, “What election?” I’d bet that most of the country has no idea that there was an election this month. But they’ll turn out in 2020, and they turned out in 2016. Why aren’t we taking advantage of this?

We know that they don’t pay much attention to local and state governments. Odd years should see Libertarians swept into offices in enormous numbers. Instead, I don’t know of many Libertarians who voted this month at all. If we play their Only Federal Elections Matter game, we will lose. We have been losing, and we will continue to lose, because they have an enormous aversion to voting third party. But they also don’t matter when it comes to state and local elections, not nearly as much. If everyone who voted for Gary Johnson had actually bothered to go and vote for Libertarians this month, we’d have won thousands of elections. Voter turnout during odd years is so low that it’s hard to even find stats on it.

Republicans and Democrats do not care about odd year elections. And they only partially care about non-presidential even year elections. Those are our times to shine, because we’re supposed to be the party that doesn’t care about the Federal Government, and that cares about local elections. Combine all of these things together, and the reasons for the LP’s failures become obvious:

  1. Mainstream voters have an extreme aversion to third parties.
    1. This is because they think their vote’s value is derived from the recipient’s victory,
    2. And because they think that third party candidates cannot achieve victory.
  2. Mainstream voters don’t care about odd-year elections, and only kinda care about non-presidential even years.
  3. Libertarians have almost fully adopted the same mentality, caring only about the Federal Government and outright ignoring local and state elections during odd years and non-presidential even years.

It’s got nothing to do with Nicholas Sarwark, Arvin Vohra, Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, John McAfee, moderates, centrists, anarchists, socialists, or anyone else. It’s the fixation on the Federal Government, where competition is extremely tight, and almost total ignoring of state and local elections. We shouldn’t need to win Federal Elections, because we should have taken control of local and state governments to such an extent that we could resist all efforts by the federal government to tyrannize the states and localities.

Want to achieve liberty in our lifetime? That’s how. Ignore the presidential elections entirely. We probably have to run a candidate, sure, but it should be a quarter-hearted effort at best. Instead, save our energy, money, and resources for odd years and non-presidential election even years.

 

* Ignoring the intricacies of the electoral college and the fact that the mythical popular vote doesn’t strictly determine the election outcome, but the electoral college does nothing but give your vote more value by creating the possibility of you being the one vote that flips your state from Red to Yellow, or from Blue to Red, or from Red to Blue, or from Blue to Yellow.

Why Does the Libertarian Party Exist?

There are two main sides within the Libertarian Party these days. One side believes the party exists to win elections, and the other side insists that the party exists to spread the principles of liberty. We can definitively settle the matter right now by taking a look over at the Libertarian Party’s official website and checking out its official platform, wherein it states:

Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

It’s pretty explicit and hard to misinterpret. So if you happen to fall in the “the party exists to win elections” camp, then I’m going to have to ask you to free your mind for a moment, because you’re wrong. The party exists to set the world free in our lifetime; winning elections is one of many ways of achieving that goal. The goal is “to create liberty,” basically, to  keep things short. The method–that is, how we get from here to “a world set free”–is not explicitly defined, except in the platform that follows, but that’s more or less just a list of ways that we aren’t free. There is nowhere in the platform any suggestion that we must or, heaven forbid, should go through the state in order to achieve liberty.

That is by design.

It is entirely possible that we may one day set the world free by doing nothing more than spreading the word and making people aware of the reality of the state, and that one day we might have the numbers to simply shake off the fleas and be done with them, without ever electing someone to a political office. That so many people assume that we must go through the state simply shows how trapped in the statist mindset they are. Not only have there been countless sweeping changes throughout human history that did not go through the state, but the best changes have always not gone through the state, and have always been spontaneous creations of individuals acting in liberty, not because of a mandate.

Anarchists Versus Minarchists/Classical Liberals/Statists/Big Ls

This is closest to being honest I’ve had one of the Big L Libertarians get. I’m sure many people reading will instinctively agree with what Tristan said. However, read what Tristan said. “This is our party, and we’re going to do what we want. If you don’t like it, leave.”

It’s been my contention for some time now that when Big L Libertarians talk about “compromise” they don’t mean “with anarchists,” and they actually mean “with Republicans and Democrats.” They love talking about compromise, but when it actually comes down to it, they’re typically intransigent and seem to think that “compromise” means that they get whatever they want, and dissenters get to go along with it or stfu. Compromise is a two-way street, and it means that one side gives up something to secure something that would be tolerable, while the other side gives up something to secure something that would be tolerable. If the nominations of Gary Johnson and William Weld, of all people, didn’t prove beyond any doubt that Big L Libertarians have absolutely no desire to make any concessions–when so many superior Vice Presidential candidates were available, like Will Coley–then I’m not sure what will.

I think that’s the part that Big L Libertarians don’t get: compromise means that they have to make concessions, too. The anarchist-preferred candidate of 2016 was undoubtedly Daryl Perry. Compromising on John McAfee would have been excellent middleground between Big L Libertarians and Daryl Perry. However, they had no reason to compromise, did they? No, because they outnumbered us and have always outnumbered us. We were willing to compromise with having Daryl Perry as a libertarian (not anarchist) candidate. And “we” (I say “we” meaning “me,” but surely most anarchists would have happily agreed) were more than willing to compromise with having John McAfee as something more like a minarchist (whether McAfee is a minarchist or anarchist, I don’t know, but he is certainly easier to sell in the mainstream, simply by weight of his name). And, of course, we had already compromised by playing at all in the system that we want to destroy.

We are, and remain, willing to compromise… with minarchists.

I gladly admit that I have no desire to compromise with Republicans and Democrats. I do not compromise with people who are so blatantly wrong and whose modus operandi is force, violence, and coercion. I will not compromise my freedom to people who see nothing wrong with outlawing abortion, or to people who want to steal from me to pay for other people’s stuff. Not only am I unwilling to compromise with the people who devastated the Middle East and the people who are gleefully beating the Drums of War with Russia, but if you are willing to compromise with such people, then that throws your judgment immediately into doubt, as far as I’m concerned.

If Big L Libertarians want to compromise with Republicans and Democrats, there’s not much we anarchists can do about it, because we are outnumbered–we seem to comprise about 15-20% of the party. Obviously, they are perfectly free to compromise with whoever they want… Or are they? Does compromising with a tyrant or a sycophant not stain one’s hands? Isn’t this a bit like compromising with Charles Manson–“Okay, Charles, we’re going to compromise. You can’t kill anyone, but, I tell you what, we’ll let you torture one person every six months, as long as you don’t kill them. Deal?” How clean would one’s hands really be in such a compromise? And aren’t we all aware that the state is infinitely more horrific than Charles Manson?

Regardless, the issue is that Big L Libertarians act and speak as though what they want is to compromise with the anarchists who actually belong in the Libertarian Party. This is part of the leadership crisis that we face, but we’ve also got a major problem with collectivist thinking having infected the party. They regularly talk about how they wish that the in-fighting in the party would end, and I have to agree, but I dispute their understanding of the in-fighting. The rift is between anarchists and minarchists, or radicals and moderates, however one would like to put it, and exists because the minarchists/moderates have convinced themselves that the Libertarian Party belongs to them and that, at best, anarchists are the red-headed stepchild.

It is not and has never been a minarchist party–nor is it an anarchist party. It is, however, every bit as much an anarchist party as it is a minarchist party, and as it is a classical liberal party. Larry Sharpe came under fire recently (does the drama never end???) for making a video that people interpreted as his saying that he didn’t want anarchists in the party. Even though that isn’t what he said or meant, the whole thing still dances around the issue without actually stepping foot on it: it’s not Larry Sharpe’s party. It’s not minarchists’ party. It’s not their party to say they do or don’t want us in it.

This is my house that I’m writing this from. It belongs to me. If I don’t want you in it, that matters. But if I’m in Bob’s house and I don’t want you in it, that doesn’t matter, because it’s not my house. The very idea that Larry Sharpe or anyone else is in any position to want or not want anarchists in the party is patently absurd–this house belongs every bit as much to the anarchists as it does anyone else. It’s not Larry Sharpe’s house for him to proclaim who he doesn’t want inside, and neither is it any other minarchist’s or anarchist’s.

And the entire root of this rift is that the Big L Libertarians (of whatever variety) do think that it’s their house, and that we’re simply guests whom they allow to sleep on the couch. That… is… wrong. It is factually and historically wrong. Minarchists simply told themselves and convinced themselves that it was their party, and then they began marginalizing the anarchists. However, proclaiming something to be true does not make it true.

The Libertarian Party of the United States was founded in 1971–some of its founders are still around, and you can find them on Facebook and discuss it yourself with them (assuming they are willing). Merely three years later, the Dallas Accord was struck between the anarchists and the larger minarchist faction, wherein the two sides agreed that the question of whether a state was desirable would be intentionally avoided until such time as a libertarian society had been achieved; it was the agreement that the Libertarian Party was neither a minarchist nor an anarchist party, and this was only three years after the party was formed.

In 2006, the minarchists took control and became hostile to the anarchists, deleting most of the party platform and replacing it with things like “Government exists to protect rights…” This doesn’t make it right, and it’s an outright betrayal of the anarchist faction. It caused a mass exodus of anarchists from the party that had betrayed them so brazenly, and was dubbed the Portland Massacre. Now we have a party platform that says that a state-owned military is necessary! It was an obvious stab in the back to the anarchists, and in the years since the minarchists have not only betrayed anarchists further but have betrayed themselves and leaped right into classical liberalism and something very much like Constitutionalism.

I dread to think what the Libertarian Party would become if there weren’t still anarchists out here trying to stick it out and keep the party tethered to its principles, because it has betrayed so very many people, factions, and ideas. Now we have language that says the state should use immigration laws to “protect” us, which not only is patently un-libertarian, but it’s not even classically liberal–it’s full-blown statist, as even the Constitution didn’t grant the Federal Government the power to control immigration. In its desperation for mass approval and Quixotic quest for electability, is there any principle that the Big L Libertarians won’t betray?

Politics & Elections

As stated clearly, the party exists to cause liberty to happen. It is certainly conceivable–although I find the idea incredulous for reasons I’ll detail in a moment–that winning elections could be a valid method of achieving that goal. However, it is foolish, absurd, and narrow-minded to act like it’s the only possible way of achieving that goal, or even acting like it’s the best method of doing so. Given the results so far (widespread betrayal of anarchists and libertarian principles, schisms in the party, some Big L Libertarians even calling people like me enemies…), I’d argue that it’s not even an acceptable way of achieving that goal, even if it is possible in theory.

There seems to be this idea that we can pull a Bait & Switch on the electorate, and that we can run a “moderate Libertarian” who gets into office and enacts actual libertarian policies. This is called “deceit,” and it is generally frowned upon. It is false advertising, and it is considered to be deceptive–because it is deceptive. It’s like marrying a woman not because you love her (as she thinks you do), but because she’s a millionaire with no kids and no one to leave all her money to when she dies. It’s a clear case of false pretenses–everything about it is immoral, and that’s before we get into whether or not it would actually work.

Hint: it wouldn’t.

It is strangely denialistic to think that if you can convince Bob to legalize marijuana, then you’ll have an easier time convincing him to legalize all drugs. If there was any truth whatsoever to that, then the repeal of Prohibition in the 1920s would have prevented any further substances from being outlawed in the first place, because, in American history, Bob was convinced that outlawing alcohol was more trouble than it was worth, didn’t actually eliminate alcohol, created a black market, created gangs, and was a gross violation of people’s liberties. That didn’t stop Bob from turning around and making marijuana illegal barely a decade later, or from adding methamphetamine, heroin, and countless other substances to the list of banned narcotics.

Libertarian: “Bob, Prohibition isn’t working. We need to repeal it and just let people be free. This has done nothing but caused death and misery.”

Bob: “You know what? You’re right. Repeal Prohibition!”

Libertarian: “Alright! Let’s not make this mistake again, either.”

*Ten years later*

Bob: “We’re outlawing marijuana.”

*Seventy years later*

Libertarian: “Bob, marijuana prohibition isn’t working. We need to legalize it and just let people be free. This has done nothing but caused death and misery.”

Bob: “You know what? You’re right. Repeal marijuana prohibition!”

Here we enter Fantasy Land.

Libertarian: “Great! Let’s repeal prohibition of heroin, too! And cocaine! And crystal meth!”

Bob: “Hey, you’re right!”

… That’s so obviously not what would happen. Bob would reply, “Are you out of your mind? Marijuana is one thing, but heroin? No way! That’s something else entirely!”

That’s the flaw with the incrementalist/moderate approach. Just because you can get me to drive five miles doesn’t mean you can get me to drive five hundred miles. It’s absurdly unrealistic, and I find it hard to believe that anyone actually thinks such an approach will have any success. Legalizing marijuana won’t end the drug war; it won’t shift Bob’s position on the Drug War even the tiniest bit. I can already point to at least a hundred people I know who want to see marijuana legalized but who would recoil in shock and incredulity if I suggested to them that we should also legalize heroin.

Phase 1: Legalize weed!
Phase 2: ????
Phase 3: The drug war is over!

Phase 2 is “something magical happens.”

The “legalize marijuana” versus “end the drug war” thing is such a wonderful parallel to the radical/moderate divide, because this is true in nearly every sense. I’ve convinced plenty of people that a business owner has the unalienable right to choose the people with whom they associate, and that they therefore don’t have to serve LGBTQ people if they don’t want to. It’s not too difficult to convince people of this. But the next thing out of their mouth is always, “But what if they’re racist and don’t want to serve black people? We can’t allow them to do that!”

It’s insane. It’s either a huge misunderstanding of reality or a purposeful self-delusion about human nature. Though I’ve convinced at least twenty people that discrimination of LGBTQ people by business owners is an unalienable right, I have never convinced anyone that discrimination of black people by business owners is an unalienable right. According to the incrementalist approach, once I convince them that discrimination against LGBTQ people is a right, they should be receptive to the “more extreme” form, yes?

Except they’re not, and they never are.

A World Set Free

It should come as no surprise that the Big L Libertarian faction (which doesn’t include every libertarian, minarchist, or classical liberal) seems incapable of grasping the idea that there might be some other ways to set the world free than by going through the established political system. For anarchists, the established political system is optional–however, we do not deny that it is an option. In contrast, the Big L Libertarian faction denies that there are any other options: they know only the state, and so they only know to go through the state. But that’s where libertarianism starts to contradict itself in the first place, because anyone who follows the ideas to their logical conclusions will end up as an anarchist, since aggression is the only way that the state can do anything while still being a state.

It’s just another example of how anarchist ideology isn’t even being considered by the larger faction, and, if they’re not even considering it, they can’t possibly be able to compromise with it. It’s like that Jody guy who blocked me when he claimed to be an anarchist immediately after saying that the state should exist to protect liberty. If you’re unwilling to even learn what anarchists think, then how can you compromise with them? If you’re trying to sell something to a person, don’t you kinda have to know what they’re offering to pay? But, of course, they’re not willing to compromise–as we’ve established–and they aren’t willing to even consider anarchists enough to learn what we have to say. If they were, then they would already know that going through the existing state is most certainly not the “only” way to set the world free (and, if one follows the ideas to their conclusions, it’s actually impossible to use the state to set the world free because the state is literally what you’re trying to set the world free of).

To compromise with someone, you must first know what they want and what they believe. Judging from my person experiences, the Big L Libertarians (which, again, isn’t inclusive of every minarchist, libertarian, and classical liberal) have no idea what anarchists want or believe. Jody’s silliness was the most flagrant, but it was hardly unique.

These Big L Libertarians seem to operate solely on their belief and their idea of what they want the Libertarian Party to be, making whatever assumptions they like, and from there they seem wholly resistant to facts. This Travis person has the idea in their head of what the Libertarian Party is (and, it’s worth mentioning, that their understanding of the Libertarian Party just coincidentally is exactly what they want it to be), and nothing will shake that delusion.

To say that the Libertarian Party exists to win elections is to say that anarchists aren’t welcome in the party, because we imagine different ways of achieving the Libertarian Party’s goal (which, one will read, is to set the world free, not “to win elections, duh!”). Having our methods spit upon and waved away even as we’re willing to go along with their methods, as long as they agree to the standards that we laid down in 1974 to solve exactly this problem… We’re using our preferred method, but we’re also willing to help you and use your preferred method to get libertarians elected to office. Our method and your method are only at odds because you set them to be by saying our method is meaningless, that yours is the only method that matters–by usurping the entire party and proclaiming it to be nothing more than a vehicle for your chosen method!–and that we’re not even welcome in the party if we don’t cease our method, shut up, and meekly go along with you.

This is our party, too.

And that’s why the goal of the party is to set the world free, not to win elections. Like the liberals I’ve talked about before who associate their emotion with their preferred method, it has trapped you and left you unable to even fathom that there might be some other way of achieving that goal. After all, the liberal takes “There shouldn’t be anyone starving in America!” and links that directly to “We need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour!” It’s the basest and most confused of human behaviors to link a given goal inextricably to one’s preferred method of achieving that goal, and then dogmatically sticking to that method regardless of whether it works (like how liberals continue to demand increases to the Minimum Wage, despite the unemployment that it has caused).

Our method is 100% as valid as yours, and the Libertarian Party is 100% as valid as a vehicle of our method as it is a vehicle of your method.

We are anarchists, and this is our party, too.

Brace Yourselves. A Trump or Clinton is Coming.

brace-yourselves-2I actually had a dream last night that Donald Trump won the election. One could even call it a nightmare with some justification, because the resultant riots were disastrous. To deal with the widespread violence, Obama declared a National State of Emergency, and those were the circumstances when Trump assumed office: ones that would make Hitler laugh giddily and do the Dr. Evil pinky thing.

Don’t get me wrong. Hillary would be just as bad, if for different reasons. We’d wake up in January to see news reports of how Hillary drone-bombed the Ecuadorian Embassy in London–“Why not? We bomb places in all sorts of countries without a declaration of war. London shouldn’t have been harboring him if they didn’t want to get bombed.”–and completed a decades-long plan to attack Russia. Race relations in the country continue to worsen, LGBT communities continue grabbing power while screaming about how oppressed they are, and flagrant misandry goes ignored while even the most subtle forms of misogyny are ripped to pieces.

Most of this isn’t going to change no matter who is elected President. We could elect McAfee/Weiss* and it wouldn’t change any of these underlying issues. Black Lives Matter isn’t going anywhere. Just half an hour ago, I read an article about how Social Justice Warriors on Twitter flipped out when they saw “a KKK sign” at the World Series. It went down like this.

SJW: “Why is there a KKK sign at the World Series? RACISM!”

Reasonable person: “There isn’t. In baseball, a ‘k’ means ‘strike-out,’ and they hang one each time the pitcher strikes out someone.”

SJW: “Wow, okay, thanks for mansplaining.”

But I don’t really mean to get into all that. We have a lot of problems here in the United States, and they’re not going to disappear overnight. The best outcome would be that we elect someone like McAfee/Weiss, who get the state out of our way and let us work things out. Because things are going to have to be worked out; there’s zero dispute about that. The only question is whether we will solve our problems, or whether we will decide that we are absolutely, totally, objectively right, and thereby use the state to solve our problems in the way that we want.

One thing is certain, though. Tuesday night, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected the next President of the United States. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t vote third party. In fact, it means that you should.

At best, these two horrible human beings each have about 40% support. That means that, no matter what happens, sixty percent of Americans are going to be upset. So I would humbly ask everyone…

Can we stop being selfish assholes for a minute? For three days. Please?

Consider that significant majority of Americans who are going to be extremely and negatively impacted by your presidential choice. Consider doing something bizarre–something you may never have truly done before–and allow, just for a moment, for the possibility that you might be wrong, and that other people matter, too. Ask yourself what kind of person would do something if they knew as a certainty that 60% of all the other people in the nation were going to be deeply bothered and upset–rightfully so. Ask yourself why you think it’s okay to do that to 60% of all the people you share a country with, and then look elsewhere–ask yourself if there might be some other way for everyone to be moderately happy.

No one will get what they want, but everyone will get what they need.

trump-or-hillaryTake a moment to consider the vast majority of Americans who would say that a Trump presidency is the absolute last thing they want; take a moment to consider the vast majority of Americans who would say that a Clinton presidency is the absolute last thing they want. Consider all those other people.

There are 150% as many people against your presidential choice as there are for your presidential choice. You are outnumbered. Democratic-style governments only work when people act with a modicum of selflessness, consider the interests of other people, and accept that they don’t really have the right to make a decision and drag the majority along with it.

I understand that you’re terrified of a Hillary presidency. So is at least 20% of the population that does not support Trump, and they are just as scared of a Trump presidency as you are of a Hillary one. They have managed to conquer their fear, saying, “No! We will not be extorted and coerced into supporting this terrible candidate because you somehow managed to find someone who is even worse! We will vote for peace, for love, and for compassion, not from fear, terror, and rage.”  Put aside the fear. Put down the bullet that is your vote and shake the other people’s hands. It’s the only way that we can even start to work out the real, underlying issues in the United States.

I understand that you’re terrified of a Trump presidency. So is at least 20% of the population that does not support Hillary, and they are just as scared of a Hillary presidency as you are of a Trump one. They have managed to conquer their fear, saying, “No! We will not be extorted and coerced into supporting this terrible candidate because you somehow managed to find someone who is even worse! We will vote for peace, for love, and for compassion, not from fear, terror, and rage.”  Put aside the fear. Put down the bullet that is your vote and shake the other people’s hands. It’s the only way that we can even start to work out the real, underlying issues in the United States.

So I implore you. Allow for the possibility that you may not be right. Allow for the possibility that those 60% of Americans telling you that you are wrong are, in fact, correct–but so are you. Everyone is a bit right. Consider their wants, needs, and desires, and then ask yourself: “Mightn’t there be a better way?”

Indeed, there is. Vote third party.

* I realized the other day that I hadn’t given Weiss fair treatment in my articles, hardly ever even mentioning him, but the McAfee ticket was never “the McAfee ticket.” It was the McAfee/Weiss ticket. Of course, the LNC nominates its President and Vice President separately, but I don’t think the Libertarian Party should have “official candidates.” I think that, from the point of view of the Libertarian Party and the LNC, anyone who says they are a Libertarian candidate is a Libertarian candidate; we need to stop having one “official” one. Let the best libertarian win–not at the LNC with a small delegation but with libertarians across the country who will vote for the one they think is best. There is no reason that the LP should have one single, official candidate, especially not after several instances of the official candidate not really qualifying as a libertarian.

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Gary Johnson, Charlatan & Con Artist

This is probably the last thing I’m going to say for a while about Gary Johnson, because I’m just so horrifically disappointed in the Libertarian Party that I don’t see much point in continuing to speak out against him. Sure, the Libertarian Party is doing better than ever, but they killed libertarian principles to do it, and Gary Johnson is the con artist that caused it to happen.

It’s not a good time to be a libertarian.

We should never reach that point where someone is schooling the Libertarian Presidential Candidate on liberty. Yet here we are.

This matters because the Libertarian Party was the greatest hope that we would one day be free again. However, it is virtually indistinguishable from liberty-leaning conservatism today. This means there is very little hope that we’ll ever have a libertarian society (or even a classical liberalist society), because the party founded on those principles has abandoned them in favor of Johnson’s warped, narrow, and limited understanding and inability to apply simple principles.

It’s Time For Cruz, Kasich, and the Establishment To Surrender

Another soundtrack for your reading pleasure. 😉

You might also be interested in checking out last night’s episode of Rantings & Ravings, where I discuss the absurdity that sexual orientation is defined just as much by the gender of the person “who is attracted” as the gender that is the recipient of the attraction.

Anyway. Yesterday’s results for the Republican Primary made two things exceptionally clear. First, the Democratic nomination process is over. Second, the Republican nomination process is over. As I predicted back in November (though that link is from December), the general election is going to come down to Trump versus Hillary, and Trump will win. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or bad thing, but it is what’s going to happen. The only way to prevent that is for wider America to turn away from the established parties to a third party. And, realistically, the only third party with any chance whatsoever of upsetting the balance of power is the Libertarian Party. By the way, have you seen John McAfee’s new ad?

But enough of all that.

The current Republican Primary results are:

Candidate Delegate Count
Donald Trump 954
Ted Cruz 562
John Kasich 153

1,237 delegates are needed to secure the party nomination before the national convention. If that number is reached, then the person who reaches that number is automatically made the nominee. If that number is not reached, then some debating and argument ensues, the delegates cast their votes again, and the process repeats until someone hits the magic number.

187 delegates will immediately be up for grabs after the first wave of delegate voting (think of delegates as elected representatives) because the people they were elected to support have dropped out of the race. This includes Marco Rubio, who holds more delegates than John Kasich, who is still in the running.

There are 502 delegates remaining that are up for grabs, meaning that both Cruz and Kasich have been mathematically eliminated from earning the Republican nomination. Even if things radically change and Cruz wins 100% of the remaining delegates, he will only reach 1069, which is only barely more than Donald Trump’s current 954. Giving Cruz the nomination when Donald Trump has been the clear frontrunner for months and consistently earned a larger share of the votes from all across the country through a large time period would result in absolute chaos in the GOP. Whether people like it or not, it is time to accept that the nomination must go to Donald Trump.

Because Cruz won’t secure the remaining 502 delegates. Already, the tendency of people to vote for the person they think likeliest to win is taking effect, and Trump will continue to gain 50% or more of the vote in the remaining states. If Trump doesn’t hit the magic number, it’s an irrelevant point, because he’ll be so close to it–within a few dozen, according to most scenarios–that doing anything else would be viewed as outright robbery and political shenanigans.

The reality is that, according to the rules, having 1,236 delegates going into the convention won’t guarantee that person will become the nominee. This is because, in a two person race, there would be two candidates with 1,236 delegates, so neither of them can be assured victory. That isn’t the case here, though–this is a 3 person race, the totals are nowhere near even, and there is a huge gap between the other two candidates and the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination. In a two person race, it absolutely would be unfair to guarantee one of the people with 1,236 the nomination. In a three person race that used to be a 12 person race, however, it’s much less unfair. In a very real way, these goons that dropped out early in the race have screwed up the entire system, and I think that should be one of the GOP’s rules going forward: you can’t drop out of the nomination process.

Just think of all the people who voted for Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Carly Fiorina. All of those people have been disenfranchised by the people they supported. When Rubio, Paul, Fiorina, Christie, and all the others announced their campaigns and then proceeded to campaign, they made a promise to the people that they would try to secure the nomination. And then they dropped out, breaking their promises to the people who supported them. How would Rand Paul be performing in this narrowed field? How would Fiorina be doing?

Yet, at the same time, I think it’s time for Cruz and Kasich to admit defeat. I’m not saying that they should drop out of the race by any means–for the same reason the others shouldn’t have been allowed to drop out; it’s weak, disingenuous, and a betrayal to their supporters who now effectively wasted their votes on people who are no longer candidates. How many people would have supported Trump as their second choice, if Rand had not basically caused the votes he received to disappear into a blackhole of political shenanigans? How many people would have supported Cruz or Kasich if Rubio had never run at all? All of these people–their votes have been reduced to nothing, and might as well never have been cast at all.

Many Americans think their vote is wasted if their candidate doesn’t win, and this is what drives people to vote for the candidate they think is likeliest to win. If people had known that Paul, Fiorina, Christie, and all the others weren’t going to see it through, and therefore would never win, they would never have voted for those people at all. And now these people who voted in their primaries for these candidates who dropped out have their voices completely and totally nullified in the delegate process. The people who voted for the delegates going to the convention in the name of Rubio, Paul, Christie, et al. no longer have a voice. Behind-the-scenes “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” political brokering has taken over, allowing candidates to influence delegates. That delegate going to the convention in Rubio’s name–he’s a Cruz supporter. That person who voted for Rubio who may absolutely hate Cruz has effectively become the reason that Cruz will win one more delegate in the second round*. Maybe that person would have selected Kasich if they’d known that Rubio wasn’t going to have the courage and spine to hang around; it doesn’t matter, their voice is nullified. That person who voted for Jeb Bush may hate Kasich and may have preferred Cruz as their second choice. But in the second round, that delegate who is a Trump supporter will vote for Trump.

It is inescapable that this process has marginalized tons of voters. One might ask, “So? If Trump hits 1,237, then all the people who supported Cruz similarly have their voices erased.” But no, that’s not the case. Losing an election (and primaries are elections) does not erase the votes for the loser–that’s the widespread belief I referred to earlier that a vote is wasted if the candidate doesn’t win. However, “Trying to the very end and losing” is not at all the same thing as basically telling people you’re going to try to the very end, and then absconding with a ton of votes.

If I told investors I need $10b to do some complicated thing that would make us all trillionaires, and then I took that money, gave up on the project, and left them standing there wondering what happened, that would be an enormously different thing from doing what I said I would do and simply failing at it. The consequences appear to be about the same, but the circumstances and details couldn’t be more unlike.

So what am I arguing, then, if not that Cruz, Kasich, and Sanders should give up and drop out of their races? I’m saying they should stop campaigning. They should remain candidates so that the voters can continue to speak, but the reality is that, contested convention or no, neither of them have a viable path to the nomination. Trump isn’t speaking in bravado when he says he thinks people will riot if he doesn’t get the nomination. People may or may not riot, but one thing is certain: they will never switch their support to the candidate who took the nomination more or less from Trump. And it doesn’t matter that “the rules say this” and “the rules say that.” The rules don’t matter, not really.

What matters is what the voters think and feel, not the rules that the Establishment has in place to go against what the voters think and feel.

They can hide behind the rules all day long and say, “No, see? We were totally allowed to ignore the fact that Trump needed only 9 more delegates and instead let Kasich have the nomination.” But their delusion has reached new levels if they think that “Well, the rules allow it” is going to appease anyone; if anything, such an explanation will only rile them further. The primary is done; it’s over. There is no way for Cruz or Kasich (or anyone else for that matter) to get the nomination without shattering the Republican Party. And no–the Trump supporters will never switch their support to a candidate who they believe unfairly took the nomination from Trump, and they do think that would be unfair.

As do I, for that matter, but I’m not a Trump supporter. I understand the rule, and I understand the process, but “Because it’s the rule” and “Because it’s fair” aren’t even related, much less the same thing.

Cruz and Kasich, however, should stop campaigning and should start attempting to bridge the animosity between themselves and Donald Trump. Yes, it’s their responsibility now to bridge those gaps–they are the losers, and they are the ones who must now accommodate Trump and his positions. Trump is the clear winner, and that will continue going forward. It is time for them to put aside their differences, accept that Trump is going to get the nomination, and begin making inroads so that their supporters, when Trump secures the nomination, will support the selected GOP candidate. Continuing to drive wedges into the Republican Party will not help matters. It’s time for them to start tweeting, “You know, guys and girls, Trump isn’t really THAT bad…”

Actually, to be totally clear, it’s time for them to start focusing on Hillary and going after her. That is how they continue to be candidates while ceasing to drive wedges into the party. When Trump (who is childish) insults them, they must ignore it and counter with an insult of Hillary. There is no excuse for continuing to fracture the Republican Party all the way up to the convention, especially not since it is inescapably clear that Trump must be the nominee–because, as I’ve said, the rules are irrelevant.

Rule 40B

Briefly, the RNC is likely to repeal their changes to Rule 40B, which requires any prospective candidate to win the majority of delegates in at least 8 states. By widespread admission of the Establishment, this rule was changed in 2012 specifically to keep Ron Paul from getting the nomination. It prompted the majority of Ron Paul supporters to walk out in disgust, and it represents the most brazen official interference of the Establishment that we’ve ever seen. Ron Paul had the 2012 nomination stolen from him in a number of ways–the media refusing to report his victories was yet another, and it was so common and blatant that even Jon Stewart called out the media on it.

I’m not a Trump supporter. Obviously–I support John McAfee, through and through. But I did support Ron Paul in 2012 when the GOP retired him and didn’t even invite him to the retirement party (seriously–that actually happened), when the Establishment passed 40B specifically to shut down Ron Paul’s chances. They should not even be allowed to repeal that rule now. Oh, by the way, there is also evidence that Rule 40B was rejected by the delegates, and there is proof that the Establishment was going to pass 40B whether people liked it or not–there were some teleprompter issues that revealed a lot more than the establishment intended.

They made this bed when they passed 40B illegally (Illegally according to their own rules, not illegally according to the state’s laws), and they should now be forced to lie in that bed. This eliminates Cruz and Kasich, and good riddance. All three of the GOP options are just bloody awful, and it’s a terrible fact that Trump sucks the least out of them. But Cruz is a constitutionalist and, despite what most people think, the Constitutionalist Party is not built solely from the Constitution; it is a Christian political party, through and through, and its own platform rejects the notion of separation of church and state.

We also need separation of state and economy. There has never been anything more critical to our freedom than to forever separate these two things. But that’s another matter. The point is that Cruz and Kasich don’t have a valid pathway to the nomination, even if it can be done without violating rules, and it’s time for them to accept that and start trying to heal the damage that their campaigns caused in their attempts to win.

On a side note, one of the reviews of V2: The Voluntary Voice read my essay “The Power Gap” and reached the conclusion that, because I talked about the Second Amendment, I must be a Constitutionalist. What an idiot. This is something I’ve always wanted to address, but have never bothered to. He also blatantly asserted that he disagrees because “he felt otherwise,” which is just more of that crap where people think their feelings are good enough to outweigh facts and reason. But anyway–the notion that I, an anarchistic atheist, am a Constitutionalist is absurd, and nothing about the essay indicates that I’m a Constitutionalist. I would urge people who think that my reverence to the U.S. Constitution and insistence that, at the very least, the state should abide its own Constitution, makes me a Constitutionalist to actually look into what a Constitutionalist is.

 

* This is speaking hypothetically, of course, and assumes that Trump won’t hit 1,237. If he doesn’t, then this absolutely will be more or less how it plays out.