Tag Archive | third party

Libertarian Drama

Man.

Libertarians really love drama, don’t they?

I was left speechless when sections of the libertarian party criticized Nicholas Sarwark for appearing with Glenn Beck; I was stunned that anyone would care about such a thing, and even more surprised that anyone would consider it a bad thing. From where I sit, promotion of the party is a good thing. I’ve softened my position on Sarwark considerably, and I no longer really care to see him removed in 2018–nor do I really care to see him stay. My position on him is ambivalent, and depends largely on what he does between now and then, because the Libertarian Party is having what anyone would call a “leadership crisis” if it happened anywhere else and in any other context.

The Libertarian Party is a union of classical liberals, minarchists, libertarians, and anarchists who have united together for a common goal. It’s worth reminding people here that anarchists have already compromised by even playing with the system that they want to see destroyed. Of course, this compromise gets waved away as though it’s nothing, because there is so much contention that anarchists refuse to compromise, but it is true that, by even participating in electoral politics, anarchists have compromised with classical liberals and minarchists.

Libertarianism was essentially the “meet in the middle” position. It was agreed in 1974 that these various groups with disagreements about how far liberty should go would compromise on libertarianism. And here is where the first clear example of the leadership crisis comes in. The Libertarian Party has an absolutely dire need for Sarwark and other prominent libertarians to remind the Big L Libertarians that this is just as much the anarchists’ party as it is theirs. They don’t seem to be aware of this, but it’s just as much the Anarcho-Capitalist party as it is the Classical Liberal party and as it is the Minarchist party.

I’ve seen so many calls for “compromise” and “agreement” that are little more than masked statements that “Anarchists need to just shut up and go along with whatever we say.” As one of the aforementioned anarchists, our own party has not only marginalized us, but has also called us “the enemy” on several occasions, has made us heretics in our own party, and has simultaneously called us inconsequential and the bane of their success. Just as the Libertarian Party is said by the mainstream media to be inconsequential while also being the reason Hillary lost, so does the Libertarian Party turn around and say exactly that about anarchists. We’re irrelevant, apparently, but not so irrelevant that we can’t be single-handedly responsible for Gary Johnson’s failure to gain traction.

That’s the heart of the problem: they’re looking for someone to blame, and they’ve already found their scapegoat. If this means the Libertarian Party has to condemn the vice-chair for saying on his own Facebook page what is really just “the libertarian position,” then that is what these mainstream elements of the party will do.

I was the guest on Liberty Radio Network with Will Coley and Thom Gray last night, and I said then that this larger centrist element of the party is like a high school student who is absolutely obsessed with what everyone else thinks of him. They so desperately want to be part of the in-crowd that, yes, if their friends jumped off a bridge, they’d close their eyes and leap. They desperately want to go to prom and be voted prom king, and this causes them to do anything and everything that they think will help that happen, without any regard whatsoever to other considerations.

As a transgender atheist anarchist and resident of Mississippi, I know very well the pressures in society to care what other people think, to do what other people want, and to be what other people want you to be. I know exactly what it’s like to be in the closet because you’re terrified of how everyone will react. Everyone wants to be loved, and everyone wants approval; it’s no different for political parties. And yet there isn’t a person among us who wouldn’t repeat the banality that we shouldn’t care what other people think, and that we should be worried only about being true to ourselves.

Compromise

In truth, when Libertarians say that they just want to see compromise, they’re implying, and sometimes state directly, that they’re referring to compromise between minarchists and anarchists. They do this to frame themselves as the reasonable ones who want to compromise, forever thwarted by those unreasonable anarchists who flatly refuse to. It’s, as Will Coley described last night, “Bait & Switch Libertarianism.” It’s a game in classical Transactional Analysis terms; they want to frame themselves as Adults who want compromise to convince themselves and each other (in a classic circle jerk) that they’re being totally reasonable, but the reality is more insidious: they’re taking a Parent position and demanding that anarchists take a Child position. Then, when anarchists refuse to shift from Adult to Child to accommodate this “Just shut up and go along with us” mandate, it allows the Libertarian to justify to themselves that they did everything a “reasonable” person would do, and that their only recourse is to wash themselves of us and continue demonizing us.

It’s a psychological trick that people often use to convince themselves that what they already believe is true. It’s a case of “Why Don’t You / Yes But,” where Person A says, “This is the problem,” and Person B proceeds to offer suggestions. Person A responds to each of them with, “Yes, but…” and gives a brief overview of why B’s solution won’t work. After a bit of back-and-forth, Person B will say, “Well, I don’t know, then.” This allows Person A to say to themselves, “See? It really is hopeless.” It’s just about Person A reinforcing to themselves what they already believe, and so the Libertarians end up playing TA games to reinforce to themselves that anarchists are being unreasonable.

The game is revealed to be a game by pointing out that anarchists are absolutely willing to compromise. First, many have already compromised by taking part in the Libertarian Party, though there are certainly many who refuse to do even that. That’s fine–no one is saying that we must compromise with them, because they don’t vote in the conventions anyway. On top of that, we’re willing to compromise on libertarian candidates, rather than even attempting to run anarchist candidates (even if such a thing wasn’t a contradiction in terms).

However, the centrists in the party don’t want to compromise with anarchists; they want to win elections, and that seems to be all they care about. It’s only a matter of degree, how many positions they’re willing to sell-out in order to win an election, which raises the question of why anyone who “wants to win elections” wouldn’t just go to the Republican or Democratic parties. Apparently, that would be too much selling out of their principles, but bringing in dyed-in-the-wool Republicans like Bill Weld somehow isn’t.

They state clearly their intentions, though. They want to win elections, and the reason they get so butthurt over things like Arvin’s statements as that they’re obsessed with mass appeal and “the marketing factor,” such that the last thing they want is to do or say anything that could possibly harm their ability to reach Republicans and Democrats. They criticize Arvin because his statements about the military will make it harder for them to reach alt-right people, nationalists, conservatives, and other right-wing people who worship the state.

Do you see what is happening?

They want to compromise with the alt-right people, nationalists, conservatives, and other right-wingers, not anarchists. This is problematic because libertarianism is the middle-ground between anarchism and statism. Now they want to compromise with Republican and Democrat statists. They rarely have the courage to say this directly, because they know that it’s impossible to find the middleground between libertarianism and statism while also finding middleground between libertarianism and anarchism, since libertarianism already sits between anarchism and statism.

In numeric terms, statism is 100, anarchism 0, and libertarianism 50. Libertarians say that they want to compromise with anarchists at 25. Yet their actions–their drive to secure mass appeal, to water down the message to appeal to Republicans and Democrats, nominations of Johnson and Weld–show that they’re trying to compromise with statists at 75. And they keep telling each other through all of this that we anarchists are the ones being unreasonable, that we’re heretics and enemies because we refuse to compromise, when, in fact, they’re refusing to even consider the possibility of compromising with us, because doing so would make it impossible for them to compromise with Republicans and Democrats.

Just recently I had someone block me on Facebook (again) for commenting his status wherein he’d described the Libertarian Party’s problem as playing host to people who were “anti-state, not pro-liberty” and whose refusal to compromise prevented the party from coming together. It was a clear attack on anarchists, and he’d basically straight up said “We need to compromise with Republicans and Democrats, not anarchists, but anarchists refuse to compromise with us.” Also worth mentioning is that he said in the post he believed that the state should exist to protect liberty. When I pointed out this glaring discrepancy, he replied that he is an anarchist.

To quote John McAfee–the libertarian candidate that anarchists were more than willing to compromise on, by the way (McAfee/Coley, McAfee/Perry, and McAfee/Weiss would have been excellent libertarian tickets)–“I shit thee not.”

When I pointed out next that he’d explicitly stated that he thinks the state should exist to protect liberty and therefore is most certainly not an anarchist, he told me to stop being rude. I didn’t say it then because the words escaped me, but… Fine. I’ll stop being rude as soon as you stop being disingenuous. Stop wearing this mask of reasonable compromise when what you’re actually saying is “Anarchists shouldn’t try to have a voice within the party that belongs to them just as much as it does me.”

And whatever he has to do to justify that statement, evidently he and others will do it–even if it means describing himself as an “anarchist” who believes the state should exist to protect liberty. Obviously, that is libertarianism/minarchism, not anarchism.

I shudder to think, you know? This guy–this libertarian or minarchist–described himself, and I swear I’m not making this up, as believing the state should exist to protect liberty and as being an anarchist. I have to ask, honestly: how do Libertarians think we can compromise with them if they misrepresent our positions so badly? An anarchist is literally someone who believes the state shouldn’t exist. That’s literally the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist. But instead of even listening to us to find out what we’re saying and what we believe, he found it easier to simply misrepresent himself as one of us, though he doesn’t share the ideology that literally defines the group known as “anarchists.”

It would be like if I said “I’m a Christian who believes Jesus wasn’t the Son of God, and Christians need to compromise with atheists and accept that Jesus wasn’t the Son of God.” It’s filled with so many examples of “Bruh, that word–it doesn’t mean what you think it means” that it’s hard to know what to say. A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus was the Son of God. Imagine how an actual Christian would feel if they saw me say that sincerely, and then imagine that, on top of that, I’m an atheist anyway and simply claiming to be a Christian while I attempt to convince other, actual Christians that they should do whatever it is that I’m advocating.

Yeah. “Disingenuous” doesn’t even begin to describe how messed up and deceitful it is.

That’s how badly we’ve been sidelined and marginalized by our own political party. And if they’re not doing that (and, yes, this was likely an extreme case of deceitfulness), then they’re busy calling for our heads for daring to remind people what the libertarian position on something is. I have argued with so many people about what the Libertarian platform does or doesn’t say. One has to marvel that this happens, because the Libertarian Party platform is like three clicks away from anyone who has the capacity to argue with me on Facebook.

But the “facts” just don’t come into play. That “anarchist” means “someone who thinks the state should not exist” doesn’t come into play when someone instead can identify as a pro-state anarchist. The ends, evidently, justify the means, no matter how much deceit is present in the means.

And even now, after Johnson’s loss to the two most toxic presidential candidates in modern history, and even after we saw Bill “Gun-Grabbing” Weld secure the libertarian vice presidential nomination over just about anyone who would have made a better candidate, nothing has changed. I’ve seen calls for Johnson 2020, and, oh God help us, Rand 2020. Their intentions are clear: they want to continue compromising with Republicans and Democrats, because all they care about is winning elections, and they have this idea in their head that we can take an incrementalist approach (Right? Because we all know that if you can convince Bob that we should legalize pot, it is much easier to convince him to legalize heroin… Right? Don’t we all know that?).

But that’s mutually exclusive with compromising with anarchists. It can be one or the other. Libertarians can compromise with anarchists, or they can compromise with statists. The only way to do both is unabashed, undiluted libertarianism. Short of putting forward unafraid, unapologetic, and unbridled libertarianism, we need Sarwark and other prominent libertarians to remind the party that it belongs to anarchists, too, and that they’re supposed to be compromising with us when choosing the party’s candidate, not attempting to compromise with non-libertarians.

And if those Libertarians should happen to decide that, yes, they do want to compromise with Democrats and Republicans, and that they aren’t interested in compromising with anarchists, then they should have the balls to state that outright and not to pretend like they want to compromise with anarchists.

The Libertarian Party is a party of principle, not agenda. Its goal is to spread libertarian principles, not to win elections; winning elections is just one of many methods of spreading libertarian principles, but it is not the only one. Given how this disaster-ridden attempt to win elections has left the principles of the party frayed, it’s clearly not even the best method.

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.

How Things Change… And Don’t Change

I have to admit that Cruz dropping out of the race on the tail end of Trump’s victory in Indiana took me by surprise. I never expected Cruz to drop out; I thought he would fight to the bitter end, because he is really the only person who could fight to the bitter end. Kasich won’t keep Trump from hitting 1,237, and Cruz surely knows that. With Trump’s only real competition out of the way, Trump is assured the Republican nomination. There’s almost no way that he could lose at this point.

So moving forward, the Libertarian Party has to ask itself: who is best suited to square off against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? And I have to confess here… I don’t see anyone surviving an onslaught of Donald Trump’s notoriously childish attacks except John McAfee. As I said previously, there is a very real aspect to John McAfee–he is, as I said, “a real motherfucker.”

He’s an alpha male. There is no doubt about that. He looks and acts exactly like an alpha male, and he doesn’t take shit. The man has lived on the streets, escaped from an armed military, and confronted an abusive pimp directly. This is not the sort of man you insult in the way that Trump insulted Ted Cruz. It’s not because John McAfee would snap out his 38 and put a bullet in Trump; it’s just that Trump is smart enough to recognize that McAfee isn’t the sort of person one wants to mess with.

Beyond that, McAfee’s business credentials are too solid for Trump to assail. Without his television show The Apprentice, Donald Trump wouldn’t have become the household name that he is today. He was a real estate mogul, and that’s quite impressive, but it’s hardly something that is going to cause the average American to know your name. John McAfee has his name on the desktop of practically every computer in the United States–or at least has had his name on it at one point. “McAfee” is a household name in the way that Coca-Cola is a household name.

That is McAfee’s empire. Though he sold his ownership and retired, it changes nothing; it is still an empire that McAfee built, the software that dominates the anti-virus industry (and, no offense meant, Mr. McAfee, but McAfee antivirus sucks… Whatever it may have once been, it’s not worth a shit now).

Trump will find it impossible to derail McAfee in the way that he derailed Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Kasich, and Cruz. Bigger names than Gary Johnson have been paved over by Donald Trump, and, I’m sorry to say, I don’t think Governor Johnson would pose as much more than a speedbump to the Trump Trainwreck. The same is true for Petersen, who would be sidelined in ways that would make Rand Paul look like he hadn’t been neutered by Trump.

We have to think about these things. We have to act as though we will land a spot in the official presidential debates; we have to act as though it’s a given that the presidential debates will consist of Trump v. Hillary v. Libertarian candidate. And we have to ask ourselves, honestly and sincerely, who the best person to stand between these two titans really is.

And there’s only one answer.

This guy.

This guy.

Can you imagine how Petersen would fare against Trump and Hillary? No offense to Petersen, but he couldn’t handle me, and that was just on Twitter. The Libertarian candidate is expected to stay on track, on the issues, and on principles; standing tall and solidly against whatever comes. And Petersen fell back to the same banal generalizations and soundbites that the Republicans and Democrats are notorious for. That will not earn a third party candidate any support in a general election debate. At best, it will maintain existing support, but we cannot simply stand our ground in these debates. We must GAIN ground.

It will do not good for 11% of the Americans watching to be Libertarians and already siding with the Libertarian candidate before the debate, if only 11% of Americans watching side with the Libertarian candidate after the debate. And with an assured onslaught coming from Trump, and a likely one coming from Hillary, the work is cut out for the Libertarian candidate. Consistency, reliability, genuineness, soundness, and charisma are necessary. Yes, charisma.

Gary Johnson will fall to Hillary. I have very little doubt of that. He may or may not be able to stand against Trump–it’s hard to say, because Johnson does have his record as governor to point to. His business record, however, is meaningless to Trump, and any weakness there will be picked apart. Again, Trump cannot pick apart the business record of McAfee, because McAfee built an entity that makes Trump’s look quaint in comparison–regardless of the dollar figures involved.

Petersen will surely fall to Trump. Trump is a bully without moral or mercy, and Petersen is too similar, in national stature and political positioning, to Rand Paul, who was absolutely eviscerated by Trump. Rand Paul was left looking like a child, because Trump painted him as a child. One by one, Trump toppled his opponents, and finally eliminated Ted Cruz–who enjoyed far more support than Petersen is likely to have.

Because I won’t support Petersen, and I gather that many other Libertarians won’t. I simply can’t support Petersen. Even if he gets the nomination, and even if mine would be the deciding vote, I can’t support Petersen. Nor can I support Johnson after his Nazi Jew cake debacle, and that’s true of many other Libertarians as well. In fact, the only candidate who hasn’t been sworn off, to my knowledge, by a sizable chunk of Libertarians, anarchists, and classical liberals… is John McAfee.

I think that Johnson would come out okay against Trump, but would probably fall to Hillary. I think Petersen would probably come out okay against Hillary, but would probably fall to Trump. I don’t see John McAfee falling to anyone. His principles are too sound, his voice too reassuring, his demeanor too calm, his eyes to convicted, and his gaze too confident. I am not in love with the man or gushing over his physical appearance, but these things matter, and he has them.

And let’s be honest–Janice will only help him. One of the biggest weaknesses of the Republican Party is that it’s notoriously… how shall we say… of the Caucasian persuasion. The Libertarian Party doesn’t have that problem, but John and Janice McAfee damned sure don’t. At a time when racial issues are ripping up our country (I’m sure it’s offensive to someone, but I have no idea what Janice’s ethnicity is, and I don’t really care to look into it), her mere presence alone as his wife will be a tremendous help. And his genuine love for her is obvious to anyone who knows the story.

Hillary receives a huge chunk of her support from black Americans, but how might that change with John and Janice McAfee gaining the national spotlight? Hispanics also favor Hillary–how might that change? In a very real way, McAfee is not merely an alternative for the disenfranchised Republicans who don’t like Trump; he’s an alternative for the unhappy Democrats who don’t like Hillary.

We already know from experience that the millennials supporting Sanders won’t switch their support to Hillary–as the Democratic Party thinks they will. They won’t. They hate Hillary just as much as we do. And we already know that the message of liberty resonates with this group. These disaffected millennials will have an easy time switching their support to John McAfee, with his non-white wife (the millennials are notoriously filled with white guilt and self-hate… Seriously, it’s to the point where it’s just embarrassing. When you see things like this:

more white self hate

…coming from a white person, it kinda makes you wonder. It wasn’t just once, though, that this friend of mine shared and wrote something like this. He does it pretty often, in fact. It’s gotten so bad that someone even commented one of them and said “Aren’t YOU white?” He replied that yeah, he is, but he isn’t allowed to say things about any other races, so…

But yeah, dude. Yeah, you are allowed to say things about other races. Otherwise you are the one being racist. If you’re making honest-to-god jokes with no ill intent behind them, yeah… you are allowed to joke on other races. That’s the white guilt and self-hate we’re talking about. If you’re just consistently saying things like “White people are so fucked up…” though, then you don’t really… What is your… Do you… Bro. Why do you hate yourself so much?

Look, this is simple. If you feel that you can’t say jokes about other races, then… don’t make jokes about race. See? It’s that simple. Here, for example… I don’t want to make jokes about race. That’s why I don’t. I don’t make jokes about black people, white people, or any other ethnicity. You do. But you only target one race, and you purposefully don’t target other races. That’s… the very definition of racism.

Got off track there. That’s a complex issue that takes way more time to really get into than I have here.

Anyway, these white millennials who hate white people (What? They do. Don’t take it up with me. Take it up with them.) will throw their votes at anyone who either a) also hates white people or b) just isn’t white. Sanders fits “a” really well, with the endless pandering, and Janice fits “b” really well. Given they already have some penchant for liberty anyway, John is a very easy fit for them. I’m not being sarcastic or facetious–that’s pretty much how millennials work. They’ve been doing it for years; surely I’m not the only one who has noticed the trend?

While I think Johnson will get the nomination, I also think it would foolish for the Libertarian Party to give it to someone who has consistently failed to increase his support. If anything, Johnson has lost support. And I won’t support him, because I don’t think I have the right to whip out a gun and force people to sell me cakes.

I honestly don’t think Trump would assault McAfee in the way he’s gone after so many other people. Would you? If you saw all the past GOP hopefuls, John McAfee, and Hillary Clinton standing in a line, who would be the last one you insulted? This isn’t bravado or foolish naivety; it’s the simple recognition that McAfee is one of those people who has it written all over their face “Don’t fuck with me.”

Let’s just assume that we can get a Libertarian in the national presidential debate. Let’s assume that’s a fact. Realistically, do you see Petersen or Johnson coming out of those well? If you do, more power to you–vote for that person, if you see them coming out well and support their positions. But give serious consideration to that question, and keep in mind that Trump is a notorious bully and Hillary a well-known liar who is almost impossible to pin down on anything. The professional bully and the professional squirmer. Think about what kind of person it will take to step into that mess and not only put down the bully but also nail down the squirmer.

And to that, the choice is obvious, isn’t it? Johnson will never nail Hillary down, and Petersen will crumble beneath Trump. The only hope Petersen or Johnson would have would also lie in a fourth candidate being onstage, and that would be a disaster; we do not want a four-way debate. That simply fractures the vote further, and it is already going to be difficult to get people to cross the aisle.

Only one person can do that: John McAfee.