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« Scrabble | Main | Staying the course »

Nov 28, 2006


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Mike is a great guy and a rare kind of Libertarian I could see myself supporting...perhaps because his platform is so liberal!

John C

Thanks Ed, I have downloaded the signature petition, now to get people to sign it!
you are right; it is an impressive resume.

Phillip Rhodes

There is no correlation whatsoever between being a libertarian and "seeing black helicopters" anywhere. This is just an example of one media whack-job committing the logical fallacy of generalizing to a group based on an individual (or very small sample). I know Republicans who believe in conspiracy theories as well, does that mean I can make the generalization that "Republicans believe in whacky conspiracy theories?" Same for Democrats, Greens, Reformers, whatever.

Statements like Ed's are - at best - ignorant, or - at worst - a malicious attempt to misrepresent the believes of a certain group.

Ed Cone

The Libertarian Party tends to be the worst enemy of libertarianism. At least around here, it nominates people with no interest in compromise, i.e., winning elections, and on a % basis the conspiracy stuff does seem overrepresented.


This phrase would equally apply: "It nominates people wedded to principle."

For a recent 20 minute Munger speech that looks at the left-right struggle on college campuses go here:
(Yes, the lecture was arranged by one of the local Libertarians and famous conspiracists who skews Ed's metrics on the party.)

BTW: The hair is for www.locksoflove.org/ or a similar group as Mike's wife is a cancer survivor.

Ed Cone

Electoral politics involve compromise. If you want purity and unwavering belief, form a libertarian think tank or study group. The LP rides its high-horse to disaster year after year.


"The LP rides its high-horse to disaster year after year."

Plus, they perpetually piss off people who don't like to deal with some of the issues libertarians bring up.


Ed is right on and I've shared this view with Capo before too. The way I see the NC electorate, I think Lib candidates could get elected by taking the Libtertarian side of the bi-polar issues defined by Ds and Rs. In other words, create a third choice without creating a third way. Yes, it's a compromise, but it would get Libs into the game and advance some of their ideas instead of having ideological rigidity banish them forever to the sidelines.

I find the possibility of such candidates appealing. That's why I signed a petition on election day to get the Libs recognized as a valid political party in NC. I hope they get enough signatures, then I hope they run to win, not just to try to make a point.

Ed Cone

It's not just issues that piss people off, it's issues taken to points rarely discussed outside of freshman dorms -- Abolish drivers licenses because I don't need the state's permission to travel, or, All taxation is theft, and so on.

People vote for candidates who have a chance of practicing what they preach. The LP is so focused on philosophy that it is tangential to most people's lives, and voting habits.


I wasn't thinking about the out in the ozone issues they sometimes come up with, Ed.

They have plenty of good issues they raise, many of which don't have a place in either party's platforms.

Jim Caserta

Great link to the speech.

Ed Cone

Yeah, they do have a lot of good issues we should be talking about -- that's what makes the "ozone" focus so frustrating.

Jim Capo

The real problem is that most people vote on labels. Almost 50% of the registered voters in Guilford county walked up to the voting machine and simply mashed the all D or all R button. The Libertarians or any third party might, over time, grow to have its own cadre of straight ticket voters but the long standing ballot access and voter registration laws of North Carolina make sure that it is impossible.

That it is in vogue to dis the whole party with black helicopter and dope head smears, is also not particularly helpful to furthering serious discussions on the proper role of government in our lives.

When I ran for county commish in 2004 on the LP ticket, I had little problem besting my opponents in public forums. I was able to talk about public schools without calling for their abolition. I was able to talk about eliminating corporate welfare incentivies without calling for the abolition of the public health department. John Hammer would have voted for me if I had an R after my name (and had I been able to get past a Republican primary where one candidate spent something like $50,000). Orson Scott Card found me, "articulate, intelligent and refreshing" but "obviously not serious about winning" since I was running as a Libertarian and working for The John Birch Society.

After the label factor, the next biggest hurdle any third candidate has is the emotional urge people have to put their money on a winner. Too many people want to run with the pack. Happens in the stock market every day. No one wants to knowingly "throw my vote away."

Ultimately, the Libertarian Party's role in our political process will most likely be similar to the Communist Party's. We will never achieve electoral victory but our efforts may eventually result in the two approved wings of the ruling party adopting (or at least parroting) many of our positions for their own.

Jim Capo

P.S. Roch, thanks for the signature. 43,000 down. 63,000 more to go. We'll get it done even if we have to do it one at a time.

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