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The Economist reports on Libertarian convention

Discussion in 'Legal' started by yy, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. yy

    yy Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Jun 3rd 2004

    The Libertarians choose their man

    SINCE 1971, when it first appeared, the Libertarian Party has been one
    of the stranger creatures roaming America's political landscape.
    Anti-tax, pro-liberty and pro-dope, it regularly fields candidates for
    local office in nearly every state. But the political mainstream
    remains far distant: the party has fewer than 20,000 members, and its
    presidential candidate in 2000 received just 380,000 votes.

    At last weekend's party convention in Atlanta, the mostly white,
    middle-aged members enjoyed swapping their experiences of living in a
    police state. After the first round of voting, the delegates watched a
    video message from a former Libertarian candidate and marijuana-grower
    in California who had fled to Canada, claiming political asylum.
    Visitors could munch on hemp-seed pretzels, exchange their limp
    greenbacks for silver "Liberty Dollars", or sign up to join the Free
    State Project, which recruits libertarian-minded voters to move en
    masse to no-income-tax New Hampshire.

    Yet the Libertarians could be in better shape this year than at any
    time since 1980, when their presidential candidate got nearly 1m votes.
    The party's platform, which revolves around curbing government, could
    appeal to fiscal conservatives disillusioned with spiralling spending.
    It is pro-choice, and dislikes laws governing sex between adults; it
    generally favours immigration, opposes the Iraq war and abhors the
    Patriot Act. It could draw a number of Republicans who have either
    become disillusioned with the war and the neo-conservatives, or who
    never liked them in the first place.

    So who should lead this vital force? The favourite going into the
    convention, having won the party's five state primaries, was Gary
    Nolan, a genial former Republican talk-radio host from Ohio; his main
    opponent was Aaron Russo, a former movie producer who once ran for
    governor of Nevada. (Libertarian presidential candidates tend not to
    have served much time in office.) Mr Nolan struck most of the delegates
    as solid but unexciting. Mr Russo, by contrast, promised professional
    TV commercials and greater exposure for the party--which might have
    worked, had his campaign promises not included abolishing the Federal
    Reserve, and his campaign literature not been bundled with a newsletter
    called the Western Libertarian Alliance, which included tips on how to
    make sure your new baby does not receive a Social Security number.

    The third candidate, Michael Badnarik, a computer-programmer from
    Texas, entered the convention as a dark horse: unlike the other two
    hopefuls, he had not even rented a room for his campaign headquarters.
    But since January 2003 Mr Badnarik has been criss-crossing the country,
    making speeches and teaching a freelance class on the United States
    constitution to anyone who will listen. He impressed the 800 delegates
    so much that, on the third round of voting, he won easily.

    That stunned him. Earlier, talking to supporters, he had sounded more
    like a college professor than a politician. Did he think al-Qaeda was
    behind the September 11th attacks? He was not sure: "I know I don't
    necessarily believe everything the federal government tells me." From a
    Libertarian's point of view, an excellent answer. Elsewhere Mr Badnarik
    has promised, if elected, to wear his handgun during state-of-the-union
    addresses, blow up empty United Nations buildings and require violent
    criminals to lie in bed all day for the first month of their
    incarceration. But he received a standing ovation and a pledge of
    support from Mr Russo, who begged the audience for more money to
    promote the presidential campaign.

    Mr Nolan, sorely disappointed, seemed to be the only candidate to
    realise that the Libertarian Party's lack of draw has something to do
    with its message. "You can't tell a guy with two cars in the garage,
    'This is a totalitarian government'," he said before the vote. "He'll
    think you're nuts." It is a truth Libertarians have been wrestling with
    ever since they began.

    See this article with graphics and related items at http://economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=2731107
  2. tyme

    tyme Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Vote Libertarian. Don't overanalyze the situation and conclude the LP doesn't have a chance. What do the other two parties have a chance at doing, besides screwing this country up more than it already is?

    Both intend to increase the national debt, continue spending ridiculous amounts of money on Homeland Security, and continue harassing innocent citizens who are trying to do nothing more than live in peace. Neither have a good plan to keep Iraq democratic that doesn't require permanent U.S. presence. When we leave, the terrorists will turn Iraq into a socialist hellhole just as they're doing with Spain, or they might be able to destroy the government and establish a theocracy no better than Saddam's.

    Vote Libertarian.
  3. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Between Georgia and Antarctica
    Vote for Bush.....

    The alternative is Kerry!:eek:

    The LP is going nowhere.;)

    I couldn't resist...:D
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I can at least tell the Libertarians from the Republicrats and Democans.
  5. atek3

    atek3 Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    SW CT
    Thats pretty great that the keynesian socialists in the economists wrote a (largely) positive article about libertarians. I hope it opens a few fence-sitter's eyes.

  6. Wiley

    Wiley Member

    Sep 1, 2003
    Marietta, GA
    I heard somewhere that a third party takes about 50 years to gain enough support to chalange the major parties. Maybe this election will shorten the time.
  7. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    And why do you think socialists wrote a positive article about Libertarians? Because they have suddenly seen the error of their ways or because this is likely to be a close race and they hope the LP will draw enough support from the Republican party that they can put Kerry in place?
  8. Boats

    Boats member

    Dec 29, 2002
    People here thought that article was positive?
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