Christine Smith Accuses Libertarians of Compromising Principles

LP presidential candidate Christine Smith put out a rather long essay on principle. In it, she stated that “a principled, anti-statist, no-compromise articulate Libertarian is not what the LP will accept, embrace or support.”

She also stated:

But I have also encountered a number who believe that to advance their agenda (even if it is a goal we agree on as Libertarians) justifies compromising principle.

Some have gone so far as to promise my campaign much support if only I would modify/weaken my platform by to getting rid of its ‘radical’ stances as they perceived it. They wanted me to become ‘moderate’ in my libertarianism and in turn they offered me support.

Her accusation was explained, in part, with the following:

On every political issue where I see a Libertarian compromise, I see that for their supposed gain of ‘freedom’ they are willing to let some people continue to suffer persecution at the hands of government. Big government is all about compromise of principle and to the degree a Libertarian compromises they, too, are pro big-government.

I’d like to know specifically who has asked her to “weaken” her platform and who has exactly what agenda? I’d also like to specifically know what she considers a “Libertarian compromise.”

I’ve called and left a message for Ms. Smith requesting an interview. Hopefully, we’ll see how she responds.

65 Responses to “Christine Smith Accuses Libertarians of Compromising Principles”

  1. Gene Berkman Says:

    I am sure she means well, but it comes off as rhetoric and griping. I have been an active libertarian for more than 40 years, and I have never heard of this person before this year, so it seems she wants to start at the top.

    If she is concerned with building a Party of Principle, she should get involved locally and show some success for her uncompromising viewpoint, whatever it might be. Then she might get people to listen to her.

  2. Jeff Wartman Says:

    There is no question that Christine Smith is dedicated to the principles of libertarianism.

    However, many people see her stunts at state conventions as bad taste. Here at the IL LP convention last month, she went into her spiel, then had staffers pass out donation cards and claimed that if you agreed with Libertarian principles you should donate immediately.

    I can understand why people see that as disingenuous.

  3. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Christine Smith strikes me as a self-serving lightweight. A piece of fluff, her insignificance matched only by her self-importance.

    Of course, this is true of much of the LP presidential field. Every four years, the LP attracts a horde of hucksters and self-promoters who come out of nowhere, and seemingly want to use the LP as a platform to ignite or increase their fame. Wayne Allyn Root is such a self-promoting phony. So seems Smith (although her boilerplate is more purely libertarian).

    Especially annoying is when these new-comers lecture and pontificate to the old-timers about libertarian philosophy or party politics.

    Two types of candidates crowd every LP presidential cycle: these self-promoting hucksters—and the permanent candidates who’ve been around forever and don’t know when it’s time to leave the stage. This latter group includes Holist (spelling?), Phillies, and Kubby.

    Among all the announced candidates, I offer tepid support to Phillies. But I’m still hoping for Ron Paul, or at least Karen Kwiatkowski.

    I’d be really disappointed if we’re still left with only the currently announced candidates come convention time.

  4. Rev. Pat Robertson Says:

    Christine Smith and Vito Vaccaro from the Loyalist Party would make a great couple.

  5. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Instead of simply critiquing a campaign missive, Stephen seems to be desperately striving to make it into a controversy. News flash: the idea that some LP members want their (otherwise) candidate of choice to take compromise stances is not news, and that a candidate might mention that as a launching point for an essay about why she wouldn’t do such a thing is not controversy.

    Giving out the names of people who communicated privately with her would be a real discourtesy on Christine’s part, while referring to them obliquely was just (possibly) a faux pas. As for passing out donation cards after a talk – that’s not a stunt (as Jeff calls it, above), that’s called campaigning.

    I’ve given Christine money, as I would like to see her stay in the race and strengthen the debate with real, principled, libertarianism. I hope others will do the same:

    http://www.christinesmithforpresident.com/

    The more real libertarian candidates we have, the less chance we have of being taken over by the warmongers/statists who seem to have fastened on the LP as their ballot access vehicle.

  6. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Damn. I keep meaning to underline, and cross out instead. “Stunt” and “campaigning” in the post above should be underlined.

    My bad!

  7. Jason Says:

    I offered my support to Christine very early on…heard nothing in return. Guess she doesn’t care about this libertarian.

  8. Ghoststrider Says:

    Funny. I think that the LP doesn’t compromise enough. Face it: libertarian ideals are pretty radical to this country, and the 75% of that large middle, the average American voter, either has no idea about these concepts or will utterly reject them. We need to attract this large field of voters by not being entirely crazy, and showing that yes, we are grounded in reality, and no, we’re not going to completely spurn you because you don’t agree 101% with our platform.

    I guess Smith, though, would prefer to keep this party mired in the past.

  9. Rev. Pat Robertson Says:

    I’ve been thinking more of my idea of auctioning off the presidential nomination. Yes, it’s an awesome idea, and I can’t believe people who call themselves libertarians haven’t done it yet.

    But now I’m thinking that platform planks should be auctioned off, too.

    The highest bidder gets to write the platform plank of their choice.

    After all, isn’t capitalism better than democracy? Libertarians should practice what they preach if they want to be taken seriously, like me.

  10. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Susan,

    I don’t feel that I’m the one trying to create some controversy. From my perspective, I noticed that she accused certain people of certain activities. Had this occurred within the context of a normal casual personal conversation, the obvious next question to Smith would have been: “Who said that?” I’m merely asking the obvious questions in an online format.

  11. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Stephen,

    You use the word ‘accuses’ in your headline, and here you say “she accused certain people of certain activities”. She didn’t. You can’t accuse people without ‘naming names’. What she did was make a simple statement that she “[has] also encountered a number [of people] who believe that to advance their agenda … justifies compromising principle”.

    Wow. There is headline-worthy news. Hardly!

    She continues “Some have gone so far as to promise my campaign much support if only I would modify/weaken my platform… .” Yes, absolutely in a casual conversation one might ask “Gee, who did that!?” But traditionally, polite people don’t make a practice of gossiping about the details of their private conversations – and certainly no campaigner with more than half a brain would alienate potential future contributors by repeating something they’ve said in the past which the campaigner hopes they will regret and change their mind about in the future.

    The term ‘accusation’ implies a specific charge levied against specific people. Christine obviously is not leveling an accusation so much as using an un-named example as a springboard to making a greater point.

    Bah. Why am I wasting my time? I must be bored, to be playing this mountain-out-of-molehill game with you. Christine’s message is clear: she is staking out territory as a Libertarian candidate with a principled, no-compromise message, and isn’t willing to change that simply to gain promises of support. If you choose to cast that simple message as an ‘accusation’ and ‘ask the obvious question’, go for it. Don’t be surprised, though, when you are not invited to peruse her phone records or email archives.

  12. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Susan said: “As for passing out donation cards after a talk – that’s not a stunt (as Jeff calls it, above), that’s called campaigning.”

    That’s not what she did. She interrupted her own speech, had staffers pass out donation cards while she implied that the only real way to support libertarianism was to donate [i] right now [/i] to her campaign.

    I cannot speak for everyone, but I talked to a number of people after the candidates forum who were very turned off by her stunt.

    However, keep in mind I’m not badmouthing Christine—I really like Christine, and I think she’s a phenomenal Libertarian.

  13. Eric Dondero Says:

    Thomas Sipos,

    Harry Browne wasn’t a huckster? And Andre Marrou? Badnarik? How about Steve Kubby and George Phillies? Why just pick on Root and Christine Smith?

    Root already has his millions. Browne it was widely known was milking the LP for every penny. And Badnarik was hawking his book.

  14. Eric Dondero Says:

    Berkman is right. This Smith woman is a nobody. She has no celebrity like Wayne Root, and to a small extent Steve Kubby (Kubby is well-known in the Professional skiing industry and among Marijuana smokers.)

    She’s never been elected dog catcher.

    She should run for local school board or town council there in southern California, and then a few years from now, after she’s been in office for a while, think about President.

    The LP has some 400 elected officials nationwide. Anyone of them would be more credible than Christine Smith.

  15. Stephen Gordon Says:

    v.tr.

    1. To charge with a shortcoming or error.
    2. To charge formally with a wrongdoing.

    v.intr.

    To make a charge of wrongdoing against another.

    Susan,

    One can accuse an unspecified person (or people): Fred said they mugged him, stealing both his wallet and his watch. With this example, I’d be curious about who “they” are, just as I am curious about who is asking Ms. Smith to compromise her values.

    She is the one who raised the issue—I didn’t dig it up. It’s reasonable to ask unanswered questions about information that she voluntarily released.

    BTW, she still hasn’t returned my call. It’s beginning to appear (I hope I’m wrong) that a lack of responsiveness is a trait of her campaign.

  16. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Poor Stephen. Christine Smith hasn’t returned your call of this morning asking for the names of her potential contributors. Doesn’t she know how important you are?

    Possibly – just possibly – she’s busy returning calls from previous days from supporters for her Libertarian campaign for president rather than responding to requests for ‘interviews’ from folks supporting Republican candidates for president.

    In fact, I know that to be the case.

    Perhaps she’ll be kind enough to get to you when she has free time, but I certainly wouldn’t advise her to. What would be the percentage for her? It would be like Clinton granting an ‘interview’ to Karl Rove.

    And I have a sneaking suspicion that you will see the comparison to Rove as a compliment.

  17. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Geez, Susan, what brought all of this about? Some of us try hard not to personally attack others when engaging in meaningful political debate, but some of us…

  18. FEC Man Says:

    Hmm, who is she returning calls to? Let’s see her FEC Filing shows 2 contributions for 3Q totaling $500—One for Joeseph Knight and the other from Dale Hemming. According to LP.org she’s in 4th place with $1565—if she wins the nomination she’ll see $626 come back to her. Wow—she’s actually done better with their program in a week or two then she’s done herself in 3 months!

  19. Carl Says:

    Susan: I just read what Christine Smith posted on her web site. It is far more vicious than what Steve Gordon implied. It is full of name-calling and vitriol directed at all pragmatists within the party. Steve has underreported a controversy.

    Saying that pragmatists lack integrity and pragmatists are immoral is rather rude. And her tone is aimed at people rather than the idea of pragmatism. (A pragmatic candidate for LP nomination who writes open letters calling radicals clueless and weird should also be ruled unacceptable on similar grounds.)

    Were I still in the party, I would support NOTA over her. And it isn’t simply for her radicalism. Lack of manners comes to mind. (Michael Badnarick was radical, but he had charm.)

    Years ago Robert Heinlein wrote a book on politics that had a message relevant today: no candidate is ready for prime time until he or she has done a bunch of door-knocking. Through door knocking the candidate can make an ass of him/herself hundreds of times before an audience of one, with little damage done and much wisdom gained.

  20. FEC Man Says:

    My humble apologies—I misrepresented CS’s place, NOTA is ahead of her. NOTA, please forgive me! I hereby give my full backing and support to NOTA. Long live NOTA in it’s run for President.

  21. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Stephen: this isn’t rocket science. Let’s review:

    1) You openly support another candidate for the presidential nomination.

    2) You use an inflammatory headline and a decidedly unfriendly blog entry to announce you’ve “requested an interview” of another candidate for president.

    3) You wait less than one business day for a response and announce that “It’s beginning to appear (I hope I’m wrong) that a lack of responsiveness is a trait of her campaign.” The “I hope I’m wrong” is a nice touch.

    What possible incentive does Smith have for returning your call? To practice tap-dancing through an ‘interview’ with someone who has shown himself hostile already and is actively promoting another candidate?

    Haha. Next I guess she should call Tom Knapp for a chat. Whatever.

  22. Robert Milnes Says:

    Susan H., I think you hurt Steve’s feelings + surprised him. I think he is not used to anyone criticizing him except me.

  23. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Eric Dondero has reading comprehension problems. He writes:

    “Harry Browne wasn’t a huckster? And Andre Marrou? Badnarik? How about Steve Kubby and George Phillies? Why just pick on Root and Christine Smith?”

    He apparently hadn’t grasped that I’d written:

    “Of course, this is true of much of the LP presidential field. Every four years, the LP attracts a horde of hucksters and self-promoters who come out of nowhere, and seemingly want to use the LP as a platform to ignite or increase their fame.”

    I’d specifically noted that hucksterism was a widespread and repeated phenomenon in LP presidential races. I “picked on” Smith and Root because they’re running this year.

    I didn’t read Smith’s website recently, but I don’t mind “radicalism.” What I do mind is that, when last I read her site a few months back, it was fluffy and feel-good. So I wonder if her newfound “radicalism” is calculated rather than sincere.

    This is partially why I call Smith a huckster. And why I regard Kubby as sincere. He and Phillies have been around long enough to prove their libertarian bona fides. (Unfortunately, they’re still ciphers—we really need a Ron Paul or Karen Kwiatkowski—a candidate with gravitas!

    Root, of course, is a major huckster, because he isn’t even a libertarian. He’s a “millionaire Republican” (his own previous self-description) who’s running on the LP because he’d be a non-entity if he ran as a Republican.

    That said, I could support Smith if she were nominated. I suppose she’s not much worse than Kubby or Phillies. All of them would make acceptable paper candidates. Neither would damage the LP’s reputation in the way that pro-war Root would. But for now I’m holding my support for a Ron Paul or Karen Kwiatkowski or some other, as yet unannounced, equivalent.

  24. Robert Milnes Says:

    Carl, agreed. Smith’s document clearly puts her in with the purists.

  25. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “You openly support another candidate for the presidential nomination.”

    True, and I promote that candidate on my personal site. Not on this site, though. I’m also fairly close friends with two of the LP candidates (as well some of their key staffers) and am on generally friendly terms with most of the rest of them. I’ve criticized each candidate, even my friends, in public forums. I’ve praised most of them before, too. When acting in a journalistic role, I try to leave my personal feelings at the doorstep.

    I’ll be as fair with Christine as I’ve been with the other candidates. However, my refusal to cheerlead for your favorite candidate does not mean that I am treating any of the LP candidates better or worse than the others.

  26. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “You use an inflammatory headline and a decidedly unfriendly blog entry to announce you’ve “requested an interview” of another candidate for president.”

    The blog entry was not intended to be hostile, sorry you perceived it to be. At least some others don’t.

  27. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “You wait less than one business day for a response and announce that ‘It’s beginning to appear (I hope I’m wrong) that a lack of responsiveness is a trait of her campaign.’ The ‘I hope I’m wrong’ is a nice touch.”

    1) I’m far from the first person to complain about her lack of responsiveness. You’ll even note others in this thread.

    2) I can get through to most of the presidential communications directors (even in the big parties) in less than 10 minutes. I can get though to most of the LP candidates in the same amount of time, or less. It’s a rare day that I’m not speaking with a presidential candidate or key staffer and they have no problem with responsiveness. I’m sure Tom Knapp or George Phillies or a host of other people will be happy to verify this statement.

    3) Sometimes it takes a few hours for Ron Paul’s media person to get back to me, but MSNBC, CNN, Fox, etc. aren’t exactly beating down Christine Smith’s doors. Why the delay?

  28. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “What possible incentive does Smith have for returning your call? To practice tap-dancing through an ‘interview’ with someone who has shown himself hostile already and is actively promoting another candidate?”

    I’m not hostile to her campaign, but if antics like yours continue, I may quickly become hostile. Previous interviews of presidential candidates should indicate that I’ve been impartial when conducting interviews.

    And if Christine Smith can’t handle whatever perceived hostility there may be in my interview, what’s going to happen when she’s out there in the real world with the real media? I’m a whole lot nicer than most other members of the media will be.

  29. Eric Dondero Says:

    It’s sad Thomas that you don’t believe the Internet Gaming issue is important enough. That’s what Root is running on – legalization of gambling. Last time I checked that was a central point of libertarian beliefs: Opposing Nanny State regulations.

  30. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Eric, if you truly think internet gambling is a serious issue, and if you’re truly opposed to “Nanny State regulations,” then why do you support Giuliani? The man’s an anti-civil liberties gun-grabber

  31. Tom Blanton Says:

    It seems to me that Christine makes perfectly valid comments in her essay.

    Perhaps it is time for all libertarians and anarchists to walk away from the LP and let all of the so-called pragmatists, opportunists, reformers, moderates, conservatives and neolibertarians have at it.

    Let them demonstrate once and for all that they can win elections and move society in a libertarian direction without anyone but themselves to blame when they fail. After all, it would seem that as long as there is even one embarrassing libertarian purist associated with the LP, no election can ever be won.

    Meanwhile, radical libertarians could still run for office as independents without the confusing label of “libertarian”. After all is said and done, it is really the ideas that are important.

  32. Tom Blanton Says:

    Hell, maybe the LP could get the “socially liberal and fiscally conservative” Giuliani to run under the LP banner with Dondero as his running mate.

  33. johncjackson Says:

    The Christine Smith that comes up 2nd in a google search is much better. i support her positions!

  34. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I’m not sure all the pragmatists want the LP to win elections. Some do, certainly.

    But I suspect some “pragmatists” merely want to dilute the LP so it can’t effectively “steal” votes from an already diluted GOP. Their real goal is to cripple the LP as a competitor for GOP votes.

    Other “pragmatists” merely want to cripple any antiwar voice on the right, since a politically broad antiwar coalition is more effective than one that’s mired in a narrow political ghetto.

    No, if anyone’s going to leave the LP, let the “pragmatists” go and start a new party. (Although I don’t know why they don’t just join, or return to, the GOP, whose own small government positions are already heavily diluted with “pragmatism.”)

  35. Robert Milnes Says:

    johncjackson, are you referring to Miss Dec. playmate2005? Agreed. Tom Blanton, I’m surprised to hear that sort from you unless you are funning us. If the purists & pragmatists leave the lp, there won’t be much left. & which will get the lp name? No, better to stick together than hang separately. I can work with Smith & Paul if he goes lp & forsakes gop. Not like it but it is better than a dem or rep!

  36. Eric Dondero Says:

    Thomas, cause the gambling issue in my mind is 100 times more important than guns. We’ve won the gun issue. Even liberal Democrats don’t bring it up any more. But we just lost our rights to internet gaming. There are millions of internet gaming fans nationwide. Root will get a huge amount of votes if he uses it as a centerpiece for his campaign.

    Oh, and incidentally, I am not at all a gambler. Don’t even like sports that much.

  37. Eric Dondero Says:

    Breaking…

    Wayne Root attacks Ron Paul. Says he’s weak on some civil liberties issues. Story will be up at www.mainstreamlibertarian.com later this morning.

  38. Carl Says:

    Mr. Sipos: some pragmatic libertarians did join the Republican Party—for example, Ron Paul.

    Some things I had hope to remove/dilute from the LP platform:

    • The abortion plank
    • The call for zero taxation
    • The wide open borders immigration plank
    • The 1790s foreign policies

    I also wanted to nudge the party to the economic left, that is towards egalitarianism. This is mostly about order of operations; i.e., eliminate the deficit, the drug war and corporate subsidies before taking on welfare.
    —-
    Well, Ron Paul is strongly pro-life, strongly anti-immigrant, a constitutionalist, not an anarchist, and has publicly stated multiple times that his proposed war cuts could pay for welfare programs. The only place he agrees with the radical view more than the Libertarian Reform Caucus view is on foreign policy.

    Yet, LP radicals are happy to support Dr. Paul. This weirds me out. Is it because he is running as a Republican?

  39. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Gordon writes:

    “I’m not hostile to her campaign, but if antics like yours continue, I may quickly become hostile.”

    That’s a strange statement coming from a Ron Paul supporter (seems like that’s the MSM’s latest excuse for marginalizing Paul) and someone claiming to be acting in a “journalistic role”.

    But I did not realize you were purporting to maintain a ‘journalistic’ presence at this ‘blog, rather than an activist one. Frankly, I am skeptical about the possibility of such mixed roles, so I suppose you will have to become accustomed to me reacting to you as an activist rather than as a journalist. Perhaps others think you can provide reasonable coverage, or simply enjoy the show you make, but I find it neither (very) entertaining nor enlightening.

    If you choose to ‘become hostile’ to Smith’s campaign because of my ‘antics’ (that is, my words), perhaps that does after all provide your journalistic bona fides, as that does seem to be how many journalists work campaigns. Forgive me if I don’t make you cookies or kiss up to you because you call yourself a ‘journalist’, in the hopes that you will condescend to say something nice about me or my preferred candidate, or even just take the candidate without hostility. Forgive me if I continue to point out the inherent conflict of interest in your purporting to be both a campaign ‘journalist’ and a vocal supporter of a particular candidate.

    And I look forward to tipping a drink or two with you in Denver. I promise not to tip it over your head :)

  40. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Carl, I think the reason so many purists and radicals support Paul is because, in many of our minds, the current and future wars are a huge issue that looms over and subsumes all others.

    We understand that “war is the health of the state,” which means that war not only kills human lives (without which, all other liberties are impossible), but that war also massively increases spending, and severely curtails civil liberties.

    Thus, being right on the war is the primary issue. I don’t even pay attention to what Paul’s other positions are. I don’t care.

    Likewise, while I’m sure I’d disagree with Kucinich on most of his positions (if I paid much attention to him), because of his antiwar stance, I’d support him over all the other Demopublicans (Paul excepted).

    Internet gambling isn’t even an issue. It’s a joke issue. I can’t believe anyone cares or takes it seriously, Root included. He must have ulterior motives for running on that issue. Perhaps to increase his fame before his next book deal?

  41. FEC Man Says:

    Hmm now I’m really torn NOTA or Miss Dec Playmate2005? Gosh, I sure wish she would run, I’d give mucho $$$ to her campaign anytime!

  42. Kn@ppster Says:

    Interesting conversation here.

    I actually found Ms. Smith’s piece worthwhile, although it could have said everything it said more compellingly with half the word count (but I don’t have a lot of ground to stand on there … I’m verbose, too).

    However, I do question what Ms. Smith considers to be “compromise” in order to gain political advantage.

    Until recently, her web site’s position paper on immigration amounted to “de-federalize” it, but if states and cities want to build fences and arrest people for not having the proper bureaucratic permission slips, more power to them.” Then, the position changed to a plumb line libertarian position.

    Um … compromise for political advantage, maybe? Small political advantage, to be sure, as Ms. Smith seems to be trying to compete with Steve Kubby for the pre-nomination support of the LP’s radical wing, but political advantage nonetheless.

    To be honest, the only two candidates of whom I’m aware of really “evolving” positions within candidacy that might be construed as “compromise” are Wayne Root and Smith herself. Phillies removed some of the sharper anti-libertarian rhetoric from his immigration position, but he didn’t change the position. The only changes to Kubby’s position papers, once those papers have been published, have been typo corrections, and his positions now represent, so far as I know, no departure from his core positions of a decade ago.

    As Ms. Smith’s positions have evolved in fits and starts, I’ve been torn between perceptions:

    Maybe she’s a libertarian at heart but has just needed some on-the-fly education and is getting it. The cockpit of a presidential campaign seems like a strange place to learn the basics, but maybe that’s it.

    Or maybe she decided to run for president first for reasons other than being seized of libertarian political convictions, settled on the Libertarian ticket second, and bothered to start finding out what that entailed and progressively pandering to it third.

    Or maybe something else.

    I continue to hope that Smith will prove herself a credible candidate, if only to make the race more interesting. Not seeing any evidence of that, though.

    Now, Susan … why do you think it odd that Ms. Smith would contact me, so much so that you hold it out as a sarcastic counter-example to her contacting Gordon? I assure you that I bear no personal ill will toward Ms. Smith, that I would be nothing but sweetness and light in any personal exchange, and that if I could help her in any way that didn’t compromise my commitment to Kubby, I’d do so.

    Best regards,
    Tom Knapp

  43. Eric Dondero Says:

    Actually, it’s not so much “War is the Health of the State,” it’s more like “Pacifism is the Health of Islamo-Fascism.” The Islamo-Fascists love American pacifists. They want us to surrender. They want us to raise the white flag, and not fight back.

    War’s a pain in the ass. Better for them to just have all the American leftists fight their fight for them. “Stop the War, Stop the War” actually means, “Invite the Islamo-Fascists to take over our Country.”

  44. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “Frankly, I am skeptical about the possibility of such mixed roles, so I suppose you will have to become accustomed to me reacting to you as an activist rather than as a journalist.”

    It is a difficult line at times and I’m sure I’ll screw up from time to time—but I will try to keep postings at this site neutral with respect to my personal bias (or identify my bias in the coverage). I’m sure you’ll let me know when I mess up. :)

    Tom Knapp has done of providing a media service while supporting candidates for years. RRND certainly covered Nolan and Badnarik when Tom was working for Russo, as an example. I feel I did the same with LP News. The interviews of presidential candidates I conducted should serve as a good example.

    “And I look forward to tipping a drink or two with you in Denver. I promise not to tip it over your head :)

    If you are going to be at the LNC meeting, we’ll see each other even sooner than that. I’ll buy the first round, and promise to deliver your drink sans arsenic. :)

  45. Tom Blanton Says:

    Carl, perhaps the reason so many radical libertarians support Ron Paul is because, compared to raging moderate centrist reformists, he is a radical.

    He talks about dramatic reductions in the size and scope of the federal government, eliminating the income tax, ending the war immediately, ending the drug war, ending the surveillance state, etc. – things that the pragmatists in the LP would never advocate.

    I favor massive decentralization to the point of eliminating the federal government. Ron Paul at least moves in that direction. The moderate bullshit that the pragmatists have been advocating such as the IES, Fair Tax, etc. hasn’t even inspired libertarians. At least Ron Paul has been able to attract a crowd to listen to topics like free markets and nonintervention.

    Stepping outside the LP echo chamber, it is apparent that the word “libertarian” has been hijacked by right-wing talking heads, fifth column “pragmatists” (Mr. Sipos is entirely correct regarding his comments on pragmatists), and self-serving opportunists.

    When Ron Paul loses the GOP nomination, where will his supporters go?

    Will they flock to the LP? Will slime-ball Root inspire spontaneous grass roots support? Will Smith, Kubby or Phillies stir the passions of the Paul supporters? My instincts lead me to answer no on all counts.

    If history is any guide, the LP will drop the ball and the Ron Paul momentum will not be capitalized on – just as the LP has dropped the ball on the Iraq War and every other issue that people are passionate about.

    At the end of the day, the operators at LPHQ will pay the rent on the Watergate Suite and congratulate themselves for being too clever by half while the LNC acts as their apologists.

    But at least the “pragmatists” can go back to the burbs with a fat check from their IT gig with a merchant of death (under contract with the federal government of course) and hang out with their honky GOP friends and won’t be thought of as “radicals”.

    It’s all a crying shame.

  46. Tom Blanton Says:

    Eric Dondero Says:

    Actually, it’s not so much “War is the Health of the State,” it’s more like “Pacifism is the Health of Islamo-Fascism.” The Islamo-Fascists love American pacifists. They want us to surrender. They want us to raise the white flag, and not fight back.

    Holy shit, Dondero! The evil-doers are hiding behind every tree. They’ll have Giuliani wearing a burka in no time unless you wrap him in raw bacon strips. It’s up to you now, Dondero. You’ve got to save the free world from the Islamofascists – all 847 of them with their AK-47’s of mass destruction, their flying carpets, and their magic lanterns. My God, these bastards make Hitler’s army look like cub scouts. I beg of you, Dondero, save us!

  47. Robert Milnes Says:

    Carl, Tom B., agreed. What will happen to the Ron Paul supporters? My best guess is that they are about 50/22 right & left libertarians. & I also submit the hypothesis that the radicals/purists are right libertarians & the reformers/pragmatists are left libertarians. The right libs. support RP/RP nearly 100% & vehemently. =50%of the libertarians. The remaining RP supporters =22% (Libertarianlists poll 72% lp support for RP) are mostly left libertarians & leftists. Probably not much centrist (dem or rep) support. The left libs who are drawn to support RP are just following the rightist trend. the remaining 28% of left libs are ambivalent. Some actually come out against RP(including me). As Tom says, WHEN RP loses the gop nomination, his supporters will go to the lp mostly. A large part will revert to the gop. Libs like Root & Smith will get most of the right lib RP support. Kubby & Phillies will contest for left lib RP support as I will. The eventual nominee will have a difficult task resolving this split. Unfortunately most of the available pool of lib $ support will have probably gone to RP/RP.

  48. Eric Dondero Says:

    Guess you haven’t been paying attention to the news the last few days, ‘eh there Tom Blanton?

    Three straight nights of riots in Paris, and Toulouse by Muslim Radicals. Hundreds of cars were firebombed. Shots were fired at the Police.

    But then again, you’ve probably never been to Europe in your entire life. You could probably give a flying fuck, right? NIMBY, is your mantra, right?

    And “can’t happen here.”

  49. Eric Dondero Says:

    What will happen to Ron Paul supporters?

    Dependes entirely on who the GOP nominates.

    If it’s Giuliani or Thompson, they’ll stick with the GOP. If it’s McCain or Huckabee, they’ll stay home or vote whomever the LP has to offer. If it’s Romney – toss-up.

    Also depends on who the LP nominates. If it’s George Phillies, they’ll probably all stay home. If it’s Wayne Root, a good number will vote LP. Kubby? Toss-up.

    You could game this a number of ways.

    Even depends on who the Vice-Presidential Nominees will be.

    Say Giuliani pics a libertarian Republican like Sarah Palin, Gov. of Alaska. You’d see a good 90% of Libertarians voting for the GOP.

    If Giuliani picked, say Huckabee, you’d see 90% of Libertarians voting for the LP or staying home, and even hardcore Giuliani supporters like me, possibly voting for the LP instead. I dread the notion of a Giuliani/Huckabee ticket, because of the latter half. And so many of my Republican friends are talking about that right night. Urgh!

  50. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Eric says: “What will happen to Ron Paul supporters? Dependes entirely on who the GOP nominates. If it’s Giuliani or Thompson, they’ll stick with the GOP.”

    Huh? Have you been paying attention to the news? Ron Paul fans supporting Giuliani? After the way Giuliani smeared and insulted Paul? And considering they are polar opposites on the war?

    Paul’s supporters are hardcore antiwar. Forger “left” or “right” libertarian. Meaningless term here. And forget “purist” or “pragmatist.” Paul’s supporters (the vast bulk) are hardcore antiwar, and they’ll support the strongest remaining antiwar candidate.

    I’ve never voted Democratic or left, but I’ll not vote for a prowar candidate, Root included. I’ll vote Constitution, or even Kucinich or Green, before I vote for any prowar candidate.

  51. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Knapp: I simply meant that Ms. Smith would not likely be investing much time cultivating your support, since you are employed with the Kubby campaign. You and Stephen seem to have this idea that journalism and advocacy can go hand-in-hand. I even think you’re both sincere about it, and I do know the movement is small enough that decent writers often need to be repurposed for campaign work. However, I’m skeptical about the usefulness to Libertarians of ‘reporting’ on a Libertarian candidate from a vocal supporter of a Republican candidate.

    And frankly, I prefer the old model of publication where bias was loud and proud, and there wasn’t this ridiculous notion of taking off one ‘hat’ and putting on another all the time. This nonsense of reporters being unbiased is perhaps one of the stupidest aspects of 20th century journalism, and I hope it dies a quick and merciful death early in the 21st century.

    I do set LP News into another category than movement publications or blogs, because – short of employing non-libertarians, which would be a dreadful idea – there’s no way around having a campaign supporter introduce news about other candidates. This is why the LP News needs not only a strong editor, but an editorial board (vastly preferable) or at least oversight from staff, which is the current model. As editor for LP News, for example, would you have asked a publicly vocal supporter of Ron Paul (or Steve Kubby) to write a story about Christine Smith? If you had to write one yourself (I know how hard it is getting volunteer pieces), would you not welcome editorial review?

    As for Ms. Smith, evidence of willingness to refine and develop the articulation of deeply-held beliefs is a positive thing in my view. I saw the same process with Michael Badnarik as he grew from a strict constitutionalist into more of a natural-rights philosopher. Is the campaign trail the best place for reflection and intellectual refinement? That’s a question for each activist to answer, but for myself, if I don’t see a person constantly reshaping his worldview as new information is gathered, I tend to think that either nothing new is being learned, or that his mind has become inflexible.

    If we’re looking for a cardboard cutout candidate who has all the ‘right’ answers, I am certain that many longtime libertarian activists can serve, but if we are looking for someone who is still filled with the wonder and awe of discovery of the implications of the ideas of freedom, and someone who can convey that wonder and excitement to non-libertarians, then Christine Smith is a good bet.

    Gordon: Yes, I will be in SC for the LNC meeting, and I accept your kind offer of a drink. However, if this is some sort of plot to get me so inebriated I won’t be able to argue effectively for the retention (and strengthening!) of the Publications Review Committee, or for necessary modifications to the Liberty Decides program… well, it just might work.

    Ha. An announcement like THAT might even get me a free beer from Shane Cory ;-)

  52. George Phillies Says:

    Susan,

    “As editor for LP News, for example, would you have asked a publicly vocal supporter of Ron Paul (or Steve Kubby) to write a story about Christine Smith?”

    While I would object to having a publicly vocal Republican writing news stories for LP News, the current LP News solution is at the other extreme: They are writing almost no news stories about their party’s Presidential campaigns. They did one interview and one financials report. Of course, given that the regularity of publication of LP News appears to be in collapse, they are writing precious few stories about anything else, either.

  53. Carl Says:

    Thomas writes:

    “Carl, perhaps the reason so many radical libertarians support Ron Paul is because, compared to raging moderate centrist reformists, he is a radical.”

    On the issues of immigration and abortion, Ron Paul goes way beyond the raging reformers. When I was one of them, I pushed for getting such issues off the platform so both sides of these controversial issues could play on the same team.

    Ron at times seems more radical than some reforms on taxes, but his numbers don’t add up. You cannot get rid of the IRS, make Social Security voluntary, and balance the budget at the same time—unless some partial replacement for the income tax is found.

  54. Susan Hogarth Says:

    George: I feel your pain. I think either the APRC should serve as editorial review for the LPNews, or a separate editorial board should be created. The board should oversee newsletter content and publication, working with a strong libertarian editor. That’s my current thinking on the issue, anyway. The LNC needs to take a more active role in Party management, in my opinion. I hope to help make this happen as an at-large member of the LNC beginning in ‘08.

  55. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “As editor for LP News, for example, would you have asked a publicly vocal supporter of Ron Paul (or Steve Kubby) to write a story about Christine Smith?”

    I would have a Kubby supporter write about Smith if and only if a Root supporter wrote about Kubby and a Smith supporter wrote about Phillies…

    “While I would object to having a publicly vocal Republican writing news stories for LP News,”

    If that was aimed at me, how does the support of one Republican, while simultaneously supporting dozens of Libertarians, make me a Republican?

    Am I a Democrat or a Republican if I vote for one in an election where there is no Libertarian candidate?

  56. Jake Porter Says:

    Am I a Democrat or a Republican if I vote for one in an election where there is no Libertarian candidate?

    Picking up a Republican ballot means that you intend to influence the Republican Party. Why in the hell would a Libertarian care who the Republicans nominate? It is their party and if you want to influence them you should be a Republican. As Tom Knapp once said, “I don’t really mean it—I’m just fraudulently representing myself as a member of the Republican Party so that I can manipulate its internal affairs” isn’t exactly the most morally inspiring argument. You might want to find a better one.” Tom Knapp

  57. Susan Hogarth Says:

    “I would have a Kubby supporter write about Smith if and only if a Root supporter wrote about Kubby and a Smith supporter wrote about Phillies…”

    What would be the point in that? I must be missing an attempt at humor on your part. Time for more coffee!

  58. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Susan,

    No intent at humor, just that I would want it to be as fair as possible. I need more coffee, too.

  59. Susan Hogarth Says:

    That’s the ‘reality TV’ idea of ‘fair’: Let everyone take a swing at someone, and hilarity ensues. AKA the celebrity deathmatch approach to journalism. Amusing, but ultimately pointless, depressing, and damaging.

    If something is wrong or stupid (and having a partisan for one campaign write a news story without editorial oversight about another campaign is clearly both wrong and stupid), then letting everyone do it doesn’t make it ‘fair’, it simply multiplies the wrongness/stupidity of it.

    I agree you need more coffee! ;-)

  60. Tom Blanton Says:

    “I don’t really mean it—I’m just fraudulently representing myself as a member of the Republican Party so that I can manipulate its internal affairs” isn’t exactly the most morally inspiring argument.

    Well, for a libertarian or anarchist (and even a Democrat), this could be a good argument. I would encourage libertarians to infiltrate the GOP and destroy it from within. This is what American politics is all about. It is war by other means. Are LP members so naive as to believe that there isn’t a fifth column among their ranks?

    Are there any libertarians that don’t believe the leadership of the GOP and the Dems are nothing but criminal gangs bent on plundering every dime you have even if requires eliminating every freedom you have and sending your kids off to be murdered? These bastards have no morals, no ideas and no principles – they want to be your your masters, nothing more and nothing less.

  61. Tom Blanton Says:

    Carl, on immigration Ron Paul is just wrong – but so are all the other candidates, in my opinion. On abortion, he is merely saying the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I don’t disagree with that. What damn difference does it make whether you are pro-life or pro-choice if your position is that the office you are running for should not deal with it?

    Your argument is rather like not voting for a libertarian dog catcher because you don’t like his foreign policy positions.

  62. Last Free Voice » Blog Archive » My questions for Christine Smith Says:

    [...] Christine Smith put out a somewhat controversial essay which said that, unlike some other libertarians, she would not compromise principle. [...]

  63. Mr. X Says:

    Why in the hell would a Libertarian care who the Republicans nominate?

    Maybe because the Republican nominee has a decent chance of being the President of the United States and having an unhealthy amount of power over one’s life for the next four years. If there’s a zero or low cost way of influencing who that person is, why the hell not?

  64. My questions for Christine Smith « paulie cannoli Says:

    [...] · No Comments Christine Smith put out a somewhat controversial essay which said that, unlike some otherlibertarians, she would not compromise principle. [...]

  65. Alexander S. Peak Says:

    Mr. Dondero writes, “What will happen to Ron Paul supporters?

    “Dependes entirely on who the GOP nominates.”

    No offense, but you’re insane. I’d rather write-in “Ron Paul” than vote for either of them. And if the LP somehow chooses Imperato (I know that won’t happen, but let’s pretend), then I will write-in “Ron Paul.”

    Respectfully,
    Alex Peak

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