Random notes liveblogged from the Tennessee Libertarian Convention

10:00 I was in and out for the first hour. A short description provides that two candidates spoke and were nominated. Delegates were selected for the national convention. Some action was made with respect to presidential electors, but I missed this floor item.

10:55 LP presidential candidate Bob Jackson proposed paying $50 out of his pocket to help Tennessee students get to the national convention.

10:57 Carol McMahon matched the offer for the Phillies campaign. Another person offered another $50.

10:59 The Chair and Treasurer added to the pot, raising the total to $250.

11:05 I haven’t seen Steve Trinward anywhere. Not sure if he showed. Between last night’s snow and the flu, it seems that some people who were expected to arrive didn’t make it (or will be running late).

11:20 Wilson County Commissioner Heather Scott spoke. She is serving on her second term on the commission.

She sees serving in local office as a step for moving up the political ladder. She suggests that local candidates pick an appropriate issue and run on it. Build alliances. Once elected, be able to compromise a little bit.

One example she provided was that when she swears into public office, she commits to support the Tennessee Constitution, which includes a state mandate for public education.

Scott said that a balance has to be maintained between representing libertarian values and the desires of the constituents. She also stated that she is often the solitary “no” vote at their meetings.

Her speech was well received.

10:30 Ben Cunningham of the Tennessee Tax Revolt spoke. Drew Johnson assisted with Cunningham’s presentation.

Cunningham stated that the Tennessee Tax Revolt started as a result of statewide tax issues, but has now morphed into an organization which assists with local tax issues.

He suggested finding initiative issues which can pass, especially those which can pass with wide margins. Then run the initiatives as non-partisan activities.

Cunningham spoke about the Massachusetts tax issue that Carla Howell and Michael Cloud are running. According to recent polling data, 46 percent are against the initiative and 45 percent are for it.

He said that the Tennessee tax burden, per family, is the lowest in the country. This is a testament to the activities of the Tennessee Tax Revolt and associated organizations. It’s still important to remain vigilant, he said.

“Global warming sure is a bitch,” Drew Johnson of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research stated (it snowed in Nashville last night) as he started his portion of the presentation. Laughter.

He identified one problem as an unlimited amount of bills Tennessee legislators can propose—and recommended that this amount be capped. One example of a stupid bill (duplication of existing law) was one which would ban DWT (Driving While Texting). Other examples were a proposed ban of sex toys and taking Girls Gone Wild commercials taken off the television. He’d prefer for legislators to be more concerned about issues like eminent domain.

(the talk is interested, but I have to step out of the room for a few minutes)

11:55 I’m back and they are talking about the ethics of state legislators. It must have been a very short conversation.

Cunningham is bringing up the Tennessee Open Records law. He said you can even ask for the Governor’s e-mail for the last week—or walk into a police department and see their arrest records. After also bringing up Open Meetings Laws, he said that citizens need to assert these rights.

Johnson mentioned a $900,000 authorization for the Governor’s Mansion which was changed using a process called a Change Order to become a $14 million to “spruce it up a little bit.” This includes a $300,000 kitchen, among other things.

“...hold these bastards accountable,” received a reasonable amount of laughter.

He mentioned a longstanding pet peeve of mine: Making people that weave or braid hair obtain a government license. “These people have been doing this since they were two years old,” he said.

Cunningham mentioned another problem. In a lot of counties in Tennessee, county commission members can also be concurrently employed by the county.

LUNCH BREAK

(lunch was good—I had the pork)

BACK FROM LUNCH

1:30 Tony Wall introduces former Congressman Bob Barr. Healthy applause.

Barr is talking about limited government involvement during the “paper age” of the collection of personal dossiers. In the computer age, this is much more of a challenge.

“We’ve gone from administrations that were content with merely breaking the law to administrations who don’t even care about the law.”

Criticized Alberto Gonzolez on habeus corpus.

He’s especially upset about how people can be defined as an enemy combatant and then detained forever without a trial.

He says that our current administration feels that they answer to a “higher authority” than the law.

“We are facing a power in Washington which is unprecedented in its disdain for the Bill of Rights.”

Because of advances in technology, we can longer tolerate these privacy abuses from Washington.

He said that some have hope that there might be a decent Republican or Democrat elected who can change these issues.

“Hope is the last thing to die before you do,” was Barr’s response to those which hold this sort of hope.

We can no longer work within the two party status quo system. There isn’t time to do this anymore.

“The only thing that will give us any hope is to work with the Libertarian Party.”

There has not been any administration, of either party, which has not used the powers of the previous administration as a base (a floor, not a ceiling) of additional abuse of power.

“Both the Democrats and the Republican in Washington are, as Pat Buchanan said, two wings of the same bird of prey.”

Statist quo parties: Democrats and Republicans.

No one but the Libertarian Party can save the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Plugs Libertarian National Convention.

While “they” often say this, I think this election may actually be one of the most important ones ever.

John Yoo and the neocons believe that, if a president is acting as CINC, the “unitary executive” overrides the Constitution. They believe that the executive branch can make up its own job description—and this can’t even be reviewed by the other branches of government.

Quotes Ayn Rand on privacy and uses that to lead to the 4th Amendment.

“We are inherently clothed in a sphere of privacy.”

Under the Unitary Executive Theory, the president believes that he can order electronic surveillance of anybody, anytime—despite court decisions and the law.

Barr picked on me for a moment. He said that if he’s in Europe next week and I call or e-mail him, the message could be intercepted by the government.

As an organized political entity, we have to make the public realize what’s at stake. In a way that the average citizen can understand.

Talked about SARs (Suspicious Activity Report). Bank could call up a 30 year customer and shut down their account. Why? We had to file an SAR. What for? We can’t say.

To respond to a blog comment—the audience is very quietly and listening respectfully. Barr has the 100% attention of everyone in the room. The silence is deafening.

“We need to get people into office to change this systemic corruption, this systemic constitutional corruption.”

“I’m proud to be a Libertarian and I hope you are too.”

Hillary Clinton will, if elected, use the power created by the Bush administration and build on it. So will McCain. So will Obama.

Tony Wall commended for doing great job with Tennessee Libertarians. Stewart Flood regrets missing the meeting.

Question from audience: Being away from Congress, do you have a new perspective?

Barr: My eyes have been really opened over the last few years.

Q: Expansion of power, War Powers Act.

A: Executive Orders, WPA, other legislation are all part of the same fabric of tyranny.

Talked about the orwellianism of the name of the Patriot Act. What was odd was that I’d seen this all before (when administration said Patriot Act was a response to 9/11). It was part of the same effort I’d been seeing for years—such as after the bombing during the previous administration in Oklahoma City.

Quotes John Adams on the fear factor. The government uses fear to pass a lot of bad legislation.

Q: Posse Comitatus?

There are occasional movements to reestablish Posse Comitatus. It is weakened gradually and incrementally by various bills and court decisions.

Q: Disenfranchised voters. How do we reach out to the left as well as the right?

A: Need good candidates (to be clear, he wasn’t saying current candidates aren’t good). It gains you the credibility to actually be heard. Raise money to get message out there. Praised Bill Redpath and Shane Cory. Importance of ballot access.

Take advantage of what Ron Paul has done. We are sort of in limbo until we know exactly what Ron Paul is going to do. Shame on us if we don’t take advantage of Paul’s efforts.

Q: How can a Libertarian distinguish himself from the other two candidates in five minutes.

A: Point out things that are being taken away and denied to the citizens of America. Point out that Washington is not your friend. It impacts the local voter at home, in their travels, and in their livelihood. The tremendous cost of what’s happening in Iraq.

Billions and billions are being spent so reports can be given about how many Iraqi girls are now going to school. What about our schools in America.

Bring these issues home to the American people.

Talk about the resources that American families don’t have available—that’s been stolen and squandered by the government, in order to pay, along with other things, the war in Iraq.

Enthusiastic and health applause.

2:20 Break and then Mike Jingozian video—Jingo isn’t at the convention. I’ll take a break and skip the video.

2:40 Tony Wall said all of the candidates were invited. He recognized those who showed, sent a proxy or video or somehow responded. Imperato has the flu. He said some candidates didn’t even have the courtesy to respond to their invitation. He didn’t specify which candidates, though.

2:57 Carol McMahon is speaking for George Phillies. She’d like the audience to support him. Reading speech.

George is long time Libertarian. Reads list of LP accomplishments and positions, including current state chair. MIT trained physicist. Written extensively.

George is already campaigning. Numerous volunteers across the country. Is already advertising—especially on the Internet.

Doesn’t have to change his positions because he’s always been a Libertarian.

Repubs are offering John McCain, who will give us 100 years of war. Hillary or Barack will be the nominee and increase taxes.

Peace, liberty, prosperity, now, tomorrow and forever.

Immediate end to the Iraq War.

Carol’s daughter turned 19 just north of Baghdad???

Barr talked about warrantless wiretaps and Phillies would stop that immediately.

Fiscal sanity. $30,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in America. Unfunded liabilities.

Purist, pragmatist or realist doesn’t matter. If no one hears us, it doesn’t matter.

What are the other candidates doing now to reach the American people?

George is using Adwords and Facebook.

18,000,000 visits to Phillies website.

Repeated URL a bunch of times.

Campaign literature is in back. Ballot access. Already sent thousands of dollars to ballot access efforts. Any state can ask for ballot access money.

Get active, stay active, at every level.

“Make George our candidate and he will give us the presidential campaign we’ve always dreamed of, but never actually had.”

3:05 Jim “Libertarian” Burns speaks.

Right before I got out of the Marine Corps (AC kicked on and I missed the rest).

I’m here to make friends—so stretch for a few seconds.

If the Dems nominate Hillary or Obama and the Repubs nominate McCain—any of the LP candidates would be better than the Repub or Dem nominee.

If you do what you do, you get what you’ve got.

None of the candidates now are as good as the ones we’ve had in the past.

John Hospers. Tonie Nathan. Roger McBride is my hero.

Roger was a hell of a speaker. Had “Force No One” inscribed on his plane.

Ed Clark. His secret weapon: David Koch. Five minute long TV commercials.

David Bergland was my mentor. Wrote great book.

Ron Paul. We’ve seen what Ron Paul.

Do any of our candidates compare with any of these candidates?

“We’ve got to do something different.”

If we aren’t doing well, we have to figure our why not.

Nixon, YAF, wage and price controls portion of LP history.

“Has it achieved what we want? I don’t think so.”

Is the problem libertarianism?

Defines libertarianism as live and let live, no force or fraud, being a good neighbor. Libertarianism is just a rule, not a philosophy—so we can seek our own potential. The vast majority of us follow these rules—the rest are called criminals. Our philosophy is just the way most people live. We should apply these same rules to government.

“When government is lawless, it destroys the basic foundation of society.”

What libertarianism will bring is the new revolution for human beings. Second libertarian revolution. Not to be a debating society. Revolution. Second Libertarian Revolution. More important than a cure for cancer. Realize our own human nature.

I’m Jim Libertarians Burns and running for president.

I’m old, bald, fat, have diabetes, heart attack, can’t remember names. Not the messenger which counts, but the message.

We need four things:

1) Win presidency of the US
2) 344 Senators
3) Compass of libertarianism
4) Map of the Constitution

We have two of them already.

Second Libertarian Revolution.

34 Senators required to stop House impeachment of a Libertarian president.

Impossible task? Not the light at the end of the tunnel, we haven’t even found the tunnel yet.

We need these 4 things to have victory in our lifetime.

We don’t need to march in lockstep to any particular plan.

Can we win the election?

Even Ron Paul can’t win the election because we don’t know how to do it yet.

Must we become Ghandi and engage in passive resistance? Doesn’t work—didn’t for me with the IRS. Join the military and have a coup. That won’t work; most of you would hate the military. Educational campaign. Nope.

If you can’t win, effect who does win. Kerry beat Bush in New Hampshire by less than 10,000 votes.

If you want the Republican to win, go after the Democratic votes. Use direct mail, not commercials.

Take hardcore libertarian positions on an issue that the Democrat won’t dare take. Pick a different position for Republicans.

Democrats and Republicans should finance our “targeted” campaigns.

Media cares about the horse race, not the philosophy. Media talking to us will give us credibility.

We need campaign teams that know what they are doing. Most campaigns are reinventing the wheel every time.

How to win:

Convince 36 really rich people to join party and to wage effective campaigns. Divide and conquer. Make sure Greens have adequate money to take Dem votes and Conservatives have money to take Repub votes so we can target the other voters.

If you think I’m crazy, that’s fine. Been called crazy before. I want to be your friend.

Looking to build a team.

Thanks.

10 MINUTE BREAK

On break, Bob Barr was asked, “What are your intentions?”

Barr’s response: “Good.”

3:45 Imperato has flu, but someone will read his short address.

Mary Ruwart’s flight is late—but they are trying to still get her here in time.

From Imperato via a volunteer:

Sorry I missed event. Sick and has fever. Regrets.

Began as an independent and will continue to lead independents.

Running on constitutional principles. Committed to our party and wants to take party to White House. Is man of honor and integrity. Loves everyone here.

3:51 Bob Jackson.

Thanks. Repeated Burns line of “Do what you do, you get what you got.”

Gives business background. Up to 100 people. Worked worldwide. Patents, 12 of them and in foreign countries. Engineering background.

Always made payroll and tax payments on time.

Civic background important. Important to understand what’s going on in your community. Ron for office twice as a Republican before becoming a Libertarian. Lists local civic organizations.

Put in libertarian style pro-business plan in some Michigan town. Created 140 new businesses in Benton Harbor in three years.

Has demonstrated capability to build economy. We need jobs. Small business provides jobs.

Local control is libertarianism.

Other issues:

1) Dysfunctional government. No confidence in government. Politicos in DC don’t have a clue about local needs. Only a third party candidate can fix the problem because a major party candidate is already married to part of the problem. A Libertarian president would have no such obligations.

Leadership of committees controls what happens in Congress. Veto power would be awesome. Work out details of what needs to be done with senior committee members.

Won’t get term limits. (missed some of what he said).

3) Cabinet is board of directors. Their job should be to transition back to constitutional government. Would love to start a new Cabinet position: Constitutional Review. Would like Ron Paul to be the Secretary of Constitutional Review.

To get above one percent, we need to show American public that we can get it done.

We need to present something that voters want to see.

2) Energy. (I’m not sure if there are two lists or I missed a number somewhere).

Most things in society are energy driven. Energy program should increase standard of living by increasing energy use. We use 20 percent of the worlds electricity.

Come up with a long range energy program. Use the energy we have. Develop alternate sources. Nuclear. Take government regulations off of power/energy companies. Wind power.

Ethanol is a diversion. Billions into ethanol is a waste and its economically not feasable. Don’t attack food sources for votes.

Two hydrogen atoms, ram them together, makes helium and energy. Cheap—but requires one tech advance. Need new superconductor material. Would be cheaper than fossil fuels.

Nanotechnology. China has best center. Give engineers enough incentive and they will produce.

3) National defense (I know, the numbering is off).

National defense, not international defense. No policeman to the world. Iraq is a difficult situation. We have to get out, will get out, on a controlled basis.

Bring troops from other countries. Close Gitmo. This reduces the cost of defense.

Strongest country in the world. Good thing. Want to be the strongest country in the world in 20 years. Good thing. Needs technological advances.

Control costs and then attack tax problem.

Get federal government back into constitutional restraints. Department of Education isn’t in Constitution. Get rid of DOE.

Disruption is not good. Transition is good. Give schools money on year one—but with no mandates or restriction. Year two, reduce the money by 1/7. Continue to reduce at this rate.

Many other issues. Open for questions.

Q: Government corruption.

A: Lobbyists are not the problem. The misuse of lobbyists is the problem. Prosecute corruption.

Health issues: HSAs. Cheaper than other insurances. Teaches personal responsibility—people don’t like using their own money.

Malpractice: (missed some of this). Against government insurance.

If a Dem or Repub is elected, you will have no choice but socialized medicine.

With socialized medicine comes rationed choices.

Not probable that we will elect president. We are perceived as a party of issues. We should be perceived as a party of governance. Need 4-6 percent base.

We need a candidate that people would say could actually be a president.

Eagle Scout. Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly…

Candidate needs a background like mine. Experience from wealthy to poor, business, civics, everything. Would love to be president and thinks he can do the job. Wants “our” support.

Denver Convention. Five hundred delegates will show. As Ron Paul demonstrated, a spark of a national media can be built upon and can start a fire.

Be prepared.

POLITE APPLAUSE.

VOTING ON STRAW POLL AND RAFFLE PRIZES.

George Phillies was excluded from the straw poll form (their are write-in spots). Apparently, they took the names from Liberty Decides, a program in which Phillies decided not to participate.

Dr. Mary Ruwart is the last speaker. She looks just as young as the first time I met her.

4:51 Ruwart: Will be short and inspirational because she’s the last speaker. Figures everyone is already inspired because they all love liberty.

Used to feel that we should help the poor. It may not be the most loving thing for someone to not want to help the poor. But it is even less loving to put a government gun to someone’s head to force someone else to pay for the poor.

“Do you remember the day when you first realized that you were a libertarian, and how inspiring that was?”

This knowledge is freedom. And the first step towards freedom from government.

Used to rent to low income families in Michigan. Young mothers (high school aged) would be looking for housing because they would soon qualify for welfare. This was a right of passage for them. But welfare money wasn’t enough, so they’d have another child to get more money. Then another child. Not enough money. Then finally old enough to vote.

Then look for a job for more money, but couldn’t afford childcare for three children.

Welfare doesn’t work.

Foreign policy. It doesn’t make sense. When we give foreign aid, it ends up in the Swiss bank accounts of dictators—but Americans get saddled with the debt.

Foreign aid is like welfare.

If you use aggressive means, you get an aggressive result. The ends of war are poverty and strife. Liberty provides the opposite result.

It’s difficult to screw up liberty.

Politicians promise harmony and abundance through aggression. This just doesn’t work.

“We are hard wired for liberty.” “Liberty is inevitable.”

Plugs book or free download from the Internet.

Was excited about Ron Paul campaign and how it did. Grassroots support sort of took off without him, to a sense. Broke fundraising records. Market works in mysterious ways. Quoted Paul on “message of liberty is popular.”

My message is that the truth will set you free. First in spirit, then in body.

Don’t forget to enjoy the freedom that we already have. The freedom from the illusion of big government.

(pretty good short inspiration talk - she said it was first time for this speech)

Q: What can change the Leviathan?

A: We all want the things that money can buy. The countries that are freer are wealthier. Compares Hong Kong to China, East Germany to West Germany, North Korea to South Korea.

We’d be 8 to 20 times wealthier if we had liberty.

Part of wealth is better health. This is another aspect of increasing liberty. Happiness increases. Power and money won’t necessarily make people happy.

Liberty is one of our (humanity’s) hard-wired requirements.

Q: Low income housing folks afraid to give up handouts.

A: There is a lot of conditioning, especially for third generation welfare recipients—and it’s tough to break that cycle.

The poorest are hurt the most by excessive regulation.

Q: Ron Paul factor. How do we reach out to Ron Paul supporters.

A: The Revolution will continue. Mentioned march. Our presidential candidates should invite Paul supporters to vote for people most like Ron Paul in state and local elections. Websites, MeetUp groups, etc. Offer invitation of “We’re working for liberty, too. Come join us.”

Q from Bob Jackson which turned into a speech about enterprise zone in Michigan.

Download free book from the Internet—or get the latest edition on Amazon.

“The truth has already set you free in one way—so enjoy it.”

CONVENTION IS OVER. Good convention. I’m going to celebrate with some Tennessee ethanol.

35 Responses to “Random notes liveblogged from the Tennessee Libertarian Convention”

  1. Wes Benedict Says:

    I’m listening.

  2. Fred C. Says:

    Is Barr getting applause for all those great lines?

  3. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Pretty much the same speech he gave in Missouri a couple of weeks ago—it was good here, too.

  4. Wes Benedict Says:

    Jim Burns said:
    I’m old, bald, fat, have diabetes, heart attack, can’t remember names.

    Wes says:
    I didn’t know Jim burns couldn’t remember names.

  5. disinter Says:

    Good lord. All these morns, except Barr, might as well drop out now and nominate Allen Hacker to take their places. At least Allen Hacker lets us piss him off while he spends all day on blogs bitching about how hard he is working.

  6. Jeff Wartman Says:

    disinter,

    What specifically did you not like about the statement from George (given by Carol) summarized above?

  7. disinter Says:

    George is for government forced “equality”. He is no libertarian.

  8. disinter Says:

    Gordon - how many people are in attendance? Any media, besides TPW?

  9. disinter Says:

    George Phillies was excluded from the straw poll form (their are write-in spots).

    Well that is kinda shady.

  10. Hugh Jass Says:

    “10:55 LP presidential candidate Bob Smith”

    ?

  11. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Hugh,

    I was thinking the same thing.

  12. Wes Benedict Says:

    Who was elected state chair?

  13. Devious David Says:

    Going for DC and expecting to win is ridiculous.

    We need to focus on municipal, county and state elections. Go after open positions that nobody is running for first, and when your slate is full then go for uncontested races and then contested races. Contested races should have strong candidates that can really run well. Paper candidates should be no more and instead go for positions with no candidate - PSC manager positions and the like are often the case.

    Once we are integrated heavily into the system up to the state level, we can just run a big secessionist movement. The county levels will help us drag the state legislatures our way, as the city levels will help drag the counties.

    Interestingly enough, most major libertarian-oriented reforms in other nations governments took place through liberal label leadership - not conservative. Witness New Zealand some years ago.

  14. timothy west Says:

    1:20 Wilson County Commissioner Heather Scott spoke. She is serving on her second term on the commission.

    She sees serving in local office as a step for moving up the political ladder. She suggests that local candidates pick an appropriate issue and run on it. Build alliances. Once elected, be able to compromise a little bit.

    One example she provided was that when she swears into public office, she commits to support the Tennessee Constitution, which includes a state mandate for public education.

    Scott said that a balance has to be maintained between representing libertarian values and the desires of the constituents. She also stated that she is often the solitary “no” vote at their meetings.

    Her speech was well received.

    LP hardasses, meet reality.

  15. timothy west Says:

    Purist, pragmatist or realist doesn’t matter. If no one hears us, it doesn’t matter.

    thats exactly what does matter. The hardasses alienate voters away from the LP as soon as their mouths open and sounds start coming out. they hear you fine, but they dont like the idea of their public schools being bulldozed down the day after the election with no workable alternative being proposed.

    They dont like the idea that their mother, who depends on S.S. checks to survive, will have her only source of income cut off after working full time for 30 years and paying taxes, once again, without a realistic LP plan to transition from what we have now to what can pass the Congress. Then, you build on it and make damn sure voters know an LP office holder did it.

    That how you turn LP dogma into reality, a baby step at a time. it took 75 years to get to where we are and it will damn near take that long to get back.

  16. disinter Says:

    Going for DC and expecting to win is ridiculous.

    We need to focus on municipal, county and state elections.

    I agree.

  17. BillTx Says:

    Where’s Daniel Impewacko?

  18. Wes Benedict Says:

    We can do it!!

  19. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Devious David says:

    “Interestingly enough, most major libertarian-oriented reforms in other nations governments took place through liberal label leadership - not conservative. Witness New Zealand some years ago.”

    Ah … someone FINALLY notices.

    As far as the local/municipal/county focus goes, well, yeah … but that’s not going to happen unless LP members, contributors, etc. start thinking that way. It can’t be made to happen from the top down.

    While I don’t support George Phillies for the presidential nomination, local LPs could learn a lot from his book on local organization. Strong local organizations would not only achieve more than organizations that are basically shells looking to LPHQ for leadership, they would also actually strengthen the party for higher-level races. Even the presidency is won at the precinct level.

  20. Fred C. Says:

    “Interestingly enough, most major libertarian-oriented reforms in other nations governments took place through liberal label leadership - not conservative. Witness New Zealand some years ago.”

    Mostly because in other nations liberal means something sorta close to what libertarian does here. Totally different vocabulary. Maybe if our conservatives were focused on pretending we’re still the british empire…. oh wait….

  21. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Fred,

    Yes, “liberal” means something similar to “libertarian” in European politics (and Australia/New Zealand have similar backgrounds).

    However, “conservative” and “right-wing” have very similar meanings in the US and Europe, and that’s the nut of a problem for the LP: To the extent that we’re positioned as “on the right,” we are by definition positioned as advocating some version of the status quo rather than as advocating real change. People who want the status quo already have it in the form of the major parties. They don’t need a new political party to get what they want.

  22. Fred C. Says:

    I won’t argue with that Tom, the perception certainly can be limiting. Still, in this country, “liberal” is largely an epithet for the nanny state and subsidization. We can call it a historical or linguistic inaccuracy, but so it is. There is also the matter that many people who would probably be card-carrying Libertarians now see themselves as conservatives after years of Republicans co-opting small government rhetoric, and thinking they have nowhere to turn with the other major party not even bothering to lie anymore and the standard anti-3rd party rhetoric.

    I think there should be some focus on bringing people who are already Libertarian into a party that will faithfully represent them before we can hope to convert the masses that think its okay to tax some people so others can get free shit. Those are both important goals, but one is more attainable, and thus the logical foundation from which to pursue the other.

  23. Laura Says:

    The LP should try to pull in the Old Right since the GOP has left them.

  24. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Laura,

    Do you have any data on what % of the pop is “Old Right”?

    Personally, my biggest problem with the “Old Right” strategy is that it’s backwards looking. The Old Right also has elements of haters in it.

    We might have more success appealling to the “Crunchy Cons.” And independents.

  25. Richard Winger Says:

    A nationally-organized minor party that fails to run for president, becomes invisible. The Communist Party stopped running for president after 1984 and simply ceased to exist in the eyes of all types of media. And maybe the Communist Party enjoys being invisible. It is still the only political party in the U.S. that publishes its own weekly print newspaper; it has a healthy dues-paying membership; it has influence within many large units of the AFL-CIO; some of its members do run for office and occasionally even get elected (as Democrats, or in non-partisan elections).

  26. Jeff Wartman Says:

    A nationally-organized minor party that fails to run for president, becomes invisible. The Communist Party stopped running for president after 1984 and simply ceased to exist in the eyes of all types of media. And maybe the Communist Party enjoys being invisible. It is still the only political party in the U.S. that publishes its own weekly print newspaper; it has a healthy dues-paying membership; it has influence within many large units of the AFL-CIO; some of its members do run for office and occasionally even get elected (as Democrats, or in non-partisan elections).

    I don’t think anyone wants to seriously just stop running Presidential candidates. However, in many ways, we’re completely ignored by the MSM in the first place.

    However, the emphasis should be on local elections. Local elections is where you build the party, from the ground up. As Tom mentioned, George’s book
    Stand Up For Liberty is a great resource for local elections.

    Get to voters consistently at the precinct level, and the results will follow. We shouldn’t cease running national candidates, but the real, nuts and bolts building of the party happens on the local level.

  27. Ghoststrider Says:

    So much of Barr’s speech was just plain common sense, from a Libertarian’s viewpoint.

  28. Andy Says:

    “And maybe the Communist Party enjoys being invisible. It is still the only political party in the U.S. that publishes its own weekly print newspaper;”

    I’ve said for a long time that the Libertarian Party ought to put out a weekly or monthly newspaper for sale or as a give away paid for through advertising.

    Ironic that communists can do this but the party that is supposed to believe in free market capitalism doesn’t do this.

  29. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Gordon - how many people are in attendance? Any media, besides TPW?

    They will be putting out some numbers over the next few days, so I’ll use the attendence numbers they provide. I don’t think they aimed for media this convention.

  30. Stephen Gordon Says:

    So much of Barr’s speech was just plain common sense, from a Libertarian’s viewpoint.

    While I’ll be the first to admit my personal bias, I’ll suggest that Barr’s presentation was superb. It was also informative with respect to real world details, as opposed to a talk about the libertarian theory of privacy.

  31. Stephen Gordon Says:

    “10:55 LP presidential candidate Bob Smith”

    Oops! Fixed. One of the hazards of liveblogging.

  32. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Who was elected state chair?

    There weren’t any state office elections.

  33. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Where’s Daniel Impewacko?

    He was going to be there, but canceled the trip due to personal illness (the flu).

  34. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Quoth Gordon:

    “While I’ll be the first to admit my personal bias, I’ll suggest that Barr’s presentation was superb. It was also informative with respect to real world details, as opposed to a talk about the libertarian theory of privacy.”

    Exactly—it was almost, but not quite, a stump speech. In other words, exactly what one would expect from a candidate who has been running for the LP’s 2008 presidential nomination for a year, without actually declaring that intent yet.

    It’s starting to get late, though—time for him to get in or pointedly opt out.

  35. nogreenlette Says:

    clean green stay global ocean water ugly german vacant me wood

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