Tom Knapp announces 2012 run for Libertarian and Boston Tea Party Presidential nominations

Via Knapp2012.com

Fellow libertarians,

I initially planned to announce my 2012 candidacy for the presidency of the United States on April 6th, 2009, from the steps of the Old St. Louis Courthouse (history buffs shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring out why), and I still intend to conduct a campaign event of some kind at that time and in that place.

I see, however, that others are already lining up with formal announcements or at least clear indications of their own intent … and when a fight’s brewing, I prefer to get in early.

It is therefore my distinct pleasure to announce that I will seek the 2012 presidential nominations of the Libertarian Party and the Boston Tea Party.

Why run for president — and why, especially, for the presidential nominations of two parties which together usually account for less than one percent of the popular vote in presidential elections?

I could give you lots of reasons, but I’m going to stick with three for the moment: There are some hard truths that need to be told, I’m interested in telling them, and they’re most effectively told from a bully pulpit.

Among those those hard truths are that the political wing of the libertarian movement will never make substantial progress toward its goals so long as it clings to the apron strings of the failed movements and parties of the past, remains in orbit around the present political “center,” or falls prey to cargo-cultish notions of what constitutes “serious” politics.

If we want a libertarian future, we must create that future, not hope that our political opponents drag us along to it. They won’t. They’re not going in the direction we want to go in, they have no desire to go in the direction we want to go in, and to the extent that they’re interested in us at all, they regard us either as fuel to be consumed or ballast to be dumped overboard at the earliest opportunity. I don’t blame them. We haven’t yet given them reason to regard us as a true threat to their power. It’s time to change that.

As my friend and mentor L. Neil Smith once observed, “great men don’t move to the center, they move the center.” It’s a big center, folks. Moving it will require a long lever, with us at the far end. I don’t claim to be a great man … but I hope to be part of a great movement, and to help that movement get further out on the lever and put some weight on it.

Insofar as cargo-cultism and “seriousness” are concerned, rest assured that I have nothing against suits and ties, friendly media interviews and the other requirements of realpolitick. What I do oppose is the absurd notion that waving around “mainstreamism” like some kind of voodoo fetish will magically boost us to competitive stature versus our older, more established opponents. It won’t.

The future of the libertarian movement, if it is has one, requires a principled populist approach rooted in class theory. Not the theory of the socialists (labor versus capital) or of the liberals and conservatives (ad hoc identity politics adjusted to appeal to society’s phobias du jour), but rather the theory of the productive class (those who make their living through work and voluntary exchange and cooperation) versus the political class (those who siphon off as much of that productive activity as they can get away with, using the coercive apparatus of the state, for their own ends).

For these reasons, the first phase of my campaign will largely be internal to the parties and the movement; as we move on, it will become more outwardly focused, of course, but first things first.

My fundamental goal in seeking the nominations of the LP and the BTP is not to achieve those nominations or to be elected President of the United States. It is to help the libertarian movement outfit itself for a journey yet to begin — a journey which that movement has stood stock still at the starting point of for nearly four decades now. If I achieve that goal, the nominations and the election results are of secondary importance, as I’m certain others are at least as qualified as I am to march at the front of the column. If I do not achieve those goals, then the nominations and the election results will resemble John Nance Garner’s description of the importance of the Vice Presidency of the United States: “Not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

I look forward to an exciting campaign, and I humbly request the support of all who value the future of freedom.

Yours in liberty,
Thomas L. Knapp

72 thoughts on “Tom Knapp announces 2012 run for Libertarian and Boston Tea Party Presidential nominations

  1. Trent Hill

    “I initially planned to announce my 2012 candidacy for the presidency of the United States on April 6th, 2009, from the steps of the Old St. Louis Courthouse (history buffs shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring out why)”

    The Dred Scott case?

    I cant think of anything election related.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    11/11/08
    POC Thomas L. Knapp
    admin@knapp2012.com
    314-750-6993

    WHEN THE GOING GETS WEIRD, THE WEIRD RUN FOR PRESIDENT
    Knapp announces 2012 candidacy

    While most Americans are still catching up on their rest from a hard-fought presidential election, one group of individuals is already
    on the march: Those who aspire to election in 2012.

    Among them is Thomas L. Knapp, who announced his candidacy for the
    presidential nominations of the Boston Tea Party and the Libertarian Party Tuesday evening.

    “I initially planned to announce my 2012 candidacy for the presidency of the United States on April 6th, 2009,” said Knapp in a
    Internet-distributed announcement. “I see, however, that others are already lining up with formal announcements or at least clear
    indications of their own intent … and when a fight’s brewing, I prefer to get in early.”

    Citing ideological drift in the Libertarian Party, Knapp, 42, founded the Boston Tea Party in 2006 and served as its vice-presidential
    nominee this year — while also running for Congress in his home state of Missouri as a Libertarian Party candidate. He hopes to bring the two parties closer together with his presidential campaign. “The LP has a lot of installed plant — ballot access, seasoned activists, the things that any party requires to be successful,” he says. “What we lost track of were our principles — but the BTP has been keeping those alive and will hopefully be happy to share them back.”

    Knapp’s campaign organization is embryonic but already in existence. He’s appointed Darcy G. Richardson, a noted political historian and
    veteran of numerous third party campaigns, as his campaign’s chief of staff. Also on board is Nick Galindo, an experienced campaign
    treasurer.

    His chances? He’s realistic: “We’ve got a tough row to hoe before we reach political success,” he says. “Much of my campaign will be about
    correcting mistakes the freedom movement has made in the past and positioning us to move forward further and faster.”

    -30-

    Campaign Site:
    http://www.knapp2012.com

    Boston Tea Party:
    http://www.bostontea.us

    Libertarian Party:
    http://www.lp.org

  3. Libertarian Joseph

    What are your views, Tom?

    I imagine you’re a “radical”

    so…

    where are you on the borders?

    trade?

    abortion?

    currency?

    death penalty?

    thanks

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I’m not a Knight of the Vatican, so I can’t really play the Daniel Imperato “international Catholic diplomat and business mogul who puts out press releases when he dines in the same restaurant as George Clooney” card.

    Or was there some other aspect of Imperato’s campaign that you had in mind?

    If you’re talking about running as an “independent,” I briefly considered the idea and rejected it. I’m interested in building the libertarian political movement, and the LP and BTP are the bastions of that movement.

    While I do have a yen for a “progressive alliance” — not the sickly creature of Bob Milnes’s imagination, but the real deal, something like a Kubby/Ruwart ticket would have looked like if things had gone differently in Denver — I suspect such an alliance will more likely occur by attracting libertarian greens to the LP/BTP than by trying to add the Green Party to the mix of parties whose nomination I’m seeking. I’m open to argument otherwise, of course.

    Best regards,
    Tom Knapp

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    Or was there some other aspect of Imperato’s campaign that you had in mind?

    Mainly, running for other parties’ nominations. You can, if nothing else, build bridges and maybe even find some converts in the process.

  6. paulie cannoli Post author

    Actually, Tom, you answer your own question:

    I suspect such an alliance will more likely occur by attracting libertarian greens to the LP/BTP

    How will you do that if you don’t go where they are? And what better way to get their attention than as a candidate in the Green Party?

  7. Fred Church Ortiz

    I suspect such an alliance will more likely occur by attracting libertarian greens to the LP/BTP than by trying to add the Green Party to the mix of parties whose nomination I’m seeking. I’m open to argument otherwise, of course.

    Participating in their own nomination process might build you a base there that could carry over in the likely event you don’t actually gain their nomination. It seems doubtful many libertarians in the GP follow the LP or BTP races closely, or they’d have probably caught on that there’s a better party for them. Wouldn’t hurt to preach to the uninitiated there as well.

  8. Eric Sundwall

    April 9, 1953 – Warner Brothers premieres the first 3D film, House of Wax.

    And of course April 9, 2009 will herald the 77th birthday (celebrated) of Cheeta (aka Jiggs) the chimpanzee actor.

    Should be a fascinating four years . . .

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Libertarian Joseph:

    > where are you on the borders?

    They’re imaginary lines drawn on the ground by politicians. The innocent owe them no respect. If they have any utility at all, it is only for demarcating the lines of conflict between competing states in war, etc.

    > trade?

    Free.

    > abortion?

    Personally pro-life, functionally pro-choice. I don’t think it’s an issue that politics can “solve.”

    > currency?

    End the government monopoly, repeal the legal tender laws, allow the market to provide currencies that meet the needs of those who use them.

    > death penalty?

    Against — I can’t trust the state to deliver my damn mail in a timely manner, how could I trust it to discern who is guilty of a rightly capital crime to a degree of certitude high enough to justify allowing it to kill the subject of that discernment? I’m all for the death penalty if levied at the scene of the crime by the prospective victim of lethal aggression, of course.

  10. Libertarian Joseph

    Cool. Just so you know, Kubby & Ruwart are closest to my beliefs… but I’ve always been bit of a pragmatic about things.

  11. Catholic Trotskyist

    The Catholic Trotskyist Party of America has endorsed Tom Knapp for President. They have been impressed by his great comments so far on this site and TPW, and agree on some key issues like immigration and the war. Despite the disagreements, the CTPA would like to remind everyone that it agrees with a combination of Milnes and Imperato’s strategy; a progressive alliance strategy, but including the Constitution Party, and with a Roman Catholic slant. Overtures were made to draw Milnes and Imperato into the Catholic Trotskyist Party, but sadly, they both voted for McCain. This will, however, provide a bipartisan dialogue if we all decide to get together under my strategy, which is called the Fringe Alliance Strategy and was posted repeatedly on TPW nearly a year ago.
    Amen.

  12. richardwinger

    John Nance Garner never said the vice-presidency wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. He said it wasn’t worth a bucket of warm piss. But people censored what he said.

  13. Catholic Trotskyist

    Thanks Paulie. I believe that this is a record for a political party having nominated its candidate the earliest. However, the nomination may be withdrawn if Obama or another good Democratic candidate runs again, or there could be a co-nomination.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mike,

    What makes you think I’ve changed my position that me running for president is an idea that scares the hell out of me?

    Back in 1991, I was on duty with my unit’s reaction team when we got the call that one of our posts (we were guarding Headquarters Marine Corps, Southwest Asia) was taking sniper fire. Fire team rushing across an open desert field to the building we believed the fire was coming from, then clearing the building room by room, scared the hell out of me, too.

    Sometimes you’ve gotta do what needs doing, scared or not.

  15. Gary Fincher

    Obama/Knapp doesn’t sound like such a hot idea to me.

    But then, I’m a libertarian. I’m sure Hillaryites will see that differently.

  16. paulie cannoli Post author

    Oh and since you love to keep bringing up the Hillary thing, here’s something else I thought you might enjoy:

    Massachusetts Question 1
    Income Tax Ban

    YES
    30%

    NO
    70%

    Massachusetts Question 2
    Decriminalize Marijuana
    YES
    65%

    NO
    35%

  17. paulie cannoli Post author

    For anyone wondering what the heck we are talking about, Gary is trying to rub it in because I predicted Hillary would beat Obama. He is ignoring that I said I was not as certain of that as I was that either of them would beat McCain. And he predicted McCain would win.

    Also, he was adamant that the income tax initiative in Mass. was much more popular than the marijuana decrim issue there. The results show, not so much…

  18. JimDavidson

    Virginia Louisa Minor is probably not the connection, since Dred Scott was filed 6 April 1846. As far as I can discern, nothing of significance happened to Ms. Minor during any April.

  19. TheOriginalAndy

    The marijuana initiative that passed in Massachusetts was to reduce the penalty for pocessing an ounce or less of marijauan down to a $100 ticket with no jail time and no record. The police can still confiscate the ounce or less of marijuana.

  20. Nexus

    So, we have Milnes, Keaton, Knapp, Root, and possibly Barr again. Anyone else care to throw their hat in the ring?

  21. NewFederalist

    What would make anyone think Barr would be interested in running again? I have not seen anything to suggest it.

  22. paulie cannoli Post author

    What would make anyone think Barr would be interested in running again? I have not seen anything to suggest it.

    “This is just the beginning of the new Libertarian Party”.

    I would not at all be surprised if Barr 2012=Browne 2000, if we take Barr 2008=Browne 1996.

  23. Peter Orvetti

    That line reminds me of a great line from a mediocre political movie, in which the president tells a governor he’s passing over for vice president, “You’re the future of the party. And you always will be.”

  24. Michael Seebeck

    Given the choice of Knapp, Keaton, or Barr in 2012, I’ll take Keaton. No offense Tom, but she’s better looking. :)

  25. Ross Levin

    Tom – I want you to know that I would be willing to do at least a bit of work for your campaign because you’ve endorsed the Ni4D. And depending on how prominent a role that played in your campaign, I might be willing to up the workload.

  26. JimDavidson

    I concur with Michael at 44. I won’t vote for anyone. But I’ll work for Keaton, Shinghal, and Knapp.

  27. Michael Seebeck

    OK, after digging through some old flash sticks, I found my announcement:

    *****

    Considering I turned the big old 35 in 2008, I wish to declare my candidacy, for the President of…

    NOTHING!

    My first act in office will be to do nothing. It will be followed by even more acts of nothing, as I promise nothing and will deliver exactly that–nothing! I guarantee that I will tax you nothing. I guarantee a balanced budget of nothing spent and nothing earned. In fact, the budget will have nothing to it, and it will take nothing to understand it.

    In the past there have been the Do-Nothings, the Know-Nothings, and they were just pretenders, because in the end they actually did something.

    I’m the real nothing. If you elect me President of Nothing then I guarantee you that I will serve my term as best I can, which is to do nothing.

    Seebeck ’08: Vote for Nothing, because it’s better than anything we got now!

    My name is Mike Seebeck, and I did nothing to approve this message…

  28. JimDavidson

    Spence, sounds good. Have ya joined the party?

    Mike, I approve of the nothing you want to be. Also, you take great pix. Please take more photos of Angela and/or Miche.

  29. JimDavidson

    Libertarian Joseph is a troll, who is neither libertarian nor anarcho-capitalist. Perhaps he should join the Know Nothing party – a group with which he has much in common.

  30. Libertarian Joseph

    Jim, what are your accomplishments? It looks like you’re just trying to coattail your way to importance with the BTP. Opportunist!

  31. Libertarian Joseph

    Ah, a vanity page.

    How can you be both a propertarian and an ancap? That makes no sense.

    Go back to the woods, grizzly adams

  32. Spence

    “The LP is a distraction.”

    There, fixed that for you. For 37 years, you, people like you, and your collective predecessors, next-in-lines, etc. have failed to do anything useful for the cause of spreading liberty, running your “education” campaigns that make no dent in changing the landscape of the electorate whatsoever- absolutely no success. Worse yet, you all speak as if this lack of success is a good thing. So I cordially ask that you fuck yourself.

    The BP actually has an excuse- they’re too small and young to have any effect yet. What’s the LP’s? They (radicals) and reformers (conservatives) have failed to build party bases or infrastructure on a nationwide scale. Isn’t that why we elect a LNC to begin with and change our platform in hopes of growth? But people say “stay in the LP” because I’m “misunderstanding” its purpose and it’s the only “honest party” left.

    Well, fuck you. Anything that’s too big to fail should not exist in the first place.

  33. Spence

    Yeesh. More and more, I keep seeing more compelling evidence why perhaps Wikipedia isn’t the best destination for quick fact checks. TY!

  34. darolew

    “but rather the theory of the productive class (those who make their living through work and voluntary exchange and cooperation) versus the political class (those who siphon off as much of that productive activity as they can get away with, using the coercive apparatus of the state, for their own ends).”

    Yes. *gives thumbs up*

    “Considering I turned the big old 35 in 2008, I wish to declare my candidacy, for the President of… NOTHING! [snip]“

    Lol. There’s a candidate I can support. =P

  35. Steven Druckenmiller

    Libertarian Joseph is a troll, who is neither libertarian nor anarcho-capitalist.

    And you do? you implicitly threatened me with violence for a viewpoint and smeared me.

    Get the beam out of your eye, jack.

  36. G.E.

    I guess nobody wants my help on this campaign, since I haven’t been invited to help – or even, for that matter, to join the facebook group.

    And I didn’t get an invitation to your pitty party!

  37. JimDavidson

    @54 Many and varied. You can read about some of them at indomitus.net, though I doubt you’d care.

    @56 I didn’t write that page, so I cannot accept any responsibility for what it claims.

    @57 Spence, good one. Despite our youth and inexperience, we’ve elected two people to public office. I think this makes our accomplishments greater than the LP’s in 1972, though I have not done a lot of research on those early days.

    @58 A very cool page, Peter. Didja ever meet a guy named Toyohiro Akiyama? He worked for Tokyo Broadcasting. I’m very fond of his statement that flying in space causes dreams of beer and cigarettes.

    @60 Everyone wants your help Paulie. We just figured you were too busy feeding the trolls on the A Keaton thread. There, I invited you to the Knapp 2012 group.

    @62 I did not explicitly threaten you with violence. If you misunderstood my words, then your responsibility is for your interpretation. I clearly stated a willingness to use defensive and retaliatory force against those who initiate force, advocate its initiation, or delegate its initiation. As for smearing you, I have only reflected on what you have said about yourself. If you don’t like how you look once you finish writing, try hitting “refresh page” instead of “submit.” (Why does a libertarian political blog site have “submit” instead of “publish” for its comments button?)

    Get the beam out of my eye or you’ll do what, sweetie? Kiss kiss. Want some? No tongue for you, dirty boy.

  38. Steven Druckenmiller

    I clearly stated a willingness to use defensive and retaliatory force against those who …advocate its initiation

    Not a free speech believer then, eh? So, anytime someone says “There should be a law…”, you think you’re justified in beating them?

    Psy. cho.

  39. Peter Orvetti

    Yeesh. More and more, I keep seeing more compelling evidence why perhaps Wikipedia isn’t the best destination for quick fact checks.

    Well, I didn’t build my own Wikipedia page, if that’s what this implies — though I have checked it for accuracy from time to time.

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