It’s official: Gary Johnson goes Libertarian

As has been expected, former NM Governor Gary Johnson has just announced that he will seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination.

Johnson had previously been seeking the Republican nomination, which is the party under which he was elected Governor.

Johnson joined the Libertarian Party in 1993-4, but did not renew his LP dues after the first year because he felt that at the time the Libertarians were too extreme. However, his LP pledge of membership remains in effect.

The video of the announcement is being played on Johnson’s site (linked above) right now.

Note from Paulie: I am typing this in a hurry. Other IPR writers are welcome to edit and expand this article if they wish.

141 thoughts on “It’s official: Gary Johnson goes Libertarian

  1. Losty

    Mainly One Question:

    Especially with Iowa GOP counting at (Undisclosed Location), If Mr. Paul does is not an active RP candidate in March/April and he goes for the LP line, Or Americans Elect/Independent Run, will Mr. Johnson withdraw?

  2. AnthonyD.

    While this is the most electable candidate the LP will ever run, GJohnson is gonna have to set up his game. His public speaking (that I have seen so far) leaves much to be desired.

  3. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Google “Gary Johnson Occupy Wall Street.”

    Johnson has appeared at OWS events, and said words of support for them.

    This was news to me — good news.

  4. JT

    AnthonyD: “While this is the most electable candidate the LP will ever run, GJohnson is gonna have to set up his game.”

    How can you say GJ is the most electable candidate the LP will ever run? Can you see the future?

    AnthonyD: “His public speaking (that I have seen so far) leaves much to be desired.”

    Agreed. I think he can improve easily though.

  5. AnthonyD.

    JT,

    you’re right. I realized the misstatement after I posted. I definitely meant to say that he will be the most electable candidate the party HAS ever run.

  6. AnthonyD.

    by the way, the easiest tactical decision GJohnson will ever make is doing a better job of courting the RPaul people than Barr did. Which is obviously not saying too much.

  7. Eric Sundwall

    Whatever philosophical misgivings one might hold, I personally welcome this entry in terms of the challenge it represents to the LP.

    As the political environment worsens, frustrated candidates like Johnson will turn to third party alternatives. LP members should welcome similar mindedness into our process too.

    The LP should not forget that it’s role will be spoiler for some, protest for others, hopefully education for all and perhaps ambition, control freakishness and childish yearning will be minimized.

    Good luck all and may the best case for liberty always win and at the very least heard by some.

  8. Trent Hill

    Others have said it, but I’d like to emphasize: johnson’s easiest votes are ron Paul voters. Court them heavily. A formal endorsement in Iowa and new Hampshire would do wonders.

  9. George Phillies

    @12 The Christian Right people are not plausible LP targets. So soon as they learn that Johnson does not support depriving women of their right to choose, they will be gone. Ditto the global warming deniers the drug warriors, the torture-lovers.

    One wonders where he is getting information on our ballot access issues. I have not even seen a credible plan for Massachusetts ballot access, let alone 50-state ballot access.

  10. AnthonyD.

    @14

    Mr. Phillies,

    We don’t need ALL of the members of each of those factions you mentioned, do we? Lets just realize we won’t get them all and work at the margins. Seeing the GOP in a tizzie over losing a few votes here and there in each of those groups will be enough for me to remortgage my house and donate it to GJ 2012.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    I’ll be supporting Gary Johnson as a delegate at the LP national convention.

    I watched the press conference live.

    In my opinion Johnson made one big goof during the question period. Let me preface this by saying I’m no fan of the Fair Tax.

    He got several questions about the Fair Tax. One of them apparently (and I say “apparently” because the audience asking questions was not miked) wanted to know why the Fair Tax wouldn’t rise the cost of all goods produced in the U.S.

    Johnson pointed out that because a lot of other taxes would be eliminated, goods that cost $1.23 would cost $1 after those taxes are gone. He said they would thus cost 80% to produce without those taxes. Then the Fair Tax of 23% would bring the cost back up to $1.23. Because companies would be competing with one another, they couldn’t just leave the price hiked up and impose the Fair Tax on top of a $1.23 price (he didn’t say this, but that would imply $1.51 price).

    This fundamentally misunderstands the way the Fair Tax is calculated. Johnson assumes it works like a sales tax. It really should work like a sales tax (explicit tax), but the Fair Tax is always quoted to make it comparable with an income tax (implicit tax). The actual Fair Tax rate is 30%, not 23%.

    http://fairtaxwarrior.com/ArgDebunking.htm#tax_rate

    We can have legitimate arguments about how the Fair Tax should be presented. But there is no argument about Johnson’s presentation — it’s just plain wrong.

    His figures assume a 23% explicit tax, 19% implicit tax. That’s not the Fair Tax.

    He should have said goods that cost $1.30 would cost $1 after those taxes are gone. They would thus cost 77% to produce without those taxes. Then the Fair Tax of 30% explicit (23% implicit) would bring the cost back up to $1.30.

  12. Mike B.

    Will Gary Johnson be our Peace President or a “Warmongering Libertarian?”.

    Where does he stand on war (not the other W.A.R)?

    And will he represent the Libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party?

  13. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Phillies: Ditto the global warming deniers…

    Are you suggesting there’s no room in the LP tent for “global warming deniers”?

    Yet aren’t most LP members “global warming deniers”? (By which I mean, people who deny that man can significantly alter the climate.)

  14. Brian Holtz

    Eric gets it @8.

    Given GJ’s likely set of opponents, the only thing between him and a first-ballot win in Vegas is the Fair Tax “prebate” issue.

    A better tax position for him would be to advocate that the federal government have only 50 taxpayers: the states, paying in proportion to their population.

    Even better would be to reinstate Article 8 of the Articles of Confederation, which said states should pay in proportion to the value of their land(*). However, advocating this variation would require asking people to understand the top 7 reasons why land value taxation is the least bad “tax”.

    (*) “All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States in proportion to the value of all land within each State”.

  15. George Phillies

    @15 If you want other groups from the margins, why pursue people who are least like Libertarians in their beliefs? Why not pursue antiwar, anti-police state ACLU Democrats, telling them that Obama is giving them *nothing*?

    @19 “Aren’t most LP members…” No most LP members are not morons.

  16. Chuck Moulton

    I’m a global warming skeptic and I have yet to hear anything from Phillies to make me a global warming believer. All I see are ad hominem attacks.

    Global warming is widely misunderstood by the public – mostly because many severable questions are habitually conflated into one.

    The usual question: Is there global warming? If yes, then you must be for a worldwide carbon tax and all sorts of regulations. If no, then you must be some anti-science nutcase.

    Real questions:
    Is the earth warming?
    Is it warming a lot?
    What are the consequences?
    Is that good or bad for mankind?
    Is the warming caused by man?
    Is it stoppable / reversible?
    How can it be stopped cheapest?
    Is intervening worth the cost?

    I’ve seen evidence on a lot of those questions that contradicts global warming believers. But I can’t even engage them in conversation until they start asking the right questions.

  17. AnthonyD.

    @19: I won’t argue with you about going after antiwar, anti-police state ACLU Democrats. I think a certain percentage of them are primed for the taking.

    However, isn’t the reality that, the larger the Libertarian vote gets, the more likely it will not be taken from one side or another, but will be a new coalition? We’re not going to take from one side or another exclusively.

  18. ATBAFT

    Apropo #14, what groups are the LP’s target?
    Seems to me there is something in the platform that will cause every group to run screaming away…unless we do a much better job explaining how libertarianism increases their wealth, their health, and their happiness.
    If, in fact, just about every group – the majority of voters in fact – have some unassailable reason for not considering the LP, then what the heck
    are we bothering for?

  19. Kleptocracy And You

    Well Guy Mc and Macia are HAPPY campers today.

    Yes, let the venting begin ! GJ said on FOX News last night that there are already 8 LP candidates competing. I wonder if he’s including the homeless guy without a clue ?! I do appreciating him showing respect to Jim LIBERTARIAN Burns however !! Perhaps after a few LP stops he will tone down on the (UN)fair TAX junk (I’ve never seen a FAIR one)!!!
    {user fees and tariffs America are the way to go}

    Over the holiday break I took time to look in detail at GJ’s and Harris’ issue stances. Taking into account my standard of 75 to 80% agreement before I even consider backing a candidate, Both men passed. Wrights and Gary also pass so I currently have NO objections to backing either of these four men or a ticket of these men. I won’t narrow down my selection until Spring, but whomever you guys and gals nominate currently sits well with me. They ALL fit somewhere in the L quad of the Nolan Chart !!! (none endorse spraying poisonous U.S.Taxpayer funded chemicals on hemp fields in central and south Ameria as a former nominee did-btw)

    It does No one in a alternative Party a bit of good to nit-pick a candidate to a bloody corpse over ONE issue, look for that 75 to 90% you AGREE upon. Sure let them know the “better” route on the few issues, but don’t bludgeon them to death if you agree on most all else. Please save that for the Ds and Rs they DESERVE it ! I AGREE 100% with no one, not even MYSELF !! So I’ll use my heavy artillery on Obama and company !!!

    With Eight years as an Executive Gov’t Officer he will have TWICE as much experience as either Obama or Romney. Successful experience at that, as Obama seems to be CLUELESS and Romney left office with over 60% of MA residents DISAPPROVING of his job performance as their Gov. In a 2011 poll GJ is still liked by over 50% of NM residents. NM is a 2 to 1 D over R state too. Yes, GJ has the experience to be the POTUS.

    Let’s see how he does fundraising as an L! If he can raise 2 to 3 million by the end of the March FEC filing date he might be the man !! If he doesn’t then expect NO miracles in Nov. *About the fundraising part, during my research over the holidays I found where he financed almost entirely his Gov. ‘s races himself. He has never had to really fund raise before. Perhaps that is one reason he isn’t doing well now. He must learn to ASK for money if he expects to play in the “BIG” leagues of national politics.

    Hang in there ALL LP POTUS candidates ! Keep spreading LIBERTY to the land !!!!!!!!!

    Carpe Diem for LIBERTY

  20. Michael H. Wilson

    Instead of arguing over taxes I suggest we focus on cutting spending.

    Instead of arguing if global warming is real or not focus on opening the transportation market to reduce pollution and reduce U.S. military deployments thus reducing the military’s consumption of fossil fuels.

  21. Gene Berkman

    GP @ 14 says “I have not even seen a credible plan for Massachusetts ballot access, let alone 50-state ballot access.”

    George, are you not a leader of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party? Why have you not led your party to ballot access over the last several years?

  22. Gene Berkman

    Consistently since the beginning of the modern libertarian movement, we have drawn more recruits from right-wing fringe politics than from the new left or the left-liberals.

    Yes we have common issues with antiwar liberals and with ACLU members, in our opposition to war and to police state measures. But left-liberals won’t support the Libertarian Party because they want to tax the rich and regulate corporations.

    Left-liberals seem to think that our support for free enterprise is “heartless” and it has largely been a waste of time trying to tailor a message to them in their language.

    If Libertarians with right-wing support become important enough to actually stop or slow down the advance of the police state, maybe ACLU liberals will take a second look.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    Gene if we also took the time to show how opening the market could reduce poverty and related social problems we might make some headway as well, but no. Too many people in the LP have a closed mind.

  24. AnthonyD.

    @33 : I’m with you, Mr. Berkman. The reality is, a new Libertarian governing majority (or any sort of significant minority party), is likely to draw more significantly from the right than the left. This party has always been that way, there is no reason to think that distribution will change.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    AnthonyD@35,

    “a new Libertarian governing majority (or any sort of significant minority party), is unlikley if it tries to draw more significantly from the right than the left.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

  26. Kleptocracy And You

    @31 Speak for yourself BUDDY.

    Just because Milnes enjoys masturbating to his local news broadcast DOES NOT disqualify him from being Commander In Chief. In fact HIGH level talks might be underway at this very moment between Milnes and the homeless guys girlfriend to be Milnes VEEP. The PLAS lives on………

    Since Holtz showed up promoting a “commie” land tax we’ll watch one of his vids to celebrate –>

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6arboxik-k

    oh excuse me that’s the WRONG Holtz, let’s try again

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxO6i0khqhk&list=PL117F6C7F02B8AB7A&index=7&feature=plpp_video

    and a NLP one
    Vote Libertarian-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BytYnEIRqyQ&feature=endscreen&NR=1

    Remember friends
    Laughter does good like a medicine !!!

  27. AnthonyD.

    @36

    I like your sense of humor. Tell you what: You take the left, I’ll take the right. We’ll get this thing done.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    AnthonyD@38,

    Thanks, but no thanks — I’m not interested in helping create a “Libertarian governing majority.”

    I’m just saying that while correlation is not necessarily causation, the LP has been unsuccessful for 40 years while “draw[ing] more significantly from the right than the left,” and amping up that strategy (e.g. Barr) hasn’t seemed to help much … so maybe it’s time to reconsider the strategy.

  29. Deran

    I also completely agree with Trent’s comment that Johnson endorsements of Paul, for Iowa and NH (where just a few weeks ago Johnson was all over the place there), would be the first step to getting Paul voters to vote in the general eelction outsode the two parties.

    I also also agree with the poster who suggested Johnson is at least to some degree courting the OWS sentiment. It will be interesting to see if Rocky Anderson’s campaign takes off and their are two candidates offering two different perspectives on how to create a better world for the 99%.

  30. George Phillies

    @32 You have a mistaken impression as to how ballot access works in Massachusetts, though I really should have said “Presidential ballot access”. The short answer is that we have been doing things for Presidential Ballot access, notably the litigation on candidate substitution; that has been ongoing since 2008.

    Direct action on putting a Presidential candidate on the ballot (collecting signatures) cannot possibly start until February 2012 (if we win our lawsuit) and probably not until May 2012 (if victory has not yet been attained).

    However, I have seen no sign of a credible plan to make the Presidential petitioning work in 2012. National apparently plans to do it by spending a certain amount of money, and the amount of money in question is severely inadequate. I write as the fellow who made the 2008 drive work, and made the 2008 substitution litigation happen when it needed to.

    We have done fundraising for 2012 Presidential ballot access, and there has been no — absolutely zero — member interest. News that people may be donating to support another Republican carpetbagger is *not* going to be a selling point, though it is one that I have not had to make. We already had one of those Republican carpetbagger candidates, complete with his historical scheme to make the army Paganfrei (hint: like “Judenfrei”, but for Pagans).

    I put more time and money into our state association than anyone else. I am working on the things that I see as most important, namely building up a party infrastructure, recruiting and supporting local and partisan candidates and Congressional candidates, and the like.

    National’s screwups last time led the state party, and me personally, each to waste thousands of dollars that we need not have spent on ballot access. I shall skip over the petition-burning issue.

    This time, we have an unidentified genius in our national office who is leaving our prospective Candidates candidates with the brain-dead impression that they should NOT try to raise more than $5000 so that the will NOT have to file with the FEC, and, yes, the candidate in questions is solid enough, and asked enough questions, that it is really clear that he was being discouraged from raising money.

    We have a certain number of volunteers, a certain amount of time, and a certain amount of money partitioned between state and Federal funds that may not be intermingled.

    If you were here, and viewed this as your project, we would be delighted to support your hard work.

  31. Fonzie's Jacket Got Wet!

    Has the LP grabbed its Johnson and stepped on its crank in the process?

    Tune in to the LP Circus Vegas to see!

    However, better vet GJ on Gitmo and foreign aid theft before fitting him with that Lady Liberty torch and tiara while playng the Rip Taylor $1.98 Beauty Show song in the background…

  32. Gene Berkman

    Gary Johnson on how to treat prisoners in the war on terror:
    AMERICA CAN ACHIEVE OUR FOREIGN POLICY GOALS without sacrificing American values.

    “No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.
    Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts.
    Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes. ”

    Source:http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/foreign-policy

  33. George Phillies

    @32 Short version

    I don’t share your priorities.

    Mind you, most of the positive things that happened already in preparation for 2012 (litigation, our now-exhausted Presidential ballot access fund, alternative ballot line preparation, discussion of elector availability) happened because I pushed them to happen).

    But there is still no credible plan for Presidential ballot access in Massachusetts.

  34. Chuck Moulton

    Johnson made a strong statement against foreign aid at his press conference. I don’t recall him being asked about Guantanamo.

    From past statements Johnson seems very anti-war and pro-civil liberties. I think his Guantanamo position has been misinterpreted. He seems to support military tribunals as better than detention with no trials. Of course civilian jury trials would be even better in my opinion; however, his support of military tribunals is not a rejection of civilian jury trials, but rather a rejection of indefinite detention with no trial. He could easily and credibly come around to a perfected position on that issue the same way he changed his position from civil unions to gay marriage.

    I think Johnson’s biggest problem in the LP will be the Fair Tax, but he’ll probably get the nomination despite that position.

  35. Gene Berkman

    TK @ 39 says: ” the LP has been unsuccessful for 40 years while “draw[ing] more significantly from the right than the left,” and amping up that strategy (e.g. Barr) hasn’t seemed to help much … so maybe it’s time to reconsider the strategy.”

    Actually in the early 1970s a serious effort was made to recruit new left activists into The Libertarian Party and other groups. Some of this effort is described in the book “Radicals for Capitalism.” Thisi s in addition to Rothbard’s efforts in the 1960s with the review “Left & Right.”

    The upshot is that (a) few recruits were made from the left, and the rhetorical flourishes designed to recruit leftists were offensive to the middle class base of the libertarian movement.

    Anyway, if you are not satisfied with libertarian strategy, show us a success where you are active.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    @46,

    “Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or [something that's not even remotely like due process]. ”

    That’s just not one of the issues that Johnson (or anyone else) can credibly try to get down the middle of. It’s like the Solomon thing with the baby;. Offering to cut the Constitution in half will only satisfy those who don’t care if the Constitution lives or dies.

  37. Michael H. Wilson

    Re Chuck @ 49. I hope he made a comment about the deployment of U.S. abroad and bringing them home.

    I haven’t seen the video and have to run to a meeting this evening, so if someone knows I’d appreciate getting the word.
    Thanks.

  38. Losty

    Can anyone answer this..

    Does anyone know what states allow people who do not sign the pledge and do not reside in their state to be seated as National Convention delegates?

  39. Losty

    (Delegates to the Convention only, Not LNC Delegates/Members, etc.. Simply to cast votes at the Nominating Convention for President and Vice-President Nominees)

  40. Chuck Moulton

    Michael H. Wilson wrote (@53):

    Re Chuck @ 49. I hope he made a comment about the deployment of U.S. abroad and bringing them home.

    My recollection is he said he supported going into Afghanistan, but we should have left after 6 months because by then we had taken care of Al-Qaeda in that country. I believe he said he didn’t support going into Iraq and that he wanted all of the troops home. That’s from memory though and I wasn’t focusing on hearing that point during the press conference, so I’d suggest watching it yourself.

    Also of interest to the war issue, he said that the interest payment on our debt given to China is the same as the cost of their military and that although he doesn’t believe in foreign aid he does believe in strategic military alliances. He didn’t clarify with whom we should be in a strategic military alliance or what the terms of such an alliance should be. Again: from my poor memory.

  41. Chuck Moulton

    Losty wrote (@54):

    Does anyone know what states allow people who do not sign the pledge and do not reside in their state to be seated as National Convention delegates?

    I don’t know. But as of 2006 the following states did not adopt the national pledge or a substitute state pledge:

    Arizona
    Colorado
    Delaware
    Indiana
    Iowa
    Kansas
    Maryland
    Missouri
    New Hampshire
    New Mexico
    New York
    South Dakota
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Vermont

    That list is as of 2006. I didn’t compile the list, so I can’t verify its accuracy. There were 19 states for which information was not collected, so the list wasn’t even exhaustive as of 2006. States may have changed their pledge requirements in the past 5 years.

    The list is a good starting point though… you could ask them if they currently have a pledge and if they allow delegates who don’t reside in the state. Better than asking the 14 states that adopted the national pledge or the 3 states that adopted a modified state pledge as of 2006.

  42. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote (@57):

    I don’t know. But as of 2006 the following states did not adopt the national pledge or a substitute state pledge:


    New Mexico

    Sorry, my bad. As of 2006 New Mexico had 2 levels of membership. The pledge wasn’t required to be a member, but was required to be a delegate to the state or national convention.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    22 cm: I’m a global warming skeptic and I have yet to hear anything from Phillies to make me a global warming believer. All I see are ad hominem attacks.

    23 gp: Yes, there are a lot of those idiots [worldwide carbon taxers], too.

    me: One would be more inclined to overlook all the ad hominem and condemning those he disagrees with as “idiots,” if we occasionally heard a substantive point made. Difficult, caustic people can be uncivil and unpleasant, but occasionally something resembling insight comes forth from them. We know that GP is certainly capable of sharing insights, but it appears that IPR is merely his flame venue.

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste….

  44. Robert Capozzi

    51 tk: Offering to cut the Constitution in half will only satisfy those who don’t care if the Constitution lives or dies.

    me: This could be said about a range of issues, not just Gitmo. Social Security is not in the Constitituon, therefore end it tomorrow. My sense is that most Ls recognize that there’s a range of extra-Constitutional government programs that should be recognized as such, and, if possible, transitioned away from. Gitmo is arguably in that camp.

    It may feel good to call for Gitmo’s immediate closure, but there are a range of mitigating factors there.

  45. Gene Berkman

    Tom @ 52 says – “One need not have a car that runs to believably point out that yours doesn’t.”

    No, but if you claim to be a mechanic who can fix my car, and you cannot point to a car you have fixed, then you are asking people to take you on faith.

    Can you point to a single market-libertarian organization that has had successful outreach to the left? Is is as big as the Libertarian Party?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  46. Losty

    Chuck @ 57

    Thanks, I am assuming if a State party seats a delegate/Alternate they are NOT required to be a National member.. Thanks..

  47. Chuck Moulton

    Losty wrote (@62):

    Thanks, I am assuming if a State party seats a delegate/Alternate they are NOT required to be a National member.. Thanks..

    The national bylaws say you need to be either a national member or a state party member. You do not need to be a state party member of the state that seats you as a delegate.

    For example, you could be a member from Missouri (no pledge), not a member of national, not a member of Pennsylvania, and be seated as a Pennsylvania delegate.

    Many states impose additional requirements to be a delegate though. For example, Pennsylvania could require you to be a resident of Pennsylvania or a Pennsylvania state member or a national member or a registered Libertarian voter if it wanted.

  48. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Gene: Can you point to a single market-libertarian organization that has had successful outreach to the left?

    I don’t know if you’d consider Antiwar.com to be “market-libertarian,” but it is libertarian, and it’s engaged in much successful outreach to progressive peace groups.

    Antiwar.com also has a lot of respect & cred on the left. The nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show has spoken favorably about Antiwar.com.

    Is is as big as the Libertarian Party?

    Antiwar.com’s website and podcast probably have more readers and listeners than the LP has readers and members.

  49. Losty

    Chuck, And thanks for this..

    SO though I was not a Resident of a state, I could pay say $10.00 State dues, In NV if needed, Become a state member of State X, Go to the State Y Delegation Chair of a state that is short, be seated as a delegate to state Y, And Vote on Pres/VP. (Pretty Much all I expect to vote on, though have not seen Convention Agenda)

  50. Chuck Moulton

    Losty wrote (@65):

    SO though I was not a Resident of a state, I could pay say $10.00 State dues, In NV if needed, Become a state member of State X, Go to the State Y Delegation Chair of a state that is short, be seated as a delegate to state Y, And Vote on Pres/VP. (Pretty Much all I expect to vote on, though have not seen Convention Agenda)

    Yes, in theory. In practice you’ll have your best shot of being seated by a delegation if you pay for a membership in that state and if you have an actual nexus to that state.

    For example, I will be a delegate from Virginia, but in the past I have lived and been active in the LP of Pennsylvania, California, and Alabama, so if Virginia snubbed me for some reason I’d have the best chance of getting seated in those delegations.

  51. Gene Berkman

    RTAA @ 64 – yes antiwar.com is popular among some on the left. But antiwar.com does not frame its own antiwar writings in left-wing rhetoric. Indeed, Ron Paul is the favorite politician @ antiwar.com

    The webmaster for antiwar.com was Office Manager for the Peace & Freedom Party office in Venice, California, when I met him in 1972.

    We had a caucus in the Peace & Freedom Party up through the 1974 elections, when we nominated Libertarians on the PFP ticket for Governor and State Controller, but we left in 1975 because the Libertarian Movement had so much more potential than the Peace & Freedom Party.

  52. Steve LaBianca

    I will not be supporting Gary Johnson, and I echo the funny comment that Bill Blair said up to 0.6%!!! LOL!

    My predictions – Johnson WILL get the LP nomination, and I believe his max vote percentage potential is less than 0.7%, or less than 900,000 votes.

    He will NOT abandon the mis-named so-called “Fair Tax”, first because he doesn’t want to, but in the final analysis, because he won’t have to; most of the LP is willing to give up the ship for a “spotlightable” candidate, regardless of his or her libertarian credentials.

    While the demise of the LP as a principled, ideological party was foreseeable in 2008, a Gary Johnson nomination will make such a demise a reality. The “opposition party” attitude and posturing would no longer be in effect, as many, if not a majority of Johnson’s positions are ALREADY embraced by significant numbers of Democrats and Republicans already. Without any “opposition party” positioning, it becomes a worthless organization; it no longer would be in a position to influence the major parties, as the major parties already agree with Johnson on so many things, and insignificant numbers will not vote for a third party that isn’t distinguishable enough from the D’s and R’s.

    For those who support Johnson . . . it is fast becoming visible that you folks simply desire to be a larger fish in the small LP pond, than you could be in the larger pond major parties.

  53. AnthonyD

    Mr. LaBianca @ 68,

    Do you think a “principled, ideological party” is even possible? I would suggest it is not. This may, in fact, be a good argument against even having a Libertarian Party, as those who are averse to compromise have argued.

    On the other hand, once you sign on to the idea of having a Libertarian Party, if the electorate happens to move in a libertarian direction, I would suggest compromise could become inevitable, if for no other reason than that the compromised Libertarian party will have enough votes to win any particular election long before anarchism is reached. The idea that the LP did not previously compromise may simply be a reflection of one of two possibilities: 1)that the electorate was not moving in a libertarian direction, or 2)that the existing major parties were tracking close enough to the electorate to obviate the need for the rise of a third party.

    I propose this as someone who is a philosophical free market anarchist, but understands the value of compromise, since a world of legalized marijuana, for example is better than what we have now (although not as good as across-the-board drug legalization).

  54. Melty

    Is it true that Johnson endorsed Paul and switched over to the Libertarian Party?
    I’m glad if he endorsed Paul, but doesn’t it violate some LP bylaw for a current LP candidate to endorse a candidate of a different party for the same office?

  55. Sane LP member

    Melty.
    Smart move on part of Mr. Johnson. It is a strategic move to keep some ties to Mr. Ron Paul. When Ron Paul finally gets blown out by the GOP establishment, there are going to be a lot of poltically homeless Paulites looking for a new candidate of liberty. Again, smart move.

  56. paulie Post author

    @15 If you want other groups from the margins, why pursue people who are least like Libertarians in their beliefs? Why not pursue antiwar, anti-police state ACLU Democrats, telling them that Obama is giving them *nothing*?

    Most Ron Paul supporters are antiwar and anti-police state as well, and some are former Democrats or usually go Democratic other than their support for Ron Paul.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    Melty@72,

    The LNC’s bylaws forbid its state affiliate parties to endorse candidates of other parties, but I’ve never heard of that bylaw being enforced. In fact, usually when the LP elects a state legislator in New Hampshire, that legislator is also a Republican candidate.

    There’s no bylaws that forbids a candidate for the LP’s presidential nomination to express any opinion whatsoever.

  58. Pingback: It’s official: Gary Johnson goes Libertarian | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  59. paulie Post author

    George, are you not a leader of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party? Why have you not led your party to ballot access over the last several years?

    Having worked MA ballot access in 2008 I can attest that George Phillies was very key to the effort, and gave up a lot of his time and money. He also majorly helped facilitate Joe Kennedy’s ballot access in 2009.

  60. Kleptocracy And You

    @75 Democrats are Leaving Party to Vote for Ron Paul-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GejWck6_96Y&feature=share

    @76 “There’s no bylaws that forbids a candidate for the LP’s presidential nomination to express any opinion whatsoever.”

    me- and sadly they do, too often……

  61. Dave

    @72

    IIRC Steve Kubby and someone else endorsed Paul for president in 2008, and pledged to urge the party to nominate NOTA if he had won the nomination.

    As a Paul supporter, I’ll probably vote for Johnson should Ron lose. Hopefully several million others will as well.

  62. paulie Post author

    National apparently plans to do it by spending a certain amount of money, and the amount of money in question is severely inadequate.

    What’s the number? Depending on how things go I might be able to make it work.

  63. Melty

    I’m glad to hear that Johnson, as a presidential candidate, is allowed to make that endorsement for Paul. It’s fabulous that he did so.

  64. Melty

    “…Steve Kubby and someone else endorsed Paul for president in 2008, and pledged to urge the party to nominate NOTA if he had won the nomination….”
    I like the nota idea! … would that work out, though, for maintaining ballot access?

  65. paulie Post author

    I hope he made a comment about the deployment of U.S. abroad and bringing them home.

    I haven’t seen the video and have to run to a meeting this evening, so if someone knows I’d appreciate getting the word.
    Thanks.

    Yes, that was discussed.

  66. Humongous Fungus

    I like the nota idea! … would that work out, though, for maintaining ballot access?

    M Not a vota hot fo nota

  67. Andy

    “Most Ron Paul supporters are antiwar and anti-police state as well, and some are former Democrats or usually go Democratic other than their support for Ron Paul.”

    Ron Paul also gets supports from former Greens.

  68. Andy

    “He will NOT abandon the mis-named so-called “Fair Tax”, first because he doesn’t want to, but in the final analysis, because he won’t have to; most of the LP is willing to give up the ship for a “spotlightable” candidate, regardless of his or her libertarian credentials.”

    If the majority of the Libertarian Party didn’t learn anything from the Bob Barr fiasco then it looks like this party is screwed.

  69. paulie Post author

    Ron Paul also gets supports from former Greens.

    Current Greens too.

    Many at the Green Party national convention in Chicago 2008 expressed admiration for Ron Paul. Although Cynthia McKinney was the only one who I heard have anything good to say about Bob Barr; a sentiment he apparently did not return, as he said he would not want to be on stage with “people like” her, whatever that means.

  70. Andy

    “I think Johnson’s biggest problem in the LP will be the Fair Tax, but he’ll probably get the nomination despite that position.”

    There needs to be a movement in the Libertarian Party to reject the Fair Tax, and to reject any candidate who supports the Fair Tax.

    The Constitution Party’s National Committee passed a resolution rejecting the Fair Tax. If the Libertarian Party nominates Gary “Fair Tax” Johnson the Libertarian Party will look less libertarian than the Constitution Party on this issue.

  71. Daniel Wiener

    Libertarians are not in total agreement on all issues, and it’s not surprising that Gary Johnson will also have areas of disagreement. I’m not a fan of the Fair Tax proposal, but I don’t consider it a deal-breaker. I do have my own personal set of deal-breakers — for example, if a candidate for the LP Presidential nomination were to come out in favor of gun control, that would totally disqualify him in my mind. But so far I haven’t found any position which Gary Johnson advocates which would fall into that category.

    It’s worth remembering that Ron Paul was (and remains) vigorously opposed to abortion, and that was an issue on which he parted ways with the LP’s platform in 1988 when he was the LP’s Presidential candidate. He handled it by acknowledging that difference when asked, and not misrepresenting his position as being that of the LP’s. Of course there has always been a significant minority of Libertarians who are anti-abortion (often on non-religious grounds), but a great many pro-choice Libertarians did not consider it a bar to supporting Ron Paul.

    My guess is that most delegates to the LP national convention will have a similar attitude towards Gary Johnson. He’s going to have to compete with the other candidates for the nomination, but the primary criteria will be what kind of spokesperson and salesman he’ll be for libertarian ideas as compared to the other candidates, not whether he is 100% pure on everything.

  72. Stewart Flood

    Chuck @66,

    Considering the fact that South Carolina voted for you for vice-chair in 2008, I believe it would be very easy to get you seated in our delegation.

  73. Michael H. Wilson

    Gun control? That really is an interesting issue. In my state we just had a man sentenced to 20 years in prison because he stomped on another man’s head and killed him. In 15 years this criminal will be out. Should he be allowed to own a gun? The second amendment does not say squat about denying convicted felons the right to own. What do Libertarians think?

  74. Robert Capozzi

    87 a: If the majority of the Libertarian Party didn’t learn anything from the Bob Barr fiasco then it looks like this party is screwed.

    me: Reading GJ’s announcement, and MH’s and CH’s statements, it appears to me that the LP has learned from mistakes by Barr 08. They reached out to RP and his supporters. GJ is far more socially liberally than BB. Johnson 12 is starting many months earlier than Barr 08. GJ has far less right-wing baggage than Barr.

    Two matters to monitor: Roger Stone’s involvement in Johnson 12 and whether GJ’s positioning/transitioning on the FAIR Tax.

    Wild card to monitor: Ron Paul.

  75. Humongous Fungus

    In 15 years this criminal will be out. Should he be allowed to own a gun?

    If he is too dangerous to own a gun, he is too dangerous to let out of prison. After all he has proven capable of killing without a gun. If he is to be let out of prison he should have the right to defend himself.

  76. Robert Capozzi

    Does the Constitution say whether 2A applies to children? If not, then the Constitution needs some interpretation. My gut tells me that, yes, some humans don’t have the right to tote.

  77. Humongous Fungus

    @99 Children’s rights are circumscribed by

    A) their (in)ability to support themselves (“not under my roof”)…(“my house, my rules”)

    B) in those cases where they can support themselves financially there is a presumptive age of mental/emotional maturity which can be overturned by the courts presented with evidence (currently 16, 18 and 21 for various things); I tend to think that age should be lower, say 13, as that seems to be closer to the average age of biological adulthood. So, a self-supporting child below 13 who can demonstrate to a court that (s)he is mature enough would have adult rights; a person over 13 who exhibits behavior that lands them in court may have their adult rights/privileges deferred.

    I’ll be 40 soon so maybe I’ll finally mature :-)

  78. paulie Post author

    Dunno how we got on gun rights here, but it used to be common for kids to practice shooting guns and hunting (some places still is) and there was very little gun violence associated with that.

    If I was raising kids I would teach them to use guns responsibly at an early age, especially if it would not create too much of a rift with their hypothetical mother.

    It’s true that some kids don’t have any responsible adults in their lives – many of my friends when I was growing up were in that category. They often needed protection to keep from being victimized by physically larger/stronger kids and adults.

    The same holds true for former inmates, who often end up living in dangerous neighborhoods when they get out (often due to economic necessity and/or family). If they had enemies in jail/prison, or before going in, they may still have those enemies when they get out. If it was gang related, they will still have enemy gangs targeting them while their former associates will no longer protect them if they are no longer involved, and may target them themselves as turncoats.

    Telling them they can’t own guns may well be setting them up to be robbed, beaten, shot, raped, or killed. Or it may be setting them up for being sent in for a violation because they have to break the law to protect themselves.

  79. Michael H. Wilson

    Dan Wiener brought up gun control in his post at 91. I then brought up what many consider an issue. Should felons be allowed to own a gun? I might add what about someone with mental problems? Here’s another one. In one case I am aware of a husband kept guns at home. His wife had some serious mental problems and ended up killing her children with one of the guns. She went to prison. Should the husband face charges because he kept the guns at home knowing full well that his wife had mental problems?

  80. Common Tater

    If they are too dangerous, or too mentally ill, to be allowed to have a gun, they should be in a prison or mental hospital.

  81. paulie Post author

    Should felons be allowed to own a gun?

    Addressed that in my last comment. See last two paragraphs.

    Also, many felons are people who were never dangerous at all – nonviolent drug offenders, for example, but there are others – or people who were once dangerous but no longer are.

    Why should all felons be precluded from exercising legitimate self defense? If they are really dangerous, why are they being let out…after all they can use other means to kill or maim someone besides a gun, or just use a gun illegally.

  82. Robert Capozzi

    101 tk, ok, literalistically, the Constitution prohibits laws by Congress, yes? So, if RI says 5 year olds can’t pack in RI kindergardens, I don’t see anything in the Constitution that prohibits that.

    Then again what does the word “arms” cover? That needs interpretation, too, yes?

  83. Michael H. Wilson

    One issue that does bug me though is that in my not so humble opinion the LP has done little to develop the necessary infrastructure to support candidates.

    Maybe the LNC should issue an apology to Lee Wrights, R.J. Harris, Gary Johnson and all the others for the LNC’s failure to develop that infrastructure.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@107,

    “101 tk, ok, literalistically, the Constitution prohibits laws by Congress, yes? ”

    No.

    Some sections of the Constitution apply to Congress (“Congress shall make no law”).

    Others apply to the states (“No state shall”).

    Still others apply to all levels of government. The Second Amendment specifically notes that the right to keep and bear arms is a “right of the people” and mandates that it “shall not be infringed,” with a period after that last word.

  85. Andy

    “I’m not a fan of the Fair Tax proposal, but I don’t consider it a deal-breaker”

    The Fair Tax ought to be considered to be a deal breaker issue.

    Here’s why:

    1) It is being packaged a “libertarian” proposal by phony “libertarians” like Neal Boortz. The reality is that there is NOTHING that is libertarian about this proposal.

    2) Even the proponents of the Fair Tax ADMIT that it is revenue neutral, that is that they say that it will bring in the same amount of revenue that the current income tax nets. Why should libertarians get behind a tax proposal where even the proponents of it admit that it does not reduce the amount of taxes collected?

    3) The Fair Tax fails to address the real problems, that is out-of-control government spending and the Federal Reserve System and fiat currency.

    4) The Fair Tax would be more difficult for most people to avoid. It would be easier for the government to enforce the tax on a smaller number of retailers and service providers than it is to enforce it on every worker in the US.

    5) The Fair Tax plan provides “prebate” checks to every American. This would dupe much of the public into thinking that they are “getting something for nothing,” further entrenching the welfare state mentality.

    6) The Fair Tax is still a tax. There is really nothing that is fair about any tax considering that it is one group of people extorting money out of another group of people. This is the equivalent of the “Fair Rape” or the “Fair Assault & Battery.” This violates a basic libertarian principle. One could argue that it is OK for a libertarian to propose a tax if that tax reduces the size of government from its present size, but the Fair Tax doesn’t do this. Once again, the proponents of the Fair Tax ADMIT that it is revenue neutral, and if anything, it may actually bring in even more revenue for the government than the present system.

    7) The Fair Tax is still a direct tax on the American people, and this contradicts the clause of the Constitution which says that direct taxes have to be apportioned among the states.

    8) The proponents of the Fair Tax lie about the rate of the tax. They claim that it is a 23% tax but it is really a 30% tax.

    9) There is a very real possibility that we could end up with the Fair Tax AND the income tax. It is easier to pass a new tax than to get rid of an existing one.

    10) If the Fair Tax passes, and if it is branded as a “libertarian” proposal, then the public will think, “Gee, thanks libertarians.” (with sarcasm) every time they get hit with this 30% tax when they purchase a product or service.

    I could probably come up with more reasons why libertarians should reject the Fair Tax, and should reject any candidate who supports the Fair Tax, but this is more than enough already.

  86. Be Rational

    The “Fair Tax” as proposed by its supporters is a deal breaker. It is not acceptable as a libertarian proposal. The rates are too high, it doesn’t include spending cuts, and the automatic redistribution means it institutionalizes a socialistic guaranteed income level.

    However, we can use the Fair Tax as a lead in to steer Americans to an effort to repeal all taxes on income and property – especially including land – at all levels of government.

    Numerous states piggyback their state income tax on the Federal income tax. So, any debate on repeal of the Federal income tax must include a discussion of the ramifications on state taxes anyway.

    So, let’s use it. We have a better way.

    Let’s repeal all taxes on income and property. We will substitute a single tax system at the federal level. Replace all taxes with a constitutionally capped consumption/sales tax. Cut spending accordingly.

    Since the states piggyback now, they too can, and must be, brought into the system. This is necessary because of the constitutional amendments required to be passed by the states and because the states will have to change their own revenue and spending systems at the same time.

    So, one tax. A single national sales/consumption tax. Puts everyone in the same boat so we can all work together for lower rates. No burden shifting from one interest group to another.

    Being a libertarian proposal means a serious cap – so we propose a combined limit of 10% for all levels and a concomitant cut in spending at all levels.

    Repeal all taxes on income and property.

    Vote Libertarian.

  87. Robert Capozzi

    110 tk, OK, what’s a “people”? 5 year olds in k-garden?

    If you read the Constitution to read that the recently released stickem up dude can tote a machine gun in the NY subways, then good luck getting enough support for that “right” to be enforced.

  88. Ayn R. Key

    I’ll grant every single criticism of Gary Johnson so far offered in this thread and say one good thing about him anyway – he’s still more libertarian than either member of our 2008 presidential ticket.

  89. Daniel Wiener

    I can understand it if the Fair Tax is a deal-breaker for some libertarians, and that’s fine — in that case they just won’t support Gary Johnson for the LP’s Presidential nomination (if they even care who gets it). However, it’s not a deal-breaker for me, and I suspect it won’t be for most of the delegates to the LP national convention. We’ll see.

    My own preference for an interim tax measure is something similar to ideas which have been advanced by Brian Holtz and Aaron Starr (not to say that they have identical plans): I’d like to parcel out the tax collection responsibility to the states and take it totally away from the federal government. Start by assigning each state a revenue requirement equal to its current share of federal revenue (derived from income taxes and other taxes coming from residents of that state). Adjust subsequent revenue increases or decreases on a per capita basis, so that states with rising or falling percentages of the national population are not unfairly advantaged or disadvantage. Finally, require some form of majority approval by the states for any increase in per capita revenue demands from the federal government.

    This would leave it up to each state to institute whatever tax system it wanted to raise the federal revenue. It could be a sales tax or income tax or property tax or other tax or any combination of taxes. States would become experimental laboratories to determine the least oppressive tax policies. There’d be direct evidence regarding which taxes reduced or increased the burden on the free market and economic growth.

    As productive citizens fled from high tax rate states to lower tax rate states, those remaining behind would have an even harder time supplying their portion of federal revenues. Those high tax rate states could try raising rates even higher, with counterproductive results, or they’d eventually be forced to acknowledge the failure of their policies and follow the lead of low tax rate / business-friendly states.

    At the same time, we’d have created a powerful constituency (i.e., all of the state governments) in favor of reigning in federal taxation and spending. State governments and politicians would no longer see federal grants as “free money” when the money would be coming directly out of their states’ hides and the higher taxes would be pissing off their constituents.

  90. Robert Capozzi

    115 tk: “The people” is a term of art. If you’re that interested in what it means, see Rehnquist’s opinion is US versus Verdugo-Urquidez.

    me: Oh, so you DO think that the Constitution needs to be interpreted! Did Rehnquist (of all people!) opine on whether laws in the US could not be written regarding whether 5 year olds can tote?

  91. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    Oh, yes, to your knowledge, have Rehnquist or other Supremes defined what “arms” are?

  92. Tom Blanton

    In my state we just had a man sentenced to 20 years in prison because he stomped on another man’s head and killed him. In 15 years this criminal will be out. Should he be allowed to own a gun?

    Let him have a gun, but no shoes except fuzzy bunny slippers.

  93. Michael H. Wilson

    Just have a VAT and don’t tax the people. Everyone will be happy. People will never know there is a tax and we can spend like there is no tomorrow. We can buy fuzzy bunny slipper for everyone.

    Tom do you realize there are three words all in a row with duplicates letter in your sentence? There must a name for that.

  94. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@118,

    “Oh, yes, to your knowledge, have Rehnquist or other Supremes defined what ‘arms’ are?”

    With respect to the 2nd Amendment? Yes, they did that in US v. Miller.

    You’re not going to like this very much: The only weapons the keeping and bearing of which SCOTUS deems protected by the 2nd Amendment are “military-type weapons appropriate for use in an organized militia.”

    So congratulations — per SCOTUS, the 2nd Amendment protects your right to have a 7.62mm machine gun or a 20-megaton MIRV, but not something only useful for hunting rabbits.

  95. Andy

    “Daniel Wiener // Dec 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I can understand it if the Fair Tax is a deal-breaker for some libertarians, and that’s fine — in that case they just won’t support Gary Johnson for the LP’s Presidential nomination (if they even care who gets it).”

    I do care who gets the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination. I’d love to see a good, solid Libertarian who really has got their shit together get it. I think that such a candidate could have a lot of success by riding the wave of liberty that the Ron Paul campaign has created.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see any candidate that is a good, solid Libertarian and who also has their shit together seeking the nomination at this time. What I see is a Republican Lite and a sorry assortment of misfits, losers, and nobodies seeking the nomination right now.

    “However, it’s not a deal-breaker for me, and I suspect it won’t be for most of the delegates to the LP national convention. We’ll see.”

    If the majority of delegates at the Libertarian Party’s National Convention this year can’t see why the Fair Tax should be considered a deal breaker issue than this party is screwed, just like we were when the majority of delegates at the 2008 National Convention could not see that Bob Barr was a phony and should not have received the Presidential nomination.

    Has the Libertarian Party learned anything from the Bob Barr fiasco? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  96. Robert Capozzi

    125 A: I think that such a candidate could have a lot of success by riding the wave of liberty that the Ron Paul campaign has created.

    me: I’m pretty sure in 08 RP told a FAIR Tax group that, while he doesn’t endorse the FAIR Tax, he’d vote for it in Congress.

    a: Has the Libertarian Party learned anything from the Bob Barr fiasco?

    me: So far, in spades, yes. The handling of the RP by GJ has been an deftly done, at least so far.

    GP will be monitoring the FEC filings of Johnson 12 to see if the campaign uses limos, so that’s covered.

    GJ is already pro-same-gender marriage, so another error has been corrected…no DOMA baggage.

    GJ announced many months prior to BB’s doing so in the last cycle…check.

  97. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    I sometimes wonder whether the LP should endorse Max Headroom for prez. Max could be programmed to change the subject on all questions to a simplistic reading of the platform and SoP in all venues.

    This may satisfy the perennial carpers… ;-)

  98. Robert Capozzi

    124 tk: With respect to the 2nd Amendment? Yes, [The Supremes] did that in US v. Miller.

    me: Yes, I’ve heard that. Do you accept that interpretation, first, but more important, do you accept the idea that the Constitution needs to be interpreted?

  99. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@128,

    No, I don’t accept that interpretation.

    Yes, I accept that language has to be interpreted. The thing about the 2nd Amendment is that there’s no reasonable way to interpret it, either textually or in view of the clearly stated intentions of its author and prominent advocates and ratifiers, that allows for “gun control” at any level of government.

  100. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    And if you allow for interpretation, then it seems reasonable to say that 2A clashes with 9 and 10A. You seem to believe that states can’t regulate “arms” — whatever they are — yet those rights/powers are reserved to the people and the States.

    We’re reaching the bounds of literalism…

  101. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@131

    ” yet those rights/powers are reserved to the people and the States.”

    No, those other rights/powers are reserved “to the states, or the people,” without specification.

    The Second Amendment, on the other hand, clearly specifies which one that particular right is recognized as belonging to.

  102. paulie Post author

    it seems reasonable to say that 2A clashes with 9 and 10A

    It does not.

    Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    There’s certainly no conflict with the 9th.

    The 2nd makes clear that the right to keep and bear arms is reserved to the people, and may not be abridged by the states. That works within the context of the 10th.

  103. Robert Capozzi

    TK and P, I stand corrected about 9 and 10A. I need to be more careful when I post via phone…harder to double check things.

    But, OK, we’re back to interpreting the Constitution. Some Ls read 10A as including the power of a state to secede, so if NY wants to forbid 5 year olds from toting machine guns to Kindergarden and the Feds step in and say No, NY can secede.

    That’s not my interpretation.

    I would say that “right,” “people,” “keep,” “bear,” “Arms,” and “infringed,” are all subject to some interpretation. Interestingly, US Constitution.Net happens to touch upon everyone’s favorite subject, the “right” to a personal nuke! I’m not making this stuff up! ;-)

    In the context of the Constitution, phrases like “shall not be infringed,” “shall make no law,” and “shall not be violated” sound pretty unbendable, but the Supreme Court has ruled that some laws can, in fact, encroach on these phrases. For example, though there is freedom of speech, you cannot slander someone; though you can own a pistol, you cannot own a nuclear weapon.

    Then of course we have a false statement in 2A, “being necessary to the security of a free State.” Mighta sorta been kinda true in the 18th c., but now? I don’t think so. It might be convenient if those 2 opening clauses weren’t there, but they are. They sound like justification for the conclusion.

    Now, when and if the day comes when the world is made up of billions of sovereign Nonarchy Pods, it may be that there should be no laws against 5 year olds toting machine guns to kindergarden, as no monopoly laws would be necessary.

    For me, I read “people” to be “adults.” I read “keep and bear” as being bounded by “on one’s property.” And I read arms as being something like “pointable weapons used only personal defense.”

  104. Thomas L. Knapp

    For me, I read “people” to be “adults.” I read “keep and bear” as being bounded by “on one’s property.” And I read arms as being something like “pointable weapons used only personal defense.”

    Sounds like a remedial reading course would be a good investment for you.

  105. Robert Capozzi

    135 tk, thanks for the counsel. To return the sharing, consider reading up on the reasonable man notion, a basic underpinning of jurisprudence. I’m pretty sure that the idea that governments cannot make a law forbidding a 5 year old from toting a machine gun to kindergarden fails the reasonable man test.

  106. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@5,

    And I’m pretty sure the notion that governments — or, rather, monopoly states (there’s a difference) — should be allowed to make laws at all fails the reasonable man test.

    Apparently you think that most people are reasonable. I think that most people are a few generations removed from consulting witch doctors and burning witch non-doctors at the state, and not especially inclined to depart said practices.

  107. Robert Capozzi

    138 tk, I hear that. And yet States exist, so we’re into context and relative virtues. In this context, it’s reasonable to ban the 5 year old’s desire to tote to class, IMO.

    140 GP, sure, that’s the nature of revolutions.

    I would leave off-property packing to states and local governments. AK might allow packing anywhere. NYC might be in one’s crib only, certainly no machine guns in the subway.

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