80 thoughts on “Gary Johnson on CSPAN Washington Journal This Morning

  1. Matt Cholko

    In this interview, Johnson said that “…the Libertarian Party believes that it will be on the ballot in all 50 states…” Now, as I recall, GJ was standing right next to Bill Redpath at the convention when Bill said that he expects us to be on the ballot “in the high forties,” regarding the number of states. If Bill Redpath doesn’t think 50 is going to happen, then who the hell in the LP does?

    Please, Governor Johnson, please stop making promises that you know aren’t going to come true. 50 states is unlikely, debates ain’t gonna happen, and winning is absolutely out of the question.

  2. Trent Hill

    Matt—until it’s proven they can’t make all 50, Johnson should say 50. It makes good political sense and it isnt incredibly unrealistic.

  3. Andy

    “Trent Hill // May 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Matt—until it’s proven they can’t make all 50, Johnson should say 50. It makes good political sense and it isnt incredibly unrealistic.”

    The only ways that the Libertarian Party could make it on the ballot in Oklahoma right now are as follows:

    1) They prevail in appealing a law suit against Oklahoma’s unreasonable ballot access laws.

    2) They raise a lot of money fast and do a petition drive to get Gary Johnson on the ballot in Oklahoma as an independent. The deadline for this petition is in early July, and starting a last minute petition drive of this size could easily cost a good $400,000.

    If certain people had listened to me in regard to Oklahoma this wouldn’t be a problem right now, because had they listened to me they would have made it via the full party status petition instead of failing like they did.

    The Libertarian Party has a very good chance of making the ballot in 49 states plus DC for this election. If they do not, it will be due to mismanagement/incompetence.

  4. Be Rational

    The reason people used to make the wrong connection in thinking that Lyndon LaRouche was a member of our party:

    1) The letter “L” caused a simple linkage.

    2) LaRouche liked anything that got his name out there so he encouraged even wrong connections.

    3) Most importantly: The LP worked hard to get on the ballot everywhere, an as many states as possible, but they didn’t save any money to promote the POTUS candidate on major network TV with at least some nationwide ads – not even a one shot 30 minute presentation with the candidate.

    We should always make sure that we buy major network TV spots. After Ballot Access, this is where the money should go. Not internet ads, not bumper stickers, Major Network TV.

    However, LaRouche didn’t bother to get himself on the expensive state ballots. He put all his money on promoting himself on TV.

    So, the public signed our petitions and met our petitioners – sometimes a poor quality, rude, mercinary who made a bad impression. So, they heard the word “libertarian.”

    Then they never heard of our candidate again – but they saw LaRouche on TV.

    So, letter “L” and the two become one in the minds of the public, because we never followed up with public info about our actual candidates.

    4) The Ds and Rs like the confusion about us since it helps prevent the LP from growing and winning. So, they deliberately spread this old lie as much as possible.

    Not running Nationwide Major Network ads for our POTUS is the number one reason that the LP hasn’t had success in electing Federal office holders and a Pres and VP.

    People will vote for and support our principles, and many of our candidates have been Presidential enough, but they won’t support us if they don’t hear about us and they won’t hear about us if we’re not on major network TV.

  5. Bill Wood

    Matt, I think people don’t listen very well. Lyndon formed the US Labor Party and ran as the Presidential Candidate. He bought a half hour tv spot that ran nation wide. I guess Labor and Libertarian sound a lot alike to some people. His supporters also stood out front of post offices , DMV etc. He ran one time as Labor then switched to Democrat Party to run. He was the talk of Leesburg when he moved there.

  6. zapper

    LaRouche bought numerous 30 minute spots on major network TV in several POTUS election cycles. So, people in America learned his name.

    The LP hasn’t done any serious network advertising since Ed Clark ran in 1980. However, the result of that modest ad budget was that Clark finished over 1% in the election. We need to raise $10 million this year for network TV only and do it again.

    Since then, everyone has heard the word “libertarian” and the only association available to make was LaRouche. It’s our own fault.

    Having watched part of the Gary Johnson interview linked in the OP of this thread, you can see another missed opportunity. The questioner, perhaps even a D or R plant trying to make the false connection again, asked about LaRouche, once again making the false link that he had been an LP candidate.

    Gary Johnson did not correct the erroneous information – perhaps he doesn’t know himself – and missed a chance to set the caller straight.

    It’s important for all Libertarians to know and for Gary Johnson to know that:

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER been a candidate for the Libertarian Party for any office in any year.

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER sought the nomination of the Libertarian Party for any office in any year.

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER been a member of the Libertarian Party.

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER been a spokesperson or representative of the Libertarian Party.

    This false linkage is heard less and less these days as LaRouche hasn’t run any ads for a while. If the LP would finally run nationwide TV spots we could end this false linkage. So, unless the subject arises, we should not mention it.

    However, when it does come up, as with the call to Gary Johnson, we should make it clear:

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER been a candidate for the Libertarian Party for any office in any year.

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER sought the nomination of the Libertarian Party for any office in any year.

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER been a member of the Libertarian Party.

    Lyndon LaRouche has NEVER been a spokesperson or representative of the Libertarian Party.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    9 br, your reasons for the Libertarian/LaRouche association could be crisper.

    1) Both start with L
    2) Both are alternative
    3) Both seem extreme
    4) Both seem zealous
    5) Both promote their views aggressively

  8. Tom Blanton

    The false conflation of LaRouche and the LP began with a 1992 Time Magazine article.

    SEE:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080605045455/http://www.lp.org/lpn/9403-chair.html

    Fortunately, most people don’t know who LaRouche is. Far more damaging, at least to real libertarians, are well known people like Glenn Beck who claim to be libertarian and are heard by millions. I realize that for the disgruntled conservative faction of the LP, hearing Glenn Beck say the word “libertarian” on the radio is an orgasmic experience, but it certainly gives the general public a rather warped view of libertarianism – despite Beck falling into the libertarian quadrant of tests designed by dissembling pedantrists who administer the test to themselves while pretending to be Beck.

  9. Be Rational

    @12 RC

    Sorry, I don’t agree. Your crisp summation is not accurate.

    It was the advertising.

  10. Be Rational

    @15 Tom Blanton

    The 1992 Time article came long after the association had been made in the minds of the inattentive masses. It was the already extant misinformation that caused the Time mag. error. It only added slightly to the problem.

    This false linkage was already prevalent in the mid to late 80s when I was petitioning for the LP. I heard it almost daily. Even individuals who thought they were politically savvy had been fooled.

    Again, it was the LaRouche TV commercials. Nearly everyone saw them at least once. Since LaRouche was generally bablingly incoherent as far as his views, no one got much out of then, other than a few crazy tidbits such as the Queen of England being a drug lord.

    We must have nationwide network TV spots in 2012. We should marshall our resources toward that end – spend as little as possible on anything other than ballot access and major network TV.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    16 br, tell us more. Did LaRouche “advertise” that he is a “libertarian”? I missed that, if so.

    As I indicate in #5, I do agree that LaRouche used to advertise aggressively raised his profile. The LaRouchies also had/have those streetcorner and public place tables, staffed often with zealous, true believers.

  12. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Also, Marrou and LaRouche sound similar.

    In 1992, a woman asked me who I was supporting for president. I said, “Marrou.”

    She replied, shocked, “LaRouche!”

    I said, “No. Marrou.”

    She said, “Oh. I never heard of him.”

  13. Be Rational

    @ 18

    No, LaRouche never claimed to be the LP candidate. But, notice the Marrou story above … we were on the ballot in most states, LaRouche in very few. So, L on the ballot, L on TV, mindless masses make link. They can’t even hear the name “Marrou” cause they’ve all heard “LaRouche” on TV.

    It’s our own fault.

    We got on the ballot and followed up with nothing. No one noticed the name of the candidate on the ballot, but they saw that guy on TV and remember him.

    We have no campaign without ads on major network TV and once again, almost no one will hear about us unless we plan, budget and fundraise now to run advertising on major network TV.

  14. Tom Blanton

    Since LaRouche was generally bablingly incoherent as far as his views, no one got much out of then, other than a few crazy tidbits such as the Queen of England being a drug lord.

    That’s true. It was Queen Victoria. Ask the Chinese about the Opium Wars.

    But, LaRouche is still a socialist.

  15. Carol Moore

    This will be great if Johnson people are watching t he criticisms and learning. Because getting on the ballot on 48 – 49 states is dependent on libertarians giving money and/or collecting signatures and if they are turned off by too much statist rhetoric, that won’t happen.

    I think Johnson’s figured out by now that ROOT and his buddies aren’t going to come up with all that much money – and relatively little individual activism – despite their big promises.

    And some of us are going to be investigating more thoroughly various allegations of fraud by Root that make us worry things will happen in LNCC that will embarrass the LP and hurt its credibility with donors for years ahead.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    GJ at about 17m: “They [Lib.s] really haven’t gotten anybody elected.”

    me: Note to GJ staff…fix this talking point. First, he should consider saying “We,” not “They,” for obvious reasons.

    It’s not the case that Ls have not gotten anybody elected. .

    Crisper answer might go something like:

    “Look, the legal obstacles that the Rs and Ds have put in place to blunt third parties are a travesty. The “old” parties are obviously afraid of the competition! I’m here in part to shine a light on this tremendously unfair, broken state of affairs in American politics. If you have any doubt that America BENEFITS from an open electoral system, just look at Mt. Rushmore. All four of those presidents were from outside the supposed “two party system.” In fact, there IS NO system; it’s more accurately called a “racket.”

    “The Libertarian Party has been around for 40 years. Libertarians have been elected several times to state legislatures, as well as a long list of state and local offices.

    “I believe 2012 is a turning point. With my campaign and with the hundreds of Libertarian who’ll be running down-ticket, we’re here to take America back from the special interests.”

    Or something.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    more to GJ’s staff

    Stipulating that I am not a FAIR Tax advocate, I would suggest that even if I were, I believe he needs to be far crisper on this issue. I would suggest that he emphasize that the current system is broken and needs a massive overhaul. It’s non-controversial! Everyone KNOWS that the tax system is a mess.

    I think that TV interviews don’t lend themselves to complex economic arguments for any different tax system, not just the FAIR Tax.

    Make a few defensible assertions about the benefits of reform, and get out. Point them to your website for the deeper argument.

    When possible, tie taxes to spending. GJ’s on much more solid ground on spending, anyway. His fiscal program is 1) balance the budget quickly, 2) simplify taxes dramatically and jump-starting economic activity to get people back to work.

    If pressed, acknowledge that your plan is neutral, but over time, as the US fiscal house is brought into order, taxes and spending would be reduced to Constitutional levels. Leverage that Ron Paul message more.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    24 rc: All four of those presidents were from outside the supposed “two party system.”

    me: “were from outside” is not well put. “All four of those presidents ran for office from outside the so-called two-party system.” might work better…

  19. paulie Post author

    Several newspapers (including in Detroit) printed articles in the 1980s that claimed LaRouche was the Libertarian candidate and some even refused to print a retraction.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    Random pondering on marriage equality, where GJ’s positioning is sound…but…the critique is that BHO is taking the “states rights” position on the matter.

    Near as I can tell, if a state outlaws same-gender marriage, I would think that the Feds have no way to supercede that state law. Only the Supremes could do so or the FedGov would need to pass an amendment to the Constitution.

    If I’m close, then perhaps a solution is to allow states to allow or ban “marriage,” but somehow come up with a national domestic partnership contract mechanism. A same-gender couple would “marry” in say MA and be considered a DP in all 50 states. Or a same-gender couple could form a DP in NC that is also recognized in all 50 states.

    Just a thought…

  21. paulie Post author

    Andy @8

    True, although Richard Winger thinks the OK lawsuit has a good chance.

    Nevertheless Andy is correct; he and I offered to go into OK before and during when it started, and the fundraiser blocked us due to the fact that he doesn’t like us being truthful about him not paying us on a petition drive years ago. He’s tried to block us from working on other drives, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. We could have easily made the difference in Oklahoma. The drive failed, but the fundraiser made a lot of money.

    Now they must hope for the lawsuit to succeed unless the Johnson campaign comes up with a huge amount of money fast.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    32 p, near as I can tell, there is no way to institute nationwide marriage equality without the Supremes or a constitutional amendment. Do you read the sitch differently?

  23. JT

    A solid, respectable performance overall, I think. He came off as knowledgeable & capable & even referred to the LP, which is important.

    GJ must develop shorter, crisper soundbites to use for more general audiences though. I don’t believe that delving into the specific details of many policy areas will resonate with most people who watch/hear more entertainment-oriented TV/radio shows & not C-SPAN. He also needs to tackle the dreaded “Wasted Vote Syndrome” in a more pointed, persuasive way.

    A little more enthusiasm in his voice wouldn’t hurt either.

  24. Robert Capozzi

    34 p, guess we’re looking at this differently, then. Despite the 9th circuit ruling, most of America doesn’t have marriage equality. This tells me that solution is at a higher level UNLESS there’s a clever workaround….

  25. paulie Post author

    The workaround does not necessarily have to come from the legislative branch. The legislative precedent already exists; it could come from the other branches.

  26. Trigg

    Here’s a response to the ignorant folks that associate LaRouche with Libertarians.

    LaRouche never was affiliated or involved with the Libertarian Party, but he did campaign for the Democrat’s nomination for President in 7 elections, so I guess you’ll have to ask Obama about LaRouche’s involvement with the Democrats. In fact, in Obama’s home state, Illinois, two LaRouche backed candidates won the statewide Democratic Party primary for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State in 1986. It is a myth that LaRouche was associated with the Libertarians, and the facts show LaRouche preferred Democrat politics. Perhaps the myth came about from Democrat supporters trying to deflect LaRouche involvement in their party. Ask Obama or his Illinois buddies like Michael Madigan, Emil Jones Jr., John Cullerton, Pat Quinn, and others who were around in 1986 when those two LaRouche candidates won their statewide Democrat primary.

    36, Capozzi and paulie.

    Loving is the interracial marriage case decided on 14th Amendment grounds, as I recall. I believe that is how it should work for same-sex marriage. SCOTUS should uphold the 14th Amendment to tell states that same-sex couples have equal protection. And if “the people” want to treat same-sex couples differently they should have to repeal the 14th Amendment with a new one.

    If a state is going to be involved in a marriage between a man and woman, the 14th Amendment should dictate that state treat same-sex couples in equal fashion. Multiple partner relationships as well, while we are at it.

    Supporters of same-sex marriage who don’t support legalizing polygamy are hypocrites, actually. All the more reason for state governments and feds to stay out of the marriage business aside from enforcing private contracts between consenting adults. (yes you can argue against government involvement in contracts as well, but according to our constitution… whatever)

  27. Robert Capozzi

    37 p, yes, but as a political matter, a candidate saying, Gee, I hope the courts fix this in the way I think they should, seems weak to me.

    It’s great to put positive ideas into the thought stream,but it’s better still to put actual solutions on the table. Sometimes Ls refuse to get their hands dirty with the details, as that sometimes involve “unprincipled” half measures.

  28. paulie Post author

    RC

    I don’t think we necessarily have to wait on the courts. Use the existing precedents, take action, and let the other side do the suing.

  29. Andy

    “LaRouche never was affiliated or involved with the Libertarian Party, but he did campaign for the Democrat’s nomination for President in 7 elections, so I guess you’ll have to ask Obama about LaRouche’s involvement with the Democrats.”

    I think that LaRouche has also run for office as an independent and/or as a minor party candidate, I think that it was the Labor Party or something like that. I know that he’s ran in the Democratic Party’s primaries multiple times. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong about LaRouche running as an independent and/or minor party candidate.

    The bottom line with Lyndon LaRouche is that he’s NOT a libertarian, and that he’s NEVER been associated with the Libertarian Party or any libertarian organization in any way.

  30. Andy

    “His supporters also stood out front of post offices , DMV etc.”

    The LaRouche supporters’ law suit against the MVA in Maryland (MVA is what they call the DMV in that state) has been benificial to the Libertarian Party as well as to other groups who gather petition signatures for ballot access because as a result of that law suit, the all of the MVA’s in Maryland are supposed to allow peaceful free speech activities, although some of them will still look for ways to hinder petition activities.

  31. Andy

    “paulie // May 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Andy @8

    True, although Richard Winger thinks the OK lawsuit has a good chance.

    Nevertheless Andy is correct; he and I offered to go into OK before and during when it started, and the fundraiser blocked us due to the fact that he doesn’t like us being truthful about him not paying us on a petition drive years ago. He’s tried to block us from working on other drives, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. We could have easily made the difference in Oklahoma. The drive failed, but the fundraiser made a lot of money.

    Now they must hope for the lawsuit to succeed unless the Johnson campaign comes up with a huge amount of money fast.”

    What Paul said here is true, however, there were some additional things that could have been done by the Libertarian Party to ensure the success of the petition drive which they failed to do. If they had listened to me I believe that the Libertarian Party would be ballot qualified in Oklahoma right now.

  32. Ted Brown

    Lyndon LaRouche and his people actually hate Libertarians. I recall they protested at one of our conventions. It may have been the 1979 convention at the Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles where Ed Clark was nominated. They called us the “Sodomy Party” and were quite obnoxious. I can’t believe they are still around. I saw a group of LaRouchies in front of the L. A. County Registrar-Recorder’s office a couple of years ago, and they were selling their newspaper and proselytizing. As you might know, LaRouche went to prison in the 90s for defrauding his contributors. I believe that when someone gave a one time contribution, his organization kept running through the credit card time after time. A good piece of trivia: when LaRouche went to prison, his cellmate was the Rev. Jim Bakker. Probably an interesting experience for both of them!

  33. Ted Brown

    I enjoyed the Gary Johnson interview and find him to be a very engaging, articulate candidate. I expected his support of the Fair Tax, but I hadn’t previously heard the part of the “pre-bate” checks being sent out to everyone. That doesn’t sound very kosher to me. Overall, the Fair Tax and his support of it sounds like a very solid and strong position to take for a candidate. Unfortunately, it is NOT a Libertarian position. Thus, I’m sorry to see he is leading with that. Also, I am not happy with Gary’s support for military intervention in Africa, even with congressional approval.

  34. JT

    Yeah, the LaRouche thing is irritating. He’s practically the opposite of a Libertarian. But such is politics. Sometimes there are stupid falsehoods that can’t just be ignored.

    In this case though, a response is pretty easy. All one has to do is say, “Actually, LaRouche isn’t and has never been a Libertarian. He’s a Democrat.” That basically ends that line of talk–especially if the person who says that is a Democrat himself (or herself).

  35. Stuart Simms

    I also like to point out that Lyndon LaRouche qualified for two delegates in 1996 against Bill Clinton in the D’s primary.

  36. Carol Moore

    Johnson Convention photos needed for Wikipedia.
    It’s easy to join http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page and upload them http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Upload But you will have to own them OR get written permission to use them from the owner AND deal with licensing aspects of making it freely available. Pass it around to someone who DID take good photos if you did not.
    There’s a dearth of info on Libertarian campaign (someone probably will create an article soon enough). Meanwhile photos of the convention featuring Johnson, of his signs, etc. would be great to put on Wiki

  37. Jed Siple

    “A good piece of trivia: when LaRouche went to prison, his cellmate was the Rev. Jim Bakker.”

    I wonder who was who’s bitch?

  38. Nick Kruse

    The way for Gary Johnson (or any third-party candidate) to be on the ballot in all 50 states is to also win the Americans Elect nomination. Johnson would NOT have to give up the Libertarian Party, he can and should be the nominee of both parties. In states that have fusion voting, his name would be on the ballot twice. In states that do not have fusion voting and the Libertarian Party is on the ballot, Johnson would be listed as the nominee of the Libertarian Party. In states that don’t have fusion voting and the Libertarian Party is not on the ballot, he would be listed as the Americans Elect nominee.

    This is a strategy that Goode of the Constitution Party or Jill Stein of the Green Party could also use to make sure they are and the ballot in all 50 states.

  39. Oranje Mike

    @Carol Moore #23

    What makes you so sure Johnson has reached this conclusion about Root. He spoke for him at the convention and saved his spot on the LNC. For one reason or another Johnson has chosen to embrace WAR.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    47 tb: Also, I am not happy with Gary’s support for military intervention in Africa, even with congressional approval.

    me: I am, at least generally. He made the point that he’s a non-interventionist, was opposed to Iraq War, and that Afghanistan should have been over in 6 months.

    He carved out an exception to non-intervention: genocide. He rhetorically asked something like: Who can oppose stopping a genocide?

    It’s true that there are Ls who would answer No. But I’d guess perhaps 99% of voters would say Yes.

    Perhaps on a chalkboard, that doesn’t justify ending a genocide….

    I hope you’re not surprised by GJ’s view here. He made it pretty clear to me, pre-convention.

  41. LibertarianGirl

    He’s supporting War during convention , probably because Wayne insinuated himself with Gary. Personally I think Wayne could give Gary a few speaking tips , his flow is much better than Garys even though i dont care for what he says….but the trick is to not cross the line into teaching him to lie

  42. paulie Post author

    /i believe the expression I heard trickle down to me was “rather have him in the tent pissing out…”

  43. Gary Chartier

    Is it ever wrong to use force to stop a real genocide? No. But it can be wrong to collect taxes to stop a genocide. It can be wrong to talk in a way that runs the risk of creating rhetorical cover for imperial adventures. And it can be wrong to use the possibility of genocide to justify creating and maintaining a military establishment with the potential to engage in lots of mischief.

  44. TANSTAAFLUSA

    The genocide question is like the Dukakis debate question about the death penalty for a guy who rapes your wife. Politically, you cannot say “never” or you are done. Voters will think you are either lying or cold. These are the types of questions libertarian candidates need to improve on.

    GJ needs to articulate the political answer better, but he is answering that correctly – politically. To me, him saying possibly for genocide but then saying specifically no to Libya, Iran, NK, Iraq, nation building in AFG is his way of articulating that he is a N.I. but is being politically astute.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but that sure seems like what it is to me.

  45. TANSTAAFLUSA

    And I do think it is possible that there are situations where it is better not to intervene in genocide militarily if it means that it pushes that region to develop a government and culture that prevents its occurrence in the future. Continual intervention creates dependence and breeds incompetent and corrupt governments which increase the chances of war, genocide, and poverty.

    Many times genocides are just extreme backlashes in tribal wars or ethnic wars where there are atrocities on both sides going back decades or centuries.

    I read an article about a backwater type mercenary army that offered its services to stop the Albanian genocides. There is a never explored free market approach. Surrounding countries chip in to rent the services if Mercs to stop protect innocents until a diplomatic solution can happen or the ferver of revolution cools. Obviously, a whole set if new dangers with that, but worth exploring. They’d probably do it cheaper and no American boys and girls would be put in harms way.

  46. Brian Holtz

    “It can be wrong to talk in a way that runs the risk of creating rhetorical cover for [Bad Thing X]” is a recipe for libertarian silence.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    63 gc: But it can be wrong to collect taxes to stop a genocide. It can be wrong to talk in a way that runs the risk of creating rhetorical cover for imperial adventures.

    me: Yes, I s’pose some could say that collecting taxes for ANY purpose is “wrong.” (I don’t find that enquiry especially illuminating, but I would certainly agree that government force should be minimized and freedom maximized.) I completely agree that great care should be undertaken to ensure that the anti-genocide-actions of a State not be a camel’s nose under the tent for escalating military adventurism. And not all “wrongs” around the world can be “righted,” and to expect so is folly.

    Personally, I think GJ goes too far on this one, but I prefer his position to the VERY strict non-interventionism that some Ls espouse. Rather than taking a specific position on Uganda, I’d rather he say that if elected he would seriously assess whether what is going on there is SO heinous that a measured, congressionally-approved, multilateral action might be necessary on humanitarian grounds.

    Wiggle room is good, especially when one doesn’t have all the facts.

  48. Be Rational

    I’d rather he say that if elected he would seriously assess whether what is going on there is SO heinous that a measured, congressionally-approved, multilateral action might be necessary on humanitarian grounds.

    Wiggle room is good, especially when one doesn’t have all the facts.

    So, call a person who believes in Non-Intervention with wiggle room in the case of stopping genocide – a Principled Libertarian with Wisdom and a Heart.

  49. Be Rational

    Sorry, I meant to quote Bob Capozzi @69 above:

    ” I’d rather he say that if elected he would seriously assess whether what is going on there is SO heinous that a measured, congressionally-approved, multilateral action might be necessary on humanitarian grounds.

    Wiggle room is good, especially when one doesn’t have all the facts.” – RC

    So, call a person who believes in Non-Intervention with wiggle room in the case of stopping genocide – a Principled Libertarian with Wisdom and a Heart.

  50. Robert Capozzi

    72 br: ….a Principled Libertarian with Wisdom and a Heart.

    me: That works for me. I might add that it’s an attractive position, whereas the never-lift-a-finger-to-aid-in-averting-genocide (even with taxpayer dollars) seems so callous as to repulse even those who would consider the (non-strict) non-intervention viewpoint. Call this pandering or selling out if one wishes to, but there is some calibration on my part, too.

    If gains can be made in the public square that require some compromise on gray-area matters, I say compromise.

  51. Alan Pyeatt

    I get more than a little suspicious when I hear the words “wiggle room.” Sounds to me like an excuse for evading principle, rather than embracing it.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    74 ap, yes, I use the term “wiggle room” to provoke my fellow Ls. I don’t share the Randian/Rothbardian approach to being “principled” because I don’t think it works on a number of levels. Its rigidity and uni-dimensionality are fatal, actually, in the public square, IMO.

  53. Be Rational

    We often don’t agree on how our Principles should be applied. For an oversimplified example, take Matching Funds: should we refuse them on Principle, or take them as a way of recovering our stolen tax dollars?

    Sometimes, under complex circumstances, a problem is difficult to analyze due to a large number of intertwined factors, so again it’s difficult to apply our Principles.

    So, in the hypothetical case of some group of thugs that has formed an army somewhere outside the US, where that group is butchering hundreds of thousands of defenseless innocents in an onging assault where the US has the means to stop and save the innocents …

    Our hearts and wisdom tells us that we should do something, and not just turn away in cold, uncaring disregard of our fellow human beings.

    We would certainly agree that private individuals have the right to volunteer their services as soldiers or their money to aid these victims.

    So, yes. We should absolutely promote and stick to our Principles, and explain and insist with the wisdom and heart we Libertarians share, in our concern for our for our fellow Americans and for all mankind, that our Principles are the best way to lead the nation.

    But, we must also demonstrate that we have the wisdom and heart to be concerned and care about the horrible, genocidal attacks that can and do occur in the world, and that we will not blindly look aside, but rather, in those extreme cases, we may find that there are ways that our Principles will allow us to act in the interests of ourselves and the victims to aid the victims and stop the genocidal terrorists.

    So, although this may be a journey with no terminus, it seems the best course is to always strive to become a Principled Libertarian with Wisdom and a Heart.

  54. Robert Capozzi

    76 br: …to always strive to become a Principled Libertarian with Wisdom and a Heart.

    me: Agreed in spades. Conscience is probably 80% of the calculation. For Rs and Ds, it’s perhaps 20%

  55. Ad Hoc

    The US government is a very poor vehicle for any such noble sentiment to express itself.

  56. Austin Battenberg

    If the federal government only stuck to its enumerated powers, taxation was voluntary, and engagement was declared by the Congress, I would have no problem sending troops to stop a genocide. It’s the fact that we can’t afford it, and that the President makes the decisions with stolen money from individuals that makes it immoral.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    79 AB, so then you’d say that it’s “moral” to allow an avoidable genocide to happen, absent your conditions being met?

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