Darryl Perry Resigns as BTP Chairman; Party ‘Effectively Disbands’

Darryl Perry, who had served as chairman of the Boston Tea Party (BTP) since 2010, announced his resignation from the chairmanship earlier today, leaving only two active members of the party’s national committee. As a result, according to the following statement from Perry, the decision “effectively disbands the BTP” as an entity:

I first joined the BTP in 2006 and have been on the National Committee since 2008 when I was elected as an At-Large Rep. In 2010 I was elected Chair, and was re-elected this Spring.

Due to the lack of involvement from party members for most of 2011, a resolution was introduced to disband the party.

Whereas the membership of the BTP is largely inactive, and
Whereas the number of State affiliates has decreased since 2008;
Be it therefore resolved, at the close of this National Convention, that the Boston Tea Party shall cease to exist as a political party.

This resolution failed, however member activity has remained stagnant.

I am incredibly disappointed with the party members and in myself for not being able to motivate people to action. While I would love for the BTP to grow and become a viable alternative to the older more established parties, it does not appear the membership is willing to help the party grow.

I regret to announce that effective immediately, I am resigning as Chair of the Boston Tea Party National Committee. With only two remaining members of the National Committee, my resignation effectively disbands the BTP.

I will continue to work towards complete freedom and hope you will join me in this peaceful fight.

In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry

110 thoughts on “Darryl Perry Resigns as BTP Chairman; Party ‘Effectively Disbands’

  1. William Saturn Post author

    This probably wouldn’t have happened if the party nominated Phil Davison for president.

  2. NewFederalist

    I guess Tom has shut down the site. I tried to login and it would not take my password. Oh well…

  3. Catholic Trotskyist

    Yes they were insane for not nominating Phil. So is the Duensing campaign active at all?

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    @3, @5,

    No, I haven’t shut down the site.

    Concurrently with Darryl’s announcement, I received password reset information, even though I hadn’t requested it. Not sure what that’s all about.

    I’ll be taking the site down eventually, but I don’t think it should just disappear instantly. I’ve got a post on the front page directing people who might want to see what it used to be to the archive.org’s Wayback Machine.

    I’m not sure what all the factors were that influenced Darryl’s decision, but I have to assume that one of them was a contact from me recently about moving the site to some other hosting/format, which would require rebuilding it from its current, rather unstable state (I’ve always found Drupal difficult to upgrade, and it’s actually LOST some of the functionality it had when I first created the site).

    I doubt that the prospect of such an effort was the MAIN factor in his decision, of course. BTP has really been moribund since the 2008 campaign ended.

    There was a brief and minor flurry of activity surround a 2012 presidential nomination that none of the seekers of were going to do anything substantial with even if they got it, but then it went silent again, except for a couple of people bellyaching that the BTP should make changes that the bellyachers hadn’t bothered to propose at the convention, which could have actually acted on such proposals.

    I’m a little sad to see it go, but it both served and outlived its purposes, and at least it had the good grace to die quietly in its sleep instead of making a GOP Lite Political Welfare Queen spectacle of itself like the LP.

  5. JT

    Knapp: “I’m a little sad to see it go, but it both served and outlived its purposes, and at least it had the good grace to die quietly in its sleep instead of making a GOP Lite Political Welfare Queen spectacle of itself like the LP.”

    That’s one way to look at it.

    Personally, I think good grace would’ve been to not embark on such a moronic enterprise in the first place. Any rational person could have foreseen this group soliciting hardly any interest from libertarians & becoming defunct in a few years. It’s a given that you’re going to die in your sleep if you never wake up.

  6. Steven Wilson

    He has been fighting alone for a while now. BTP had issues with the past Presidential nomination and it proved to be just a blog or a video game like that parliament thing.

    I wish Perry all the best in New Hampshire. He will love the summer and fall, but the winter is a …

    I am grateful for his efforts even though we don’t see eye to eye, I respect him for being in motion. Good luck with your race.

    Cheers.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@7,

    “Any rational person could have foreseen this group soliciting hardly any interest from libertarians & becoming defunct in a few years.”

    You seem to be assuming that its purpose was to “solicit interest from libertarians.”

    In fact, it had several purposes, none of which were that.

    One of its purposes was to serve as a place to go for LP members leaving the LP after the 2006 platform fiasco; and, more specifically, to give them a place to go from which they might eventually return.

    It both served and outlived that purpose. Some LP members leaving the LP after the 2006 platform fiasco did come to it, and some of them returned to the LP (before doing so became a completely obviously silly thing to do and that purpose therefore became passe).

    Another of its purposes was to find out whether alleged “incrementalists” who spent all their time bellyaching about the LP’s statement of principles while claiming that they were really for smaller government, would put their money where their mouths were when offered an incrementalist platform that still called for smaller government (the answer was “no, we’re all guff and no guts”).

    A third purpose was to pioneer process a bit by conducting the first soup-to-nuts online national political convention. We did that not just for the first time, but several times. I don’t know if any other parties have managed it; Americans Elect failed, with some spectacle, to pull it off.

    In my own opinion — which is the only one that matters — I got far more than my money’s and work’s worth from it. A few other people put money or sweat equity into it as well. If you want to know if they’re satisfied with respect to whatever return they were seeking from it, you’ll have to ask them.

  8. Darryl W. Perry

    @3, 5 & 6
    I blocked all of the accounts except for the 4 admins (Tom being 1), closed new member registration and unpublished all old posts so the site would not be filled with unsolicited advertising and other content that would need to possibly later be removed.

    If one of the other admins wishes to republish and reopen the accounts of everyone, they are free to do so. I felt it was necessary for me to do some “house keeping” on the site before leaving my position.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    This is kinda sad, in a way.

    As a extreme incrementalist, the BTP’s platform was too rigid and fundamentally Rothbardian. It was, however, a nice try.

    I never liked the name, fwiw…

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    @12,

    “As a extreme incrementalist, the BTP’s platform was too rigid and fundamentally Rothbardian. It was, however, a nice try.”

    Well, it was rigid in that it insisted the incrementalism be toward less, rather than more, government.

    It wasn’t Rothbardian in any sense at all. It was incrementalist. Rothbard was abolitionist.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    Addendum to @13 …

    “Well, it was rigid in that it insisted the incrementalism be toward less, rather than more, government.”

    Which was kind of the whole point.

    I wanted to find out if the LP “incrementalists” who have been pissing and moaning for decades that what holds back the LP is its “absolutist”/abolitionist Statement of Principles were serious — that is, would they rather continue pissing and moaning about something they have a near-zero chance of ever changing, or would they jump on a platform that embodies their alleged approach?

    The answer was unanimous, or nearly so: Their “incrementalism” is purely notional. They’d rather bitch about how nobody else will join them in it, than actually attempt to put it into practice themselves.

  12. Q2Q

    I would like to point out that this action violates the BTP bylaws as:

    Since Darryl resigned, a new election should take place.

    Since Darryl, as so adimate about leave the Vice-Chair position vacant, he should have stayed in office or allow a new election for Vice Chair before his resignation.

    And finally, Darryl had no right to unilaterally disband the party as a proposed resolution to due so failed.

    This action by Darryl is wrong. If Knapp wanted to shut the site down (or something else that would put the BTP to an end), then Darryl should have requested a vote from the membership to decide the next course of action. Of course, this is the same man who will block members who annoyed him or possibly manipulate the polls to get the results he wanted. So, this action by Darryl is no surprise. May he rot.

  13. Andy

    I’m not suprised that the Boston Tea Party has officially gone defunct. The Boston Tea Party really hasn’t done anything since 2008 anyway.

    It’s like Tom Knapp had a brain fart in 2006, and that brain fart went on to become the Boston Tea Party, but now the stench from that brain fart has finally faded away.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that the principles behind the Boston Tea Party were good. It’s just that the concept never really took off. It’s a lot of work building a political party, and the Boston Tea Party just never built up enough support to do all of the “nuts and bolts” work that it takes to build a political party.

    Boston Tea Party
    2006-2012
    RIP

  14. Ted Rooseveldt's Ghost

    The BTP failed because it refused to adapt the Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy.

    It should have nominated Robert Milnes for president, and a libertarian woman for vice president.

    17% + 23% = 40% = a plurality

    (or is it 13% + 27%?)

    Either way, it’s the same percentage as my Progressive Bull Moose Party got in 1912.

    Milnes can still win, if all you losers didn’t love losing so much, and instead donated $35 million (same as Ron Paul got in 2008) to Robert Milnes now, so he can hold a press conference to announce his PLAS strategy.

  15. Thane Eichenauer

    I just want to add that I found the Boston Tea Party to be a useful group. I gained some useful insight from its platform and program. I am happy it existed.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    13-14 tk, sorry, allow me to clarify. The BTP allows for no political horse-trading. For ex., if BTP member were in Congress and a budget was up for a vote that cut the budget 5% BUT had a modest gas tax increase of say a nickel, the disciplined BTP

  17. Robert Capozzi

    oops…more….

    MC would be honor bound to vote No.

    Myself: I’d vote Yes.

    Somehow of other, the L worldview has distorted the notion of “consistency” to Emersonian, foolish levels. Of course a net decrease in coercion should be a good thing, and yet some Ls won’t play that. Every single line item must go in the direction of liberty for a “purist” to be mildly supportive. And yet in this ex. an actual cut in the budget has not been seen in 50 years. It would be a huge step forward. IMO.

  18. Steven Wilson

    @16

    And what bylaws can you use to force members to be active?

    What is active?

    I have seen many groups come and go over the years. Anarcho groups especially. But I never considered BTP to be anarchist.

    How can an anarchist, even lightly, have rules or by laws of how to be an anarchist? The mission statement was clear. To never expand government.

    No matter who is the administrator or lead role, the members have spoken. Non-verbal is more revealing than verbal. Perry tried and tried, but no one moved.

    Regardless of who you are or where you came from, everybody runs out of fuel over the long run.

    The run is over.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@20,

    Yes, you’ve got that about right.

    The BTP’s platform was incrementalist — in the direction of more freedom and less government.

    Which is what you say you want.

    But when the metal meets the meat, you’ve got so many reservations and exceptions to that principle that your approach is more reservation/exception than principle, to the extent that you’re horrified by the idea of committing to the latter and would rather stay in an environment that will never, ever require you to do so.

  20. JT

    Andy: “It’s a lot of work building a political party, and the Boston Tea Party just never built up enough support to do all of the “nuts and bolts” work that it takes to build a political party.”

    Yes, but apparently that wasn’t the point, according to Knapp. One goal was to give members of the LP a “place to go” after 2006, even if they returned to the LP shortly thereafter. Of course, hardly any Libertarians defected to the club even for a short period of time, so I’m not sure how that can be spun as some kind of victory.

    Another purpose, per Knapp, was to discover whether “incrementalists” would “put their money where their mouths were when offered an incrementalist platform that still called for smaller government.” It’s somehow an accomplishment to find out that they wouldn’t do so if that involves defecting to a little group with no realistic chance of becoming an active political party with any infrastructure to speak of or significant number of candidates.

    Also, it’s supposed to be a significant achievement that the BTP held an online national convention several times. I don’t know why. I could form a political club & get a small number of people to participate in an online “convention” if I wanted to, as I’m sure many other people could. But I don’t think that’s worthwhile to do.

    So basically, the purposes of the BTP were to exist, do trivial, pointless things, & then allow one-time members to pat themselves on the back and say, “mission accomplished.”

    I prefer to set the bar a little bit higher in anything to which I give any resources at all. But if people want to throw shit against a wall & see if it sticks, well, to each his own.

  21. Q2Q

    @ 22

    The BTP had bylaws. Darryl disregarded them when he disbanded the party. That’s what pissed me off.

    As for your claimed that Darryl did the best he could, he didn’t. When ever there was a vote, he never emailed the membership about it. How can you expect the membership to be active if you don’t inform them about what the hell is going on!!! Darryl was a piss-poor leader, and the BTP’s failure as a party is squarely on him.

  22. NewFederalist

    Why expend all this venom on Darryl? The BTP accomplished more at far less cost than Americans Elect! So they ended up the same? I say the BTP is a tribute to Tom Knapp and Darryl that is lasted as long as it did. Was it a success? It depends totally on your point of view.

  23. Humongous Fungus

    Well, now they are both gone. Maybe we just not ready for all-internet political parties yet; getting together in “meatspace” still has some value apparently.

  24. Krzysztof Lesiak

    About damn time. This party made sense at first when it was a protest to the “neoconization” of the LP by people like Wayne Allyn Root and Bob Barr but now that they can’t even get on the ballot in a single state there really is no purpose to it.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    @29,

    Neither Wayne Root nor Bob Barr were significantly involved in the LP at the time BTP was founded.

    I had the domain name.

    I was playing around with ideas to use it for.

    I also had some other ideas I was playing around with.

    The LP platform fiasco came along.

    It looked like an opportunity to do something fun and potentially worthwhile.

    I’m happy with my return on investment.

    I hope that others who made significant contributions also feel those contributions were repaid in whatever coin they consider relevant.

    As to those who didn’t or don’t like it, well, I don’t like liver or sardines, so I don’t eat them.

    Regarding being able to “get on the ballot in a single state,” I never had any great inclination to try.

    I wasn’t especially keen on running a presidential ticket in 2008, and actively opposed running one in 2012. Once it was decided to run one in 2008, I did my best to support it and was satisfied with the outcome. Once it was decided to run on in 2012, I decided to ignore it. To the extent that anyone placed great importance on those activities, they may have been disappointed with the outcomes. I didn’t place great importance on those activities, so I’ve got no heartburn about the outcomes.

  26. George Phillies

    @26 ” The BTP accomplished more at far less cost than Americans Elect!”

    Many of the rocks in my garden may proudly say te same thing–accomplished more at less cost than AE.

  27. Sane LP member

    Some keys to a successful venture are great leadership and a solid and dedicated organization, with a vision and plan for the future.

  28. Nick

    Small parties are founded and small parties fall apart. It’s a way of life when you support alternative parties, and most of us have gotten used to it.

  29. Tom Blanton

    I can certainly understand Darryl Perry’s frustration with inactivity as well as vanishing members of the national committee.

    FLASHBACK:

    Submitted by TomBlanton on Sun, 2007-07-08 20:58.

    I hereby resign as Chair of the Boston Tea Party effective immediately. Given my current situation, I believe I can agitate for political change more effectively as an independent with no affiliation to any political party.

    I still wholeheartedly support the platform of the Boston Tea Party:

    “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.”

    Be sure to visit me at Project for a New American Revolution and I’ll see ya on the interwebs.

    At that time, I came to the belief that political parties are totally useless as vehicles for radical change within the political environment that exists in America. I am still convinced of that for numerous reasons and the proof this is true should be apparent be the remarkable lack of success of all political parties, third and mainstream.

    If I were to join a political party at this time, it would be entirely for theatrical purposes or for personal entertainment – certainly not for the cornball notion of actually electing some candidate to office to carry out anything I actually believe in. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about electing someone with an agenda that I think other people might support.

    Like a Barr or a Root, or even a Johnson.

    A short bit of BTP history from 2006:

    http://www.pnar.org/btp.htm

  30. Humongous Fungus

    Johnson seems like a good choice to me. Barr certainly left room for a more libertarian candidate but Johnson is easily libertarian enough.

  31. Humongous Fungus

    If you don’t fight back on the field of retail politics those guys win by default.

    If you choose to ignore politicians that doesn’t mean they will choose to ignore you.

    If you want a shooting war, be prepared to kill and be killed; be imprison and brutalized; imprison and brutalize others; have your friends and family imprisoned and brutalized.

    Retail politics sucks, but it beats a lot of alternatives. There is no easy path to liberty.

  32. Charles Jay

    @ 10,

    Tom, you write:

    “A third purpose was to pioneer process a bit by conducting the first soup-to-nuts online national political convention. We did that not just for the first time, but several times. I don’t know if any other parties have managed it; Americans Elect failed, with some spectacle, to pull it off.”

    And it’s kind of an interesting feeling, because many years from now, when this kind of thing might be done routinely, given the advancements in technology, you and I will remain the first presidential ticket to have gained ballot access after being nominated by way of a process that was conducted completely online. An answer to a trivia question at least. A good example at best. And maybe something Darcy can put in one of his books.

    Personally, I like Darryl, always appreciated his involvement, and even though I left the party in ’08, thought that he had the ability to lead it forward as time progressed.

    Regards,

    CJ

  33. Darryl W. Perry

    @39 – Charles, thank you for the kind words!

    Two additional notes:
    In 2010 over 1 million votes were casts for BTP endorsed candidates (1,129,631).

    And during the 2012 National Convention, less than 1% of party members participated.

  34. Kleptocracy And You

    A lot easier to USE the LP in your local area to get YOUR libertarian message out than build a Party from scratch ! Splintter groups delute the already tiny output. A total WASTE of valuable time and energies !! Buck up and get involved in LOCAL politics. Build the numbers and outreach where you live, then the changes will come eventually!!!

    Ask the Socialists how splintter Parties succeed in the U.S. They don’t!

    Is DWP ’16 still ago within the LPUS ?

    Libertarians of all spots and stripes are making huge mistakes by not useing the Gary Johnson Resume to increase the L Brand in their local area. GJ is qualified to be POTUS, the LP, GP, CP or BTP seldom if ever can claim such a candidate. Most cycles equals NEVER . Don’t like GJ or think he’s not L enough ? Use his qualifications with YOUR L message. Promote the L message, screw personalities….

  35. Tony P.

    @43 Nobody is qualified to be POTUS but Johnson, and Johnson is the only person qualified to represent America. All the parties should get together and support Johnson and they don’t need to hear about any other ideas. Johnson/Gray is the only ticket for all Americans and no other male or female should even be given the time of day. Isn’t that the way it is? That’s what they want, and that’s what we want.

  36. Starchild

    “Humongous Fungus” @38 pretty much nailed it, imho.

    If the self-described voluntaryists come up with some kind of vehicle or mechanism for advancing freedom that everyone can get involved with and which seems more effective than the Libertarian Party and precludes my being involved in the LP, please let me know and I’ll quit the party and join you.

    Failing that, however, I’m inclined to stay involved with the LP, for the reasons expressed @38. If whatever you may be doing outside of electoral politics doesn’t preclude supporting the LP, then why not walk and chew gum at the same time? It may feel good to “keep your hands clean”, but that doesn’t help the R3VOLution. That’s the view from where I sit anyway.

    “Kleptocracy” @43 – I’m all for Gary Johnson, and like your advice to use his qualifications to promote the libertarian message, but part of my libertarian message is it’s ideas and character that matter, not resume.

    An unemployed high school dropout who understands and is committed to libertarian ideas and has a high level of integrity and resistance to selling out is more qualified to be president of the United States than a Harvard grad, former Fortune 500 CEO, state governor, and Senator who lacks those beliefs and qualities.

    Darryl @44 – Glad to hear it. Whether or not you get the nomination, it’s good to have radical candidates in the process, and obviously I appreciate your choice to rejoin the Libertarian Party. The fight for the LP is definitely winnable, and if we can get the party on a really sound footing (see http://www.groups.yahoo.com/groups/grassrootslibertarians), I believe it has tremendous potential.

  37. Starchild

    Tony @45 – Why the sarcasm? I do think Gary Johnson and Jim Gray are good candidates, but that doesn’t mean other candidates shouldn’t be heard during the campaign.

    I think a reasonable presidential debate would be a five-way between the five nationally-organized parties, from left to right the Greens, Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans, and Constitutionists (or whatever the correct term is to describe members of the Constitution Party). Plus maybe a candidate or two culled from some sort of popularity contest among all the other minor party candidates and independents.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    @38, @ 46,

    Value is subjective. The fact that you may highly value involvement in electoral politics doesn’t mean that others will, or should (and vice versa).

    Neither my time, effort, energy, etc. nor anyone else’s are automatically “owed to” or inherently “belong to” any particular party, organization, effort or whatever.

    I left the LP because I arrived at an assessment point where I couldn’t envision it (or my continued involvement in it) advancing liberty. Subsequent events have (for me, subjectively) confirmed that assessment.

    Your mileage may vary, and that’s fine — you own your lives just as I own mine.

  39. paulie

    Nobody is qualified to be POTUS but Johnson, and Johnson is the only person qualified to represent America.

    If they cry out that they are getting too much Johnson….give ‘em even more Johnson!

    :-)

  40. paulie

    Starchild – I agree, except one nit, Darryl never left the LP, he is a life member and was a delegate sitting next to me in the Alabama delegation in St. Louis 2010.

    Just as some LP members continue to be active in the LP while also being active in the Republican efforts for Ron Paul, some are also in the BTP and LP at the same time…some even all three.

    And Tom, I don’t think anyone is trying to force you to get back into the LP or electoral politics. We just consider it valuable for ourselves. What you do is up to you, and I certainly agree that there are other worthwhile activities for liberty than running a small political party; I just think that running a small political party happens to be one of them.

  41. paulie

    And during the 2012 National Convention, less than 1% of party members participated.

    How many participated in prior BTP conventions? Was it a significantly larger number or percentage?

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 50,

    I agree — I can’t imagine Starchild trying to force anyone to do anything.

    At the same time, however, HF@38 is asserting an extremely debatable proposition (“Retail [electoral] politics sucks, but it beats a lot of alternatives”) with which I no longer happen to agree. And that’s fine. I was just pointing out that nobody automatically owes allegiance to someone else’s debatable propositions or the offspring thereof.

    @52,

    I don’t have exact numbers to hand, but my immediate Scientific Wild-Ass Guess is that active BTP convention participation started at ~15-20% in 2006, and was down to the 1% range by 2012, due to two factors (increased membership, decreased member engagement).

    Personally, I found even the first number disappointing, but one angle of “the BTP as experiment” was to find out whether party participation could be increased by making conventions a) open to all members of an organization and b) easily accessible, inexpensive, etc. by virtue of being held completely online.

    I won’t say “well, now we know,” because it’s entirely possible that some other organization might find a way to make that work. But it did not work in the specific case.

  43. paulie

    What were the actual numbers of participants in the various years BTP conventions?

    I could be wrong but I think they were roughly about the same…

    But in the meantime the party signed up a lot of “members” who were internet spammers, or Palin/Beck “Tea Party” supporters confused by the name (which you came up with before those guys did), etc.

    We did win a (mixed) victory in the LP 2012 convention, so that partially took away one of the reasons that some LP members were defecting (or semi-defecting) to the BTP.

  44. Steven Wilson

    My two cents

    The republican party—RLC

    The libertarian party—BTP

    I am not sure if that analogy works for this thread.

    I never understood the function of splinter groups outside of discovery of the original having to acknowledge that they are now moving away from the original course. I don’t think the BTP ever made any majority of LP members think about purity of the LP. I don’t feel that people used it as a comparison rationale. The LP inherent turn over rate makes that move irrelevant. I don’t feel that the BTP was born to say “I told you so”. A human enters a group for common ground.

    The eventual issues that the BTP had identifies a lasting issue with internet persona.

    1. You can be anyone online.
    2. Reach and impression are difficult to calculate and sustain.
    3. Impact in the short run is hard to quantitatively prove.
    4. You can’t change anything long run from a keyboard.

    These items have been discovered by advertising already. The issue with Milnes and speaking of a fusion ticket. What did he prove?

    The persona of the messenger does impact the message?

    The Tiffany Briscoe campaign proves point 1.

    But more than anything, the percentage of involvement illustrates something in advertising called market decay. No one wants to hear a customer say “I had no idea you were still in business”.

    No one wants to hear “I don’t think your product works”

    We know that membership is down. Why? Would it matter if those that left said “I don’t know what business your in so I can’t find a place for the product”

    If you measure a website by calculating hits, then that is your measurement.

    If you measure a political party by members, then that is your measurement.

    Don’t say that the measurement of choice is invalid when it proves the point. The members of the BTP made their choice. The product didn’t work.

    No harm no foul.

    If you have raw data or empirical analysis, take it for what it is and leave it at that.

  45. Thane Eichenauer

    As far as membership involvement I will mention a previous complaint in that if I hadn’t subscribed to the RSS feed of the web site I would never have been even part of the 1% who participated. I have no regrets even so. It was an interesting experiment and a valuable learning experience. To have he who I never name (unless I really-really have to) be nominated as a BTP candidate for President (and not be universally scorned) would make me wonder as to the usefulness of a party myself.
    In case anybody else wants to run for President, the Arizona deadline for write-in candidates is September 27th at 5:00 PM. All you need is 10 notarized electors and YOU-TOO can run for President (in Arizona at least).
    BTP Presidential nominee Charles Jay received 16 write-in votes (that we know of, some election officials in Arizona have a way of thinking that actually COUNTING write-in votes is beneath their pay grade) in 2008 in Arizona.
    http://www.azsos.gov/results/2008/general/GEN-100.htm

  46. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m sorry about its demise as well. I didn’t even join until spring of this year.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    paulie@54,

    “We did win a (mixed) victory in the LP 2012 convention, so that partially took away one of the reasons that some LP members were defecting (or semi-defecting) to the BTP.”

    Since I don’t know who “we” is, or what kind of “victory” you’re claiming for them, I can’t really comment on that assertion.

    I didn’t follow the national convention’s platform actions. On the presidential nomination front, I am less positively impressed this time than I was in 2008.

  48. paulie

    On the presidential nomination front, I am less positively impressed this time than I was in 2008.

    We’ll certainly have to disagree on that.

    But I was mainly talking about LNC factions.

  49. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “I didn’t follow the national convention’s platform actions. On the presidential nomination front, I am less positively impressed this time than I was in 2008.”

    I attended both the 2008 LP National Convention and the 2012 LP National Convention, and I did not vote for either Bob Barr or Gary Johnson, however, I will say that so far, Gary Johnson appears to be a better candidate for the LP than Bob Barr was.

  50. Starchild

    Tom @48 – Fair enough. Certainly everyone’s choice is his/her own, and no “duty” is owed. I just believe that the LP and the liberty movement by extension have benefitted and would benefit from your involvement with the party, so I hope you’ll come back if a better vehicle does not emerge.

    Imagine a Libertarian Party run by its activists, transparently and from the bottom up, committed to appealing to the left as much as to the right, more youth-focused, fun and energetic, not making government-affirming statements alienating the anarchists and radicals who are the libertarian base, etc.

    I believe this is an achievable vision, and that such a party would be a powerful vehicle for advancing the cause of freedom. If we can’t win the fight for our movement’s own party, what hope does the larger cause have? And what good would it do the movement to abandon the LP to those who would take it in a less libertarian direction?

    Part of me hesitates to even raise these points or ask these questions here, because I do not wish to harden your or any other radical former Libertarians’ resistance to future involvement in the party by putting you in a position where you feel compelled to offer a counter-argument. I say these things here not to win an argument with anyone, but only to let you know my thoughts. It may even be that the decisions by solidly pro-freedom individuals like yourself to leave the LP will prove beneficial, even if not via the emergence of the Boston Tea Party or some effective non-electoral alternative, then by having helped wake other Libertarians up to the realization that the party is off-track and needs to change (though of course the necessary changes would come easier with your help).

    Paulie @50 – Thanks for the correction. I too see Gary Johnson as a far better presidential candidate for our party and movement than Bob Barr was. I think he is more libertarian, more personable, more committed to helping the party as well as himself, and a better campaigner. My hope is that we have turned a corner and will never again nominate a ticket like we did in 2008, but only our vigilance and dedication will guarantee it.

  51. paulie

    Imagine a Libertarian Party run by its activists, transparently and from the bottom up, committed to appealing to the left as much as to the right, more youth-focused, fun and energetic, not making government-affirming statements alienating the anarchists and radicals who are the libertarian base, etc.

    I believe this is an achievable vision, and that such a party would be a powerful vehicle for advancing the cause of freedom.

    http://www.facebook.com/libertarians is much improved the last couple of weeks and https://twitter.com/LPNational is helping to spread JJM and Arvin’s good work since July 25. I just contacted the Johnson campaign suggesting they retweet and post these images on their FB page also.

  52. Joe Buchman

    @ 64 — And that idea has been passed along to our social media marketing team . . . THANKS Paulie, and JJM, and Starchild and all involved.

    Joe

  53. Ad Hoc

    The LP facebook now looks like the R3VO7UTION where as pretty much everything the LP has been putting out before now has stylistically embodied the establishment.

    The r3vo7ution will not be televised…it is happening now on social media!

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @60, Andy @61,

    When I write …

    “On the presidential nomination front, I am less positively impressed this time than I was in 2008.”

    … I am not writing …

    “Gary Johnson is less libertarian than Bob Barr,” or “Bob Barr was a better LP candidate than Gary Johnson.”

    If I’d meant either of those things, those are the things I’d written.

    I think it’s true that Johnson is not as bad a candidate as Barr was. It’s the LP.

    It’s neither Barr not Johnson in whom I’m disappointed.

    It took six ballots and a considerable struggle. for Barr to ass-rape the LP in 2008.

    In 2012, the LP handed Johnson a bottle of lube, dropped trou, got on its hands and knees and waggled its ass in the air.

  55. paulie

    If Johnson had been as bad as Barr, I think he would have had as hard a time getting nominated – maybe even harder.

    The reason he won on the first ballot is that his conventional credentials as a former Governor did not come with significant Barr-like downsides such as a history of anti-liberty activism in his former party, continued support for things such as Plan Colombia while serving on the LNC and running for the LP presidential nomination (granted Johnson has a few positions I don’t like, but at least they are somewhat controversial among libertarians), or skipping all the state convention debates as well as the unofficial debates we had at the convention site prior to the scripted TV debate.

  56. paulie

    I have no problem owning it.

    What I disagree with is the idea that this represents a decline in the LQ of national convention delegates.

    My point is that if Barr, or a candidate as bad as Barr, was running in 2012, that candidate would have just as hard a time getting nominated or would not have been nominated at all.

    Johnson was nominated easily because Johnson is easily more libertarian than Barr, not because the delegates were less libertarian than in 2008.

  57. Mark Hilgenberg

    Thomas @ 67 & 69

    For me it was simple, Johnson communicated liberty in very concrete terms, where Wrights was very abstract.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support liberty in a very pure and radical sense but I communicate it completely different than the average “Radical”. I would say Paulie does the same thing.

    This does not mean water down the message or deemphasize social issues, it means present issues in ways which convey benefits and how lives will be better with liberty.

  58. Nuff Said

    @70 wrote; “[...]Johnson was nominated easily because Johnson is easily more libertarian than Barr, not because the delegates were less libertarian than in 2008.”

    This is a flavor of arrogant psychology that’s hghly damaging to the LP and democracy in general.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @70,

    “What I disagree with is the idea that this represents a decline in the LQ of national convention delegates.”

    I’m not sure with whom you think you’re disagreeing on that point. Certainly not me, since I claimed no such thing.

  60. Ad Hoc

    Knapp,

    Someone will have to untangle what it is that you did claim one of these days.

    Ogle/Nuff Said,

    Yes, the purpose of the LP is to run people with a libertarian ideology. If you don’t like that purpose, get your parliamentary party on a government ballot, or go play your games somewhere with whoever takes your own “elections” seriously.

    The LP isn’t going to become the parliamentary party. Deal with it.

  61. Joe Buchman

    Paulie @ 68 —

    “If Johnson had been as bad as Barr, I think he would have had as hard a time getting nominated – maybe even harder.”

    Harder I’m sure. At this time in the Barr Campaign I felt betrayed, angry, and guilty for having voted for him on the last ballot in Denver. Mary Ruwart would have made a better candidate. Steve Kubby would have made a better candidate. Hell, even the bellhop at the hotel would have made a better candidate.

    NO WAY was I voting for another former Republican EVER again. Then I met Governor Johnson in Santa Fe. I watched him RE-register as a Libertarian, I met Ron Nielson, I looked at his record as a two-term Governor, then I talked with him at length.

    IMO Gary is the best candidate the LP has ever had. I believe he is in this for the long term and certainly for re-election, or for another run in 2016!

  62. NewFederalist

    How is it that Ogle seems to be able to drift back through here but Milnes cannot? Is it just that Ogle is a better nerd?

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    Ad Hoc @74,

    “Someone will have to untangle what it is that you did claim one of these days.”

    It’s not complicated. There’s nothing to untangle.

    The LP didn’t sell out* for as bad a candidate as Barr this time around.

    On the other hand, it sold out* much more easily.

    It was not a change from “More libertarian” to “less libertarian.” In fact, that happened to go the other way.

    It was a change from “more inclined to hold out/struggle for the real thing” versus “less inclined to hold out/struggle for the real thing.”

    The former strikes me as something that can be written off to single mistakes, temporary lapses in judgement, etc. The latter seems more like a hard-to-reverse trend of disintegrating conscience/character.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    Addendum to @77, regarding the *:

    I tried to come up with a better term than “sell out/sold out,” since that one is arguably inaccurate — normally when one sells out, one expects to actually benefit from doing so, and that’s not likely to happen in this case.

    “Gave up” goes a little too far in the opposite direction, though.

  65. Ad Hoc

    TLK:

    Johnson *is* the real thing. Maybe strawberry instead of vanilla, but not plastic ice cream cone like Barr.

  66. Thomas L. Knapp

    Ad Hoc @ 80,

    I’m sure Johnson is “the real thing.”

    Just not sure what thing he is.

    I suppose there might have been a point in time at which I’d have seen the LP nominate Johnson and said “great move!” I’m not sure when that point in time would have been. My response in 2012, attempting to mentally control for my late aversion to electoral politics per se, is “yawn … why even bother if they can’t do any better than that?”

  67. Larry T

    Joseph Wendt ,A at large member and my self are in favor of the BTP. We are working to re-organize. We are working to get Florida as a state affiliate once again. I hope to get this going again too. Thanks to Mr.Perry for all the hard work.

  68. Joe Buchman

    @ 81 — ” “yawn … why even bother if they can’t do any better than that?”

    WOW. Governor Veto and pro end the war on drugs as a Governor in the 1990s. Registered Libertarian in the early 1990s.

    Really?

    Wayne Allyn Root calls me a “purist” as a condemnation (not connected enough to what’s needed to “win” (win what, I gotta wonder).

    But you gotta be fairly far out there not to look at Governor Johnson as the best candidate for President in ANY party for the last 100+ years (at least in my distorted, not as purist as Wayne says he thinks, view).

    :-)

    Joe

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joe,

    Johnson was “pro end the war on drugs as a Governor in the 1990s” if by “pro end the war on drugs as a Governor in the 1990s” you mean “mentioned that he supported legalizing marijuana in 1999, but never did anything about it, and to this day does not support legalizing other drugs.”

    “But you gotta be fairly far out there not to look at Governor Johnson as the best candidate for President in ANY party for the last 100+ years”

    Then I guess I’m fairly far out there.

  70. langa

    But you gotta be fairly far out there not to look at Governor Johnson as the best candidate for President in ANY party for the last 100+ years

    I would guess there are quite a lot of LP members (including myself) who think Harry Browne was a much better candidate than Johnson.

    I would even guess that many LP members (again, including myself) would prefer Ron Paul over Johnson.

    Of course, when I say many LP members, I’m not including Mr. Knapp, since he’s no longer an LP member. Also, I strongly suspect he would prefer Johnson over Paul, who he once claimed was no more libertarian than Barney Frank!

    In any event, based on your criteria, I would guess that many (probably even most) LP members would be “fairly far out there”.

  71. Brian Holtz

    Knapp gave up (on the LP and then on electoral politics), now he projects/claims that the LP has followed suit. You can measure how much he believes his claim by how he doth protest it too much @67.

    His test-incrementalists theory @14 is no more serious than his dropped-trou analysis @67. Claims about incrementalists can no more be proven by the lack of interest in the BTP “platform” than can claims about radicals be proved by the lack of interest in, say, the No 1st Force Pledge.

    The correct answer would be like @53 where he concedes that the BTP was not a conclusive test of convening online. But where Knapp has an ideological axe to grind, truth and candor become casualties.

    There are still 9 reasons why having multiple freedom parties is dumb.

  72. Starchild

    Tom @84 – I think Gary Johnson is better on the drug issue than you give him credit for here. Here’s what he said at Freedom Fest (as blogged by Joe Buchman at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2012/07/live-blog-gary-johnsonjim-gray-freedom-fest/#comment-760667 ):

    QUESTION: “I’d like you to clarify about the war on drugs? Would you legalize all drugs?”

    GARY JOHNSON: “Yes. The world would be a better place if all drugs were legal. But I’m only advocating marijuana legalization for now. When we legalize marijuana and see the world is a better place — that police go after real crime, that when release the 2.3 million people behind bars for drug crimes, that 90 percent of the drug problem is prohibition caused, not use caused, the world will be a better place.”

    Yes, that’s an incrementalist stance, not a radical one, but it meets the test for “good” incrementalism: It makes it clear that the real goal is much more freedom than just the incrementalist position currently being advocated, and it does not undermine the prospects for continued progress toward greater freedom.

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    Starchild @87,

    “Here’s what he said at Freedom Fest”

    I don’t really care much about what he said at Freedom Fest, for the simple reason that unlike many Libertarian candidates, Johnson was once in a position to actually do something on the issue if he really meant it … and apparently did little if at all.

    Talk is cheap.

  74. Thomas L. Knapp

    Holtz @ 86,

    “Knapp gave up (on the LP and then on electoral politics), now he projects/claims that the LP has followed suit.”

    Um, no.

    I gave up on the LP and on electoral politics at the same time, but I neither project nor claim that the LP has followed suit.

    I do wonder why it doesn’t follow suit — not because I expect its members to necessarily share my reasons, but simply out of embarrassment at not being able to put on a semi-believable show any more.

    “Claims about incrementalists can no more be proven by the lack of interest in the BTP ‘platform’ than can claims about radicals be proved by the lack of interest in, say, the No 1st Force Pledge.

    “The correct answer would be like @53 where he concedes that the BTP was not a conclusive test of convening online.”

    Fair cop. I concede that jumping, or not jumping, on the World’s Smallest Political Platform is not a conclusive test of one’s dedication to incrementalism.

    But it was at least interesting anecdotally insofar as those “incrementalists” who bothered to comment on it seldom brought up non-incrementalist pragmatic considerations (i.e. hard to bootstrap a new party), and tended instead to attempt to re-define incrementalism.

  75. Brian Holtz

    Mind the parens. I didn’t say you said the LP gave up on politics. I said you said the LP gave up. What you projected was the giving up, not what you gave up on.

    A handy measure of whether you’ve actually given up on the LP is how much attention you pay to it. If the LP could figure out how to charge disgruntled ex-members for stalking it in IPR comments, it would be rolling in money.

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@92,

    “I didn’t say you said the LP gave up on politics. I said you said the LP gave up.”

    OK, so you got it wrong in a different way than I understood you to have gotten it wrong. And your point is … ?

    “A handy measure of whether you’ve actually given up on the LP is how much attention you pay to it.”

    Handy, perhaps. Accurate, no.

    I had a friend who bought Discovery Zone stock at the top of its run, right before it crashed. Long after he had given up on the possibility that it would recover, he still kept an alert on the share price. Not because he still hoped it might come back, but to have the occasional little laugh at his own expense, and to remind himself of the uncertainty of sure things.

    disgruntled, adj. in a state of sulky dissatisfaction

    Not the droid you’re looking for.

  77. Stewart Flood

    Joe @83,

    When Root calls you a “purist”, consider it a badge of honor.

    You are correct, Johnson is the best candidate out there. But we all know that. Some on this site just refuse to admit that the LP finally has a candidate who has managed to:

    a) get the debate commission to blink
    b) had support from a wide majority of delegates at the convention
    c) has the media blinking rapidly
    d) gets republican operatives angry, because they feel threatened by his candidacy
    e) gets democratic operatives angry, because they feel threatened by his candidacy

    There were certainly previous LP POTUS nominees who accomplished one or more of these, but not all of them at the same time.

  78. Brian Holtz

    disgruntled, adj. in a state of sulky dissatisfaction

    @67 sounds exactly like the disgruntled droid I was looking for. But I’ll happily note in the Knapptionary that the colorful metaphors @67 about sexual submission should somehow not be taken as synonyms for “give up”.

  79. JT

    Stewart, how exactly do you mean that GJ has gotten “the debate commission to blink” as well as made both Republican & Democratic operatives angry? These could be the case & I’m just not aware of them.

  80. Starchild

    Tom @89 – That’s a fair point. I would like to know more details about his record as governor and what he did/didn’t do, and why.

    I don’t know about the “best candidate for president in 100 years” either, but with the possible exception of Ron Paul who likely won’t be on November ballots, he does appear to be by far the best presidential candidate most Americans will have the opportunity to vote for this election.

    FWIW, I’ve also met and talked with Gary in person, and the more time I’ve spent around him and seen/heard of him, the more favorably impressed I’ve been that his libertarian instincts are sincere and that he’s a genuine, decent person and someone we can trust, as much as anyone with his resume running for higher office can be trusted.

  81. From Der Sidelines

    Aw, man, who let Holtz out of his straightjacket and near a keyboard again?

    Knapp, please don’t feed squirrels to the nuts.

  82. Joe Buchman

    Thomas @ 84

    Check out:

    http://cannabisnews.com/news/7/thread7965.shtml

    From 12 years ago —

    December 11, 2000

    A Candid Conversation With New Mexico’s Fearless Governor About His Crusade To Legalize Drugs, His Killer Workout Regimen And The Upside Of Carrying A Concealed Weapon

    “A few months into his second term last summer, 47-year-old Johnson told his state’s GOP leadership that he was going public with his controversial position. First he called the nation’s war on drugs an unmitigated failure. Next he announced that legalizing marijuana and heroin was the only sane response to an out-of-control problem. . . . His public safety secretary and three members of his anti-drug task force resigned. . . . Johnson was called “an idiot,” . . . Barry McCaffrey, President Clinton’s drug czar, dismissed Johnson as “Puff Daddy Johnson” and said, “I’m embarrassed to have a public servant take this line of argument.” . . . his approval rating dropped 11 points. ”

    Thomas — read the entire interview (it’s republished from a PLAYBOY interview) and let me know how it impacts you.

    One of the questions asked was —

    PLAYBOY: How would the legalization of heroin actually work?

    Gary’s answer probably won’t please you entirely but WHAT OTHER POLITICIAN is even willing to consider such questions?!!?

    :-)

    Joe

  83. Joe Buchman

    So it’s not a perfect interview, parts make me cringe — but this was 12 years ago. Like Starchild, the more I’m around Gary, the more I come to respect and even love him. He listens and wants to stop the madness of social hate and crazy spending.

    And 12 years ago at the conclusion of the above interview he said:

    PLAYBOY: In general, do you believe that the Republican Party will ever be able to leave behind its reputation for being exclusionary?

    JOHNSON: Bottom line: I think Republicans are about giving people freedom and holding them accountable for it. If there’s a criticism about me that I love, it’s that I’m a Libertarian. If people call me a Republican Libertarian, great. I separate myself from the party when it wants to legislate morality. You can’t legislate morality. You lead by example, but you can’t tell people how to live, which, ironically, is a Republican assumption. A law against smoking marijuana just does not work. There are other ways to try to get people not to smoke.

    PLAYBOY: Considering all the other issues you care about, how will you feel if your legacy is the governor who wanted to legalize drugs?

    JOHNSON: It wouldn’t bother me a bit to be the first politician at this level to push for the legalization of drugs. It will happen, whether in 80 years or 10, as I’ve said. More candidates will run on the issue of legalizing drugs. Politicians in office will come to the same conclusion-that what we’re doing isn’t working and there has to be another way. I hope I’ll be one of many within a few years. It will come: Drugs will be legal and we’ll be able to move on to tackle many other societal ills.”

  84. Joe Buchman

    Thomas @ 89,

    One more thing.

    You wrote:

    “Johnson was once in a position to actually do something on the issue if he really meant it … and apparently did little if at all. Talk is cheap.”

    The guy was Governor, not Dictator of New Mexico. IMO he did a lot — maybe even all he could have done.

    As for talk being cheap — talk is all you have if you believe social change should occur through education and persuasion, and not through force and violence.

    Joe

  85. Joe Buchman

    Starchild @ 98 —

    I’d rank Gary ahead of Ron Paul — 8 years as an executive; better on civil rights (starting with abortion).

    But I was hoping to spark debate on this point. What candidates for President in the past 100 years were better than Gary Johnson (from a Libertarian values perspective)?

    I be tempted to say Andre Marrou, but he had zero executive experience. And there’s no R or D that I’d rank above Gary.

  86. Joe Buchman

    Stewart @ 94,

    Thanks.

    I appreciate Wayne Allyn Root’s hospitality and personal generosity but I condemn most of what he says he wants as a strategy for growing the LP.

    I was there in December, for example, when he lectured the LNC about buying a building, and how he would raise enough funds from the LP whales to buy a building with no mortgage.

    I wonder how that’s going?

  87. Stewart Flood

    Going? That was the second time that he bragged about all the money he would raise. So far, he hasn’t raised or even given a dime to the project.

    (fact, based on FEC records)

    @97…

    Long day. Network still down due to multiple days of lightning storms and two failing UPS systems (both my primary and backup). Will explain tomorrow after all my servers are back online.

  88. Be Rational

    Joe Buchman,

    Best in 100 years – I don’t know – but I’d rank Gary Johnson ahead of Ron Paul, Harry Brown, Bob Barr, David Bergland, and John Hospers and all non-LP candidates going back most of that time.

  89. Joe Buchman

    @ 106 — I’d agree. Close enough to my point. This is a candidate worth working for/fighting for/giving money to.

    Joe

  90. Robert Capozzi

    91: But it was at least interesting anecdotally insofar as those “incrementalists” who bothered to comment on it seldom brought up non-incrementalist pragmatic considerations (i.e. hard to bootstrap a new party), and tended instead to attempt to re-define incrementalism.

    me: Yep, VERY difficult to bootstrap. And, yep, incrementalism has no precise definition. In my case, if mounting a soapbox with a bullhorn across from 1600 PA Ave. raving about end-state libertopia worked, I’d be for it. My assessment is that that feels like a bad idea, though, more likely to harm liberty’s prospects than to help it….

  91. JT

    Stewart, I asked a question a couple of days ago. I understand you may have been too busy since then to answer it, but I don’t want you to forget it because I’m interested in your response. I’ll rewrite it here. If you could find a few minutes to reply sometime soon I’d appreciate it:

    Stewart, how exactly do you mean that GJ has gotten “the debate commission to blink” as well as made both Republican & Democratic operatives angry? These could be the case & I’m just not aware of them.

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