New Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential Poll Started

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Joe Wendt, a Libertarian Party of Florida activist, created the following new online poll using Survey Monkey. IPR reported the results of the previous poll, with some different candidates, yesterday. Candidates in bold have already announced they are running; the rest are speculative. The following are the questions, with a list of choices:

1. Of the following, who would you prefer as our 2016 presidential candidate?

*  Adrian Wyllie

*  Bill Still

*  Carla Howell

*  Darryl Perry

*  Gary Johnson

*  George Phillies

*  Jim Burns

*  Jim Duensing

*  Jim Gray

*  John Wayne Smith

*  Kip Lee

*  Lee Wrights

*  Mary Ruwart

*  Michael Badnarik

*  Robert Milnes

*  Tom Stevens

 

2. Are you likely to be a delegate to the 2016 National Convention?

*  Yes

*  No

 

3. Of the following, who do you prefer as our 2016 Vice Presidential candidate?

*  Bill Still

*  Jim Burns

*  Darryl Perry

*  Robert Milnes

*  George Phillies

*  Carla Howell

*  Michael Badnarik

*  Kip Lee

*  John Wayne Smith

*  Jim Duensing

*  Adrian Wyllie

*  Lee Wrights

*  Mary Ruwart

*  Tom Stevens

*  Alex Snitker 

 

The poll is available here. Anyone can vote in it. Final results will presumably be released in a few weeks.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K8QVGCS

74 thoughts on “New Libertarian Party 2016 Presidential Poll Started

  1. Oranje Mike

    Not Bill Still. That’s for sure.

    Gary Johnson is likely a lock if he makes another run but his dismal campaign economics will turn me off. If he does run and win I’ll be hoping it’s not on the first ballot again.

  2. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    There are several good choices on here. My top choices for president would be Mary Ruwart, Lee Wrights, Darryl Perry and Jim Duensing.

    Duensing is unafraid to talk about 9/11 truth, and I’m pretty sure he’s criticized the Zionist lobby. Plus, he’s been involved in the Boston Tea Party, all pluses in my book.

    Darryl is a great candidate, but he needs a new webmaster ASAP. Accepting no U$D means that he will be running an essentially zero budget campaign, which if he continued through the general election were he nominated would be disastrous for the LP. Darryl, if you’re reading this, take what I’ve said as constructive criticism. I understand with the election being so far out, so there’s plenty of time to make improvements.

    I like Wrights and Ruwart a lot, they’re both fantastic, and I’d say that they’re probably my top picks right now. Especially Ruwart, with all the times she’s run for LP office, I think she deserves the nod in 2016. She would have been the 2008 nominee if some fucking neocon statist hacks hadn’t hijacked the LP (maybe an apology for that ticket should be issued at the 2014 convention?)

    Gary Johnson: Hell no. He grossly mismanaged his campaign, and by all accounts, it was a failure. He couldn’t even cross 1% of the vote, and only had ballot access in 48 states. Plus, he’s a lamestream libertarian, he supports the Fair Tax, he’s pro-Israel, he DOESN’T want to end the Fed and he really comes off as though he has no idea what he’s talking about half the time. He’s a mediocre speaker for the most part, and drones on repeating the same talking points over and over and over.

    Whoever the 2016 nominee is, they need to efficiently manage their finances, and also get on the ballot in ALL 50 states. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    What is the poll methodology? It looks like one is supposed to select a number next to one or more candidates. Is the poll asking the takers to rank the candidates from best (1) to worst (16), to assign some number of votes (totaling 16 for all candidates) to each candidate, or what?

  4. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    @4

    Massie and Amash are better on foreign policy than Johnson, and they actually want to end the Fed. All Johnson wants is more “oversight.” And I never said that they are hardcore libertarians, but they are the most libertarian-leaning members of Congress, true heirs to Ron Paul, and my favorite congressmen at that.

    Paleoconservative > fake libertarian

    ex. Chuck Baldwin > Bob Barr/ WAR

  5. Austin Battenberg

    Gary Johnson supports ending the Fed.

    Scott Holleran: Is it your position that we should audit, not end, the Federal Reserve—that ending the Fed may be desirable but not immediately realistic?

    Gary Johnson: I think ending the Federal Reserve would be positive but if we end the Fed it’s important to point out that that’s not the end of the solution. A lot of the central banking function would have to be taken up by regional banks.

    http://scottholleran.com/interviews/interview-with-gary-johnson/

    or: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF367w4nI1E

    or: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAQfLOytqzI

  6. Joe Wendt

    @ 5:

    You rank the candidates by preference. Apparently, at least from what I’ve been seeing in the results, you rank the candidates from best (which appears to be 16) to worse (which appears to be 1). So, pretty much it’s backwards from what common sense would dictate (which would’ve been nice for surveymonkey to explain before I set up the poll).

  7. bruce a smith

    Then. Void my votes. As I went one to nine. Meaning one good. Nine bad. It was screwy. The f*cked up Michigan ballot was easier to do in 2012 then this survey. But maybe its just me.

  8. Andy

    I don’t think that Michael Badnarik or Carla Howell have any interest in running. None of these candidates are exciting to me. I really hope that some better candidates emerge.

  9. Andy

    Krzysztof Lesiak said: “Gary Johnson: Hell no. He grossly mismanaged his campaign, and by all accounts, it was a failure.”

    I’m not a big Gary Johnson fan, but even I would not go so far to say that his campaign was a complete failure. It was certainly better than the Bob Barr campaign of 2008.

  10. Andy

    Krzysztof Lesiak said: “He couldn’t even cross 1% of the vote, and only had ballot access in 48 states.”

    He got close to 1% of the vote, which was not that bad considering some of the circumstances.

    He got screwed over by the Secretary of State in Michigan as well as the courts for not making a fair ruling over Michigan’s “sore loser” law which should not apply to candidates for President.

    The ballot access failure in Oklahoma was not really his fault, it was the fault of certain people in LP management for mismanaging the execution of that petition drive. I know exactly why and how they failed, and I can tell you that the failure there was completely avoidable. This happened before Gary Johnson got the LP nomination and before the Johnson campaign even really got involved in ballot access. The only thing that you could say they were guilty of here is trusting certain people in LP management to not screw up the job in Oklahoma.

  11. George Whitfield

    Sorry, but I guessed wrong about the significance of the #1 to #16. I thought that #1 was my first choice and #16 was my last choice. So all my votes are backwards. We may see a close race between Robert Milnes and Tom Stevens!

  12. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    @13

    I think that every candidate who runs for the nomination should pledge to obtain full ballot access in 2016. 3 times before 50 states were done, it can be done again.

    Kind of pointless to start talking about even getting 5% of the vote when two whole states can’t even see you on the ballot. As Richard Winger pointed out a while back IIRC, if GJ was on the Oklahoma ballot, he would have surpassed 1% of the vote, and if he was also on the Michigan ballot, he would have definitively surpassed Ed Clark’s 1.06%.

  13. Andy

    “Krzysztof Lesiak // Aug 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    @13

    I think that every candidate who runs for the nomination should pledge to obtain full ballot access in 2016. 3 times before 50 states were done, it can be done again.”

    I’ve been saying for years that the LP should have ballot access in all 50 states plus DC. The party does not look like a serious party when it has less than that.

    Having said this, a lot of this is not in the hands of the candidate for President. The petition deadline for party status in Oklahoma was in March, which was before the LP even had its national convention, which was held in May. There is an independent presidential candidate petition that can be done in Oklahoma which has a deadline in early July, but it requires almost as many signatures as the party status petition and with the LP national convention being held in May, it does not leave much time to complete the independent presidential candidate petition in Oklahoma. It could be done, but it would take a lot of money and manpower.

    Getting ballot access in all 50 states plus DC is something that the national party and the state parties need to make a goal, and the process needs to begin well before the year of the election.

  14. Steve Scheetz

    IF Michael Badnarik were to run, I would support him no doubt, no question, no hesitation. I watched the debates in 2004, and it was really the first time I got involved with the Montco Libertarians on any level… (at the time I lived in Chester, and I was secretary of that county’s LP.)

    Michael, for those who do not know, drove all over the nation with his campaign manager, as he campaigned, and financed his campaign by selling his book, “It is good to be King” (No he was not thinking of Mel Brooks when he came up with the title!)

    anyway, back to the debates. Gary Nolan just could not communicate what his beliefs were, Aaron Russo sounded like a stereotypical used car salesman.

    Michael, when he got up and spoke out his defense of the Constitution, He won that crowd.

    To anyone interested, he has offered to teach classes for local LP organizations involving the Constitution. If anyone is interested, go to his website, for more information.

    Regardless, I believe it may be too early to run such a poll… My suggestion would be to wait a couple of months and let some things sort themselves out. If that does not look right, it is a little past my bed time…

    Steve Scheetz

  15. Andy

    “LibertarianGirl // Aug 13, 2013 at 5:40 am

    not thrilled with the list at all”

    I have not been happy with the list of candidates for the LP nomination for President since 2004. I hope that 2016 does not end up being another disappointment.

  16. Adrian Wyllie

    As I have stated previously, while I appreciate being mentioned in this poll, I have no intention of seeking the LP presidential nomination in 2016.

    My goal is to focus all of my efforts on achieving economic freedom and individual liberty in Florida.

  17. William Saturn

    For those of you who didn’t see, IPR released an official poll here, including only the individuals who are running or have expressed an interest in running for the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential nomination.

  18. Jeremy C. Young

    My prediction is that Jim Gray is going to run away with the nomination. He’s probably going to be the most high-profile candidate (unless Johnson runs again, which I doubt); he’s not particularly controversial in the Libertarian movement; and he’s already out there communicating his message. I can see him being the consensus favorite in 2016.

    Of the other candidates who could challenge him, Lee Wrights seems focused on Texas at the moment; Mary Ruwart hasn’t expressed any interest in running again; Michael Badnarik has had serious health issues and probably is not available; and George Phillies, while I love the man, is far more controversial now than he was in 2008 (and he didn’t win then, either). If you can think of someone who is going to run against and beat Gray, let me know; otherwise, I expect this race will be over before it begins.

    Similarly, I expect Jill Stein to win the GP nomination in 2016 by acclaim, if she wants it. I’m not sure whether or not she wants it, but she’s certainly continued to campaign nonstop for Green causes, so there’s that.

    Darrell Castle will be the CP nominee, but unless they deal with their affiliate issues and cratering vote totals, I expect this to be the last election in which the CP is a “major” third party.

    I don’t expect Rocky Anderson to run again, and if he does, I would expect him to do so with the Greens. I think Rocky didn’t fully understand how hard it was going to be to field an alternative to the Greens, what with ballot access and all that; he listened to some ex-Naderites who told him about the GP’s corruption, but that corruption has now been largely cleaned up by the Stein campaign. I don’t expect there to be a significant Justice Party in 2016.

    All in all, unless Bloomberg finally takes the plunge, I expect it to be a pretty sleepy top-of-the-ticket third party race in 2016.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    @28,

    Because his views on the issues are controversial in the libertarian movement.

    If you put the policy prescriptions he recommends in his books and recent columns up against “what partisan affiliation should I choose” quiz, I suspect it would ping “moderate Republican.”

    That’s not to say that the LP shouldn’t nominate him. But at some point, if the LP ever wants to be a serious political party, it needs to start choosing candidates that actually represent its issues positions instead of doing this “pick the guy who seems most well-known and break out the mini-skirts and pom poms” routine every four years.

  20. Oranje Mike

    #30, We could start by nominating someone that has spent time behind jail for refusing to let the Feds steal his money as opposed to a candidate that wants to “reform” the system.

  21. Lissa

    [...] HA, HA ha, “pick the guy who seems most well-known and break out the mini-skirts and pom poms” routine every four years.

    A wonderfully colorful sketch of exactly what the Libertarian Party becomes year after year and there’s no potential for change because of the psychological inertia of plurality elections which will simply perpetuate the cycle.

    Fortunately, there is chaos, swarm psychology and a queen …

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP @ 33,

    I wouldn’t compare Gray to a Barr (social conservative) or a Johnson (just trying to get his GOP campaign debt paid off with a welfare check).

    For one thing, he actually has a record in the LP instead of just showing up one year to use its presidential nomination.

    He also seems to be a genuinely good guy.

    But, there’s quite a bit of daylight between his ideas and even the LP’s current, pretty watered-down, platform.

    At some point, the LP seriously needs to consider the question of whether or not its ideas matter. The last two times around, it has pushed that question off into the future for every glad-handing whore who shows up and tells them he’s famous.

  23. Lissa

    I’ve known for a long time that Gray is not capable of building a team since when he ran for US Senate. Maybe it’s not his fault, but the psychology projected by people like him just doesn’t go over well with people outside the Libertarian Party. Too bad people can’t wise up and figure out why the LP isn’t breaking 1%, but I’ve known the answer forever.

    And I can safely say that no one on the list in this thread has the answer.

  24. Lissa

    To clarify, I’ve personally met the following people:
    * Bill Still
    * Jim Burns
    * George Phillies
    * Carla Howell
    * Michael Badnarik
    * Kip Lee
    * John Wayne Smith
    * Jim Duensing
    * Lee Wrights
    * Mary Ruwart
    * Tom Stevens

    I haven’t ever met:
    * Adrian Wyllie
    * Alex Snitker
    * Darryl Perry
    * Robert Milnes

  25. Lissa

    Correction, I haven’t met Kip Lee but I have read his platform.

    And I know enough about Darryl Perry and Robert Milnes to know what I’m writing about.

    The only ones I don’t know much about nor have I ever personally met are Adrian Wyllie and Alex Snitker.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    GP,

    It almost goes without saying that damn near nothing is as bad as Root’s medicine show con stuff.

    The problem with Gray’s stuff isn’t that it’s flying-monkey, foaming-mouth, idiotic infomercial right-wing drivel.

    The problem with Gray’s stuff is that it’s more “moderate good government Republican” policy stuff than libertarian policy stuff. That’s not to say it’s all bad. But a third party needs to differentiate itself from the major parties by nominating candidate who support its platform rather than theirs.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    35 tk: At some point, the LP seriously needs to consider the question of whether or not its ideas matter.

    me: Even more radically, “At some point, the LP seriously needs to question its ideas.”

    Is there really a cult of the omnipotent state to challenge, for instance?

  28. Delusionaltarian

    N. O. T. A.

    Why not just let Bill Redpath recruit another big-R establishment Republican?

    When the Libertarian Party wants liberty, they’ll have it (unless they’re in prison by that time, which is very likely), because they’ll be willing to do what it takes to win liberty. When the Libertarian Party looks more like the leveller uprising, underground railroad, and anti-prohibition movement, then freedom will be close at hand. All of these prior movements attempted to reduce government power directly, by helping the oppressed, directly.

    Until then, the circus will travel on, and the dupes, knaves, and shills will be mulcted of their hard-earned Federal Reserve Notes. Such precious notes, in excess, could be used to much better political effect by purchasing silver and gold coins, ammunition, canned goods, and new computers.

    But hey, if you like circuses of bureaucracy, knock yourself out. Just don’t think you’re “helping to win freedom.” Even attending one or two LNC meetings would convince any rational person that the last thing the Libertarian Party wants is to win individual freedom.

    If the LNC wants individual freedom, then people who purchase lottery tickets are determined to get a million dollars. Yet, if we perform a search in society for “people who have a million dollars,” not very many of them are lottery winners. I hope that puts things into perspective. In order to win elections, you need to do things that could possibly result in an election being won, given what is known about human psychology.

    In order to be taken seriously as a political force, you need to win elections.

    The only elections the Libertarian Party has currently won are tiny, local elections. They currently have no elected State Legislators, and even when they did, they had no REALISTIC plans to win more and more of them until they had 51% of any State legislature.

    The Libertarian Party is either delusional, or externally-controlled. In any case, feeding the LP is a bad use of resources unless one is willing to win control of the LNC and operate the LP as if it is a serious organization.

    I personally don’t think that human beings who have grown up in relative comfort are up to the task. Maybe we can recruit Shin Dong-Hyuk to the LP, and ask him for advice. I imagine he’d be a quick study, and even if he wasn’t, he might shame some portion of the LP that remembers its humanity into actually caring about individual liberty.

  29. Delusionaltarian

    I know what would get “Libertarians” to take politics seriously: Eric Dondero should declare himself for the presidency! LOL! Seriously: that’s the only way to avoid another abject catastrophe, and drum up an actual libertarian.

    Practice pitch:

    “Hey, we need you (John Stossel, Jacob Sullum, Radley Balko, Virginia Postrel, Paul Butler, Nick Gillespie, etc.)! …Dammit, do you want Eric Dondero to torpedo the LP?”

    LULz

  30. Robert Capozzi

    42 D: When the Libertarian Party looks more like the leveller uprising, underground railroad, and anti-prohibition movement, then freedom will be close at hand. All of these prior movements attempted to reduce government power directly, by helping the oppressed, directly

    me: Interesting that you self-identify as “delusional,” as this sentence is a tell. Those movements were generally single-issue ones, and not all movements succeed, especially extreme ones.

    Now it could be that the single issue is the very existence of states, but a worldwide campaign to undo all states strikes me as delusional, given what states possess (i.e., weapons not in existence during the underground railroad).

    Also, while the underground railroad was a tactic in the slavery abolition movement, it was not the only one. Direct action may or may not lead to the outcome one desires. And direct action could lead to some rather severe unintended consequences.

    Best of luck, though!

  31. Robert Capozzi

    47 tk, they do, huh? Are you a medium? ;)

    States do war, and wars do kill. Whether there are blind worshippers of all-powerful states, though, remains elusive to me. Individuals kill each other, too, so your point seems to indicate that there’s a tipping point where states become thoroughly totalitarian – dictating EVERYTHING, ALL human action – which I’ve yet to see, and I’ve CERTAINLY yet to see anyone who wants such a configuration.

    CotOS is poetic overstatement at best, yes? IOW, just because states kill (like individuals do) doesn’t make them in fact “omnipotent,” yes?

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 48,

    “Whether there are blind worshippers of all-powerful states, though, remains elusive to me”

    “I’ve CERTAINLY yet to see anyone who wants such a configuration.”

    Ah. Well, allow met to solve that problem for you:

    Fascism is for the only liberty which can be a serious thing, the liberty of the state and of the individual in the state. Therefore for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state. In this sense fascism is totalitarian, and the fascist state which is the synthesis and unity of every value, interprets, develops and strengthens the entire life of the people.” — Benito Mussolini, Doctrine of Fascism

  33. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, that statement would qualify. BM, however, is long dead. Know of anyone who agrees with that statement NOW? Explicitly?

    Remember, just because someone who IDs with a statement and is an exponent of a philosophy does not mean that all (in this case) fascists believe what BM did, yes? For ex., despite the fact that MNR believed fetuses are parasites and he wrote a book purporting to be a “manifesto,” not all Ls agree with him on that (challenging!) point, yes?

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    You have it backward.

    Mussolini is the author of a specific doctrinal statement. It stands to reason that, just as for every priest or theological promulgator there are many parishioners and worships, for every prominent, well-known promulgator of a specific doctrinal statement, there are a good many people who believe it.

    Some believe it explicitly (they were baptized, got confirmed, attend mass regularly, perhaps even take holy orders themselves), others implicitly (it’s the accepted doctrine, they assume it’s true because mommy and daddy believed it; they may not attend church regularly but they pray somewhat more than perfunctorily and accept the general idea).

    Can I identify anyone who agrees with Mussolini’s specific statement now? Explicitly? Sure — any active member of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party would presumably agree with it, since it came to them from Mussolini via Aflec, Assad and Saddam. Implicitly, anyone who, when asked, can’t name something government shouldn’t be empowered to do.

  35. Robert Capozzi

    tk: for every prominent, well-known promulgator of a specific doctrinal statement, there are a good many people who believe it.

    me: That may stand to reason for you, but thus far – despite my throwing it out there a fair amount – I don’t know anyone who agrees with MNR on fetuses. However, given his sway on the thought system of so many Ls, I agree that some may secretly agree with him.

    Thanks for the lead on the Ba’athists. That may well be a CofOS. It’s not so much of a factor in the US, except perhaps among neocons, although probably for different reasons. There may be Ba’athists in the US, but at this stage, I don’t consider that movement a threat for even more diminished liberty. I’d say the biggest threat to liberty is the Rs and Ds, and they to my knowledge are not Cultists for an OMNIPOTENT state, but they do wish to diminish more of the liberty that is our birthright.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    @53,

    —–
    tk: for every prominent, well-known promulgator of a specific doctrinal statement, there are a good many people who believe it.

    me: That may stand to reason for you, but thus far – despite my throwing it out there a fair amount – I don’t know anyone who agrees with MNR on fetuses.
    —–

    Well, on the one hand, this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone who wasn’t a Rothbardian claim that MNR was “prominent” or “well-known.”

    But on the other hand:

    - I’ve seen the “fetus is a parasite” claim from numerous non-Rothbardian sources;

    - At Debate.Org, 55% respond “no” to the question “is it wrong to call a fetus a parasite?” So apparently MNR’s position is the majority position — at least if that poll is representative.

    - And yes, I know people who agree with the claim that fetuses are parasites. I’m not one of them, but I have no reason to believe that the position is uncommon.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    tk: the first time I’ve ever seen anyone who wasn’t a Rothbardian claim that MNR was “prominent” or “well-known.”

    me: Hmm, I’d claim that he IS prominent in a tiny circle of influence, the LM. As you may recall, I’m in recovery from R-ism.

    tk: ….at least if that poll is representative.

    me: I see no stats on this site, which I’ve not heard of until this moment. It may be that parasite discussion is widespread, but, again, I’ve not seen it except in the LM.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    51tk: any active member of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party would presumably agree with it, since it came to them from Mussolini via Aflec, Assad and Saddam.

    me: I am finding cites that say Ba’athism is “socialist,” but none that say the Ba’athists want the state to be omnipotent. You may be jumping to conclusions based on this notion that Ba’athism “came from” BM. But, ever open minded, do you have a cite that sez Ba’athists want 100% state control of everything?

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 55,

    “You may be jumping to conclusions based on this notion that Ba’athism ‘came from’ BM”

    Um, no. I’ve read Aflec and other Ba’athist source material, as well as critiques of existing Ba’athist regimes (e.g. Anan Makiya’s Republic of Fear).

    That Mussolini was one of the inspirational figures of early Ba’athism (as well as of the Jabotinsky wing of Zionism and the political program of the American Legion) is incidental to the fact of the philosophy’s tenets.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    tk, cool. So do you have a cite that indicates that Ba’athists today believe the state should control all aspects of human action?

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 57,

    So basically you’re saying that unless I have a current subscription to Ba’athism Weekly, I don’t know what Ba’athists believe?

    Ba’athism is modeled on the Stalinist and fascist conceptions of the state: The Leader Party (and Leader personality) principles, and the absorptions of all aspects of society into the state apparatus.

    One of the reasons it is so modeled is that, per Sadiq al-Azm and Fouad Ajami, as paraphrased by Makiya, the Arab family/clan/tribe systems are so pervasive that anything less than a total state capable of shattering and superseding those bonds can’t effectively rule at all.

    But enough about Ba’athism — what about the cult of the omnipotent state in the US? If you doubt that it exists, I only need note that the founding statement of post-Taft American conservatism, promulgated by William F. Buckley shortly before he founded that movement’s organ, National Review, calls for “a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.”

  42. Robert Capozzi

    tk, interestingly, I’d not heard that Buckley quote before. My google search had a lot of hits from Birchers, Rockwell (or do I repeat myself) and MNR.

    Is it your contention that Buckley advocated an “omnipotent state”? If so, really?

    He certainly was a hawkish anti-communist, but my memory of him was one of a free marketeer and a person who came to many more-freedom stances regarding personal liberties.

    Might you be taking his quote out of context? Or are all conservatives in the US omnipotent statists of the totalitarian variety?

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 59,

    “Is it your contention that Buckley advocated an ‘omnipotent state?’ If so, really?”

    Yes, really. In his own words, and those words were not accidental.

    The story in brief goes something like this:

    In 1940, James Burnham, leader of America’s Trotskyites, split with Trotsky and authored The Managerial Revolution, a book which attempted to be neutrally predictive rather than ideologically slanted, and to describe the emerging phenomenon of “the managerial state” under Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Stalin, Roosevelt et. al. His premise was that capitalism was in fact failing but that what was replacing it was not socialism but instead a new form of oligarchy. The Managerial Revolution is widely reputed to be the book on which Orwell based “Goldstein’s book” in 1984.

    After that, Burnham served in the OSS in World War II and the CIA after World War II, in 1945 authoring The New Machiavellians. I haven’t read that book (the copies I’ve found were inordinately expensive), but by reputation it is an advance from The Managerial Revolution in terms of actively advocating for, rather than merely describing, ultimately totalitarian oligarchy.

    Flash forward to 1952 and a young CIA protege of Burnham’s, by the name William F. Buckley, calls for “totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores” … and then, with Burnham, establishes National Review and proceeds to forge a new, interventionist American conservative movement.

    Not to assert a conspiracy or anything, but the “neoconservative” movement developed along parallel lines before pretty much merging with the Buckleyites in the early part of the 21s century: Another former American Trotskyist leader, Max Shachtman, formed various socialist organizations which eventually merged into the neoconservative movement and the Republican Party, including Social Democrats USA, from which we got Jeanne Kirkpatrick (Reagan’s ambassador to the UN), Paul Wolfowitz (assistant US Secretary of Defense under Bush), and Joshua Muravchik (who headed Shachtman’s Young People’s Socialist League before his days at the American Enterprise Institute).

  44. Robert Capozzi

    60 tk, fascinating. So, can we stipulate that Buckley had a long history of taking lessarchist positions after this quote that you cite.

    When he took lessarchist positions, was that a misdirection of some kind?

  45. Robert Capozzi

    more….

    If it was a decades-long misdirection, is there evidence beyond the one quote. Was there a deathbed confession, for ex.?

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 61,

    If you actually went through Buckley’s prodigious body of work, I think you might be surprised at how little “lessarchism” is in there.

    That said:

    Might his opinions have changed over time? Well, I should certainly hope that over the course of more than half a century as a public intellectual, he’d have occasion to rethink this or that issue.

    But with respect to his call for “a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores,” he did in fact write that call, and both the background of that writing and his subsequent actions in trying to turn the conservative movement into a Cold War military-industrial complex building machine indicate that he meant what he wrote.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    63tk, sure, recrafting the conservative movement into a Cold War machine sounds about right. It’s possible that the use of the word “totalitarian” was a way to say, We need to get VERY serious about the communists, to fight their totalitarianism with our own, as necessary…or something to that effect. Maybe not, though. Maybe he meant it quite literally.

    I really doubt he was pointing to an omnipotent state, though.

    As a dove myself, I’d say most anti-communist agitation was counterproductive, but on the other hand, if I were transported back to 1950, I don’t think I’da been holding high the black flag of state abolition. I’d probably’ve been in favor of certain weapons and a continued state for the foreseeable future.

    Having a counterforce sometimes seems sensible to me, as I don’t happen to think that the irrational can be dealt with by immediate cessation of all defenses, and I think the Hoppean approach sounds like the ravings of a long-term meth addict.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 64,

    Well, this is how it always goes.

    RC: Cult of the Omnipotent State? Wazzat? I’ve never heard of ANYONE advocating an omnipotent state.

    TK: Well, here’s one prominent figure advocating an omnipotent state, and here are that figure’s ideological descendants doing the same thing, and here’s another one even closer to home.

    RC: Ah, but most of those were a long time ago and the others, they probably didn’t really mean it. I don’t want to believe that people really believe that, so I’m just going to pretend they don’t.

    TK: OK, fine. But if we live in an objective factual reality (which I agree we may not), the cult’s existence is not dependent upon your acknowledgement of that existence.

  49. Pendulum~~

    It would be interesting to see Jim Duensing run. From what I know of him he is a Passionate man when it comes to issues that people are afraid to bring up in the party. to quote #3 “Duensing is unafraid to talk about 9/11 truth, and I’m pretty sure he’s criticized the Zionist lobby. Plus, he’s been involved in the Boston Tea Party, all pluses in my book. ” my votes would go to Duensing, Wrights,perry .

  50. Joe Wendt

    I am announcing the result now, due to my misunderstanding of how the ranking would work, and will start a brand new poll on Monday.

    For the Presidential nomination:
    Tom Stevens 14.87%
    Robert Milnes 14.07%
    Kip Lee 12.09%
    JWS 10.96%
    Michael Badnarik 9.28%
    Jim Duensing 9.23%
    Jim Burns 8.35%
    Mary Ruwart 8.03%
    Darryl Perry 7.10%
    George Phillies 7.07%
    Lee Wright 6.96%
    Bill Still 6.75%
    Carla Howell 6.22%
    Adrian Wyllie 6.13 %
    Jim Gray 5.33%
    Gary Johnson 3.57%

    VP Poll top three:
    Tom Stevens 13.17%
    Alex Snitker 12.81%
    JWS 10.17%

    I will publish a new poll ASAP

  51. William Saturn

    Because of the massive failure of the above poll, I ask that we not give “Wendt polls” any additional publicity.

  52. Antirevolutionary

    Thanks NF; I thought if anybody would comment it would be you. I am so used to entering CT into the form here that I forgot about my name change until I posted the comment.

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