Thursday, September 29, 2016

Radical Reaction

Darryl Perry today announced that he was running a write-in campaign for President of the United States.

Mr Perry did not discuss his plan with the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus Board of Directors.  We were ambushed with the news.

The bylaws of the Radical Caucus provide for resigning from formal membership in the Radical Caucus simply by publicly supporting another party's candidate against a Libertarian Party candidate:

"E. Resignation / 3) The LPRC shall automatically presume a non­-voting or Annual member who self­-represents as a member of a political party other than the LP, casts a vote in the internal affairs or elections of another party, or who publicly endorses the candidate(s) of another party, has ipso facto resigned as a member of the LPRC effective as of the date of such representation or endorsement."

This is a resignation according to the bylaws of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.

While some within the LPRC are arguing this doesn't apply to independent candidates, I am proceeding on the fact that I am the person who wrote the automatic resignation provision and I know damned well what I meant. Running against the Libertarian nominee qualifies. He's publicly endorsing himself inviting others to vote for him, against the LP nominee.

Call him a "party of one".

Mr Perry certainly knew this action would be in conflict. He knew the bylaws and knew that provision. He also knew this would be unacceptable to a lot of us.

Yet he ambushed us with his announcement and did it anyway.

Regarding the reaction to his announcement, I find it truly disappointing that most Libertarians -- even among us Radicals -- know what "being held responsible for one's actions" supposedly means. But when it comes time for us to actually hold anyone responsible for their actions within the Party, they all go limp.

Regardless, Mr Perry's announcement was his resignation from formal membership in the LPRC.

He is welcome to rejoin at any time by following the LPRC Bylaws procedure for doing so.

Now that I have stated my position on the matter as one of the Founders of the LPRC and as a member of the organization's Board of Directors, let me state my personal position on his announcement:

In some ways I expected something like this. For many years we've tried to convince our fellow members of the Libertarian Party that better, more consistent candidates must be nominated. Yet while gladly accepting money and time from radicals and anarchists, often with annoyingly fake smiles, the opportunist, minarchist majority hasn't listened to a word.

Johnson could have spent the last four years becoming a better libertarian, and a better candidate. Had he done so, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. Instead of studying up and doing a bit of basic philosophical homework, he has chosen to flip a giant middle finger in the direction of the Party's most faithful members and the Party platform.

Ron Paul made a political earthquake happen with one word: Blowback.

Well, Mr Perry's actions are a predictable blowback to a Libertarian candidate who can't bring himself to address the concerns of a number of LP stalwarts.

For me personally, regardless of my feelings about it being a clear violation of the LPRC bylaws, I would consider casting my vote for him if my state permitted doing so; and I also support his right to seek the votes of Libertarians.

It is worth pointing out that it is very likely that the votes Perry can take from Johnson will be minuscule. As D. Frank Robinson opined: "I think Johnson has a realistic shot at 5 million votes or less than 4 percent of an estimated 129 million votes." Perry will not attract more than a handful of those Johnson votes.

On the other hand, Perry's announcement may indeed speak to two other groups:

a) There are libertarians who are so upset with Johnson that they have said they will vote for Trump.

b) There are libertarians who are so uninspired with Johnson that they would have stayed home and just not voted.

If there is a chance at recapturing those votes, it is entirely possible that Mr Perry's announcement may do that.

So, my position is two-fold:

1) By his act he is no longer a member of the LPRC; and

2) I wish him all the best and would greatly prefer my state offered the ability to cast a vote for him if I so desired.

[This author wishes to note his gratitude to the following individuals for suggesting some perspectives about this which I found worth repeating: Keith Thompson, D. Frank Robinson, Rocky Eades, and several others.]

-- end --

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Should there be a government "No Fly" list?

In a recent interview with Reason Magazine, Gary Johnson voiced his support for the continued existence of the federal "no fly" list.

This is problematic for many reasons.

Perhaps Mr Johnson does not realize that all it takes to get on the No Fly / Terrorist Watch List can be something as simple as angering a Flight Attendant?  And once you're on there, there is no defined procedure for getting off of it: You're hosed -- and by what standards nobody can say -- until some bureaucrat feels like removing you.

If they can do that for the 2nd Amendment, they can do it for the 1st.

This is one of many issues that sounds simple.  Certainly, we must have security in the air.  But since when has any government program ever worked as advertised?

With government, nothing is simple.

The real-world effect of giving government money and power -- in this case, air travel -- is actually quite disturbing.  You can end up on the no fly list for just about any reason, and no justification is necessary: mistaken identity, or by angering a flight attendant, or perhaps annoying a government official for something completely unrelated to flying.

Let's put it this way: If Chris Christie will shut a whole bridge down in retaliation for one guy's refusal to support him, imagine what games officials play -- or might play -- with the no fly list.

Now Clinton and Trump are talking about stripping you of other Constitutional rights if you're on the No Fly or Terrorist Watch lists?

Johnson said he wants accountability in the process; and fast recourse for those who are on the list who shouldn't be.  But there will never be accountability; there will never be transparency, and there will never be recourse.  That's not how things work with government; there is no incentive to make them work that way.

The actual Libertarian position is: Yes, there *should* be a no-fly list. Two of them, actually:

1) If the airline doesn't want to sell you a seat, they shouldn't have to; and

2) Incarceration.  If you've committed a crime so egregious that you can't be entrusted with a gun, or to be on a plane, then you should be in prison or otherwise prevented from hurting others in peaceful society.

If you like Clinton, would you trust Trump with protecting your right to travel (and your freedom of speech)?

If you like Trump, would you trust Clinton with protecting your right to travel (and your freedom of religion)?

If you're suspicious of either one, consider that if you grant the government the power to do what *you* want, one day that same power that you gave it will be used to take everything you have.

So, No, Gary -- the No Fly and Terrorist Watch lists maintained by the government are ineffective, counterproductive, and unconstitutional, and they must be abolished.  Instead, Finking Feddie should concentrate on strengthening the ability of security firms and local law enforcement to get truly dangerous individuals off the street, and allow people and airlines the freedom to decide whether to associate with them.

Wikipedia has an excellent review of the No Fly program.