The reason I haven't had a recent post is that I've been busy. I'm
running for local office. I'm running committee member for the county
Republican Party. It's as low as you can get on the ballot. Even dog
catcher is higher! I'm doing this because I think the Republican Party
is going in the wrong direction.
I'm a write-in candidate. I've collected my necessary signatures, and
if I can get the necessary votes on June 3rd, I'm in.
Super Tuesday and the California primaries are over. Ron Paul only
earned 4% of the popular vote, and none of the delegates. I saw this
coming in advance, and now that it has happened, let me offer up a
blunt post mortem analysis.
Why we lost:
- Lack of Central Leadership
- From the beginning the official campaign kept a hands-off attitude
towards the grassroots Meetup organizations. Ostensibly this was so
that the campaign would not be responsible for the actions of the
Meetups. But in retrospect it meant that there never was a local
campaign. The Meetups were composed of volunteers with zero political
experience, trying to figure this all out on their lonesome.
- Unresponsive Campaign
- When the Meetup did need seek guidance or help from the official
campaign, the response was either non-existant or very slow. The best
example I had of this was in trying to get the county voter
registration data. The campaign never provided any help in getting
this data, despite repeated requests from several people and
- Acting Like a Cult And Not a Campaign
- This blame goes to the grassroots Meetups. We spent way too much
time trying to find committed activists, and way too little
time trying to find voters. We waved signs and hung banners instead of
going door to door. I sent out repeated calls for telephone canvassing
throughout the month of January and first of February, but out of
several hundred Meetup members, I only got four respondents. Door to
door canvassing was slightly better, but was still woefully short of
the effort needed.
- Libertarian Naivete
- Political inexperience has always afflicted libertarian
campaigns. We don't know what we are doing, are unwilling to
compromise a minor principle to achieve a greater political gain, and
have this bizarre belief that if only we can get our message out
people will automatically vote for us. We need to grow up and get a
- Ignoring Republicans
- As amazing as it may seem, the grassroots and campaign seemed to
ignore Republicans, even though Ron Paul is himself a Republican
running in Republican primaries. Way too much emphasis was placed on
converting Democrats and independents. We expected that they would
change their registration. Stupid. In the meantime, we never did any
outreach to actual Republicans.
I have other criticisms, but those are the main ones. Already I am
hearing people cry conspiracy that Ron Paul did not win. But it was no
conspiracy that lost him Super Tuesday, it was old fashioned poor
campaigning. We need to learn from our mistakes.
Eric Dondero, former libertarian leaning Republican, finally melts
down into a puddle of frothing hate. In response to a perfectly
ordinary article talking up at Third
Party Watch, Mr. Dondero has this to say [redacted]:
A BIG FAT <bleep> YOU FROM A FORMER FRIEND. DONT YOU EVER
<bleep>ING CALL ME OR CONTACT ME FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN. YOU HATE
AMERICA AND EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR YOU <bleep>.
This rant and several more like it in subsequent posts came out of
nowhere. This jerk is seriously unstable. Any respectability he had in
the libertarian movement has just evaporated.
You would think that anarchists would be a fairly homogenous
group. They might favor different bands, watch different television
shows, and partake of different cuisines, but politcally they would
all pretty much be the same. I mean, once you separate the
anti-state anarchists from the anti-hierarchy anarchists, there
don't seem to be more faults to cleave.
But you would be wrong. In a post in the comment section of his
A-Train" article, RadGeek lists an impressive number of them:
So the term includes not only Rothbardian
anarcho-capitalists (which I'm not one of), but also agorists (such as
Brad Spangler), voluntaryists (such as Wendy McElroy), Proudhonian
anarchists, American equitists and mutualists such as Josiah Warren or
Stephen Pearl Andrews, and the voluntary socialism or free market
anti-capitalism of individualist anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker,
Lysander Spooner, Voltairine de Cleyre, or - to move ahead to the
modern day - Kevin Carson or Joe Peacott.
And that's just the market anarchists!
The Ron Paul newsletter has been all but ignored by the mainstream
media. But the cosmotarians
have picked up on this as an excuse for an all out purge of the
less-than-moderates in the libertarian ranks.
There is list of the witch hunters on Timothy
Sandefur's blog. Reading through those postings, how can you call
it anything other than a purge? They are calling for the ousting of
everyone associated with the Ludwig von
Mises Institute, stretching so far as to include even Walter
Williams in that group, for daring to write the introduction to
Thomas DiLorenzo's book.
Even the father of the modern libertarian movement, Murray Rothbard, is not
immune. This isn't new
of course. Many of the same players were involved in the 1984 split in
the Libertarian Party.
I hate taking sides, but that does not stop me from looking on in
horror at the cosmotarians gathering faggots for the stakes. God
forbid that a libertarian message escape their cloisters.
Main Entry: cosmotarian
Etymology: fusion of cosmopolitan and libertarian
2: Libertarian living in a diverse upper class Washington
D.C. neighborhood, works for vaguely market-oriented policy institute,
blogs on esoteric ecumenicalist musings, actively disdains provincial
individualists, wholly uninterested in political activism. Frequently
seen eating their young.
See also: CATOmite, Reasonoid
The mainstream media thrives on controversy, fashions itself a
kingmaker, and is biased towards big government. So it was only a matter
of time before big media decided to turn its attention to the Ron Paul
campaign. That was today, with the New Republic's smear piece by
James Kirchik. I won't link to it here, it's too distasteful. It
alleges racism, bigotry, and "neo-confederacy".
Here's the nuts: A long time ago Ron Paul lent his name out to a
newsletter; someone ghostwrote a racist article using Dr. Paul's name;
Ron Paul neglected to read the article before it went out in his
name. Years later they came up in his congressional campaign, and he
disavowed them. Then again. And again. The media is only able to find
one ball of mud to throw at Ron Paul, but it keeps throwing it over
and over again.
Here is his response:
quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not
represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered
such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts."
... "When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine
full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not
edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a
decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying
closer attention to what went out under my
Anyone who knows Ron Paul or has followed his career with any
attention, knows that he is not a racist or bigot. His error in this
episode is only that he has not rent his beard and put on sackcloth
and ashes to validate the smearmongering (as some in the
libertarian quarter are demanding of him). I fear that this may be
the crippling blow to his campaign. I hope I am wrong.
Breaking news! Eric Dondero, an infamous advocate for military
interventionism, had his head explode today. In response to a post by
yours truly on Reason's Hit &
Run blog, Mr. Dondero's head exploded in an overload of
Brandybuck <bleep> YOU. YOU ARE <bleep>
SUPPORTING ISLAMO-FASCISM IF YOU DON'T SUPPORT THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAND
You're as good as <bleep>ing Osama Bin Laden's
<bleep>, if you oppose the War on Islamo-Fascism. Stop with all
the bull<bleep> you little <bleep>ing coward.
See full unexpurgated post here.
Today is Guy Fawkes Day. Please don't celebrate it.
For some bizarre reason, libertarians have adopted this day as their
own. I'm not sure they know what it means. For several centuries
in England, it was an anti-Catholic holiday. Then along came the
graphic novel and movie , "V for Vendetta", and suddenly Guy Fawkes
became a libertarian hipster. His attempt to blow up parliament would
have killed many innocents not party to any wrongs he had
suffered. This is what many misguided libertarians are celebrating,
violent nihilist revolution.
It is justified to meet violence with violence. One may legitimately
use force to defend themselves against government tyranny. But the
force of the defense must be proportional to the force of the offense!
If we want to change our government, we must do it at the ballot box
and with the soapbox. Not by murdering people with bombs.
Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day is as stupid as celebrating Timothy McVeigh
I'm stepping down from the Silicon Valley Ron Paul Meetup after only two
meetings. My stated reasons are lack of time and organizational skills.
Another reason, and the emotional impetus, are all the conspiracists. There
are enough of them in the grassroots that my comfort level is exceeded.
I got to the rally early, and helped direct traffic. There was
some confusion from Google Security as to where we could park, but
that situation was resolved. When Ron Paul arrived and parked, I
headed down to the rally. Joe Banister was finishing up, and
Mr. Griffin started. He talked about damned conspiracy crap. At least
he was only allowed to spew for ten minutes. Then Justin Raimondo
spoke, to bring back some sane rhetoric.
Then Ron Paul came down! People stood and cheered. The good Dr. Paul
talked on the proper role of the President and Federal Government, the
monetary system, foreign policy, government secrecy, and individual
liberty. "The purpose of government is to protect that right [life and
liberty], not to meddle in it!"
After his speech, there was a lunch fundraiser at Michael's Restaurant
at Shoreline Park. Ron Paul spoke again, talking about the campaign
and growing support.
I'm at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Foster City with Ron Paul and thirty
to forty supporters in a private campaign briefing. Earlier today
Dr. Paul took a tour of Google. I have heard that there were one
thousand Google employees there!
Burt Blumert and Lew Rockwell introduced Ron Paul, who then told us of
the campaign and its building momentum. There were lots of pictures
and videos taken of this event, so you may see some of them here
Tomorrow is the Big Rally in Mountain View! I will try to make some
blog entries during the rally.
Silly me, I've gone and signed up to take over the Palo Alto Ron Paul Meetup.
There's a big rally this weekend at Google, and I'm planning to
semi-live blog it. There are several related events Friday and
Saturday, so I'll be quite busy.