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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Left-Right Balance In The LP

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Tom @2, your quote is not accurate. At about 3:40 into the interview, what Root actually says is: “So there’s like five off the top of my head that I think are good Republican conservative [sic] with libertarian leanings, like I am, who don’t believe in bigger government.” He didn’t use Republican as a noun, and his singular on “conservative” shows that he was tripping on his words somewhat. His “like I am” could have been referring to “libertarian”.

Except for John Stossel, I don’t pay much attention to talk radio/TV, but you seem to think you’ve got a good handle on the views of Beck. Could you tell us roughly what score he would get on my libertarian quiz? I’m guessing that Root would score around an 85/95 on my quiz, and about a 90/90 on The Advocates’ quiz.

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Stossel is a pretty hardcore libertarian. I see this cup as half-full, in that Stossel can be the libertarian conscience of Fox.

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

SD, back in Oct 1995 when I still thought the GOP was more salvageable than the LP, I donated $250 to Arlan Specter when he was the lone socially-tolerant candidate for the GOP nomination. I’m not sure how closely he has stuck to the positions he set forth in 1995:

I intend to win the other house — the White House — with ten commitments to America:

(l) to balance the budget through spending reduction;
(2) to begin to pay off the national debt;
(3) to foster economic growth through enactment of a flat tax;
(4) to reduce violent crime;
(5) to improve education with innovations like privatization and charter schools;
(6) to reform health care through the free market;
(7) to provide strong leadership in international affairs;
(8) to contain weapons of mass destruction;
(9) to control terrorism; and
(10) to champion tolerance and freedom, including a woman’s right to choose.

These commitments embody my personal core beliefs as a fiscal and economic conservative and social libertarian.

I agree with Barry Goldwater when he said we must get government out of our pocketbooks — off our backs — and out of our bedrooms.

23 Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

JT, in exonerating Root from the charge of affiliating with the Republican party, I didn’t mean to excuse him for calling himself “conservative”. I’ve long said that the LP’s top marketing priority should be to distinguish itself as the only ballot choice that is neither Left nor Right, neither liberal nor conservative. That’s much better than our “cult of the omnimalevolent state” rhetoric.

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm

It’s idiotic to compare Root to David Duke.

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Paulie @35, are you saying you (like Tom) hear “good conservative Republicans” where Root clearly says “good Republican conservative”? Better check your hearing.

It’s silly to suggest that with this interview, Root is saying he considers himself a Republican instead of a Libertarian. Smooth as he is, Root is not above getting tongue-tied. Hell, on my biggest TV interview ever, I accidentally called them “users” instead of “voters”.

Not a single sentence that Carson quotes from Stossel is unlibertarian. Carson just has his panties in a twist because Stossel doesn’t say the mutualist things that Carson wants to hear. If you want to show that Stossel isn’t hardcore, then try giving us a quote from him that deviates from a 100/100 on my high-precision Nolan quiz. I’ve listened to many hours of Stossel, and I can’t recall ever hearing a single such deviation. Hell, Stossel lauds road privatization, and worries that school vouchers would not be a big enough step toward more freedom in education markets. An archive of his columns is at

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm

@40 Paulie calls fake-sies on Specter’s libertarian cred. Two minutes later @41, Paulie agrees with Debra that we shouldn’t call fake-sies on people’s LP cred. Sheesh.

Paulie, who since 1971 (besides Ron Paul) has based their major-party presidential nomination campaign on a more libertarian program — and with more libertarian rhetoric — than what I quoted from Specter above? When that happens, we shouldn’t slam such people as “liars”; we should welcome them with open arms and encourage their libertarian growth. Did you ever call Mike Gravel a “liar” for claiming to be libertarian? Of course not, because for all his deviations he agrees with you on your pet issue. We’re the Libertarian Party, not the LitmusTestitarian Party.

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Oh no, first 9/11 truthers, now JFK truthers too? I used to have fun with JFK truthers on alt.conspiracy.jfk in the 1990s (see hundreds of postings here, but then Gerald Posner came and spoiled the party with Case Closed. “Magic bullet” complaints remain thoroughly debunked at e.g.

Paulie, nothing behind your Clinton joke links is anywhere near as libertarian a program as what I quote from Specter above. Wake me when you can quote Bubba hailing Barry Goldwater, advocating flat tax + school privatization + free-market health care reform, and announcing his presidential campaign by calling himself libertarian.

Brian Holtz // Sep 16, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Paulie, nothing behind your Clinton joke links [note the plural] is anywhere near as libertarian …

And before you throw down with me on the JFK assassination, you might want to check out the 20+ books on my JFK assassination shelf, or browse through my hundreds of alt.conspiracy.jfk postings at Before I joined the LP, that topic enjoyed most of my debating-time budget. :-) Oswald acted alone, case closed.

Brian Holtz // Sep 17, 2009 at 12:28 am

Mr. Blanton, tell me how Beck scores on the political IQ test, and I’ll tell you if I think he would be an acceptable LP nominee. I do like it when he says: The argument that we have about left/right in this country is so incredibly stupid because if the guy on the right is the guy who is a racist and a Nazi, a Nazi, then the guy on the left would have to be Stalin. Well, that is an argument between big government and big government. Well, I don’t want either of those and I don’t think most Americans want that, and they will say, well, I’m in the middle. Well, no, you’re not. You’re not in the middle of that. You don’t want those to be your two ends. You want big government at one end and no government on the other end. What is how do you make the case to people now that we are arguing a ridiculous argument, we have been conned into a strawman argument here of big government versus big government. The best kind of government is the smallest. It doesn’t matter. If Germany wouldn’t have had a huge government, you know, and would have rejected framework, they could have had Hitler in, but he wouldn’t have had any power to do anything, you know? It doesn’t matter if Obama is in if he doesn’t have the power to do anything. Doesn’t matter if George Bush is in if he doesn’t have the power to do anything. The smallest government is the one that is the best, but nobody seems to understand the small government idea anymore.

While I don’t have enough data on Beck, here are some people who I would love to have as the Libertarian presidential candidate:

  • Walter Williams
  • John Stossel
  • Ed Clark
  • David Friedman
  • Thomas Sowell
  • Tom Palmer
  • Ron Paul
  • Larry Elder

Alas, some of these guys are now too old to run. At the other end of the age distribution, we need to be grooming Nick Sarwark to run when he’s old enough.

Brian Holtz // Sep 17, 2009 at 1:01 am

Don’t stabilize our tent by trying to keep it small. Instead, stabilize it by recruiting Libertarians from your lefty/donkey friends. The LP platform and/or official statements have always been anti-war, pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, pro-drug-rights, anti-GOP, anti-bigotry, anti-police-state, anti-empire, etc. None of this has stopped an alleged flood of recovering Republicans from joining the LP, so where are all the recovering Democrats?

Stop waiting for ex-Republican Libertarians to go recruit your lefty friends, and Just Do It yourself. Don’t make excuses; just roll up your sleeves and prove that it’s possible.

Brian Holtz // Sep 17, 2009 at 1:14 am

Yeah, anti-war, pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, pro-drug-rights, anti-GOP, anti-bigotry, anti-police-state, anti-empire — that sure smells “right wing”.

OK, next hand-waving excuse?