Monday, March 21, 2016

My Presidential Endorsement: The Text Version

Heavily edited and cleaned up from the audio version (beginning at about 12 minutes in to this week's podcast):

I admit that I was first stuck on None of the Above in my preferences for the 2016 Libertarian presidential nomination, primarily because I expected a "coronation" of Gary Johnson. I didn't necessarily believe that NOTA could win, but I thought that we could get more media coverage of the opposition to Johnson by having NOTA pull 30-35% of the delegate vote than by having some other candidate lose to Johnson.

I've become convinced that NOTA does not and will not enjoy that level of support. I'm still opposed to Gary Johnson, and I'll go into why there are candidates I can't support below, but first:

I endorse Darryl W. Perry for the Libertarian Party's 2016 presidential nomination, and for election to the office of President of the United States.

Disclaimer: Darryl is the primary sponsor of The KN@PP Stir Podcast, but that is not why I am endorsing him. In fact, I specifically told him that a sponsorship didn't buy an endorsement, and of course he didn't expect it to. He's not that kind of guy. He sponsors the podcast because he supports my work. It is reasonable to think, and I freely admit, that having known and worked with Darryl for many years does contribute to my reasons for endorsing him. All that said ...

I endorse Darryl, to begin with, from a simple premise: If the Libertarian Party is going to run a presidential candidate in 2016, it should run a libertarian candidate. And Darryl is a libertarian.

Depending on how big your definition of the libertarian tent is, you might also classify some of the other candidates as libertarians, and I won't contest that classification. But if we're going to talk about which candidate is most libertarian -- if we tick through the Libertarian Party's platform and Statement of Principles -- none of the other candidates is even in Darryl's league when it comes to representing what our party stands for. It's just that simple.

Secondly: Darryl speaks well. He acquits himself well in debate. He can defend libertarian positions. I believe that he will represent our party well on television and especially on radio, as he is a long-time co-host of one of the top talk radio shows in America, Free Talk Live, which ranks 38th on Talkers magazine's 2015 "Heavy 100" list and runs on more than 170 stations worldwide.

He has a good speaking voice. He knows how to use it. He knows how to debate. He knows how to argue. He knows how to present libertarian positions in an understandable, attractive and euphonious manner.

Hands down, Darryl is a good candidate.

Now, let's look at the other candidates.

The elephant in the room -- literally -- is Gary Johnson, former Republican governor of New Mexico. Governor Johnson defrauded the Libertarian Party.

In 2012, one of the issues hovering over his campaign for the LP's nomination was his campaign debt, which he reported to the FEC as $152,000, characterized as manageable, and told the party it could get him a government welfare check (FEC "matching funds") to defray. He lied. We nominated. Months later, after the nomination and after the general election, he amended his FEC report for April of 2012. His actual debt as of that time, it turns out, was $1.078 million, not $152,000. His 2012 campaign remains $1.4 million in debt and his "repayment" proposal is to just screw some of his creditors and "pay" others with uses of his mailing list.

Governor Johnson is horrible on media. He comes off like a young Rodney Dangerfield who isn't funny. He looks embarrassed, he looks tense, he looks sweaty, he has trouble talking ... he's not much of a mediagenic candidate.

And then of course there's his tax plan, the "Fair" Tax, which calls for every man, woman and child in the United States to be put on a federal government welfare check for life (the "prebate" scam). Not very libertarian. So scratch Gary Johnson.

Then we have Austin Petersen, who openly repudiates the Non-Aggression Principle, which is the Libertarian Party's lodestar, embodied in its Statement of Principles. You even have to certify to become a member of the LP that you do not advocate the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. I just don't see how we can nominate a candidate who openly says he opposes what we stand for and expect anyone to take us seriously for any reason. So scratch Austin Petersen.

Then we have the back of the pack -- the various weirdos who show up wanting our nomination, like Derrick Michael Reid, who posts photos of himself in an 1870s US Army cavalry uniform, advocates having 10-year-olds view public executions so they grow up right, and insists that if we nominate him he'll sweep all 50 states in November. Yeah ... enough about those guys.

That leaves us with two.

One is Dr. Marc Alan Feldman. He's a good guy. I like him. He's been a Libertarian Party activist for several years. He's run for office as a Libertarian. I don't agree with all of his positions, I don't find him an especially dynamic speaker, etc., but if the Libertarian Party nominates him I think I can live with that. I don't find him embarrassing, anyway.

John McAfee, I believe, is our best bet for lots of media, lots of coverage, lots of attention. He seems to be a fairly solid libertarian. He has some deviations -- for example, he wants to create a new government "Office of Digital Transformation" to cover cyber war issues which I don't agree with -- but they're not nearly as bad as Johnson's "Fair" Tax hooey and weird obsession with sharia law and so forth. If McAfee is the nominee, I can support him, promote him, work for him if he needs my help, and vote for him in November.

But still: It all comes down to who is the best candidate.

When I go to Orlando as a delegate to the 2016 Libertarian National Convention and it comes time to decide who will represent the Libertarian Party on the national stage this summer and fall, I will proudly and unapologetically cast my first ballot, and any subsequent ballots until he wins or is eliminated from contention, for Darryl W. Perry. He's that good, both objectively and by comparison to the other choices we have.

If you intend to be a delegate, or if you know some delegates and believe they value your opinion, I encourage you to take a closer look at Darryl and throw your support behind his candidacy and campaign.

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