Monday, May 30, 2016

Libertarian National Convention: The Good

I'm back home from the 2016 Libertarian National Convention in Orlando, Florida. I had intended to stay in Orlando through today, but travel availability considerations made it seem more sensible to return home last night. And ten hours of sleep in my own bed after three nights of little or no sleep in strange places was very nice.

It was great to see old friends again, and to make new ones. I'm not going to try to list them all because I know I'd forget someone. Y'all know who you are. Some of you I've known for 20 years, some for only a few days. It's good to have comrades.

It was great to see the Libertarian Party's radicals organized and effective. I will name names here: I have to primarily attribute the Radical Caucus's strong performance to the work of Susan Hogarth, Marc Montoni and Caryn Ann Harlos. Others kicked in too, of course, and I have to appreciate them without trying to count them (I even worked a shift on the caucus's booth myself). In my opinion, the radicals' greatest victory was finally getting a good anti-death-penalty plank into the party's platform. My understanding is that that fight's been ongoing since 1971. Victory after such a long time tastes sweet.

Caryn Ann Harlos wields the Radical Caucus's "vote no" lightsaber and thumbs-down sign on the convention floor during platform debate.

I was personally pleased to see my old friend Nick Sarwark elected to a second term as chair of the Libertarian National Committee. And not just re-elected, but re-elected by an overwhelming margin, with nearly 2/3 of the vote against two opponents who ran real campaigns and one who performed a wonderful strip-tease in lieu of a campaign speech.

Speaking of which, those of you who voted to nominate Gary Johnson for president and/or William Weld for vice-president have no standing to complain about anyone else embarrassing the Libertarian Party. Let's review the play:

Side note: Some suggested expulsion from the party as a penalty for Mr. Weeks's dance, and the LNC's parliamentarian falsely asserted that such an action is allowable. It isn't. Robert's is only applicable insofar as it is consistent with the party's bylaws. Those bylaws explicitly define who is a party member and do not provide for any contravention of that definition. If you've certified in writing that you oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals, you ARE a member of the party and you REMAIN a member of the party until such time as you rescind such certification. Period.

So anyway -- thanks to everyone who made this convention a largely enjoyable and productive time despite much heartbreak.

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