Hey, Libertarians: It’s Austin Petersen or Bust in 2016
Bust it is. Because if this fawning supporter of Austin Petersen is anything to go by, then Austin Petersen is an imposter and saboteur, and destructive to the libertarian movement and philosophy.
Let’s investigate why.
There can be no great changes made to any system, for better or worse, without a general consensus first.
There will never be any consensus on any great changes to any system. That is why libertarian politics should focus primarily on education and not electoral victory.
A common claim from Petersen’s opposition is that his supporters are all LINOs and Statists. Even if that were true, would it not mean he has the most crossover appeal?
Hey, wouldn’t Peterson have even more crossover appeal if he simply did away with any libertarian viewpoints completely? But seriously, has Johncox not been paying attention? Has he not learned anything from the complete failure of the campaign of Rand “I have more cross-over appeal than my father” Paul?
There is something incredibly suspicious about a “libertarian” that first acknowledges, even if hypothetically, that Peterson’s supporters are “all LINOs and statists”, and then actually tries to pass this off as a good reason for real libertarians to vote for him. Yes, he has crossover appeal, TO LINOs AND STATISTS. Get it?
A president should be relatable to his supporters.
Absolutely correct. So a non-libertarian president would not be relatable to libertarians. To the degree that a president is relatable to statists, he will not be relatable to libertarians.
Some who support him are disenfranchised Republicans. Some will no doubt be Democrats who will vote for a third party should Hillary Clinton get the nomination.
These people will only vote for a third party to the degree that the third party appeals to their own political and ideological views. Which precisely beats the point of a libertarian president trying to appeal to them.
The majority are libertarian and independent, and even some anarcho-capitalists like Tony Stiles have rallied behind him.
Good for Tony Stiles, but so what?
It is with this broad-base appeal that he can win not only the nomination of the Libertarian Party, but the 15% of the vote needed to participate on the main debate stage.
You are making a fallacious, self-reinforcing argument. You want us to vote for and support Petersen because he can win the nomination of the Libertarian Party. But you need our votes in order for Peterson to win the nomination of the Libertarian Party.
And LINOs do not appeal to me and to other libertarians, by the way.
Unlike the other candidates, Austin is willing and able to build coalitions not just with voters but with party leaders, media personalities and public figures.
In other words, he is willing to compromise on principles and sell libertarianism as something other than it really is, to the degree that is necessary to build coalitions. In other words again, this means that to the degree that he will build coalitions, there will be no reason for libertarians to support those coalitions.
Austin has contacts at Fox News, The Blaze, and National Review, all outlets whose hosts oppose Donald Trump and reach large Republican audiences.
You know whom else have contacts at Fox News, the Blaze and National Review? Neocons.
So what’s your point? And do you really think that appealing to any anti-Trump sentiment will get a libertarian qua libertarian on board, when you are looking to build coalitions with the likes of Glenn Beck and National Review? Why the hell would libertarians be opposed to Trump more than to neocon warmongers at National Review, or the weathervane idiot Glenn Beck? Maybe I will understand that question a bit later.
Yes, Beck and National Review and Fox in general reach large Republican audiences: audiences that believe in American empire, military adventurism, the police-and surveillance state, and the war on drugs. Oh I get it, we need to build coalitions with THESE types of Republicans, but not with the Trump kind of Republicans, despite the fact that both Republican camps have nothing to do with libertarianism.
Austin’s pro-life views and capitalistic economic views are attractive to the right, and when presented by Glenn Beck or John Stossel, will sway bastions of support to his campaign.
And so how will Austin form coalitions with the left?
By the way, I am pro-choice. Are Austin’s capitalistic economic views really attractive to the right? Then why don’t they vote libertarian to begin with?
Austin’s defense of civil liberties and belief in self-ownership will surely attract liberals who are disgusted and annoyed with not only Hillary Clinton, but with the entirety of the regressive left.
Eh, didn’t you just say that Austin is pro-life? How many liberals do you think will take Austin’s belief in self-ownership seriously if he is pro-life? How many will see him as an alternative when he is an outright capitalist? Broad Appeal? To whom? That minute fraction of liberals who preferred Dennis Kucinich over Barack Obama?
These people feel civil rights and liberties are no longer core tenants of the Democratic Party and are willing to align themselves with third parties in order to stave off the growth off authoritarianism in American politics.
Yes, let’s ignore how they are wont to feel about Austin’s positions on a woman’s right to her own body and on capitalism. They should support candidates like Steve Kerbel or Darryl Perry instead, who unlike Petersen are at least pro-choice.
However, it is beginning to seem like those who oppose Austin are not comprised of either conservatives or liberals, but rather religious libertarians and cult followers of opposing campaigns.
Ahhh… Now the cat is coming out of the bag. Everyone who disagrees with Johncox and Peterson must have some bad motive for doing so. Of course conservatives or liberals would not oppose Austin. He is apparently catering to them more than to libertarians (in so far as they even know he exists). And followers of opposing campaigns are just “cultist”, this despite this ironically critical approach to any libertarian not swallowing Johncox’s arguments or supporting Petersen.
A religious libertarian is not a libertarian who believes in the core tenants of liberty and values those who choose to interpret them differently.
Get it? People who want to interpret liberty any way they choose to fit their ideals should be accepted, even though this would render the entire purpose of libertarianism moot. Libertarians who see this, and don’t want to turn libertarianism into a meaningless blank box that you can fill however you choose, are “religious.” Libertarianism is for everybody, you dolts, he insinuates. Even for socialists. They have their own definition of liberty, after all. Who are you to think otherwise, you zealot?
Well, since everyone indeed has his own definition of liberty, the logical conclusion from Johncox’s argument is that basically everyone is already a libertarian. Which would explain his preference for “broad appeal.”
No, as a “religious” libertarian i am not a libertarian who believes in the core tenets of liberty for people who may regard aggression as simply a form of liberty. When someone, for instance, believes that ‘freedom from poverty’ is a form of liberty that should be fought for by committing aggression in the form of heavy taxation, i will NOT believe in his “liberty” to impose such taxes through the state, and i do not value people who misinterpret liberty and aggression in this way. Absolutely correct.
A religious libertarian instead believes there is an objective standard of libertarian thought that must be strictly abided by; thus, anyone with a different spin on the philosophy should be exiled from the movement.
By this logic, capitalists can be part of the socialist movement and vice versa, because there “is no objective standard of thought that must be strictly abided by.”
See, libertarianism is whatever someone wants it to be, insinuates Johncox. Can you predict what brand of ‘libertarianism’ Austin Petersen would promote? When someone wants the government to rob you of 50% of your earnings, he can still call himself a libertarian, because there “is no objective standard” and anyone has a right to his own definitions of liberty (imagine “liberty from want” for example) and aggression.
By the way, even if everyone had his own definition of aggression it still would not explain why Petersen would repudiate the non-aggression principle. If everyone has a right to his definition of aggression, i would suppose that Petersen would still see the non-aggression principle as a good thing. Unless regardless of definitions he regards not non-aggression, but aggression to be a good thing.
Now let’s get down to a further enforcement of my suspicions.
Because of the actions of religious libertarians, Austin Petersen was disinvited from attending an event hosted by the Libertarian Party of Colorado. The statement regarding Petersen was as follows:
Candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination Austin Wade Petersen has openly repudiated the non-aggression principle as stated specifically within the Statement of Principles and declared this principle to be “non-libertarian” and intellectually bankrupt using various insults and thus has clearly illustrated that he is philosophically opposed to essential first-principles of the Libertarian Party which the Colorado governing documents hold in primacy as the minimal bar by which everything is measured.
This is a common criticism of the religious libertarians toward Petersen. Because Austin does not believe the NAP (or Non-Aggression Principle) is an objectively moral standard, Austin should be expelled from the movement and written off as a LINO — his ideas and achievements both disregarded for daring to interpret the tenants of libertarianism differently.
(the word is “tenets”, not “tenants,” Chris. They are not renting a room in libertarianism)
So Petersen rejects the Non-Aggression Principle. Now let’s recap up to this point:
Petersen wants broad appeal, and make coalitions with non-libertarians (except Trump and his supporters, of course). Libertarianism is whatever people want it to be, as there is no objective standard and people have their own definitions of liberty. The Non-aggression principle should be rejected and seen as intellectually bankrupt.
What does all of this lead to, logically and morally? A so-called “libertarian” who has created for himself and his supporters a justification to do pretty much anything that is generally held to be NON-libertarian. There is no objective standard, no clear definition of liberty or aggression, and no NAP. The logical consequence must be that everything goes. This is what Johncox feels us libertarians should put our support behind.
The problems with this sentiment are numerous. Just because Austin is critical of the NAP does not mean he is pro-aggression or even anti-liberty. Austin has repeatedly stated that he believes there is no objective, universal definition of aggression. Everyone interprets aggression differently. Because of this, the defensive clause of the NAP is impossible to abide by, since everyone interprets aggression differently.
Johncox completely ignores the logical conclusion that he and Petersen can make no case against (state) aggression or invasions of liberty of any kind if he has no objective moral standards by which to measure when aggression is taking place, if liberty can be interpreted to one’s liking, and if they also reject the non-aggression principle. Johncox is basically nullifying, not redefining or reinterpreting, libertarianism’s tenets.
When the likes of Petersen and Johncox are promoting what they call libertarianism with the above in mind, what the hell is it that they are really promoting?
Austin’s trolls should watch his appearance on the Jason Stapleon Program, where they’d notice he makes a compelling case for his beliefs:
Does he? Can we glean this from Johncox’s own response?
This should be how even the most ardent voluntaryists (like myself) and anarcho-capitalists should interpret the NAP. We should strive to respect, to the best of our abilities, the subjective perceptions of aggressions held by as many people as we can, while not allowing those with unrealistic expectations to dictate how we may live (but what if they don’t regard that as aggression, – Individualist). Austin’s interpretation of the NAP is completely libertarian if people actually tried to understand it.
See, we SHOULD NOT see the NAP the way the “religious” libertarians do, but we SHOULD interpret the NAP according to Petersen’s and Johncox’ views. This logical contradiction completely flies over Johncox’ head. He states there is no objective standard, then tells people how they SHOULD interpret the NAP, therefore is claiming, without even knowing it, that there is or should be an objective standard.
Since people have different perceptions of aggression, we should not dictate to anyone what aggression is. Since statists routinely refuse to see as aggression that which we libertarians see as aggression, we have no reason or right to accuse them of supporting aggression. Thus, libertarians must embrace aggressive statists as being morally equivalent to non-aggressive libertarians. But this is yet another complete logical contradiction. For if statists believe, for instance, that imposing heavy taxation (or the war on drugs) on others is not aggression, and libertarians believe that it is aggression, then who is right and who wins? Since the points of view contradict, one must overrule the other. But by allowing such overruling to take place, it must be acknowledged by some objective standard that one definition is superior over another.
The only other possibility here is that might makes right and these things are imposed by mere superior force of one camp over another. Is Johncox then, perhaps, a proponent of this? How else does he wishes to solve any such potential conundrum?
Does one really need to see Petersen’s interview to see the head-exploding contradictions of Petersen’s and Johncox’ beliefs?
Unfortunately, the religious libertarians have tried their hardest to hide and censor Austin from defending his position, unfairly barring him from events such as the one hosted by LPCO. These are not the only tactics used by such religious libertarians, however. The other criticisms of Austin claim he is “rude” or “arrogant.” Usually unsubstantiated, those who make these arguments are overwhelmingly trolls Austin put into place after they failed to attack his page.
Johncox has apparently never heard of private property. The organizers of events such as the one hosted by the Libertarian Party of Colorado have no obligation to give him a platform to speak (provided they do not use tax payer money). As a matter of fact, how dare Johncox even suggest that they should? Is he trying to determine for them how they should interpret liberty, aggression and other concepts, when he himself states there is no objective standard? How can he even make any claims about ‘fairness’ or ‘unfairness’ when he doesn’t think there is any objective standard about aggression or about liberty? Maybe he self-righteously does support an object standard for fairness. Even though fairness is one of those concepts I would say is even more vague, subjective and meaningless than he insinuates is the case with aggression and liberty.
And of course, calling people trolls is no more than ad hominem and paints Johncox like a, dare I say, cultist follower of Petersen?
In conclusion, there exists no other Libertarian candidate with the following and the charisma to accomplish a successful third-party presidential run besides Austin Petersen. None of the other candidates besides perhaps Gary Johnson have Petersen’s media contacts, and all lack his ability to form coalitions with other parties. Should it come down to Johnson vs. Petersen for the nomination, the Libertarian Party should nominate the latter. Johnson had his chance. Austin needs only 15% of the vote to appear on the main debate stage with what’s shaping up to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If he can pull this off, he’s got more than a fair shot at winning the election. However, we need to make sure the religious fanatics and NAPzis either support Petersen or get out of his way.
NAPzis….HAHAHA… A reductio ad Hitlerum. See? People that renounce aggression as a principle are NAPzis whereas people who repudiate the non-aggression principle are not. Any question as to where the troll and the cultist is to be found? And get out of the way? We actual libertarians will get out of the way of Petersen the way we do with the likes of Clinton, Bush, Obama, or Trump. Because none of them represent us and our interests. Don’t flatter yourselves and your importance to us. You can hijack the name of ‘libertarianism’ the same way progressives have hijacked the name of ‘liberalism’ and neocons have hijacked the name ‘conservativism.’ But it won’t make you any more right, any more important, any more successful in achieving libertarianism’s true aims. You will suffer the fate of the likes of Rand Paul, who had nothing but warmed up compromises to offer, a ‘broad appeal’ that made him neither fish nor fowl. Why would conservatives and liberals settle for a pale, plastic knock off when they can get the real thing? Ron Paul was the real alternative when he ran (on principles), and he single handedly grew the libertarian movement tremendously. Rand Paul as well as the likes of you are groveling suck-ups that virtually nobody respects. What you call broad appeal is nothing more than conformity to status quo positions. You flounder in shit so you can be accepted by the rest of the pigs. The perpetuation of the state and its nature as an aggressive institution is what you stand for. The degree to which you would deviate from that, is the degree to which you immediately lose your ‘broad appeal.’
In conclusion, and I will be harsh, Chris Johncox is an inflitrant, an imposter, a fraud that does his part to try to sabotage libertarianism from ‘within’ by trying to render libertarianism’s philosophical foundations meaningless through moral and logical relativism, thus also rendering libertarianism’s first principles as non-existent. This post-modernist “there is no truth” cretin basically declares the whole meaning of libertarianism null and void with an Orwellian denouncement of definitional accuracy. In this brave new world, liberty and aggression mean whatever anyone wants them to mean. And so the door is open for anybody and anything, because there is no more logical nor moral foundation to reject anyone’s political views, provided they pretend to support the now meaningless concepts of liberty and non-aggression. People like Chris Johncox are the obvious Trojan horses any popular movement will attract in order to destroy it from within. All movements ultimately get to deal with this. The irony of all of this, is that while Johncox wants everyone to know that there is no objective standard and no truthful definitions of core libertarian principles, he nevertheless regards anyone disagreeing with him and Petersen as a “religious fanatic” or a “troll” thus implying that HIS views are the objective truth to be supported. This tends to happen with intellectual eunuchs, which post modernists and statists alike are. They can’t stick to their own logic. They say there is no truth, not realizing that by making this very statement they are making a statement of “truth”.
But make no mistake, Johncox believes in truths, and he believes in definitions and he believes in objective standards. Don’t believe me? Try to punch him in the face and see if he agrees with you when you say it is not aggression (Don’t try it, please. Don’t get yourself in trouble with the overlords). He merely pretends not to believe in any of it because he is a fraud and a saboteur. Still doubt it? Then why does he seem to despise “religious” libertarians more than non-libertarians (or in his way of putting it: people who merely have different ideas of what liberty and aggression are)?
Because it is, in fact, libertarianism, and real libertarians, that he despises.
These “non-principled” libertarians are a cancer in the philosophy and movement of libertarianism. They are worse than the variety of left, socialist or communist libertarians because at least the latter have the courage and honesty to have clear principles and to apply them to the world. In so far as Johncox is not one of them and not merely posing as a more general libertarian, he is a coward and an irrationalist. He is the logical conclusion of “thick” or “Big tent libertarianism.” A purveyor of nothing. A nullifier of meaning.
When it comes to Austin Petersen being banned to speak at an LPCO event; an owner of private property gets to determine the rules, and whom is or is not invited. This is libertarian (no wonder Johncox whines about it). And the organizers were entirely right not to give this saboteur a platform to spew his nonsense. Let Austin Petersen shout his destructive garbage from his own property.
Really, Austin? You don’t think any of this is dubious and, quite honestly, pathetic?