For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know me to be downright
blunt in my positions. I am not someone who is afraid to tell the truth, and I am not going to hold anything back.
I am honestly aghast at how the more radical elements of the Libertarian Party were treated the weekend. I am a member of the radical caucus myself, and I would say pretty close, if not fully, an anarchist. What I personally witnessed caused me to have to step out more than once during the convention.
While there will be some disagreement between the anarchist and mincarchist elements of the Party, there were several times where it went from slightly disagreeable to outright hostility.
This is not to say anarchists are without flaws, as one of the more radical members of the party majorly embarrassed the party with his display on stage doing a strip tease. There was no respect whatsoever in what that individual did, and it makes our movement look ridiculous. We are trying to create a better way for the American people, but doing things like stripping on stage is not going to help you in the least.
For those who don’t know as much about the more radical elements of libertarianism, it
really boils down to two principles: self ownership and the principle of non-initiation of aggression. It literally is about as libertarian as you can get, as the smallest form of governing, is when you are fully allowed to govern yourself.
More than once, we were called fools, purists, stupid, and other names as arguments were brought to the floor in opposition or support of various platform changes. Out of every proposal, the only one that really set a new standard that anarchists/radicals seem to agree with is that the Libertarian Party has added a new plank that opposes the administration of the death penalty
That new plank makes it clear where we stand as a Party, and I am glad we were at least able to get this done. Another bright light that came of convention was the election of Caryn Ann Harlos, a fellow member of the Radical Caucus, to be the Region 1 Representative of the National Committee. This was by and large the greatest choice to represent the West (minus California, who has their own Region).
Outside of business measures as a delegate, things were far better with the amount of educational seminars, motivational speeches, and togetherness in various hospitality suites. I did enjoy being able to see so many people who were advocates of more liberty. I was able to speak one on one with John McAfee, Adam Kokesh, Darryle Perry, Shawna Sterling, Larry Sharpe, Austin Petersen, and just about everyone I am friends with on social media that I got to meet for the first time face to face. It took a minute to recognize a few of you, but definitely great to finally put names to faces.
The one thing that was clear throughout the convention is that pragmatism was more important to the majority than principle adherence. Gary Johnson and Bill Will, both former serving Republican Governors, were selected as the Presidential and Vice
Presidential nominees after two rounds of voting each. Gary Johnson won with 55% of the voting delegates, Bill Weld receiving 50.5% of the delegates, barely meeting the threshold.
I personally am not overly excited about either nominee, but will be helping every candidate at every level I can, and also working with John McAfee’s #VoteDifferent Initiative to unsure that I do what I can to help all down ticket races in the Libertarian Party get some wins. This will be the majority of my focus outside of my own race for Utah’s 1st Congressional District.
It was certainly a lot of fun to be there, but I am worried about the massive compromises that have been made, especially with appointing Gov. William Weld. There is nothing more I can do, but I do want you to know that I did cast my delegate vote in favor of principles.
I do ask that everyone get out an keep educating the nation about our local, state, and federal candidates who can better articulate the philosophy of freedom. We may not be former governors, but at one point, neither were they.
I would also like to thank all the other candidates who ran, but especially Austin Petersen. He and I have butted heads since he declared in July of 2015. When meeting him face to face he was beyond cordial and he stuck to his principles, though I may agree with some of them. He was the most consistent of the candidates. I like to think that I am able to see character once I look someone in the eye, and I can tell you that Austin is the most genuine out of everyone I met (though John McAfee isn’t far behind). Once you get him one on one and the bumper sticker soundbite is gone, he is far better than I ever gave him credit for.
I hope that all the candidates who weren’t selected continue to work toward the greater liberty that we all seek. I know most will stand tall, but some of them are seemingly in the mood to “take their ball and go home” in mentality. I had hoped that we could put things aside and work together so that we can actually make a difference. I will be available to answer questions anyone may have at Craig_Bowden@Craig4Congress.org.
I will also be releasing the Winning strategies video once I can get home and have some time to unpack.