In the broken-clock-is-right-twice-a-day department, Slate.com reminds us today of the big reason libertarians go nowhere in presidential elections, and why the party will never be a viable political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans: They’re nuts.
Listen to part of the description of their convention and possible candidates for president:
Consider: [Anti-virus tycoon John] McAfee — who fled his own Central American residential compound while under suspicion by the Belizean government for the murder of his neighbor; who openly admits that said compound featured a harem of teenage Belizean sex workers; who likes to talk about the time a 16-year-old Belizean prostitute tried to shoot him in the head at point blank range; who bounced around the hotel halls wearing a three-piece suit and a pair of Nikes like some kind of Mad Hatter on meth — had regularly polled in third place for the nomination in the lead-up to the convention and even seemed to have a puncher’s chance to win. Further consider: He was barely the weirdest candidate on the scene.Polling second coming into the convention, just ahead of McAfee, was a guy named Austin Petersen. Petersen’s 35 and looks 14, but question if he’s seasoned enough and he’ll yelp, “Tell that to the Marquis de Lafayette.” His go-to applause line: “I want gay couples to defend their marijuana fields with fully automatic weapons.” Polling fourth, one slot behind McAfee, was a fellow named Darryl W. Perry, who accepts campaign donations only in the form of precious metals and cryptocurrency and who opted to have his nominating speech delivered by an “erotic services provider” who goes by the moniker “Starchild.” Perry’s most animated moment in the debate came when he slammed his fist against his lectern, forehead veins a-popping, as he insisted that 5-year-old children should have the legal right to inject heroin without adult supervision. [Libertarians Are Loons, By Seth Stevenson, May 31, 2016]
Yes, they want to abolish the income tax and Social Security and the rest. But they also want to abolish driver’s licenses and competency licensing for doctors and plumbers, which is self-evidently crazy. (I’d like to see the libertarian who goes to a neurosurgeon who is not board certified and licensed by the state
to practice medicine).
Of course, they favor open borders, a flatly self-defeating position, given that 99 percent of the people coming into the country will vote for statist Democrats and hate libertarian political ideas. Libertarians loathe the very idea of nationhood.
Slate’s description of the event shows that every libertarian convention is a gathering of crackpots. One of them is “Vermin Supreme,” a “longtime campaign performance artist who was wearing a rubber boot on his head” who held up “pieces of toast with his face on them.”
The Libertarians’ candidate for president is Gary Johnson
, the former governor who “has invested in a cannabis company, and he freely admits he’s consumed marijuana in the past month.” The crowd booed Johnson when he said driver’s licenses were probably a good idea.
All that said, sex and drugs have always been the top policy concerns of libertarians, which is why, in many a libertarian candidate, you won’t have to look hard to find some connection to drugs, weirdo sex or both.