California Loves Johnson

Volunteer orientations for the Gary Johnson 2016 campaign were held all over California. This one was at the trendy Rock & Brews in El Segundo which is owned by 70s KISS-rocker Gene Simmons.

California Volunteers for Johnson Weld 2016 have quite a story to tell. Join me in talking to two of the hardest working Libertarian Party’s field organizers in the country as they share with us the secrets of running a superior field effort.

The Party Party Gets to Work

This year will be forever remembered in Libertarian Party history. The Gary Johnson and Bill Weld presidential campaign broke records in turnout and media attention affording the LP massive wins that will have certain lasting positive effect on our efforts for many elections to come. The electoral wins themselves are monumental to our party and to our movement. Garnering nearly 4.5 million votes representing well over 3% of the popular votes nationwide the party’s previous records were surpassed to 400% of our previous performances. The numbers are impressive but the real wins happened in the states.

Gary Johnson does an interview at the LP Booth activists put together at Politicon. California was ready for action and LP Volunteers dominated the floor.

By best accounts, ballot access was won in 17 states where previously our party had to work extra hard just to get our candidates listed. Collecting expensive signatures and fighting Republicans and Democrats in court every election represented millions of dollars in resources we once had to exhaust just to be on the ballot. Metaphorically it was like having to pay a stiff entrance fee just to join a race in which the other contenders get to run in it for free; and then also have to fight with the race organizers over whether the fee was paid in full or not, when they know perfectly well that it was.

Thanks to the success of the Gary Johnson campaign, the LP will be able to redirect its precious resources each presidential election to much more productive uses than playing “mother may I” games with our adversaries. California and it’s LP membership played critical roles in that national success. Their well organized field efforts provided a large part of the campaign’s outreach bandwidth where it counted most. The organizers in California activated a record number of volunteers getting them connected to the campaign and to the Libertarian Party locally.

Activism is Core

“Activism is the core of all political success. Every campaign is made or broken by their ability to move people.” Boomer Shannon identified this as the maxim by which California volunteers operated a very active and driven field effort for the campaign. Boomer is a member of the California Libertarian Party Executive Committee, an activist, and an experienced campaign manager and field organizer that has been working on and for Libertarian efforts for a number of years. He played several roles in the volunteer effort including California’s State Director Johnson/Weld and then trading places with Jonathan Jaech, he devoted his time to running logistics and volunteer coordination out the California Libertarian Party’s office in Monrovia.

When you are used to being the underdog, there is nothing more exciting than to stand on a street corner and have strangers honk at you in agreement. When it happens you know you are a part of something real.

“Our job was to reach out to California supporters and volunteers and get them invested and that is where I wound up spending most of my time. One of the first things we were asked to do was get training in Nation Builder which turned out to be an incredible tool for organizing. It was almost too good. Very early on it became obvious just how big of a task we had in front of us. The platform was perfect for organic outreach. It was plugged into a powerful social media and gave us tools for running a very successful phone banking operation. We started with about a million supporters in the system nation-wide which by the end of the campaign was well over 10 million people who had opted into the campaign as supporters or volunteers.”

“We had a team in Los Angeles already set up. We opened the Southern California Libertarian Party Office down here last year to support our activism efforts. We have a group of activists that is pretty sizable. We have been helping with the state web site and doing outreach out of that office. It was very natural when that whole lot of regulars decided as individuals to help out on promoting our presidential candidate. With that core, we began by reaching out to our many volunteers. We set up a phone banking operation and immediately leveraged local LP meetings.”

Viral First Contact

“The first thing I did was get on the phone with other activists around California identifying leaders and getting them empowered to activate and to organize. I mined Nation Builder looking for people who had been especially active and filtering against their professions looking for people who were likely leaders. One of the best assets of the entire campaign was recommended to me by Joe Dehn the chair of Santa Clara County’s affiliate, a fellow out of San Jose named Robert Imhoff. What a great guy, I knew he was going to be a winner the very first time I talked to him.”

Boomer with his crew of activists ran what they called an “organic” field effort explaining that one of the failures of the entrenched but failing Democratic and Republican Parties is their “command and control” structure. Boomer explained that he felt that Libertarians don’t have an entrenched culture of control by nature, but that we do have a lot of young people recently activated who have only known a world with a free internet and they are disenchanted by the other parties and their top-down way of viewing the world.

Even before signs were available, empowered volunteers designed their own signs. Here a group in San Pedro posed with their creation at a local LP meeting.

“We are an insurgent party and we have not been successful when we have tried to emulate the organizational habits of the Republicans or Democrats. As established entities, their focus is on survival and maintenance. They are so far removed from growth, both of them, that they are shrinking and seem oblivious to how to correct their dysfunctional relationship with the voting public. We, on the other hand, are focused almost exclusively on growth.”

“You don’t grow something big by pruning it to perfection. That is how you do bonsai. Looking to control our activists, candidates and voters is pretty un-libertarian on the face of it. It is impossible to do without force or fraud. The opposite of control is empowerment! That is what we concentrated on doing with our volunteers. We didn’t try to trim and prune the perfect garden, we went for the Johnny Appleseed approach. I mean we only had a couple of months till the drop dead deadline of the election. Every second that went by meant either gaining or losing momentum depending on how you spent it.”

Empowerment > Control

The volunteers in Southern California made phone calls using Nation Builder with lists of people that had signed up explicitly to volunteer. Boomer reached out statewide recruiting leaders in the northern and southern parts of the state. His core team began calling locals from the several thousand volunteers they had in Nation Builder living in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. The process was the same, identify leaders and if they were willing, give them the task to call a list. If they came back with results, they put them to work. If not, the list was recycled to another. Across California, Boomer set up volunteers that were encouraged to run their own shows.

Sign waving at a Major League Baseball game gave this small group of volunteers exclusive access to the attendees when they set up at the only entrance to the parking lot.

“The idea is never to tell these guys what to do. Once we knew that they were capable and willing, we set them loose organizing their areas with what ever level of guidance seemed welcome. Robert Imhoff was one of the most successful of those if you ask me; showing great willingness and skill from the moment he first picked up the phone. It was not very long before we realized we had found our Northern California coordinator in Robert. He was incredible – hooking himself in with other coordinators easily and calling volunteers to activate and organize them. Instead of having to try and coordinate a bunch of local leaders from hundreds of miles away, Robert made the job much much easier. He and his wife Jennifer really work hard, and they are the sort of people that succeed at anything they do.”

The northern part of the state used emails to get people out as volunteers to mixers. Robert Imhoff and his wife Jennifer crafted a series of emails that invited people out. “We carefully thought about what we said in those emails” said Robert Imhoff when asked about how he approached volunteer recruitment. “We kept the language strong but leaving the reader wanting to know more. We invited them to an orientation but didn’t give them an agenda. On one hand we wanted to get people motivationally curious, and on the other hand we didn’t want to mention phone banking and fail to also get the people out who just wanted signs or had something in mind we didn’t think of. We told them we would do training on the campaigns tools and have materials to give out.”

Volunteers were empowered and encouraged to make their own events like this sign wave in South Los Angeles.

“When people showed up at one of our events we listened to them talk about themselves and what they wanted to do and accomplish. We gave people small tasks according to their interests. Our motto was ‘everyone has a role.’ This guy we gave five signs to, another we asked them to make some phone calls. We had a great guy who worked in Bay area but lived in Sacramento. Trony Fuller became a huge resource as he was willing to drop off signs and other materials to people along his path home, sometimes even going well out of his way. He was indispensable in Sacramento helping grow the already sizable organization and office Ken Gillespie had generated there.”

Connect Personally

In the South, phone banking for volunteer recruitment had paid off in big ways. Volunteer orientations were scheduled at local LP meetings. Regular volunteers in the LP office called hundreds of people from each area, and invited them to several local LP meetings so that they could be oriented on the campaign’s efforts in their area. The personal touch gave big rewards. Phone calls to people that came from a fellow volunteer had a remarkably high rate of success.

Using local meetings as a gathering spot for volunteer orientations paid off for the campaign and for the local parties.

There were a number of orientations in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego each of which was preceded by a few hundred phone calls to volunteers in the area. In Pasadena, the rush of new people at their meetings in September and October overfilled the room at the local Panera Bread they regularly meet in. In Central LA people filled the meetings in those months as well,overflowing the banquet room at a small hotel on more than one occasion.

Similarly successful events also happened in several Los Angeles neighborhoods and neighboring San Bernardino, Orange and Ventura Counties including several orientations on Los Angeles’ progressive-dominated West Side. In Venice Beach, on the boardwalk, Mark Herd an upcoming candidate for City Council in Los Angeles brought volunteers to his regular meetup on the beach. Simultaneous to running his Congressional Campaign Baron Bruno held events at Rock and Brews in El Segundo a trendy craft beer joint owned by Gene Simmons of 70s music fame.

Hundreds of people lined up hours early to ensure they could get into the Gary Johnson Rally at the swank celebrities-only Boulevard 3 Club in Hollywood.

In the  North a vibrant volunteer network had grown around Robert and Jennifer Imhoff’s hard work and outreach. He went as far as to invite the local county organization to use his home for their meetings, and got volunteers mixing in. The outreach efforts and organizations he spawned and helped support, were bringing big results. The volunteer force led by Ken Gillespie in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, recruited someone who had some empty storefront space available for a couple of months between tenants. They opened a volunteer office putting up a giant banner that sat directly in front of busy I-80 freeway offramp promoting Libertarian Gary Johnson for President.

“We would get better than 60 people at each of the three orientations we held,” Imhoff said. “We put up tents in the yard and broke out the barbecue and beverages. It was really great to host the old guard Libertarians and see them mix with the new volunteers. They have a lot to offer to this new generation of Libertarians. They have been fighting for a long time and their wisdom and experience is very valuable to the massive number of young people who joined us. Hopefully they will keep coming to meetings and doing activism with us. The campaign itself was short on resources in those early days so it was great to get people out so that they could see just how serious of a campaign was being run”.

Wait for Nothing

Gary Johnson was a huge draw for Libertarians doing outreach. Here volunteers administered “Worlds Smallest Political Quizzes” and pamphlets titled, “Are you Libertarian?”

“We had a problem we had to address,” Boomer admitted. “The phone banking infrastructure that the campaign was going to use for voter outreach was not yet set up when our orientations began. We did not yet have signs or literature to hand out. We actually did not have a lot to orient people on in specifics because the campaign was still gathering resources and strategic direction for the field efforts; but that didn’t slow us down. The most important part of the orientation was getting people together. We wanted our volunteers to have a solid connection to the campaign and to the party. So we moved forward with confidence and did what we know how to do best. We made a lot of friends.”

“Politics is about people, and those first orientations, while the events were light on what you might call instructions or actual orienting, they did provide a lot of value. Until we did those orientations, the volunteers were only connected via the internet and some phone calls. We wanted to get them excited and connected in strong ways. Email and phone only get you so much faith or attention from a person. You get a lot more when that person has meets you, they feel like they are a part of something big, and you then ask for their help in a specific way.”

“Our routine at these orientations was to welcome the volunteers, pump them up a little bit with good old-fashioned cheer leading,” which Boomer admitted was easy, “and then we would go around the room and to allow people to introduce themselves and tell us how they became interested in Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party. Like magic, people became invested in each other, as well as the campaign and in the party itself!”

Rallys for Gary Johnson were standing room only and tightly packed. Primed supporters would shout “WIN” in response to the candidate’s assertions during his speech.

In Northern California Robert Imhoff was running a similarly open and organic strategy for activating volunteers also. “Robert’s hard work in Northern California made concentrating a lot of my time in the south both easy and productive,” Boomer said. “He and Jennifer are a powerhouse team. With them handling things up north so adroitly, I was able to concentrate a lot on the people working closer to me. I was able to be a bigger part of well… the field effort itself. I really love working in the field the most: Getting a bunch of activists together and causing trouble for the establishment is one of me special joys in life. The interaction with the national campaign began to be the hardest part of the effort for me. The phone calls were laborious and not very productive as other states were dealing with problems that California’s density and strong existing activist organizations obviated.”

Activists that Play Together, Stay Together

The general strategy and the tactic of inviting people out to orientations paid off in the end. When, in the final weeks of the campaign, many other volunteer groups were battling volunteer burn out, the California effort was still going strong and calling people in strategic states like South Dakota all the way up to the last minute. It is hard to quantify the actual effect on the votes that the volunteer phone bank efforts had but the correlation to popular vote and the phone banking campaign was very strong. It became a specific point of pride for California’s volunteers.

A young volunteer for Johnson Weld 2016 addresses an enthralled gang of soon-to-be-voters.

Boomer’s voice tremello’d when he described the phone banking efforts in California, “Our volunteers were dedicated all the way through to the finish line. We literally had people sitting at folding tables under Easy-Ups in back yards calling in that last week. A lot of volunteers called from home, but phone banking parties were pretty popular. People liked working together.”

The California volunteer effort was also on the ground a great deal. They tabled at community events and  recruited deeply at colleges. They also held flash-mob style sign wavings and managed the fieldwork for wildly successful rallies in Hollywood and Sacramento where Gary Johnson addressed throngs of supporters. Organizers attributed the number and participation in those events directly to having gathered people together in-person.

Boomer felt the difference was dramatic and demonstrable. “About 90% of the phone calls made in the phone bank were by people who had signed in at one of our orientations or trainings. Our volunteers felt empowered… they were explicitly authorized and encouraged to organize their own events, and they came through for the campaign.”

“Look at this,” he said holding up a hefty stack of dog eared volunteer sign-in forms. “We literally had many hundreds of people come to one or more of our events as a volunteer. Having office space to use was a real boon to us down here as it was up North.”

Phone banking was easy to get people into when they were encouraged to get together. This phone bank party overflowed into the back yard where extensions cords powered laptops used for managing phone calls.

Boomer asserted strongly that volunteers having a place to go and to gather was key to their success. He claimed that getting people together energized the volunteers and motivated them to start making phone calls and then friendly competition drove their productivity upwards as well. “You just can’t beat the strength of a relationship made in person or the awesome feeling of working with a bunch of people who are looking to accomplish the same wins as you in society. We were really fortunate to have had Gary Johnson’s campaign. Their foresight in having an online platform for supporter outreach early on was a game changer for the field. It allowed us to reach out and then to immediately also empower those we contacted to begin doing the same. It was that level of organic, unconstrained and viral empowerment that gave us the biggest wins of any party this election cycle.”

A Bright Friendly Future

Boomer’s outlook speaks to directly what he hopes to see happen next for the Libertarian Party. “It isn’t just the record level of votes our party got. It is not just the massive amount of resources we are going to save from winning ballot access; nor is it just the media attention we got making the Libertarian Party a household brand. What is likely to be the biggest win for us, short term and long term, is this army of activists we just mobilized.”

Volunteer orientations for the Gary Johnson 2016 campaign were held all over California. This one was at the trendy Rock & Brews in El Segundo which is owned by 70s KISS-rocker Gene Simmons.

Boomer and Robert both expressed that their next step is to continue to reach out to the the new volunteers that they met and encourage them to become members of the party and continue their participation in activism.

“I am looking forward to getting to see the great people I worked with on the Gary Johnson campaign again,” Robert said about moving forward. “We really wanted them to see that there was more beyond the campaign to be a part of and I think we were successful at that.”

“We feel like we have made a whole lot of great friends,” Boomer said, “and I hope that we are going to continue to see them at our meetings. After all, they now know where and when we meet and they have friends to see there. Failing that, we do still have their phone number and who doesn’t like getting a phone call from a friend saying they are missed?”

Total
0
Shares
60 comments
  1. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  2. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  3. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  4. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  5. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  6. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  7. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  8. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  9. I would say the high percentage of voter interest in the LP was due to market demand for an alternative, because of the two other awful choices. Not for any other reason, and not due to Johnson/Weld.

  10. @waronthesystem, when are the “other two” choices not awful?

    Do you expect them to get better from the Democrats and Republicans?

    I would say that it is going to be the market forces that drive voter decisions every time. Sometimes it will be a Ross Perot they choose. Sometimes it will be a Ralph Nader. When the freedom movement is on the ball, the market will choose the Libertarian. The elections are a bellwether of the people and their social trajectory.

    The above article isn’t about Gary Johnson or anything he did. It is about the volunteers on the street that did a lot for freedom. People who engage the public are extremely valuable to the advancement of our social mores. Unfortunately, our movement suffers from a plethora of witless armchair generals. You know, the sort that do little to represent freedom to the public except to engage in social media, and there primarily in the form of pissing in people’s Cheerios. People doing positive and productive work have been rare and valuable.

    This story is about people who went out and engaged the public, made phone calls, waved signs on street corners, engaged people on the street with an Operation Politically Homeless kits and they educated people. They did something useful for the advancement of Liberty and I, personally, was thankful for their hard work regardless of my hopes, doubts, dreams and cynicism of Gary Johnson and his chances at winning.

    In the end, the wins from that campaign, because of a myriad of causes both lucky and earned, are huge for the LP and for the Freedom movement at large. The people who organized in the field and engaged the public are heroes for all of us.

  11. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  12. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  13. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  14. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  15. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  16. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  17. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  18. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  19. @alivefreehappy but to what end? We’ve drawn more people to the message of the Johnson/Weld message of “we’re centrists and endorse hillary clinton “? My point being, at a time when the hate and disgust for the two major candidates is at an all time high, (not to mention, record numbers of people not voting, which is another great sign), a principled message may have drawn a great deal more, to the principles of libertarianism. Not all energy and resources spent, is a good thing. Bastiat said, the good economist, can see the seen and the unseen effects of his choices. (Paraphrase ). Yes, engaging in direct action in your community to achieve a free society, is a plus. Rallying people towards an alternative that is not much different from the other two choices, isn’t necessarily a positive impact.

  20. Thank you Boomer Shannon and Matt Barnes for helping me realize that in the long run, the goal of using the election cycle for building up the local activist infrastructure and human resources is a more productive focus during election years. Deconstructing the candidate’s choices in messaging and campaign strategy may be fun but adds little value. I don’t mind armchair quarterbacking as a leisure activity, but not if it gets in the way of building up our resources for libertarian activism . We libertarians are being attacked on every front and will be more successful if we can learn to hang together.

    Matt also deserves much credit for working persistently and effectively throughout the campaign as volunteer leader together with Boomer and Robert, and many other supporting volunteers, resulting in a volunteer effort such as has not been seen in by California LP for a long, long time (if ever), and which I am sure will pay dividends in future years. Hopefully those dividends will be enjoyed by more outspoken, radically libertarian candidates in future years.

    Thank you Gary, Bill, and your staff for sharing so many tools and resources with local activists and keeping the fight on until the end. You achieved results that are historic for an LP presidential candidate, not just in the final vote tallies, but also in energizing and enabling a volunteer network.

    -Jonathan Jaech

  21. @waronthesystem “Shoulda, coulda, woulda?” Really?

    My turn for a bastardized Bastiat allusion: Suppose that it will take 6 paragraphs of empty criticism to discourage one activist. If you mean that the discouragement gives 6 paragraphs of encouragement to the aforesaid agorist, I agree. I do not contest in any way; your reasoning is correct. The agorist will happily come and berate the activist for engaging the system, apply his personal viewpoint in criticism of the another in 6 paragraphs of naive bias and congratulate himself for warring against the state. This is what is seen.

    But if, by way of deduction, you conclude that the activist is statist for his engagement, as too often happens, that it helps discourage elections to whack on your friends and allies, I am obliged to cry out: That will never do! Your theory stops at what you falsely and conceitedly imagine.

    You obliquely mention seen and unseen effects, but I wonder whether you have really enumerated those effects and weighed them. You mention that another candidate with a stronger message might have made more of an impact. But you fail to mention where this magical candidate came from. You do not mention how he demonstrated his skill at addressing the public and convincing them of the correctness of his message. Your hypothetical vapor-candidate did not exist and does not exist. If he did the electoral system and media was his to engage just like John McAfee and Judd Weiss did through their considerable social media and video campaigns that continued well after Johnson won the LP’s nomination.

    Your assertion is not the weighing of unseen effect, this is the projection of imagination and it is about as opposite to an honest argument as you can get. For me it is indistinguishable from the tidal wave of fantastic hypotheticals that statists use to manipulate the public into bad decisions.

    Even if you had a AB choice to present here it would be fallacious use of Bastiat’s unseen effect to assert that the presence of one candidate abrogated another. In the marketplace of ideas, 2 candidates would have meant up to twice as much education. Maybe one of them would deliver messaging that was stronger than the other, but does that mean that the work of the “lesser” candidate was a negative impact? No. Clearly unless the message was anti-freedom (which it most certainly was not even in the sorry case of Bill “member berry” Weld) the messaging of the weaker candidate would have been parallel to the other at worst and, more likely, complimentary at best.

    What you miss, the real unseen, is that the rallying was already done. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld rallied a LOT of people to the defense of Liberty. More than anyone working in that arena has done before. That, with the sudden surge of people, there were also present some very hard working and principled people who engaged them, got them invested in the movement at large. You cannot demostrate that surge happening outside of the Johnson campaign. I can demonstrate, simply, that there WERE other candidates, and all the disgust at Hillary and Trump did NOT bring the numbers that Johnson did.

    It does not seem to me that you are making well considered rational arguments. Instead it feels like you are pushing your own personal bias draped poorly in allusions to economic Notables without fully comprehending the meaning of their teachings. What irks me most is not just the corrupt use of Bastiat’s wisdom for conceit, it is that your approach is specifically destructive, it is window breaking in itself and reviewing your posts, you seem to do it with regularity and ease. It takes a significant investment of resources to mobilize activists and much more to educate them in the full principle, and then get them on the street to continue the process.

    What exactly is your motivation here? I think I know. I think that it is not consciously destructive or conceited. I think that bias is easy and looking deeply into unseen effects is difficult and is often obscured by phantasm and prejudice. I think that it takes great patience, skill and restraint to be really good at that sort of prophetic divination, and that as a skill you may learn later in life, you are more often wrong or incomplete than you are omniscient. At that point in maturing your understanding of the interface between observation and divination, you may come to the wise conclusion that it is better to withhold criticism where your authority and purview is distant and difficult.

    It is almost always better to encourage weak effort to become stronger than it is to stop all effort until your subjective standards for strength are met.

  22. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  23. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  24. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  25. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  26. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  27. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  28. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  29. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  30. @alivefreehappy My point being is, think of what could’ve been achieved if those resources of time, money, energy, were spent towards truly promoting and moving towards the philosophy of libertarianism and freedom. Not some half measure, watered down, “Bake gay cakes and we love hillary “, presidential ticket. Not all resources spent, are wisely spent. Now we have more people in LP. FOR WHAT??! To promote the messages of people like Weld, Johnson and Bob fucking Barr? The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar. Or using freedoms, to promote more freedom. The philosophy, thru direct action.

  31. @waronthesystem you said, “The energy could’ve been more wisely spent at mises or antiwar.”

    But you cannot demonstrate that Mises or Antiwar would have gotten any of that energy can you?

    No. On the other hand I could personally demonstrate literally hundreds of people who have now heard of Mises because of this campaign than did not before. Again, your emotional and prejudiced assumptions are patently wrong headed in the very same way that Bastiat was warning against. Worse than not seeing the unseen, you make up false scenarios to support your delusion and have projected them upon good works as if they were evil doing even more damage.

    Johnson, unlike Bob Fucking Barr, turned the field effort directly over to stalwart and radical Libertarians to run. I can testify that the people running the show were not milquetoast freedom fighters. Guys like Jonathan Jaech ran the entire state of California. His handle is “voluntary law guy” to give you a taste of that which you deign not to consider beyond your prejudice. Far from an armchair general, he regularly does outreach at events big and small, does media interviews and is working with developers to create games and amusements that introduce the public at large to the concepts of self-rule and voluntary law and other structures that communities might one day use to help them manage their non-geographical associations and rule based on trust networks.

    That is more of the unseen you have failed to predict though it was plainly under your nose the whole time.

    Then there is the matter of your expressing your self-assigned authority to tell other people where their time was better spent. Is there some physical ailment that you suffer that causes you to need to live life vicariously through other activists? Really, where in the world would anyone who respects individual self-determination come up with an assertion like that except from an extremely damaged capacity to do your own engagement?

    ###

    I will educate you on one more matter. The Libertarian Party is not in a position of power. It is not defined by its meager candidates. It is a collection of freedom fighters of many stripes and exists as a platform for them to network and to engage society with an economy of scale realized through voluntary association and on a platform that is uniquely suited to grabbing government by the short hairs and twisting.

    You externalize in your writing a view of a monolithic structure, a thing to take all blame for any unwanted part, and this is another instance of your failure to fully understand economic mechanics – assignation to the general from the specific is fallacious argument. It also exposes your blind and irrational criticism for things you do not fully understand using arguments you do not fully cognate.

    I suggest you take a step back and do some soul searching and then maybe a whole lot of practice with logic, reasoning, and basic rhetoric because hypocrisy of this level is difficult for me to be exposed to much less be the object of, and not go old-school forum warrior over.

  32. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  33. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  34. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  35. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  36. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  37. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  38. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  39. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  40. @alivefreehappy Well, the LP had an opportunity based on market demand, to put forth a principled message, now they’ve rallied folks towards a watered down centrist. Waste of time, money, and opportunities. The LP IS most likely dead, and now maybe it can stay out of the way for real efforts towards furthering the cause of liberty. But you can continue the self back patting and delusions of grandeur. And if you knew as much as you claim about economics, you’d realize that market demand, brought people to the LP, not Gary Johnson or any “activism”, supporting him. And especially not Weld. If they’d put half that time, money an energy, towards a “better product”, they would’ve been selling ice in hell.

  41. @waronthesystem Yes, people were not running toward libertarianism, they were running away from everything else. They did not understand the science behind being be a libertarian because johnson/weld are not libertarians. They were only holding its flag. Libertarianism is the last option on the table when all else fails, and mankind still has not learned, its the only option on the table to reach paradise.

  42. @waronthesystem I am going to earnestly make an invitation to you. Read the post in full. Put away your prejudice for Johnson and Weld. I get it. You don’t seem to get that I get it. You completely ignore solid points as I address you and you respond almost in an almost robotic fashion.

    There is no self back patting or delusions of grandeur going on. The article is really about people who used the Johnson campaign to forward the principle among a lot of people that had only gotten the Johnson/Weld level of messaging before. They made friends and will continue to influence them.

    That is the story my brother. It is solid and it is strongly principled. It feels like you are rabid on Johnson and it is making you less perceptive to what others are saying in the fullest.

  43. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  44. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  45. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  46. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  47. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  48. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  49. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  50. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

  51. @alivefreehappy I’ve heard Nick Sawwark say the exact same thing. “Now we don’t have to petition for ballot access, “, “raised a bunch of money from the weld people”. All that is a waste, when the “party of principles” has no clear principles. You took people that were hungry, told them you were taking them to a five star restaurant, and dropped them off at Dennys. A bait and switch, and more people in a dead party, the party of weld, does not further the cause of liberty. In fact, it may not be just a waste of time money and resources, but actually counter productive. Because now we have to explain to all these people why libertarianism isn’t “socially liberal and fiscally conservative ” or why it’s not Johnson or welds centrist watered down message.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts
Read More

The Libertarian Party SoCal Conference Opens Tickets to Activists First

The Libertarian Party in Southern California Holds its Seventh Annual Conference The Libertarian Party Southern California Regional Conference…
Vermin Supreme pinches a guest
Read More

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

Not just a perennial wacky satirical Presidential Candidate, Vermin Supreme is a true showman, a professional; and as I have had the pleasure to find out, he is serious about his mission.