Libertarian presidential debate at Ohio LP convention

Since I got involved with the Libertarian Party in the early '90s, I can't remember a time during a presidential election cycle when I've felt this simultaneously enthused about three different candidates running for president – Vermin Supreme, Adam Kokesh, and Kim Ruff. Each of them are attractive candidates for quite different reasons, and each has their own strengths, some of which are evident in the debate linked below, yet they all share a deep, heartfelt commitment to freedom and I think any of them would make a terrific Libertarian nominee.

  As far as I can recall, this is my first time hearing Christopher Marks. While I would not rank him in quite the same league as the candidates mentioned above, and I admittedly don't know enough about him, he gave a generally credible presentation. As he himself noted, he is boring (especially alongside candidates like Adam and Vermin), but in a good way. He comes across as humble, frank, and well-informed (he cited things like "corpus delicti" and the Constitution's emoluments clause, and mentioned reading government legislation in his spare time).

  Even former national vice-chair Arvin Vohra, notorious for some incendiary remarks and ill-considered memes, is often so articulate, passionate, and spot-on in telling it like it is, that I might be tempted to overlook his occasional misfires if we didn't have such an otherwise strong field.

  Vermin remains my top pick, mostly because I think his satirical messaging, over-the-top style, and significant ability to draw support from non-Libertarians offers the potential for the most publicity and exposure for the libertarian message from the soapbox that we are trying to choose someone to stand on for a few months. Mocking the system with humor as he does is something we haven't tried at that level before, and as another plus, there is no way anyone will mistake him for any kind of Republican retread! Debates like this before an audience of Libertarians, some of whom may still need convincing that he is a sincere libertarian who gets it (which I'm convinced he does), does present him with a difficult balancing act between seriousness and satire which I'm not sure he's quite mastered in this format (and I confess I'm not quite sure of the right balance myself), but my hope is that he will be nominated alongside someone like Kim or Adam who can deliver the "straight" libertarian message in a powerful, compassionate, and compelling way while Vermin does the hilarious and attention-getting political performance art at which he excels.

  Anyway, this is a debate worth watching (especially if you are planning to go to the national convention in Austin, Texas, next year). And by all means, share it with some of your non-Libertarian friends and acquaintances. You can pass it off as just a chance to see what the guy with the boot on his head will say, knowing your audience will likely learn something while being entertained:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUgsKbjnbHg

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))

Adam Kokesh, Vermin Supreme ticket rules

Mike

They will have to work our their "schtick" and explain each other.

Mike

Vermin Supreme has to be unambiguously displayed as the LP's "court jester". His job is to highlight the humor and hypocrisy of the establishment. To make people laugh at the establishment and treat it with disrespect without being disrespected himself.

A fine line to walk but it could be really entertaining. Much better that Barr or Johnson/Weld. I might even start giving money to the national LP again.

Mike

Thanks for posting this, Starchild. I had heard of only two of the candidates. I expected good things of Kokesh, and wasn't disappointed. Vohra I knew less well. I was disappointed in his opening statement that his candidacy would focus on money issues (income tax, welfare), but everything else he said I thought was great. I'm a sucker for humor, but Vermin didn't say much, and I couldn't understand most of what he said; none of what I understood was the least bit funny. He would at least have to improve his diction to appeal to me.

You're welcome, Mike. It was hard to understand some of what Vermin said, and I didn't think he was at his funniest here, but as I recall he did get the audience laughing. The clip I usually show people is of his 2011 appearance at a Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire, which has over 5 million views:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d_FvgQ1csE

Love & Liberty,

((( starchild )))

Thanks, Starchild. I have no idea why my message was lost in the ether for 2 weeks. In this clip there was some good word play especially at the beginning.