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An Initial Look at Some of the 2020 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates

In May of 2016 I wrote my article on some of the then Libertarian Party candidates of President, with some references to some past candidates and how the LP has changed (for the worse) over the years. That article was at the time of the LP convention for the 2016 election. But now I want to write about some of the official candidates and some unofficial candidates for 2020.

In 2012 and 2016 the LP chose statist Gary Johnson the pothead to be the “Libertarian” Party Presidential nominee. Ugh. And in 2016 Bill Weld was the LP’s VP nominee. Among other naive or incoherent things, Johnson said that Barack Obama was a “good guy,” and that Hillary Clinton is a “a wonderful public servant.”

And I responded to that by writing, “Obama’s war on journalists and government whistleblowers, his war on medical marijuana, his assassinations of non-convicted suspects without charges, his drone murders and other warmongering, his medical care intrusions and other acts of criminality, show that no, Barack Obama is not a ‘good guy.’ He is a ‘bad guy.'”

And I also wrote, “Besides being a corrupt sleazebag and a degenerate, Hillary is a real criminal. And not just from the Clinton Foundation racket and the email server criminality but a real war criminal as well, even going back to her days as first lady, aiding and abetting her criminal husband in his ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and his continuing bombing and sanctions against Iraq throughout the 1990s, as she urged and supported Bill Clinton to continue doing those horrible things.”

And on Weld, “And Bill Weld wants a ‘thousand-person FBI task force treating ISIS as a gigantic organized crime family’? No, the real libertarian answer to that is to abolish the FBI, because it is the government that should be treated as a ‘gigantic organized crime family’!”

So I wanted to see just who is now running to be the LP’s nominee for President this time, in 2020. As I wrote in my article in 2016 Darryl Perry was the only candidate at that time who had the right, actual libertarian views on the issues. Certainly not Johnson, John McAfee, or Austin Peterson.

For the 2020 declared and potential LP candidates there are so many names now on Politics1.com’s list, it’s really too much for me now. But this is only May of 2019 and it’s a whole year to go until the LP’s national Presidential convention.

Anyway, to begin, there’s Adam Kokesh, who has been in the military in Iraq and has a history of confrontations with police at protests or demonstrations. I wrote a little about his debate with Larken Rose, who said that an anarchist such as Kokesh running for President is legitimizing an illegitimate system of coercion and force.

There is one thing that bothers me. On Kokesh’s campaign website, in the photo of him he is giving a military salute. Are you kidding me? I know, there are a lot of military worshipers out there, who praise the military for their invading and bombing other countries and murdering millions of innocents. I’m not saying that Kokesh is endorsing that, but WHY is he giving a military salute?!!

On the home page, he writes, “My name is Adam Kokesh and I’m running for Not-President of the United States with the Libertarian Party on the platform of the peaceful, responsible dissolution of the entire federal government.” Okay, that’s good. (That’s similar to what Darryl Perry wrote in 2016, “that the United States government, as it exists today, should be abolished!”) Kokesh writes on the Platform page on how he would dismantle the U.S. government.

Now, I agree with that, because centralization of government is what takes the society to ruin. The more decentralized the society, the more freedom there will be, and the better able people are to vote with their feet.

Another candidate is Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman, who writes on his campaign website, “Taxation Is Theft,” “Fire the IRS,” “End the Fed,” “Erase the Debt,” “It’s time to free healthcare…by simply giving back our freedom to choose” (Video with Dan “Taxation Is Theft” Behrman explaining that.)…”Pardon the Innocent,” and other libertarian statements. (And he wears a funny hat.)

On William Hurst‘s campaign website, his slogan is “E Pluribus Unum Possumus – Of Many We Can Be One!” Huh? What do you mean we can be one? But I don’t want to be a part of a whole collective of people I don’t know, and be “one.” I just want freedom.

Under “My Goals,” Hurst writes, “If our children are to have a future, we need to address climate change now.” Huh? How do we address climate change which has been a natural occurrence on Earth for hundreds of millions of years that human activity has had nothing to do with, despite what the junk science fraudsters have brainwashed millions of people to believe?

And, “All citizens should be afforded quality education and a basic degree.” Huh? So what are you saying, that the gubmint should be providing education? Who defines “quality education,” the NEA? Betsy DeVos? And what about those who don’t want a “basic degree”?

In this interview, Hurst was asked if he supports Medicare for All, and his response: “Yes, if it doesn’t lend a hand to furthered abuses of the current healthcare system, I am all for it. This is one of the generally non-libertarian stances that you referred to earlier. I argue that it should be. You can’t enjoy freedom of you’re dead and the for-profit style of medicine has become a means of oppression.” Apparently, Hurst hasn’t read these articles. The “for-profit style of medicine” was working in America, and it was providing the best quality health care for most people and it wasn’t too expensive. Until Medicare was shoved down our throats, and then the quality of medical care declined and the costs went up!

Back to Hurst’s website, he writes about immigration (with my comments in brackets): “If it remains necessary to halt the illegal traffic across our border, to aid the efforts of our border patrol [“Our border patrol”? You mean our government border patrol, the police state?], we have the technology available that will allow for a nearly invisible barrier. This barrier will allow our guards [What, government guards? the border gestapo, “Your papers, please?” No thanks!] to effectively see and handle any potential threat while maintaining the ability of wildlife to traverse our expansive borders.”

On Ben Leder‘s campaign website, he proposes a Civilian Defense Act: “The Civilian Defense Act shall Repeal and Replace all Federal Gun Control Laws to include but not limited to the National Firearms Act of 1934, the National Firearms Act of 1938, the Control Act of 1968, the Hughes Amendment of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, and reaffirm the Second Amendment of the US Constitution by creating an Online Government Auction for US Military Surplus.  All US Military Surplus shall be sold at auction to the highest bidder amongst the United States Civilian Market.  The US Civilian Market shall have the first right of refusal on all US Military Surplus, and all US Military Surplus Exports shall be sold at action to the highest bidder only after failing to be liquidated to the Civilian Marketplace.    Financing Options shall be made available to the US Civilian Market on US Military Surplus Equipment to include but not limited to Aircraft, Ships, Boats, in addition to Amphibious, Armored,  Wheeled, and Tracked Vehicles.” Hmmm.

And a Felony Forgiveness Act. “The Felony Forgiveness Act shall retroactively expunge all convictions for offenses no longer deemed illegal, to include but not limited to Drug Offenses, Firearms Offenses, and Tax Offenses….” Good.

Kimberly Ruff has a campaign website with an already chosen running mate, John Phillips.

On immigration reform, Ruff concludes, “We therefore call for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and would declare, when elected, a full pardon for all otherwise innocent people who are in the country without government permission. We oppose the false conflation of government welfare with ‘illegal’ immigration, as those claims are unsupported by empirical study, and irrelevant to matters of natural rights. We oppose border walls as antithetical to the principles of freedom and liberty.” Good.

However, on his Positions on National Issues page, Kimberly Ruff’s VP running mate John Phillips states: “Immigration reform.  I am not a fully open borders with no restrictions person, though close.  I am however for MUCH easier immigration, work permits, and border crossing.  Once we correct our current welfare system I would be willing to look at making it even easier than I think we should now.” Work permits? You mean that people need to get a gubmint bureaucrat’s permission to work? “Correct our current welfare system”? I hope you mean “abolish” our current welfare system!

Now, I see on the Wikipedia page for the LP 2020 Presidential primaries that the Kimberly Ruff/John Phillips ticket has been endorsed by Darryl Perry, with a footnote link to this tweet. To me, that sure has a lot of weight, given how consistently libertarian and voluntaryist Darryl Perry is in his views.

And finally, someone who has a campaign website but hasn’t formally declared a candidacy for President is Jacob Hornberger, the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation. He has quite an impressive background and résumé, and has been involved for many years in advancing liberty.

On Taxation, Hornberger states: “Abolish the federal income tax and the IRS. People have the fundamental, God-given right to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it — spend, save, donate, or invest. The right to keep and dispose of the fruits of one’s earnings is a necessary prerequisite to a free society.”

On Healthcare, Hornberger states: “There is but one solution to what Democrats and Republicans have done to destroy what was once the greatest health-care system in the world: a total separation of health care and the state, just as our ancestors separated church and state. That necessarily means the repeal, not the reform, of Medicare, Medicaid, occupational licensure, and healthcare and tax regulations, all of which are nothing more than a cancer on the body politic.”

In fact, just this week he has some proposals for Constitutional amendments on his regular blog at FFF, such as: “No law shall be enacted by either the federal or the state governments respecting the regulation of commerce or abridging the free exercise thereof.” And, “No law shall be enacted by either the federal or state governments regarding the establishment of education or abridging the free exercise thereof.” (Well, I am not sure whether the inclusion of “state governments” might violate the Tenth Amendment, but whatever.)

On his campaign website, Hornberger has this video, A Political Message to Americans:

And he has it in Spanish as well.

Hornberger doesn’t agree with Adam Kokesh and Darryl Perry (and me) that we need to abolish the federal government, at the very least. But Hornberger does believe that the U.S. government needs to have most of what it is today dismantled, its police state given a dishonorable discharge and so on. As Hornberger wrote n 2013, permanently lay off the parasitic sector. Yup.

But in my view, the U.S. needs to decentralize, just as the old Soviet Union did. This entire territory is just too damn big to be all one single country and a single “culture.” Murray Rothbard wrote about how best to decentralize, and Lew Rockwell also envisioned how he’d like to see that done.

But, as long as this is one single country and ruled over by a single regime in Washington, we should have someone there who will veto just about everything, pardon peaceful non-criminals who are being harassed by government tyrants, and make use of the power of the executive branch to dismantle as much as possible that criminal racket in Washington, and liberate the people!

While I’m not endorsing anyone here, if the LP were to have its nominating convention today, I would be shocked if they didn’t nominate Jacob Hornberger, given his years of experience in advancing the cause of liberty, and his qualifications.

Published inElectionsLibertarian PartyLibertarianismVoluntaryism