Three leading contenders for the Libertarian Party (L.P.) vice presidential nomination debated remotely Thursday night, moderated by old party hand Jim Turney.
Larry Sharpe was a close runner-up for the V.P. nod in 2016, getting nearly 47 percent on the second ballot against winner William Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts. Though the party's delegates choose president and vice president via separate votes, Sharpe has been linking himself with Judge James Gray, one of the presidential candidates. Sharpe stressed their ticket's focus on helping party growth and down-ticket candidates in his opening statements.
Spike Cohen, who emphasized his decades of business experience and currently runs Muddied Waters Media, has linked himself to presidential hopeful Vermin Supreme. He did not, however, stress this during the debate, though, the way Sharpe did with Gray.
Ken Armstong is a former NATO base commander in Italy as well as a former Alaskan pipeline worker.
The candidates were mostly asked how they would message and campaign. Cohen noted his media ability to reach millions of Americans in an entertaining, engaging matter that focuses on libertarian fundamentals of self-ownership and non-aggression. He says he's been successful going door-to-door and talking to people all over, from college campuses to housing projects, showing them how the system of government control is designed to fail the people while helping those in power and their connected pals. He says Americans acutely understand, due to this pandemic, that something is seriously wrong with the status quo and that his "empathetic, sympathetic" approach that tries to drill in on people's problems and offer libertarian solutions will work best. Cohen sums up his message as: "You own yourself, your life, your body and your labor and your property, and we stand alongside you against anyone who tries to take it from you."
Armstrong said he's been on the road campaigning for a year already, and proudly noted his endorsement by the Libertarian Pragmatist Caucus. He thinks the bad example of government tyranny and failure in the pandemic means "you don't need to do much convincing" this year to show people government is not the solution.
Sharpe suggested his experience as an executive coach and Libertarian candidate for governor of New York in 2018 gives him the ability to sell libertarianism as something "radical enough to make people go, 'Hmm,' but at the same time familiar enough to go, 'Oh yeah, that's not so crazy, I can say "Yes."'" He was proud of discussing marijuana legalization in terms of, "regulate cannabis like onions," to make legalization feel both radical but familiar and doable. He mentioned his first attraction to libertarian ideas was through business writer Robert Ringer, but his attachment to the party came through Gary Johnson's 2012 campaign.
Cohen said his experience running a business and seeing how regulations and taxes make it harder every step of the way for business owners, employees, and customers turned him from his neoconservative past. He then fell deep into libertarian scripture due to works like Frederic Bastiat's The Law and Lysander Spooner'sNo Treason.
Armstrong cheekily credits the Democratic Party in Hawaii, which he used to work with, for turning on him over his objection to a tax increase and pushing him toward the L.P. He thinks his life experience as someone who had worked with both minimum wage workers and people at the highest level of government will give him wide appeal.
Sharpe, who is African-American, stresses that his preferred presidential choiceformer California Superior Court Judge James Grayis someone who people will "listen to [even though he's] being different because he looks similar," then proudly noted how well he'd navigated the thorny question of minority representation in the ticket. "See how I spun this? I'm good at this. This is why I should" get the vice presidential nod. Sharpe also says he learned from his gubernatorial run that money is even more vital than he knew if the ticket expects to be polled or get national media attention.
They were all pro-immigration, with Armstrong discussing, as a short-term goal, a free-trade zone funded by businesses along the U.S.-Mexican border. While all agreed on retreating from overseas commitments, Armstrong stressed that we needed to do so gradually because of the bad effects a swift pullout might have, like in Okinawa, Japan, where our presence has been relied on for so long. Cohen was more emotionally charged in his attack on the system of intervention that has cost so many lives and so much treasure.
Sharpe emphasized that a Gray/Sharpe ticket would do the most for down-ticket L.P. candidate support. He said he believes the only realistic chance Gray has of winning the presidency is if the election goes to the House of Representatives because no one candidate gets an electoral college majority, which would sadly mean that he, Sharpe, would have no chance of actually becoming vice president. That's because the Senate, who would make that pick if that happens, is required by law to choose from among the top two actual vote-getters. (The House can pick from the top three for president.) Armstrong strongly insisted the L.P. ticket must run as if it could (and would) straight-up win the election.
The Libertarian Party will have delegates chosen by its state parties selecting its presidential ticket in an online convention this weekend. The president is chosen first, starting Saturday, with the vice presidential vote scheduled for Sunday.
- Letters to the Editor: April 5, 2021 - West Hawaii Today - April 6th, 2021
- The Bad Kind of Globalism - Splice Today - April 6th, 2021
- Vaccine Passports and Supply Chain Political Blacklist Risk - Reason - April 4th, 2021
- Glenn Nielsen and David Tyson Smith race toward the 45th District special election - Columbia Daily Tribune - April 4th, 2021
- Letters to the Editor for March 31, 2021 | Serving Carson City for over 150 years - Nevada Appeal - April 4th, 2021
- How Living on a Socialist Kibbutz Reveals the Value of Private Property - Reason - April 4th, 2021
- I Am An Ambedkarite And A Libertarian And I Do Not Owe Anything To Your Opinion - Youth Ki Awaaz - March 31st, 2021
- Libertarianism - Libertarian philosophy | Britannica - March 29th, 2021
- libertarianism | Definition, Doctrines, History, & Facts ... - March 25th, 2021
- Education and Naive Libertarianism - National Review - March 25th, 2021
- March 19-21: Libertarian Party of NH convention with keynote from former US Rep. Justin Amash - Manchester Ink Link - March 25th, 2021
- Why We Don't Need Any More "Political" Clubs on Campus The Skidmore News - Skidmore News - March 25th, 2021
- If we don't rediscover our libertarian spirit, the next pandemic will crush us - Telegraph.co.uk - March 25th, 2021
- Is it any surprise Republican men dont want the COVID vaccine? - The Boston Globe - March 25th, 2021
- Area business participates in hygiene drive | News, Sports, Jobs - The Express - Lock Haven Express - March 25th, 2021
- Recover the Moral Imperative of Law and Order city-journal.org - City Journal - March 25th, 2021
- Will Prohibitionists Tie The New Conservative Movement To Trump? - The Fresh Toast - March 25th, 2021
- 'Tip of the iceberg': Lawmakers mull domestic terrorism legislation after Capitol riot, other violence - USA TODAY - March 25th, 2021
- Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announces he will run for reelection in 2022 - Knoxville News Sentinel - March 25th, 2021
- Bidenomics - The Nation - March 3rd, 2021
- Warren, Pressley among Dems pushing to strip police of 'qualified immunity' - Fox News - March 3rd, 2021
- Nick Robinson on 'Silk Road' and Carrying the Torch for 'Jurassic Park' - Hollywood Reporter - March 3rd, 2021
- Wyoming's Voter Registration Numbers Dip By More Than 20K Sheridan Media - Sheridan Media - March 3rd, 2021
- Recollections of Murray on His Ninety-Fifth Birthday - The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette - March 3rd, 2021
- Threatened by Libertarians, Iowa GOP moves goal posts - The Gazette - February 28th, 2021
- The New Foreign Flavor of CPACs Red Meat - New York Magazine - February 28th, 2021
- CPAC and the New Republicanism - The New York Times - February 28th, 2021
- Libertarian Party of Indiana's response to Secretary of State's resignation - Shelbynews - February 28th, 2021
- Iowa's bad election bill will stifle early voting, micromanage auditors - The Gazette - February 28th, 2021
- Letter: School voucher programs benefit the wealthy - The Republic - February 28th, 2021
- News - The Bankruptcy of Conservative Political Paternalism - The Heartland Institute - February 18th, 2021
- Rush Limbaugh galvanised and embodied the modern American right - The Economist - February 18th, 2021
- People Of Georgia's 14th Congressional Make Decision Who Will Occupy That Seat - Jamestown Post Journal - February 18th, 2021
- My Take: Here's a unity solution: Have one standard - HollandSentinel.com - February 18th, 2021
- 77 third-party candidates received more votes than the winner's margin of victory in 2020 Ballotpedia News - Ballotpedia News - January 29th, 2021
- Empathize with Trump voters? A Progressive and a Libertarian agree to disagree - KUOW News and Information - January 27th, 2021
- STATE: Constitution, Green parties no longer recognized in North Carolina - The Stanly News & Press | The Stanly News & Press - Stanly News... - January 27th, 2021
- Book Review: When A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear, nobody wins (except the reader) - NPI's Cascadia Advocate - January 27th, 2021
- Brennan: Intel Agencies To Probe The 'Bigots' Behind US 'Insurgency' - The Federalist - January 27th, 2021
- The politics of an Auschwitz survivors son - The Boston Globe - January 27th, 2021
- Sedition Cases Against Capitol Rioters 'Will Bear Fruit Very Soon,' Says FBI - Reason - January 27th, 2021
- Former GOP congressman urges Never Trumpers to join Libertarian Party - Washington Times - January 15th, 2021
- Letter to the editor: There are options to political dissatisfaction - Jacksonville Journal-Courier - January 15th, 2021
- The war between Silicon Valley and Washington takes a new turn - POLITICO - January 9th, 2021
- LETTER: Yukon the Libertarian friend of a reindeer? - The News Herald - January 1st, 2021
- 21 Things That Kept Me Going In 2020 - kottke.org - January 1st, 2021
- What Happened?: The 2020 election showed that libertarians have a long way to go before they can become a national movement. - USAPP American Politics... - December 29th, 2020
- My New Year's wish for Sarasotans - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - December 29th, 2020
- Splinter Republican representatives sign "termination of the state" document calling Sununu a 'tyrant' - Concord Monitor - December 29th, 2020
- Theres no right to infect - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - July 21st, 2020
- The Disastrous Handling of the Pandemic is Libertarianism in Action, Will Americans Finally Say Good Riddance? - CounterPunch - July 21st, 2020
- Justin Amash's Tenure as the Libertarian Party's First Member in Congress Will Be Shortlived - Reason - July 21st, 2020
- You don't have the right to put others at risk by not wearing a mask - Newsday - July 21st, 2020
- The Libertarian Case for Immigration (and Against Trump) - Lawfare - July 21st, 2020
- We have now reached peak Libertarianism and it is literally killing us - AlterNet - July 21st, 2020
- Ted Cruz: Future of conservatism is populist and libertarian - Washington Examiner - July 21st, 2020
- Are the British conformist or libertarian? Our face mask response is telling - The Guardian - July 21st, 2020
- Chad Blair: There's A High Bar For Legislative Candidates Without A - Honolulu Civil Beat - July 21st, 2020
- 3 highlights from Penn Jillette's Big Think interview on 2020, cancel culture, and friendship - Big Think - July 21st, 2020
- They praise John Lewis but hate Black voting rights and Black Lives Matter. - Mother Jones - July 21st, 2020
- Md. on the Hook for $27K in Legal Fees to Conservative Group - Josh Kurtz - July 21st, 2020
- Why Boris Johnson is having to sacrifice his libertarian values in the battle against coronavirus - Telegraph.co.uk - July 21st, 2020
- Weber Reaffirms Commitment to Preserving 2nd Amendment Rights - TAPinto.net - July 21st, 2020
- Your Illinois News Radar Longshot day at the ISBE - The Capitol Fax Blog - July 21st, 2020
- Those who claim wearing masks to be un-American haven't thought through the problem - KRWG - July 21st, 2020
- N.Y. Primary: Who Is on the Ballot? - The New York Times - June 22nd, 2020
- That Time the Libertarian Party Debated the Private Ownership of Nuclear Weapons - Reason - May 27th, 2020
- The truth about 'I'm with her' - CNN - May 27th, 2020
- You Dont Have to Like the Decree, But Wear Face Masks Anyway - Bacon's Rebellion - May 27th, 2020
- Justin Amash, Ross Perot and the third-party future: Ranked choice voting is the answer - Salon - May 27th, 2020
- An outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere - Modern Diplomacy - May 14th, 2020
- Libertarian Party To Choose Its Presidential Ticket in Virtual Vote Over Memorial Day Weekend - Reason - May 11th, 2020
- Johnson address shows he has been swayed by hawks in his cabinet - The Guardian - May 11th, 2020
- Dershowitz Defends and Criticizes Flynn by Railing Against Entrapment and Fair-Weather Civil Libertarians - Law & Crime - May 11th, 2020
- Analysis: Reeves tries to balance concerns of health, jobs - Associated Press - May 11th, 2020
- Originalism, Common-Good Originalism, and Common-Good Constitutionalism - Reason - May 11th, 2020
- Libertarian, Green parties sue over Illinois election rules - The Southern - April 9th, 2020
- Lawsuit Filed by Green and Libertarian Parties Over Petitioning Issues Because of Stay at Home Order - wcsjnews.com - April 9th, 2020
- This Libertarian Country Defeated The Coronavirus With The Free Market - Patheos - April 9th, 2020
- Is Passover the Most Libertarian Holiday? - Reason - April 9th, 2020