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2024-05-28 07:15 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 338 references Ignore this thread
Oliver Eh?
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Chase Oliver is the Libertarian Party's nominee for President -- after speeches by both RFK and Trump at their convention.

I understand how he got the nomination -- he's been quite-instrumental in getting ballot access for the party over the last few years and done a decent amount of campaigning and "boots on the ground" work (which the Libertarians, in general, are poor at with a few notable exceptions) and thus you can reasonably say "he earned it."

His ballot win was also a blow to the so-called "Mises" wing of the party that some considered "hard right."  Reason did an article on that take-over which, I might remind readers, came out of (to a large degree) the pandemic-era constraints.  Perhaps someone can explain to me how the right to choose whether or not you personally wish to wear a mask or enter a business (rather than having the government decree you must or that the business must be closed) is not Libertarian at its core.  Good luck with defending that charge.  One place that did resonate with many was the deletion of the abortion plank.  I personally agree with it being gone simply because I don't believe it has a place in a national party's platform; there are competing and unresolved interests (obviously, since the fetus will turn into a born child if left alone) and, as I've written here before we short-circuited that debate in the 1960s and now are playing it out on a state-by-state basis.  Thus in my view taking either side in a national platform plank is not only foolish it derogates half the voices, whether they can vote or not (obviously a fetus can't -- yet.)

Thus I don't know that I'd consider what was leveled at the Mises folks to be a fair charge but it doesn't matter now, at least for this election cycle.

But in terms of actual Libertarian political views I have to say.... I'm disappointed.  The one thing you can say about Oliver is that he isn't an octogenarian but that's damning with faint praise.

Some will go after him because he's an openly-gay yet single man.  I don't care about that.  What I do care about is his position on various issues.

I'm particularly troubled by the authoritarianism in a few places -- such as re-entering the abortion debate on the national platform, a guaranteed vote-splitter and one that I argued the party cannot afford when I was involved in the Florida EC.  Never mind his clear prior support for both mandates during the pandemic and his failure to speak loudly and clearly about the perversions of money that drove much of what we did and its budgetary impact which now that the pandemic has ended was undertaken with the pandemic as a pretext instead of a temporary necessity.

No matter how you feel about the various measures during the 2020-2023 timeframe that the federal budgetary and intrusions of those years has remained is not subject to debate -- it has, its fact, and no amount of arm-waving in justification on a temporary basis passes the giggle test.

Further, "ranked-choice voting" is not representative.  At all.  It sounds good but in fact is the opposite, like so many other "progressive" ideas.  This is mathematically demonstrable and foolish.  If a majority cannot be obtained a run-off is the right answer and while you might think that ranked-choice does this you're wrong because people's perceptions of candidates change over time and you are denying them the agency to do that as the race unfolds.  This is the same problem with "early voting" and similar schemes; a candidate could say or do something three days before the election that in your mind disqualifies said person and you're hosed if you voted for said individual early!

Of course as is bog-standard for the Libertarian Party Oliver supports ending the Department of Education.  That requires Congressional action, which means its a zero-cost proposal because he can't do it -- and he knows he won't get the Congressional support.

But this is the key problem: The real issues facing this nation, including illegal immigration and the explosive growth in both education and health care costs, resolving which would largely eliminate the federal deficit and thus the debt problem along with inflation are addressable to a large degree without Congressional action and in fact are essentially immune to Congressional obstruction.  College costs will require Congress (to reverse both what Obama and Pelosi did with government-backed funding and to reverse several decades of progressive exemptions from bankruptcy for college-related debts) but the other two both have existing felony criminal legal sanctions that can be levered to end the problem on the books, in one case since the 1950s and the other for over a hundred years.  You wouldn't have to jail many people either; the belief that the government means it, and will do it, would be enough to obtain compliance and an Executive that pledged to do this and then demonstrated they mean it with the commencement of such prosecutions is beyond the ability of Congress to stop other than by repealing the law or impeachment, both of which require supermajorities as if the laws were attempted to be exempted or repealed the President can veto the bill.

You'd think that the Libertarians would be all over this since inflation steals from everyone and unless you're capable of granting yourself some sort of monopoly (which is cheating and thus not Libertarian at all) you get screwed.  Opposing that initiation of force and fraud upon you ought to be a trivially-supported Libertarian value and one that any candidate running for office under that banner should inherently support given that the Libertarian Party allegedly stands on and for that first principle above all else.

After all Liberty is supposed to come with consequences -- especially when you break the law.  That's the bargain and in fact is the alleged "Prime Directive" of the Libertarian Party: Do what you will but if you screw someone else you must, under any view of actual justice, be forced to pay for it.

Unfortunately I was unable to find any purchase for that position within the Florida party when I was involved in it on the health care side of things, and that factored largely in my decision to ultimately resign.

But what has become quite clear -- and has continued -- is that the Libertarian Party has succumbed to the siren song of freedom without consequences for the person so desiring to act -- that is, the party has come to fully embrace the idea that everyone else should get the bill for your acts by force.  Want open borders? That's fine but first you must end all welfare -- for everyone.  You can then come here through an Ellis Island sort of arrangement where the criteria is you have no communicable diseases and you have no obvious physical or mental defects -- and can prove that by examination and records, along with no criminal history.  However, there are no handouts for you or anyone who you sire or bear because there are none for anyone else either.  When -- and only when -- that precondition exists that is Liberty, but with just consequences -- your actions or inactions are your responsibility, as are the outcomes.  So long as there is welfare there cannot be an open border; that is not "liberty" at all in that it is support of a right for someone to break the law and charge someone else, forcing them to pay after the fact for what they want to do.

You want to legalize some (or all) drugs?  Fine with me.  Let's have the debate and let's include all current pharmaceuticals; all become over-the-counter requiring nothing other than proof that you're an adult (and thus presumptively competent to choose.)  But again, if you take that position then you must first end welfare; repeal EMTALA, remove any claim to freebie medical care at all by other than true charity, there can be no subsidies for same, no handouts for housing, food or anything else.  Go ahead and get stoned but if and when you are impaired as a consequence and can't work you starve.  Get addicted and the consequences are yours -- and nobody else's.  Nobody else is responsible for the cost of your addiction treatment -- you are, and if you don't want to or can't pay, and nobody will provide you that through pure charity you don't get any.  Cause another person injury or worse while stoned its not an excuse; you're fully liable both criminally and civilly.  That is Liberty with consequences.

Want to be homeless?  Fine; nobody has a right to force you to rent or buy a home but you cannot camp on public property because that forbids others from using that same piece of public property and your rights are not superior to anyone else's.  You can't steal shopping carts; that's theft and its a crime.  You can't urinate or take a dump in the street; both littering and spoilation of public land is a crime because it harms the property owned by everyone and in the case of trash or human waste is not only unsightly and smells (you don't have a right to impose on others) it also attracts vermin and spreads disease.  No squatting on someone else's land is allowed either for what should be obvious reasons -- its not yours.  If you do any of those things you get arrested and jailed for it -- and have to unscrew whatever you screwed up -- including cleaning up said streets, earning the funds to repay whatever you stole (e.g. said shopping cart) and similar.  Again, that position is one of Liberty, but with consequences.

And then there is the rank authoritarian side, which Oliver has displayed.  He publicly cheered Trump being banned on Twitter.  So much for Freedom of Speech.


It probably shouldn't surprise me that Oliver has nothing positive to say about actual liberty, along with the consequences of exercising same -- his entire political career, including when he was an Obama supporter, was in furtherance of alleged "liberty" but at everyone else's expense -- that is, without consequences -- and for that reason I can't vote for him, nor could I reasonably consider myself a member of the party on a national level nor register to vote under their banner since their very name is false.