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  #51  
Old 05-16-2020, 01:00 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
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On second thought he's not running. Announced today on twitter.
  #52  
Old 05-16-2020, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
On second thought he's not running. Announced today on twitter.
Anyone with basic intelligence would want to avoid the very real possibility of being a spoiler whose third-party run helps keep Trump in power.

Apparently Amash is possessed of basic intelligence.

(He's young. He'll have other chances at the prize.)
  #53  
Old 05-21-2020, 08:29 AM
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Hit submit too early. New post coming.

Last edited by mhendo; 05-21-2020 at 08:30 AM.
  #54  
Old 05-21-2020, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
Anyone with basic intelligence would want to avoid the very real possibility of being a spoiler whose third-party run helps keep Trump in power.

Apparently Amash is possessed of basic intelligence.
I think Amash is an intelligent person, but you're misrepresenting him here. He didn't drop out of the race because he is worried about being a spoiler who would help keep Trump in power; he dropped out because he has always said that he has no interest in running in an election that he cannot win.

Amash looked around at the polarized nature of the current political landscape and decided that there was no way he could get enough votes to actually challenge for the presidency. Now, I don't think that a Libertarian candidate would have a chance to win even under the most favorable circumstances, but he's certainly right that this is a particularly unpropitious year. Third-party candidates tend to do terribly in elections that come of the heels of very divisive political moments. Democrats and Republicans have lined up in their tribes, and not many people are going to vote third party this time around.

I follow libertarian politics a bit, despite not being a libertarian myself, because I find it interesting. There's a real battle within libertarianism, and within the party, over whether it's better to be ideologically pure and not worry at all about how many votes you get, or whether you have to accept some of the realities of electoral politics and meet some of your potential constituency part-way on certain policy issues. You could see these issues play out in a recent LP debate. Amash is more willing than quite a few other LP candidates to compromise on a bunch of economic and political and social issues, and that earned him the scorn of LP candidates like Jacob Hornberger.

If you're a libertarian who wants to get the most votes possible, I think that Amash's withdrawal is probably bad news, because I definitely think he had a much better shot at getting votes from both disaffected Republicans and Democrats than any other LP candidate. He has some name recognition; he's been in congress for a decade; he has been consistent in his criticism of Trump; he has been willing to call out Republicans for abandoning their (alleged) principles to support Trump; he left the Republican Party to be an Indepedent; and he's a smart guy with some interesting policy ideas, even the ones I disagree with. He's also anti-abortion, which would help him with some potential supporters and hurt him with others.

Hornberger, who is probably now the frontrunner for the LP nomination, is on what most mainstream people would consider the lunatic fringe of libertarianism. He wants to completely dismantle social security and medicare/medicaid. He wants completely open borders, without any security or other checkpoints. He wants to remove US troops from all foreign nations and bases, and then discharge then when they get home to radically reduce the size of the military. He not only wants to dissolve the IRS and eliminate direct taxes, but he wants to fund government at all levels through voluntary contributions. He believes that the attack on Pearl Harbor was essentially goaded and encouraged by FDR and the United States government, and that Lee Harvey Oszvald was framed. If Hornberger is the nominee and gets more than one half of one percent of the vote, I'll be very surprised.
  #55  
Old 05-21-2020, 09:05 AM
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I think it tells you a lot about the Libertarian Party that someone like Amash could float the idea of being the nominee in an election year and likely get it if he chose to do so. No great primary battles to get the nomination, just whoever has any electoral experience at all can have the nomination if he wants it.
  #56  
Old 05-21-2020, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
I think it tells you a lot about the Libertarian Party that someone like Amash could float the idea of being the nominee in an election year and likely get it if he chose to do so. No great primary battles to get the nomination, just whoever has any electoral experience at all can have the nomination if he wants it.
First, I'm not sure what you mean by "someone like Amash." Second, you've misrepresented the way their nomination works.

While some people considered Amash the frontrunner for the nomination, it was not a certainty by any means. But even if he did get the nomination, how would this make the LP different from either of the major parties? He would get the nomination based on a complex calculus among the voters, taking into account things like experience, policy positions, public speaking ability, presentation, and likelihood of getting more votes in the election.

While it's true that there are "no great primary battles" for the nomination, you don't just get to walk into a room and take it. Firstly, the party does have primaries, although they are non-binding. But the fact that they're non-binding doesn't make them completely irrelevant, because they give the delegates to the LP convention some indication of how American libertarians are thinking.

Also, there are around 1,000 delegates at the convention itself, and Amash was not necessarily going to just be able to waltz in and have the nomination. He would need to convince the delegates that he was the right person to be the nominee, and for many LP delegates making this decision goes well beyond electability or name recognition or congressional experience. In fact, there are many in the party who are suspicious of people who joined the party late, like Amash did, and who don't like the idea of the LP as a haven for disaffected Republicans. I think he had a pretty good shot at it, but it wasn't guaranteed by any means.
  #57  
Old 05-21-2020, 09:26 AM
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By someone like Amash I meant someone of modest fame and name recognition. I would bet dollars to donuts that if he actively sought the nomination, he would get it. Disclaimer: I think libertarianism is pure folly and poppycock and the Libertarian Party has a lot of work to do before it becomes more than a joke.
  #58  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
I think Amash is an intelligent person, but you're misrepresenting him here. He didn't drop out of the race because he is worried about being a spoiler who would help keep Trump in power; he dropped out because he has always said that he has no interest in running in an election that he cannot win.
That's some interesting information about the Libertarian Party in your full post, and thanks for that. But for now I'll just reply to this (quoted) bit.

Amash may well have gone on record saying he has no interest in running in an election he cannot win. But I would feel safe in guessing that he is also concerned about the damage to his reputation involved in mounting a third-party challenge in a year in which he could credibly be accused of being an opportunistic spoiler.

So, sure, he's not running because he wanted to win this year and knows he can't. But he's also not running because he'd like to win in some other year.

This year, masses of Americans are galvanized to remove Trump, and there will be much less tolerance of third-party Presidential candidacies, than there is in calmer times. If he ran this year, quite frankly, he'd be widely reviled.

Presumably he would prefer not to become a household name on that basis. If he waits four years (assuming we still have a republic and not a de-facto dictatorship), he'll have the chance to make his case to voters in a more conventional way.
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