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2016 Libertarian National Convention

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2016 Libertarian National Convention

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Last week, the Libertarian Party held their biannual convention, nominating their 2016 Presidential ticket, electing leadership for the next two years, and conducting appropriate business.

This year’s event was my fourth consecutive national convention, and it was my favorite to date.

Often, the nature of politics and the business at hand makes for a solemn and serious occasion, but this year, things were different.

Libertarian DebateThis year, the excitement was on par with a major sporting event, graduation, or a concert. That excitement was due to the contested Presidential nomination with some of the best candidates the party has ever fielded, accompanying the “feeling” that this is a pivotal election for the party. The stars are aligned for historic electoral outcomes as the animosity toward the establishment parties.

On top of the enthusiasm for unprecedented electoral success, several candidates for President brought supporters brought energy that caught on quickly.

At the pre-convention unofficial Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates on Thursday, I served on the panel for the standing room only events, asking the candidates to make their case to the delegates. With a welcome reception sandwiched between sessions of the debate, the energy carried over to infect the rest of the attendees.

By Friday morning’s opening gavel, the “buzz” made its way throughout the convention center, infecting everyone I came across. This was my fourth consecutive convention, and I’ve not seen anything like what I experienced. Often, my experience with Party-specific events is somewhat “flat,” while libertarian movement events are dynamic, engaging, and energetic. This definitely fell in line with the latter.

Even the vendors filled the hall with booths, where just two years ago, a couple booths stood outside the convention hall in a vast, lonely space. This year, we could have used two volunteers at the Advocates booth to help with the volume of excited libertarians who wanted to learn about how we support the libertarian movement, from the World’s Smallest Political Quiz to communication training and political persuasion, changing hearts and minds to libertarian ideas.

The energy and excitement never died, as the delegates and other attendees continued engaging with one another up to and beyond the Presidential nomination. The passion displayed by supporters showed their love of libertarianism, as they courted undecided delegates and conversed with others. The source could be the injection of youthful, engaged, and committed delegates and attendees. No matter, it didn’t stay there. It was EVERYWHERE.

Saturday’s Presidential debate and the nomination the following day felt like the Indy 500, the Super Bowl, and the World Series wrapped into one event. In fact, I think I’m still recovering from the energy spent today (Wednesday). Things certainly peaked as the Johnson/Weld ticket was nominated.

There’s so much more to share, and I wish I could have bottled my experience to share with others.

They Said It… Alexander McCobin, Conan O’Brien And More!

in Liberator Online by James W. Harris Comments are off

(From the They Said It… section in Volume 19, No. 7 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)


Alexander McCobin

“Today’s youth is the most libertarian generation that has ever existed. Today’s youth have grown up socially tolerant, but at the same time skeptical of government intervention in the economy. And we’re fed up with excessive military intervention in foreign affairs by the U.S. government, not to mention we’ve seen the failed presidential administration of both a big-government Republican and a big-government Democrat.” — Alexander McCobin, founder of Students for Liberty, at the Libertarian Party of Texas state convention, April 12, 2014.

LIBERTARIANISM “ON THE RISE”: Libertarianism [is] on the rise. There is,Chris Cillizza without question, an expanding libertarian streak within the Republican party — particularly among younger voters. The ideas of limiting foreign entanglements, spending less time cracking down on marijuana use and being OK with same-sex marriage are all growing in terms of their mindshare within the GOP. Need evidence? Six in ten young Republicans — defined as between 18-30 years of age — are in favor of same-sex marriage in new Pew data.” — award-winning journalist Chris Cillizza, “It’s time to start taking Rand Paul seriously,” Washington Post blogs, March 17, 2014.


Jill Abramson

“The Obama years are a benchmark for a new level of secrecy and control. …Collectively [the Obama administration's criminal leak investigations] have really, I think, put a chill on reporting about national security issues in Washington. Sources who want to come forward with important stories that they feel the public needs to know are just scared to death that they’re going to be prosecuted. Reporters fear that they will find themselves subpoenaed in this atmosphere.” — Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, interviewed at The, April 10, 2014.

RAND PAUL GOES FOR THE PRIVACY VOTE: “[Young voters] have all got a Senator Rand Paulcell phone and they all think the government shouldn’t be looking at their cell phone or listening to their cell phone without a warrant. We get to the young people with privacy. It’s not a conservative or Republican issue. It’s an area where we can connect with people who haven’t been connecting. Obama won the youth vote 3 to 1 but he’s losing them now. Hillary Clinton’s as bad or worse on all of these issues. It’s a way we can transform and make the party bigger or even win again, but we’ve got to be as proud of the Fourth Amendment as we are the Second Amendment.” —Rand Paul at an NH GOP rally at the Cottage by the Bay in Dover, N.H, April 11, 2014.


Conan O'Brien

“‘Captain America’ is currently the No. 1 movie in China. The Chinese say their favorite part is when Captain America asks Captain China for a $17 trillion loan.” — Conan O’Brien, April 9, 2014.

THANKS A LOT, OBAMA: “The White House just releasedJimmy FallonPresident Obama’s tax returns, which show that he and Michelle paid $98,000 dollars in taxes last year. When he saw that, even Obama said, ‘Thanks, Obama.’” — Jimmy Fallon, April 11, 2014.



Ayn Rand

“Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.” — Ayn Rand, quoted by Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation in his article “In Praise of ‘Thick’ Libertarianism.” See Rand’s full quote here.