• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Gary Johnson Hits 12% In Latest Fox News Poll

Reason’s Brian Doherty notes that Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson is garnering a surprisingly high 12% in a recent Fox News poll, a number that is close to being high enough to qualify him for an invitation to the fall Presidential debates:

The Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate Gary Johnson has long insisted that the presidential debates are key to his ticket’s success. And getting into the debates, through the front door anyway, requires polling at 15 percent in five (as yet unnamed) reputable national polls.

He’s inching closer to that goal with today’s announcement of his highest even national poll total, with 12 percent from Fox.

He was only at 10 in their last presidential poll including him in May. Since that poll, Clinton stayed the same against him and Trump with 39 percent, while Trump fell from 42 percent to 36 percent. (In Utah, Johnson’s currently polling at 16 percent.)

As Johnson has noted in the past, the media has often placed third-party candidates in something of  Catch-22 in that they can’t qualify for debates if they don’t make some kind of showing in the polls. As a general rule, this is a reasonable standard by which to determine who gets invited to a debate but the Catch-22 comes in the fact that, many times, polling companies don’t bother including third-party candidates in their polling. News organizations in turn say that the reason they don’t provide much coverage to such candidates is because they don’t show up in the polls. Thus you have a viscious circle. The polling companies don’t include the third-party candidates in part no doubt because the media doesn’t pay much attention to them, the media doesn’t pay attention to them because they don’t register in the polls, and they don’t get invited to debates because they don’t meet the debate criteria. It’s all quite frustrating.

I’ve made my own support for Johnson clear in the past. I supported him in 2012, and will do so again in 2016, not so much because I think he can win, indeed even he clearly recognizes that the odds of that happening as being essentially zero, but because his candidacy stands in start contrast to the offerings of either of the major political parties. This is especially true in a year when those offerings include a demagogue who appeals openly to racism and xenophobia, and a woman whose candidacy includes the not entirely appealing prospect of returning to the politics of the 1990s. Obviously, the current polling showing him doing better than any previous Libertarian Party nominee is likely based as much on a rejection of either of the two major party nominees as it is on an affinity for Johnson himself, but that is part of the reason why he is the right candidate for a year such as this. Even leaving ideology aside, Johnson is the most qualified nominee the Libertarian Party has ever put forward, and he is the best conduit to carry the party’s message, which is not represented in either major party at this point, to the public. In no small part this is due to the fact that his status as a former Governor and Republican Presidential candidate, which has made it easier for him to get access to the kind of media coverage that Libertarians have not typically gotten. The same is true of his running mate, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, who also ran for Governor as a Libertarian in New York in 2006 before dropping out of the race. For a long period in the 1980s and 1990s, Weld was courted by Libertarians to run for President, but he consistently demurred. The fact that he agreed to join Johnson on the ticket in a year when the LP has a good chance of attracting the votes of disaffected and rebellious Republicans is quite significant, and could help the LP win support in the Northeast and among moderate Republicans and conservatives repulsed by the populist radicalism of Donald Trump, but unwilling to support Hillary Clinton.

Four years ago on his own, Johnson garnered more votes than any Presidential nominee in the forty-four year history of the LP. This year, his goals are far more substantial, and include an invitation to the Presidential debates and far more attention for libertarian ideas in the media. So far at least, he seems to be doing well in both regards. If he succeeds, he may not become President but perhaps he will have made it possible for new ideas to be discussed in the public square and in the media, and that can only be a good thing for representative democracy as a whole.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Alameda says:

    I’d guess that 90% of Gary Johnson’s gain will be at Republican expense, and maybe 10% at Democrats’ expense, from Sanders’ supporters.

    It will be interesting to see if Johnson can get to Perot levels (about 19%)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  2. Marshall A Ferraro says:

    @al-Alameda: He’s actually pulling slightly more from Hillary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  3. Jc says:

    Is this because of his ideas, or solely because people can’t stomach voting for one of the two major party candidates? Perhaps you will see more discussion on Libertarian ideas and whatever it is they stand for as a party, but I don’t see how they would appeal to Democrats based on their balanced budget, tax plans (eliminate Corp taxes, have Consumption Tax), gun regulation, abortions….or how they would appeal to GOP voters with their stance on illegal immigration, drug legalization, LGBT rights and foreign policy. I mean, lowering taxes and cutting spending to a balanced budget amendment etc…? How can I take them seriously like Doug does?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  4. Jeff S. says:

    Announcing “Operation Groundswell”

    Are you one of the tens of millions of Americans who feel disenfranchised with this election and do not want to support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

    If you want another choice in this election, I ask you to stand up and do something about it.

    I ask you to simply write a letter to the editor to one or more of your favorite media outlets or reporters, requesting that they invite Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson for an exclusive interview and asking them to report on his campaign as frequently as possible – ideally a news story every day. If Gary Johnson can get just one percent of the people who support a choice this election to contact the media, the media will be forced to give him more interviews and more coverage and he will be included in the polls, get in the debates and win this election! The media has given Donald Trump $3 billion worth of free media exposure this
    election. All Gary Johnson needs is five percent of the free media coverage that Donald Trump has received, and he will reach 100 million Americans who have never heard of him. Once 100 million Americans learn they have a choice this election, Gary Johnson will continue to soar in the polls, qualify for the debates and win this election.

    After you are done with that, please copy and paste this post on every web discussion board that mentions the presidential race. If everyone does this, Gary Johnson will be in the debates!

    Make history by helping elect the first third-party president since George Washington! Contact the media now!

    Gary Johnson 2016 Campaign Site
    http://www.GaryJohnson2016.com

    Jimmy Cliff – You Can Get It If You Really Want
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=522vYcQQfcI

    Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbwVqmafLG0

    Change Your Life with the Power of Positive Thinking
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7cnRn2xqtI

    The power of the media with a call for action (Network)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao3FuGEGcU8

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  5. gVOR08 says:

    …woman whose candidacy includes the not entirely appealing prospect of returning to the politics of the 1990s.

    I give up. What does that mean? I recall the 90s pretty fondly. The GOPs weren’t as nuts as they are now, despite Gingrich’s best efforts. The Dems were too far right. But I would think you’d count that as a plus.

    OK, maybe you’re just committed to the Libertarian Party, but I don’t recall you’ve ever clearly stated your objections to Hillary. Which allows us to wonder if you’ve clearly thought them out.

    As an aside, co-opting the Libertarian Party was the only real shot the stop Trump guys had at a third party run. Wouldn’t bulling their way in and buying the nomination be an affirmation of libertarian principles?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    “This is the year that the Libertarian Party gets a seat at the table.”

    “Yay!!!”

    LP gets less than 1% of the overall vote

    “Boo!!!”

    Lather, rinse, repeat …

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

  7. Vrabel50 says:

    @Jc: It sounds like you are saying he is pro-life in your post. He is actually pro-choice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  8. Jc says:

    @Vrabel50: Gary Johnson: “I support women’s rights to choose up until viability of the fetus.” That is pro-life or pro-choice “lite” – He can say “it should be left up to the woman” but you can’t make that statement and then the other – which is it Gary?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  9. A Johnson says:

    @Jc:

    Jc: The majority of people are not democrat, or republican. The largest voting base is independent. http://www.gallup.com/poll/166763/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx

    The Libertarian Party and the Green Party are the next largest two platforms. These two parties represent the majority of independent voters. The problem is the media is corrupt, and will not allow that 42% voice to be heard. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein should both be included in all polls and national debate to fully understand the independent voice. The true question is why are they not in the polls? Do the Democrat and/or Republican party bride the pollsters to not include them? Are the media outlets biased and only want their candidate to win? Not knowing why they are not included I can only expect the worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  10. Dave Schuler says:

    It makes no difference if he gets to 25 or 30% if he can’t carry states. That’s always the problem with third party candidates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  11. Kari Q says:

    @A Johnson:

    Actually the majority of independents identity with one of the major parties and vote for that party as reliably as any partisan voter. True independents who do not identify as either Democrats or Republicans are only about 10% of voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  12. Tony W says:

    @A Johnson:

    The largest voting base is independent.

    After a few years of Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and their ilk it’s no wonder many Republicans now identify as Independent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @A Johnson: The real bias of the supposedly liberal MSM is profits. The third party candidates are excluded because they don’t drive eyeballs. Why do conservatives Libertarians hate the free market?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  14. michael reynolds says:

    The LP opposes social security, medicare, medicaid, student loan guarantees and a strong military. Once voters figure that out, the LP drops off the radar.

    A more compromise-friendly LP might have a chance, but then they would lose their ‘base’ composed of guys with unusual facial hair, guys who live in their parents basement, guys who spend 8 hours a day on Reddit and guys who like to Tweet rape threats to female game developers. Did I mention: guys? Because I doubt there are two dozen women ready to sign on with this nonsense.

    The LP will pick up a handful of Bernie Bros, a handful of Mormons desperately in search of someone other than Trump and single-issue pot advocates. As @Dave Schuler points out: they will earn zero electoral votes.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 10

  15. Jc says:

    @A Johnson: I am all for more platforms/parties. But to get into the debates they need 15% across 5 polls, which can happen (very difficult), but for people to know your party and platform you have to spend money to get access, unless your name is Trump where you hijack a party and get free PR. Libertarian is larger than the Green, if Libertarians cannot get 15% across 5 polls with Trump as GOP nominee, then that should say something about the appeal of the party as majority of Libertarians lean right. Could you imagine the U.S with a 3 or 4 party system? We cannot even get things passed with two lol, but like you (and Doug) would like to see some other choices and voices heard

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  16. Jc says:

    @michael reynolds: Lol – Where are the Libertarian women? good question, maybe Doug could answer. You know Libertarians may be polling higher in those Fox polls because of GOP women – I mean Trump really turns off women voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. Davebo says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I could see the Libertarian party, in this election, doubling it’s vote count from 2012.

    But still leaves them at under 2% overall.

    Libertarians always over perform in pre-election polling then miserably under perform in the actual election.

    Take 2012.

    10–13 July 2012, JZ Analytics: Barack Obama 43.6%, Mitt Romney 38.0%, Gary Johnson 5.3%, not sure 13.1%[49]

    August 2012, Rasmussen Reports poll includes Johnson for the first time. One in ten likely voters are familiar with him and 1 percent intends to vote for him.

    September 2012, CNN poll includes Johnson. 4% of registered voters say that they would vote for him.

    November 1, 2012 CNN poll includes Johnson. 5.1% of 796 likely voters indicated that they would vote for Gary Johnson.

    And of course he didn’t break 1%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Davebo:

    They’ve been toiling like this for some 45 years now, and yet they’re still scraping the pot for bites of burnt potato.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  19. Jc says:
  20. Davebo says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    As I said, I could see them getting 2%, maybe even 3%. But not enough to get federal funding next election cycle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  21. Jen says:

    @Davebo:

    But not enough to get federal funding next election cycle.

    Serious question (albeit largely hypothetical): would they accept federal funding, given their platform? I fail to see how a party that opposes government funding of much of anything could take federal campaign funds with straight faces.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  22. James Pearce says:

    Gary Johnson speaking on the Orlando massacre:

    “You can look at the most egregious examples of the war on drugs where federal agents have gone in and killed individuals without their being any justification whatsoever. And if these individuals that were killed were to have known to possess automatic weapons or assault weapons, maybe they would have been more careful and more diligent when it comes to due process.”

    And all the law enforcement officers go, “Nah, we’ll just get a tank.”

    (I kinda liked him better as a Republican.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  23. MarkedMan says:

    Oh, I don’t know, there may very well be a significant anti-Trump vote. The LP could get quite a bit in this election cycle. The real question is what will happen next cycle? Could be reversion to the mean. But maybe some Repubs will see it as an opportunity to take over an already existing party that can get registered in the 50 states and maybe even the 58 voting entities. After all, some opportunists did that with Ross Perot’s Reform party. Now they didn’t use it for anything other than looting the campaign treasurey, taking advantage of the incredibly naive and simplistic way the nomination was set up.

    But what if some disgruntled Repubs did that with the Libertarian party? Of course they would have to get rid of the fat guy doing the strip tease at the convention and most of their policies (getting rid of government college aid, social security, medicare, medicaid, the home interest deduction, and well, you get the idea. But considering what a bunch of flakes the libertarians are sufficiently motivated Repubs could pull off that coup in two election cycles at most.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. Ben Wolf says:

    @Marshall A Ferraro: Yes, he’s grabbing a significant number of those under 35, a group already ill-disposed toward Clinton. Not that her team cares; acquaintances organizing for Sanders on a number of campi have told me Clinton’s representation there is effectively non-existent. Some have said Clinton volunteers have registered zero students as Democrats over the last six months.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  25. DARBY says:

    @Jen: The goal is to get into the debates. People are really tired voting for the lesser of 2 evils, while at the same time aren’t allowed to choose from more than 2 people. It really amazes me that people vote according to how cool their friends think a candidate is. Politics needs more ugly people with substance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  26. Marcus says:

    On the subject of abortion, Johnson is for a woman’s right to choose. The only factors that separate him from someone like Sanders are that he is pro gun rights and believes in small manageable government. Mind you, these are big issues, but he is very appealing to moderate democrats or republicans that are liberty minded. The extreme left and extreme right (both toxic in my opinion) will not be swayed by him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  27. Hans says:

    Johnson will climb to 15 per cent in national polls and will be in the debates, as will his runnig mate. Then people will see, that he’s the only sane option in November. He will then rise to 30 per cent plus x. With a litte luck he will win the presidency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  28. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Assuming your anecdote is accurate, I wonder why Clinton’s campaign would ignore college students. Hmmm, what could be the reason/ :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  29. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Hans:

    The criteria is a 15% average in the most recently publicly reported polling results of five pre-selected polling organizations immediately preceding the date of an invitation determination. It is NOT hitting 15% any five times in any poll anywhere.

    In other words, the CPD selects five polling organizations it likes, and when it is getting ready to determine which candidates to extend invitations to, it examines the most recent polling results of those 5 polling orgs, averages them together, and candidates who are at least at a level of 15% IN THAT AVERAGE are eligible to be invited.

    Note: eligible. Not: must be invited. Beyond that, CPD doesn’t even make the determination regarding the invited participants in the initial debate until after Labor Day, and the leading candidates can block the inclusion of any third party candidate by simply refusing to participate if he/she is included.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Marcus:

    No. Johnson supports choice up to viability, supports mandatory counseling (another term for intimidation), does not support public funds being used for abortion (which tends to deny access to it to the women who need it most – poor women on Medicaid) and supports overturning Roe v. Wade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  31. Larry says:

    @Davebo: Gary Johnson is easily getting 1000x more press and media coverage this year around. Last time out he was lucky to get any at all; the media shut him out.

    Now he’s polling 12% and when he gets in the debates his numbers are going to skyrocket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  32. Larry says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Re: your last sentence, Ralph Nader was invited to the Google debate, and as soon as he accepted Obama and McCain declined.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. An Interested Party says:

    He’s actually pulling slightly more from Hillary.

    What is the evidence for that claim?

    If you want another choice in this election, I ask you to stand up and do something about it.

    Yes, that something being throwing your vote away…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Larry:

    Exactly, because it isn’t in either major party’s interest to allow anything which steers the focus away from them. I’m considering the possibility that Clinton may even refuse to debate Trump. I think it’s on the outside of probability, but it could conceivably happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  35. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @gVOR08: I’ve read Doug’s articles on Hillary carefully and have come to the conclusion that his objection to Hillary is pretty much the same as mine is to both of the Clintons–visceral. I simply don’t like them. I’ve gotten past my dislike to be able to admit that Bill did an ok job (and I agree with you, the 90s were pretty good politically and Bill even did a credible job of creating the kind of rising tide that actually “raises all the boats.”) Similarly, I can see that Hillary is the only reasonable choice in the current candidate pool. (I’ve never been able to buy into Libertarianism–I see it as a kind of “anarchy lite.” Also probably a visceral reaction.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  36. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Marcus: ” believes in small manageable government,” yet has no policy ideas for what such a government looks like or does that match what people expect from government.

    I would like a smaller government myself, but because I haven’t figured out what I want the government to stop doing (beyond planting the tree of liberty in other people’s yards), I don’t advocate for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Hans: And yet again, you’re not sharing that bong with me! Quit it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. KS39 says:

    Probably the most human of a politician you’ll get. And at least he’s not politicizing the events in Orlando unlike the other two stooges, who would rather go off and argue back and fourth like kids fighting in a playground.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: @gVOR08:

    I have a theory on this visceral dislike of the Clintons. I think it’s because they are a couple and that either of them taken by themselves is better than the two together. I think it’s because we can look at Bill and see enough charm to overcome the slipperiness, and we can look at Hillary and come to accept her awkwardness as charming and get past her cold calculation. But the two of them together seem like adding conspiracy to it all. They seem very much like the couple on House of Cards, and you feel you’re being played. There’s something peculiarly condescending about them as a couple.

    I don’t dismiss that feeling. It’s how I felt about Ted Cruz. I guess it’s a good thing Hillary’s opponent is the worst major presidential candidate perhaps ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  40. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: For me, the dislike of Bill started with “smoked but didn’t inhale.” Jeez…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: I have a theory on this visceral dislike of the Clintons.

    There’s no need to get to deep about this. People have a visceral dislike of Bill Clinton because he’s a lying, cheating scoundrel. People have a visceral dislike of Hillary partly through association but largely because she’s been shoved down their throats. College kids didn’t flock to Bernie because they remember scandals from when they were in pre-school. It’s because they bristled at the olds foisting this undistinguished and uninspiring candidate on them like she was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  42. Console says:

    I honestly don’t understand how anyone lived through the 90’s and didn’t come away with a super cynical attitude towards anything anyone says about the Clintons.

    I mean damn, you get some REAL scandals after that decade. Jack Abramoff, DC madam, Tom Delay, James Traficant, William J. Jefferson, Ted Stevens.

    And yall mad because Clinton lied about cheating on his wife… seriously? People don’t care about real scandals, they want the manufactured gossip. Tabloid nonsense gets more attention than actual FBI indictments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  43. Gustopher says:

    @DARBY: people might be tired of voting for the lesser of two evils, but I don’t think adding another evil is really the solution they want. The Libertarian Party is a really flakey bunch.

    On the other hand, maybe people want to be able to give their baby heroin?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  44. Ben Wolf says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Oh, there seems quite a lot in life over which you stumble in confusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  45. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Can’t help but notice you dodged the question there, Ben. I guess you thought if you were snarky, people wouldn’t notice? :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  46. An Interested Party says:

    People have a visceral dislike of Hillary partly through association but largely because she’s been shoved down their throats.

    Exactly how has Hillary been shoved down anyone’s throat?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. stonetools says:

    Here is the Libertarian Party platform:

    2.4 Government Finance and Spending

    All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service

    Yeah!

    and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution.

    Wait, what? So unicorns build and maintain interstate highways, the Hoover Dam, and federal water projects? So much of the West goes back to semi -desert? No CIA or FBI ( al Queda and ISIS thanks you). No social safety net programs,(yeah, no “moochers”) but also not Social Security and Medicare ( “What the hell?” yell old white people in horror) and no Veterans Administration. But money will be found for NASA ( libertarians love NASA).

    2.6 Money and Financial Markets

    We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all type

    That worked so well in 1873, 1879, 1907, 1929, 2008…

    Markets are not actually free unless fraud is vigorously combated.

    Presumably by one of those unconstitutional agencies like the SEC

    Those who enjoy the possibility of profits must not impose risks of losses upon others, such as through government guarantees or bailouts.

    So no government bailouts, but also no FDIC

    Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws.

    Yeah. What could go wrong with a bunch of people inventing their own money, with no regulation or oversight.

    On and on, the platform goes with one wackaloon idea after the other, with no hint that most of these ideas have been tried and failed, often disastrously.

    This is not a serious political party. People might dislike Trump and Clinton, and are looking around for alternatives. But they aren’t going to jump into juvenile and loopy. I nexpect the LP will end up at 2 per cent as usual.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  48. al-Alameda says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Some have said Clinton volunteers have registered zero students as Democrats over the last six months.

    “Some have said … ” = __________________ ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. DrDaveT says:

    @stonetools:

    Markets are not actually free unless fraud is vigorously combated.

    Presumably by one of those unconstitutional agencies like the SEC

    Heavens no! That would be anti-free-market. The nation will outsource financial fraud enforcement to a private enforcement company.

    This is not a serious political party.

    I’ve said it before — the best evidence for the fundamental effectiveness and efficiency of the US government is that Libertarianism happens. It’s the political science version of people thinking they don’t need vaccines because nobody ever gets measles or mumps or polio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Heavens no! That would be anti-free-market. The nation will outsource financial fraud enforcement to a private enforcement company.

    Isn’t the “market-based” solution to fraud “let the buyer beware?” My limited education in economics (I took 3 or 4 classes) caused me to believe that preventing fraud is not an actual function of markets as it has little relationship to resolving commodity gluts and shortages–the essential role of markets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @stonetools:

    Those who enjoy the possibility of profits must not impose risks of losses upon others, such as through government guarantees or bailouts.

    But fraud and pyramid/ponzi schemes are ok? I’m not clear on this one. Does the party object to people losing money to fraudsters or only to the government providing the relief? And if option A, how does that work?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MBunge:

    People have a visceral dislike of Bill Clinton because he’s a lying, cheating scoundrel.

    And yet, I wasn’t bothered by that quality in Nixon at all. Hmmm…

    (Note, I weighed in because, as the originator of the idea on this thread, I feel my take may be revealing. Mr. Bunge’s conclusion seems reductionistic to me.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. stonetools says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Always relevant, when talking about libertarians:

    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. stonetools says:

    I understand the visceral dislike thing. But OTOH, we’re grownups . We’re not supposed to pick people for important jobs based on gut feelings. The standard should be whether they’re fit for purpose. Hillary Clinton is by far the best qualified person running for President, and probably has been since day one. As Dan Drezner said , we know what we have to do . We don’t have to like it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  55. grumpy realist says:

    @Hans: And I’m absolutely SURE that if I buy a lottery ticket I’ll win it!

    Look: Libertarians have the reputation as being the loopy party that doesn’t mind if you get served ground glass in your guacamole and thinks that every evil can be solved by a tort case. Let me also point out that a society truly run on Libertarian lines would die out Very Quickly because women would have to pay an even higher “Mommy Tax” than they do now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  56. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: Ah yes, the “Infrastructure gets built by the Infrastructure Fairy.”

    I guess that according to this argument the government should never plan for anything, because if something was going to be in fact necessary, the private market would already have provided it. Q.E.D.

    So why did the US have to build the Interstate Highway system to start with?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. MarkedMan says:

    When I was 18, I briefly thought that Libertarianism was a revelation. Within a few months I realized what a horrible litigious nightmare it would be, with whoever had power continuously wielding it to take what they wanted from the weaker. Now that I am (much) older and realize how modern capitalism works I realize it couldn’t even survive in that hellish guise. Modern business run 3-5 year plans. They run 10 year revenue projections. That’s it. Anything that creates value in a longer time frame is just not in their scope. A country and a people that relies on the market to handle climate change, infrastructure, huge technological changes, or anything else that will have an impact out longer than 5-10 years is doomed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1