Sea of Noise

Sat, 05 Jun 2004

Libertarians Pick Badnarik

Brian Doherty reports on the surprising results at the 2004 Libertarian Party convention:

What the 808 delegates who met in convention assembled over Memorial Day weekend voted for fit in with my previously presented theory of third parties like the LP as consumption expenditures—something people support just because they enjoy it, not necessarily to win elections or change the world. A certain narcissism seemed at work in the delegates' selection of hard-traveling Austin-based former computer programmer and freelance lecturer on the Constitution Michael Badnarik as their man, after he arrived as a distant third in a field of three major contenders: The delegates voted for the man who was the most like them, who presented in the most professional way the modal opinions and views and style of a Libertarian Party activist—quiet, intense, no deviation from the catechism, more concerned with eternal ideological and philosophical verities than the political events of the day. As to whether that is the best strategy to win lots of money, attention, and votes in a national presidential campaign, well, we'll know come November.

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