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How the LP moved from garden variety crackpottery to supermegacrackpottery


Liberty magazine reports the story of how Baradnik won the LP nomination. Amusing stuff. One of the richest lines:

Badnarik is a self-taught constitutional scholar

Ah, that explains it. Unfortunately, he spilled his morning coffee on the part about the 16th Amendment.

In addition to the fun stuff about atrophied muscles of felons and blowing up the UN Building (giving those inside a full eight days to get out! How kind of him), President Baradik also has something other fringe candidates like Nader don’t have—a concrete, foolproof plan for how to deal with those stubborn, unedumicated folks in Congress:

I would announce a special one-week session of Congress where all 535 members would be required to sit through a special version of my Constitution class. Once I was convinced that every member of Congress understood my interpretation of their very limited powers, I would insist that they restate their oath of office while being videotaped.

Apparently, Baradnik’s copy of the constitution contains a clause, accidently deleted from most copies, that gives the president the power to detain members of congress indefinitely for hte purpose of brainwashing them. Limited government my Aunt Fanny.

At the convention, he explains why it’s not a wasted vote to go third party. This logic is tortured enough to make Ralph Nader blush:

As a Libertarian candidate, I frequently face the “wasted vote” syndrome. People tell me that I’m a good candidate. They believe in what I stand for, but they can’t bring themselves to vote for me because they don’t want to waste their vote. If you were in prison, and you had a 50% chance of lethal injection, a 45% chance of going to the electric chair, and only a 5% chance of escape, are you likely to vote for lethal injection because that is your most likely outcome? Your survival depends on voting for escape even if that’s only a 5% chance. If you continue to vote for the Democrats or the Republicans, you are committing political suicide.

If you can make sense of this, you’re a better reader than I am, or mabye just crazier. This would seem to imply that percentage of the vote obtained is somehow analogous to the chances of winning the election. This seems pretty demonstrably false to me, but then I’m not a self-taught constitutional scholar, so what do I know?

What’s fascinating is that the author of this article suggests that this powerful speech was largely responsible for Baradnik securing the nomination.

The story of how he got the nomination over two far saner and better candidates is amusing, and provides another lesson why third parties are a waste of time and energy–almost without exception, they’re utterly inept.

It is a shame that Russo or Nolan didn’t win, though, because I think they’d peel off a few more Bush votes, especially this year, when a lot of libertarian-leaning Republicans are just looking for a reason to abandon Bush.


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