The “Big L” salute

The results are in from the Libertarian Party National Convention, and it looks like the “Big L” Libertarians will once again be raising the L to the forehead in the official LP election year salute. The 2004 presidential candidate is none other than Michael Badnarik. I’d tell you to go his website to learn more about him, but it is still “being updated.”

Tim Lee provides a few excerpts from an interview with Badnarik, however. His conclusion: “Any fringe political movement has its share of crazies. The LP is full of losers who get a kick out of pretending they’re part of a real political party, but who wouldn’t have the first clue what to do if they actually got elected. What’s remarkable and depressing is that for the first time, one of those crazies is the standard-bearer for the national party. For the first time, the LP has nominated a candidate who is completely unqualified to be president.” Tim’s website also includes a letter he wrote in January of ’03 resigning from the Minnesota LP after deciding the enterprise was hopeless.

For a somewhat more positive take on Badnarik, see this report from Reason’s Brian Doherty.

I’m a “small l” libertarian, but in the past I have enjoyed throwing votes the LP’s way when the opportunity presented itself. The only times I haven’t are when the local candidates have been just too nutty to consider. As Tim demonstrates, Badnarik is close to being one of those kinds of guys: deeply ideological and completely clueless as to what he’d actually have to do if by some amazing miracle he won the presidency.

Even so, there’s a decent chance that I will vote for him anyway come November, as opposed to staying home or voting for Kerry. That will be especially true if I’m still registered to vote in Texas, where Bush is sure to win. I doubt the LP will get enough media coverage to do much actual harm to libertarianism and he’s the best protest vote available.

If I really cared about the LP I might have to refuse to vote for him. By potentially doing so I’m pretty much saying, “You guys are hopeless and irrelevant, so I’ll vote for whomever you put up just for the hell of it.” Ironically, if you do care about the future of the party you should refuse to vote for him and tell the party to get serious. Given the attitudes of the people in the LP these days, I don’t think that’s going to happen.


4 thoughts on “The “Big L” salute”

  1. I actually met Badnarik a couple times back in 2000 or so and have spoken on the phone with him a couple of times too. Very sincere and genuine about what he believes and quite dedicated.

    And no, as a voluntaryist I don’t “vote” but I do complain… no matter who runs in an election, the State always wins.

  2. Michael Badnarik is the best candidate the Libertarian Party has ever had, and the best candidate in the race in 2004.

    What difference do qualifications make? George W. Bush was qualified (Governor of a large state), and look at the mess he gave us — bigger government, war, and a trashed Bill of Rights.

    Michael Badnarik is a genuine patriot, a true gentleman, and completely dedicated to the cause of liberty. He will unite the millions of pro-freedom Americans, just as he united the many factions within the Libertarian Party (no small feat.)

  3. A “small l” libertarian is just someone who generally agrees with the libertarian philosophy — small government, free markets, individual rights, etc. A “big L” Libertarian is a member of the Libertarian Party.

    Many libertarians criticize the Libertarians for being too goofy. They say the party has been taken over by true believers who alienate the larger public. There’s a lot of truth in that, although there are some very good people in the party, too.

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