Your Q’s, Doug Stanhope’s Answers

Doug Stanhope - Edinberg Festival Guide coverAs a comic standup speaking truth & liberty to those in power, Doug Stanhope (candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination) is our guest of honor for the first in hopefully many a series of Q&A’s with Libertarian campaigns hoping to peel off the onion layers of misinformation that tend to surround our candidate hopefuls. Stanhope also passed on some scans of some recent articles on him (it seems he’s a hit in the U.K. as well, as his comedy is focused a lot on the cynicism of living within creeping totalitarianism).

My fave question and answer:

Mr. Stanhope:
Considering there are many people out there that believe 9/11 was an inside job, would you be willing to support a new independent inquiry (that is, not sponsored, payed for, and approved by the government) regardless of whether or not you personally believe them or not?
The reason I (and others) believe it is important is because 9/11 was used as a pretext for much of the legislation that has taken away our liberties to make us “safer”. If the pretext is false, the legislation should be eliminated ASAP because it was done under fraud, duress, and coercion.
Respectfully
Rick Rajter

Any legislation that takes away from your freedom should be vanquished, regardless of the pretext. Also, I would support the de-classification of documents from Roswell to the Warren Commision to 9/11, etc. If governments didn’t have a history of giving you every reason to mistrust, there would not be so many “conspiracy theories.”

LOTS AND LOTS of great answers and scans of some recent magazine interviews after the jump:

Mr. Stanhope:
What, in your opinion, should be the *primary* purpose of the Libertarian Party – running viable candidates for office and attempting to win, or using the party as a vehicle to ‘teach’ people about libertarian philosophy, or possibly some mix of both?
How does your candidacy fit in with what you want to see the Libertarian Party do in the future?
Timothy West

I don’t see how you could effectively do one without accomplishing the other. So far as my candidacy, I want people to people to know that there is a choice — outside of the two-party system — that truly represents them. Like most people, I was Libertarian without even knowing it. It was people in my audiences who heard my points of view and began telling me that I sounded like a Libertarian. I believe I can bring that message to a world of people who never had or gave up interest in politics.


Mr. Stanhope:
One of the images I often associate with Libertarian candidates is that of the reserved, dignified statesman (or stateswoman). Many are often very impressive in their eloquence in speech and the heartfeltness you can feel when they talk about their beliefs and ideas. I’ve also been impressed with the way you express your belief in freedom through action, through actually being free, although this is a completely different type of image.
Which is the type of image that you would want to put out there as a presidential candidate, and why do you think that would be for the best?
Paul Pace

We have listened to politicians of all colors and stripes talk with reserved dignity for so many years that I almost equate that tone with duplicity. I certainly would not use the same tone or language that I use on stage in a debate, but I would certainly use the same direct and forceful approach to get a point across. In a perfect world, your image of a president would be no different than your image of a bus driver or any other public servant. Your only care would be that he does his job well.


Mr. Stanhope
How many hours are you willing to put in per week on the campaign? Are you going to visit the local chapters(state,county and city)and build a national campaign?
Doug Craig

Right now, as a stand-up comedian, I spend more than 40 weeks a year on the road — speaking, doing media and generating money by selling tickets and merchandise. Essentially, this is the work of a political candidate. I have done this full-time for 16 years, even working around the television productions. I doubt there is a candidate out there that has as much experience on that level. And while my act delves into places that are nowhere near political, I believe most of what I am saying even in a stand-up world is Libertarian at root. I also have the benefit of a built-in national fan base that will allow me to work around LP functions across the country.


Mr. Stanhope,
Of central importance to our lost freedoms is the hijacking of the US Constitution and its replacement by British Admiralty Law, or the UCC (Uniform commercial code). Is it a pipe dream to eliminate this convoluted, fascist system of law and replace it with Common Law? Is the American public intelligent enough to understand that the US is literally a corporation, a distinctly separate legal entity from the country of America? Can we return to having God given “rights” instead of everything being a “privilege” granted by a mythical “State” which, as the Supreme court has ruled, “has no duty of protection”.?
of itThank you and Godspeed in your campaign,
Glenn Streeter

Glenn – I’m glad you asked that question because it gives me an opportunity to politically side-step what I do not understand with some double-speak. First of all, the intelligence of the American public isn’t so much at issue as the interest of the American public. And if I were to address issues in the same way you posed these questions, people would last about 15 seconds before tuning right back into American Idol. I agree with you that a government taking credit for rights we are born with naturally is offensive. But I would withhold my vast knowledge of British Admiralty Law for those interested in the subject rather than risk losing the attention span of the majority.


What do you plan to do to improve the plight of the nearly 37 million Americans in poverty?
Becky

I would allow them the freedom to make their own way. I live in a small town near the Mexican border in Arizona. We have a psuedo-famous street person here who has a cat that rides on a dog’s back while a mouse rides on the cat’s back. Tourists take pictures and he takes donations. He became well-known enough that local businesses would carry postcards of him and he eventually could afford to rent an apartment. Then he was arrested for “loitering with intent to beg” and “failure to have a business license.”
Let’s ignore the ridiculous nature of the law and focus on the fact that this man found a way to make money at the expense of no one and was put in jail for it.
I think you’d be surprised at what people can do if you let them go about their own business. I also believe that people will tend to be a lot more charitable when tax dollars from ill-advised waste like the War on Drugs is safely back in their pockets.


Mr. Stanhope,
Thank you for spreading the message of liberty.
First, I’m curious how you discovered libertarianism and the Libertarian Party.
Second, where do you find agreement or disagreement with any planks in the LP’s national platform (pre-Portland would be preferred for the sake of comprehensiveness).
Cheers,
Rob Latham

I mentioned above that I was told about the LP over a course of time by audience members who saw my like-minded opinions. As for your second question, I wouldn’t be promoting a party I didn’t agree with. There are parts of the platform that come down to having to believe in the decency of humanity and that can be shaken at times in any of us. To believe that our own species cannot be right more often than it is wrong is to give up entirely.


Mr. Stanhope:
Considering there are many people out there that believe 9/11 was an inside job, would you be willing to support a new independent inquiry (that is, not sponsored, payed for, and approved by the government) regardless of whether or not you personally believe them or not?
The reason I (and others) believe it is important is because 9/11 was used as a pretext for much of the legislation that has taken away our liberties to make us “safer”. If the pretext is false, the legislation should be eliminated ASAP because it was done under fraud, duress, and coercion.
Respectfully
Rick Rajter

Any legislation that takes away from your freedom should be vanquished, regardless of the pretext. Also, I would support the de-classification of documents from Roswell to
the Warren Commision to 9/11, etc. If governments didn’t have a history of giving you every reason to mistrust, there would not be so many “conspiracy theories.”


Do you have a plan to appeal to the segment of the population who may be “offended” or just completely out of touch with your style and sense of humor?
Can you speak generally about your core demographic now and how you expect to expand that group going forward with this campaign?
Dan

In a word, honesty. Blunt, logical and unorthodox, perhaps, but honest.
This is what I do onstage. The only difference in running a campaign is that I would stick to the points that relate to government and leave out the graphic language that I am so fond of.
I commonly speak of the same subjects that come up in my act with people outside of clubs and showrooms, with people unaware of what I do at all and can usually come to a consensus with them — while speaking their language.
You may have seen a television show or heard a recording that I have done that you might see as off-color. But remember that every one of those was preceded by a series of meetings with executives. My core demographic is no different than the core of this blog — many different people of different backgrounds who have all become aware and disenfranchised with government. You see it at my shows. Heavy metal kids and grandparents side-by-side to shake my hand after a show. We are all of the fringe element in one way or another. We are not all smokers, gun owners, dopers or snake-handling Christians, but we can all find some place in our lives where our own personal corner of the fringe is being stepped on by government. We need to let people know that we are all the core demographic for the Libertarian Party.


Mr Stanhope,
What Libertarian campaigns have you been involved with? Have you sent contributions to Libertarian candidates, or spoken at fund-raisers for LP candidates?
Have you been involved in issue campaigns? Or is this just about your own self-confidence that you can lead the party to new heights of success?
Gene Berkman

I have been involved in campaigns only in website endorsements. I have contributed little if any finances. I have never spoken on behalf of any candidate, save for the ones who have come to my performances (Badnarik). I have spoken on many of the issues promoted by the LP as well as the LP itself in my stage performances for many years. I am running because I believe that a presidential campaign will do far more good for the LP and the ideals of the LP than simply performing stand-up comedy.


doug
thanks for being one of the few people to point out the real problem with drug/vice/sex laws, etc. (its our body and our business) and the real reason we should legalize it all (not for tax revenue)
say you win, how about a week (or month, or whatever) of “jubilee”?… everything shuts down, no one works, no credit or interest accrues… and we just eat, get lit, go mad.
anyhow, good luck. i may just vote.
Rudolf

Doug,
Repeated attempts to get young people to vote over the years have met with repeated failure. Presumably your campaign will attempt to succeed in this endeavor. How do you plan to do that?
Rock Howard

Talk to them about issues that they can relate to. Did you worry about Social Security or NAFTA when you were 19? Or did you wonder why you were forced to take on every other responsibility of an adult but couldn’t get a beer at the end of a long day? Did you care about campaign finance reform or why the best lyric of your favorite song had to be bleeped out and censored on radio? In 2004 they had Puff Daddy/ Sean Combs saying “Vote or Die” to people of an age that can’t yet comprehend death. I say “Vote and Live.” An 18-year-old needs to be reminded that he or she is every bit as important a human being as you or I, and that his or her pursuit of happiness should not be impeded by older people who give no longer give value to youthful endeavors simply because they are no longer young.


Two questions, one already kinda sorta asked: is this a “mad as hell” kind of campaign and if so how would your message invite people to agree with you (as opposed to just writing you off as an angry jerk)?
Plus I just gotta know how you’d handle the inevitable “Girls Gone Wild” question on conservative talk radio?
I’m willing to be convinced my gut reaction was wrong, but in any case running for President is a hell of a lot of work and anybody who is willing to do that has my admiration and appreciation. Thanks.
Sean Haugh

My stage act is a “Mad as Hell” presentation of what I would have to deliver somewhat differently as a candidate. Anger and bombast, in the proper format and so long as you have logic to back it up, gets peoples attention. Many people are angry and discontented in their quotidian lives and use the two-party system no differently than they use the Redskins or Cowboys as a vicarious and impotent outlet for that hostility. They have given up on their own happiness and hope for their “team” to win, even though neither Bush/Kerry nor Yankees/Red Sox give a shit about the man in the stands, so long as they get good press. I believe – if presented properly – that people will rise to the challenge of self-determination in place of distraction and political nannying. So far as your Girls Gone Wild question – they gave me 30K cash plus royalties to make fun of dumb people for a week. Would you have done it? ‘Nuff said. It’s a lot easier to talk to people in the entertainment field when you have the same background. Knowing the conservative talk show host was probably once Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati makes a world of difference when it comes to mentions of Girls Gone Wild.


How do you deal with the logical disconnect between Rudolf’s celebratory jubilee and the reality of mass starvation and panic that would ensue if “everything shuts down, no one works, no credit or interest accrues… and we just eat, get lit, go mad” for even a week?
How do you reconcile comedy with real life?
Wes P

Comedy is my reconciliation with real life.


Doug,
Thanks for being a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s nomination. Who would you like to be your Vice President running mate if you win the nomination?
George Whitfield

I’m a long way from deciding but I would certainly consider an LP member with diametrically opposing personal points of view – drugs, religion, – yet is as steadfast that these are matters of individual choice and not government legislation. I think that would go a long way in driving home our message.


Mr. Stanhope:
How can you leverage your celebrity and your celebrity friends to spread the libertarian message? Can you get on the Daily Show (as a guest, not a “Guns for Tots” deal)? Can you get on the O’Reilly Factor?
How much of your own money will you be contributing to your campaign? How much money do you expect to raise from others for your campaign?
Chuck Moulton

I believe that the ideas I have for publicizing this campaign will make it nearly impossible for media to not address it. So far as the money, I’ll be giving all I got and taking all I can get.


Can Daily Show guests avoid looking like idiots?
Wes P

If they know the business and they aren’t idiots, yes.


Can you make Bill O’Reilly look like the pompous ass he is?
Wes P

Not as well as he does on his own, but I can make him stutter while he does it.


Comedian Pat Paulson “ran” for president a number of times?
Are you doing this as a p.r. stunt for yourself, or is this for real?
Thank you,
M.W.
Michael H. Wilson

If it is a PR stunt (and it’s not), it’s for the PR of actual freedom. PR is easy to get so long as you’re willing to give up your point of view but I’d rather be right. Being known as the “Girls Gone Wild” guy or “The Man Show” guy — after 16 years of stand-up comedy work that I consider honest and/or important — probably makes me cringe as much as when the LP is written off as wackos and militiamen.


Mr Stanhope:
Thank you for running!!
Mike Nelson

Thanks for caring!


Doug ““
How would you respond to the inevitable accusation, from within the party as well as outside, that your candidacy is about promoting your career as a comic?
(grumble if you want, folks… it’s a fair question that will come up some enough anyway)
Steve Perkins

No grumbling at all on this end. Ayn Rand said that self-interest is the highest moral value. I will always have self-interest in anything I do. But my interest is not in promoting my comedy career. In fact, my comedy career spawned my interest in Libertarianism. It is somewhat disheartening to have to hide behind the facade of comedy to promote your ideals.


As a signed up participant of the Free State Project, when are you moving to New Hampshire?
Seth

When I find I can’t be more effective elsewhere. Or when global warming kicks into overdrive, whichever comes first.


How can you hope to compete with such a talented comedian as George W Bush?
(what, he’s NOT a comedian???? but he makes me laugh so hard!)
Seth

It’s frightening that so many of us laugh at him and stilll refer to him as “our leader.” I lead myself, under the radar and in spite of these clowns.


If you have the choice between getting elected by reaching out the largest audience of voters in a moderate manner, but able to make a difference once you are in office,
Or being strictly principled and thus alienating many moderates, and thus not getting elected at all, which would you choose?
Seth

I wouldn’t have to alter my principles to reach a moderate audience. You only need to alter the way you put those ideas across.


Dear Mr. Stanhope:
There has been some discussion here about your use of the word “cocksucker”. Will you be using this word in your campaign? Will you promise to use this word if you are able to get into the debates?
Where do you stand on the war(s), taxes, decentralization, drug prohibition, free markets, gun rights, immigration?
What issue(s) would you focus on in your campaign?
Do you believe in the non-agression principle?
Are you a fan of Neal Boortz, and if so, why?
Who are your favorite libertarian writers/columnists?
Do you have a campaign slogan?
If you fail to win the LP nomination, would you consider running as a Boston Tea Party candidate?
Tom Blanton

You are a glutton for questions and hogging the whole town meeting. Speed round.
–No, I will not use “cocksucker” in the debates, although you may see it in my eyes.
–Where do I stand on war? Is this war you speak of an attack from Mars or an invasion of Iraq? I am against aggression.
–Decentralization? I lean heavily toward states’ rights.
–Drugs? Decriminalize.
–Free markets? Yes sir.
–Gun rights? Have all you like. I don’t own a gun because I am a responsible drug user. You don’t want guns and mushrooms on the same playing field.
–Immigration? I have the same problem with Mexicans that I have with the children that come out of your wife’s body. So long as it’s no threat to me and I don’t have to pay for it. –Campaign focus? Obviously I will have to focus the issues of the day. If gay marriage is again an issue, I will have to address it, even if my personal priorities lie elsewhere. If a draft seemed imminent or even off on horizon, it would be a top priority. If not, I would focus on other issues. Otherwise my focus will be on issues of government waste, the drug war and pardoning non-violent drug offenders, individual rights, taxes, and platforms that include the young such as ending federal blackmail that has raised the drinking age to 21 in all states.


How extensive is your knowledge on the Libertarian philosophy and would you consider running as Vice President if you did not win the Presidential nomination?
Mitchell Port

My knowledge of the LP is probably minor compared to some candidates; but then, my knowledge of how to reach people is probably far more effective than others’. My concerns are in the same vein and I have no problem or ego in asking about the issues in which I am less knowledged. And would I consider running as VP? I considered doing Girls Gone Wild, for chrissakes. Of course I’d consider vice president.


What is your favorite mixed drink?
DAP

They say not to mix drinks, but I have occasionally had too much mixed with more and I’m still here.


Mr. Stanhope,
Thanks for running.
How would you reach out to Republican voters, a natural libertarian constituency?
Would you be open to a “Republicans for Stanhope” group being organized on your behalf?
I hope the Republican bashing is kept to the minimum with your campaign. (I see it’s already raised its ugly head on this Forum with the attacks on Bush and the nutty conspiracy theory expressed by one person here that “9/11 was an inside job”.) A great many of us libertarian Republicans would be inclined to support you. But if your campaign is Bash Bush 24/7 we’ll probably switch to Rudy.
Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide, US Congressman Ron Paul (TX)

I’ll reach out to members of any party, simply with logic. As I stated before, I think more voters than you’d care to believe vote for either party for the same reason they cheer for the home team. They are raised to think it’s their duty and their obligation, even if they don’t know the rules of the game. Many are single-platform voters who believe incorrectly in the rhetoric that Republicans are all for guns or that Democrats help the needy, etc. These are the same people who will agree with the LP platform “except” for one issue, even though they can find 100 things wrong with their own party save for the single issue they believe is being represented. I think a candidacy that speaks honestly and with humanity and without canned sound bites can get through to them. And I will defend the “conspiracy theorist” on the grounds that anything that makes you question and get more involved with keeping an eye on government is a good thing. Better to have people who are suspicious than to have everyone bringing fruitcakes of thanks to the guy making you take your shoes off at the airport.


Hi Doug.
Are you going to hire a campaign manager? Someone like Dean Barkley perhaps (campaign manager for Jesse Ventura & Kinky Friedman)?
Or are you planning to act as your own campaign manager?
Or are you seeking an all-volunteer campaign staff?
Jon

I am in the works of hiring a campaign manager. We are likely going to move to Austin in January to have better resources for the campaign than I have here in my sleepy little border town. But I won’t be making a decision until I know I have the right person.


Doug,
With top comedian friends like Dave Chappelle, Lewis Black, Dave Attell and Penn Jillette, will you be tapping them to stump for you on the campaign trail?
Where is the campaign trail for you? Do you see your biggest audience of supporters being inside comedy clubs?
Considering your extensive work in the entertainment industry, what lessons do you think Libertarian candidates need to know about media outreach if they aren’t “on the map” politically or a celebrity like yourself.
Do you think you’d be able to outdrink Hillary Clinton? How many drinks would it take before you’d start hitting on her?
Stephen VanDyke

I’ve had the benefit of knowing these and many more comics throughout my career without ever having to ask them for a favor. If ever there were a time to ask, it will be the ’08 run. As I said earlier, I can book my road work around LP functions so as to address both party members and party-goers. So far as lessons learned about media — if you want to stand out, don’t mimic the style of what you think a candidate is supposed to sound like. Be yourself. Be human. Talk like you’d talk at a bar or at a backyard barbeque. That’s what I failed to do on the Man Show. That’s why our show sucked. Lessons learned.
Hillary Clinton? I’d have my girlfriend hit on her and then jump in once the game is afoot. That’s knowing your opponent. That’s politics.

stanhope guide cover stanhope thelist cover
55 Comments
  1. OMG- I love this guy. I am calling Elle- we have to find a trampoline. I will have no worries bouncing around for this kind of refreshment.

  2. Here’s an idea… if he’s a hit in the UK, then maybe he could raise funds in the UK? Is that legal?

  3. Cool, he took my question, and he actually raised a very valid point.

    I live below the poverty line, and I used to have an income as a freelance writer. In 2004, I actually made a living at it–but I got socked with the “self-employment tax”. Ironically enough, my brother, a wage slave, made more money than I did and ended up getting money back from the government. So you don’t have to tell me small business owners and the self-employed pay too many taxes!

    It’s like arresting the guy with the dog, cat, and mouse–why is government so intent on keeping the poor in poverty?

  4. Seriously… I would totally vote for you simply for the fact that you a) look passed pretext and only at freedoms and b) believe in transparency.

    This is definitely something I will be excited about.

  5. I am glad that Doug made money off the GGW video and even more when any media outlet mentions him and ques to, “Show me where babies feed.” I wonder how much of a blackeye it will give the LP as they splash Libertarian across the image in place of the privacy bar on the girls jubblies.

    And even though he is a well spoken advocate for Liberty, I still have my doubts about his motives.

  6. This guy’s got my vote for nomination. I don’t think we’re going to get a better candidate. He’s a good speaker, he can relate to millions, he’ll be able to fundraise without any problems, and I get the feeling that he’ll be able to unite the party very well behind him.

    We need to get Stanhope a motherfucking nomination for 2008.

  7. I am impressed with Doug Stanhope’s sincerity and smarts. My estimation of his candidacy has risen. I look forward to the rest of his campaign.

  8. Good answers, but I am still concerned about a few things. Mainly, will we be taken seriously? Yes his answers were serious and in mostly good. However, the idea of the “Girls Gone Wild” guy being taken seriously as the presidential candidate just kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth for some reason. If we are going that far, why not just get Howard Stern to run for president? Stanhope has more name recognition than any other LP candidate in history, and that’s the first step in the right direction, but I feel there is a need for candidates who will be universally taken seriously because they do not indulge in some of the things we advocate. He talks like the ideal candidate, but…it just doesn’t feel right for me.

  9. Nick, I’ll respond to your comment if I may.

    IMHO:

    You said: “Mainly, will we be taken seriously?”
    Have we ever been taken seriously, if so, when, and how do we measure such a thing anyway?

    “However, the idea of the “Girls Gone Wild” guy being taken seriously as the presidential candidate just kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth for some reason.”

    I thought the same thing, but after reading this post I gotta say, my first impression of Mr. Stanhope was way off, he made a lot of money off those stupid videos, and he’s excatly right, I would do it too. I’ll go further to say that it might actually help Stanhope because opponents will point to the GGW as a negative but Stanhope will turn it into a positive. (His answer to the GGW question was right on the mark for me, and I think others would also agree)

    Anyway, so far I like Stanhope, I hope he can go all the way.

  10. He’s shown enormously more ability to combine humor with serious thought than Stern ever did in our dreams.

    Entertainers being taken seriously —
    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Ronald Reagan, Al Franken, Jack Kemp, Bill Bradley …

  11. I am not impressed. This is the kind of nomination that would force me to get drunk, drive myself to the nearest polling place and write in Jake Porter.

    I do however support 2008 Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies You don’t have to be 18 to visit his website.

  12. Time for my own speed round.

    1. Jake Porter…take a hike bro, seriously. You are not a campaign manager of any caliber (what are you 19 yrs. old?), and George Phillies, although a great libertarian can’t compete on the same level as Stanhope even with all his baggage.

    2. Stanhope is the fucking man and his answers were wonderful. I wrote him a while back. I’d like to think I had some part in his decision to run.

    Doug Stanhope responds…
    http://thatsridonkulous.blogspot.com/2005/08/doug-stanhope-responds.html

    I also wrote to Rogier van Bakel (Nobody’s Business blog) responds…
    http://thatsridonkulous.blogspot.com/2005/09/rogier-responds.html

    3. The amount of people that Doug could tap into is rediculous. Tap Rogan on the shoulder. Get Dana White to make a nice contribution so he could give the proverbial FUCK YOU to McCain that sought to ban the UFC way back when, etc., etc.

    Brutal honesty with some tactfulness will go a LONG way. You have my vote Doug!

  13. “Was Badnarik taken seriously?”

    No, and I thought his nomination was a terrible idea too. He might have been a respectable person, but damn it, why can’t the LP get a recognizable candidate who has either someone with serious intellectual clout like David Boaz and/or someone who has already been elected to a real office (perhaps from one of the major parties) who was a strong libertarian, a good speaker, etc.? There are quite a few Republican Liberty Caucus members elected who would be qualified for our nomination. I wish we could be more than “that nutty party that can only attracts comedians, sci-fi writers and computer programmers.” If we could get John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, who became libertarian after realizing how hard it was to start a business with all the regulation, or even a badass actor like Clint Eastwood who was also mayor. We do need to be careful not to become a celebrity party like the Reform Party, but at this point, what else do we have?

  14. “why can’t the LP get a recognizable candidate who has either someone with serious intellectual clout like David Boaz and/or someone who has already been elected to a real office (perhaps from one of the major parties) who was a strong libertarian, a good speaker, etc.?”

    Because they’ve all sold out and joined the Republicrats. Even Cato has succumbed to the 2 party system, allthewhile getting labeled as lite Republicans. Same thing for Balko. People mistake him for being Republican or Democrat, depending on what audience he’s speaking to or what the topic is.

    We need someone who’s going to grab the libertarian left and I think Doug is just the man to do that.

  15. “sold out and joined the Republicrats”

    If they are accomplishing political ends for libertarianism, I could care less about what they are called or what party they are affiliated with or whether they are mistaken for Republicans or Democrats. The fact that the Cato Institute can express their ideas so clearly and appealingly to both sides is something the LP should learn from, and fast. I am still a believer that the LP has failed to mount a real political challenge because moderates willing to play the political game to accomplish their goals, like Boaz and Ed Crain, were shut out of the party by the gang of Rothbard and the cult of libertarian purism. (Hell, even Rothbard ran to the Republicans by the end, campaigning for Buchanan by 1992.) This whole us-vs.-them is the kind of segmentation that keeps the LP small. We desperately need a coalition of all libertarians that can appeal to the center and pull them in with real solutions, not empty talk or rigid ideology.

  16. Yeah, triangulation-wise, Stanhope’s our best bet. We’ve been needing to reach out to the libertarian left for a long while now, that’s our surest ticket to becoming a force to be reckoned with.

  17. Free Talk Live is behind Doug 100%.

    He’ll be appearing on the show once he has a website in place.

  18. based on those answers, I think he’s the best choice yet. If I’m still involved with the LP in 2008 and no one better shows, (first tier 3rd party candidate like Ventura, etc.) I’ll give him my vote.

  19. I am SERIOUSLY STOKED about Stanhope in 2008! Michelle called me today and we are off the fence and on the trampoline! I think Stanhope will hit home with my generation – talk about tapping into the youth!

  20. Many people here are saying we should be reaching out to the left to get our votes. While I agree we should be reaching out to the left I doubt very much if we will be getting many votes from them this election cycle (think about how well Badnarik did in competitive states like New Mexico where he pushed hard). Since they are out of power at the moment they will be voting for the person that will most likely give them their voice and power back (ie democrats) and pushes out the republican who they have less in common with (ie lesser of two evils syndrome).

    Personally I think we will get more bang for our buck by reaching out to the Goldwater republican and your average Joe that neither party speaks for (think comedy central fans) but has gotten fed up over the last four years or so (ie against the war, loss of civil liberties, spending gone wild, etc.).

    Actually Stanhope may be a good candidate to reach out especially to this last group as these people are his fan base.

  21. Nick,
    When I first became involved in the LP, I also thought, “If only we can stop the nutty fringe from being televised.” I now realize that it is the “fringe” that we are working for. Our country is supposed to be great for everybody in the world. Not just those who wish to toe the line of the current cause du jour. What’s right is not always popular, and what’s popular is not always right. Is Stanhope the right guy? Who knows? But I have changed my opinion of his candidacy based on his answers. It is refreshing to see somebody living a free life seeking to ensure that others do as well.

  22. I am very impressed.

    I also don’t understand the big deal about “Girls Gone Wild.” In case you haven’t noticed we have had Presidents who were recently ELECTED after being suspected ( though pretty much confirmed) of adultery, rape, being a cokehead, confirmed alcoholic partier/loser, “youthful indiscretions” until the age of 40, etc. We have a former president whose legacy is blowjobs and a semen stain, and he is still beloved by millions of voters and could probably win re-election if eligible.

    But a well-spoken Libertarian is “not presidential” because he is associated with drunk college girls flashing their tits? Give me a fucking break.

    I know lots of people who probably dont even vote who would vote for this guy. Heck, I even know young Bush voters who would vote for this guy. If the LP puts up some “presidential looking” policy nerd or republican-lite suit who really hates taxes, or some angry old white guy,etc. They will lose those votes, and no one will be excited.

  23. The LP has attempted to play the “we’re just like Republicans only we REALLY hate taxes and welfare mothers and REALLY love guns” role for how many consecutive elections?

    Is Stanhope really less “credible” than a nutjob who wanted to blow up the UN, thinks the Fed is a private company, doesn’t have a drivers license, doesn’t pay taxes, etc.? Will Stanhope completely and totally squander his campaign finances? I doubt it.

    Anyone who thinks Stanhope isn’t a “credible” candidate should just join the GOP and get it over with. THIS IS THE TYPE OF CANDIDATE WHO CAN ACTUALLY EXPAND THE LP’S BASE. The future is in the proles. The future is NOT in disgruntled, angry, constipated white men, who are just frustrated because they are shitty businessmen and blame their failures on the government and welfare moms.

  24. take a hike bro, seriously.

    First of all you are not my brother. Secondly, there is no time for me to take a hike. I work as a custodian stripping and waxing floors, seriously.

    You are not a campaign manager of any caliber (what are you 19 yrs. old?)

    Who ever said I was a campaign manager?

    I am 18 years old, and what does that have to do with anything? Do I not have a right to have an opinion, should I ask my mother, or the government if having an opinion is acceptable?

    This reminds me when the Republicans told me I was too young to have an opinion. Perhaps I should quit working to advance the Libertarian Party until I am older and all our freedoms are gone.

  25. I also think it’s absurd that in defense of a candidate who seeks to appeal to young people, someone would attack an opponent for being too young.

  26. “Like most people, I was Libertarian without even knowing it. It was people in my audiences who heard my points of view and began telling me that I sounded like a Libertarian.”

    As I’ve been saying for quite some time- the LP is not educating anybody, we’re only attracting people who *already agree* with us.

    “I wouldn’t have to alter my principles to reach a moderate audience. You only need to alter the way you put those ideas across.”

    … a point the purists in this party have never grasped.

    “There are parts of the platform that come down to having to believe in the decency of humanity and that can be shaken at times in any of us. To believe that our own species cannot be right more often than it is wrong is to give up entirely.”

    I’m a libertarian because I believe the exact opposite- humans are evil and venal more often than not.

    A Randian and an utopian… yet also a realist and, possibly, moderate by LP standards. I’m not sold, but I’ll be watching.

  27. Michelle,

    What’s right might not always be popular, and what’s popular often isn’t right… but if we want to enact right in law, it must be popular. -We- must be popular. That’s how the system works.

  28. I am amazed and genuinely pleased that so many moderates and mainstreamers would consider Stanhope to be a good candidate. Have they all become starstruck and put aside their fetish for raging moderate extremism?

    Stanhope claims to be a responsible drug user. Sounds radical. It wasn’t too long ago that some “pragmatists” were going psycho because the clean-cut Badnarik didn’t have a driver’s license and didn’t pay taxes.

    Where is the hand-wringing? What will the Republicrat neighbors think when they see a Stanhope sticker on the SUV? What if he mentions drugs on C-SPAN? Heaven forbid!

    Stanhope would be the most radical candidate ever run by the LP and yet some of the same people who say the LP was destroyed by the radicals after 1980 seem to have gone wild over Stanhope.

    I hope this dream doesn’t end in 2008 with Neal Boortz being nominated on the Fair Tax/Nuke the Mideast platform.

    I don’t get it but its about time the “pragmatists” got pragmatic.

  29. ‘I wouldn’t have to alter my principles to reach a moderate audience. You only need to alter the way you put those ideas across.’

    maybe it has something to do with the above quote. I’ve been saying the same for 2 years, and you didnt buy it from me when I said it. But Stanhope gets a pass, eh?

    He’s no David Bergland. He seems to understand something most libertarians dont – changing the way you put forth a political message can make what seems to be politically impossible possible, and pave the way for more radicalism later when the voting public will accept it and vote for it. Notice that last part.

    Ed Clark could do that. He didnt lead with shit he knew the american people would think was insane on it’s face. He wanted VOTES. I think based on those answers that maybe Stanhope understands this.

    Oh, and by the way, FUCK Neil Boortz, and FUCK the Fairtax.

  30. ”˜I wouldn’t have to alter my principles to reach a moderate audience. You only need to alter the way you put those ideas across.’

    maybe it has something to do with the above quote. I’ve been saying the same for 2 years, and you didnt buy it from me when I said it. But Stanhope gets a pass, eh?

    Tim, I’ve been saying that for a lot longer than two years, so I didn’t have to buy it from you. This was while some libertarians were running around calling everyone names and arguing about the precise wording of the platform and the pledge.

    But the presentation of libertarian ideas is not the issue here. The issue is whether Stanhope will be taken seriously by the opinion makers you worry about. It’s about his background and persona. I used to laugh when people were lamenting over how over the top Badnarik was.

    I’m not the one who is afraid of any possible controversy – I just wonder when the moderates got over that phobia.

    What if Stanhope took the pledge and meant it

  31. Fuck Neal Boortz? How can you say that, Tim? Are you some kind of “purist”? I thought we wanted the LP to be a big circus tent party with all viewpoints welcomed?

    Believe it or not, I think Badnarik actually wanted VOTES. From what I saw, he worked his ass off. And he wasn’t that radical – he talked about the Constitution a lot.

    To what do you attribute his poor showing at the polls? Bad website design? The pledge? The platform? No driver’s license?

    I’ll give you a clue: lack of fame, lack of cash, lack of backing from the LPHQ right from the start, lack of media attention, and most importantly, a system stacked against third parties. It wasn’t that he didn’t want votes.

    Stanhope does not have a lack of fame, but he would probably have to deal with all the rest. If he could poll at 15% and get into the debates, it would be a major LP victory. He’ll get some young people to look at the LP, regardless.

    Not “anarchy next Wednesday”, but incremental success.

  32. While Stanhope’s answers are quite decent, I think Tom’s correct that his background and persona are a major issue to consider… even for VP.

    Watch these in the below order, and start off confident… and then prepare to watch polling #s drop… and drop hard…
    and then consider how easy it would be to do an attack ad based on the “candidate”‘s own words and manners. Because lord knows the Ds and Rs will do it, if his own ads didn’t.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTOQhPd2Xh4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RMcrVN6Bco
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQmio5pqJW4

    and if you’re not convinced of the problem yet, watch
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t2mMMp7bjU

  33. OK, I’ve considered the major issues of background and persona and I’m convinced that Stanhope would be a great candidate. I’m also convinced that the hand-wringing neolibertarians who worry about what people might think will never let him win the nomination.

    Consider:

    How many people 18-24 will support Stanhope?

    How many people who never vote will support Stanhope?

    How many people will take Stanhope seriously only BECAUSE the talking heads and Republicrats don’t?

    What is the value of the in-kind contributions Stanhope will get when O’Reilly and the rest of the screaming brownshirts rant and rave about Stanhope?

    Besides, how seriously can you take a politician that supports war crimes, favors suspending constitutional rights, and favors bankrupting the nation for future generations?

    About as seriously as you’d take bleeding warts on your genitals.

    Maybe the other libertarian party would like to have Stanhope.

  34. Seth, I think those videos solidified my support for the man. Thanks.

    If you have to worry about Republicans or Democrats running attack ads, then the LP will have come a long way baby, and you will have Doug Stanhope to thank. If they’re running attack ads then Stanhope will go on to have the highest vote total of any LP presidential candidate ever. If Hillary Clinton runs an ad about Doug Stanhope, then 1,000,000 would be a walk. I’d be expecting 10% or much more.

    ANY candidate that the LP runs would be an easy target for an attack ad. ANY candidate that runs for the R’s or D’s nomination would be an easy target for an attack ad. I’d be an easy target. You’d be an easy target. That’s just what opponents do. But only when you matter. So here’s hopeing Doug Stanhope is the focus of many attack ads in 2008!

  35. “Free Talk Live is behind Doug 100%.

    He’ll be appearing on the show once he has a website in place. ”

    Can’t wait for that one!!!

  36. How are you going to deal with the inevitable attacks directed towards your lifestyle (i.e. drugs, hookers)?