Your Turn: Ask Doug Stanhope Anything

By now regular readers of Hammer of Truth know of Doug Stanhope’s aspirations for president in 2008 on the Libertarian ticket, but you may not know why I personally view this as a bit of an eventuality for our political party. Let me first point out an excellent article focused on one of Stanhope’s many friends — Lewis Black — which has a relevant bit on how comedy is becoming more entwined in today’s politics:

It’s no secret that more and more Americans are getting their news from comedians than from traditional news sources. Politicians and pundits are jealous that comics can make a point and get a laugh at the same time “” jealous to the point of hiring comics to make their speeches and news shows more “punchy.”

In politics, commentary and comedy “” the lines of distinction between the three blur more every day “” everyone wants to speak for the regular guy. Politicians and commentators point the finger at comedians or the more ubiquitous “Hollywood” as elitist and out-of-touch, not as close to real Americans’ opinions as those from inside Washington’s Beltway. That line of thought, if I may quote Black, makes me want to “eat my brain” or “gouge my eyes out.”

Call it the Daily Show effect, if you will. And it seems Libertarians stand to benefit the most from it (consider our biggest celebrities are Penn Jillette, Drew Carey, South Park’s Matt Stone and a smattering of other comedians).

Well, here’s your chance to talk directly with Stanhope about his campaign. He’s agreed to answer questions about his issues, why he’s running, and basically anything you can come up with. So this is the discussion thread to ask those questions. I’ll take your questions, try to consolidate them where appropriate and have him answer in a few days, so fire away in the comments.

Update: The comments section is now closed and Stanhope will be getting back to us soon enough.

32 Comments
  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. Mr. Stanhope, Of central importance to our lost freedoms is the hijacking of the US Constitution and it’s 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 seperate legal entity from the country of America? Can we return to having God given “rights” instead of everything being a “privelege” granted by a mythical “State” which, as the Supreme court has ruled, “has no duty of protection”.?
    Thank you and Godspeed in your campaign,
    Glenn Streeter

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

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

  18. 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!)

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

  21. 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?

  22. 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 it’s 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)

  23. 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?

  24. Doug,

    With top comedian friends like Dave Chappelle, Lewis Black, Dave Attel 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?

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