The Case for Supreme
Making My Case
With 2020 approaching, the Libertarian presidential candidates are getting into gear to win the party’s nomination. As of December 16, 2019, there are 47 people who filed with the FEC to run for president under the Libertarian line. I’m going to make my case for why my endorsement is going to Vermin Supreme.
Like anyone else, I want The Libertarian Party to be taken seriously by the rest of the country. I want it to grow into a mainstream competitor to the two party system. However, the reality is, we are seen as a joke to outsiders. Even insiders, too. Vermin Supreme rides on that joke (no pony puns intended). I was skeptical. Even moreso before I met him, and before I saw him speak. I didn’t want this kind of look for the party. It’s true – an entertainment personality isn’t someone I want as President of the United States. I believe in the dignity of the office position held by POTUS. Trump has consistently tarnished that image. He is unfit to be President – the standards are so low – why is Vermin treated like a joke for having a good sense of humor? It’s true, his runs are satirical. If you can read between the lines, you might come to realize the genius of what he has to say. In fact, most people like Vermin as a person, they just don’t want him representing the party that many of us work so hard to build and support. However, after talking to a few people to understand their perspective, and doing research, I came to a conclusion of my own. I believe the positives of nominating Mr. Supreme outweigh the negatives.
With that being said, we all know that The Libertarian Party isn’t taken seriously yet – and it won’t be – for quite some time. We won’t win President in 2020. We won’t even be allowed in the debates. So, what is the role of the LP Presidential Candidate? Party building. To get ballot access for other candidates to run on the (L) line. Much debate is centered around who can get 5% of the vote. A majority of principled Libertarians also feel that it’s best if we have a candidate who embodies our ideology, and can respectfully articulate our platform. Although, it should be worth mentioning that the “most Libertarian candidate” may not be the most viable candidate, or the best candidate, to do outreach to voters outside the party. I believe poor messaging is one of many things that stunts the party’s growth. My argument is that, since we aren’t even seen as a legitimate party and won’t have a place in the debates on the national scale, we should focus on nominating a candidate who can benefit the party in terms of growth.
What do I look for in a Libertarian candidate?
- Content of Character
- Representation of the Party Platform
So, why Vermin Supreme?
Content of Character: Vermin isn’t your boring run of the mill politician. He isn’t actually the tyrant that he comedically claims to be. He’s a kind soul, and a living meme. What more could one ask for?
Representation of the Party Platform: Unlike many other Libertarian candidates, he faithfully sticks to the platform. In fact, he took the platform and directly copied and pasted it onto his website.
Viability: When it comes to name recognition, most candidates don’t make the cut. Vermin Supreme can be identified OUTSIDE the Libertarian Party.
Larry Sharpe made a video today showcasing his concerns about whether or not the LP presidential nominee can get enough votes to retain our ballot access in NEW YORK. I firmly believe that Vermin Supreme can hit all these requirements. By appealing to hundreds of thousands of independents, blank voters, and the apathetic youth in NYC, it would be easy. I think he can swing this in a way that the other candidates cannot. If politics is a game of name recognition and money – its clear who are the top competitors in that regard. The Libertarian Party won’t win the Presidency anytime soon. Therefore, we should focus on a candidate with party building potential. That is the case I make. Vermin would do amazingly well with NYC voters. Take your personal feelings aside for a moment, and think about the facts here. Think outside the box. We need someone who can appeal to people outside the LP. Who better, than an entertainer?
Larry Sharpe had asked me why I thought Vermin could easily get us ballot access, to which I replied:
“Because NYC has thousands of people who hate politics and would be willing to vote for someone like this. Between independents, blank voters, protest voters, apathetic young people, we would get the votes we need for ballot access. It would come from non libertarians AND Vermin does not stray much from the platform. I see that as a win-win. What people are concerned with is because he’s an entertainer – and I understand that. But I also believe that’s why he appeals to an entirely different demographic than any other candidate would. I absolutely understand the concerns of the party being taken seriously, but we already aren’t by the Democrats and Republicans. We won’t win the 2020 presidential election, let alone even be allowed to participate in the debates. What’s why I think we should focus on someone who can get us ballot access and build the party. Maybe even surpass 5%. I think we underestimate the amount of people who don’t vote, or the people who voted Harambe in 2016.”
I think each candidate has their merits, but not every candidate is viable. Vermin has the most name recognition. He has tons of articles about him and gets media attention. He has videos of him with hundreds of thousands to millions of views. Best of all: He respects the party platform.
Let’s discuss his viability for a moment. In one Youtube video posted by Motherboard, it has 650k+ views, 15k likes, and 387 dislikes. That’s a like/dislike ratio of 75:2. His social media presence is massive.
During the presidential debate in Olean, he said if he gets 1 in 4 of every high school and college student to vote for him, he gets 5% for the libertarian party NATIONWIDE.
In his closing statement, he begins: “We the members of the Libertarian Party challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.”
“This May, the Libertarian Party is going to be given a very stark choice. There are 3.9 million high school students that graduate in any given year. Give me two of those years – that’s 8 million students – add that to 17 million college students and that’s a full of 25 million voters. If you get me 1/4 of those kids to vote for me, that gives 5% for the Libertarian Party.”Vermin Supreme (2019 Libertarian Presidential Debate in Olean, New York)
There’s an actual strategy worth mentioning here. Young people are easily overlooked as voters. Many of them choose not to vote either because they are poorly educated in politics or they feel as though their vote doesn’t matter. Many don’t care and are apathetic to the system altogether. I think someone like Vermin can reach this people, who otherwise wouldn’t be reached at all. Then, these same people may very well mingle within Libertarian groups. Perhaps even join the party! You might say “Why would you wan’t them to join the party if they aren’t real Libertarians?” Well yes, I don’t want just ANYONE joining the party – there is the fact that people who spend time around others will begin to adapt to their surroundings. If we take a bunch of young people, formerly Dems, Repubs, or blank voters – and we expose them to new faces – all of whom are Libertarian, outside what they are accustomed to – they will eventually learn and grow. Exposure to the LP is what most don’t have. If we can get people even vaguely interested, they will co-exist in the same groups as the hardcore Libertarians. Eventually, they will adapt to seeing these ideas that they otherwise wouldn’t see hanging out in their R/D echo chambers.
What a Supreme Nomination Means for the Libertarian Party
In recent years, The Libertarian Party has moved further to the right and will continue doing so if there is no balance to be made. In a 2019 poll, The Libertarian Party asked about former political affiliations of current members. 83% said they came from the GOP, while only 17% from the Democratic Party.
One major issue of the Liberty movement as a whole is that it’s falsely identified as “right wing.” That freedom is right wing, that libertarianism as an ideology is right wing, that the party is right wing, and that libertarians themselves must be right wing. None of that is true, couldn’t be further from the truth. Left-Libertarians are denied the possibility of existence by far too many people who are extremely uneducated on libertarianism.
The future of the Libertarian Party lies in the hands of us. Do we want to adhere to the principles it was founded on? Or do we want to grow the party at the expense of sacrificing those said principles? There is a problem with Republicans co-opting LP spaces, but not only that, there is an even greater looming threat. The Libertarian/Alt-Right pipeline. That’s another discussion entirely, but it brings me to the point I was about to make: By nominating someone like Vermin Supreme, it will potentially scare away these negative influences. Vermin does NOT attract such people. Ensuring the party does not move in a more conservative direction does not mean the party will move further left. It should remain true to it’s platform. Not only that, but I do believe marketing in a neutral manner is best. Some issues are easier to sell to the left than the right, and vice versa. Unfortunately, due to right wing extremism, many center or left leaning individuals are scared off entirely. By creating a more tolerant party, we can draw in more people. That means weeding out those who are counter-productive, as well as pandering done wisely to attract the left. Talking about Libertarian ideals like bodily autonomy, free migration, and mentioning that the Libertarian Platform specifically states: “We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant.” Some folks might need a reminder, but as for others, talking about particular issues based on a person’s selective biases is a strategic way to build the party.
According to Ballotpedia, there are 47 Libertarian candidates thus far at the time this is being written. I hope those of you reading will take it upon yourselves to research each candidate and come to your own conclusions on who you would support. We can only work with what we have. Choosing NOTA isn’t getting us ballot access. While some people will wait for someone with a higher profile to come along and sweep us off our feets, I think it’s a smack in the face to all the candidates who have already been working so hard to get our attention. While I dearly love and support Justin Amash, it’s a fantasy to think he would become our presidential candidate in 2020. I would be delighted to hear that he joined the LP – but that hasn’t happened yet either. Until it does, we shouldn’t entertain the idea of him running on our ballot line. Unfortunately we have a track record of running “liberty republicans” instead of true (L) candidates. I wholeheartedly support being pragmatic, but for someone with a role as important as being the presidential nominee, there MUST be standards. I cite Larry Sharpe’s 80/20 rule. The issues disagreed upon also matter. Some people are single issue voters or hold some issues to a greater personal importance than others.
Do you guys use this rule, too?— The Sharpe Way (@sharpe_way) October 9, 2019
I use the 80/20 rule. If I agree with 80% of your logic/ideas, but not 20%: you’re now my ally. We can work toward advancing liberty together.👌https://t.co/ZgLaclj6GU#sharpeway #larrysharpe #liberty #freedom #libertarian #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/03lYavOiDe
As both a young person and a Libertarian, I am proud to say that Vermin Supreme is my candidate of choice for The Libertarian Party. I hope to see what becomes of the primary race in May 2020 at The Libertarian National Convention. As always, thank you for reading. If you’re having doubts about anything I’ve said, please feel free to express them on your social media platform of choice. I have my reasons for supporting Vermin, and you may have yours for being for/against him. However, I recommend that you do a bit of digging before you write him off as a joke candidate. His website is very well put together, so please do check it out at https://verminsupreme2020.com/ .2020, libertarian, libertarian party, ponies, presidential race, timetravel, vermin supreme, vermin2020