I Ran Against Nick Sarwark & I Think He’s Totally Awesome


The next victim of trolls against liberty is Libertarian Party Chairman Nick Sarwark. What seems to have happened is there was an interview he did where he was asked about Ron Paul seeming to avoid taking the typical libertarian position on issues like gay marriage and abortion by saying “Let the states decide!”

Nick Sarwark said that even if constitutional, a state or local government curtailing individual liberties is just as bad as the federal government doing so. He didn’t attack Ron Paul and gave a fair answer to that question. But, criticism of Lord Emperor Paul triggers the Paulbots to attack. I ran against Nick for Libertarian Party Chair and he’s an awesome dude who did nothing wrong and is a hardcore libertarian.

Nick is the Chairman of the LP for the next two years. The LP has just had its best year ever and websites such as Liberty Hangout attacking Nick is very immature and won’t help the liberty movement. So let me explain why I like Nick a lot, think he is a good chair and think libertarians need to basically shut up and stop attacking everyone for the purpose of target practice & trolling.

I ran for Chairman of the LP in the spring of 2016 and had some fun doing it. I ran for the following reasons:

  1. I was a registered Republican my whole life and up until the convention I believed the GOP was better managed. I saw the rise of Trump and felt with the likely nomination of Gary Johnson, winning 5% of the vote was realistic. I want the LP to remain libertarian, but operate in a more strategic way with more clear solutions-based marketing.
  2. I researched Nick a little bit and I felt I was a bit more moderate than him.
  3. I had some ideas for the party which even the people who would later turn my face into a meme would admit.
  4. I had some background in tech, politics and social media, which I felt made me at least halfway qualified.
  5. Running for stuff is fun.

I went into this aware I had a 99.8% chance of losing, but felt I could get some ideas out there and run a friendly campaign. I ran a friendly campaign and the other three guys I ran against all held that standard as well, with Nick being one of them. We enjoyed doing debates and I felt Nick was a genuinely honest person who truly did care about the LP in ways other than my own. I’m going to be honest and say I do think I would be better than Nick at reaching out to Republicans and Democrats. I say that not to insult him, but I’m looking at my abilities and just feel if the LP were to go to a DNC to GOP event, I could communicate to them better than he could. But Nick is better than I at making the Libertarian Party base happy.

At the Orlando Libertarian Convention, I learned we have something which is kind of refreshing in politics that the GOP and DNC don’t have: A lot of people who give a damn! A lot of crazies! A lot of total and complete pricks! But people who do fundamentally care! With the LP, though, that caring sometimes makes people act kind of crazy, or just genuinely nuts. Managing it and making everyone happy is a challenge. I remember casually talking to the late Doctor Marc Feldman at the convention and he joked, “Can someone nominate me for Chair so I can go up and say I’ll claw my own eyes out over taking that job.”

Being LP Chair requires dealing with some people who are passionately anarchist; dealing with a legion of trolls; dealing with a crew of much more professional people; dealing with alt-right people the GOP rejected; dealing with conspiracy theorists. It’s a tough task and somehow Nick just manages to keep people happy, which is a miracle. If I was Chairman, I’m confident I could get more Republicans to join, but also have five states secede from the party. It’s just the hand of cards we are given and Nick is the person who handles that card the best over anyone.

Nick is presentable (there are many libertarians I’d be afraid to put on TV; he actually does a pretty damn good job). He is a peace keeper in the party. He can make everyone from the Bill Weld crowd to the Daryl Perry crowd like him. He can take something Gary Johnson or Bill Weld say which might not be totally libertarian and say “Okay guys…a mistake was made, but let me talk to them about that and talk to you guys about why you still need to vote for them.” Nick’s not difficult to deal with. I liked debating him and talking to him. He is a nice person who will deal with people well. I have talked to state chairs and at-large members who genuinely shouldn’t be involved in running a party in any form.

So, with that, I’m going to just say this for the next two years to any libertarian who has some ounce of a care for anything besides sharing stupid memes: “Don’t Pick on Nick! Stick with Nick!”

And for the question of 2018, I don’t know if I’d back him again, but I just know he’s the safest and most viable name so far of those mentioned, which include Arvin Vohra, Caryn Harlos, Eric July, Max Dickstein, and myself.

Of those names, Nick is simply just better cut for the gig. Maybe if an Alexander McCobin or Robert Sarvis want the job, they’d be better, but those options seem unlikely and for the next two years, Sarwark is one of the best LP members and possibly the best Chair ever.

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  1. Ron Paul, of course, never “avoided taking a position” on any such thing; when he ascribed various issues to state/local jurisdiction, he was speaking from the vantage point of a federal officeholder/candidate for the presidency, and was entirely correct. Regardless of what one’s basic position on an issue like abortion or gay marriage *in the abstract* is, those are not matters which the federal government is empowered to control under the U.S. Constitution (mental-gymnastic constructions to stretch various clauses into plenary powers notwithstanding), and so congressmen and presidents simply do not lawfully have the power to enforce their positions on those issues, though (under the 10th Amendment) state or local governments may have such power (depending on the provisions of their own state constitutions and what-have-you). Thus, when Ron Paul said that, as president, he would leave such issues to the states or to the people, he was simply describing observing his oath of office and the powers delegated under the Constitution.

    He has, in fact, elsewhere very clearly articulated basic philosophical positions on abortion and gay marriage in the abstract; broadly, his position has been that abortion violates the non-aggression principle and is properly illegal, while marriage is best not defined by the law *at any level,* but instead by private individuals, churches, and communities according to their own understandings.

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