As I sit in the airport, I’m feeling more present in my life than ever. The miracle of human flight and the nuisance of airport security that must be endured to enjoy it, as I fly to the East coast to nominate someone I think will protect the prosperity we enjoy in the West.
I am cautiously optimistic that my party will do the right thing and nominate Gary Johnson. It’s no secret at this point that he’s my guy.
Of course, it occurs to me that all of the candidates likely would have been thinking the same things I was thinking as I passed through airport security, and that kind of matters.
All of the candidates would be exceptional alternatives to the two offerings that voters will be forced to choose between, and I cannot stress this enough. I’ve thought long and hard about what I will do in the event that my guy doesn’t win, and I’ve decided that things are too important not to support the eventual nominee.
Some of my friends will chastise my partisanship, but partisanship is in a totally different league when it’s a minor party in question. In fact, until now, it’s practically a different sport entirely.
Fortunately, the two sports are about to merge into one entirely new creation. The game is about to change.
It’s important that we get it right, and no one disagrees with that. But what does getting it right look like? Nobody knows, because we’ve never been here before.
Radicals within our party have one perspective. They believe that we can’t appeal to the masses unless we set ourselves apart by preserving our very distinct message and its principles. It matters a good deal to them, and I completely understand.
Others would accept the support of disenfranchised Republicans and (soon-to-be-disenfranchised) Bernie supporters, even if it means sacrificing our presentation of Libertarian principles. Why miss such a huge opportunity to win, or at least make a lasting impression by getting huge numbers, for the sake of purity?
I understand and respect both of these positions. But it’s hard to reconcile both. How is our delegation going to do it?
I think I know how.
Johnson will win, but the anti-Johnson camp will coalesce around a VP candidate other than Weld. This will (I hope) create the unity that our party needs going forward.
If I’m wrong, and they do in fact pick Weld (and they totally might), we may lose a few hardcore purists, but they will return to fight another day. If they would leave our movement because it’s delegation chose pragmatism over principle, then they were never really serious about things to begin with. Friends of mine that are radical have stated that they will continue to support the party and continue to address this issue, but have no plans of abandoning the party.
I respect the shit out of that.
I’m no radical, but those that understand that the world does not just bend to your whims and know the importance of persuasion are people we need in this party.
When I get to Orlando, I intend to approach all the candidates and ask them these questions…
Johnson: Your low-energy personality has many delegates nervous about nominating you. If you do manage to debate Hillary and Trump on a national stage, what are you going to do to prepare?
Petersen: When it comes to addressing your critics in the party, has your approach evolved at all, and do you intend to run a negative campaign if you become the nominee?
McAfee: Can you elaborate on claims made by your running mate, Judd Weiss, that you are unwilling to support Gary Johnson if he’s the nominee because he is guilty of shady practices?
Perry: Do you actually want to win, or do you just want to use the POTUS race to share Libertarian ideas?
Feldman and Sterling (and others I’m forgetting): How will you overcome the perspective that you are an unknown with little experience, and how do you expect to raise the money necessary for a national campaign?
So that’s it. In four days, we will all have to move forward with our decision, and I'm prepared for anything. We'll see what happens.
My (amazingly possible) flight is boarding. I suspect I’ll have more to say on the other side of this trip. Stay tuned…