Wags have been having fun for the past two days with the streaker who made his way onto the stage of the Libertarian Party’s nominating convention this weekend and damaged their brand by stripping on national TV on C-Span.
Even as Lawrence O’Donnell was announcing his first on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today – he will be the first broadcaster to have both Libertraian presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson and vice presidential candidate Governor William Weld on his show together tonight at 10 pm – MSNBC played clips of the (nearly) nudist libertarian protesting Johnson’s selection.
The Libertarian Party has always had a large, grumbling, wild eyed, anarchist faction. In 1984 they undid their party’s progress by refusing to nominate Georgetown international relations professor Earl Ravenal because of real or perceived slights to the more unwashed libertarian activists by Ed Crane, who then left the LP and went on to run the Cato Institute. Until Governor Johnson rescued the Libertarians in 2012 by accepting their nomination, they’ve been running unknowns, or an occasional outlier Congressman, Ron Paul in 1988, or Bob Barr in 2008.
The wild eyed anarchists almost took over the LP again this year, making Johnson fight for a 55% win and Weld fight for a 51% win, both on a second ballot. The stripper was the last gasp of the protestors.
Of course, this year, both the GOP and the Democrats have their own wild eyed anarchists taking over.
People tittering over the stripper might take a step back and realize that the LP has just nominated two popular two term governors who won elections by getting voters to cross party lines, as libertarian Republicans running in Democratic states. The two major parties will be represented by a foul mouthed attention seeker under IRS audit and a world class prevaricator who married into political power and who is under FBI investigation.
Additionally voters might contemplate that so far Democrats and Republicans have seen: activists rush Bernie Sanders on stage, protestors throw rocks at police at Trump rallies, supposed Bernie supporters call in threats to Nevada officials supporting Hillary, Trump offer to pay the legal fees of people who assault protestors, a conservative media pundit be banned from Sirius radio for making threats against a presidential candidate, and anti-Trump activists assault people attending Trump rallies.
And the Libertarians had an amateur stripper.
The Democrat and Republican conventions are likely to be the scene of some violence, with ambulances blaring sirens. In contrast, at the violence free Libertarian convention in Orlando, one of Johnson’s competitors for the nomination, Cleveland Clinic medical doctor Marc Allan Feldman, and EMT and firefighter Tim Moen, the leader of the Canadian Libertarian Party, actually provided first aid to someone not at the event struck by a car outside the convention center.
So those hoping the nude shenanigans foreshadow that Johnson’s current 10% in some polls will evaporate, and that the “un-coverage” will undo the extensive coverage the Libertarians are getting, are likely to be disappointed.
Update: the stripper, James Weeks, is under consideration for expulsion by the Michigan Libertaian Party. Weeks’ Facebook page currently features memes expressing his lack of concern with critics of his prank, including one of anarchocommunist Emma Goldman on not wanting to be part of a revolution unless she can dance at it. Last night Weeks was interviewed on an anarchist internet radio show.