Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Reason.com: 'Libertarian Party Rebuffs Mises Uprising'

by Matt Welch, Reason.com

The Libertarian Party on Monday afternoon re-elected in a surprising first-ballot landslide incumbent Chair Nicholas Sarwark to an unprecedented third consecutive two-year term. In doing so, the nation's third-largest political party swatted down what was supposed to be the most contentious challenge at its biennial national convention—to a leadership that was considered by various critics to be too operationally incremental, too ideologically tepid, and too (in the words of Ludwig von Mises Institute Senior Fellow and popular podcaster Tom Woods at a nearby New Orleans rally Saturday) "SJW-friendly."

Instead, Sarwark's main opponent, the Mises Caucus-endorsed Joshua Smith, stumbled badly in a defensive debate performance at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency Sunday night, and ended up Monday on the business end of a 65 percent-22 percent rout. In the vice chair race, two-term incumbent Arvin Vohra, who has become a lightning rod over the past year-plus for intentionally provocative public comments such as "Bad Idea: School Shootings. Good Idea: School Board Shootings," was resoundingly drummed out of office, never receiving more than 11 percent of the vote in three rounds of balloting that ended Tuesday with a positivity-exuding 33-year-old finance/tech/consulting guy named Alex Merced squeaking past the 50 percent finish line.

"What I think the race shows is that if you want to change the direction of the Libertarian Party, if you have new ideas about how we can grow and reach new members, the election of Merced to vice chair shows that the delegates want that kind of change," Sarwark told me Tuesday afternoon. "If your campaign is seen, or has themes of trying to kick people out, of trying to attack people like Gov. Weld, or... basically anyone—if your campaign was seen as trying to drive people out of the party, the delegates soundly rejected that. And I think that that is the biggest takeaway from the convention."..

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