Matt Welch: Did the Libertarian Radicals Lose Their Inter-Party Fight? Not So Fast, Says One

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IPR writer Caryn Ann Harlos (Photo: Matt Welch)

By Matt Welch,, July 10th, 2016(featuring IPR contributor Caryn Ann Harlos):

This morning we posted my column about the Libertarian Party convention from the August/September issue of the print magazine, cheekily titled “The Libertarian Party Moment: Taking the naked leap from the margins to the mainstream.” In it, I make the claim that, striptease performances notwithstanding, “The radicals and free spirits lost. Ten minutes after James Weeks II’s man boobs and freedom jockstrap beamed into America’s living rooms, the delegates nominated [William] Weld” for vice president, despite very deep misgivings about his Libertarian bonafides.

NOT SO FAST, shot back L.P. Radical Caucus member and beloved party activist Caryn Ann Harlos, via email. Speaking in her personal capacity, though certainly channeling some Rad-Caucus views, Harlos made some good points worth sharing here. An excerpt from our correspondence:

The radicals had a huge effect this convention, and while we did indeed “lose” (I am not sure that is the word I would use since this is a party effort, and the delegates chose and we are getting behind our candidates, one of our board members is a state coordinator for the GJ campaign) on the Presidential/Vice Presidential ticket, we gained in multiple critical areas that will have long term internal effects.  We defeated every single anti-radical bylaws and platform issue that came up, and others never got heard. We motivated floor work in a way not seen in long time, and our membership has grown more and more active.  Additionally, out and open radicals gained seats on the Libertarian National Committee.  This will last far beyond November. […]

[T]he growing influence of the radicals cannot be underestimated… we are on the ascendency at this point despite the more moderate ticket.

Read the rest of the article here. 

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