Chuck Moulton: LP conventions, avoid alt-right / white supremacist event speakers

Group email from Chuck Moulton:

Libertarian leaders,

Some friends of mine I trust and vouch for have asked me to spread this information around. Please get it to state convention organizers.

CONVENTION AND EVENT ORGANIZERS SHOULD AVOID ALT-RIGHT SPEAKERS.

We had a fiasco in Pennsylvania recently with a “liberty festival” loosely associated with the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania state convention (festival on a Saturday, business session that Sunday, same hotel). The organizers invited Augustus Invictus, a controversial alt-right figure from Florida who sought (and lost) the Libertarian Party U.S. Senate nomination there, to debate immigration.

Because of this speaker a local ANTIFA (Anti-Fascist Action) group threatened the venue with violence. That led to the venue canceling the event contract and the event being last minute re-located. There were a lot of local news stories about this, which associated Libertarians with the alt-right and white supremacists.

It is something other states need to be aware of so they can avoid it.

A few lessons:

1) Even if the event is separate from the party convention and called something else, all of the media will say it was part of a Libertarian Party convention.

2) Even if a speaker is invited to debate a topic and let people “hear both sides”, all of the media will say Libertarians are alt-right and the speaker represents Libertarians.

3) ANTIFA groups regularly call venues and threaten violence to get events canceled.

4) When ANTIFA groups get events canceled, the media reports on it and ties the inviting group to the alt-right.

5) The last few times this has happened, it was not established ANTIFA groups that called in the threats. Instead, the groups had formed literally just a few days before.

6) It is entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that the alt-right is creating fake ANTIFA groups to get their own events canceled because it generates media.

7) Getting events shut down also allows the alt-right to play the victim and get sympathy from libertarians who value free speech.

8) When an event is canceled or moved or rescheduled, it can cause significant logistical headaches and financial hardship for the event organizer — or the state party.

9) The alt-right would rather have a bunch of free media associating Libertarians with the alt-right and getting them exposure than actually speak at any event.

10) Inviting an alt-right speaker to a Libertarian state convention or an event even remotely associated with a Libertarian state convention will probably lead to a lot of media associating Libertarians with the alt-right and white supremacists.

For those reasons, I want to get the word out to state Libertarian activists to be very cautious about the alt-right and avoid inviting them to Libertarian branded events.

WE ARE BEING PLAYED.

I’m a big supporter of the first amendment. I’m a believer in hearing all sides of an issue to be better informed. But just because it is good to learn other points of view, does not mean we have to give a platform to the alt-right and damage our brand by association with the alt-right and white supremacists. Let them find their own vehicles to spread their message.

Many low information voters will associate libertarianism and the Libertarian Party with the alt-right and white supremacists if we keep letting ourselves get played and giving them free media.

AVOID INVITING THE ALT-RIGHT TO LIBERTARIAN EVENTS.

Please spread this message to state convention organizers. Thank you.

Chuck Moulton
Chair, LP Judicial Committee
Former Vice-Chair (2006-2008), Libertarian National Committee
Former Chair (2014), LP Bylaws Committee
Former Chair (2006), Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Former Chair (2012-2014), Libertarian Party of Virginia

P.S. I know it sounds like a bit of a conspiracy theory to speculate the alt-right is creating fake ANTIFA groups to get their own events canceled and generate media. I have seen significant evidence to lend credence to this theory. But regardless of whether the alt-right is responsible for fake threats or actual anti-fascists are responsible for real threats, the outcome is the same: events get canceled and the alt-right gets a lot of free media associating libertarians with the alt-right.

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