With nearly 60% of the vote, Vermin Supreme is victorious in a closed primary vote held by the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire! The entertaining, longtime satirical candidate has run for President of the United States under both the republican and democrat parties over the year and this time has thrown his boot in the Libertarian party’s primary ring for their 2020 nomination.
Supreme has spent a lot of time campaigning in New Hampshire, including an epic, armed pony march on Concord’s state house last month. His New Hampshire campaign manager and national chief strategist, Richard Manzo said this about his decisive win in an exclusive interview for Free Keene, “I think this is very much a proof of concept, that recruiting younger members to the LP is possible with the right messenger. I think the young people we recruited to the party tipped the scales in Vermin’s favor.”
For the last three presidential elections, the national Libertarian Party has put forward terrible presidential candidates. Bob Barr, the former republican congressman, was their embarrassing choice in 2008. The national LP’s selection in 2012 and 2016, former republican governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, was barely an improvement on Barr. These choices were bad enough because they propagate the mistaken idea that libertarians are somehow right-wing. However, if Barr or Johnson actually had embraced the non-aggression principle and were communicating it during their campaigns, I could forgive them. At least they would have been on-message. They weren’t.
The national Libertarians were abandoning their adherence to principle in favor of hoping these former republican candidates could get them more votes. I saw this happening over the years and actually resigned from the national party prior to their nomination of Barr in 2008.
At least the New Hampshire Libertarian Party has stuck closer to principle over the years. In 2016, NH and VT’s libertarian parties were the only ones in the whole United States to back presidential candidates who actually were worth nominating, like Darryl W Perry and John McAfee.
Today at their annual convention in Concord, the LPNH tallied up the votes that were mailed in by their membership in a closed party presidential primary. Using ranked choice voting, 44 of their 110 members cast votes in the primary, with 26 of the 44 voters choosing Vermin Supreme. That’s over 59%! It was a decisive victory.
Maybe there’s hope for the national Libertarian Party, as even the satirical Supreme is a better presidential nominee than former republicans, simply for the entertainment factor alone. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if they choose another former republican governor, this time Bill Weld, as their nominee. In 2016, Weld was given their vice-presidential nomination and went on to promote Hillary Clinton during his campaign appearances. The only time Weld ever addressed the non-aggression principle during his campaign was when I asked him about it at his appearance at Keene’s Central Square.
Good luck, Vermin. In a world where LP members appreciated good satire and had a sense of humor, you’d win nationally. Sadly, I don’t expect to see that happen. Kudos to LPNH’s members for sending a message to national with their nomination.