That Other Party

The Boston Tea Party, founded by Tom Knapp (Grand Anarch of the Left-Libertarian Blogosophere) a couple of years ago in protest against the LP’s increasing drift away from radicalism, has nominated Charles Jay for president and Knapp himself for vice-president.

If Knapp were on the top of the ticket I’d definitely be interested (sorry, Brad); but judging from Jay’s website (festooned with flags and typos) I can’t get too excited about his candidacy.

Jay seems broadly libertarian, but not especially radical. (Well, he’s radical as hell by mainstream standards, of course; but those aren’t the applicable standards here.) It looks to me as though the moderates have taken over the Boston Tea Party too. Jay insists that the IRS’s reign of terror must stop, but says nothing about abolishing the IRS. He apparently rejects a free market in health care. While he opposes the Iraq War, his commitment to non-interventionism seems weak-kneed. (I couldn’t find any info about his views on immigration; all that came up on the subject was this, which tells me less about Jay’s stand on immigration than about the incompetence of his web staff.) Jay is arguably more libertarian than Barr, but there’s just not enough there to justify regarding Jay’s candidacy as a viable protest alternative to the Barr/Root ticket. (As fun as it would be to see Knapp debate Root ….)


3 Responses to That Other Party

  1. Thomas L. Knapp June 21, 2008 at 10:58 pm #


    Actually, the BTP wasn’t founded so much as “in protest against the LP’s increasing drift away from radicalism” as it was in protest of a poorly-attended convention taking a meat saw to the LP’s platform in a not-very-well-thought-out way. In point of fact, the BTP’s platform is arguably more “moderate” than the LP’s 2004, 2006 or 2008 platforms.

    Here’s a sort of FAQ on the subject of how the thing came into existence and what it did between then and late 2007.

    As far as Charles Jay’s campaign platform, the stuff you see on his site is four years old, from his 2004 run as the candidate of Utah’s Personal Choice Party. My understanding is that he’s become more radical since then and is working on a rewrite.

    I can say with reasonable confidence that the Boston Tea Party’s ticket will be the most radically libertarian ticket on any state ballot this fall (we just submitted paperwork in Colorado and will be hitting other states shortly). To the extent that I speak on the ticket’s behalf, my intent is to take a “principled populist” approach based in libertarian class theory (Comte/Dunoyer/SEK3/Conger/Spangler et al) and differing very much in the certain particulars that brought (cough) one GOP candidate’s campaign to grief last year.

    Tom Knapp

  2. Anon73 June 22, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Hey Roderick, check out this news story:

    I especially like the comments about how Ron Paul’s supporters think little or nothing of Obama and Nader.

  3. Administrator June 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm #

    Hey Tom K.,

    Thanks for the info; I’ll keep an eye out for updates.

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