Thursday, October 27, 2011

Council Candidate Bill Levin's 30 Second Spot

Terrific commercial, better than what the better funded candidates are producing.  Love the backgrop of the early morning darkness and Broad Ripple streets damp from the rain.  The dramatic music is great too.  I am told Levin actually did a television buy on the cable networks and will soon be up running.


Nicolas Martin said...

Utterly lacking in substance. Not a word about his beliefs or plans. Nothing that suggests his philosophy is libertarian. Worthless, except to those who see politics as a form of entertainment.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Not exactly. Our biggest problem at the council is that councilors won't ask questions and demand answers. That's a problem that crosses party line. What I wouldn't give for a councilor - Republican or Democrat - who will ask thoughtful questions nad demand answers. I can count the councilors on one hand who will do that and even they are much more timid about doing it than someone like Bill would be.

Nicolas Martin said...

A man who cannot provide substance in his campaign is hardly likely to do so when elected, which he will not be.

The LP justifies its pathetic candidates in two ways. First, it claims that they "educate." They do not. They go out of their way to avoid detailing libertarian positions that might alienate voters; and so they are even more wishy-washy than major party candidates. Most of them are not even familiar with libertarian issues and writers. The latest example of this is Boneham, whose statement of beliefs could be endorsed by anyone from the Republicans to the Green Party.

The second claim is that statewide candidates help to keep the party on the ballot. That is, they serve to perpetuate the cult of no principle. For goodness sakes, even the Scientologists take more courageous positions on social issues!

I have seen Levin speak one time, when he was supposed to comment about education during a debate. His response was clownish and ignorant. He clearly had no idea what to think or say. After he humiliated himself, the next speaker piled on, and got some audience laughs, by suggesting that marijuana might be more in his line. He is an inarticulate joke, and deserved the jab. A serious man, such as Ron Paul, can advocate legal marijuana without making an ass of himself.

The LP candidate on the Indy council is indistinguishable from the Republicans. In fact, as you have reported, he voted with the Republicans to block public dissent at committee meetings. He is known as an ally of the police, not an opponent of the drug war and other attacks on autonomy and freedom.

No self-respecting libertarian would vote for the buffoons who constitute the Libertarian Party. The LP bears the same relation to liberty that Indian rain dances do to the chances of precipitation.

M Theory said...

We did raise a some cash for him that night! Glad to hear he's buying commericials. LOVE IT!

Nicholas...a vote for Bill Levin is a vote for a beloved counter culture icon.

If you want to know his platform, go to his site, facebook, or call him up!

He's one of the lovliest people you will ever meet. (I promise).

Nicolas Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicolas Martin said...

I posted this, but it quickly disappeared, so once again...

I wouldn't vote for my own daughter, my dearest familial icon, if she couldn't articulate and defend libertarian ideals.

Build statues to counter cultural icons, don't elect them to rule us. (What culture is he counter to?)

I watched Levin in debate and in his ad, and visited his web site, but with no libertarian satisfaction. 

Levin is for decriminalization of marijuana, he says. But even his statement about decriminalizing marijuana expresses no principle, it is all pragmatic. He refers to wasting resources (to be used otherwise for what?), saving the city money (to be spent on what?), and improving "police efficiency (to do what to us?). He makes no mention of the right to self-ownership which undergirds the right for adults to ingest whatever we wish.

Levin doesn't even want to get rid of all penalties for marijuana use and says nothing about its sale, he wants consumers to be charged with an "infraction" for possessing it. His "decriminalization," then, means that we can't legally buy or posses pot. Some decriminalization. And that is as close as he gets to libertarianism. According to a recent national poll, fifty percent of Americans support more freedom for marijuana consumers than Levin does; they would allow legal possession.

 Perhaps they are the culture he is counter to.

He is not for abolishing the violation of property rights called "zoning," he is for "updating" it. That's bad. Without property rights I have no foundation for arguing that I own my body and can smoke weed, which is why he makes no such argument. He either rejects property rights or doesn't understand them. No libertarian opposes property rights.

Levin's against "developer welfare," which is a meaningless cliche. A libertarian objects to the projects themselves, and knows that "developer welfare" is as intrinsic to government construction as crime is to prohibition. Levin objects to the blood splatter but not the gunshot.

He's against "public corruption." Well, so, ostensibly, is Kennedy, and what candidate would say he isn't?

 It is a vacant platitude.

There are many local issues a libertarian could address, and use to educate, but aside from marijuana legalization, Levin bothers to address none of them.

Like most LP candidates, there is no evidence that Levin is actually a libertarian, and the views he expresses are anti-libertarian. If he is one, and he doesn't tell people his actual beliefs, then he is duplicitous. In either case he deserves no support from any libertarians, icon or not.

The LP will accept anyone as a candidate or member who will keep the party in the news. It is a thoroughly amoral organization.

Ben said...

Nicolas, may I suggest from exlax for your constipated view on the world.

You obvisouly are a black and white fellow with no ability to se good creative stuff when you see it.

the spot is what it is,fun,to the point and well produced. Better than Ballards or Melinas crap. It would be nice if ever said something nice.

Nicolas Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicolas Martin said...

I say complimentary things about Ron Paul every day, but then he pretty consistently supports freedom.

Government, and those who seek power, are not ordinarily recipients of my enthusiasm, and why should they be?

There is nothing in Levin's stated views that makes him superior to Ballard or Kennedy. Even his signature issue, marijuana, shows him to be unwilling to defend personal freedom. So, if he believes what he writes -- that possession should remain illegal -- he is not a libertarian. If he believes that possession should be legal, then he is a liar. Which is better?

Cato said...

Ben, your vapidity causes you to make an inapposite response to Nic's complaint.

He said of the ad: "Worthless, except to those who see politics as a form of entertainment."

In response to this criticism, you say: "the spot is what it is,fun,to the point and well produced. Better than Ballards or Melinas crap."

At this point, Nic can rest, having carried the day.

Nicolas Martin said...

Thanks, Cato.

I don't know if this applies to "Ben," but while Dems and Republicans expect criticism, members of the Libertarian Party expect a free ride. They intensely object to being criticized, and most especially to having a libertarian criticize their faux libertarianism. As a rule LPers don't even try to defend libertarianism because know they little about it.

Blog Admin said...

Ok, Nic, let's see you condense these libertarian philosophies into a 30 second spot, raise the cash to produce it, and the cash to get it on air. And we'll see how it goes over.

Sometimes, reading nic's posts, I think he's communicating a message of anarchy rather than a libertarian one.

Cato said...

If you see anarchy in Nic's messages, the lot of you were raised on a tyrannical teat that you find so succulent that you will never fully wean yourselves from it.

Nicolas Martin said...

So, we are into anarchist-baiting now.

is Ron Paul having trouble raising money to carry forth the libertarian message? Is he an anarchist? Has the LP ever stirred such enthusiasm with its bland mock libertarianism?

That said, some of the leading modern libertarians have been self-describe anarchists, including Murray Rothbard. I don't go quite that far, but I admire Rothbard greatly. Truth is that if one pushed for anarchism, the result would fall far short of that. But the LP candidates rarely push for anything resembling even moderate libertarianism, so if they win we end up with nothing. (One can never forget the thrill of Mike Kole's cry for "voting machines we can trust.") Rothbard was involved in the creating of the LP, and it once had a courageously principled platform, but it soon sold out (Ed Clark) and has dumped the detailed platform. The people who have assumed power in the party simply use LIbertarian as a brand name, with as much ideological meaning as Tide and Kleenex.

Considering that Levin doesn't seem to hold any libertarian views, even on marijuana, I don't think we need concern ourselves with how he might deliver a concise libertarian message. From what I've seen of him on TV, he would have a hard time speaking coherently for 30 seconds.

There must be a few, but I've yet to meet a single member of the LP since the 1980s who is a knowledgeable and principled libertarian.

Imagine how Indy Student, and the LP cult would have reacted when Gandhi declared, "The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence." Bloody anarchist, that Gandhi.

Nicolas Martin said...

Indy Student is a Hillary Clinton Democrat, so it is unclear why he would care about libertarian criticism of the LP, but his party doesn't like all that uncontrolled rebellion; they run Homeland Security.

Establishment types adore the LP since it is so harmless and cuddly. Unlike Ron Paul, LPers don't say suspicious and bothersome things. They know their proper place if they want to stay in the game and get good reviews. Coleman, Boneham, Levin, and Co. don't talk that disturbing libertarian trash.

Mike Kole said...

Nicolas- I was running for Secretary of State when I advocated for voting machines people can trust. The Secretary of State's office governs three areas of life only- elections being one of them. You always found it so disappointing that I would only talk about issues germaine to the office I was seeking. Bummer for you.

I still long for the day when you man up and run for office your way. You know- show us how it's done. Seems you lack the courage of your convictions to do anything larger than criticize others.

Nicolas Martin said...

Mike. Kole,
It's nice to hear from one of the mock libertarians.

In your run for Sec. of State you didn't articulate a single libertarian position. This was, of course, because your purpose in running was not to "educate" (which LPers never get around to doing) but to requalify the party for ballot access. The LP is not an ideological enterprise promoting liberty, it is a political perpetual motion machine. It exists so that candidates like you can mouth innocuous swill, just as the major parties do.

You expose your statist mindset by repeatedly insisting that one must seek political office to display convictions -- which leaves out Gandhi, M.L. King, and others who have influenced the course of history without aspiring to political control. It's a darned shame that Gandhi and King didn't "man up," in your sexist phrase. Political ambition should be ridiculed, not encouraged.

In 2004 you wrote to me, "I am not interested in the question of who is or isn't a phony libertarian." Indeed. That would be the interest of someone committed to a set of principles, which you are not. You are committed to party, not principle; and you get more attention in the LP than you would in the Republican Party, so it is your niche.

Your wrote further that, "The leadership of the LPIN is serious about being a political party that achieves the goals of a political party." And we know how political parties behave.

Your most illuminating retort to me was this: "Your attempt to cause dissention within our ranks is not appreciated."

Real libertarians -- men and women -- foster dissent and debate, they don't run from it. Political party hacks, on the other hand, disdain, control, and repress dissent.

As long as the LP lays claim to a bogus association with libertarianism, sullying the good name of the ideology of freedom, I'll continue to criticize it.

To his credit, Ogden does not block criticism of his views, which I frequently provide. His natural instinct is more libertarian than is yours and other members of the LP cult.

Now the LP is represented by candidate Levin who can't even bring himself to forthrightly support the right of Americans to consume marijuana. His position is that it should remain illegal to buy marijuana (at lesser charge), and he doesn't even mention making it legal to purchase the plant. Characteristic of LP candidates, his position brings us no closer to liberty, and falls behind even the pro-feedom position of most American vis-a-vis marijuana.

Mike Kole said...

Nicolas- You are correct in one thing: I never stated my objective was to educate, and that I did state it as my objective to maintain ballot access for the Libertarian Party. You will note that from that, an LP candidate can run as a moderate or as radical as you envision perfect. That is just one of the reasons I continue to cajole you about running yourself. You know- apart from having little respect from critics who won't do the job themselves when the opportunity is easily before them.

You have repeatedly expressed the notion that if one tries to participate in government by attempting to win an election, they are therefore a 'statist'. Well, how do you propose to reduce the size and scope of the state? By continuing to allow those who believe in big government to be elected without ballot box challenge? By posting comments on blogs? Yeah! That'll show 'em!

So, ML King. Certainly influential, and without a doubt never ran for office. He's the exception of course, and not the rule, and there hasn't been anyone like him in the 40 years or so since his death. From King, we got the Civil Rights Act. In the meantime, our lives are affected by the people who do win elections, and government has grown exponentially. The ballot box continues to appear to me to be the best venue for making change, short of being a once-in-a-lifetime charismatic spiritual leader, which neither you nor I are. Your mileage may vary.

Nicolas Martin said...

" You are correct in one thing: I never stated my objective was to educate, and that I did state it as my objective to maintain ballot access for the Libertarian Party. " -- Mike Kole

As I have repeated said, the LP exists so that it may continue to exist. It has no legitimate ideological purpose.

Mike Kole said...

Sure it does- to elect libertarians into office, who will move policy in a libertarian direction.

For all your erudition, you ain't to bright.