Activist Thomas L. Knapp released the following for the NOTA 2016 movement on July 1. The movement seeks to nominate None of the Above for President of the United States at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention. The Saturnalian does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in this commentary.
When most political parties get together for a national convention, they nominate a candidate for president. The Libertarian Party isn’t most political parties.
First, it has its national convention every two years rather than every four (the 2014 event, held in Columbus, Ohio, just wrapped up).
Secondly, “None Of The Above” is always on the ballot for both internal offices and the party’s presidential nomination.
A new “open source campaign,” launching two years ahead of the party’s presidential nominating convention, says NOTA is its candidate of choice.
“NOTA inherently enjoys broad support among Libertarians,”says Thomas L. Knapp, who launched the NOTA 2016 web site on July 1st. “Some Libertarians see electoral politics as a dead end and want the party to focus on some of the other purposes listed in its bylaws. Some Libertarians see the party as a sort of side effort, end up supporting the lesser of two major party evils, and don’t want a ‘spoiler’ in the mix. And many Libertarians are just plain unhappy with the candidate choices the party has made and continues to make.”
Unhappy enough, hopes Knapp, to turn the 2016 election cycle into a cooling-off period after twice nominating failed Republican politicians — former congressman Bob Barr of Georgia in 2008 and former governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico in 2012 — instead of ideological libertarians.
“The Libertarian Party has always taken flak as ‘GOP Lite,'” says Knapp, who refers to himself as the campaign’s “Instigator.” “It hasn’t always deserved that flak, but after two presidential elections in a row it’s become apparent that the only way to put an end to it and to keep Republican rejects from coming after our presidential nomination is to stop giving it to them.”
NOTA 2016’s goals include building grassroots state and local NOTA efforts within the Libertarian Party and gaining the support of a majority of delegates to the 2016 Libertarian National Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Libertarian Party, established in 1971, is America’s third largest political party.