THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 861, February 28, 2016
I do have a Presidential endorsement in mind,
a recommendation, as it were, for the LP that
I'm confident they won't follow.
My 2016 Endorsement
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
Perhaps I should begin this by explaining that I first became a member of the Libertarian Party in 1972, the first full year that it existed.
I had been a philosophical libertarian for far longer, since 1962, when I was an enthusiastic Robert A. Heinlein fan and an extremely annoying Randite teenager. The Libertarian Party was given birth in Denver, Colorado, roughly 60 miles south of where I still live in Fort Collins. Very soon I became a lifelong friend (and sometimes an enemy) to founder David F. Nolan. I knew a great many other very famous libertarians whose names I know you'd recognize, but I'm too polite to drop.
From the beginning, from the very first convention, the Party was plagued by moderates, gradualists, and other kinds of ideological parasites, creatures who always demanded that I "tone it down". When these specimens were in the ascendency, my attachment to the LP became more tenuous. When the goodguys wre winning, I was more solidly an LP member. The cynicism and corruption of the Ed Clarke campaign in 1980 and its CATO crew of handlers disgusted me so much that I left for 13 years. I had already written my first novel. The Probability Broach, which invented a new party—the "Propertarians"—rather than name the LP because I was mad at them. I'd probably do it differently today.
After that, I was back and forth, busier with my own literary career than Party business. I guess I was all right until they nominated Harry Browne a second time. Several people had proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was "crooked as a dog's hind leg", as my mother used to put it, and yet the Party gave him a second opportunity to pick their pockets. Look up "terminal stupidity" in the dictionary, you'll find the LP's Hollow Woman logo staring back at you.
And then the mental and moral cripples in my once-noble party jumped the shark by nominating that walking police and political pus-bag Bob Barr. That was it for me and the LP. I have turned my eyes toward it again, only because I'm tired of writing about Republicans and Democrats. I have two novels I'm working on now, Ares, and Only the Young Died Good, having been interrupted by a stroke in 2014 and bypass surgery in 2015. I look forward to getting back to them. But I also have a weekly news and opinion journal to produce, and its readers want to talk politics. I hope they rinse their mouths out afterwards.
As it stands, I do have a Presidential endorsement in mind, a recommendation, as it were, for the LP that I'm confident they won't follow. "Back in the day", as we say, there was a California candidate (I forget for what) named Norma Jean Almadovar. Astonishingly, she was both a former hooker and a former cop, an author whose book was stolen and destroyed, an articulate speaker for the rights of sex workers, and a consistent libertarian. She gave terrific national TV. The trouble is, she embarrassed the suit and tie wearers in the California Party and was made to feel unwelcome when she might have advanced the cause two decades. I always meant to tell her, "I'm very sorry, Norma Jean."
Norma Jean's 21st century equivalent is a quirky individual called John McAfee. You may never have heard of the man, and yet his name seems oddly familiar. That's because he's the programmer who pioneered the idea of computer security. His various creations found and removed malicious software from our PCs and protected them from getting re-infected. His work made him rich. He sold his company thirty years ago, and retired to Belize, the dream of a lot of libertarians: an English-speaking tropical paradise. He bought homes on a barrier island on the east coast, and in the interior and pursued various interests.
One may have been a mistake: he wanted to discourage the local trade in illegal drugs he felt was harming the young people of Belize. His billions helped him to buy decent quarters and equipment for local police, and actually reduced th volume of trade. Before long, however a politician came to him, complained that McAfee's efforts had reduced the bribes he was used to getting, and demanded a couple million dollars.
Like a scene straight out of Atlas Shrugged (too bad there was no staircase to kick him down), John told him "Get the fuck off my property."
That seemed to settle things until one night, when his home was raided by 42 heavily-armed soldiers. They shot his dog before his eyes and threw him naked against a wall. No charges were ever filed against him.
He decided to move to the island, but a neighbor there, who had complained about his dogs' barking was found murdered, and McAfee seemed to be the only suspect. Again, no legal accusation was ever made, and he came back to the States as soon as he could. In Tennessee, he was arrested for DUI, but it turned out to have been Xanax.
By far the worst of McAfee's "sins"—the one that envious thin-blooded suits in the LP will be most alarmed by—is that he has girlfriends, seven of them, with lovely caribbean accents, all of whom he sometimes lives with at once. A couple of the girls have gotten mad at him and tried to poison or shoot him, but he's always forgiven them.
After months and months of having to listen to RINOs, LINOs, and self-righteous conservative Republican religious cooties, who can't keep their Invisible Playmate in their pants, John McAfee is a breath of political fresh air. He does not take a single stance I know of on issues that I disagree with, or find unlibertarian. (My browser won't give me his website at https://mcafee2016.com today—I'm starting to get paranoid.) But however that may be, the LP badly needs someone principled who can make a splash in 2016 if it is to survive another decade.
For that, and other reasons, I heartily endorse John McAfee for President.
L. Neil Smith
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