Gardner Goldsmith Runs for US Senate as Libertarian

NH native and longtime talk show host Gardner Goldsmith is running for US Senate in New Hampshire as a Libertarian. Here’s his campaign website and his first video:

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22 Comments

  1. Running as a Libertarian wont get him elected. Successful Free Staters are running as Reps and Dems. Even though is message is fantastic, he’ll get the typical 2% of the third party protest vote and fade away as another 2% LP loser.

    Only way Goldsmith can win or get 30%+ of the vote is run as a Thomas Jeffersonian Democrat or Ron Paul Republican. Thats just reality.

  2. I’m pretty sure Mr. Goldsmith is aware of how the system works, and his chances of getting elected. Maybe he’s after something even more valuable than votes, like a chance to educate the public in a national campaign.

  3. National campaigns or large State campaigns favor a major party strategy.

    Everyone remembers Ron Pauls campaign, no one remembers Gary Johnsons 2% campaign.

  4. Again, it depends on what the goals are

    Perhaps one is to make it on the general election ballot and not be eliminated in the primaries. Kudos to Ron Paul if can stomach running under an establishment party banner.

    I’m appreciative of anyone on the ballot who I feel is principled and would represent me if elected. Voting for the lesser of two evils contributes to the problem.

  5. I really like Gardner Goldsmith. It’s unfortunate that he is legitimizing the corrupt federal electoral system by participating in the so-called “election.” At least that he’s running as a Libertarian so that nobody will know about it.

  6. Enter the matrix to defeat the matrix?

  7. Running and losing is not entering the matrix. At best it’s cheering the matrix on from the outside.

  8. Not being elected isn’t necessarily losing. The victory is running an honest campaign, sending a message, and offering a better alternative. If people reject it, they do so at their own peril.

  9. Running an honest campaign by telling an honest lie? Sending a message in compliance with the tyrant’s permission in an electronic age when a thousand less-censored communication channels thrive? Offering a better alternative even though that alternative will never be delivered to those who choose it (and I speak from experience having “chosen” the better, Libertarian alternative in every election in which I’ve voted, and never once have had my choice honored)? You call that victory? I call that insanity.

    ‘Victory” means defeating or overcoming an enemy. What enemy has the loser of an electoral campaign defeated by running an honest but failing campaign? By sending a message that is polluted with the implied endorsement of a corrupt system or else censored before being received? What enemy is defeated by offering an alternative that is unaccepted, or if accepted not delivered? What enemy has that loser overcome? As dishonest as the promoters of that campaign are to its voters, so dishonest is that candidate to himself by declaring that loss to be a victory.

  10. My responses to your points in order:

    -What “honest lie” is Gardner Goldsmith telling by running for office, specifically?

    -Sending a message on the ballot despite the tyrant’s best efforts to limit and restrict access while simultaneously maintaining the illusion of being of the people, by the people, for the people. Running for office, like gun ownership, is claiming a right often infringed upon by government. I’ve observed that a candidate running for public office can usually gain a larger audience and generate more interest than they could otherwise with equal resources through other avenues “in an electronic age when a thousand less-censored communication channels thrive.”

    -If we choose the better alternative and it’s never delivered, then we are not accountable. If we [i]don’t[/i] choose the better alternative and it’s never delivered, then we [i]are[/i] accountable. (I speak from experience also. I seem to recognize your name. Did you live in NV before moving to NH?) Siding with a minority is not insanity. Often-times, it is responsibility.

    -The enemy being defeated is those who would have everyone believe that there is no alternative and that the duopoly running unopposed means there is consensus. That changes with the addition of even a paper candidate.

    -Running for office, especially if unlikely to win, is an implied objection or protest more than an implied endorsement.

  11. What “honest lie” is Gardner Goldsmith telling by running for office, specifically?

    “You have an alternative. A Libertarian alternative. I can win, so expend your precious vote on me, and I will be your next Senator.” None of that is true. If GG makes a video saying “I’m running to lose as in order to protest the system. I won’t be your next Senator, but vote for me anyway,” then I would give him more honesty points.

    Running for office, like gun ownership, is claiming a right often infringed upon by government.

    Owning a gun is a matter of private property, a natural right, God-given, or existing in the state of nature, preceding all legislation. You cannot compare that to some so-called “right” to run for office. Running for ofice is no right. Can I run for Police Chief? No. Can I run for President this year? No. I can only exercise what you are mis-calling a right subject to permission of the people whose interests are that I never hold office. That’s not a right. That’s a trick to make otherwise effective people waste time spinning a hamster wheel when they could be doing something to actually make positive change in the world.

    I’ve observed that a candidate running for public office can usually gain a larger audience and generate more interest than they could otherwise with equal resources through other avenues…

    Who? What are their names, what party were they running with, what were their budgets? You say “usually?” Do you know how many Libertarian candidates there have been? You’re telling me more than 50% of them achieved any kind of measurable audience? I don’t believe you, but I’d love to see evidence proving me wrong.

    I seem to recognize your name. Did you live in NV before moving to NH?

    I’m not hiding anything. If you want to tell my backstory here I don’t mind. Personally I don’t see that it’s relevant to this conversation, but go ahead if you want to.

    If we don’t choose the better alternative and it’s never delivered, then we are accountable.

    Agreed. Where we differ is what counts as choosing a better alternative. I deny that participating in the fraudulent electoral system where no public office will result is a “better alternative” than other uses of the same resources.

    The enemy being defeated is those who would have everyone believe that there is no alternative and that the duopoly running unopposed means there is consensus.

    Curiously enough I see the exact opposite. There really is no alternative, and by running and losing you undermine public perception of that reality and moreover give the enemy the excuse of claiming they have a mandate. When there’s only one name of the ballot it’s obvious that it’s a rigged election with no real choice. Participating just gives the illegitimate system a false impression of not being quite as bad.

    Running for office, especially if unlikely to win, is an implied objection or protest more than an implied endorsement.

    As soon as you define losing as winning, then there’s no limit to the absurdity one can reach. If GG is “protesting” by running and losing, then I’m protesting even harder by not running and losing. And I’m protesting even harder than that by not even voting. Harder still by standing in front of the polling station urging other people not to vote.

    As soon as “the man” convinces you that there’s any reason to run besides winning, you’re on the slippery slope to wasting all your time being completely ineffectual. There’s a cliche: “if voting worked then it would be illegal.” We can say the same thing of running for office.

  12. Roger… This is Gardner. Just to be clear, the material you wrote in quotes… is that supposed to have been from me? If so, it would be cool if you were to cite the alternate dimension in which I said such things. No hard feelings, man. I understand you meant it to be an interpretation of what anyone running implies to those who see the race unfolding. I don’t want to run. But by entering the race AND telling people we know we cannot win and that we intend to use the race to spread the ideas, it should tell people that in no way are we supporting any idea of legitimacy of the state. Believe me, I have spent many years using the media to spread the principles of anarchism, and there are certain limits one encounters. Though you might not think so, this method allows us to reach people we would not otherwise reach. It in no way lends legitimacy to the state to be an anarchist who runs knowing and expression that he cannot win and will not serve. If one drives on roads that are controlled by agents of the state to deliver a series of speeches against the state, it does not mean he accepts the state. It might just mean that the state has constructed such high barriers to his finding alternatives that he has few options left to use. We run with a goal: to get attention and spread ideas, not necessarily to garner votes. If we DO garner support, that gives our ideas more attention, but it still doesn’t mean I will win or take a government position if I were to win. I once wondered if, as an anarchist, I could justify running. I can justify running, but not serving.

    I wonder if anyone here has some thoughts on whether an anarchist could SERVE if he voted against all functions of the government and never took pay. There are so many things to consider, including the energy it takes to heat government buildings that a Senator/Congressman/woman might enter, the phone lines, etc. Would it be okay to accept office and work to dismantle the state if one were to reimburse for all the attendant costs of being in office? I don’t think so. I think accepting the office then means one lends an air of acceptance to the office itself, even if he/she doesn’t want it to go on. Running in a campaign doesn’t mean one is running to win, and I have worked for many years in alternative ways to spread the word and effect change. I don’t think giving this method a try undercuts an argument against the state.

  13. Roger… This is Gardner. Just to be clear, the material you wrote in quotes… is that supposed to have been from me?

    You are correct, quotation marks generally indicate just that. In this case I was using them to distinguish assumptions I was making from my own beliefs, obviously implying the falsehood that you had ever uttered or written those words. That was wrong of me and I have corrected that post so to indicate my meaning. Meum malum.

    And let me say further, the pragmatist in me certainly is happier seeing you run than just about anyone else, and were I the voting type, you would have mine. However the idealist in me respecfully disagrees with certain of your points.

    I don’t want to run. But by entering the race AND telling people we know we cannot win and that we intend to use the race to spread the ideas, it should tell people that in no way are we supporting any idea of legitimacy of the state.

    Fair enough, but I am interested in whether any of your campaign materials actually says that, “I don’t want to run” and “we know we cannot win?” I’m not suggesting that’s a good idea, but I would give you a huge kudos for honesty if I saw that in official compaign literature.

    Though you might not think so, this method allows us to reach people we would not otherwise reach.

    I don’t doubt that. What I’m suggesting is in the nature of a cost-benefit analysis: what else could you be doing with the time and resources? Is the value of reaching these otherwise unreachable people greater than what you could accomplish via alternative uses of what it’s going to cost? In particular I question the value of the Libertarian Party. Do you really believe you can reach more or more-valuable otherwise-unreachables with an L next to your name than an R or D? If that’s true then your strategy has my support, but my open minds doubts it.

    It in no way lends legitimacy to the state to be an anarchist who runs knowing and expressing that he cannot win and will not serve.

    Again, does any of your campain material say this explicitly?

    If one drives on roads that are controlled by agents of the state to deliver a series of speeches against the state, it does not mean he accepts the state. It might just mean that the state has constructed such high barriers to his finding alternatives that he has few options left to use.

    I agree with this statement, but reject the claim that running for office logically follows. Getting from point A to point B is so essential to existing as a free human being that some even describe it as a natural right. Weilding the legislative authority of society is qualitatively different and the comparison is inapt.

    I wonder if anyone here has some thoughts on whether an anarchist could SERVE if he voted against all functions of the government and never took pay.

    I don’t know about that, but your hypothetical anarthist could SERVE, i.e., act in the best interest of society, if upon being elected he initiated a campaign of admonishing everyone to disregard not only his own public statements but those of all other elected state officials as not being the legitimate expression of society. Refusing pay would be consistent with that course; voting (on legislation) would not.

    There are so many things to consider, including the energy it takes to heat government buildings that a Senator/Congressman/woman might enter, the phone lines, etc. Would it be okay to accept office and work to dismantle the state if one were to reimburse for all the attendant costs of being in office?

    Yes, provided that such reimbursmente was extracted from the personal wealth of those who have aggrandized themselves my means of state institutions. No, if the reimbursment comes from taxes.

    I think accepting the office then means one lends an air of acceptance to the office itself, even if he/she doesn’t want it to go on. Running in a campaign doesn’t mean one is running to win, and I have worked for many years in alternative ways to spread the word and effect change. I don’t think giving this method a try undercuts an argument against the state.

    Again, I agree with this statement conditioned on the particular campaign’s rhetoric. And again I inquire what of your campaign materials says as much as you wrote in that paragraph? The video in the original post does not, and I suspect that if it did the Libertarian Party would have a problem with that.

  14. In 2012, the Libertarian nominee for Governor of New Hampshire, John Babiarz, got 2.78%. Each of the two nominees for US House from New Hampshire got over 4%: Brendan Kelly got 4.21% and Hardy Macia got 4.43%. There was no US Senate race in NH in 2012. If Gardner gets as much as 4%, the Libertarian Party will regain its status as a qualified party.

  15. When I posted the first announcement on FB, I stated that I don’t intend to win, and on radio and in a recent interview with the Union Leader, said the same thing. On WNTK I mentioned that I am an anarchist, and want no government, but I am here to remind the others of what they have done. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfVkLAXqlis I don’t really care what the Libertarian Party has to say about my position. My reasons for running are my own and purely ideological.

  16. I listened to the WNTK interview, thank you for the link. A fine discussion, but I definitely did not year you say “I know I cannot win.” I am unable to comment on the facebook announcement nor the UL interview, since you have not provided links.

  17. Just checking on the WNTK interview to see if you heard me mention that I’m an anarchist. You didn’t acknowledge that in your comment above. And if you want to hit me up on FB, I’ll accept your Friend req and you can check out my posts about the race.

  18. Yes I heard it. I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Are you equating being an anarchist with expecting to lose the election? I don’t see why one implies the other.

  19. Gardner Goldsmith running for Senate is just a path for the Democrat Jeanne Sheehan to victory. Whether Gardner Goldsmith peels away votes from Scott Brown or he hands his votes over to Jeanne Sheehan…….its the same thing. If Gardner Goldsmith were interested in a true victory for himself he would run against a Republican incumbent to define himself as a Libertarian which is more inline with the Republican than the Democrat. He may get his message out there as a Libertarian but its the Democrats that see this as a clear victory as long as Gardner splits the Republican/Conservative vote. Screwed again!!!!!!

  20. I’ll be vote all libertarians in NH this year- live free or die! the other candidates dont get it

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