Monday, May 30, 2016

A Libertarian Guide To Chair Throwing

Earlier this year, delegates supporting Bernie Sanders grew disgusted at proceedings unfolding at the Nevada Democratic caucus.  Those unhappy delegates began throwing chairs and making death threats, or so it has been reported.

Just yesterday at the Libertarian Party's National Convention in Orlando Florida, a large and vocal minority of delegates were similarly dismayed by the nomination of William Weld for Vice President.  Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, joined the Libertarian Party only two weeks ago.  These delegates did not trust Gov. Weld, and believed there were superior choices for the nomination.    Hundreds of delegates jeered loudly and waved their signs, once the results were announced.  I spotted an inverted chair parading over the heads of the delegates, accompanied by a long black inverted boot floating over a bush of kinky gray hair.  It turned out that Vermin Supreme was registering his displeasure by assertively carrying the chair around the floor.  This was learned from Vermin later, the reason for the floating chair being mysterious to me at the time.

James Weeks, delegate from Michigan and candidate for Chair of the Libertarian Party, registered his displeasure differently.  Granted a few minutes at the podium for his campaign speech, Mr. Weeks used his time to strip down to a jockstrap and shake his bearded Homer Simpson abundance at the assembled delegates and national television audience for what seemed like half of eternity.  He then withdrew from the race for Chair, and was escorted out of the convention hall by hotel security.

The purpose of Mr. Weeks' demonstration was not immediately apparent.  In hindsight, it can be inferred with confidence that it was meant as political protest.

I interviewed Mr. Weeks later that evening, and he confirmed that his striptease act was meant to protest the nomination of William Weld, which so richly deserved the contempt of the Party's radical wing.  Not only that -- and this I only half believe -- Mr. Weeks revealed that he sometimes strips professionally.  This seems incredible to me, but does explain his polished approach and use of professional tools.  I cannot imagine who would pay for services of such nature, but perhaps you can.

Why anyone would choose to protest a nomination by performing a striptease was beyond me.  The targeted effectiveness of Weeks' scud missile of gyrating, heavily bearded flesh became apparent later in the evening, after I heard an offended delegate complaining loudly and angrily that video of the performance was at the top of all the search results for "Libertarian Party Convention."   It was sort of an "aha"moment for me.

Weeks messed up the media coverage!  Righteous anger arises from desire to protect territory against trespass; in this case, the territory trespassed was a hope that the appearance of the convention would be sterile and complimentary.  No such territory exists that can be defended.  And yet, the Politician Weeks somehow managed to violate it, without breaking any of the Convention rules.  He was perfectly justified in exercising his political expression, exactly what the convention was held to do.  So he would receive no punishment.  He was asked to leave the convention hall, to prevent raucous infighting from getting out of hand.  There was a lot of stunned anger among the delegates, at the time.

It may be rumored that Weeks is a plant of the Trump campaign, sent to discredit the Libertarian Party and its nominee, Gary Johnson. This rumor is ridiculous.  From my interview of Weeks, I believe he is an honest, gentle man who has neither the desire nor the need to work for Trump or any other Machiavellian employer.  There is little more that can or need be said on the subject.

Some hope for the day that the Libertarian Party will grow up and become a serious broker of political power.  Not I.  The day that the Libertarian Party operates with great decorum and solemnity is the day I leave the Party.  May it ever be free, unpredictable, fun, and slightly ridiculous.  Only then will I trust that it is capable of performing that greatest political project ever attempted: ending all justifications for the application of coercion and fraud to achieve any social or political purpose.

Without further ado, we arrive finally at the Libertarian Guide to Chair Throwing: . . . don't, unless no one will be hurt by it.