- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2018

Third party alternatives come into focus this weekend. LibertyCon begins in the nation’s capital Friday and continues through the weekend, drawing 1,500 mostly young and motivated Libertarians together in the name of “peace, love and liberty” and the motto “don’t tread on anyone” — this according to organizers from Students for Liberty, a hefty global networking group which happens to be the largest libertarian student organization on the planet.

Rep. Justin Amash, Michigan Republican; financial guru Steve Forbes; Whole Foods founder John Mackey; Cato Institute executive vice president David Boaz; Brexit “architect” Daniel Hannan; YouTube host Dave Rubin, The Federalist contributor and CNN commentator Mary Katherine Ham; National Review and Fox News contributor Kat Timpf; and Reason editor Nick Gillespie are among the many, many speakers.

Forum topics include “How to sell liberty in the language of the 21st century,” “Organizing a mass uprising” and “Women and minorities the progressives don’t want you to know.”

Sponsors, like speakers, are many. And varied. They include the Charles Koch Institute, the Libertarian Party, Facebook and the National Rifle Association.

“We are the ‘principles of free market’ conference. We are very policy-focused. It is a civil discourse in an era of hyperpartisanship, and a debate America needs and Americans want,” spokesman Matthew Boyer tells Inside The Beltway.

C-SPAN will cover the big doings, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST Friday.


They’ve upped the midterms ante. Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez is now asking his flock to “officially commit to vote” by heeding “I Will Vote” — an online document which not only asks them to register to vote — but also commit to vote, get out the vote, and protect the right to vote.

“We’ve set a goal of reaching 50 million voters through this effort, because we think that’s the number of votes Democrats will need to have in order to take back Congress this November,” says Mr. Perez in his outreach.

The Republican ground game is bristling, and their fundraising war chest is healthy indeed. But the GOP has yet to articulate a similar rousing, unifying call to battle — perhaps drawn more toward the 2020 presidential election than the midterms, now just over 35 weeks away. The party continues to be attacked by a hostile news media which crafts distractions and negative narratives.

Some pollsters have also joined in the fray, such as a new USA Today/Suffolk University survey which declared “Americans are mad and that is putting Republicans at risk,” and that the current level of voter unrest is “rare at a time of prosperity.” An Associated Press poll heralds the headline “Most Americans think Trump is a racist.”

Some remind the Grand Old Party to ignore the noise and stay on task.

“Yes, we all know that historically, the Republicans will likely lose Congress. But we still want the party to get busy and push back,” notes one concerned Beltway reader who suggests the party craft a get-out-the-vote campaign which is “MAGA in scope.”


North Dakota has the best quality of life in the nation according to a new analysis from U.S. News & World Report which analyzed the quality of health care, education, economy, infrastructure, crime and other factors in all 50 states. California is ranked in last place.

It’s a large state with many interests. There are two separate movements underway, for example, by groups who want to secede from the Golden State. The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, now offers an editorial which illustrates, in part, what can go wrong.

“How can a place with 58,000 homeless people continue to function?” the news organization asked.

“As homelessness spreads across Los Angeles County — the official tally shows a 46% increase from 2013 to 2017 — it is drawing two conflicting responses, at times from the same people. There’s sympathy and a desire to help, but there’s also a sense of being invaded and perhaps even endangered — in terms of both physical safety and public health. There’s an unavoidable, often unspoken, fear that the city around us may be in a state of irreversible decline, and a suspicion on the part of some that the rights of homeless people have trumped the rights of everyone else,” the editorial noted.

“The increasing visibility of homelessness and destitution contributes to the uneasy feeling that the problem is closing in on everyone. It’s also a daily reminder that the values and systems to which we cling — liberty, democracy, free enterprise, the social contract that’s supposed to hold a community together, the safety net that is supposed to protect the most vulnerable — haven’t steered us out of this mess. Nor have our leaders,” The Times continued, citing the importance of durable solutions and “reasonable compromise” suitable for everyone.

“Some compromises have already been laid out. What’s often been missing, though, is the political courage necessary to implement them,” the editorial said.


For sale: The Sailings Mansion, all-brick Colonial built in 1820 on two acres near Glasgow, Virginia. Four bedrooms, four baths, formal living and dining rooms, den, home office, parlor, chef’s kitchen; 3,820 square feet. “Comfortably updated” with original fireplaces, mantels, woodworking, architectural details and flooring; hand-hewn stone thresholds, double balcony. Mountain, parkland and James River views, wooden fencing, verandah, landscaping, mature trees. Priced at $469,000 through JamesRiverRealtyVa.com; find the home here.


• 74 percent of U.S. voters say it “doesn’t matter” if a male or female candidate runs for Congress in their district; 78 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats agree.

• 16 percent overall prefer a female candidate; 6 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

• 7 percent prefer a male candidate; 14 percent of Republicans, 5 percent of independents and 4 percent of Democrats agree.

⦁ 47 percent overall would prefer a Democratic candidate; 4 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 88 percent of Democrats agree.

• 32 percent overall would prefer a Republican candidate; 84 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats agree.

• 20 percent are undecided, or say “neither party” is their favorite; 12 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A USA Today/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted Feb. 20-24.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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