Why I’m Supporting John McAfee As His Vice Presidential Running Mate
[Note: Our campaign site is now at BeALibertarian.com]
The rumors are true. A candidate for President, John McAfee, asked me to be his running mate, and I said let’s do it!
When I invited friends to meet John McAfee at a party at my house last Thursday, I promised a surprise announcement that would blow their minds, I think I delivered.
Why would I run for Vice President of the United States? Why the Libertarian Party?
I’m happy to explain.
I’m pretty good with a camera, and over the last few years I’ve been flown out to shoot nearly every major conference and event in the wider liberty scene. I’ve seen pretty much the whole movement, even crossing behind enemy lines of some of the various warring factions, like no one else really has.
And I can say without reservation, the Libertarian Party is by far the biggest sinkhole of time, energy, money, resources, and emotion in the wider liberty scene. Useless would be an improvement for the Libertarian Party. There are inefficiencies in other organizations, but at least they’re working together cooperatively. The Libertarian Party has become the cage match arena to fight bitterly with other libertarians over positions of no power. I say this with a broken heart, as I’ve witnessed too many of my friends get sucked into petty squabbles and distracted from our wider goal. It’s embarrassing and frustrating.
This became clear to me in 2013 when I was elected to the Executive Committee of the California State Libertarian Party; my initial enthusiasm wore off quickly as I realized that this simply meant that my email inbox exploded into a bunch of bickering over bylaws. I couldn’t imagine a worse waste of my life than reading these emails, let alone joining in and contributing to it. And California was one of the more friendly and functional state parties. Too many of the other state parties were experiencing all out hostile internal warfare. Which was still usually not as bad as the National Party. There are so many great people involved in the Libertarian Party, I just hate seeing party politics turn them against each other. The internal politics of any political party is a zero sum game, and I didn’t want to be involved in scheming ways to take down friends and allies; so I resigned my position and involvement with the Libertarian Party, but dramatically increased my involvement in many other areas of the liberty movement.
This movement has only so few resources, we have so many battles we need to take on outside the liberty scene. I dream of using the resources we have for something more meaningful than fighting with our friends and allies. We eat our own. And so among the wider liberty scene (let alone among the rest of the nation) the Libertarian Party is widely regarded as a joke.
That’s the good news.
We have nothing to lose.
This framework isn’t working for us. There are no rules we need to follow. We don’t need to play it safe.
Let’s do something different this time.
Let’s break up these patterns.
I’m a Commercial Real Estate Broker and currently VP of Sales at M-Rad Architecture. My background is in entrepreneurship and sales. However, many know me as the guy who single handedly hijacked the image and brand of the liberty scene. I’m an enthusiast photographer. I took a camera and a bunch of nerds and turned that into a massive flood of art pieces. There are now over 25,000 Facebook profile photos out there that are mine. In our era of digital media, tens of thousands of my photos are used to represent libertarians all over LinkedIn, Blogs, Speaker Bios, Web Pages, Wikipedia, Book Jackets, and (what brings me the most pride) Tinder. Girls are swiping right to libertarians now. Imagine that 10 years ago, when most events looked worse than Star Trek conventions. I’m not at all the paparazzi of the movement, I’m more like the nitpicky girlfriend that sees potential, but wants to improve things. And the response has been incredible.
I’ve been involved in the Libertarian Party since 1996 when I was 16. I started paying dues in 2000. We’ve come a long way. There are many incredible organizations that have done wonders at improving the accessibility of the wider liberty scene, but if you gave an organization $1,000,000 I’m not sure you could have had the impact of one crazy obsessive guy with a camera. The entire liberty scene looks a lot more attractive and exciting now. Morale has improved, libertarians are a lot prouder to show off to their friends what they’re doing when it looks a lot more interesting.
Would you rather read a bunch of documents, or watch an unfolding story of legends?
I took a different approach with a camera. Most use a camera to document, I use it to glorify. Why not dramatize those on the ground changing history, building the future of the liberty movement?
Essentially what I do with a camera is go around boosting people’s narcissism. So much of our culture focuses on tearing each other down, keeping each other in check. What if instead we focus on building up the people around us? I want to see my friends be awesome, and unapologetically proud. When I work to improve the status of the people around me, besides all the good will, I have a more impressive boosted network that way.
My life is better when I help the people around me become better.
And that is the message I want us libertarians to communicate.
We’re here to bring people up. We want society to thrive, and that means we want individuals to thrive.
Liberty means: Don’t hurt people. Enjoy your life.
Liberty is important because it allows us to be human. Liberty allows us to grow and realize our potential.
I can’t be my best self when I’m restricted. None of us can. In order for our society to flourish well we need to let go of our chains.
Those who do harm should be restricted.
Those who do no harm should live free.
Let Life Live
Philosophy will definitely be at the heart of our campaign, but the focus will be on keeping it super simple, and inspiring.
I refuse to run a negative campaign. I have many differences with many people in the movement, but they are all still overwhelmingly my allies. I want to see them do well, and everyone knows I’ve gone far out of my way to be supportive and helpful.
Gary Johnson is one of our most valuable allies. I love Gary Johnson. I consider him a personal friend. I’ve hosted cocktail parties with him as a speaker at my house a couple times. I wrote an article that went viral in the Washington Times telling Republicans to ditch Mitt Romney for Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson became governor of New Mexico and had the courage to advocate legalizing Marijuana, back when that issue was total political suicide. There are so many heroes that will be remembered for bringing the War On Drugs to an end, and Gary Johnson is one of our biggest heroes. What an incredible honor it is to have Gary Johnson on our team. I’m a strong Gary Johnson admirer, and I will be for many years.
I’m going to ask you to not vote for Gary Johnson as our Libertarian Party presidential nominee.
Gary Johnson was certainly the best option for the Libertarian Party in 2012. I don’t want a repeat of 2012. We know what we’re getting with Gary Johnson, we can see his speeches, his messaging doesn’t really connect with many people. We all see it. He’s not generating enough excitement and attention. And that’s ok, Gary is a truly incredible person, it doesn’t mean he needs to be incredible at everything.
Instead, I ask you to support a maniac.
If I work really hard at it for many years, someday maybe I hope to be half the maniac that is John McAfee. John McAfee is dynamic, he’s exciting, he’s fun, he’s bold as all hell. And people can’t turn their eyes away from him, wondering what this crazy bastard is going to do next.
McAfee is an impressive human, and a badass. He has so many incredible stories and achievements in his life, but he’s still pushing himself into more challenging adventures. I want to see a force of nature like McAfee go up against Trump and Hillary. I want to be excited about following this presidential race.
After watching the recent televised Libertarian debate on Stossel last Friday between Gary Johnson, John McAfee and Austin Peterson, the standout strengths of each of them crystallized for me.
Austin Peterson wins the high fluency factor.
John McAfee wins the cool factor.
Gary Johnson wins the credibility of previously being a governor factor.
Fluency and credibility are great, but we desperately need a cool frontrunner, for once. It’s an essential ingredient we’ve been missing for a long time. I can work with this.
McAfee might not be as advanced level fluent as some of us who’ve gone further down the rabbit hole, but he’s plenty fluent enough, and he’s got me on his team now, and I’m extremely fluent in these ideas. Expect further improvement from him here. And besides, sometimes it’s better not to have a theoretical mathematician teach basic algebra. Our role with this liberty outreach campaign will be to catch attention, turn heads, and introduce people to these ideas; then send people down the factory assembly line to other voices in the liberty movement for deeper digging. This is a good division of labor model for liberty advocacy, and we need someone people want to pay attention to at the front of it.
Another interesting factor where John McAfee wins is his more philosophical approach, yet he keeps the ideas extremely simple. His opening statement on the recent Stossel debate was all him, I had no influence on that, and I’m genuinely impressed. Also, while all 3 top LP presidential candidates are very intelligent, McAfee wins in the sheer IQ intelligence factor. McAfee doesn’t just qualify as genius, he is a high level genius. What a treat it is to have such a brilliant beautiful mind on our team.
I have to admit, Austin Peterson’s championing the long forgotten foreign policy option of Letters of Marque and Reprisal is brilliant, even influencing my thoughts on this. Austin clearly has a dramatically different campaign approach than I prefer, and I didn’t initially consider his run for president worthy of any consideration, but I’ve been legitimately impressed by him lately. His online magazine The Libertarian Republic is a valuable resource for the movement, his work with Andrew Napolitano is notable, and there’s no doubt Austin has brought in eyeballs to what we’re doing.
John McAfee is capable of bringing in significantly more eyeballs. No candidate is able to command the kind of media attention John commands.
John McAfee is clearly an eccentric character, and a bit rough around the edges. Find me any brilliant historical figure who wasn’t eccentric and rough around the edges. John McAfee is the eloquent badass, the sophisticated savage well suited to the new arena Trump has now established. Gary Johnson and Austin Peterson aren’t well suited for that environment. Neither was Rand Paul. Donald Trump smacked Rand Paul around in the debates, because Rand Paul was the patient intellectual in a gladiator arena with an ape. I’d like to see Trump try to intimidate a powerhouse like McAfee. This will make entertaining politics, which Trump has made abundantly clear is the sea we now swim in to catch the attention of the majority of the population that aren’t intellectual and not really interested in politics.
This is a protest campaign. McAfee and I won’t hide from our politically incorrect past, we’re not ashamed. We’re going bold. I’m unconventional, and this will be a thoroughly unconventional campaign. The themes we’ll be hitting are bold, edgy, inspiring, beautiful, and authentic. We’ll be targeting youth, pushing into different aspects of pop culture, and focusing on making the ideas of liberty as attractive, comfortable, and as simple to digest as possible to those who are previously unfamiliar or apathetic. I’m looking long term. I’m not going to promise the presidency, but we can turn a significant number of heads and seriously ramp up this protest, to build upon in the coming years. With McAfee at the forefront and the attention he can generate, with me as his teammate, we have the potential to blow past what any liberty campaign has achieved before, by multitudes. How much of that potential we actualize depends on hustle, and the amount of support we generate.
We’re going to keep it real. I don’t know how we can fix the problems with our party by ignoring them. Discovering our own faults is a PHENOMENAL thing. Our own faults are easy avenues to improve our situation without having to persuade others to get involved. Whenever you see tough love from me, you can always know it is love. Because I love you guys, and I love this growing movement, and I work so hard at doing my part to have a positive impact.
I do have potential negatives. I’m articulate on the topics, but I’m not polished. I can improve at speaking in more succinct media sound bites, but it’s not something I bring to the table. I have no political experience, and I have no political ambitions. I’ve never been politically correct in any of my writing, and I never plan to. I would quickly be disqualified as political suicide for any presidential candidate other than John McAfee. Here I’m the chaser, he’s the hard alcohol ;)
There’s also something very serious in my recent past I’ll have to address. A truly horrible injustice of a legal matter that I will explain in more detail. I was falsely accused of a terrible crime. The short story is there was a girl that was infatuated with me for over a year, I made it clear nothing was going to develop with us, and she went to the police and had me arrested for rape. Completely outside my world view that something like that could happen. Especially since we didn’t actually have sex.
I would like to report a crime, not just of a felony perjury lie by an emotionally unstable girl, but of the police and district attorney that knowingly aided and abetted this felony against me after they knew beyond any doubt that she was lying. There is no regard for justice, none; they’re only after convictions, by any means necessary. I will be naming names, and I hope the media makes them all answer for themselves.
The media jumped on the story of an accused Bel Air playboy, and smeared me as a monster on the news, while I had to remain silent as I faced prison, unable to explain that I harmed no one. This was the greatest injustice I’ve ever faced in my life. A sick and shocking story that more people should hear about, people should understand the injustice of our justice system, I just wish it wasn’t part of my story.
This issue is intense for me. I was planning to write a long explicit article accounting the whole ordeal, and when I was about 12 pages in I realize this is getting long, and I hate writing this, when I have so much else I want to do. I never finished that piece, now I will speak about this in detail and explicitly explain the ordeal in an interview.
The charges are dropped, I have a clean record, but the fallout from the charges was so severe, I was hurt very badly for years, and I still don’t understand why I had to go through that hell. Legally this is behind me, I’m finally past the devastating financial fallout, but I’m definitely not over it.
One of the things I love about John McAfee is how supportive he is of me with this issue. He says it’s a positive for the campaign, allowing us to give an authentic inside account of the terrifying injustice of our Justice System, in an area that no one is willing to talk about.
John has faced some extreme injustice at the hands of authorities himself. Most famously, recently after denying a Belize politician’s extortion request for a donation (protection money), John had to escape the country through the jungles of Central America from a manhunt conducted by the Belize military. Because he refused to be extorted by corrupt politicians, John lost millions, leaving behind his home and other possessions during his escape, while Belize officials tried to smear him as a monster; months later they even burned down John’s home he left behind in Belize. A clear harsh message was sent to anyone who doesn’t pay when a politician requests a donation.
Both John and I know the importance of liberty on a very personal level, by experiencing what hell is like when you lose liberty and justice.
Amazingly John is giving me a ton of flexibility here. I’m allowed to be off message. We discussed it, if we’re ever off message, it’s only love, and an opportunity to learn and understand from our differences. I’m so grateful to him for that amount of trust in me. I won’t abuse it, I’m here to help. We’re a team. John and I click with each other surprisingly well, but I have my own voice, and I’m going to be me.
We are all individuals, and very different from each other. I’m not going to pretend that I represent you. I don’t represent anyone. I’m pushing hard to give you the power to represent yourself.
We do have some resources in this movement, let’s use them effectively. Say what you will about the Libertarian Party, but many people have worked hard for years to make it the only third party that managed to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Let’s put that blood sweat and tears to good use. We should get involved in the Libertarian Party for this election. Let’s try to remember that we’re all on the same team. There is intense division among Democrats, and the Republican party is imploding; this is our chance to have a massive impact while people are exploring other options. It’s time we cross the chasm.
We’re a strong combo. McAfee and I can reach these people who are not us. McAfee and I can introduce these ideas. McAfee and I can send people to the other voices in scene for deeper digging.
With John McAfee the liberty movement now has their own Most Interesting Man In The World, mixed with a bit of James Bond adventure, mixed with genius Tech CEO, mixed with a well-spoken love for philosophy and a passion for liberty.
John McAfee is cool, he’s bold, he’s powerful, he’s eloquent, he’s brilliant, he’s a media figure, he’s entertaining, he’s likable. I’ve been a John McAfee fan long before he joined this party. I’ve been in this scene so long, we’ve never had an opportunity for someone like this to champion us.
If the Libertarian Party wants to play it safe right now with a tame safe candidate, Gary Johnson is clearly the best option.
If the Libertarian Party wants to be a bold exciting alternative in this election, John McAfee is the presidential nominee we can be excited about.
This letter is already too long, I’ve got so many ideas we’ll have to get into later. A few final points:
I won’t just be focused externally on connecting with those outside the movement. I’ll also be focused inward on the liberty movement, helping activists become more powerful and effective communicators. One of my main goals with this campaign is to bring the wider liberty scene closer together, and spread a message and desire for internal cooperation.
I have a tremendous amount of friends throughout the wider liberty movement, but I will not be using our friendship to push for support. Pay attention to what we’re doing, if you’re excited about what you see I would LOVE your support. Financial, promotional, or just helpful volunteer support, we’re not doing this by ourselves, we can use every bit of help we get, because we want to do amazing things. And if you do choose to support someone else, I respect that, it won’t affect our friendship. I’ll be actively involved in the liberty movement a lot longer than this 2016 campaign.
Be A Libertarian will be a persistent campaign message. I just registered BeALibertarian.com and created a new campaign logo with a graphic designer. The campaign site has shifted to that domain a few days ago, the new logo is being used, and more changes are coming. I’m trying to finish up our first campaign video, it shows what I’m bringing to the table, and my goal is for it to be the most beautiful and inspiring video from any campaign in any party during this election. More videos are coming.
We’re putting together a team with real political campaign experience to build up an infrastructure to handle volunteers. Many are already asking how they can be a part of this, and I’m getting that set up. I’ll likely turn my house into an LA Campaign Headquarters. I have extra rooms and a lot of floor space. We’ll make great things happen, and have an amazing experience together. Fill out the volunteer contact info form on the site, and we’ll bring you in the loop as soon as we’re set up.
Right now, the most critical thing we need are people who want to come with us to the National Libertarian Party Convention in Florida to be a delegate with us (May 27-30). We’ll need a few hundred delegates to win this nomination and become the official Libertarian presidential ticket. If you’re interested in being a Libertarian Party delegate, please fill out this delegate contact info form on the site.
Very exciting times ahead, my friends. This will be memorable.