Candidate for LPNC Vice Chair

On election night, Mike Munger told those gathered at his victory celebration, “We don’t have anymore excuses. We can’t say ‘if we didn’t have to get those signatures we’d be something then, if we didn’t have to spend all our time getting those signatures then we could run a competitive campaign.'”

“If we do not run competitive races for several general assembly seats in 2010 … if we don’t do that, thence have not held up our end of the bargain. We have not actually followed through on the claims that we have made.”

Amen.

Yes, I believe November 8, 2008 was victory for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. It was a victory because we beat the Democratic-Republican Duopoly at their own game. Despite having all the rules stacked against us, we prevailed.

But it was a victory that came with a price, and with a responsibility. In short, we need to “put up or shut up.” No more lamenting, “I could’a been a contender.

I’m running for Vice Chair because it’s time the LPNC get serious about being a political party. A serious political party engages in politics, promotes agendas and runs candidates for office.

I believe it is possible for libertarians to remain true to our principles, while still engaging in practical politics. If we’re not engaged in politics and do not run serious campaigns, there’s no purpose in having a political party.

I am not a member of our faction or caucus. I became a Libertarian because like many of you I considered myself “conservative” on economic issues and “liberal”on social issues. Using the same reasoning, I am not a member of the”radical” or “reform” Libertarian caucus. They both have points I agree with, and some I don’t. I prefer to be “just” a Libertarian.

While I’m as fond of philosophical debates as the next libertarian, the Libertarian Party of NC is not primarily a debating society or an educational group. Since libertarians agree on the fundamentals, these discussion usually revolve around minor points, or degenerate into clashes colored by personality, personal approaches or other inconsequential matters. I’m as guilty of contributing to this mayhem as the next person. Enough is enough.

If we are going to restore liberty we must fight in the arena we are given. We must do what we can, where we can, with what we have. We need to stop complaining about the rules and learn them; learn them well enough to either overcome the barriers they impose, or defeat their purpose — and then change them.

“It may be too late to change things, but it’s too early to shoot the bastards.”

Some of you may have heard me say I believe our political system is heading for collapse. It will change in one of three ways: it will collapse into chaos, a collapse that may come suddenly or as a slow degeneration; continued oppression will spark violent revolution, which could result in either liberty or even greater tyranny; or the people will finally wake up and reclaim their rights peacefully.

Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I prefer to work for the third option, even though every day there seems less and less hope it is attainable. It is too late for me, and possibly even for my now-adult children, but it is worth the struggle for my grandchildren.

I intend to be an activist Vice Chair (and will probably drive the Chair crazy.) In the past two years I believe the Executive Committee too often deferred action on an issue, or decided to “let the Chair do it.” Admittedly, I’ve been a party to this action, or lack of action, so this is not criticism of the current members. And it may just be my perception. But I don’t think it should continue.

So my intent if elected Vice Chair is to assist the Chair with his or her duties as much as possible. My record of several years as press Secretary and Communications Director clearly proves that I do what I say I am going to do.

For the record, I don’t believe “most people are libertarians, but don’t know it.” This is libertarian delusion. During my time on the Fayetteville City Planning Commission it was obvious to me that “most people” expect “government” to do certain things. The don’t think this because they are Statists. They think this because they have never been shown another way.

This is where we can practice principled and practical politics. We must give the people viable,real-world alternatives that show how volunteer agreements between responsible individuals can achieve the goals they seek.

For example, when zoning laws came up, I cited examples from Houston, which uses voluntary restrictive covenants instead of forced zoning and is one of the most prosperous and fastest growing city in the U.S. When I ran for city council, county commission and state senate I used similar examples.

That is principled and practical politics in practice. It’s also an application of the adage “all politics is local.”

My goal as Vice Chair will be to help transform the LPNC from a petition-gathering, activist organization into a principled and practical politics practicing political force. To that end, I see our primary focus for the next year should be to organize local affiliates and recruit candidates.

Finally, the LPNC needs libertarian activists to not only become Libertarian political party activists, but to also become Libertarian party officials. We need them to seek election to the Executive Committee and to offer their time, talent and/or treasure to serve in director position. All you have to do is define your job.

For the next year, it will be crucial to have people working in specific areas, including political director, communications director/press secretary, outreach director, affiliate organizer and webmaster.

On a personal note, some say I have an abrasive personality. I prefer to characterize it as passion and consider it a strength that I say what I mean and I say it to your face. If that is “abrasive,” well so be it. I prefer to think of it as honesty.

I also readily admit I have little, if any, sympathy for those who say they are going to do something and then don’t. I supposed that is my military conditioning. Often I’m accused of not being nice to “volunteers.” I don’t buy that criticism. Guess what, we’re all “volunteers.”

If you have any questions, post them here or email me at brian@libertypoint.org

Now is the time for all good libertarians to come to the aid of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina.