“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”– Plato
BURNET, Texas (Oct. 22) – Once again, President Obama has ordered U.S. soldiers into harm’s way unnecessarily. Last week, he quietly told the U.S. Congress that he had sent 100 U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers into Uganda to help governments in central Africa fight a rebel army that’s been rampaging through the region for more than 20 years. This is the way the Vietnam War started, with U.S. special forces sent to “assist” a barely democratic government cope with a guerrilla war and a president promising they would not be going into combat. Ten years later, with more than 58,000 American lives and untold hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese lives lost, we had learned a brutal lesson — war is too easily escalated by those who do not have to fight or die.
“Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness.”– Thomas Jefferson
BURNET, Texas (Oct. 15) – War breeds war. That is all it can do. War does nothing but devour valuable resources and destroy precious lives for the sole purpose of perpetuating itself. As Randolph Bourne wrote, “War is the health of the State.” War is a mechanism used by the ruling elites of the State to coerce and control the people, so it becomes essential that whenever one war is complete, another is instigated elsewhere so that the mechanism keeps running.
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
– Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781
BURNET, Texas (July 12) – Every election Libertarians are invariably confronted with the charge that a vote for a Libertarian candidate is a wasted vote. The accuser claims that if you really wanted limited government you should vote for the candidate who has a chance of winning — the Republican. In some rare cases, the assertion may be that if you really wanted to protect civil liberties you’d vote for the candidate who has a chance of winning — the Democrat. And yet, our liberty goes unprotected as government grows unimpeded.
To my utter astonishment, this bogus argument invariably causes some genuine freedom-loving people to betray their stated beliefs. Why do they leap from the Ship of Principle into the stormy Sea of Compromise at the very moment their strength, courage and resolve are needed the most? Only one thing makes a person abandon everything they’ve ever believed in and fought for — desperation, the feeling that all is lost and the best one can do is choose the lesser of two evils. Even telling them that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil doesn’t seem to dissuade them from their decision.
Little do they realize that they have once again been duped by the Wasted Vote Lie. It is a deliberate, carefully crafted fable concocted and perpetrated by the Democratic and Republican duopoly to maintain their stranglehold on power. They cleverly employ the propaganda trick of tyrants throughout the ages; if you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough eventually people will believe it.
The worst thing about voting for the “lesser of two evils” is that it actually has the opposite effect of what it’s intended to do. Winning candidates don’t know, they don’t want to know — and frankly don’t care — why people vote for them. They certainly don’t know and don’t care how many of the votes they got were so-called protest votes. All they want is enough votes to win. They’ll consider all the votes they get as an endorsement of their campaign promises or past performance to claim a “mandate from the people.”
The one-day conference is sponsored by the Libertarian Parties of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Three candidates will participate in the debate, Wrights, Roger Gary of Texas and Carl Person of New York. The debate is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. and will be moderated by George Phillies. The New Hampshire and Massachusetts Libertarian Parties will give a first-round delegate vote to the winner of the post-debate straw poll.
“I’m looking forward to engaging with my fellow libertarians in what I am certain will be a lively and informative discussion,” Wrights said. “It certainly will be more enlightening than the presidential debate conducted by one of the so-called major parties in New Hampshire recently.”
Matt Drew of Durham County is the new chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. He was elected by a unanimous vote at the party’s annual state convention held in Hickory this weekend. He replaced Barbara Howe, who did not seek re-election.
The convention re-elected the other officers: Bev Wilcox, Rockingham, vice chair; Daniel Change,Wake, recording secretary; John Cavney, Cleveland, treasurer, and; Rick Pasotto, Mecklenberg, membership secretary. In addition, the elected they at-large members of the state executive committee. They are: Bradley Bergh, Buncombe, David Speight, Davidson, Phil Jacobson and Marc Conaghan, Wake County, Alex Vuchnich and Tim Doran, Mecklenberg, Tom Hohman, Union, and JJ Summerell, Guilford.
“There is no such think as a free lunch,” Drew told the delegates, recalling an old libertarian slogan. “We need to get out there and work; it’s a long slog ahead.” He noted that libertarian activists often get burned out, but said “We want you to stay. We need you. In order to make the libertarian movement happen we need everybody here.”
The Libertarians unanimously passed a resolution in support of House Bill 32, the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011, which would dramatically reduce the barriers for third parties and unaffiliated candidates to get on the ballot.
“We stand with the Free the Vote Coalition in asserting that ballot access reform is not a partisan or special interest group issue, but a question of fundamental freedom that transcends political differences,” the resolution said. “Free choice on the election ballot is not an issue to be flippantly dismissed but is an issue of utmost importance to democratic ideals.”
The convention also passed a resolution thanking the individuals and organizations that joined in their unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn North Carolina’s restrictive ballot access laws. In that resolution the Libertarian Party expressed “solidarity with the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and all other (Free the Vote) coalition partners past, present and future in the continuing fight for ballot access reform.”
HICKORY, N.C. (April 16) – R. Lee Wrights, a longtime libertarian writer and activist, announced today at the N.C. Libertarian Party State Convention that he will be seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. Here is his statement:
“I’m returning to the place where this campaign began … ten years ago. North Carolina is where I was born, where I grew up and where I became involved in the Libertarian Party and the libertarian movement. It’s here in North Carolina that the seed for this campaign was planted and nourished.
“For the past two years, as I’ve traveled around the country visiting Libertarian groups, people — especially young people — have been asking me: ‘Why isn’t the Libertarian Party out front in opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why isn’t the LP anti-war? Why aren’t we demanding that we bring the troops home.’ I heard this over and over again, and the message was quite strong at the 2010 national convention in St. Louis.
“After hearing from all these activists, it was clear to me that they were right. It was clear to me that the Libertarian Party — and our nation — is tired of war. It became clear to me that it was time for someone in the Libertarian Party to start talking about this issue. And it became clear to me that that someone must be me.
“On July Fourth, appropriately, I formed a presidential exploratory committee because I believe the Libertarian Party faces a critical test in 2012 and I want to make sure that we’re up to the challenge. The Libertarian message in 2012 must be loud, clear, and unequivocal — stop all war! Stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the war on drugs and alternative lifestyles, stop the war on civil liberties. Stop All War!!
The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will hold its annual state convention April 15-17 at the Gateway Center Hotel and Convention Center in Hickory. The theme is “Making It Real: Liberty Comes From You, Not To You.”
“The slogan we’ve chosen this year, ‘Liberty Comes From You, Not To You,’ expresses an idea we think most Americans believe,” said Bev Wilcox, state vice chair. “Our nation was founded on the idea that all human beings are born free, and that the purpose of government is to help them preserve their liberty, not run their lives.”
Convention business will include revision of the bylaws and elections of officers and members of the executive and judicial committees. Guest speakers will present information on grassroots activism, political campaigns, and effective lobbying, interspersed throughout the business sessions.
R. Lee Wrights, a potential Libertarian presidential candidate and North Carolina native, is expected to make a major announcement at the convention. Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he is determined that the Libertarian message in 2012 be a loud, clear, and unequivocal call to stop all war.
Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights, 52, is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine, Liberty For All. He is a longtime libertarian writer, political activist, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, and a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee. Born in Winston Salem, Wrights now lives in Texas.
Sharon Harris, president of the Advocates for Self-Government, will be the featured speaker at the Saturday night banquet. The Advocates for Self-Government is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1985 that specializes in libertarian communication and outreach. The group is the creator and publisher of the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Ms Harris will be presenting special awards to outstanding activists. She will also make a presentation to the county represented by the greatest number of young libertarians.
Harris has been active in the libertarian movement since the early ’70s and is a founding member of the Georgia Libertarian Party. She was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of Georgia’s law requiring candidates for office to take a drug test. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional.
On the heels of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina withdrawing from the Libertarian National Committee’s Region 1, the Texas Libertarian Party has directed it chair to seek the removal of the region’s representative Stewart Flood.
The regional representatives on the national committee are supposed to represent the interests of the states in the region. The regions are formed at the party’s biannual convention by the state delegations. Region 1 includes Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
The number of representatives allotted to each region is determined by the number of party members in that region. Region 1 has three representatives: Doug Craig (Georgia), Flood (South Carolina), and Daniel Wiener (California). The three alternates are: Scott Lieberman (California) Guy McLendon (Texas), and Brad Ploeger (Georgia).
Libertarians are mourning the sudden death of David Nolan, party co-founder and author of the Nolan Chart, billed as the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.
Nolan died Sunday, apparently of a heart attack while driving near his home in Tucson, Ariz., just days short of his 67 birthday. He had just completed a campaign for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent John McCain.
“David’s importance to the liberty movement cannot be underestimated,” said state Libertarian Party chair Barbara Howe. “His sudden death is a shock to all of us in the libertarian community. I pledge to carry on the work David helped get started.”
“I am saddened by the news of David Nolan’s death,” said LP national chair Mark Hinkle. “He not only helped found the Libertarian Party, but remained active and helped to guide our party for the last forty years.”
“David was a champion of the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party,” said R. Lee Wrights, a Winston-Salem native and editor of the online magazine Liberty for All. “Throughout his years of activism and leadership, he never wavered in proclaiming the libertarian message without equivocation, explanation or moderation. He never once apologized for his philosophy, our philosophy… the superiority of individual rights.”
“However painful David’s death may be, his untimely passing makes me even more committed and determined to restore and preserve the vision of the Libertarian Party he and a dedicated band of visionaries first articulated in his Denver living room so many years ago,” said Wrights, a potential candidate for the 2012 Libertarian presidential nomination. “I am determined that David’s vision will never die, that the Libertarian Party will never be afraid to challenge the State and always, always defend liberty loudly, boldly and without compromise.
Nolan describes himself as having been born a libertarian, even though he was born in Washington D.C. He grew up in the Maryland suburbs, reading the science fiction of Robert Heinlein and the novels of Ayan Rand.
In the 1964 presidential campaign, as an architectural student Nolan was a founder of the M.I.T. the Students for Goldwater. The Goldwater campaign attracted nascent libertarians, since there was then no formal libertarian organizations let alone a political party. Although Goldwater lost, Nolan was active in the formation and leadership of several libertarian groups spawned by the campaign, including Young Americans for Freedom and the Young Republicans.
During Richard Nixon’s presidency, the Vietnam war, crackdowns on civil liberties and increasing restrictions on economic freedom led Nolan and other libertarians to became increasingly convinced that the Republican Party held no promise for freedom lovers. The break came when Nixon announced he was taking the nation off the gold standard and imposed a freeze on wages and prices, which Nolan denounced as “economic fascism.”
In 1971, Nolan wrote an article for a libertarian magazine entitled “The Case for a Libertarian Political Party.” Now living in Denver, he and a group of his friends began to expand on that idea and contacted libertarians around the country. On December 11, 1971 the Libertarian Party was born in Nolan’s living room.
During this same period, Nolan was working on the other accomplishment for which he is famous, the Nolan Chart.
“I kept scratching my head and wondering why people like us agreed with conservatives on a lot of things, but obviously had fundamental disagreements with conservatives on a lot of other issues,” he said “And why were there areas where we could see that liberals made sense – especially opposition to war and draft?”
Combining his architectural training and his political activism, in 1970 Nolan drew a new map of the political world that has all but replaced the old-fashioned left-right linear model. Later, Marshall Fritz, founder of the Advocates for Self-Government, refined the Nolan chart into a diamond shape to produce what the now well-known and popular World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Millions of people have taken the quiz online, it is referred to in over a dozen leading textbooks, and has been used in hundreds of classrooms around the world.