N.C. Libertarians set another record

The North Carolina Libertarian Party has achieved another historic milestone in state politics. It now has the highest share of registered voters than any other third party in modern history, according to an analysis by Richard Winger of Ballot Access News.

Although the actual number, 0.31 percent, is very low, the Libertarians have steadily increased their portion of voter registrants despite having to overcome North Carolina’s draconian ballot access laws every four years.

“Although our numbers are still small, the fact that more and more people are registering either as unaffiliated voters or Libertarians makes these numbers significant,” said state party chair J.J. Summerell. “It’s evidence that more and more people think the Republican and Democrats have failed to effectively manage our government.”

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People must want to be free

“Man loves liberty, even if he does not know that he loves it. He is driven by it and flees from where it does not exist.” – Jose Marti

BURNET, Texas (Dec. 10) – Politicians are very adept about making excuses for their failures. The greater the failure, the bigger, more absurd the excuse. Shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, while Americans were still reeling from shock, our political leaders very quickly conjured up a canard to cover up their failure to predict, deter, or avoid the attack. Rather than accept any responsibility at all for the tragedy, or even to acknowledge that American foreign policy was at least partly to blame, the ruling elites resorted to the mantra: “They hate us because of our freedom.”

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New Cato Institute project: Libertarianism.org

Libertarianism.orgLibertarianism is more than a set of policies about education, health care, defense, and trade. Behind those, providing their foundation, are ideas and history, the writings and actions of great men and women who have argued and fought for liberty. To help better express and discuss those ideas, the Cato Institute is pleased to announce the launch of Libertarianism.org.

Libertarianism.org is a resource on the theory and history of liberty, broadly construed. Libertarianism takes many forms and the blogs, essays, and videos here explore them all. None of the views expressed at Libertarianism.org should be taken to represent the position of the Cato Institute or its scholars

The sun never sets on the U.S. military

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”– Plato

R. Lee Wrights

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.

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War breeds war. Peace breeds prosperity.

“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.

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The Wasted Vote Lie

“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.”

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Wrights to participate in first Libertarian presidential debate

BURNET, Texas (June 17) – Lee Wrights will participate in the first Libertarian presidential debate scheduled during the Future of the Libertarian Movement Conference in Manchester, N.H. June 19.

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.”

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State Libertarians elect new chair

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.”

Wrights comes home to open his campaign for the Libertarian nomination for president

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.

Wrights 2012“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!!

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