Two major wins for the Libertarian Party in 2012

Thank you to all those who supported my Congressional run. I’m pleased with the result,but somewhat surprised that Rep. Renee Ellmers was re-elected by such a large margin. I was hoping that whichever of the major party candidates won, my vote would be the margin of difference.

It’s strange (but not surprising) that, despite all the Republicans and Tea Party types who told me how disappointed they were with Ellmers, they closed ranks and voted for the Red Team anyway.

My election prognostications were only half right; President Barack Obama did get a majority of the electoral votes, but he also received a plurality of the popular vote, but just barely. There really wasn’t a change for an Electoral College tie.

The major news for 2012, however, is that the Libertarians scored two major victories.

First, in North Carolina Barbara Howe got two percent of the vote for governor, thus securing the party’s ballot access for another four years.

Second, Gov. Gary Johnson achieved an historic one million votes for president, beating the 32-year old record of 921,128 set y Ed Clark in 1980.  As of this writing Google had Johnson at 1,139,562, more than double that of the 2008 ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Root. Barr and Root are no longer Libertarians, by the way.

North Carolina has arguable the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nations. Howe’s achievement marks the second time the LPNC has kept its ballot access status through the voting process. Dr. Mike Munger did it first in 2008.

This will save the LPNC a boat-load of money, time and other resources. That means we’ll be able to go into the 2014 and 2016 elections not only without having to exhaust all our resources just to get to the starting line, but with a ample resources to fill the ballot with Libertarian candidates who’ll be able to run competitive races.

More information:

N.C. Libertarian Candidate Results

N.C. State Board of Elections Results Summary

See Google Election Results

Election predictions

The good news about the 2012 election is that it appears there may be a record turn-out. Unfortunately, since American voter turnout is so abysmally in the first place, that’s not saying much. I doubt we’ll approach the 80-90 percent voter turnout rate common in other democratic countries, even in those countries the United States has “made” democracies.

The bad news is that if you think the election will be over tomorrow, think again. I’m no political expert, but here are my predictions for 2012. I think President Barack Obama will be re-elected with a majority of the electoral vote – but Gov. Mitt Romney will get the plurality in the popular vote. This will send the Republicans into legal hysteria to rival that of the Democrats in the 2000 election.

And no one on Fox News will bat any eye when the GOP resorts to the same legalistic, obstructionist, word-parsing antics the Democrats engaged in in 2000. They’ll challenge the vote in every single state where it’s close, claiming “voter fraud,” “voter suppression,” or any other excuse they can come up with.

And the election could wind up being decided, probably wrongly again, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In North Carolina, I predict that not only will Barbara Howe get more than two percent of the vote, thus keeping the Libertarian Party on the ballot, but Gov. Gary Johnson will earn enough votes to be the margin of difference between Romney and Obama, to Romney’s detriment.

This will inevitable lead to Republicans claiming that Romney “lost” the state because of Johnson. But I also predict that exit polls and post-election analysis will point out that Johnson will have earned the votes of both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans,and many unaffiliated voters. Of course, the Republicans won’t let the facts get in the way.

On the other hand, if the presidential vote goes the other way, I’m sure the Democrats will make the same charge they “lost” the state because of the Libertarians, since the won’t be able to blame the Greens who are not on the ballot.

Another scenario some experts have discussed, and one which I really like, postulates the possibility of an Electoral College tie. It is possible. This would mean that, under the U.S. Constitution, the newly elected U.S. House of Representatives will select the president, voting by states; and the new U.S. Senate will select the vice president.

Assuming things go as expected, that would mean a Republican-controlled U.S. House electing Mitt Romney president, and a Democratic-controlled U.S.Senate re-electing Joe Biden vice president.

What I like about this scenario is that it would initiate (maybe ignite is a better word) a debate on abolishing the Electoral College. It may be possible, once the hysterical rhetoric, illogical and unreasonable arguments are dispensed with, to actually educate Americans about how the Electoral College came to be, and why it is a good thing.

The Pilot critiques the Republican, endorses the Democrat – and ignores the Libertarian

The Pilot in Southern Pines had endorsed Steve Wilkins, my Democratic opponent in the 2nd Congressional District. They have a problem with Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers for not campaigning in Moore County.

But I had to point out to them that they are guilty of ignoring one of the candidates in the race – me.

Here is what I wrote in a letter-to-the-editor:

Unlike Rep. Renee Ellmers, I have visited Moore County several times during the campaign. I even had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Steve Wilkins at the Moore County League of Women Voters Forum.

But just as Rep. Ellmers has apparently ignored several parts of her new district, The Pilot apparently has chosen to ignore coverage of my candidacy, Although I thank you for using excerpts from my campaign website (LibertyPoint.org) in an article, you did not give me the courtesy of actually contacting me for an interview, which I deeply regret.

As a candidate who doesn’t solicit, receive or accept donations from businesses, special interest groups or political action committees, I rely completely on invitations to public forums from civic groups, and the journalistic integrity of most newspapers, and radio and TV stations to cover the story fairly and completely in order to get my message out to voters.

Hopefully in the future The Pilot will give fair and equal treatment to all candidates on the ballot so that the voters in Moore County can get the information they need to make an informed decision in the voting booth.

Let’s see if it gets printed or posted online.

How did Christians become warmongers?

I never thought I would hear myself say what I’m about to say, but the truth is, the term “Christian” today signifies anything but Christ-like. To many people today, “Christian” refers to some warmongering, mean-spirited, throw-anyone-to-the-wolves-who-crosses-them person, who then has the audacity to look down their nose in contempt against anyone who disagrees with them

After reading this very powerful column by Chuck Baldwin, all I could think was — wow!

The Christian church “was born in a baptism of love and unity,” he writes. While there were differences of opinion, the early church was “a loving, caring, compassionate ecclesia” The New Testament church always attempted to be and teach the importance of being peacemakers.

That doesn’t mean they were pacifists. Early Christians believed they had a God-given right to defend themselves. But they never confused self-defense with warmongering, Baldwin note.

Something has happened to today’s church, Baldwin says. Christians, particularly those who call themselves evangelicals and fundamentalists, have become the “biggest cheerleaders for war.”

Baldwin says the modern Warfare state would grind to a screeching halt of Christians stopped supporting it. He criticizes those religious leaders who interpret Romans 13 to mean that Christian owe unquestioning obedience to civil authority as “obey-the-government-no-matter-what” claptrap.

No man is exempt from the moral laws of God. No man! Not even the President of the United States. And how much guilt do those of us in America who laud and support the Warfare State share when atrocities are committed by our leaders in our name and with our approval? And if none, then what were those trials in Nuremberg all about?

Something to think about on Nov. 6.

Muslim Public Affairs Council endorsement

I did not expect to get an endorsement from any N.C. group. So I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of the Raleigh chapter of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Here is the email I received:

Dear Mr. Irving,

I am pleased to inform you that the Muslim American Public Affairs Council (MAPAC) has sent its endorsement of your candidacy to its members and supporters. The endorsement was sent out in time to reach those who have voted early.

Congratulations on your securing the MAPAC endorsement and the best of luck in the upcoming election.

Sincerely,

Ford Chambliss
MAPAC Board of Trustees

N.C. No. 2 in gerrymandering

North Carolina is No. 2 in a national ranking – in gerrymandering. And it has the most gerrymandered U.S. House district in the nation, District 12.

Read this item in Under the Dome, the News & Observer political column:

Azavea, a firm that applies mapping software GIS in online media, updated a previous report that uses four geographical measures of compactness for every Congressional district in the country, and by the group’s estimate, N.C.’s 12th District is literally the worst in the country.

The report also ranks U.S. House District 4 as the sixth worst gerrymandered in the nation. The district, which I think resembles a map of Viet Nam, actually splits U.S. House District 2. At one point District 4 literally runs down the Cape Fear River. I think it’s safe to say very few people live in the river.

News & Observer prints my letter

The News & Observer did print my letter-to-the-editor (edited) about their non-endorsement op ed of a candidate in the 2nd Congressional District. (See previous post)

Thank you N&O.

Today I attended another candidate forum, sponsored by the Cary Chamber of Commerce. Once again Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers was a no-show. Democrat Steve Wilkins was there, as has been his practiced, even though he also had an appointment at WRAL-TV to tape a segment. That’s the excuse Rep. Ellmers gave for not appearing.

Of course, WRAL did not invite me, nor have they returned my phone calls asking for an explanation.

War with Iran is next

If it wasn’t clear to Americans before, it should be clear today. After watching last night’s joint presidential candidate press conference, masquerading as a debate, no one should have any doubt that America’s state of perpetual and universal war will continue under President Barack Obama or a President Mitt Romney.

Regardless of which of these men is elected, America will go to war with Iran. Both said the a “nuclear-capable” Iran is a threat to U.S. “national security.” Both expressed unwavering, unequivocal – and unquestioning – support for Israel. “We stand with Israel,” said Obama. “We got their back,” said Gov. Romney.

As Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson noted, neither of them challenged the fundamental premise of endless foreign intervention.

“Rather, we have two candidates agreeing with one another about flawed foreign excursions we cannot afford,” he commented. “And remarkably, we heard a continuation of the fallacy that we can somehow balance the budget while spending more on defense. It doesn’t add up.”

Obama repeated the imperialist assertion that the United States is the “one, indispensable nation” in the world. They both claimed that one of their foreign policy goals would be to bring “democracy” to the Middle East, including Syria. But it was clear from the qualifications they outlined that they really did not mean democracy in the sense of government of, by, and for the people of that nation, but a government that complies with standards dictated by the United States.

Obama repeated the hubris that America is “the one, indispensable nation in the world.” Romney had some trouble geography when he said that Syria was Iran’s only ally in the region, and that give Iran access to the sea.

War myths and America’s drone terrorism

Just the other day, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. war in Afghanistan is "succeeding" and "has turned an important corner."

Chicago Tribute columnist Steve Chapman had the same reaction I did, “Where have I heard that before?”

Oh yes, could it have been in 2003, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld boasted, “We clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability. … The bulk of this country today is permissive, it’s secure.”

Chapman notes that four years later, Rummy pronounced Afghanistan "a big success," and then in 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates assured us the U.S. effort was "succeeding."

“There is a term for a war that is always ‘succeeding’ but never concluding: a failure. But Barack Obama has followed the custom of George W. Bush in pretending otherwise,” Chapman writes.

Another myth being perpetrated by the Obama Administration is the narrative that the use of drones is a “surgically precise and effective tool” that kills bad guys with minimal “collateral impacts,” meaning killing innocents.

A joint report Living Under Drones by the New York University School of Law’s Global Justice Clinic and Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic exposes this lie.

The use of drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan is by definition itself an act of terrorism.

Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.

Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation notes that the report also finds that the drone strikes killed 2,563-3,325 people in Pakistan from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, of whom 474–881 were civilians, including 176 children.

Incredibly, President Obama continues to deny the strikes kill civilians, even in the light of the U.S. tactic to make multiple drone strikes in one area that result in rescuers being killed.

Terrorist suicide bombers do the same thing, and we’re outraged by it. Why are we not outraged by this misuse of American military might?

“The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a ‘militant,’ Richman writes.

This is also an eerily and disturbingly familiar assertion, like the “body counts” of the Viet Nam war.