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L. Neil Smith's
Number 377, July 23, 2006

"There is a movement afoot"

Letters to the Editor

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Letter from E.J. Totty

Letter from Jim Davidson

Letter from Mike Renzulli

Letter from Alex McConnell

Dear Mr. Ed/Editor/Ken,

Re.: The latest fracas/to-do/commotion/stir/brawl regarding the national LP

Having sampled every contributor's input(s), at the TLE, I've but one thing to remark: Whenever a political party is formed, it should absolutely limit those things which are to be the defining elements of its premise for existence, and disallow anything else for as long as it exists.

Or, in other words, the most brief—yet succinct—statement possible, which conveys clearly to it's reader, the idea upon which the party is formed.

Anything more, and there arrives chaos, disunity, fracture, and ultimately division sufficient to negate its ability to have any great effect.

So, it seems to me that the ZAP should be the only statement needed by the LP, as it succinctly states the whole idea of what being a Libertarian really means: Mind your own business.

Trying to add to that with additional verbiage is confusing of the issue.
All you have to ask is: Are you for—or against, bothering another human being, no matter what—if they have not harmed your life, liberty, or property?

If you are, then you simply cannot be Libertarian in thought or action.
There's no halfway here, any more than one might proclaim to be half-pregnant.

You either are Libertarian, or you aren't.
Saying that you are, and then making excuses to bother another human being because of some sociopolitical ideal is nothing less than hypocrisy in the extreme.

This goes hand-in-hand with the idea that you simply cannot be more 'free' than free.
Adding endless statements to the ZAP is making excuses to violate it, as the more that is said, the greater the degree of equivocation allowed in the interpretation.
It's the very same thing as saying "I don't believe in harming anyone, however ..."

There can never be any 'ands,' 'ifs,' or 'buts.'
Either one desires to be free, or one does not: There is no halfway.

If the devil is in the details, then let the details be as brief and as transparent as possible.

The ZAP stands by itself as the most clear and least confusing statement as any I've ever read. Ergo, it—all by itself, should be the =only= platform statement needed by the LP as the definition of what it stands for.
In fact, with just that, the LP motto would be: No equivocation on Liberty

E.J. Totty

Dear Editor,

David Hughes writes in his recent letter that appears in your letters column:

"Mr. Smith really messed up the LP's chance to have one presidential candidate in all 50 states in year 2000."

But, he neglects to mention that the "one" candidate would have been Harry Browne, who had been the candidate in 1996. As I recall, in 2000, as well as in 1996, Ralph Nader managed to poll more votes nationwide than Harry Browne. At least in 2000, voters in Arizona had a libertarian they might choose.

In typical LP nit-picking style, Hughes says that "the July 4th convention" took place on the first and second of July. But, that's okay. The Libertarian Party has always held its national conventions around the time of the 4th of July "weekend" which celebrates an event in 1776 which itself did not take place on the 4th of July. As near as historians are able to discern, the actual voting for the Declaration of Independence was over by the 2nd of July.

Hughes goes on to say, "It would be nice if libertarians could learn to play together."

It would be nice if people who share libertarian ideals were to work with each other to achieve common goals. It would not be nice if anti-property, anti-voluntaryist, anti-privacy, or pro-war nutjobs continued to defeat the purpose of the party of principle by diluting its message in an evidently hopeless attempt to gain mass political appeal.

Hughes supposes, "A humorous, alternative is to have a separate political party for each individual libertarian."

Recently, as a direct result of the idiocy in Portland, Tom Knapp and some of his friends established a new party. He calls it the Boston Tea Party. It has a web site, mostly an online discussion forum, found here:

So far, the Boston Tea Party has no money, no power, no candidates, and a very simple platform. Happily, because it has no money or power, it also has no hangers on, no corruption, no national book tours masquerading as candidacies, and a lot less foolishness.

Here's their platform: "The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose."

Finding this platform to be consistent with the covenant of unanimous consent, I've signed up and joined the discussion.


Jim Davidson

Libertarian activists start campaign to draft Jacob "Bumper" Hornberger to run for President of the United States in 2008.


PHOENIX, AZ—Libertarian activists Mike Renzulli and Debbie Clark have started a campaign to draft Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob "Bumper" Hornberger to run for the Libertarian Party's Presidential nomination in 2008.

"Jacob's name speaks for itself in and outside the libertarian movement," campaign director Mike Renzulli said. "With the increasing alarm by the American population over the loss of civil liberties, along with the continuation of what has come to be widely regarded as an unlawful war and occupation in Iraq, the Libertarian Party needs a strong, principled candidate to offer to American voters. Jacob "Bumper" Hornberger has a consistent track record of contending for sound US foreign and domestic policy, for the rule of law, and for the principles of freedom that made this nation great. We believe that he is the person who can best fill that role."

Prior to starting the "Draft Bumper" campaign, Renzulli had been in contact with Hornberger about the possibility of him running, but he has not returned phone calls or e-mails to him.

The campaign has launched a new website and Yahoo! group to build a groundswell of people who support drafting Bumper for president in 2008.

Hornberger made a last minute run for President in 2000, which may have hurt his reputation among some party activists. He also backed the Arizona LP participating in the Presidential Preference Primary, even though the state party leadership declined to do so. Renzulli explained, "Despite what some people consider to be these flaws in judgment, we believe that Bumper should be given the benefit of the doubt."

Renzulli went on to say, "I have met and talked with him on numerous occasions. Jacob is a fine gentleman and a scholar. I believe he would be the best choice for both the Libertarian Party and for America in 2008."

People interested in learning more about Hornberger's views, or assisting with the campaign to draft him as the LP candidate for president, can visit the "Draft Bumper for President in 2008 website at:

Contact Campaign Director Mike Renzulli at: mike at draftbumper dot org or his cell: 602-405-6668.


Mike Renzulli
mike at draftbumper dot org

I don't understand why so many people are up in arms over "The Portland Purge". I mean, I can fully understand the desire to maintain the purity of libertarianism, but this was given up a long, long time ago. One of the very earliest libertarian propaganda pieces I ever saw was the "World's Smallest Political Quiz." I have never seen a version of this quiz which didn't include a very, very open definition of "libertarian". This is a tool those who call themselves libertarians have been using for a long time and the simplest measure of how those who aren't libertarians will view us. Given this, The Portland Purge really happened decades ago.

Alex McConnell

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