Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 446, December 2, 2007

"Socialists of a different color"

Previous Previous Table of Contents Contents Next Next

I Will Not Compromise—An Open Letter to libertarians
by Christine Smith
Libertarian candidate for president

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another—too often ending in the loss of both.
—Tryon Edwards (American Theologian, 1809-1894)

I have hope in the Libertarian Party, although some long-time Libertarians/ libertarians (former members and previous activists), individuals whom I deeply respect, have told me they feel otherwise and they tell me that I, as they did years ago, will become disillusioned with the LP as a means to affect the political climate of our nation.

They indicate that it is not just the entrenchment of the two-party system of bias in our country that I"m up against, but also that it will be the LP itself which will most disappoint me. They tell me they hope I do not turn away from politics just because of the discouraging disappointment they predict I will experience because of the LP—again, they were not referring to the battle of bringing our message of liberty to the American people but to the disillusionment they predict I will develop, based on their experiences, about this political party itself.

Essentially, I've been told that a principled, anti-statist, no-compromise articulate Libertarian is not what the LP will accept, embrace or support.

They say the mediocrity and incompetence, and worse yet the lack of integrity I will find in the LP, will show me it is no place for someone who takes their politics seriously. That I will come to find it to be intolerable, as they did, because finding oneself embroiled in LP politics furthers not our cause of liberty, but certainly can take its toll on the one trying to make a positive difference.

They tell me the LP is its own worst enemy and barrier to success, and that I would do far better to advance liberty in other ways since the LP in all its years has yet to embrace the vision I and so many other Libertarians hope for it.

I listen and ponder what has been shared with me because they are individuals whom I respect due to the views we share (our commitment to advancing liberty). They tell me that perhaps I will have to suffer my own experience to learn what they learned years ago. . . perhaps so. . . because again, at this point, I still have hope and am choosing to yet believe that the LP is still the party of principle. . . that it can be recharged/salvaged by liberty-minded individuals.

That hope still exists in me despite negative experiences I've already had (experiences which certainly are evidence for those who have had shared with me their own disillusionment with the LP. . . these experiences certainly give me pause and make me wonder), but yes that hope still exists in me solely because of the good Libertarians I have thus far met and heard from across the country. I think there are enough of us who sincerely care about the future of the LP as a political party who will not let it be destroyed—enough of us who do value principle and who will not compromise.

As a Libertarian, I fundamentally believe in freedom. . . free enterprise. . . free movement of people. . . freedom of association. . . freedom over our own bodies. . . freedom to live in any way we choose as long as it harms no other. . . always freedom. . . always economic and personal liberty.

Since beginning my campaign, I have learned much about people, politics, and the LP. . . those who share my commitment to freedom and those who do not.

Truth is my highest priority. Thus, my respect is only for those whose character is one of integrity, and I am fortunate in having had opportunity to meet such rare individuals during this campaign.

Though we may disagree with one another in terms of approaches to creating the solutions, we enter into constructive dialogue free from attacks or hostility against one another. We truly want to share with one another in our quest to learn, grow, and make progress in society. And for me "progress" means advancing liberty. . . restoring protections for our intrinsic freedoms as human beings. It means noninterventionism. It means limiting government at all times. . . never growing it. That's the progress I devote myself to in this country, and is why I choose to enter the political arena. Those principles comprise my platform on every issue—no exceptions.

I will not compromise those principles.

I believe the truest test of one's integrity is whether one will unequivocally refuse to compromise the principles one espouses—regardless of the possible "gain" you are offered or may receive.

I joined the LP because of its being the "Party of Principle", and I am glad to say I have met plenty of Libertarians who also cherish principle.

But I have also encountered a number who believe that to advance their agenda (even if it is a goal we agree on as Libertarians) justifies compromising principle.

Some have gone so far as to promise my campaign much support if only I would modify/weaken my platform by getting rid of its "radical" stances as they perceived it. They wanted me to become "moderate" in my libertarianism and in turn they offered me support.

Well, I reject such compromise.

The end does not justify the means.

You can't be "moderate" when it comes to principle, just as you can't be "moderate" in matters of right and wrong.

"Moderation? It's mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It's the devil's dilemma. It's neither doing nor not doing. It's the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It's for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation. . . is lukewarm tea, the devil's own brew."
—Dan Millman from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Such moderation is why we've got a majority of politicians nationwide who do nothing that promotes liberty, which is in the true best interests of the American people, but who use moderation as a means to advance political agendas and careers.

It was because of principle, and its clear elucidation in our previous platform, that I found a political home in the LP.

No perceived political advantage for my campaign, my political party, or our shared goals of advancing liberty, is worth compromising that which I hold dearest: principle.

Compromise is only valid in areas where there is more than black and white. . . where there can be a middle ground or gray area if you will. . . But when it comes to principle—you either have it or not. Principle, by its very definition, cannot be compromised. . . it can only be forsaken and thereby destroyed.

Principles mean something only if you adhere to them. . . once they are compromised, they cease to exist.

I appreciate "The Party of Principle", though it appears there is a substantial infiltration of people into the LP who would prefer it become "The Party of Compromise". Some have told me it has been this way for years. Those who value principle feel alone, some have left being involved in the political realm of the LP altogether, others despair. . . and others are willing to, at this point, continue to actively work for principles of liberty through the LP.

My political principles stem from my values: they emanate from my heart and mind's awareness that only liberty for all and in all circumstances holds the key to advancement in society.

Whose liberty would you sacrifice to supposedly gain some advantage?

On every political issue where I see a Libertarian compromise, I see that for their supposed gain of "freedom" they are willing to let some people continue to suffer persecution at the hands of government. Big government is all about compromise of principle and to the degree a Libertarian compromises they, too, are pro big-government.

Compromise, for political expediency, results in the loss of integrity. . . and a willingness to engage in all manner of evils since compromise, once it enters a person, always promises more and more gain—all at the cost of the individual's integrity, a group's goodness, and a society's future. It is an endless march to defeat for the individual as well as any group or organization.

It is due to compromise of principle that human rights, civil liberties, and economic freedom have been abandoned in America. We are so much less than we could be due to compromise. . . it is the cause of the statist mentality. Government is not the answer, it is the problem.

I believe we can create the freest most peaceful society in the world if we adhere to principle, and that is why I became a Libertarian, to join with like-minded individuals commited to principle.

That which I've always believed separated the LP from the other political party (I now regard both main political parties as essentially one party-the party of big-government, big spending, big oppression), was our adherence to principle.

Thus—on every issue—I will not compromise. On every social and economic issue I unequivocally support freedom.

My Libertarian stances on issues such as U.S. government empire building/militarism/worldwide aggression, immigration, taxation, free trade, the drug war, equal legal/economic/governmental treatment of all Americans, are not negotiable.

To compromise in any of these areas is to deny liberty to someone.

Compromise is the enemy of any individual commited to truth. Compromise is the enemy of any worthy good cause. Compromise is the enemy of character and integrity.

In short, compromise is the enemy of liberty.

There are areas which we some Libertarians choose to support (even if it doesn't eliminate government intrusion completely) because it will limit or cut government. . . but never can what I define as a "Libertarian" agree to compromise in any area which directly results in the growth of government or results in restriction of any other's liberty/freedom of choice as to how they wish to live their life.

Why do some choose to compromise principle? I believe there are only two emotions in life: love and fear. Love is bold, strong and courageous. Fear is weak and takes many forms. Those who compromise principle are full of fear: fear of rejection, fear of not having enough, fear of losing something, fear of ridicule; the list is nearly endless. Fear, too, is the reason so many in America have accepted trading liberty for "safety."

Compromise of principle, for example, is exemplified in many of the U.S. government actions that we as Libertarians reject, such as suspension of habeas corpus, torture, regime change, the deaths of millions of innocent civilians worldwide due to our military interventions worldwide, the suffering of all the victims of the insane "War on Drugs", etc. Compromise of principle is responsible for the ills of the welfare state, taxation, and enormous oppressive government regulations and mandates—all of which inhibits your freedom as an American.

And why was principle compromised? For some perceived gain the government thought it would attain and some perceived gain it promised the people. . . power. . . control. . . greed. . . presented to the American people in the guise of compassionate assistance/help. All charity must be voluntary—not funded by extortion upon the American people by the force of government. But again, those are just more examples of compromise of the fundamental values (such as self-reliance) which created great nation, and now without which, we see our nation sadly spiraling downward.

All of the oppression we now are burdened with under this government is a direct result of compromise: Compromise of the very principles this nation was founded on: individual liberty and personal responsibility.

Everyone who has been a part of rubberstamping such policy has compromised principle. . . and others worldwide suffer as a result. . . and we as Americans suffer because of what our government has inflicted upon others as well as directly upon ourselves.

Compromise is what we see in the majority of politicians. Compromise makes them equivocate. . . they don't answer straight because they fear alienating some group of people. . . they fear standing for anything less they loose support. . . and thus they stand for nothing but the corrupt status quo we now have.

Allowing any compromise of principle results in corruption. A little compromise. . . a little corruption. . . like a little poison. . . is never the answer.

"Have you ever asked yourself why one person is honorable and another dishonorable; why one is honest, another dishonest; why one is moral, another immoral? Most individuals do not intend to be dishonest, dishonorable, or immoral. They seem to allow their characters to erode by a series of rationalizations, lies, and compromises. Then when grave temptation presents itself, they haven't the strength of character to do what they know to be right."
—Ezra Taft Benson (1899 - 1994) from "Be True to God, Country, and Self"

Why did I choose to seek the LP presidential nomination? Because we need a powerful strongly principled knowledgeable Libertarian candidate who will be a bold, courageous, and charismatic voice for liberty. . . an uncompromising spokesperson for liberty and for the LP. . . and someone with the personal energy to commit themselves to the task before them. I personally know of only a few such individuals in the LP who fit that description—and none of them chose to run. Had they, I could have wholeheartedly supported them. . . but as one essentially told me, "Better you, than I" in regard to the stress I have/will undergo in this campaign.

Physical and mental stress is something I deal well with. . . I am a strong individual. But I confess the greatest stress of this campaign has not been what many would imagine, it has been the pain of seeing just how many Libertarians are willing to compromise. . . just how many resort to the realm of lies, deception, and attempts at manipulation. . . just how many believe the end justifies the means.

But still, I believe non-Libertarians masquerading as "Libertarians" for their own ego-agendas (all those big fish in a little pond playing at politics), as well as Libertarians who choose to compromise principle for some gain politically, are merely a minority (though at times a vocal minority) within the LP; I do not believe they represent nor wield superior power against the principled majority of good Libertarians, many of whom I've had the pleasure of meeting or speaking with during my campaign.

Time will tell. . . but at this point I yet have hope, I have enthusiasm for the LP, and I want to try and advance liberty in this way. I yet believe there are enough principled Libertarians to make a difference in our party, and across our country. I believe this because I have met, spoken with, and heard from so many of you! I still believe each of us can be part of advancing liberty through the LP.

I do yet have hope. . . I have hope in you.

In my life, and as your Libertarian presidential candidate in 2008, I will always work boldly and courageously on behalf of principle.

I will never compromise principle. I will never compromise what is right.

I value dialogue, discussion, and debate. . . as each of us have differing perceptions and thus ideas as to how we can achieve liberty. . . but I will never compromise the principle behind my politics.

I will only support positions that advance liberty never limit it; I will only support positions that make government smaller and never increase it; I will only support positions that protect freedom not hinder it. These are core principles which I will never compromise.

Principle is the standard by which I choose to live my life and to serve.

Principle is how we achieve liberty.

I hope there are enough Libertarians who wish this political party to be one of integrity and ethics commited to Libertarian principle. . . that we be a party of the people—all people—growing by reaching out with Libertarian solutions to people from all walks of life (for it is those most oppressed by government who stand to gain so much from Libertarianism and yet is those it appears our party has most neglected in enlightening and recruiting). . . that we be a party advocating freedom always on al his is what I devote myself to in my writing, public speaking, and now in this campaign.

I dedicate myself to the achievement of what I personally believe is the highest ideal the will, the spirit of humanity, can work toward in this world: the triumph of liberty. And I will not compromise my principles in the struggle.

Thus I decided to step forward and serve my party in this way due to my principles, my ability to communicate (as evidenced at all the LP Conventions I have attended and the many radio shows reaching millions of Americans nationwide I have been on since this campaign began), and my ability to devote myself to traveling this country to passionately and energetically share our message with non-Libertarians.

As your 2008 LP presidential candidate, I will work diligently for the principles Libertarians hold dear, bringing our uncompromising message of liberty to millions of Americans.

Unless we remain true to principle, and reach out to all Americans through excellent candidates/spokespersons willing to passionately share liberty nationwide, I despair for the future of the LP many worked so hard for in years past. But I am choosing to believe that those who have personally tried to get me to compromise, and those who themselves compromise principle within our party, are the exception.

It is up to you who will not compromise to be part of creating true economic and social liberty in America. . . to be part of restoring the constitutional republic we were meant to be. If you share this vision, work for it hard. . . for you are the only hope that remains for the nation, and you are certainly the only hope for the LP if it is to even survive. Can true Libertarians reverse what has been happening to the party; do they have the will to come together to do so? Is it possible given the state of the LP now? Can a strongly principled, uncompromising, anti-statist LP presidential candidate be part of such change? I"m making the choice to try through my campaign. . . many others are obviously making that choice as well in their activism. . . the result remains to be seen.

Libertarians, it is your choice.

Christine Smith, Libertarian Candidate for President
Christine Smith for President
15400 W. 64th Ave., E9-105
Arvada, Colorado 80007
(303) 731-5879


Shop For Vitamins & Supplements At eVitamins
Large selection

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!

to advance to the next article
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 446, December 2, 2007

Big Head Press