THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 463, April 13, 2008
"Throw it Together and Go Lie Down"
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
The Presidential Election of November 2008 will have Americans casting votes weeks before "election day", and most minds will be made up well before that. Any meaningful impact the Libertarian Party of the United States and/or its nominee will have on the issues discussed, and the accompanying libertarian solutions in this presidential election cycle, is diminishing with every passing moment and we must be able to react very quickly to every opportunity presented us and create many of our own. I can help.
Political news coverage is dominated with frivolous and manufactured controversies. Intentional or unintentional, the result is the same, an ever diminishing audience left parroting positions on issues of little or no importance. Motivated individuals have filled this information void with creative and effective activism that has become commonplace in a r3VOLution that has yet to be joined by the Libertarian Party. But there are still uses for the main stream media that has not been taken advantage of by the LPUS.
Successful political/social/community activists that understand what they are up against know what is required for free media coverage. TANSTAAF (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) universally applies, and any libertarian activist's relationship with the media is no exception. The unearned news coverage of individuals and organizations that support a centrally enforced plan are far more often given preferential treatment when compared to those advocating freedom. So earned media is what is left us. Libertarians should be comfortable with this arrangement, and even prefer it over unearned media that produces dependency and compromise. When we are able to entertain and inform a news media's audience with a story about individuals "Making News", all are served and there are no lingering obligations.
I am a long time libertarian activist, the Publisher of FreedomsPhoenix.com (a news aggregator) and a talk show host on the Air America Radio affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona www.ernesthancock.com/archive (Progressive/Liberal/Democrat audience the show leading into minee is hosted by the founders of Air America and are the station's owners) but I am well known as a no-compromise hard core libertarian activist that also works regularly behind the scenes with Republican legislators (see Endorsement page at www.ErnestHancock.org). By maintaining a consistent and understandable libertarian philosophy without compromise I have been able to develop powerful relationships across the country and across the political spectrum. I have enjoyed substantial support for my ability to work with others that have interests that may only temporarily overlap with our interests.
Over the last year it has been clearly demonstrated that it is the clean and clear message of libertarianism that is popular and not the individual bearer of that message. More important than my creation of the r3VOLution artwork and the promotion of the accompanying street activism, was my understanding that the next American Revolution was already in the hearts and minds of enough people that it could not be ignored if given an opportunity to express itself. In 2004 & 2006 I expressed this opinion at the National Conventions of the LPUS and for years I have done so as a talk show host www.ernesthancock.com/archive, a candidate for office (bio), as co-founder of the FreedomSummit.com, director of the 38 year old ArizonaBreakfastClub.org and countless activist projects and court actions. The revolution between the ears of millions of Americans is moving to the streets and I am uniquely qualified and motivated to put the Libertarian Party in a very influential position so that from the coming chaos we can expect a rebirth of American liberty. As the new Chairman of the Libertarian Party of the United States of America I fully expect Lady Liberty's Torch to produce a Freedom's Phoenix.
I chose the theme of my Chair campaign to be the Libertarian Party of the United States' "Statement of Principle". Since the beginning of the party it has remained, "We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual". This Mission Statement was well understood by me and the other activists that were proud to refer to themselves as libertarians.
At the time of the creation of the Libertarian Party it was easy to understand the reasoning for such a statement in the face of the Nixon administration and the Viet Nam War. After the past two Bush administrations it seems more like an act of clairvoyance.
"We, the members of the Libertarian Party,..." seems obvious. I am of the opinion that this makes it clear that individuals have banded together to make use of the peaceful political process to do something.
"...challenge the cult..." is just as clear. Oppose/confront a group that adores/supports something. And 'that something' is the ..."omnipotent state". An all powerful all knowing government.
The mission statement goes on to make it clear that the Libertarian Party had been created not only to oppose those with a collective adoration of an all powerful and all knowing government, but to "defend the rights of the individual" against this "omnipotent state". The Libertarian Party's Mission Statement goes on to define individual rights and our opposition to government's abuses of them. But nowhere does it dictate how this is to be done. And to make sure that this Mission Statement should not be changed for light and transient causes it requires a 7/8 vote at a Libertarian National Convention.
The "injection of the libertarian infection into the bone marrow of American politics (for which there is no cure)" is extremely powerful. The r3VOLution of the past year has been a very good example.
Over the past year I have traveled coast to coast many times helping other libertarians and freedom supporting individuals in support of the libertarian philosophy behind the r3VOLution, but I was very concerned by official Libertarian Party communications in support of another party's candidate with little attention to the libertarian philosophy behind his popularity. Support for Congressman Ron Paul's clear opposition to the Federal Reserve, the War in Iraq, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Omnipotent surveillance State (in that order) was obvious to all attending any of the events that was attended by thousands. Yes, #1 was the Federal Reserve (thank you Aaron Russo). I am certain that this observation will be confirmed by many libertarians at the Denver LP convention.
Only 6 months before the r3VOLution took the country by storm the very issues that were its backbone had been abandoned by the LPUS at the National Convention of 2006.
The internal LP debate over what the specific function of the LP should be has been raging for at least the 15 years that I have been a libertarian activist. Efforts to bypass the desires of Libertarians in convention via an LNC vote or a well timed parliamentary procedure has become almost expected. But individuals with the desire to use the political process to achieve specific goals not addressed in the Mission Statement of the LPUS have gone too far and principled libertarians are being compelled to direct their attention to the internal issues of the LPUS.
Page 2 of the LPNews list all of the official contact information for the LPUS. Just below the name and contact information of our current National chair are the words:
If this Mission Statement could be found anywhere in the documents of the Libertarian Party I might be more compelled to fully examine how different this statement is in philosophy and function from the true Mission Statement. But in brief, it makes it clear that Libertarians have abandoned the idea of opposing omnipotent power in favor of getting hold of it.
From this line of thinking comes the idea that we can best advocate against the Economic and Social Engineering of Americans via taxes and regulations, by making use of the political welfare made available through federal matching funds. We can also expect such a Mission Statement to not oppose an electoral system with new laws that would limit free speech and freedom of association, for fear of not having access to these federal handouts, instead of aggressively opposing these restrictions on our members and "defending the rights of the individual."
But the most damaging aspect of this issue is the fact that the Libertarian Party is committing fraud. Plain and simple. I can't imagine how you could convince the ultimate judge (the general public) that the "Party of Principle" isn't being fraudulent with this blatant misrepresentation. Any success we may experience in the political process at a national level would be lost in a moment with a single featured segment on any number of national media programs. A public relations fiasco from which I fear the LPUS would never fully recover.
I hope many are asking how this could have happened. Many of you may have reacted with colorful language as I did. But I hope that you will direct your energy in helping me to make it clear that we do not support the direction the Libertarian Party of the United States has taken.
The original purpose for the creation of the Libertarian Party has never been more pertinent than it is right now. The r3VOLution is already well under way and if the LPUS were to aggressively challenge the Bad Guys and defend the Good Guys I guarantee that we'd have a great deal more fun and would enjoy tremendous support.
I have been informed from where the new "Mission Statement" was generated. Originally it started working its way into the LP as an LNC "policy" in the mid 90's and eventually would be added to a rewrite of the LP's bylaws. I remember this being just as controversial as the gutting of the 2006 Platform. It was another back door way of being able to accomplish exactly what has been done.
Statement of Principles We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
ARTICLE 3: PURPOSES
Because those hoping for their chance at the wearing of "The Ring" are not able to get around this...
ARTICLE 4: STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES AND PLATFORM
From David Nolan (co-Founder of the Libertarian Party):
Ernest: Here is the text of a comment I just posted at TPW.
"The LP¹s Statement of Principles, written in 1972 by John Hospers, was adopted by the delegates to the party's first convention. It was modified slightly in 1974, and has remained unchanged ever since.
The "Mission Statement" was written by Scott Lieberman and adopted by the National Committee (NOT by party members in convention) in 1994 or 1995. It is, in my opinion, a very poorly conceived and worded statement, as it implies that the party's primary objective should be the one thing we are not good at: winning elections. The LP has had considerable success in other endeavors, but not in the one area that the "Mission Statement" states as our primary mission. It is being used by "reformers" within the LP as a reason to water down our platform because telling people our true philosophy and goals will "scare people" and impair our redefined "mission."
Hopefully, the delegates to the 2008 convention will vote to specifically disavow the "Mission Statement," which has never been voted on by the membership. Our Statement of Principles and the Preamble to the national platform are the only "mission statements" that we need. The bogus, narrow statement approved by the LNC in 1994 (or thereabouts) is unnecessary and counterproductive."