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Libertarian Crusader Diaryimage00311

Post 1996 Election Era

Published by Gary L. Fincher

Volume II, Edition I – March 28, 1997

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

 

 

 

Kay in DeBary, Florida in April 1997

Kay in DeBary, Florida in April 1997

 

 

Florida Detour

     

After having zigzagged the country a few times over the past several months, Kay and I now find ourselves tucked deep down in south Florida working, anticlimactically enough, on completely non-political projects.  This can be assured to be only a minor detour until we jump back into meaningful political work.  A short description on the temporary Florida projects later in this issue, but if I may digress, I’ll now fill all of you in on what has happened with us since the last issue of LCD.

 

Maine to Georgia

 

In the last issue I reported that we were in Maine and had been offered work in Georgia.  We had been working on a longer-term project in Connecticut in early June (1996) but had taken a few days off to work on a short-term temporary project in Nebraska.  When we returned from Nebraska (upon landing at the airport in Newark, N J.), we found that the Connecticut project (getting the Libertarian nominee on the ballot there) had been put on hold due to funding deficiencies.  Rather than return to Connecticut, we decided to chill out up in Maine for a while until we could find something to work on until early July.  After all, the national convention was approaching (July 3-7) and my daughter Jenny was due to arrive for her first vacation out of her home state of Texas on July 9.  These were major events and we had to prepare ourselves financially

 

Although we had spent the entire previous winter in Maine, summer is a different story.  Maine is alive and green and beautiful in the good ol’ summertime.  We had been away since April (the snow is barely melted by then and the trees are still bare) but the intervening two months was just enough time to allow Maine to come into her prime.  It doesn’t get much better than summertime in Maine.

Kay in the Maine Woods

Kay in the Maine Woods

 

Acadia National Park in Maine

Acadia National Park in Maine

Kay and I decided to take advantage of peak season in Maine with some sightseeing before getting back to the grind of finding a worthwhile project.  We made the opportunity to see Moosehead Lake (a beautiful wilderness lake in the north woods of Maine), Acadia National Park (a charming coastal mountain setting on the Atlantic Ocean), N.Quoddy Head (the easternmost point in the continental U.S.), Campobello Island in neighboring New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy, and did some swimming at Sebago Lake, near Portland.

 

When the time came to do a project search, we found that the LP was temporarily out of funds appropriated for ballot access, so we had to turn to other avenues.  The U.S. Taxpayers Party was gearing up to do a petition drive to get its candidate (Howard Phillips) on the ballot and they were willing to offer good money for our services.  In addition, the Natural Law Party was also conducting a petition drive in Georgia to get its candidate (John Hagelin) on the ballot and was offering decent rates as well.  So we undertook the long drive from Maine to Rome, Georgia and petitioned for both these minor parties until early July – the eve of the presidential nominating convention.

 

1996 LIBERTARIAN PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION

 

We drove up from Georgia to Washington, D.C. to attend the presidential nominating convention that took place July 3-7 at the downtown Hyatt Regency hotel.  Kay and I were both delegates from Maine.  In addition, I was a candidate for an at-large spot on the Libertarian National Committee (LNC).   This was to be Kay’s very first national convention and my second (I was head of the Maine delegation in 1991 when our ‘92 presidential nominee was chosen).  We were told that C-SPAN was providing gavel-to-gavel coverage and that CNN and perhaps some other major networks would cover at least part of it.

 

When we arrived, we attended a meeting of the current LNC and tried to meet up with the rest of the Maine delegation – Dick Eaton (chair), Val Gates, Mark Cenci, Ron Clement and Barbie Clement.

 

Although we had pre-arranged for a room at the hotel for all four nights, there had been a mix-up and we spent several hours of a couple of different days dealing with it.  This detracted somewhat from our enjoyment of the convention, but we finally overcame the problem and moved on.

 

The major contenders for the Libertarian nomination were:  Harry Browne of Tennessee, the frontrunner; Rick Tompkins of Arizona, his primary challenger; and Irwin Schiff of Nevada.  There were a few other minor candidates who challenged late, including Charles Collins, who had also tried to get the nomination of the U.S. Taxpayers Party.  There was some controversy over which and how many candidates should be given air time at the debates, and in the end, five candidates were given the opportunity to take part in the debate: Browne, Tompkins, Schiff, Collins and Doug Ohman.

 

Although Kay and I bad worked with Harry Browne to put his name on the ballot in Maine (and Browne was the only Libertarian candidate on the ballot there), I preferred Tompkins’ platform.  At the Wisconsin state convention, I personally promised my vote, as a delegate in the presidential nominating convention, to Rick.  Thus I was a committed delegate for Tompkins.  Kay, on the other hand, went into the convention undecided.

 

Most of the media publicity went to Harry Browne, as the frontrunner for the nomination.   But Irwin Schiff, author of several anti-income tax books, wowed the convention delegates with his colorful wit and humor.   One of the most exciting portions of the convention was the state by state roll call, whereby a representative of. Each state delivered their vote totals with the live C-SPAN cameras rolling.  Our state delegation chair, Dick Eaton, deferred to Kay, allowing her to represent Maine in the roll call.  She did a really good job, too, I might add.  When the voting was tabulated, however, Harry Browns won in a landslide.

 

Another hot contest was that of national party chairman, between incumbent Steve Dasbach and challenger Gene Cisewski, chairman of the DC Libertarian Party.  Steve is a personal friend of mine, whose family hosted me when I worked on the Indiana LP petition drive back in 1991.  I thought he had done a really good job as chairman, so I pledged my vote to him.  This in spite of the fact that I knew very little about Gene.  It was a little difficult for me because my friend Ron Emery, the state chair of Wisconsin, was a strong Cisewski backer and urged me to support Gene.

 

As for my own race, that of at-large LNC member, I found myself pitted in a six-way race for five slots.  In the end, I received 96 votes (out of perhaps 250 voting delegates), far short of enough to gain an LNC seat.  It’s possible that I’ll run again at the ’98 convention, having enhanced my name recognition nationally.  There are, however, a lot of factors to consider and I’m sure our nomadic, working-on-the-road lifestyle is a hindrance, if not in actuality, in the minds of key prominent LP activists who might support my candidacy.  I was nominated by Dean Cook, state chair of Massachusetts who ran for governor of that state in ’94.  Many thanks go out to him as a supporter of my first bid for national party office.

1996 Libertarian Presidential nominee Harry Browne

1996 Libertarian Presidential nominee Harry Browne

The last day of the convention was on Sunday, July 7.  Harry Browne was our presidential nominee, ready to do battle with Bill Dole and Bob Clinton, I had made a showing for an LNC seat and the media coverage hadn’t been that bad.  C-SPAN capturing Kay and the presidential roll call live and nationally syndicated political columnist David Broder making a personal appearance, followed by a glowing article in Sunday Washington Post.  Broder later advocated that Browne be included in the presidential debates.  Those debates, limited to only the nominees of two of the several parties, we all recognize to be a sham.  Eventually, a staggering 389 journalists would call for Harry Browne’s inclusion in the debates.  This show of support would set the stage for probably the most remarkable Libertarian campaigns in history.

 

DRIVING MISS FINCHER

 

Only two days after the national convention, my daughter Jenny celebrated her 12th birthday by making her first plane trip, and her first major trip outside her home state of Texas, coming all the way to New England to stay a few days with her dad and stepmom.

 

image0136The trip represented more to me than what met the eye.  Just a short couple of years ago, I would have said that such a trip would be impossible.  On top of that, it wasn’t too long ago – maybe 5 years – when I thought maybe I would never even see my daughter again.  The 1988 split with her mom was not an amicable one and it led to some pretty absurd predicaments.  So much so that by 1990 I had lost all track of my daughter.  In the winter of ‘92/’93, I located her again and restored communication, but the overall situation was tenuous at best (without going into details).  The situation began to improve only after the summer of 1995, so much so that, to my surprise, the way was cleared for this remarkable trip and 11-day stay with Kay and me over 2,000 miles away from her home!  This was nothing short of a dream come true for me, a major milestone in the once-decrescent relationship with my daughter.

 

Jenny flew into Hartford’s Bradley International Airport in Connecticut on the night of July 9, the day she turned 12.  Since we were back in Connecticut to work on the now-resumed LP petition drive, we thought we’d give her a limited “civics” lesson and have her help us work on the petition drive.  Jenny learned firsthand what third parties have to go through in order to enjoy the same ballot status as the Republocrats.  She worked a little bit with us getting people to sign the petition allowing the Libertarians to fairly compete in the presidential election.  We paid her for the signatures she got, giving her some spending money for her forthcoming vacation (yes, that despicable child labor rears its ugly head).

 

We only worked part of that one day, reserving the rest of her vacation time for sightseeing, and sightsee we did!  We drove her all over the northeast, from Connecticut to Massachusetts to Vermont to New Hampshire to New York to Maine and even to Canada.  We drove her around to such sights as Lake George, Montréal, Cape Cod, Boston, and the White Mountains.  Packing quite a lot into those 11 days, we, in short, drove her to every attraction we could possibly get to in New England and the northeast.   We put her back on the plane, sadly and reluctantly, on July 20 in Connecticut for her return to Texas. (Jenny’s trip will be chronicled further in a special to Libertarian Crusader Diary entitled 11 Days with a 12-Year-Old)

 

 

 

 

LIBERTARIAN CAMPAIGN:  THE HOMESTRETCH

 

After Jenny left, we turned to the Connecticut petition drive again.  But hosting Jenny for 11 days had left our financial situation weak.  We were finishing up the

Connecticut drive when, in Torrington on August 7, our car’s transmission went out.  This would cause our financial situation to go from weak to in shambles. And though we would get to work on another project right after Connecticut for almost 2 weeks, it was too late; the money situation was too far gone.  With no personal vehicle, making money would prove too difficult (due to the mobility requirements of our work) which, of course, would compound our financial struggles.  Everything would need rebuilding and it would take months to begin to see daylight.

 

After Connecticut, we went next door to New York, the final project of ours for the Libertarian Party for 1996.  We worked in New York for almost 2 weeks, but couldn’t be 100% effective because we got around on foot, on public transportation, or relying on rides. We stayed in Westchester County, right on the Hudson River in Elmsford, near White Plains.  But we worked sites in Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx in New York City, and Newburgh and Poughkeepsie upstate.

 

After New York, the LP ballot campaign, which began in February of ‘95, was over for us, and we would retreat to our old reliable hideout – Maine – to regroup and figure out what to do next.

 

Meanwhile, Harry Browne, Libertarian for president, had an election to go to.  He was on the ballot in all 50 states now.  Unfortunately, not enough Americans were intelligent enough to vote for Harry and so we got stuck with – and this pains me to write this – Bill Clinton for another four years.  Oh and yes, Kay and I proudly cast our vote (absentee from Lincoln, Nebraska) for Libertarian Harry Browne.

 

R & R (RECUPERATING & RECONNOITERING)

 

It was late August when the smoke cleared from all the Libertarian ballot battles.   We were in Maine in reconnoiter mode, but licking our financial wounds.  After making phone calls to all over the country we discovered that the only petition drive happening (a referendum) was in…Los Angeles, California.  Our resources were now very scarce and we had to be careful with what we had.  And L.A. was quite a distance from Portland, Maine.  Still, the consensus between Kay and me was that we should make the 3,000-plus mile trip to the west coast so that we might keep working.

 

We found a pickup truck (‘84 Mazda B2000) for sale cheap so we borrowed the money and bought it.   We cleaned it out and fixed it up a little and figured we could sleep in the back of the truck, on bedroll, on the way to California.  But tragedy struck in downtown Portland on August 31.  Returning from lunch, after leaving the truck unattended for a scant half hour, we found the unthinkable: the truck was gone.  Stolen.  Panic time.  This was terrible.  On top of all our other troubles.  My briefcase, all my important papers, undeveloped film from the summer, everything – gone in an instant.

 

Kay and I spent three days of hell waiting for the truck and my belongings to turn up.  But then, nothing.  By September, the realization began to set in that it wasn’t going to turn up.  So, sadly, Kay and I set out on our trip to the west coast – hitchhiking.

 

It took six days and about as many rides to get from the east coast to the west coast.  And sure enough, on September 9, we rolled into Los Angeles.

 

Things didn’t quite go as smoothly as we’d hoped in L.A.  The referendum – to reform the charter of the city of Los Angeles – wasn’t particularly inspiring to us.  Nor was it easy to petition in L.A.  Competition is fierce and locations aren’t optimal.  And although we worked on the petition nonetheless, we didn’t make much money and our hearts weren’t in it.

 

At the end of September, we got called to come to Nebraska to work on a rather interesting project.  This one we couldn’t turn down.

 

Dan Rogers in Grand Island, Nebr.

Dan Rogers in Grand Island, Nebr.

 

Back in the summer, one of the gambling petitions that were circulated in Nebraska (an active initiative state) didn’t make it on the ballot. But the proponents went to court and got a reprieve: if they could somehow salvage the invalidated signatures (i.e., finding the original signers and “fixing” what was wrong on the first petition), then it could go on the ballot after all.  Basically what this entailed was that the petition consultant would find the original signer in the phone book, call him or her and explain the situation, then bring a form for him or her to fill out and sign.  That’s it.  And we, as the petition consultant, were then offered much more money per signature than the original petition circulators earned.

 

So we got a rental car and drove to Lincoln, Nebraska.  We worked on that project (working for Alan Lindsay, Lee Albright, and Edee Baggett) for over a week and made enough money to go back to California and get an apartment.  Moreover, the work in Nebraska was fun, more fun than petitioning.  Kay and I had a system by which one of us would stay in the motel making calls to these people and acting as “dispatcher”, sending voice pages to the person in the car, who had the beeper.  Whoever had driving duty would hear a page on the beeper, stop at a phone and check for instructions/directions from the “dispatcher” to the next house call.  The driver would then take the form to that person’s house and have him or her sign the form.  The system worked.  After several days we had a seed of money and went back to California with our rental car.

 

By the time we got back to California, the charter reform referendum was winding down and we had to get serious about turning to other forms of work.   We paid the first month’s rent on an apartment in Reseda in the San Fernando Valley of L.A. and began calling on the temporary agencies for short-term employment.

 

Kay with petitioner Bob Ellis in Los Angeles

Kay with petitioner Bob Ellis in Los Angeles

 

Our likeness caught in SF excursion

Our likeness caught in SF excursion

For a while we flirted with working in Hollywood as extras earning very modest stipends at unpredictable intervals.  We had gone to Hollywood with fellow petitioner Bob Ellis when we got invited to see a taping at FOX Studios of the television series Martin, starring Martin Lawrence.  There we met Kerry Lee, the casting director for a couple of FOX shows and he invited us to come to his office during the weekday.  We followed up on it, left our applications, but when he finally called us to do a casting, we already had an assignment with Kelly temporary services (we got an assignment working side by side at 800 Direct, taking orders from telephone callers all over the country.)  Kay left that [800 Direct] assignment and went to work for Gold’s Gym in Northridge, Calif., just up the street from our apartment.  Meanwhile, I continued working for Kelly, and I followed the customer service assignment with one at Prudential in the Valley.  Although things weren’t rosy yet, at least we had gotten ourselves in an apartment and we had ongoing work (albeit not rewarding or meaningful work).

 

We’re first and foremost libertarian activists.  So when word came that North Carolina was getting started early on their petition drive for the year 2000, we were pumped up.  The money situation was tight, the terms of the North Carolina petitioning weren’t financially lucrative, and it was a risk to uproot from a place where we had long-term housing and steady work.  But working on Libertarian Party petitioning was working toward getting back our lost freedoms.  So, if there was a few months’ of work in North Carolina, then we’re there.  It was just a matter of making arrangements to go.

 

In late September, before we went to Nebraska, we got a call from the Portland (Maine) police department telling us our pickup truck had been recovered and although my briefcase and prized possessions would never be recovered, the truck was in sound structural and mechanical shape.  But because of our inability to deal with the matter except by remote, it cost us $150 to get our own truck back!  Fortunately, our friend Dan Rogers, who was in Maine, was able to get it out for us; and another friend, Robert Brown, was kind enough to store it for us in Kennebunkport, Maine, while we were in California.

 

 

NORTH CAROLINA PETITIONING?

 

Getting to and working in North Carolina was now a simple matter of getting to Maine first and picking up our vehicle and driving it down to Durham, N.C.  Then we would have wheels and could work effectively.  There’s always a monkey wrench, however, and Murphy’s Law is gonna rule.

 

The first step was one of the most formidable – the 3200-mile Greyhound bus ride from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine.  Ouch.  We broke the trip into two parts, stepping in Moran, Texas to stay overnight at my sister Lisa’s before travelling on to New England.  We made it to Portland, Maine, on a cold and snowy Thanksgiving Day.  We stayed just long enough to pick up our pickup truck (ran well) and manipulated some items to and from our storage unit near Sebago Lake.  Then it was off to North Carolina, the last leg of our incredible 4,000-mile trip to do Libertarian work – once and for all.

 

It was very cold and freezing rain when we made our trip down to Durham, North Carolina.  Almost immediately upon arrival, problems set in.  First, by the time we got to Durham, we were completely and utterly broke. No more than $10 to our name after that California to Maine to North Carolina trip.  Then, on top of that, car trouble started and wouldn’t leave us alone.  The pickup ‘truck completely broke down and wouldn’t run again.  Fortunately, we had plan B.  We got a ride over to Knoxville, Tennessee, where our friend Alan Lindsay let as buy his wife’s car with no down payment, so we grabbed the opportunity and drove it (an ’85 Plymouth Gran Fury) back to Durham.  Little did we know that the pickup truck breaking down was just the beginning.  The Gran Fury gave us fits, chronic trouble, for the next couple of weeks.  We kept getting it diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) and attempting to fix the problem but never to any avail.  Two negative things resulted from this: 1) we were spending all of our money trying to fix the car, and 2) we weren’t getting to work any.  Surely, we figured, if we ever got the car fixed once and for all, we could go full force on the petition drive, make money and everything else would take care of itself.

 

It’s not politically prudent for me to express my total thoughts on what happened next.  There could be repercussions as a result of my being totally honest about the causes of our subsequent fate.  I’ve spent the past 3 months deliberating on how to deal with it diplomatically and I’m not sure if, considering the players involved, if it can be dealt with diplomatically.  All I wish to say publicly at this point is that somewhere, poor judgment was made and poor decisions made because of it.  Was the poor judgment made because of prejudice or even incompetence?  I can’t speak authoritatively, but I have my own ideas. Somewhere in the chain of events, I believe, we were aggrieved, and I hope this can be addressed diplomatically in the future. Kay and I still love to work on meaningful Libertarian projects. Nevertheless, here are the undisputed facts.

 

Kay and I were in California when we got the word of an impending LP petition drive in North Carolina.  Communication was made between Candi Copas, LPNC ballot access director, and us.  Terms were discussed and then confirmed by Kris Williams, LP ballot access director at the national headquarters.  An offer was made by Kris Williams and by Sean Haugh, LPNC member in charge of housing.  Kay and I deliberated over whether to go to North Carolina and give up our apartment, jobs, etc., or to stay in L.A. and spare the risk and expense of a cross country trip.  Of course, we chose the former and off we went to North Carolina.

 

image0214The petition drive lasted approximately two weeks, roughly the same period of time we experienced the car trouble on both vehicles.  Then, word came from Sean Haugh that 1) we were to immediately cease collection of any signatures even though we didn’t really get a chance to get started; and 2) we were to evacuate our housing premises, effective the following day.

 

It was way too late to return to California and again, our financial situation was very weak.  By then the weather in Durham was freezing as it was only four days before Christmas.  And what a Merry Christmas!

 

Hello Sunshine State!

 

Quick!  You’re in Durham, N.C. deep into December, you’re out of work, you have no housing, but you have $100 and a car.  What do you do? What do you do?

 

You drive south just as far and as fast as you can.

 

 

In the Florida Everglades

In the Florida Everglades

In the sunny, sub-tropical Florida Keys

In the sunny, sub-tropical Florida Keys

 

 

That’s where we found ourselves just a couple of days before Christmas.  When we got to Jacksonville, Florida, we called former national director (1989-1992) Nick Dunbar, who was in Ft. Lauderdale.  He saved our bacon by telling us he had a petition going and that we were welcome to come work on it.

 

The petition Nick was working on was for a specialty “Keep Kids Drug Free” license plate.  We were able to collect 500 signatures on Christmas Eve and 250 on the day after Christmas to save ourselves from destitution.

 

Eventually, Nick would provide more and more work for us and our financial situation has been upgraded from critical to simply less-than-optimal cash flow. We’re not getting rich here, but we’re not starving, and we think we might see the light at the end of the tunnel in getting a handle on our past due bills.  But then again, we’re about to soon leave Florida and we’ll need a seed of cash to relocate.

Kay (on left) petitions at a Sunrise, Fla., Wal Mart with Nick Dunbar (on right)

Kay (on left) petitions at a Sunrise, Fla., Wal Mart with Nick Dunbar (on right)

The work we’ve been doing for Nick (and expect to continue to do until after the first week in April) is simply marketing credit cards.  It’s similar to petitioning in that we get paid by piecemeal, that is, we get paid for each credit card application as if it were a petition signature.  But it’s quite different from petitioning in many respects.  Throughout most of this winter, we’ve been signing up to do arts festivals from Miami to West Palm Beach to Naples.  Once committed to a show, we’re locked in to time and space constraints, unlike petitions.  We have to be at a booth at an arts festival from early morning until 5 or 6 p.m., and this includes setup and breakdown.  In addition, we have a premium to entice prospective applicants, that being a free T-shirt.  Handling 400-700 T-shirts during a weekend can be pretty tiresome, too.

 

Kay & I work booths at art festivals all over South Florida in early 1997

Kay & I work booths at art festivals all over South Florida in early 1997

image030

That’s the project in a nutshell.  We agree to do an arts festival at some predetermined south Florida site.  We set up our booth on Saturday and Sunday morning.  We offer free T–shirts to anyone who will fill out a credit card application and we get paid per each completed application we turn in. Obviously, we’re not working to make the world a freer place by doing this as in petitioning for the LP.  So, in that way, the work isn’t meaningful or satisfying.  and we’re not getting rich doing it, for certain. It’s simply been something to work on in order to make money and live while we wait for more meaningful work.

 

Projects on the Horizon

 

Being late March, Florida is starting to get sultry hot. Thus it’s time for Kay and me to start looking to heading north for other projects

Trunk for of T-shirts (premiums)

Trunk for of T-shirts (premiums)

all part of the job

Prepping T-shirts: all part of the job

Of course, one possibility for us is to continue to work on the credit cards in a northern state. We’ve talked about going to Maine or Wisconsin for this.  Kay has spoken with the marketing company that Nick works for and their representative tells us that Wisconsin would be a hotbed of credit card activity this spring and summer.  But this is only if a good political project doesn’t surface somewhere.

 

What we’re keeping our eye on, believe it or not, is Hawaii.  Word came down to us that the Hawaii LP (since being decertified from the ballot in November) plans on conducting petition drives in three successive elections (‘97, ‘98 and ‘99) before they can be re-certified for the 2000 presidential election.  Hawaii will need 4,500 valid signatures, making it roughly the same size project that Kay and I worked on in Maine last year.  It doesn’t even need mentioning that Hawaii would be a really nifty and exotic place to be.  I’ve already spoke with Dick Rowland, the chair of the Hawaii LP, about terms and overcoming some logistical problems (housing concerns, can’t drive our car out there, etc.). Dick tells me I’ll hear something in a couple of weeks. We’re hoping this one comes through.

 

Another possibility is working for John Woodruff (L.A.-based petition coordinator) on a project he’ll be working on soon in Washington state.  It’s an initiative (similar to recent ones in California and Arizona) on medical marijuana. “Legalizing” marijuana for medical use seems to be a small step forward in getting rid of the ridiculous drug prohibition, but it’s not really a libertarian solution.  Exempting medical use (while treating every other user as a criminal) isn’t fair or just, so I have mixed feelings about the issue.   A petition that would completely stop prohibition of all drugs I could really rally behind, because obviously this “war on drugs” is messing us up.  But on the other hand, the measure can be seen as a slight unraveling of Total Drug Prohibition (and it pisses drug warriors off), so on balance I’d feel good circulating the petition.

 

The final thing we have to consider is an offer by our friend in Maine, Dan Rogers, who might have a free-lance telemarketing gig for us, procuring leads for sales reps to go into small businesses and sell deregulated natural gas.  We’d get paid by the lead and we’d be able to do this work from anywhere in the country that had a telephone.

 

Our last art show in Florida is on the weekend of April 5-6 image0372

POLITICAL COMMENTARY

 

In the last issue of LCD, I introduced libertarian principles to my new “subscriber’ base.  The basic principle is that each person is the owner of his or her own life and should be able to live his or her own life in whatever manner he or she chooses as long as he or she respects everyone else’s right to do the same.  This should go without saying; it just makes sense. The Libertarian Party is the political vehicle of that philosophy.  Harry Browne was the presidential candidate of the political party whose principle is such.

 

By contrast, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole were the presidential candidates of the Republocrat Party (sure, they’ve arbitrarily divided the party into two branches: Democrats and Republicans).  The Republocrat Party is the political vehicle of statism, whose basic principle is that the government, not the individual, is the owner of every individual’s life.  The various politicians only quibble about which controls should be implemented.

 

So, it comes down to this.  If you voted for Harry Browne, you were saying, “Yes, Harry, I agree that I own my own life and that I recognize that everyone else does, too. Voluntary, peaceful cooperation works better than government controls, regulations, mandates and coercion.  Please try to change public policy to reflect this.”

 

However, if you voted for Clinton or Dole, you were saying, “Yes, Billy Bob, I agree that the State owns my life and that I should never do anything without consulting the government.  All decisions over my life should be made by politicians in government, except for those that the politicians are kind enough to leave to me (which aren’t many).  Furthermore, Billy Bob, I trust you – and you alone — with all my life’s decisions.  I like the way you regulate my life and my business, the way you take a great portion of my money in order to pay for these controls (and the money you and your friends skim off the top to pay for all your

perks), and the way you’ve overspent even this to the tune of trillions of dollars in debt.  Keep up the work; I’m at your every command.”

 

Actually, statism wouldn’t be so bad if its proponents experimented only amongst themselves.  I mean, if all statists, collectivists, socialists, fascists, communists –

you name it, non-libertarians – all got together and taxed themselves with play money, elected themselves senators and presidents and kings, implemented regulations among themselves, conducted BATF and DEA raids among themselves, levied make-believe wars among themselves, and left everyone else out of it, I wouldn’t complain.  But why is it that proponents of statism always insist that I be included, against my will?  If I don’t play their game (participate in their schemes), they’ll arrest me, take me to jail or even kill me if I resist.

 

How is it that my ideology (libertarianism) entails leaving them alone to do their own thing, but their ideology (statism) has to include me, whether I like it or not?

Explain to me how this is fair, will you?

 

 

 

 

 

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