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Ernest Hancock vs. Wayne Allen Root

Written by Subject: Politics: Libertarian Campaigns
California's Libertarian Party State Convention provided an opportunity for 3 of the 4 declared candidates for National Chairman to make presentations. (Ernest Hancock - Wayne Allen Root - Mark Hinkle - George Phillies, not in attendance) 
 
Candidates were placed in a room isolated from the convention and brought in one at a time. The speaking order was Ernest then Wayne then Mark.


Feature Article  •  Global Edition
Freedom's Phoenix
2009 Freedom Summit Video, Judge John Buttrick
Drew Phillips
   Judge John Buttrick shares his opinion about the National Libertarian Party's future. He details his criticisms of Wayne Allen Root, Bob Barr and the abandonment of principle inside the National Libertarian Party.
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27 Comments in Response to

Comment by Dan Sullivan
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I watched all the videos. I think Ernest Hancock nailed it. When asked for particulars, he gave particulars, and his theme of building a strong party where the power is decentralized was a vary good theme. Getting out of the Watergate Hotel was also a great idea, brilliantly espoused.

Wayne Allen Root said very little in terms of substance, but said it exceptionally well. Even though he slid around direct questions, he still said some things that struck me as wrong. One was that the LNC needs a salesman, not an administrator or a bean counter. It makes sense for him to say that, because he is a salesman. However, the LNC needs administrators, bean counters and calm, thoughtful leaders in charge, otherwise the salesmen will be selling whatever they want to sell, rather than the bona fide company product.

Wayne Allen Root might make an excellent press secretary or publicist, but he does not come across to me as a good presiding officer. He's all sail and no anchor.

Mark Hinkle might be a good adminstrator, but he is a poor speaker, and comes across as a timid thinker. With regard to the Watergate Hotel, he noted that the LP is locked onto a lease through 2012 and that there was nothing we could do about it. I am familiar enough with how leases work to know that Watergate would let another acceptable tenant take over the lease if we found them one.

Anyhow, I am thoroughly impressed with Ernest Hancock.

Comment by Dan Sullivan
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Comment by Treg Owl
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Can I get a youtube video link of Dick Boddie speaking at the 2003 Freedom Summit?   How about the one where he spoke in Sedona Arizona?   Anyone? 

Thanks...

Comment by Treg Owl
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The best of all worlds would have Ernie at the Helm letting people do what they do best.  Wayne can do his daily videos and generate money for the LP.  There is no need for Wayne to have the LP chairman title, he can have some other self-chosen title that he feels comfortable with and then just do what he does.  Ernie can delegate a lot of LP Chairmanship tasks to the team player Mark Hinkle, and Ernie can let George Phillies lecture at the University departments on the virtues of liberty.  

Meanwhile, we should all keep in mind that Wayne Allen Root is a old-school conservative, NOT a libertarian.  Ask him, “what are our natural individual human rights?”... (Yep I asked him and I told him in Vegas, but it was news to him, -- he had to “think about it”.)  What libertarian has to think about the right to Life, Liberty, & Property for all? 

Further, Wayne’s argument that existing Republicans in office can switch or should switch over to the Libertarian party is NOT what I want.  I am looking for both the intellectuals and the rank n file of this country to come around to accepting Liberty fully and completely.   Wayne’s argument is for us to TAME DOWN the libertarian message on the 'controversial' issues.   Well what about we in the movement who do not want to do that?   Is the LP from the Top Down going to tell us to shut up about Freedom for Drug Users, Freedom for Gays, Freedom from the Income Tax, Freedom from the Police State and other controversial subjects and just complain about government spending and bailouts?   NOT.  Not going to follow that and so I think Ernie’s let Libertarians be Free is words from the wise.    Sorry Wayne, I am NOT for taming down the Freedom message, I am for ramping it UP!    Sorry Mr. Wayne for Wayne, a mild Freedom direction is not the way I want this country to go.   So then, what is the point of Wayne Allen Root?  Wayne is all about Wayne, he fully intends to run for President on the LP ticket again and again and again, and yes, again!   He has said so himself.  So we better get use to this self promoter or find him a title and job raising money for the LP.    Wayne drools over getting his hands on the LP list and using it to… promote Wayne.   Again, Wayne is all about promoting Wayne and he is all about having old-school republicans who are upset with the Republican party come on over to the Libertarian Party.   He says his father made the conservatives join the Republican Party decades ago, now he wants them to find a home in the libertarian party.    Earth to Wayne, Freedom is Controversial -- Freedom for drug users, Freedom for prostitutes, Freedom for Gays, Freedom for Atheist, and Freedom for those of us who do not want to pay Israel one more dam penny in "foreign aid".    Freedom for all of us to stop being taxpaying Serfs.  Freedom for all of us who want to use gold and silver as money.   Has Wayne made one sign to abolish the Fed?   Is Wayne out there raising money for Debra Medina?  Where has Wayne been except on Fox news and in the Barr campaign?   Was he in the R3VOLution?  Not, that is because we are about the ideas.   Yep, Freedom it’s all messy and always controversial.   Its not an easy sell Wayne or Mankind would have discovered its principles 50,000 years ago.  You do believe in Evolution, right Wayne?   Or is that too controversial?   If Wayne for Wayne doesn't like the messy libertarian message, thinks it should be watered down, then perhaps he should go be the first Tea Party Candidate.  What libertarian books has he written?  He has a written position on how to heal our world; I would love to read it.  Like Dr. Ron Paul, I am all about spreading the ideas.   

 
Comment by Shepard Humphries
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I fall into the anarco-capitalist camp, which I think we all mean when we say "Anarchy."  Most of you are wiser than me, but if the root word of libertarian is liberty, and if liberty means liberty like wet does not mean damp, might a better name for a political party that has some interest in liberty (like my good friend Don advocates) be the Semi-Libertarian Party?

My concern is that the purists among us who are 100% opposed to government and child molestation are not keen on allowing and supporting even 5% of either.  I wonder if NAMBLA faces the same type of debate between their sodomite and fondle-only members? 

I agree with Don that governments (and child molestation) are inevitable evils.  I am not keen on joining or forming pro-fondling-only or pro-less-government organizations, but rather I choose to stand (alone if necessary) and declare that government & child molestation are wrong.  Always.

Don, yes, there is room for you in the LP!  Matter of fact, I think it is the purists that might be most correct to step aside. 

 As one of them, I would respectfully ask that minarchists within the party clarify to the world that the LP is NOT about LIBERTY, but about Semi-Liberty.  To me, LIBERTY, like honesty, is a sacred thing.  I support your right to believe as you do, but I would ask that you and other minarchists (I was one until a year ago) respect LIBERTY and decline to bastardize its semi-holy name.

 

Thanks to all for this thread!

Comment by Jefferson Paine
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Dick Boddie won't remember this, but he and I talked for some time at that Freedom Summit in 2003. I recall that moment quite fondly. Dick has a great sense of humor and a perspicacious political instinct.

I think it's the latter that inspired his comment here, and I have to say I was very impressed. Lots of us have focused on the need for convincing people to abandon hope that the PTB will let us vote to eliminate their powers. Dick's genius here is to point out a strategy that many of us, deep down, might have nearly expressed ourselves.

The LP is indeed a very useful (and sometimes necessary) transition point for people coming into the movement. They arrive with preconceptions about how change can only be effected politically, and need to be disabused of that notion. 

Thanks, Dick! That was brilliant.

 

 

Comment by Don Wills
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So are minarchists whose beliefs are not 100% lockstep with The Pledge welcome in the party? Or not?

FWIW, a person does not have to agree to the pledge to be a delegate to the national convention. Many state parties do not have the pledge as a condition of membership, and nothing in the national bylaws requires it either.

Comment by Powell Gammill
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1.   Don, Judge Buttrick has never sentenced a drug possessor/dealer, etc.   He has spent his entire career on the civil bench -- because the Supremes do not want him in criminal court for that reason.   There can be no other interpretation because normally a judge rotates.

I'll pass on your suggestion that Buttrick should run for President in 2012.  

And yes, Don, if you are not willing to live by the pledge then you are not a libertarian --- it is as simple as that.  It is THE core belief of libertarianism.  And the pledge was put into place specifically to demarcate the non-libertarians and to provide cover for those who accused libertarians of being bomb throwing maniacs.

Comment by Jet Lacey
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You can take this for what it's worth, but as an outsider who is paying attention to the goings-on of the Libertarian party for the first time, and after speaking with quite a few people who have been in the party "grind" for many years, outwardly, this whole "basic direction" debate seems like a sick joke; the weird and meaningless Kafka-esque union of a behemoth-sized clusterf*ck and a Chinese fire drill. 

I mean really, after merely scratching the surface of what’s going on, I'm sincerely surprised the Libertarian party survives in any form whatsoever.  Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like, as a group, Libertarians haven't even been able to hash out the most basic framework of a party platform. 

So, how can you have a party without a platform, and more importantly, how can you have a party when half of its members want to eliminate government altogether, and with it the political process? 

It’s bizarre if nothing else. 

At first glance, it seems like the Libertarian party serves little more than to derail the efforts of its truest followers; people who actually live and breathe libertarian doctrine and want to see the world, or at least America, headed in that direction.  Furthermore, I don’t believe there is a good enough argument to get me to believe that any type of "groupthink" will work among a huge collective of self-described free-thinking (read: hard-headed) individuals.

But, who knows, I could be wrong.

Comment by Dick Boddie
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My revelation after speaking on my 65th birthday October 19, 2003 at the Freedom Summit III in Phoenix. I believe that the Libertarian Party's most vital function lies IN THE PROCESS, and not in Roberts Rules of Order, campaigning, lobbying, nor even external education. That process is simply to get as many people into the LP as quickly as possible and out of the LP as soon as they have learned about individual liberty, the free market, the myths of democracy, representative government, voting/elections, as they apply to freedom, liberty, and justice, or mostly to the great myth of so-called government, period. All of this is best if done as quickly as possible to avoid the wasted time, and the fantasy of "winning" elections and thus causing one to spend way too much time and money on a fantasy, while getting caught up in the inevitable intramural "debating" which wastes precious time to live, work, share, give, love, and such. And all of this is so often at the expense of some true friendships, the family, money wasted or lost, or even other more fun and rewarding extracurricular activities that at least have the potential to cause one some joy, and that might possibly even reap actual rewards and positive results. But of course (as Dennis Miller was so quick to say) I could be wrong.... ~ RBB The BODDIE POLITIC Q. - What's the difference between a Libertarian and an anarchist? A - About 6 to 7 years, if you're paying attention, or 20 years if you're real slow, like me. ~ Richard B. Boddie

Comment by Don Wills
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LoTek writes "I would welcome minarchists, I wouldn't want to force my views on them."

Then you will of course vote to abolish the pledge which forces me to swear my belief in your views?

I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.

I suspect you won't vote to abolish the pledge. If that's the case then you are forcing your views on me, and you are not welcoming me to the party.

Look at it this way, I would not ask you to sign a pledge stating something like "I certify that I believe that limited government is just", so why do you force me to sign a pledge stating that I oppose all taxation, and therefore all government? FYI, I do not oppose all taxation, just most of it.

If your response is that you are one who believes that the pledge doesn't oppose all taxation (i.e. all government), then you are as big of a liar as Barr was about being libertarian.

Comment by Anonymous
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 Further, the LP is completely lame and impotent.  I'd still vote for Ernie.  He's the only chance the LP has for the 21st century.

That said, I'm torn.  I'd also like to see Ernie lose because I think he can affect more change being himself here at home than being the captain of a sinking ship.

Comment by Anonymous
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 I'm neither an anarchist nor a minarchist.  I think all the chists are lame.

I'd still vote for Ernie.  :)

Comment by Nick Barnett
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I forgot to mention the whole anti anarchist thing...

I would welcome minarchists, I wouldn't want to force my views on them. I was more of a constitutionalist until the last couple of years. I started thinking... why do I blindly believe that they got it right when they wrote the constitution? They obviously didn't because it has too many holes in it... and then you get to where we are.

If you truly believe in a free market (I'm not saying you do, its mainly a rhetorical statement), why should there not be competition among governments?

Comment by Nick Barnett
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Don, I didn't put any words in his mouth. I stated that was what I came away with. If that was not his goal, he did a poor job of communicating. One of the first things you learn in any communications class is that if your audience doesn't understand you, or know what you are getting at, you have done a poor job at communicating.

I just wonder where this money is going to come from? Is it going to come from a libertarian leaning (but NOT on all issues) Republican? Do we want untold millions flowing in from someone that may not believe the drug war and prohibition are horrible or that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry? I wouldn't want that tainted money, no matter how much "we" need it. With that blood money in our pool, you can damn well guarantee that the message will soften. Drug war = bad. War = bad. Government telling me how to live my life = bad. Govt telling my gay friends they can't marry = bad. (I'm anti-marriage, but that ain't going away any time soon.) Any compromises are unwelcome, and when I go to St Louis, I'll be voting for Ernie.

Comment by Brock Lorber
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What would I do with you, Don?

I'd give you your correct change and a receipt, thank you for your business, and watch you carefully as you left my shop to make sure you didn't steal anything on the way out.

Comment by Don Wills
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LoTek impunes Root by putting these words in his mouth: he wants more money

Root says he will raise more money for the party. Big difference.

Readers - I read Root's "The Conscience of a Libertarian". I wasn't impressed. It reads just like Root talks: self-promotion to the max. Quite frankly it gets old really fast. But Root has one quality that nobody else can bring to the LP - the ability to raise money. Yes, dirty old money. The mother's milk of politics. Whether one wants to use the money to get candidates elected, or to pay for education (or whatever the anarchists' purpose for the LP is), money is a necessary ingredient to the success of a political party (I assume the LP is one). 1980 LP VP candidate David Koch put big money into that election and the result was that the Clark/Koch candidacy got more than double the percentage of votes as compared with all other LP presidential tickets. Coincidence? Not at all. Money is the most important ingredient in political success, and the LP has essentially been broke for its entire existence. Root can help fix that problem, and that's why I support him.

I spent an hour listening to Judge Buttrick's speech at the Freedom Fest. He's a great spokesman for the anarchists. He says the anarchists need to take the party back or it will die. So why doesn't he run for president? Or US senator? Or LNC chair? He's too comfy in his gummint job throwing drug users into jail, that's why. Hypocrit.

With regard to the label pragmatist-libertarian - I strongly dislike that term when used to describe anti-anarchist libertarians, or limited-government libertarians. Buttrick is right when he points out that if an LP activist truly believes that all government should be abolished but hides those beliefs from others, he's hurting the party and he's also a liar. Barr might have been such a person. Root might even have that quality. I dunno. All I care about is that the time I'm putting into building the LP in my state isn't going to be wasted by the death of the party nationally, and that the party might have some success in the future.

I've got a question for you navel-gazing anarchists - what are you going to do with folks like me, folks who think that minimal federal government is necessary for civilized society to continue to exist on our continent? Folks like me who believe in the founder's ideas that the states should be the focus of government power, and that state power will more likely be limited by citizens because it is easier to control smaller governments. Folks who believe that government is going to exist for hundreds of years into the future (like it has existed for millennia), and that it is realists who accept that fact and deal with it. Folks that want to support a political party based on realism and acceptance that government exists for a purpose and that it must be limited. I'm a realist. I reject the anarchist philosophy that government should be abolished. What are you anarchists to do with folks like me? Welcome us into the party but require us to swear that we believe that all government should be abolished? I would become a liar if I did that. Is that what you want, to limit your cadre to such a small group of purists that your existence is meaningless? Really?

Comment by Barry Hess
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I enjoyed the severe differences between EH and WAR.  After 20 years as a sales trainer (yep, I trained guys like WAR) I can say I almost choked as WAR kept up the front.  There are a few things I noticed that went unsaid:

1.  WAR 'promised' to bring $4.5MM to the presidential campaign--did he?  Nope, nada.

2. WAR dbl-x'd the LP with his shenanigans at the convention when he was blown out.

 3. WAR comes off like a voice from "out there".  All sales hype.  EH knows how to draw attention that can't be avoided.  WAR doesn't seem to realize that he is the perfect guy to use to diminish the LP and the philosophy.  EH should have put his CNN thing up.

My thought is that this is the best opportunity for us as Libertarians to make major gains (including election victories)--it is NOT the time to experiment to see what 'might' work--EH knows what WILL work.

The only question between the 2 candidates is: smoke (WAR) or substance (EH.)

Comment by Nick Barnett
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WAR is obviously a salesman... he talked for the same amount of time as Ernie, but I didn't hear anything about his stance on individual liberties... the only thing I took away from his bid was that he wants more money and is going to go hang out with people on Fox News. Did I miss anything?

Comment by Don Wills
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Powell's statement

The LP was created NOT to get candidates elected, but to [do other things]

exposes an even more fundamental divide in the LP than the anarchist/pragmatist schism. The question of purpose is fundamental to any organization, and it needs to be answered soon (hopefully in St. Louis) and with finality. The question is very simple -

Is it the purpose of the LP to elect candidates to office?

Comment by Brock Lorber
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I will blah, blah, blah.  I can yada, yada, yada.

Of what possible use is a political party that does not resolve these sorts of things with tests of physical prowess and stamina?

Comment by Powell Gammill
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First, I am glad Don stood up for himself and expressed an opinion that may or may not be well received on this forum.  Bravo.

 But I disagree with his statement: "The LP has spent 39 years breeding failure."

All you get with Don's vision of the LP is a replacement for one of the two (presumably the GOP) faltering major parties, who would pick up where they left off and do the evil of the two major parties.   The same players from the old dying party would run the new LP party.  With the same pocketing of loot and tyranny to ensure unfettered looting.

The LP was created NOT to get candidates elected, but to use the tools of the state against the (cult of the omnipotent) state.  The fact that the LP has been successful in this is demonstrated by its constant co-opting by people who would take it over for their statist agenda rather than pursue co-opting one of the many other third parties who have less members.

But it is the purity of message and purity of actions that attracts people to libertarianism: Don't start fights and don't steal.  It is the number of members and the media attention that the LP generates that attracts the power mongers.

Comment by Don Wills
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Q: Did I support the Barr/Root ticket?

A: Before they were nominated, no. After they were nominated, yes. How about you?

To explain - I generally support the LP for better or worse. (We're at the worse stage now.) That said, Bob Barr wasthe worst candidate for President the LP has ever nominated, both tactically and philosophically. 'Nuff said.

Here's further clarification about me - I changed my voter registration to GOP the week after Ron Paul announced his candidacy for President. I worked within the GOP structure to try to get delegates elected who would go to the national GOP convention and vote for Ron Paul. My efforts, along with many others, failed miserably. In my sojourn into the bowels of the enemy, I saw how truly dishonest and self-serving the leadership of the GOP really is. With very few exceptions, they simply do not believe limited government. They are all about power, getting it and keeping it, at all costs. It was disgusting. I re-registered as a Libertarian soon after 2008 election.

Comment by Ed Vallejo
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Don,

Did you support the Barr/Root ticket in 2008?

Just curious... 

Comment by Don Wills
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Not sure what happened to paragraph 3 in the last post. It should have read -

.

If the LP continues on the same path as the past, the path Mark wants it to follow, it will dissolve.

Comment by Don Wills
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Ernie - thanks for recording the presentations by yourself, Wayne and Mark.

The presentations of the three candidates make clear the problems of the LP. Ernie and Wayne are unhappy with the LP of today. Ernie says that marketing, marketing, marketing is the key to growing the LP. Wayne says marketing, marketing, marketing is the key to growing the LP. Mark is essentially saying that he'll keep the LP doing what it's always done, but better.

it will dissolve.

Although by listening to these speeches, Ernie and Wayne appear to be on the same wavelength, they're not. On the contrary, they represent diametrically opposed views of the direction that the LP should take. Ernie is the anarcho-libertarian who believes that 5 truly committed activists are better than 1000 so-so followers. Wayne is the pragmatist-libertarian that wants 1000 followers, regardless of their zeal.

Ernie talks about the party being being truly libertarian, and keeping the party true to the definition of libertarian. What a crock! Is it Rothbard's or Hayek's definition of libertarian? Ayn Rand's or Ron Paul's? Ernie means his definition of libertarian, not Ron Paul's or mine. Does he want a litmus test for eligibility for leadership positions in the LP too?

Wayne isn't at all pure about the definition of libertarian. So? If the party were able to, surprise of all surprises, elect a few state legislators and maybe a US House member or two - folks who were impure libertarians, would the purists quit the party? I think not. Success breeds success and failure breeds failure. The LP has spent 39 years breeding failure. It's time for that to stop.

My vote will be for Wayne Root for LP chair. Please join me.

Comment by Jet Lacey
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Even though I get to hear "the message" on a regular basis, I enjoyed the speech.  Nice job, Ernie.


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