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Ernest Hancock vs Wayne Allyn Root NYC May 10th 2010

Written by Subject: Philosophy: Libertarianism
Ernest Hancock and his wife Donna travel to NYC to help distribute "Serf City" newspapers on the Subway system to promote the Manhattan Libertarian Party. That evening Ernest Hancock debated Wayne Allyn Root for LNC Chairmanship.

18 Comments in Response to

Comment by Leslie Fish
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Whatever you do, Ernie, warn the Libertarian Party *not* to ally with or take in Conservatives, but to stick to purely Libertarian principles.  Do *not* allow the Conservatives' underlying religious, class and sexual bigotry to infect the new grassroots Libertarian movement, no matter how much you may want their numbers -- or money.  Such help will be as poisonous to the Libertarian movement as the Marxists were to the New Left, many long years ago.  Learn from history, and be warned.


--Leslie Fish 

Comment by Ed Price
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The opponents of freedom have become very clever (neaning Government, here).

Seems to me that the good faith of the Federal G would be to get the nation on the track of taxation on export/import and interstate commerce only, eliminating the excise tax called the income tax, because it is only a tricky way to get around the Constitutional demand of no un-apportioned taxes.

How and when do candidates express this without scaring the people away?

And the FED and its legal money laundering schemes.

Some day these and other major issues are going to have to be focused on directly. When and how if we continually try to soothe the ears of the people? Soothing is exactly what the opponents of freedom are doing all the time!

Comment by Nick Barnett
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By definition, the party of principle cannot ignore their principles.

Comment by Concerned Patriot
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 First off i am not a fake powell i am a fake oyate and ernest.

Second i am not paid to be here talking to you people i do this on my own for America and libertarianism.

"Some have described you as the Sarah Palin of the LP in that you are great at delivering talking points, but when conversations get more substantive you sometimes do not have the deeper insights that come from scholarly study of issues (in stark contrast to Ron Paul, for example). As valedictorian of your high school class and an ivy league graduate, clearly you have the capacity to learn and convey such information. If elected Chair, will you correct this deficiency by getting in depth briefings from Cato scholars on issues of the day and teach yourself the principles and applications of free-market (Austrian) economics by studying Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard?"

I’m not exactly ignorant in the subject of political philosophy. I graduated with honors at Columbia University with a degree in Political Science.

"I’ve read Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty. I understand from Von Mises and Hayek how manipulation of the credit markets causes a boom-bust cycle. I’ve read the Cato Handbook from front to back. I’m actually a policy wonk who studies every political poll in the country so I can gain an understanding of where the electorate stands and how the LP can position ourselves to capitalize.

I understand the desire of some of us to want to put forward the intellectual arguments for a free society. Unfortunately very few voters know, understand or care about any of the LP’s principled or intellectual stands. If they did, we would have made a lot more progress during the last 39 years.

We are far too intellectual in our approach for the average voter, who is too busy earning a living, raising kids, and trying to pay the mortgage to care. Just because we Libertarians have spent more time pondering issues does not mean the average voter will.

I aim to simplify it all in a positive, pragmatic way to get their attention and support. There is very little difference between what I believe and what my opponents for National Chair believe. But what’s different is style. I don’t scare away voters with radical or extreme language. I try to find common ground and build consensus. I make friends with my viewers and listeners. I try to show them as much of the libertarian philosophy as they’re able to see.

I don’t dismiss those who debate with me as being fools, but try to have a reasoned discussion with them.

I believe you first have to make someone comfortable with you before they will listen.

I’m interested in how to better communicate with the public, so that they will adopt our ideas. We will get more people to adopt our views by studying the communication techniques of Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, rather than the writings of Lysander Spooner.

I know how to successfully reach and communicate with members of the American public. My bigger struggle is communicating with members of my own party the fact that in this country, at this time, style is the key to selling substance. The question you have to ask yourself when voting for a chairman is which group would you rather he or she be successful at addressing- those who are already with us, or those who have yet to join us? The choice for LP Chair is clear- I am the LP Chairman that stands for expanding our base and spreading freedom and liberty to tens of millions of voters who may not know they are Libertarians- yet. I want to make the tent bigger- with room for all of America’s freedom-lovers. Only then will freedom reign."

 - Wayne Allyn Root Interview

This guy gets it he understands what needs to be done to get people to come over to the libertarian party unlike some people....

Comment by Freed Radical
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And now at last the fake Oyote, Ernie & Powell troll reveals himself to be a W.A.R. operative! I was wondering why you were here, and now I know you are paid to be here!


Comment by Ed Price
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King David in the Old Testament WAS a man of peace. Yet, he acted like the most bloodthirsty warlord, at times, when necessary.

When rebellion (the worst kind is when Government rebels against the people) comes about, strong action is needed to correct the situation... to quell the rebellion.

What is needed to correct rebellion is a man of peace who acts as a warrior when necessary.

The tricky part is determining ahead of time who that man is. If we choose the wrong man, his usurpation may be worse than the rebellion we are trying to quell.

George Washington didn't want the job... kinda like Ernie.


Comment by Oyate
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 "LOVEolution" is not a word its the "rTHREEvolution" and Wayne is more libertarian than all of us combined. You see we lost the libertarian way not wayne its us its you me earnie we are not libertarians anymore its getting worse too libertarianism is dying and we need a true leader like and im orry for this ernie.... Wayne Allen Root. There i said it feels good too, see wayne is  a true libertarian and ernie has been lagging behind in the whole freedom department what with the secret drug use and all and he needs to step up to the plate if he wants to have a chance at this otherwise prepare for W.A.R.

Comment by Freed Radical
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W.A.R. is a Republican tool just like Glenn Beck. In fact, he reminds me of Beck on a fast-talking snake oil rant, and W.A.R. isn't even as libertarian as Ron Paul. What good is it to lure people into the Libertarian Party by lying to them? We might as well be the Republican Party at that point because we will have a bunch of warmongering neocons joining under false pretenses. And I think that is exactly why W.A.R. (and his neocon friend Bob Barr) is trolling around the LP--To ruin the Libertarian Party by getting off the message and making the world of ideas safe for statists again.

  No worries, though--The Libertarian Party is only useful as a tool to free minds. To the extent it serves that end it will be relevant. If it does not, it will be roundly ignored and the LOVElution will continue...

I can't understand why anyone would think that freedom is going to be granted by some legislative vote before it is demanded by the people in the street. --ERNIE HANCOCK

"Free your mind and your ass will follow."--George Clinton

Comment by Ducati Jeanne
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I was completely mesmerized by Ernie's speech in NYC i.e. I could not break away.  Man, Saint Louis is going to be so exciting! I hope Freedom's Phoenix will provide us "ring-side" seats via the internet to the event!  

Ernie, you absolutely held your own and then some in NYC.  Proud of you!  

Comment by American mademan
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 I dont care what you people say Wayne is more libertarian than Ernest could ever hope to be. The only reason he is getting support here is because its his website notice a conspiracy there? You shouldnt because it makes perfect sense.

Comment by Sean Shepard
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References to the founding fathers and their hard core libertarianism belies the fact that they all did not agree 100% on such ideals and indeed struck a tremendous compromise with the drafting and approval of our Constitution 

As a long time libertarian/Libertarian activist, supporter and one-time Congressional candidate I believe we must decide if we want to market the party and our beliefs in ways that people will accept or if we want to keep standing in the phone booth with each other griping and throwing rocks.

If that means selling people on baby steps towards a more libertarian society why is that so wrong? Most people will not accept massive and rapid change. They would not have accepted going from 0% confiscation of labor proceeds to 50% or more instantly no more than most people can fathom going from 50% to 0% instantly.

We must not throw people out just because they came to libertarian beliefs and to our party late. We should not discount people outright because they are still a work in process.

Do we want to win elections and become relevant as more than just a fiscal conservative gravity well or do we want to get into position to begin peeling back the onion?

We must present our ideas to the masses in ways that seem measured, reasonable and responsible. That doesn't mean lying, that doesn't mean just offering up B.S. but it does mean promoting reasonable baby steps over standing on a soap box scaring the great uneducated and misinformed with ideas they aren't ready for yet.

Comment by Justin Schmidt
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 I am Anti-W.A.R

I am Anti Wayne Allan Root

I am a Libertarian.

Comment by Ed Price
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How many times throughout the debate didn't Wayne say words to the effect that we need to BS the people just to win this thing?

The Government has been using BS (otherwise known as propaganda) to brainwash the people throughout virtually its entire existence!

The only way I can see to get this straightened out is to make a solid and steadfast, unchangeable law that says that when a politician runs for office on a platform, the platform is his legal, binding agreement with the people. If he doesn't perform the tenets of his platform to the stated results, in a timely manner... execution, or in some rare circumstances, life in prison.

And after the execution has taken place, the legal successor to the particular office because of the vacating, must fulfill the platform of his predecessor in a timely manner, or he, too, gets executed... and so on... immediate resignations and emergency elections excepted.

Comment by Ed Price
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You know how Ernie talks about Government using its own agents to infiltrate peaceful rallies and marches, to provoke dissension and stir up violence, just so that Government has the right to send in the police or military.

This debate almost seems like Ernie hired Wayne to help further his (Ernie's) cause.


Comment by Doug Nusbaum
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I would like to suggest that you all take a look at the definition of pathology and the associated 20 point screening test. Apply those criteria to these and other candidates. 

Comment by Tommie Taylor
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I certainly enjoyed this discussion.  It was real, not mainstream media sanitized.  Right on Ernie Hancock.  I believe the American people are looking for honesty.  They are looking for people like Ron Paul who have stood on principle for 30 years.  I think the Libertarian Party should continue to stand on principle first.  Creative ideas for activism will follow.  We all want individual liberty and we demand individual responsibility.  And, young and not so young, we want the TRUTH.

Comment by Jack Spratt
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Comment by Alice Lillie
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 I support Ernest. Wayne is a fine libertarian but he is a pragmatist.

The Founders were radical libertarians who did not fool around. The pragmatists only played into the hands of the British. I am afraid that today the pragmatists are only playing into the hands of the establishment.

We need to get back to our Rothbardian roots. This means radical support of the Ron Paul R3velotion and the Campaign for Liberty. It also means that our side needs to re-take the Tea Party from the Palin Crowd.

Radical libertarianism and radical action is what won the American Revolution, and it can win again today.

Murray Rothbard wrote a 4-volume series called _Conceived in Liberty_. It shows that radicalism is what is needed. I reviewed it on my blog. You can check out my review at