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Ernest Hancock’s view of the National Libertarian Party,… ‘An Outsider’s view from the Inside’

Written by Subject: Philosophy: Libertarianism
Ernest Hancock’s view of the National Libertarian Party,… ‘An Outsider’s view from the Inside’
Since the LPUS had made overtures to The State in support of the ‘War on Terrorism’ in 2004 there was a spike in the number of libertarians that understood what was coming and why.
Of course the Libertarian Party was targeted for a take over,… duh!
The libertarian philosophy has been the biggest threat to the ‘omnipotent state’ since before the first American Revolution. And in the summer of 2006 the ‘Bad Guys’ had thought they had achieved a monumental victory by the elimination of the detailed platform of the LPUS at a very controversial national convention. But what hard core no-compromise libertarians understood was that the Libertarian Party was a byproduct of libertarian philosophy and not the other way around.
Of course there were the cooperative libertarians inside that thought they were doing all of us a favor in their pursuit of getting some sort of approval from their Mother-in-Law and the Statist talking heads with opinions that they had come to value soooo much. But from the balcony they were being cheered on by those that understood the effect of their actions and how they benefitted.
Six months after the take over of the LPUS at almost every level inside of the party structure, a former LPUS presidential candidate announced his running for the Republican nomination. Ron Paul embraced all that the LPUS had just abandoned and the results were of no surprise to many of us that were holding the remnant together for when just such an event would take place. It wasn’t an ‘if’ it was a ‘when’. (to understand the references to the ‘remnant’ - Written in 1936)
Denver’s 2008 Libertarian National Convention at the end of May was another opportunity for “An Injection of the Libertarian Infection into the Bone Marrow of the Libertarian Party (and America),… for which there is no cure”. Understanding this goal makes it far easier to understand why so many more libertarian activists are pleased with the results of Denver than you might realize. Since September of 2001 you might have been asking yourself, ‘where in the hell is the Libertarian Party?’ When needed the most, when everything libertarians have been warning their friends and family about has been happening all around us they are nowhere to be found at the national level. It was the courageous efforts of local activists willing to work with others of differing philosophies, but a common goal, to make the most of a very bad situation under the watchful eye of Big Bubba Government. While willing to join each other in a common effort, we initiated no force in an attempt to change or take over other groups (that’s the job of political elections and political conventions).
The libertarian r3VOLution supportive of Ron Paul’s mission in 2007 and 2008 was the clear proof that decentralized libertarian freedom fighting is a very effective method for the freeing of individual minds. Vote totals, money spent, media (new and old) is an expected side effect of individuals left free to express themselves when they don’t feel any need to consult a collective. There are no rulebooks for a revolution. This is why libertarian philosophy is so important to this revolution between the ears. If you turn into the ‘Bad Guys’ in order to defeat them,… then what was the point? But many simply seek the ‘Ring of Power’ to rule over others, instead of seeking to eliminate the oppressive power itself.
The Barr Machine did not get the ‘cake walk’ they were hoping for. Of six ballots, ‘purist’ Mary Ruwart tied twice and Barr was behind on the 5th before Barr and Root aligned to get the endorsement needed to put them over the top (Wayne Root: a recent Republican and former war supporter that was promised the VP slot in exchange for his endorsement and support). But later the Libertarian National Committee would see drastic restructuring with many new faces.
I made it clear that I support individuals coming over to support libertarianism from anywhere on the political and philosophical spectrum. But as my friend Barry Hess puts it, “They are welcome to join us,… not change us”. And the press promotion by the LPUS staff and officers of the Republican Congressman and the Democratic Senator while excluding all of the well known libertarian candidates was too much for many to keep their silence.
In April of 2007 Barry Hess and I wrote a joint article predicting what would happen with the r3VOLution and its relationship with the LPUS. Barry announced his intention to seek the presidential nomination (should a no-compromise candidate not represent us) and I the Chairmanship of the National Committee.
Over a year ago we knew what was happening in American politics and how and why the LPUS would miss the opportunity to participate in a ‘libertarian revolution’ that had been developing across the planet at every level of society for at least as long as I have been aware of the LP (1991).
Circumstances are such that the viral effects of libertarianism will overwhelm any effort to stop its spread. We are at the point that each attempt to stop the contagion only increases the speed of the infection.
(Making over 150 signs in Phoenix to be put up all over Denver - 3 styles)
I fear that the Libertarian Party of the United States will bring about its own worse fears in the next few years if they do not join the libertarian revolution already under way,… the LPUS will become irrelevant.
Commentary following the LPUS convention has been interesting. (Here's a collection of some)
In the late 1980’s it became very clear to me that the ‘bad guys’ were never going to stop being bad anywhere and everywhere possible. It was very clear early on to me that was just as true inside the Libertarian Party at all levels. The only difference was that libertarian philosophy made it very easy to spot the bad guys. The willingness to violate libertarian principles to serve a collective (in this case, the Libertarian Party collective) was a flashing neon sign that was easily noticed.
Neo-libertarians (or whatever they wind up being called) are a collection of power seekers that have little interest in challenging the idolization of an all powerful and all knowing government. They are far more focused on getting their turn being in charge of it. It is this desire to ‘dance with the devil’ that also manifests their support of laws that would control various personal behaviors (Marriage, Sex, Drugs, Immigration etc.).
Not welcome anywhere else due to their stubborn tendency to resist the temptation to totally turn over the economy to central planning, these economic conservatives like to think that they have principles. But they also think that they can limit those principles to issues of economics (or whatever interests them at the moment). Libertarians are a unique group in that they value freedom itself with less regard for what it produces. While they are very confident that the fruits of liberty are great, it is the ‘being left alone’ part of freedom that attracts them most. This trait produces very little effort worrying about what someone else might do with their freedom as long as it doesn’t have a direct effect on the pursuit of _their_ own happiness.
The only argument that can be invoked as a response to the simple advocacy of being left alone is the Fear of not having an ‘authority’ to protect you from those that were left unchecked in your free society that are certainly intent on doing you and your family harm. Well, most libertarians are just not that easily scared. And as time passes it becomes very clear that ‘government’, in its many forms, is not all it has been cracked up to be,… and in fact the largest source of the fear.

Bob Barr’s conversion to libertarianism was deliberate, planned and staged from the beginning. As a talk show host and as a producer I witnessed first-hand the marketing of his break with the Republican Party after his congressional defeat in the Republican Primary of 2002. Barr's defeat was part of a campaign by the LP to target ‘Drug Warriors’
            (The Libertarian Party has targeted drug warriors in the upcoming election as part of a national "spoiler" strategy to defeat leaders of the War on Drugs. The "Incumbent Killer Strategy" targets five federal incumbents — three Republicans and two Democrats. The goal is to scare other House and Senate members into backing away from their support for the War on Drugs.)
The power of the LP was felt. Over the next few years we would see a campaign that had ex-Congressman Barr associated with the word “libertarian” more than you would expect. Barr is a former employee of the CIA, a well known Drug Warrior Prosecutor that turned Congressman to later vote for the PATRIOT Act. Barr also wanted the Federal Government to determine the structure of families with the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’.
    Raised eyebrows from libertarians after Barr’s quick conversion were common.
Often we would inquire as to what was the “road to Damascus” moment, the epiphany, the enlightenment that prompted him to participate in a strained effort to bend/break rules that would eventually place him on the Libertarian National Committee in 2006.
Without having made any attempt at even emotional reparations for the damage caused, Bob Barr was now deep in the heart of the very organization that caused him to lose his seat in Washington, D.C.
    Makes you go,… Hummmmmmmm.
But libertarian activists around the country (and the world) were not interested. We noticed the methods and the players and understood this to be just another stage of what had begun inside the Libertarian Party from its start and something we had to go through on our way to where the ‘purists’ wish to go. Bylaws, Platforms, Campaigns and Candidates are no match for an educated and dedicated libertarian activist.
The word ‘activist’ is used a lot by I and others to define someone willing to actively work in the process of freeing as many minds as possible with the truth. Since we believe it is almost impossible for someone to unlearn the truth, it is to our advantage when a large number of people are witness to lies as they are being told. Sometimes there are simple differences of opinion (only time can demonstrate the results of differing opinions).
I shared my opinion about the LPUS convention on the radio here in Phoenix May 28th on the Charles Goyette show. I was followed by Dr. Ron Paul that had some interesting things to share as well.
At the end of the convention the LNC had over half of the committee replaced with individuals that are certain to help bring the LPUS back to its roots over the next couple of years as we prepare for the 2010 convention.
Barry Hess and I were able to speak to the convention on several occasions and make many new friends and alliances. Barry was the morning speaker to the entire convention on Sunday just before the Presidential Nominations and had a great impact on the future of the party I’m sure Barry traded a place on the stage as a Presidential Nominee for the opportunity to define the libertarian standard to the entire convention just before the nominations started. (Barry Hess ran for President in 2000 and was an early favorite for the 2008 Race)
Barry Hess, I and a few other activists were able to engage Bob Barr in a detailed discussion about the future of his campaign with a few dozen others in attendance on a hotel patio after the nomination. Mr. Barr promised the activists a detailed position paper from his campaign on the issues we brought up (War – Troop deployment – Federal Reserve – Drug War – Immigration – War on Terrorism etc.) within 2 weeks so that the activists could have a final opportunity to make a personal decision as to where their efforts would be focused during the coming election cycle. We made our opinions clear. We believed that his campaign will struggle for money and that while he may get a bump immediately following the nomination, he would make a mistake waiting until it was too late to ask for forgiveness for his positions in support of the Drug War. And be too late with a promise to stop it (he must be planning for a Republican run in 2012).
For once, the issue of Federal Matching funds was _not_ brought up at a Libertarian National Convention. But I suspect that the promise to raise 40-50 million dollars for the Barr/Root campaign of 2008 may not be honored,… unless it is the American government/taxpayer that’s paying it. The idea that we can advocate for the elimination of Social and Economic Welfare using Political Welfare for such a campaign is,… hypocritical at best.
I have been a Libertarian Party Presidential Elector here in Arizona for every presidential election since 1996. The deadline for the filing of the electors is May 30th here in Arizona and my good friend Michael Kielsky is the Arizona state chair in charge of the process. He needed one more name and knew that I would at the very least make sure that the slot was filled with a Libertarian Party member’s name. I was one of the few Ron Paul Revolutionaries that did not register Republican to support Dr. Paul.  Even as the ‘first RP-r3VOLutionary’ I felt no obligation to give any credibility to a process I knew to be corrupt, so I continue to work very hard ‘voting’ with every sign I make and every mind I free. I still feel that we libertarian activists can accomplish a great deal inside the electoral process by having our names associated with the word ‘libertarian’, even if I choose not to cast a vote in support of the process or any candidate.
This year makes it all the more important to understand just how autonomous the individual State Libertarian Parties are and that they are responsible for their reputations. To be represented by a single individual at the top of a collective organization is dangerous and not very ‘libertarian’. So I suspect that individual libertarians around the world will make it clear what they disagree with when Bob Barr gets into his campaign. But I am just as certain that they will look for every opportunity to support libertarian philosophy whenever advocated by Mr. Barr.
Ernest Hancock
Publisher - FreedomsPhoenix


4 Comments in Response to

Comment by Mike Shipley
Entered on:

Challenge the Cult!!!

Comment by Ernest Hancock
Entered on:
One is running as a Libertarian Party candidate and one is not. One recognizes that my life/body is mine and one does not. I suspect that a lot of the r3VOLution supporters are going to raise the level of awareness for Chuck Baldwin from the Constitution Party as an option (study will show why).

I don't get as worked up about Barr being the Libertarian Party candidate as much as some think I do. But I am very concerned about people making a decision without being fully informed. Blind support of the Libertarian candidate from those that later learn of his history are left to twist in the breeze as their friends and associates beat them over the head. Fully informed they are able to make a more rational argument just as you have.

I'm not so concerned that I wasn't willing to be placed on the Arizona ballot as an elector for Bob Barr and Wayne Root (Barry Hess did also) but my motivations were a bit different than most might think at first glance. Libertarianism in Arizona (activism, fun, our opposition, issues, methods etc.) are far more closely associated with the local activists than with whomever our National candidate for President is. For us to leave Bob Barr's name at the top of the ticket on millions of ballots without the names of activists known to the Arizona voters would not serve the interests of libertarians that count on the word 'libertarian' to be associated with the type of activity here in Arizona that have come to support.

Within 48 hours of the moment that they see Bob Barr's name on the ballot (should they vote on election day) Bob Barr's name and association with the libertarian 'brand' will be a distant memory to most,... and we are in this for the very long haul.

Comment by Jim Lesczynski
Entered on:
he must be planning for a Republican run in 2012

You mean like Ron Paul did after he finished running as a Libertarian? :-)

But seriously, regardless of what you think of Bob Barr and his intentions, it's clear that he's a dead man to the GOP at this point.

Comment by Jim Lesczynski
Entered on:
It is this desire to 'dance with the devil' that also manifests their support of laws that would control various personal behaviors (Marriage, Sex, Drugs, Immigration etc.)... Barr also wanted the Federal Government to determine the structure of families with the 'Defense of Marriage Act'.

You do realize that all of these things can be said equally about Ron Paul and Bob Barr, right? I have no problem with libertarians holding Barr's feet to the fire on issues where he shows weakness, but to pretend that Ron Paul doesn't have many of these same weaknesses is just silly. Both support secure (i.e., closed) borders, both voted for DOMA, and both try to play it both ways on same-sex marriage, abortion and drugs depending on who they're talking to, or play the "states rights" card when cornered by the media. Barr is not the devil, and Paul doesn't walk on water. Both are imperfect libertarians but vastly superior to any politicians of similar stature. Why the double-standard?