Mary Ruwart’s Candidacy Cause for Celebration

Mary Ruwart’s Candidacy Cause for Celebration
by John David Christensen, Vice-chair Vermont Libertarian Party

Dr. Mary J. Ruwart’s recently announced candidacy for the Libertarian Party’s (LP) presidential nomination should be cause for celebration by libertarian activists everywhere. Or at least by those who desire a movement that is as broadly-based and spirited as the revolution Ron Paul inspired.

Dr. Ruwart is the Libertarian presidential candidate most likely to rally a larger constituency amidst growing disaffection with the McCain/Obama/Clinton redux Russian roulette. She is the candidate who can yet recapture the now leaderless legions of Ron Paul supporters, particularly Dr. Paul’s younger enthusiasts. Dr. Ruwart’s candidacy has the potential to revitalize Libertarian presidential politics and energize the libertarian base constituency.

Mary Ruwart does disagree with Ron Paul on the issues of abortion and immigration. But these are issues on which many libertarians, while still supporting Paul, also parted company with him. And these are the issues that distinguish, or ought to distinguish, libertarians from garden-variety Republican conservatives. Where Ron Paul’s anti-war positions drew liberals to libertarianism, Dr. Ruwart casts her net wider still, and without compromising libertarian principles.

At the Vermont Libertarians’ recent state convention LP member and Ron Paul supporter Steven Howard described the libertarian challenge as, “changing the conversation.” More than any candidate seeking the LP presidential nomination Mary Ruwart will certainly change the conversation and build a campaign, a movement, that is truly beyond left and right while drawing support from both camps.

In the 1940s when libertarians were thin on the ground and the movement was yet in its infancy it was three women-Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Ayn Rand-who charted the course to freedom at a time when the prospects for liberty looked remote indeed. Rand’s novel The Fountainhead, Lane’s book The Discovery of Freedom and Paterson’s The God of the Machine inspired the modern libertarian movement. Perhaps it’s time for a woman, indeed a woman who is also the author of a groundbreaking book on the basic principles of freedom, to again lead libertarianism out of the wilderness.

38 Responses to “Mary Ruwart’s Candidacy Cause for Celebration”

  1. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    So some lady that no one outside the libertarian movement has ever heard of will grow the Party?

  2. silver Republican Says:

    One comment I do have is that with Ruwart taking the old guard Libertarians, conservatives going for Root, and thoes wanting more expierience and a chance for more sucess going for Barr, not to mention the more left wing groups, it seems likely that this race will continue for severall ballots.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    silver Republican,

    Barr is not yet a candidate … and at this point, I will be VERY surprised if he becomes one.

    Given his high media profile, long-time involvement in political fundraising, etc., his exploratory committee fundraising so far is nothing short of abysmal.

    He has also not leaped into position as uncontested frontrunner in internal straw polls, etc., as many would have expected. It’s not going to be a coronation, it’s going to be a fight … a fight he will probably lose, and therefore would probably rather not get into in the first place.

    Finally, in a fit of self-destructive idiocy, the party’s executive director has just effectively made the nomination contest all about child molestation and child porn … issues on which Barr is vulnerable, and which few politicians are really wild about discussing at length anyway.

    If Barr does take the plunge, the only reasonable explanation is that he’s some kind of masochist.

  4. David F. Nolan Says:

    I agree with Knapp; Barr has little to gain by jumping in now and a lot to lose. I don’t think he’s dumb enough (or egocentric enough) to enter a contest where the odds are against him and defeat would be ignominious.

    I’m also stunned at Shane Cory’s arrogance in attacking Ruwart. (And please don’t say he didn’t!) If Bill Redpath has any cojones, he’ll fire Cory, or at the very least put him on probation.

  5. Richie Says:

    I’d like to see Ruwart expand her issues page. Since I’m a new-comer to the party, I know close to nothing about her views. Even though I don’t support his candidacy, this is something I have to give kudos to Mr. Phillies for - his issue page is very detailed.

  6. Laura Says:

    I sure don’t appreciate being called a garden-variety Republican conservative. Is the LP tent big enough for those who share Ron Paul’s views on abortion and immigration?

  7. George Phillies Says:


    There is only one issue on which all Libertarians appear to agree.

    That’s how we spell our Party’s name.

    I certainly don’t think that we should turn people away over an issue or two.

    However, I’m a middle of the Libertarian road Libertarian. I’m not Republican Lite. I’m not a radical anarchist.

    Your mileage may vary. After all, if we all thought we should have a big tent, then there’d be a second issue we all agreed upon.



  8. Robert Milnes Says:

    Laura, I’m a member of the Libertarian Reform Caucus which calls for a Big Tent party policy. Oh, ok. I guess you are welcome…

  9. Robert Milnes Says:

    Tom, agreed. One again we agree. Why can’t we agree on the progressive alliance?

  10. Laura Says:

    George and Robert,

    Thanks, I feel better now. :-)

  11. Robert Milnes Says:

    David F. Nolan, I’m not so sure Cory attacked Ruwart. He may have been trying to counter the anonymous probably FBI instigated smear against her & the LP.

  12. SFTS Says:

    Yes Laura it is. Ron Paul’s positions are derrived from the same non-aggression axiom of the self ownership principle, that all libertarians use to inform solutions. The difference is not in the principle itself. The difference is in the application of the principle within the context of governments involvement. All libertarians agree initiating aggression (force) on another humans life, liberty and property is a violation of the self ownership principle. All libertarians pretty much agree the Federal government has no jurisdiction in the issues of medicine, medical proceedures, murder, rape, etc. Those are for the states or municipailities to decide.

    Libertarians can all agree the government should not be creating and subsidizing incentives for people to cross the border illegally.

  13. Less Antman Says:

    For those who want to know Ruwart’s positions in detail, she has more discussion of issues online than any other LP candidate in history. Just go to and do a search.

    Laura, there has ALWAYS been a very large minority of libertarians who share Ron Paul’s positions on abortion and immigration, and it is a mark of the respectful way we have treated each other in the past that we have actually nominated more pro-life than pro-choice candidates for president. If you look, for example, at Ruwart’s answer on abortion, she acknowledges the pro-life libertarians explicitly before offering the position held by a majority of libertarians at present.

    Of course, this party also nominated Ron Paul (we remain the only party ever smart enough to do so), Ruwart, among others, actively contributed to his current campaign, and he almost surely would have won the LP nomination on the first ballot had he chosen to seek it (we all respect his reasons for declining to do so). I contributed $1,000 to the Paul campaign in spite of the fact that I disagree with Paul’s position on the two issues you mentioned. If people could only work together when they agreed on everything, we’d all be very,very lonely human beings.

  14. Justin Grover Says:

    Respectfully, Mr. Phillies, I would qualify that we all agree on how to spell the party’s name, in that many of us drop one or more “r”s from it while saying the name- enough that I believe there is a conspiracy to permanently drop the aforementioned letters, although the only reason I can sumise for such a move would be to get us even further away from the big “R”s in the country.


  15. Alex Peak Says:

    Ms. Laura:

    I’m a big-tent (or pragmatic) radical. I definitely think Ron Paul types have a place in the party.

    Although I’m personally for letting the free market regulate immigration rather than the government, although I’m personally against governments telling women what they can and can’t put or have in their bodies, I as much as any one else know that libertarians will never agree on everyong.

    So, as long as someone wants to decrease the size, scope, and cost of government, and as long as he/she is not a racist, I’ll accept him/her with open arms.

    Speaking of pro-life, the candidate about whom this above piece was written has made it clear that both pro-lifers and pro-choicers have a place in the party.

    Alex Peak :)

  16. Alex Peak Says:

    Typo above. “Everyong” should read “everything.”

  17. swift kick in the ass Says:

    peak does ron paul support child porn? because if he doesn’t he needs to stay away from our ‘party of pedophiles’

  18. Alex Peak Says:

    Dear swiftkickintheass,

    Luckily, neither Ron Paul nor myself have anything to do with your political party. In fact, I’ve never heard of it before. “Party of Pedophiles” you call it? Sounds like a disgusting party, have fun with that.

    No, I’m sure Ron Paul probably agrees with me that paedophiles are disgusting people. I don’t know if Ron Paul goes as far as I do, but as far as I’m concerned, anyone who rapes childen—or more generally, anyone who rapes anyone—should be executed. In the very least, such persons ought to have their dicks cut off.

    I get the impression the members of your party, swiftkickintheass, probably wouldn’t like me.

    Sincererly yours,
    Alex Peak

    Mary Ruwart 2008!

  19. Brian Holtz Says:

    Alex, Less—all this big-tent talk just warms my heart. But when you say there “is a place in the party” for libertarians who dissent from the Rothbardian/anarchist “plumbline”, that place is the kids’ table, right? Why is it that the LP Platform needs to be 14,000 words long and yet have nothing in it that you anarchists disagree with on principle, while minarchists, Catoites, geolibertarians, Chicago-schoolers etc. have to suck it up and live with up to a dozen statements that they reject on principle?

    The LP needs a big tent with one big level table in it. We non-anarchists are tired of sitting at the kids’ table.

    Alex, the lengthy Ruwart “short answer” you link to raises a couple of questions. First, if (as Ruwart says) “libertarians are split into two camps, both believing that their view best expresses the non-aggression principle”, then one wonders why Ruwart apparently thinks the LP Platform needs to endorse the extreme “pro-choice” position. How is she saying “pro-lifers have a place in the party” if she’s admitting that their position is being thrown under the bus on the basis of a question she describes as a toss-up? Can the Platform Committee apply that fig leaf to anarchism, and say use the same “libertarians disagree” excuse to endorse Chicago/Cato-style minarchism?

    More interestingly, Ruwart writes that “Libertarians of this persuasion generally believe that parents do not have a duty to support their offspring”. This suggests that Ruwart agrees with Rothbard that parents have a “right to allow any baby, whether deformed or not, to die. [...] The parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.” So here’s a tough question for Ruwart and Ruwarchists: do you agree with Rothbard on this? If—underline the “if”—Ruwart believes that parents in Ruwarchotopia should be free to let their children starve, then consensual childhood sex/prostitution is no longer going to be the top concern about her.

  20. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Holtz:

    I want a detailed platform, but I’ve never said it had to be as long as the ‘04 platform. If you don’t like the child rights plank, fine. You don’t like the secession plank, fine. You’re free to advocate for the disinclusion of any plank you like, just as others are free to advocate for the inclusion of any plank they like.

    There are certain things I definitely think the platform should remain silent on, for example, the question of whether or not to privatise the courts, the question of whether or not to privatise the police, the question of whether or not to abolish the state, the question of whether or not we should have the death penalty, the question of whether or not we’re pro-choice, &c.

    The only reason I want a longer platform than we have now is that I think the one we have now leaves out so much, and unfortunately makes us look like we only care about the drug issue. Nobody reads the entire platform of any party, people only ever skip to those issues about which they feel very strongly. Issues such as anti-racism and pro-free speech were very important to me when I first started looking for a party, and the immigration plank as well as the free speech plank made me feel very comfortable with the LP. The fact that the party also supported tax cuts and gun rights also made me happy. As long as we have a detailed platform, we can be sure we’re not leaving out the issues that someone finds particularly important when searching for a party to join.

    As for the anarchism v. minarchism stuff, I don’t see why that should be an issue at all. With the Dallas Accord, both sides get what they want: the minarchists get a platform that does not call for the elimination of the state at all, and the anarchists get a platform that doesn’t say, “Yeah, we want the government out of X, Y, and Z. But we support rent control! Rent control is so important!”

    Another reason we should not have a platform that does not violate the Dallas Accord can be answered by asking the question, “If all libertarians agree that we need to radically cut the size, cost, and scope of government, what part of the platform should we moderate?”

    If we moderate the war part, we alienate all the peace activists. If we moderate the tax part, we alienate tax resistors. If we moderate the civil liberties part, we alienate civil libertarians.

    And, of course, our having a pure platform does not prevent our candidates from running however they like. Michael Badnarik opposed open immigration—but I was fine enough with that to vote for him. Harry Browne supported tariffs and excise taxes as the only means of income for the federal government, and although I’m against all taxation, I would have been happy to vote for Harry Browne. I even have stated that Root’s tax policy is an extremely good one, and I will vote for him if he’s our nominee (despite really disliking his rhetoric on other things).

    If you want deviation, the place is in our candidates. No candidate in either of the two Establishment parties is expected to agree with their respective platforms entirely, and I don’t make that expectation of our candidates, either. All I expect out of them is an opposition to racism and that they are “libertarian enough.” Barr, Gravel, and Imperato are not libertarian enough. Kubby, Root, Ruwart, Smith, Phillies, and Hess are (although Hess really needs to get himself an website).

    I should add that I’ve been on both sides on the divide. I’ve been a minarchist and an anarchist. Yet my opinion on the platform and on the level of acceptable deviation among candidates has remained constant, no matter what side I’m on.

    You write, “First, if (as Ruwart says) ‘libertarians are split into two camps, both believing that their view best expresses the non-aggression principle’, then one wonders why Ruwart apparently thinks the LP Platform needs to endorse the extreme ‘pro-choice’ position.”

    I have never seen her claim that the platform had to take a pro-choice stance.

    Ruwart’s position on abortion, from what I understand it, differs from Rothbard’s. Whereas I agree completely with Rothbard’s position completely, I believe Dr. Ruwart’s position is that if the foetus that has been removed is advanced enough in its growth that it can survive on life-support, that one is morally obligated to place it on life support; but that if it is not that advanced in its growth, the person is not morally obligated to do that.

    Ruwarchotopia? Dude, Ruwartopia is a shorter word and easier to pronounce.

    Alex Peak

  21. SFTS Says:

    Hey swift… is’nt that a little slanderous there buddy? Engaging in acts of pedophilia? Thats a really bold accusation. But anyway, let’s talk about a real “party of pedophiles”, the party Ron Paul currently serves and affiliates himself with.

    Edison Misla Aldarondo, Republican legislator, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for molestation of his daughter and her friend for eight-year period starting when they were 9.

    Randal David Ankeney, Republican activist, arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child with force. He faces 6 charges related to getting a 13-year-old girl stoned on pot and then having sex with her. Also accused of sexually assaulting another girl.

    Dick Armey (R-Texas), former professor, has been accused by The Dallas Observer of sexually harassing female students.

    Republican Jim Bakker, televangelist with Pat Robertson at Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting network. Committed adultery with underage teen Jessica Hahn and then used charitable donations to pay her hush money.

    Merrill Robert Barter, Republican County Commissioner, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

    Robert Bauman, Republican congressman and anti-gay activist, was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

    Parker J. Bena, Republican activist and Bush Elector, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography (including children as young as 3 years old) on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

    Louis Beres, chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon. 3 of his family members accuse him of molesting them when they were pre-teens. In August 06, Beres confessed.

    Howard L. Brooks, Republican legislative aide and advisor to a California assemblyman, was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

    Andrew Buhr, Republican politician, former committeeman for Hadley Township Missouri, was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

    Ted Bundy campaigned for the Republican Party. Infamous serial rapist who murdered 16 women including a 12 year old Florida girl.

    John Butler, Republican activist, was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

    Keola Childs, Republican County Councilman, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the first degree for molesting a male child.

    Kevin Coan, Republican St. Louis Election Board official, arrested and charged with trying to buy sex from a 14-year-old girl whom he met on the Internet.

    Carey Lee Cramer Political consultant and anti-Kerry ad producer, tried for molesting two young girls, one of whom lived with him, and was 8 yrs old; the other starred in an anti-Kerry commercial.

    Dan Crane, Republican Congressman, married, father of six. Received a 100% “Morality Rating” from Christian Voice. Had sex with a minor working as a congressional page. article On July 20, the House voted for censure Crane, the first time that censure had been imposed for sexual misconduct.

    Richard A. Dasen Sr., Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, convicted of sexual abuse of children, promotion of prostitution and several counts of solicitation, enough to add up to a sentence of 126 years in prison. Investigators estimated that he spent up to $5,000,000 on prostitutes.

    Richard A. Delgaudio, Republican fundraiser and Bush pioneer, was found guilty of child porn charges.

    Peter Dibble, Republican legislator pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

    Nicholas Elizondo, Director of the Young Republican Federation molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

    Larry Dale Floyd, Republican Constable in Denton County, Texas Precinct Two. Arrested for allegedly crossing state lines to have sex with an 8-year old child and was charged with 7 related offenses. Age 62 at time of arrest.

    Mark Foley, Republican Representative, Florida Sixteenth Congressional District. Resigned after trying to solicit sex from male congressional pages via an instant messenger program. The conversations included his asking a sixteen-year-old “stud” whether his penis was erect and requesting that he take out and measure his penis. The cover-up involved Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Eighth Congressional District and Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Illinois Fourteenth District.

    John Fund, of the Wall Street Journal, a prominent anti-abortion columnist and GOP fund raiser. He lost his position after it was revealed that he impregnated the daughter of an old girlfriend and then encouraged her to abort his child.

    Jeff Gannon (believed to be abducted teen John Gosh) Partisan blogger with no journalism credentials and a fake name who got invited to Bush’s Press conferences. Is also a pimp and a gay prostitute.

    Jack W. Gardner, Republican Councilman, had been convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl. when the Republican Party, knowing of these crimes, put him on the ballot.

    Richard Gardner, a Nevada State Representative®, admitted to molesting his two daughters.

    Philip Giordano, Republican mayor sentenced to 37 years for forcing two 8 and 10 year old girls to perform oral sex on him in his City Hall office.

    Marty Glickman, Republican activist, was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a juvenile and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

    Mark A. Grethen, Republican activist, convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

    Jon Grunseth, Republican businessman and candidate for Minnesota governor, withdrew his candidacy after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter, and tried to grope one. “I’ve made some mistakes” he said.

    Mark Harris, Republican city councilman who is described as a “church goer,” was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

    John Hathaway, Republican Senate candidate, was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

    Howard Scott Heldreth, anti-abortion activist who gained fame during the Shiavo media-circus, was convicted of two charges of raping a child in 2002.

    Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor, introduced by Bush on the campaign trail, and promoted his policies. Says he supports Bush’s values. Two months later, this married father of four turned himself into police, charged with the sexual exploitation of a child. Also signed an ad (that called for criminally prosecuting business that sell porn), along with another pastor who was repeatedly busted for public masturbation.

    Don Haidl, Assistant Sheriff of Orange Country, in violation of California’s rape shield law, led a smear campaign against the child his son poisoned and then violently gang-raped on videotape, adding up to 24 felony counts. He said that his son “acted accordingly” because the child was a “slut”.

    Paul Ingram, Republican Party leader of Thurston County, Washington, pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

    Earl Kimmerling, sentenced to 40 years in prison after he confessed to molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

    I. Lewis Libby, former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. In 1996 published a novel containing bizaree sexual content, including beastiality and pedophillia.

    Donald Lukens, Republican Congressman, was found guilty of having sex with a minor - a girl he was accused of sleeping with since she was 13.

    Pat McPherson, Douglas County Election Commissioner. Arrested for fondling a 17-year-old girl.

    Jon Matthews, Republican talk show host in Houston, was indicted for indecency with a child, including exposing his genitals to a girl under the age of 17.

    Nicholas Morency, Republican anti-abortion activist, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

    Jeffrey Patti, Republican Committee Chairman, was arrested for distributing what experts call “some of the most offensive material in the child pornography world” - a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

    Harvey Pitt, SEC Chief under George W. Bush until he was forced to resign in 2002. Worked for New Frontier Media, a firm which distributed teen sex videos.

    Mark Pazuhanich, Republican judge, pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

    Beverly Russell, County Chairman of the Christian Coalition, sexually molested his step-daughter, Susan Smith, who later drowned her two children.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican governor, had sex with a 16 year old when he was 28.

    John Scmitz, right-wing republican congressman, who had had his committee chairship taken away from him in the California State Senate after issuing a press release attacking Jews, feminists and gays. Forced out of office in 1982 for having an adulterous affair and fathering two children out of wedlock with one of his students. His daughter, Mary Kay LeTourneau, was convicted of having an adulterous affair with one of her students, and giving birth to two of his children.

    Larry Jack Schwarz, Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, fired after child pornography was found in his possession. With his political career over, he went to work in the hard-core pornography industry for Platinum X Pictures, owned by his daughter, porn starlet Jewel De’Nyle (Stephany Schwarz).

    Tom Shortridge. Republican campaign consultant, was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

    Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr., Republican City Councilman, pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

    Craig J. Spence, Republican lobbyist, organized orgies with child prostitutes in the White House during the 1980s. The scandal was exposed in a full page Washington Times article and is the subject of a full length Discovery Channel documentary.

    David Swartz, Republican County Commissioner, pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

    Strom Thurmond, republican senator and racist, raped and impregnanted a 15-year old African American maid.

    Robin Vanderwall, Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate, director of Faith & Family Alliance, (a Christian Coalition spin off), former student of Pat Robertson’s Regent Universtity, member of Ralph Reed’s inner circle who funneled money to from lobbiest Jack Abromoff to Reed, convicted in Virginia for soliticing sex from a 13-year-old-boy and on four other counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

    Keith Westmoreland, a Tennessee state representative®, was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to minors under 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

    Stephen White, Republican preacher. Was arrested after allegedly offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

  22. Alex Peak Says:

    Typo, I meant to say that our platform should not violate the Dallas Accord, not that it should.

  23. Alex Peak Says:

    Another typo, I said “completely” one too many times in the sentence about Rothbard.

  24. Less Antman Says:

    Dear Brian:

    Every plank in the platform required a 2/3 vote, did it not? And I was often on the losing side of platform votes, including votes at the recent California convention. And I’m still a member, even though a bare majority of the smallest LP convention since 1973 deleted 80% of the platform, perhaps accidentally by some. And anarchists never, but never, tried to shut minarchists up. And virtually every nominee has been a minarchist, and received my vote. And I consider David Nolan a purist, though he rejects anarchism. And this conspiracy of powerful anarchists trying to undo the 2006 gutting was started by Mr. Nolan, and includes minarchists Phillies and Smith (and Hess and Kubby, whose views I don’t know).

    And of all the people for you to trash, Mary Ruwart, who supported Ron Paul in 1988 AND 2007 and ran the Unity 88 campaign to keep the LP together during the divisive battle between Paul and Russell Means and who has never once campaigned as an anarchist or on a position that contradicted the platform, is the least deserving.

    Look, I realize you tried to run the ship properly while they fought you at every turn, but the anarchists didn’t steal your strawberries. Redpath is right in saying anarchists are a minority, and we have always been accepted at the pleasure of the minarchists. Fortunately, too many still treat us as friends for this to end. Please stop trying to purge people in the name of a big tent.

  25. paulie Says:

    Ruwart on The Steve Kubby Show, 04/28
    Posted by Thomas L. Knapp—- April 26th, 2008

    Mary Ruwart, candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination, will appear on Steve Kubby’s Blog Talk Radio program. Monday, April 28th, at 6pm Pacific.

    Likely topic of discussion: Exactly what you’d expect.

  26. Peter Orvetti Says:

    I am greatly offended that Dr. Phillies thinks all Liburtariens should spell the party name his way. That’s a matter of personal choice!

    I wonder if Keyes’s experience with the CP will play any role in Barr’s deliberations about whether or not to enter the race?

  27. Brian Holtz Says:

    Less, if you’ve been “often” on the losing side of platform votes, then how many positions of the 2004 platform do you disagree with on principle? I disagree with at least ten. Do you even disagree with a single one? I’ll show you my “deviations” if you show me yours. :-) But I suspect that you, an anarchist from the “minority” who is allegedly “accepted at the pleasure of the minarchists”, can’t quote anything from the 14,000 words of the 2004 platform that you fundamentally disagree with.

    To say I’m “trashing” Ruwart or trying to “purge” her is just a clumsy smear against me. I’m just quoting what she says, and asking what it means. You’re the one who’s been telling us that Ruwart’s oeuvre is so comprehensive and so “plumbline”. But when I ask you a straightforward question about whether she’s one of those libertarians who she says “generally believe that parents do not have a duty to support their offspring”, you smear me. Can you tell us how you think she should/would answer this “tough question”, or not? The 2004 Platform said “Parents have no right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find other person(s) willing to assume guardianship.” Do you endorse this anti-Rothbardian language?

    For the record, I have never EVER advocated “purging” anybody. I have ALWAYS advocated ecumenicism in the LP. However, unlike you and Alex, I don’t just say that those who disagree with me can pay their dues as long as they don’t introduce “deviation” into the Platform.

    Your statement that “anarchists never, but never, tried to shut minarchists up” is simply uninformed. My impression is that until the last year you had been on a 10- or 20-year break from LP activism, and it shows. Even if you’ve forgotten Rothbard’s bitter and vicious attacks that ended up driving out the Cato minarchists (, there are more recent things you should be aware of. A member of the LPCA ExCom, who has also been a member of the LPUS Judicial Committee, privately warned me in 2004 that some of my campaign positions constitute a violation of the Pledge, and that as a candidate I’m not allowed to “proactively oppose” any platform plank, but may merely express disagreement if specifically asked. I’ve also had a member of the LPCA Judicial Committee publicly suggest that some of my positions are in violation of my membership Pledge. And just this year I was in the room when someone who is currently on the LNC announced at our county convention that anybody who disagrees with the 2004 platform should ask himself whether he’s in the right party.

    So please don’t try to tell me with one breath nobody has “tried to shut minarchists up” with one breath, while claiming I’m “purging” people with the next. That dog won’t hunt.

  28. Brian Holtz Says:

    Alex, how big-tent of you to grant me permission to advocate against planks I disagree with! :-)

    The question of whether the LP Platform should have only the issue coverage of the amputated 2006 platform is an obvious strawman. Nobody is saying it should, and no such proposal is on the table. If you’re unwilling to address the choices that the delegates will actually face in Denver, do you really think the TPW audience won’t notice?

    It’s simply false to say that “with the Dallas Accord both sides get what they want”. What “both sides want” is to have veto power over any Platform language with which they have principled disagreement. The Dallas Accord gives that veto power only to anarchists, and denies it to minarchists. The Dallas Accord lets people like you say that people like me are in “deviation” from optimal “pure” libertarianism. That’s no “Accord”. I in fact say that you are in deviation from my pure libertarianism, but unlike you, I don’t demand that the the platform say that I’m right and you’re wrong. A true accord—a Denver Accord—would be a Platform that doesn’t allow your or me to call each other impure or deviant. What’s so wrong with that?

    “Rent control” is a red herring that I already diagnosed on TPW on April 9: “Your hypothetical about rent control is quite wide of the mark, as the 2008 draft plainly says ‘We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates.’” Are you going to be punching that strawman all the way to Denver? I ask you again:

    1. Have you even read our draft?

    2. What in your opinion is the most important libertarian principle that a 2/3 majority of NatCon delegates would agree is missing from it?

    3. What in your opinion are the most important specific policy questions that a 2/3 majority of NatCon delegates would agree do not have any answer in it but should?

    In a backhanded sort of way, it is indeed somewhat big-tent of you to grant permission for our candidates to “deviate” from the Platform, but the permission is not yours to grant. Our bylaws require our Presidential ticket to support our Platform, period.

    Less tells us that Ruwart has the most comprehensive and plumbline oeuvre of any LP candidate, but you’re probably right that she’s never answered the tough question of whether the LP platform should not choose between pro-choice and pro-life. I’ll bet you $100 she doesn’t think it shouldn’t be silent. Her views about “moral obligations” are irrelevant; she’s not running for Pope. What counts is 1) what she wants the laws/rules to be, and 2) what she wants our Platform to say the laws/rules should be. We all wish that force-initiation didn’t exist and that the strong never preyed on the weak and that rational self-interested agents didn’t tend to consume/congest/pollute the commons and that every child had a pony. Nobody can be accused of “deviation” on that question.

    I notice that you completely dodged the tough question of whether there would be any law or rule to prevent parents from letting their children starve in Ruwarchotopia. If you don’t like the name “Ruwarchotopia”, complain to Less. He’s the one that bought the domain name Ruwarchotopia is a straightforward analogy to the standard term anarchotopia.

  29. Liberated Woman Says:

    I mostly like waht the Libertarian Party has to say, but …

    Do people only argue? Why would I join a group like this if I could be playing with my kids?

  30. Alex Peak Says:

    I’ll read your whole response when I have more time. In the mean-time, I’ve never heard of Anarchotopia. I’ve heard of Anarchocapistan, and Libertopia, but never Anarchotopia. I don’t think Utopia is possible.

    I didn’t dodge the question. It stands to reason that if Ruwart indeed thinks it’s a crime to allow a foetus to die that could survive on life-support, it’s likely that she would say it is a crime to allow babies to die instead of putting them up for adoption. I personally would not agree with her position, assuming this is it, and instead I would agree with Rothbard’s more radical position.

    Does that answer your question, Mr. Holtz?

    I’ve gotta go, sorry,

  31. Paulie Says:

    Why would I join a group like this if I could be playing with my kids?

    Shhh! You can’t say playing with your kids, or some of the FBI Athletic Supporters here will think you are a child molester.

    But, seriously, the reason to join is so your kids’ future does not suck.

  32. C. Al Currier Says:

    I am greatly offended that Dr. Phillies thinks all Liburtariens should spell the party name his way. That’s a matter of personal choice! .......Peter Orvetti Says

    I spell the name differently for different candidates, and for the sports-gamblin’-bid’ness-crusader from sin city, I spell it Libertine.

  33. Brian Holtz Says:

    Alex, congratulations—by agreeing with Rothbard that it shouldn’t be a crime for parents to let their children starve, you may in fact have finally answered my question about what part of the 2004 platform you disagree with. It said: “Parents have no right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find other person(s) willing to assume guardianship.” Do you think this language about a positive legal obligation should be in the LP Platform?

    If you’re right that Ruwart disagrees with you and Rothbard on whether it should be a crime for parents to let their children starve, then I’d sure like to know who Ruwart thinks would prosecute such crimes in Ruwarchotopia.

    Google finds 275 hits for ‘anarchotopia’, so I didn’t just make it up. Google finds mentions of it on Usenet as far back as 1992. My records show I first used it on Usenet in 1991, but I’d be surprised if my use was the first. It’s an obvious parallel construction to ‘libertopia’, which Google finds 9000 times on the web and on Usenet as far back as 1990.

  34. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Holtz writes, “Alex, how big-tent of you to grant me permission to advocate against planks I disagree with! :)

    Sir, I can’t figure out if you’re seriously appreciative or trying to be sarcastic. In either event, I did not “grant you permission,” I stated my opinion that you should be free to advocate whatever changes you like. If you are being sarcastic, I have to wonder what you could possibly think is bad about me standing up for your freedoms.

    Back in 2006, when the platform was slashed, I was a minarchist. I was so upset by the slashing, I started a facebook group advocating a return of the 2004 platform.

    Since I never claimed you supported keeping the 2006 platform, your claim that I used a straw-man was nothing more than a straw-man itself.

    I have addressed in various places A) my opposition to Mr. Knapp’s “World’s Smallest Political Platform” proposal and B) my opposition to the leaving of the platform in its current state. I oppose both A and B very much, and hence why I have addressed both at various times.

    “It’s simply false to say that ‘with the Dallas Accord both sides get what they want’. What ‘both sides want’ is to have veto power over any Platform language with which they have principled disagreement.”

    How does the Dallas Accord prevent minarchists from removing planks they don’t like? It doesn’t.

    “The Dallas Accord gives that veto power only to anarchists, and denies it to minarchists.”

    A) How does it prevent minarchists from removing planks they don’t like?

    B) If it’s true that it prevents minarchists from removing planks they don’t like, how was it that minarchists were successful in 2006 in gutting our platform? Clearly, they do possess the ability to remove planks in exactly the same way that anarchists can.

    “I in fact say that you are in deviation from my pure libertarianism, but unlike you, I don’t demand that the the platform say that I’m right and you’re wrong.”

    I don’t demand that the platform have even one word in it. I want it to contain words, and plenty of them. But where have I ever made such a demand?

    “’Rent control’ is a red herring that I already diagnosed on TPW on April 9: ‘Your hypothetical about rent control is quite wide of the mark, as the 2008 draft plainly says “We oppose all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production, and interest rates.”’”

    We’re not talking about 2008, we’re talking about the entire future history of the party. How can we be sure that the platform, twenty years from now, doesn’t say, “Only heroin, cocain, crystal meth, and PCP should be illegal. Marijuana, especially for medical purposes, ought to be legalised”? I can think of only one way: a mutual accord between the anarchists and minarchists.

    “1. Have you even read our draft?”

    I have never commented on the pure-principles-platform positively or negatively. Maybe someday I’ll read it, but until then, I refuse to take a stance on it.

    “2. What in your opinion is the most important libertarian principle that a 2/3 majority of NatCon delegates would agree is missing from it?”

    Again, I do not wish to comment on it until I’ve read it.

    “3. What in your opinion are the most important specific policy questions that a 2/3 majority of NatCon delegates would agree do not have any answer in it but should?”


    “In a backhanded sort of way, it is indeed somewhat big-tent of you to grant permission for our candidates to ‘deviate’ from the Platform, but the permission is not yours to grant.”

    It’s backhanded of me to do what I did not do? And you’re going to tell me it’s not my place to do what I’ve never even attempted to do?

    Dude. Seriously. Calm down.

    There is nothing back-handed about saying that, in my oh so humble opinion, it’s perfectly acceptable for candidates to deviate from the platform. If you do not think it’s acceptable for me to hold this opinion, then please explain to me why I should demand that everyone agree with me? Seriously, you’re not making a bit of sense.

    The point I was driving at is that watering down the platform (DISCLAIMER: this is not a claim that you wish to water down the platform) would cause all sorts of problems for our ostensibly minarchist party because the one thing that unites us is our opposition to big government, and that any deviation in the platform that waters it down will surely upset one segment or another.

    I brought up candidates for comparitive purposes. You see, in our minarchist party, it would be stupid to expect anarchism from candidates. Each one is bound to disagree with the next, and this is not only okay, it’s a sign of our ability to think freely and to stand up for our views. But candidates and platforms are different things, and must be treated differently.

    I think this is logical.

    I never claimed I had the power to “grant” anything to the candidates. My position is simply an opinion how to keep our party great and growing. Is it wrong for me to hold such opinions?

    I need to go again. Still haven’t finished reading your response, sorry.


  35. Alex Peak Says:

    Actually, scratch that, false alarm, I’m back. :)

    Mr. Holtz writes, “Alex, congratulations—by agreeing with Rothbard that it shouldn’t be a crime for parents to let their children starve, you may in fact have finally answered my question about what part of the 2004 platform you disagree with. It said: ‘Parents have no right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find other person(s) willing to assume guardianship.’ Do you think this language about a positive legal obligation should be in the LP Platform?”

    Finally answered your question? I don’t recall you asking me about the 2004 platform before. Did I miss it?

    I don’t mind it being there at all. Yes, I disagree with the notion that any positive obligation can exist without it being incurred through contractual agreement, so yes, I disagree with what the platform stated in ‘04. But, frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with including it in the platform.


    “If you’re right that Ruwart disagrees with you and Rothbard on whether it should be a crime for parents to let their children starve, then I’d sure like to know who Ruwart thinks would prosecute such crimes in Ruwarchotopia.”

    I still think that’s a stupid word, ugly to look at, and unnecessarily hard to pronounce. Look, there’s a ‘T’ in “-topia” and a ‘T’ in “Ruwart.” Go ahead, make your life a little easier. (I grant you permission. ;) ) (And yes, I am joking around with you, so please take it lightly. :) )

    I encourage you to read The Market for Liberty by Linda & Morris Tannehill. It should be able to answer your question. If you wish to read other works on market anarchism afterwards, just let me know.

    “Google finds 275 hits for ‘anarchotopia’, so I didn’t just make it up.”

    Never said you made it up. I just think it sounds stupid, and had never heard it before.

    Utopianism is for fools. Anyone who thinks anarchy—or minarchy—would be a utopia is just as deluded as the statists.

    Alex Peak

  36. SFTS Says:

    I absolutely hate the national Lp platform. Not because I agree or disagree with any specific issues in the platform. I hate it because with each addition issue platform thats added boxes in our candidates, and excludes or divides the tribes (philosophical factions of libertarianism). Add this and you exclude the an-caps. Add that and you exclude the paleo-libertarians. Add this and you exclude the geo-libertarians. Add that and you exclude, divide, exclude and divide.

    I think the platform should simpley consist of our statement of self ownership-NAP principles, and nothing else. Leave the responsibility in the hands of nomination candidates to present solutions to the days issues within the context of our statement of principles. The challenge for our candidates will be to demonstrate how their proposed solutions are in line with libertarian party principles, leaving consistency or contradiction as the factor for determining pass/fail among party delegates.

    The Lp platform “solutions” have served little more than leaving us all narrow minded and intollerant of not only the various schools of libertarian though, but each other as well.

    Dump the “solutions”. Leave the statement of principles. Let our candidates debate it out. And may the best candidate win.

    I’ve worked to hard over the last 15 years, bridging gaps, bringing people over into the fold, to be wondering from year to year, convention to convention, whether or not this is the year that the Lp will abandon me.

  37. Less Antman Says:

    Dear Brian:

    If you are not eager for the market anarchists to leave the party, then I apologize for suggesting it: it is the conclusion I drew from what I saw as an attempt in another thread to blame the child porn kerfuffle on the anarchists, and your suggestion that the “Ruwarchists” are the ones behind Restore ‘04. Perhaps I was mistaken in that accusation: based on your response, that appears probable. Of course, I never said that people who disagree with me are only welcome if they pay their dues and don’t introduce deviations. The 2006 platform introduced what I consider to be a substantial deviation from the proper position on immigration, and I have said nothing against any person who supported it (other than that I disagree with their position). Shall we call it a draw on “clumsy smears”?

    Do me a favor: acknowledge that was started by LP Founder and minarchist David Nolan, that 5 different candidates have signed it, at least 2 claiming explicitly to be minarchists, and that it has broad support among minarchists. Also, that all polls of LP members indicate that the overwhelming majority support limited government libertarianism and do not consider themselves anarchists, and that this has been the case since the beginning of the LP (David Nolan can confirm this).

    The major losses I suffered in platform votes involved several planks I wanted to see added rather than planks passed that I opposed. I can easily name 10 significant disagreements I have of this sort (the most important is that I think there ought to be a plank opposing intellectual property claims that do not arise from contract). I must say that, by and large, I have not had any significant disagreements with what HAS earned the 2/3 support needed for a plank, and that I think it is a tribute to the platform that was developed over more than 30 years that changes took place only when there was a strong consensus. This is one reason I find the sudden disappearance of 80% of all that work in 2006 to be so disturbing: it is as if someone accidentally selected and deleted most of the platform, and I’ll be quite satisfied if we just hit the undo key and return to the disciplined process for updating that was thrown away.

    CTRL-A, CTRL-X. Oops! CTRL-Z. Phew!

    And then each of us should propose changes for the delegates to consider, and do our best to make good arguments as to how our approach best supports the non-aggression axiom every single one of us pledged to defend when we joined the dues paying party. I’ve said enough times that I know many pro-life minarchists I consider libertarian purists, and if you choose not to believe me, there is no point in my repeating myself. I repeat, there is no point in my repeating myself.

    By the way, you are correct about my interval without activism, but I’ve been a Life Member of the LP since 1979, and have been receiving the newsletter continuously. I recall no attempted silencing of minarchists. I am willing to believe someone tried to silence you specifically, but that isn’t necessarily because you’re a minarchist.

    I campaigned for office twice (once receiving 167,207 votes for California State Treasurer and qualifying the LP for permanent ballot status in the state). I never, but never, called for the abolition of government as an LP candidate, because I saw the Dallas Accord as a promise among friends to respect a coalition. When asked if I was an anarchist, I always replied, “If I were in favor of chaos, I’d be supporting the incumbent.” If pressed, I’d answer that most members of the LP believe that government should handle the courts, police, and national defense, but some of us believe that all the functions of government can be better provided on the free market, as food, shelter, health care, and other necessities are provided. I consider that a respectful acknowledgment of both the party position and my own. Ruwart often noted disagreement within the party even when the platform was in agreement with her views: I have never seen her address the abortion question without acknowledging that large numbers of LP members take the pro-life position.

    Granted, in conversations with other libertarians, I often quip that minarchy is the theory that free market capitalism is best protected by a socialist monopoly, but you’ll note I also poke fun at myself as being an anti-life chaosist. I look forward to meeting you in May: you’ll discover what a brilliant, rational, pleasant guy I am (and modest, did I mention modest?).

  38. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Holtz:

    I’m interested if you have any response to my response.

    Respectfully yours,
    Alex Peak

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