A Reminder of Libertarian Principles…

...and of why some libertarians hate electoral politics. From Stephen Kinsella over at LewRockwell.com:

The Libertarian Party has issued a press release calling for “increased coordination and communication between federal and state law enforcement agencies in order to help to apprehend and convict child predators and those who engage in child pornography.”

While child abuse is obviously evil and unlibertarian, it is still bizarre that the LP would issue this release. To specifically call for the national police force to work more with state and local police is not just something radical libertarians would have trouble with. It is also unconstitutional. Under the Tenth Amendment, criminal justice questions--including murder, rape, arson, theft, child abuse, violence against women, drug policy, gun laws and the like—are to be handled by state and local governments, not the federal government.

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25 Responses to “A Reminder of Libertarian Principles…”

  1. Gene Berkman Says:

    Perhaps Mary Ruwart’s words were taken out of context, but I read them and can see that if she is the Libertarian nominee for President, they will be taken out of context again. And amplified.

    We have another candidate who is far too public about his use of marijuana. And we have a former Congressman who would have to disown much or even most of his record in Congress to be a Libertarian candidate, making his Congressional experience less of a campaign asset.

    The rest of the hopefuls just seem to want applause and adulation. The Libertarian Party can avoid problems by concentrating on running strong campaigns for Congress and state office, and foregoing a Presidential campaign this year.

    This is not defeatism, it is putting resources where they can have a more positive effect.

  2. Mike Theodore Says:

    Congressional campaigns would be nice. Here in my district, Melissa Bean is about to be re-crowned. I just got off a town hall meeting phone discussion with her opponent, and he doesn’t stand a chance. I had a nice question ready for him on voter disenfranchisement and ballot access, but I had to go.

  3. Jeff Wartman Says:

    Perhaps Mary Ruwart’s words were taken out of context, but I read them and can see that if she is the Libertarian nominee for President, they will be taken out of context again. And amplified.

    B - I - N - G - O

    The mainstream media has a bias in favor of keeping the two party system. While the MSM will continue the media blackout of minor parties when it comes to real news, there should be little doubt that quotes like these can be used by the media to discredit the Libertarian Party.

    As much as the policy of what Ms. Ruwart said can be debated, what cannot be debated is the fact that when that quote is presented in a simplistic form, out of context, regular people will freak out.

  4. G.E. Says:

    Jeff Wartman - You are a liberal PC weenie. I guess we should only give answers that the regime will take kindly to. This is the logic of the Statotarians and tReasonistas. You and your kind will lose in Denver.

  5. G.E. Says:

    Who is this Bruce person on the Steve Kubby show? What a scumbag.

  6. Nigel Watt Says:

    I’ll be mailing in my LP membership card tomorrow.

  7. G.E. Says:

    Nigel - And leave it to these bums?

  8. Steve LaBianca Says:

    “As much as the policy of what Ms. Ruwart said can be debated, what cannot be debated is the fact that when that quote is presented in a simplistic form, out of context, regular people will freak out.”

    When wad the last time “regular people” voted for a Libertarian candidate?

    Regular people vote for welfare, the drug war, social security, expanded medicare and medicaid, etc.

    Only people who think more deeply about what the meaning of intervention into every aspect of American’s lives consider voting for the LP candidate. Since they are thoughtful, they will listen to reason when Mary explains it.

    Once again, the only people freaking out are some Libertarians.

  9. Iquit Says:

    My email telling the National I quit went in already. Of course they didn’t have the decency to respond.

    It should not go unnoticed who it was that went out of his way to send out a press release to make sure the press would be able to take Mary’s quote out of context. It was Root who issued a press release. Root basically is willing to cause long term damage to the party in order to secure short term gain for himself.

    If anyone should be disqualified from the campaign because of this it ought to be Root. His campaign ran the accusations here and then he responded with a press release to get the medias attention—all in order to try to destroy one of the nicest libertarians around. Root is an arrogant prick—to put it mildly.

  10. swift kick in the ass Says:
    1. Nigel Watt Says:
      April 28th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I’ll be mailing in my LP membership card tomorrow.

    see ya kiddie porn gang member! don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  11. swift kick in the ass Says:
    1. Iquit Says:
      April 29th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    “My email telling the National I quit went in already. Of course they didn’t have the decency to respond.

    It should not go unnoticed who it was that went out of his way to send out a press release to make sure the press would be able to take Mary’s quote out of context. It was Root who issued a press release. Root basically is willing to cause long term damage to the party in order to secure short term gain for himself.

    If anyone should be disqualified from the campaign because of this it ought to be Root. His campaign ran the accusations here and then he responded with a press release to get the medias attention—all in order to try to destroy one of the nicest libertarians around. Root is an arrogant prick—to put it mildly.”

    boohoo bye bye kiddie porn gang member!

  12. swift kick in the ass Says:

    Since they are thoughtful, they will listen to reason when Mary explains it.

    reason? you are a comedic god. i for one would like to be present when mary explains that a 4 y/o can choose to have sexual intercourse with a grown up.

  13. Bill Woolsey Says:

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with a candidate calling for other candidates to withdraw from the race.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with candidates attacking the positions of other candidates.

    I see no evidence that Ruwart has given up on the L. Neil Smith position on children’s rights. (Which I think was Rothbard’s position at one time and maybe all of his life.) She has written on the matter in a way that not only specifically advocates ending the legal prohibition on child pornography, she left soundbites that clearly imply ending the legal prohibition on child prostitution.

    The notion that this can be “solved” by pointing out that there are Republican officeholders who are perverts or that Ruwart doesn’t think it is a good thing for children to have sex or that she does favor legal prohibition on force used against children in this context is absurd.

    While the mainstream media will probably ignore Ruwart, like most LP candidates, this will be harped upon by the neo-libertarians. They will really hate her foreign policy views, but they will use this to try to reduce her support. It may be unrealistic, but they will hope that potential LP voters will support McCain.

    We already can see that the CP is trying to reach out to the Paul supporters. On Hit and Run this morning, there is a long quotation from Phillip’s explaining why the CP should nominated Chuck Baldwin, (which they did.) He specifically said that Baldwin was the guy to bring in Paul supporters to the CP as opposed to having them go LP in November.

    It is certainly possible that if Ruwart gets the human interest story that we have traditionally received, this will be part of it. All it will require is a google, and the neo-libertarian attack on Ruwart will appear. (You know, they will be supporting war-hawk McCain.) Or, the CP attacks aimed at Paul supporters.

    Or, even this controversy we are having today. It is too late to hide it.

    Similarly, she could be dogged on talk radio by the same thing. All it takes is CP supporters who think they she is competing with them for a handful of voters. Or neo-libertarians who are worried about McCain losing libertarian votes. They can call and ask.

    It is wrong to blame Root. While Root may not be an acceptable candidate, he has pointed out that Ruwart has very serious negative baggage.

    It is clear that some libertarians would like to have the LP candidate for President explain this children’s rights position and its troubling implications for child pornography and prostitution. Others may not.

    If Ruwart becomes the nominee, and this question dogs her until november, no one should say that they haven’t been warned.

    And I think we all owe Root a thank you for that.

    I wish that Badnarik’s opponents for the LP nomination had publicized his negatives. After the 2004 convention, how many people said, “What, Badnarik believes all that soverign citizen nonsense. What a kook?”

    The solution to having candidates who have bad public positions isn’t to hope that no one will notice and that everyone will focus on the issues that you or the candidate beleives is most important. The solution is to choose candidates without these weaknesses.

    I still think Barr would be the best nominee. The issue positions outlined on his campaign website are fine. I do think specifics are necessary. But as long as he runs on specifics consistent with what he says there…Great!

    I do worry about the way he will answer questions about other things. I do not think the LP should be primarily about a Presidential campaign (or any Federal offices.) The LP is about libertarian policies on the state and local level too. Having a Presidential candidate who “supports” the opponents of our state or local candidates (even if only in a very general way,) is a matter of deep concern to me.

    I think it is fine for the Presidential candidate to deflect these issues. To point out that we have many LP candidates for state legislature to deal with them. As a rule, I would be more concerned about proposals in support of further restrictions on personal liberty.

  14. Tom G Says:

    It so happens that I am one of those anti-political types. I seldom have a use for the Libertarian Party, being more sympathetic towards the A.L.L. and anarchism in general.
    However - I am saddened that people in the LP are backing away from Mary Ruwart and/or Steve Kubby. The LP isn’t going to get much traction ANYWAY, the least people can do is stand beside two of the BEST candidates this year.
    I give Mary the benefit of the doubt on her statements and am not afraid of controversy.
    Anyone scared of Steve Kubby’s advocacy of marijuana use can find another party. Sorry, but there’s nothing wrong with anything he says. He’s right.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    “I see no evidence that Ruwart has given up on the L. Neil Smith position on children’s rights.”

    You’re probably right—it would be difficult for Ruwart to give up a position she’s never adopted.

  16. Bill Woolsey Says:

    So, Knapp, there is a difference between Ruwart and L. Neil
    Smith on this issue? Or is this just more spin?

  17. Jose C. Says:

    “When wad the last time “regular people” voted for a Libertarian candidate?”

    In 1978 and 1980. In 1978 Ed Clark received 377,960 votes (5.5%) as a candidate for governor in California. Ed Clark’s 5.5% was the most votes received by a third party candidate in California since the early 1900’s during the progressive political movement. In 1980 Ed Clark received 921,299 votes (1%) as a candidate for President (a record). Ed Clark also received 11.66% of the vote in Alaska (a record) in the 1980 presidential election.

    It can be done. It has been done. And Ed Clark was and is no anarchist.

    Just setting the record strait.

  18. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    I think the LP is just trying to not look bad here. I don’t blame them. I think age of consent laws are retarded, but would I campaign saying that? No way. You’ve got to realize that remaining fringe (marginal) gets you nowhere and accomplishes nothing. If we can get a majority in Congress elected that are from the LP or “libertarian-leaning” by being moderate, why the hell not? We will THEN have the pportunity to do whatever the hell we want while in POWER!

    age of consent laws? gone

    prostitution? legal

    drug laws? gone

    we have to GET THERE first!

  19. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    opportunity*

    And then we can elect more of our hardliners and really enact some MAJOR change. But we need to grow and start being more serious.

  20. Susan Hogarth Says:

    If we can get a majority in Congress elected that are from the LP or “libertarian-leaning” by being moderate, why the hell not? We will THEN have the pportunity to do whatever the hell we want while in POWER!

    This would be a bit frightening if it were even a remotely plausible scenario. it sounds like you are suggesting we lie our way into office, then reveal our true agenda. Not the sort of candidate I want to vote for.

    But it’s not plausible.

    The LP is a ‘third party’. Party politics in America dictates that if someone wants a ‘moderate’ candidate, he picks one of the two major party candidates, who are accomplished at lying or who actually beleive the mush that comes out of their mouths (and I am not sure which is the more frightening of those two scenarios). Third parties exist to give voice to the voiceless, to create and educate activists, and to put pressure on the major parties to change.

    In order for the LP to become a major party, a significant percentage of the electorate must first change. To suggest that we support the least libertarian among us for office in order to get them elected and then hope they will turn into strong libertarians and do things they were not elected to do smacks of an equal combination of arrogance and disconnection form reality.

  21. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    I didn’t mean a moderate status quo candidate. I’m talking about a moderate LP candidate. Someone that can speak to the people without scaring their feeble minds. I did not advocate lying, I just think we need to speak about what the people care about and then once we’re in office we can work towards our own agenda.

    People care about lower taxes, why bring up sound money? Be simplistic to the American people. Tell them libertarian solutions on issues important to them, instead of trying to lecture people and sound like a radical out there. People vote for candidates that make them feel good and tell them what they want to hear.

    You’re not going to go over libertarian economic thought with regular, everyday people, you will just use buzz words like, “cut taxes,” “flat tax!”, “fair tax!” you’re not going to explain to them in detail how it’s all going to work. You tell them about solutions in simple words and you collect their votes. Fairly simple.

    but we have candidates trying to “reeducate,” not win. That’s the problem IMO

  22. C. Al Currier Says:

    Nigel Watt Says:
    I’ll be mailing in my LP membership card tomorrow. .....
    Nigel Watt Says

    I ripped mine up in the 1980’s. Saves money (compared to mailing it in). My decision came from going to a local LP meeting where the entire event turned into an argument about what the ‘pledge’ means. Some people aren’t so much libertarians, but argumentative ‘contrarians’. I don’t know what you want to do with your time, but I refuse to have hours stolen from me to argue ‘stupid’.
    Being a non-member does not disqualify you from financially supporting the LP nor does it stop you from being a libertarian activist.
    As a long time non-member, welcome to the non-club.

  23. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    C. Al Currier,

    sore loser.

  24. Alex Peak Says:

    Mr. Swiftkickintheass writes, “see ya kiddie porn gang member! don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

    Wait a minute, are you saying Mr. Nigel Watt (who I believe is 17) is a child porn star, a victim of exploitation? If your accusation is true, theh you apparently show no sympathy, Mr. Swiftkickintheass, for young Mr. Watt. And if your accusation is false, then you have simply committed libel again.

    (No offence to Mr. Watt if I have his age wrong. I could just check Facebook, but I’m being lazy.)

    Mr. Currier writes, “I ripped mine up in the 1980’s [sic].”

    They’re made of plastic these days.

    Regards,
    Alex Peak

  25. C. Al Currier Says:

    Mr. Currier writes, “I ripped mine up in the 1980’s [sic].”
    They’re made of plastic these days. ....Alex Peak Says

    I don’t mean to be argumentative, but they were plastic in the 80’s. It was a deliberate and emotional experience for me, and afterward I spent some quite time at a vacant concentration camp in the Owens Valley, CA just thinking about WW2. Many strange things are done in the name of ‘Liberty’.

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