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Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/02/2008 13:51:43

Good Morning!

It's some days back now, but much like the Democrats, the Libertarian Party also issued a response to the State of the Union address. Unfortunately, this was distributed only on the internets, as third parties 'don't count' for the vast majority of Americans...

Following President Bush’s annual State of the Union Address, the Libertarian Party issued their response from National Chairman William Redpath:

Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy. It is unfortunate to see that after seven years of increasing the size of government and increasing the government’s presence in the day to day lives of all Americans, the President refuses to limit the scope of the federal government, a once championed virtue of the President’s party. The President’s last State of the Union address encapsulated his legacy of an abandonment of the principles of limited government and individual freedom.

While the Libertarian Party applauds the President on taking a stand against wasteful government spending–though his administration has been a large contributor to this problem–and opening up more foreign markets to trade, we offer the following solutions to issues the President brought up in his address:

Economics: The President’s economic stimulus plan is based on a flawed and outdated economic premise. The best solution to an economic slowdown is increasing the ability for businesses to grow and reinvest in the economy. Instead of increasing the federal deficit by $150 billion dollars, the federal government should focus its energy on eliminating taxes that restrain economic growth. Eliminating taxes such as the death tax and capital gains taxes, and lowering income tax rates on private citizens, will free up vital capital that can be reinvested into the economy. Additionally, the federal government should remove all trade barriers that prevent free trade with other nations. This is a more sound economic policy that presents real solutions instead of the window-dressing that is the President’s stimulus package.

Education: The President’s ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ has failed from the very beginning, and its reauthorization would be a travesty to the American education system. Instead of unfunded, federal mandates with the intent of fixing our failing public schools, alternatives involving the private sector should be explored. Increased local control over public schools and the increased use of private alternatives will increase the quality of education for all American children. We call for abolishing the Department of Education and removing the federal government from educating our children.

Health care: Far too long have our politicians tried to find a government fix for the health care problem we have in America. Government interference in the health care system is the root of the problems we face. Only in eliminating government subsidies of health care will we find relief from increasing costs. The Libertarian Party calls for the elimination of all government entitlement programs related to health care.

Foreign Policy: America will spend more than $1 trillion dollars in foreign wars started during the Bush administration. Because of such, the economy is in jeopardy and America’s reputation abroad has suffered traumatic blows. On top of this, Americans have seen their civil liberties violated time after time. The Libertarian Party calls for a withdrawal from Iraq following the proper lines of withdrawal, executed by our commanders on the ground. We also call for an abandonment of the reckless policy of pre-emptive war, and a restoration of civil liberties lost under such laws as the Patriot Act and the amendments to FISA. The Libertarian Party reminds our leaders in power of the great words of Samuel Adams:

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

In this perilous time, when our freedom is attacked from both inside our borders by corrupt politicians and from outside by foreign aggressors, we call for prudence, wisdom and above all, an adherence to the United States Constitution, which reigns sovereign over all individuals of American society.


Redpath is a resident of Leesburg, Virginia, where he lives with his wife Melinda. Redpath has served as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party since 2006. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.




It's truly unfortunate that Ron Paul is being touted as the "Libertarian" candidate this year. He's got some good stuff about the Iraq War and our so-called foreign policy, but once you delve deeper into his platform, he becomes a very scary man. I don't think he's truly representative of what the Libertarians stand for, but right now he's all we've got. You might be wondering then, why he's running on the Republican ticket, but that's more of a strategy to get coverage from the Mainstream media. You can well bet that if he was Ron Paul (L-TX), he'd be given short shrift. Nevertheless, it's probably likely that a third party candidate will never win the presidency. {excerpted, oh so much more at the link!}

...here are the main reasons that everyone needs to understand, as Ron does, that a third-party candidate is not going to be elected president. If he chooses to run anyway and you understand what he's trying to accomplish, you won't be disappointed when he loses.

1. The mainstream media blackout

There's no question in my mind that, based on what Ron has been able to accomplish in spite of the mainstream media blackout, if he had received as much coverage as the Establishment's anointed candidates, he would be far and away the front-runner now.

Here are the figures for last week from media tracking firm VMS. Bear in mind that these numbers reflect a time when Ron was a sitting Congressman running for a major-party nomination, that he raised significantly more money last quarter than any of his opponents – including setting an all-time one-day fundraising record, and had crushed former anointed front-runner Rudy Giuliani – whom the media still insists is a viable candidate – in nearly every state so far: Yet last week, the mainstream media:

* Gave John McCain 85 times more coverage than Ron Paul
* Gave Rudy Giuliani 69 times more coverage than Ron Paul
* Gave Mitt Romney 59 times more coverage than Ron Paul
* Gave Mike Huckabee 32 times more coverage than Ron Paul
* Gave Fred Thompson 25 times more coverage than Ron Paul
* Gave Barack Obama 207 times more coverage than Ron Paul
* Gave Hillary Clinton 202 times more coverage than Ron Paul

And Ron got more attention in the fourth quarter, after he raised $5 million in the third quarter, than he had previously – and the attention accelerated after his two huge fundraising days later in the fourth quarter. That means last week's figures, as bad as they are, represent an increase over the amount of coverage he received earlier last year.

And the extra coverage he's received in the past three months is probably more than every Libertarian Party candidate for president in history – combined (which isn't a knock on any of those candidates, because it wasn't their fault; it's just the way the system is).

But, as you can see from the numbers, even his increased coverage is still appallingly abysmal.

And, as a sitting Congressman, he has been in every debate and has had memorable exchanges with all of the Establishment front-runners – despite being the victim of mini-blackouts during the debates, being asked by far the fewest questions, being given by far the least amount of time to speak, and often being treated rudely and being subjected to deliberate, repeated attempts in each debate to make him look bad.

With bias like this, it's a miracle that Ron has even accomplished what he has. It's also a testament to him, and even more so to the power of the liberty message and to the power of the Internet to change the world.

These facts beg the following question about the idea of him winning the presidency as a third-party candidate: if those hurdles prove insurmountable for the GOP race, then what makes you think he can win the presidency as a third-party candidate? The media pays almost no attention to him now; they'll have every reason to pay even less attention to him as a third-party candidate. Most third-party candidates don't get much more than one obligatory interview per media outlet – even if they're minor celebrities.



Lastly this morning, there's a new Liberator Online out, and noted Massachusetts Libertarian Michael Cloud is wondering why the Libertarian movement isn't bigger. He's got some interesting ideas in his article, but it also got me to thinking. Substitute "Edwards" or "Obama" or hell, even "my Tenant's Association" for the word "Libertarian" below, and his points are just as relevant for your own organizations and causes.


Reading diet books won't make you thin.

Reading exercise books won't make you fit.

Reading libertarian books won't make you free.

If you want small government and freedom, you must act.

Not just once. Regularly, repeatedly, relentlessly.

In 1995, I gave speeches at a number of Libertarian Party state conventions. After one of these speeches, a man in his thirties asked me, "Why aren't there more women here?"

"How many women did you bring?" I asked.

"None," he said.

"How many women did you invite?" I asked.

"None," he said.

"How many women did you tell about this Libertarian convention?" I asked.

"None."

"So, what's your answer to your question? Why aren't more women here?"

"Because I didn't tell them, I didn't invite them, I didn't bring them..." he answered.

Why isn't the libertarian movement bigger?

How many people have you shared libertarian ideas with in the last seven days? How many people have you forwarded libertarian essays and articles to in the last seven days? How many times have you shared libertarian ideas, essays, and articles with each of them?

How many people have you invited to sign up for a free subscription to The Liberator Online? How many people have you invited to support the vital work of the Advocates for Self-Government?

What have you done to bring more people into the libertarian movement in the last seven days? What will you do to make the libertarian movement bigger in the next seven days?

Why isn't the libertarian movement more successful?

In the last seven days, what have you done to make it more successful?

Have you used Advocates tools -- like OPH and the Quiz -- to effectively reach new people and bring them into the liberty movement? Have you donated to Advocates -- so they can reach and teach more people? Why not do it now? https://www.fbs.net/advocates/donations.cfm

Have you done volunteer work for a libertarian political campaign? Have you
donated to the campaign -- so they can reach more people?

Have you done volunteer work for the END the Income Tax Ballot Initiative in Massachusetts? Have you donated to this Initiative -- so they can recruit, educate, and activate more taxpayers and voters? So they can END an income tax this November 4th? Why not get the facts?
http://www.smallgovernmentact.org/

Reading diet books won't make you thin.

Reading exercise books won't make you fit.

Reading libertarian books won't make you free.

If you want a bigger and more successful libertarian movement, you must act.

Not just once. Regularly, repeatedly, relentlessly.

What are *you* going to do?


I'd have to categorize 4F as a 'tough room', but if I've made just one of you think about this, and follow through to a couple of the websites and read the detail of what I've posted here...then the seed has been planted, hasn't it?

We've got a busy day here in the TriSec compound; the cubbies are heading up the street to the TV station (and we may be on local access cable later today) and then I'll be prepping for long-planned birthday party (from before the Pats got in that football game). So I'll be in and out today. Plus, it's a beautiful early springlike day, brilliant sun and upper 40s today...and the equipment truck hasn't even left yet!

16 comments (Latest Comment: 02/03/2008 06:08:23 by Mondobubba)
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Comment by BobR on 02/02/2008 14:21:56
While I respect certain Libertarian ideals, I have to disagree with a lot of this. Regarding the SOTU speech response:



Economics: First of all, the term "Death Tax" is a Republican invention. It's not a tax on dying, it's an "Estate Tax" that taxes the heirs that get a windfall, and the minimum amount before it starts being taxed is already ridiculously high. It should NOT be eliminated. Neither should capital gains taxes. This reads straight out of the Trickle Down Economics playbook. While we're at it, eliminating trade barriers is why we are buying everything from China and the U.S. is hemmoraging jobs.



Education: Agreed that NCLB was the wrong approach, but getting rid of the Dept. of Education?. No!



Healthcare: So Medicare is an entitlement program that should be gotten rid of? This is just plain mean-spirited. The cost and availability problem with healthcare is because the reins are controlled by for-profit companies. This "Libertarian" approach is the exact opposite of the proper solution.



Foreign Policy: Okay, they got this one right.



The mainstream media blackout isn't just relevant to 3rd parties - it's relevant to anyone the media considers not a "front runner". Edwards got blacked out as well, and ended up dropping out because of it.



The last item regarding being active is good as well.



Comment by livingonli on 02/02/2008 17:02:14
I wonder if they could compare the coverage not only of Ron Paul but what Edwards (who seem to get more publicity leaving the race then when he was in it), Kucinich or even Mike Gravel get.



I don't think anyone (not even the progressive media) even acknowledge that Mike Gravel is still in the race since he was excluded from the debates even before Kucinich.

Comment by livingonli on 02/02/2008 17:04:10
If anyone saw the blog last night, I think we created our first audiocon theater.

Comment by m-hadley on 02/02/2008 17:17:02
Quote by BobR: While I respect certain Libertarian ideals, I have to disagree with a lot of this. Regarding the SOTU speech response:



Economics: First of all, the term "Death Tax" is a Republican invention. It's not a tax on dying, it's an "Estate Tax" that taxes the heirs that get a windfall, and the minimum amount before it starts being taxed is already ridiculously high. It should NOT be eliminated. Neither should capital gains taxes. This reads straight out of the Trickle Down Economics playbook. While we're at it, eliminating trade barriers is why we are buying everything from China and the U.S. is hemmoraging jobs.



Education: Agreed that NCLB was the wrong approach, but getting rid of the Dept. of Education?. No!



Healthcare: So Medicare is an entitlement program that should be gotten rid of? This is just plain mean-spirited. The cost and availability problem with healthcare is because the reins are controlled by for-profit companies. This "Libertarian" approach is the exact opposite of the proper solution.



Foreign Policy: Okay, they got this one right.



The mainstream media blackout isn't just relevant to 3rd parties - it's relevant to anyone the media considers not a "front runner". Edwards got blacked out as well, and ended up dropping out because of it.



The last item regarding being active is good as well.





First, Let me say Good Morning to everybody out there, and thanks to Tri for the provocative post and thanks to BobR for his thoughtful response. My problem with Libertarians is that they don't believe in government at all and I, as a yellow dog Democrat, believe that there is a social contract that exists between all members of a society/nation/community - a slight deviation from John Locke's Social Contract Theory that was adopted at least in part by the founders of this country that believed essentially that the natural rights that we give up, we give up for the greater good. In other words, I have no problem paying taxes to help my neighbor who has lost his/her job feed her/his family, and I expect that same social safety net to be there for me and those around me in our time of need. What I don't agree to support is an unprovoked, pre-emptive war that is costing our country billions of dollars with no return on our investment - war produces nothing (save for death and destruction), nothing worthwhile comes back into society as a result of war.



As far as the libertarian ideas of government staying out of people's lives where the government's presence adds nothing to the citizens' lives - that I completely applaud. There is a difference, in my mind anyway, between the government interferring when a person's house is on fire (positive interference) and the government listening in on a person's phone calls just to find out her/his political bent (negative interference) or caring who a person is sleeping with - to what end is the government spending resources on this kind of interference except to intimidate people to conform to somebody's idea of a correct lifestyle? The same can be said of pot smoking. I'm not too well acquainted with other "harder" drugs, but I know first hand that I would much rather be in a crowd of stoners than a crowd of drunks, but I digress... I guess I've revealed enough about myself and my philosophy for a Saturday morning... I hope that you all have a great day :)



Thanks as always for providing this forum for us to vent, rant, rave, muse, think outloud, etc... Whew - I need a beverage (but it's only 11:00am here in Tulsa, it's gotta be 5:00pm somewhere else in the world, right?)



Comment by TriSec on 02/02/2008 18:17:55
Passing through before heading out for our TV station tour..



A couple of snippets to add.



This afternoon, at the head of Main Street, I saw a pathetic little group of about 6 people and their kids holding up handmade signs stating "Mac is Back" and "Waltham 4 McCain". I had to shake my head at them...it looked more like a school project. I'm glad their candidate is still in the race (unlike, say ours) but you couldn't even get official campaign signs?



Further down Main Street on the common was a similar sized group, also holding up homemade signs. But these looked professionally done with stenciling and color, reading "Bring Them Home" and they were in front of a large rainbow flag emblazoned "P E A C E"



Guess which one got the tootling horn and friendly wave from your loyal TriSec?



Anyway...off we go. Be back later!



Comment by m-hadley on 02/02/2008 18:21:53
Raine & Others,

I just wanted to be sure that you saw Paul Krugman's column in yesterday's NYTimes The Edwards Effect. It is an excellent summation of what John Edwards brought to the race and how much the remaining candidates owe to his voice, vision and ideas. Hope you are doing well today

Comment by livingonli on 02/02/2008 18:32:47
Have fun with Comcast Public Access Tri.

Comment by MMB on 02/02/2008 19:49:58
Trisec, You and Mrs. T have the most adorable little boy!! He looks like he has grown a foot since I had the pleasure of meeting him last July in Disney. What a kid!!!

Comment by TriSec on 02/02/2008 22:42:22
WCAC-TV, Waltham, MA





Comment by Raine on 02/03/2008 00:52:36
Uh oh, super bowl... I am not posting this as an overindulgent Giants fan. I find it strange that the story came out today, but I seriously fear that this puts a little stank on tomorrows game... (and yes, I will open up a Super bowl Blog... or someone will... if by 5 pm, no one has, those who can feel free to open ONE... :P)

Comment by livingonli on 02/03/2008 01:14:43
How about the fact that Fox News will have a tie-in to the Super Bowl pre-game show as well with their "Road to Super Tuesday", between that and the American Idol tie-in with the regular pre-game show and I think I will avoid the telecast until kick-off. At least NBC has the Rangers in Montreal to play Les Habs to give me something to watch in the Afternoon.



Right now I am watching the Ottawa-Toronto game on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. Note, there is an NHL Center Ice Free Preview this weekend.

Comment by TriSec on 02/03/2008 02:04:49
I have the wingnuts-in-law over tomorrow for a long-planned annual birthday party for mama TriSec. I don't think I'll be able to get a blog going, but since this belongs to NY as much as it does NE, anyone out there with ties to Gotham is welcome to go for it!



(although everyone is on notice; if you're still sitting on my couch at kickoff time, you're watching the game...)



Comment by livingonli on 02/03/2008 02:28:44
I'll bring the pizza.

Comment by TriSec on 02/03/2008 04:21:57
A rest I need.



mmmmm.



Forever Sleep. Earned it, I have.





Comment by livingonli on 02/03/2008 04:35:55
Have a good night. I've got V for Vendetta on HBO HD.

Comment by Mondobubba on 02/03/2008 06:08:23
Ahhh back at the ranch after an evening out with Brother Mondo and his friend Kathy . A nice dinner some time spent at Boarders then "No Country for Old Men." Best.Movie.of.2007. The Coen brothers rock! :metal: