Bentely: Libertarianism is the Only Way to Save Our Country’s Future


Read the original article at The Libertarian Vindicator:

As the Donald Trump presidency is well underway in Washington there is fear running around on multiple sides of the political spectrum on what might happen to our country. Politicians talk a great deal about the future of our country and what can be done to save it from destruction. There are arguments to be had that hear the voices of many different perspectives, but we are hear to tell you there is only one approach that can actually save this country from what might be its impending disaster.
Libertarianism!

Freedom and Liberty are the only way to ensure a more prosperous society and that comes from the Libertarian philosophy. It starts with the following:

Taken straight from the Libertarian Party website:

  • We seek to substantially reduce the size and intrusiveness of government and cut and eliminate taxes at every opportunity.
  • We believe that peaceful, honest people should be able to offer their goods and services to willing consumers without inappropriate interference from government.
  • We believe that peaceful, honest people should decide for themselves how to live their lives, without fear of criminal or civil penalties.
  • We believe that government’s only responsibility, if any, should be protecting people from force and fraud.

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These core tenants showcase how we can save this country from its impending disaster. The answer on both sides of the two party system typically think it will take more government to solve our problems. One side (Republicans) will claim that they advocate smaller government, but when push comes to shove they all expand the size of the government as a way to fix the problems this country has.

We saw this today with President Trump proclaiming that he will increase the military budget by $54 Billion dollars with “supposed cuts” elsewhere. His own party won’t allow him to cut that much from the federal budget and hence we are back into the situation we always are in.

Too much government has always and will be the problem. We try too much as a country and in the end it bites us back. We increase the size and power of a institution that looks out for itself and restricts freedom. When we let the free market work on its own and let people make decisions for themselves we see economic prosperity.

This is how we save this country, we employ Libertarianism at all levels!

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Joe Cobb: The Purpose of a Libertarian Party

user3The Purpose of a Libertarian Party
I am a supporter of the Libertarian Party, and an active officer of the Party, because I believe in our American constitutional system. Our constitution does not identify two parties. It allows for many parties, as well as independent candidates. The LP doesn’t seem to win many elections, but that is not the real purpose of the LP. We are “running to win,” but the bottom line is that we are running because it is important to run.

Why?
First, consider the “wasted vote” question, which we are always asked. If only the Democrats or Republicans are going to win, why challenge them? If you hate the Republican the most, you need to vote for the Democrat to defeat him. Voting for a “third party” seems like a wasted vote.

But the issue is why anyone should vote from a motive of hate? Democracy is supposed to be about voting for the leadership you support. There must be something fundamentally wrong with a democratic system that is motivated mostly by hate or fear. I support the Libertarian Party because it represents what I do believe in, not merely the “lesser of two evils.”

Second, I urge everyone who wants to drop out of the electoral process to think again. If you dislike both the Democrats and the Republicans (for good reason), please do not simply walk away and let other people choose your government. Your government will tax you and regulate you and arrest you, and it will not leave you alone. You have to stand up and fight it, in the constitutional way by voting.

Why Do You Support Any Politician?
When political pollsters and talk show hosts ask people whether they support the Democratic or the Republican party, most people will tell them they do not support either one. If that is true, why do the Democrats or the Republicans always win our elections? Something is wrong here.

Sometimes a complete outsider seems to do a better job than an “insider.” Look at what happened under Reagan or Clinton, contrasted with either Bush administration.

The Libertarian Party may not win an election very often, but it is important the LP should always be there as an alternative. I can say the same for the Green Party. When the opinion pollsters ask, “are you a Republican or a Democrat?” you need to be able to answer, “I am not either one.”

You need to be able to say, “I am a Libertarian” or “I am a Green.”

Threaten to Take Over the Government
If you say, “I am a liberal” or “I am a conservative,” this is only a sentiment, or point of view. A statement of sentiment is different from declaring you are a member of a political party, which can attempt to take over the government and write new laws. There are liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. They have no influence. Unless you are a supporter of a political party that represents your views, which you can vote for, your statement has no significance.

It is important your statement should have significance. If the Libertarian Party or the Green Party were not on the ballot, or if they are wiped out in a primary election (as the proposed “open primary” proposals that only allow the top two candidates after a catchall primary), then none of the small parties would have a candidate in the November election, and you will have lost your significance as a voter. Your personal statement that you do not support either the Democrats or the Republicans will become meaningless, because all that remained would be your void ballot. You would no longer have any reason to vote. If you chose to vote at all, nobody would be there to receive your support and you could only be a negative, frustrated, impotent voter. Your vote would go to waste for sure.

Most people vote against the candidate they dislike the most. The trend in our society is toward polarization. This trend is bad for democracy. The Democrats today are motivated in anger against President George W. Bush. Their hate has grown more passionate than in 2000 when the Supreme Court closed off the Florida recount. Most Democrats were not enthusiastic about John F. Kerry. Many Republicans, too, were not very happy with George W. Bush. He is the biggest spender and the most regulatory, protectionist, interventionist president in history since F.D.R. and Wilson. If “compassionate conservatism” means a bigger, pro-war, police state, why should they support its candidates?

They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait
The Libertarian Party is running candidates every election, for every office, because we are waiting for the American people to come on over to our side. We offer a choice, not an echo (to quote an old slogan). A “protest vote” is not a wasted vote if it sends a message.

There is no possible mistake what a vote for the Libertarian candidate signifies. To vote against someone only buries your message in a lot of “noise” and nothing is communicated about why you are frustrated – the change you demand is not understood because the candidate who wins is only “the lesser of two evils.”

Did you support the winner, or did you only vote against the loser? Who knows? I am an officer of the Libertarian Party because I refuse to run a negative election campaign. We should have something to vote FOR, not merely the blind opportunity to vote against one form of evil, only to end up with another form of evil.

Jesse Matthews: Freedom, a simple word, yet so misunderstood and abused.

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“The quality or state of being free: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action: political rights” (Freedom, 2009) how many times a day do you use the word freedom, or free when relating to your political stance? Does your use of this word come with the understanding that encompasses it? Freedom has many philosophical meanings to many people; in the end, freedom still encompasses the above-mentioned definition in one form or another. With this being said it is important to realize that by invading a country, and forcing a way of life on the people of that nation we are not in essence ensuring freedom, we are “coercing, and constraining” their actions and ideas.

Freedom, true freedom can only be understood, and not forced. Did France or Germany come to the Colonies (pre Revolution) and say you know, we are going to show you how to gain freedom, I hope you don’t mind if we replace your troops with ours. What good would that have done? As a Classic Libertarian I do not ever feel the need to invade other sovereign nations unless, that invasion in fact does protect American people. However, during the history of this nation we have “invaded” many nations (over 300 documented times) simply to change a government, or protect a Banana/ Oil factory. I digress however, and will bring this back on track.

My freedom is my human right, if I so choose to accept and understand that freedom. If I give up my freedom simply to have the illusion of safety etc. than can I really complain when the bill comes due and I find that I have no liberties left. In earlier segments I defined the word “liberal” and the word “conservative” however, was careful not to delve to deeply into the “term.” There is a reason for that, after all the “term” is open for individual interpretation, which generally just leads to confusion. The word is defined; it has an etymology and a specific use. This makes it easier to have facts, and appreciate true knowledge in this author’s opinion.

The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.Samuel Adams – Article to the Boston GazetteOctober 14, 1771

Per its definition freedom is the state of being free, an interesting concept that many of us modern “politically correct” individuals tend to forget on both sides of the political spectrum. Freedom for some may be the equalization of wealth, and free health care. While freedom for others may be the worship of one God, and one language. Interestingly both extremes forget that freedom does not mean the free practice of only one agenda and side, freedom means the ability to think and act according to ones own beliefs and ethics. Freedom according to its very definition stands for the proliferation of multiple ideals and ideas as long as those ideas and ideals do not keep another from practicing theirs, or break the legal codes of the land. Freedom is not the ability to practice illegal and harmful actions. “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.Samuel Adams Speech in Philadelphia – August 1, 1776

It is for us the thinkers and the supporters of liberty to ensure true freedom exists for as long as this country shall exist. Only when we can accept that our freedoms are reliant upon the contributions of all citizens of this country regardless of race, creed, religious choice, or role in society, only than will we are able to continue to pursue true freedom. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.Thomas Paine The Crisis – 1777. It is work, hard work to support something that guarantees everyone’s equal rights and equal standings within our society. It is even harder work to recognize when we have failed to support those rights. Being a Libertarian is more than just being a member of a political party, it is understanding the rights of man, and focusing on the extension of those rights, liberties, and freedoms. The hardest feat of mine on a day-to-day basis is admitting that while my beliefs are mine others should be allowed theirs as well.

On the following note I leave you to ponder what freedom means too you personally, and why you may be quick to deny another freedoms, and rights simply based on an individual prejudice. “ I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it.Thomas JeffersonLetter to John Holmes, Monticello, April 22 1820.


Viva la libertad!

 

 

 

Freedom. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Retrieved September 5, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom

Kimberly: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Going Fishing For Libertarian Voters at Red and Blue Events

Kimberly Richards

In the state of Arizona, political parties outside of the Republican-Democrat two-party stranglehold, like ours, have to periodically “prove” themselves to the Secretary of States by showing they have a certain number of registered voters. Consequently, the Libertarian Party is currently engaged in a comprehensive, aggressive push to increase our numbers. Although, since November, we’ve experienced an 11.3% increase in voters, that’s still not enough. Thus, volunteers within our party, such as the indomitable Debra De La Rocha, and MCLP Treasurer, Joe Cobb, spend their free time chatting with the locals at various events, sharing with them what it means to be a Libertarian, and providing them with an alternative that combines the best of both parties – ‘free minds and free markets’ as the Reason magazine slogan goes – without all the nasty baggage that makes politics in America so aggravating.

Having started volunteering with the Libertarian Party (I started attending MCLP meetings two months ago and have been tasked with putting together the 2009 AZLP Newsletter), I recently had the privilege of working with both Debra and Joe two weekends in a row. The first weekend, April 18 – 19, we rented a booth at Phoenix’s Pride Festival. The second, April 25 – 26, we staked out a spot at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show. As you can imagine, both events catered to specific, polar opposite demographics. The Pride Festival was geared towards the GLBTQ community, which is liberal-leaning and historically, Democrat. The Gun Show, on the other hand, catered to the gun-owning crowd, which is conservative-leaning and historically, Republican.
Different demographics mean different persuasive tactics. Of the two events, I was more worried about working the Pride Festival. Despite having been a writer for a local GLBTQ Entertainment magazine for the past five years and being very close friends with several influential members of the community, I was concerned about actively bringing up politics with a predominately liberal crowd. In my political science courses at ASU, I have consistently gotten into some very uncomfortable disagreements with Democrats who prefer to use emotional appeals and distributive tactics to make their case, which doesn’t jive with my own preference for logic, reason, and dialogue.  Conversely, I figured the Gun Show would be a veritable cake walk for me. Coming from a Conservative background with Republican parents, a father that own a small business and an admirable cache of guns, and a fiancé enlisted in the Armed Forces, I figured I would be able to successfully bridge the gap between Republicanism and Libertarianism.  In classes and conversations with Republicans, I’m usually seen as their adopted sister; similar enough to be family, but not quite the same.
Armed with these preconceived notions, I was completely agog when my experiences were exposed as counterintuitive.
The Pride Festival was, hands down, a great, cause-affirming experience. Both days, our booth was consistently crowded with open, excited people who were genuinely curious about the Libertarian Party and who openly and unabashedly supported our causes. Using several petitions as ice-breakers, both the young and old came up in good spirits and eager for conversation. Debra, saleswoman extraordinaire, explained who we were, what we were trying to accomplish, and that we needed their help. By the end of Sunday, we had registered 100 people to vote Libertarian, made some invaluable connections with members of the community who were genuinely interested in helping us out, and went home feeling the thrill of grassroots political activism. Interestingly, that Sunday afternoon, one of the fellows who manned the Democrat Party booth swung by to see how we were doing. Debra said, “great! How about you?” He shrugged and said, “alright.” We felt so good. Here, at a Festival that caters to a community that is typically very left-wing and we were churning and burning while the Democrats were just doing, “alright.” This is what it’s all about!
The Gun Show, on the other hand, was the precise opposite of the Pride Festival. Standing at a make-shift table in the parking lot, we tried to solicit people as they walked to and from the Gun Show. “Would you help me out with some signatures to ban photo radar?” I asked, the words so often said without any response that it became an automatic, unenthused script. Surely, people who guard their guns jealously would be against other measures of government surveillance and intrusion, but no…those who actually spoke to us usually said, “I like photo radar. It keeps people like you off my ass!” I didn’t have the stones to tell him the only time I tailgate is when there’s a party…
In addition to the disinterested and periodic shouts of irrational approval for government intrusion, we had a few very real, very uncomfortable arguments. The most notable of which was when a gentleman stopped by to sign our petition and Debra asked him if he was interested in joining the Libertarian Party. He sighed heavily and said, “third parties like yours steal elections from Republicans”. Standing over us, a rifle slung over his shoulder, he proceeded to lecture Debra and I on how Perot prevented Bush, Sr. from being reelected.
For those of you unfamiliar, allow me to explain. In 1992, when George Bush was running for reelection, the Texas Tycoon, Ross Perot, ran for President under the Reform Party ticket.  Surfacing towards the beginning of the election cycle, Perot dropped out midway. By the time the general election came around, Perot reappeared to capture 19,000+ popular votes, with Bush capturing 39,000+, and Clinton securing victory with 44,000+. If we are to assume that every vote that went to Perot would have gone to Bush, then yes, Perot did hinder Bush from winning the popular vote. Yet as the 2000 election has shown, popular vote does not necessarily translate into the electoral college vote, which is what is actually looked at when determining who wins the Presidential election. Perot did not earn 1 electoral college vote. Part of this is due to the fact that several states, including ours, have what’s known as the “Winner Take All” system for electoral college votes. What this means is that, rather than breaking electoral college votes down according to the proportion of popular votes a candidate earns in an election or by district as some states do, all the electoral college votes a state has are simply given to whoever has a majority of the popular votes. For example, in Arizona, even if you win by a slim margin (such as McCain’s 200,000 votes in 2008), you get all 10 of Arizona’s electoral college votes.
This policy, while easier on tabulation, is a big roadblock to political parties outside the two-party system.  For Perot to earn even 1 electoral college vote, he would somehow have to secure more votes than Clinton or Bush did in one district in one state that does not have a “Winner Take All” system. Yet, as is evident by the results, he did not. If we were to assume Perot’s votes would have gone to Bush and look at the results again, there are still not enough electoral college votes in influential swing states to sway the election enough to actually secure Bush’s victory against Clinton.  The fact of the matter is that Perot rather evenly siphoned votes off of both candidates and that Bush’s loss and Clinton’s win had little to do with Perot’s presence. Big Perot victories were in his hometown of Texas, which still went to Bush, and Maine, which still went to Clinton.
When that gentleman made his ignorant assertion, I told him he was wrong.
He said, “No, I’m right.”
“Sir, I just spent the past four years getting a degree in political science; I think I know what I’m talking about.”
“You’ve a right to your opinion,” he said, which is the slightly more civilized way of saying, “shut up.” Rather than getting into a philosophical debate about the dual properties of rights and duties, I took my cue and zipped my lip.
After he concluded his lecture on why the Libertarian Party, along with every other “fringe” political party should be abolished so the Republicans can experience unencumbered power, he took his leave and we breathed a sigh of relief.
Just then, in the distance, someone shouted, “Commies!” at us. If laissez-faire and free choice in, well, everything, makes me a pinko, then I guess he’s right.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson in the past week and a half. Never judge a Democrat or a Republican by their political affiliation because a prick is still a prick, regardless of who he votes for.

 

Coons: Do Rich/Wealthy People Deserve Tax Breaks?

I was in a discussion with someone recently who argued that we should increase taxes on the rich because they don’t deserve that much money. I followed up by asking why they don’t deserve it. The answer I received was because they have so much money and they don’t need it all. So the discussion instantly changed from one of “deserve” to one of “need”, probably without the person who made the comments even realizing it.

This person was one of many who equates “deserve” with “need”, as if they were synonymous. It’s probably true that someone who makes $100 million per year doesn’t need an extra few hundred thousand in tax breaks. But of course, we’re talking about whether or not they deserve it, not whether or not they need it.

To become rich someone needs to work hard, work long hours, and do something so extremely valuable that people are willing to purchase their products and services in such large quantity that they become rich. So in the process of becoming rich, one must provide some huge benefit to many others. And in the process, they have earned their money, and therefore they deserve it. For their hard work, they are rewarded with the ability to spend their money in any way they’d like. This may mean investing it, buying fancy yachts, or simply passing it on to their children. As those that did the work to earn gobs of money, they deserve to dispose of it by any method of their choosing (so long as they are not in violation of someone else’s rights when doing so).

But what if we tax rich people more, not because we think they don’t deserve the money, but because they don’t need it? A good example of the consequences is the 1990 tax on luxury yachts over $100,000 instituted by the U.S. Government. This was clearly a tax on the rich, as anyone else wouldn’t be buying these boats. But this did little to rich people, who simply shrugged off the idea of purchasing a yacht of that price, or perhaps bought it elsewhere that did not impose such a tax. The result was that yachts in this price range dropped 71%, a job loss of 25% in the yacht manufacturing and sales industry, and rich people still had their money.

In an attempt to “spread the wealth” by force by taking money from people that have earned it, the ones hit hardest were actually the average working person who fed his family by means of constructing and selling boats. The tax increase generated only a small portion of what was originally thought by those that introduced it. In 1993, the tax was removed.

(It should be noted that not all rich people are beneficiaries of their hard work or the voluntary transfer of work of others. Many have received favors from government in order to acquire what they have. Whereas some people will suggest that we should tax these people, libertarians believe we should strip government of the power to favor anyone, thereby leveling the playing field).

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