George Phillies reviews Wayne Root’s ‘Conscience of a Libertarian’

The following review appeared in Liberty For All under the headline There is no Libertarian here: The Conscience of a Libertarian by Wayne Root. Other well known Libertarians who have reviewed Root’s Conscience of a Libertarian include Steve Kubby, John Hospers, Peter Orvetti, and Richard Winger.



a book review by George Phillies

Mr. Root has published a 368-page campaign book, which in the reviewer’s opinion should substantially eliminate any suspicion that Root is an acceptable Presidential candidate for our party. It should also substantially eliminate any suspicion that he is a libertarian rather than – as he entirely honestly says on a regular basis – a conservative of a particular sort. Not a bad sort….if you want a conservative President, Wayne would be a lot better than most of the other conservatives out there.

To give credit where credit is due, Mr. Root successfully transports his vigorous tub-thumping speech patterns from the soap box to print form. If you wonder what he sounds like on stage, you have but to read this volume aloud. Should you want to find Mr. Root’s positions on particular issues, there is a really excellent index.

If we were the right wing anti-tax party with esoteric undertones, we might agree this is a libertarian book. We aren’t, and it isn’t.

Let’s start with that Index. In the real world, the President deals in considerable part with foreign, defense, and trade policy. Foreign policy? Iraq-not listed. Iran-not listed. Afghanistan-not listed. The Bush War on Terror-not listed. Ending foreign wars is buried in a two-page section on decreasing foreign aid, a section that rapidly segues into cutting defense spending, starting with the time-worn Republican rant about eliminated waste and stealing.

Mr. Root piles up all sorts of right-wing nostrums and assertions. Libertarians advocate reality-based politics. Root – read Chapter 27 – is a global warming denier. Libertarians historically come from knowledge-based professions – Root goes into a rant against vaccinating young women for cervical cancer.

While flawed, our Constitution and its Bill of Rights as extended to the states by the 14th amendment have done much to give Americans freedom and prosperity. Root speaks to ‘…abortion, gay rights, stem cell funding, right to die (think Terry Schiavo), online poker, medical marijuana, and censorship of television…” “I believe it is up to the voters of each state to decide for themselves…” This is the “States’ Rights” doctrine under which voters decided that African Americans were not allowed to ride at the front of the bus, vote, attend good high schools, or marry white people. Fortunately, our Federal Constitution put an end to those despicable States’ Rights doctrines. Curiously, when it comes to gun ownership, Mr. Root is correctly supportive of the right of private citizens to keep and bear arms, but only tens of pages after he hands off to the voters the right ‘to decide for themselves’ whether to allow gun ownership in each state.

We have a Constitutional system under which Congress passes bills, the President may veto bills, Congress may over-ride the Presidential veto, and then things come to an end. The decision has been made. Root rejects this constitutional system – Chapter 15 – in favor of a Presidential dictatorship ‘impoundment’ under which the President may ignore the law and refuse to spend money if he feels like it. This is the tyrannical Bush ’signing statement’ doctrine expanded a thousand-fold.

Root blames the difficulties of the Detroit car companies on labor unions. It was not the labor unions that tried to sell ‘buy American’ rather than ‘our cars have fewer defects’. It was not the labor unions that won one company President a 100-million-dollar contract. It was not labor unions that invented planned obsolescence, designing cars to fail after a few years. It was not labor unions that told company economists to support import quotas or be fired, when they warned quotas would mean billions in extra profits for Japanese carmakers, exactly as happened. It was not the labor unions that agreed to those contracts. Blaming labor unions for bankrupting Detroit is nonsense.

Root does talk about ending prohibition. For most libertarians, that is a truly fine issue. Drug prohibition wastes tens and tens of billions of dollars a year, and has blighted the lives of millions of young men and women. Medical marijuana prohibition is a consummate anti-libertarian doctrine. Root instead goes on – entirely justly – about gambling prohibition, especially internet gambling. Drug prohibition…not so much. Of course, during Root’s nominating campaign he claimed that there were vast numbers of internet gamblers out there just waiting to support this campaign issue, which clearly did not happen to the Libertarian Party in 2008.

Libertarians historically have tended to advocate equality before the law. Root instead advocates eliminating taxes on capital gains, which he claims is taxing money twice. People who have honest jobs and work for a living go to the rear of the bus. The Root tax plan qualifies as class warfare, not in a way that is likely to win the support of many voters.

Readers who actually have capital gains will have noted contrary to Root that the name of the tax is more or less honest … you are taxed on the gains, not on the principal. The same money is not taxed twice. Unfortunately, this Root assertion is somewhat typical of the book, which could have survived some fact-checking. As anyone who has read the Declaration of Independence will have noted, contrary to Mr. Root the tea tax was only a small part of one cause of the Revolution.

If you are looking for modern issues that the Founding Fathers could have understood, consider warrantless wiretapping of every telephone in the United States. Root says “If we had heeded Barry Goldwater, the Federal government would not have the right to listen into your phone calls … (without a warrant)…I am today uncomfortable with any administration overriding or ignoring the Constitution for any reasons…” Real libertarians know that the government already does not have a right to warrantless wiretapping. Real libertarians are not uncomfortable with trampling our Bill of Rights…they know for a fact that those acts are felony crimes against the Republic, and say loudly in public that the people who committed them need to be relocated to a Federal prison.

Finally, in a country whose constitution and bill of rights create an iron wall between church and state, and in a party many of whose founders were atheists, agnostics, neo-pagans, or uninterested in the topic, opening your book “Let me start with God” is bit surprising. Claiming that our national success is due to divine intervention rather than to capitalism, thrift, and limited government is certainly peculiar and remote from libertarianism.

So, if you were considering Root, go to http://antiwar.com. Click on “amazon.com” so some of your money goes to a good place, namely antiwar. Buy a book — used copies are not expensive. See what you are considering buying for our party, or pay the price later.

George Phillies is a contributing editor for Liberty For All. You can contact Dr. Phillies at phillies@wpi.edu.

86 thoughts on “George Phillies reviews Wayne Root’s ‘Conscience of a Libertarian’

  1. Robert Milnes

    Thank you, Prof. Phillies. Since I have the highest esteem for you and your opinions and almost always agree, you have done a great service for me and the Libertarian Party. You have spared me from having to read this book. I am satisfied that Mr. Root is not a good candidate for President for the LP. I was before this review and am still. There is plenty of good material to read that goes wanting. There is plenty that needs to be done. Let’s not divert our attention or our actions on unnecessary, counterproductive endeavors.

  2. George Phillies

    @2

    He mentioned Israel has lots of gun owners.

    In that discussion, he skipped over certain technical issues relating to the religious faith of people who are or can legally be gun owners.

  3. JT

    Milnes: “You have spared me from having to read this book.”

    So you were going to read Root’s 368-page book before reading this review, Milnes? I don’t think so. You hate anything that hints of conservatism, and you knew–like every other Libertarian does–that Root’s political approach is that of a libertarian-conservative. It always has been.

    I don’t support Root’s approach either. I think libertarians need to stop viewing themselves as more aligned with the right OR the left and just accept that they’re a totally different color than red or blue. We are, and we’re not going to fool anyone by pretending otherwise. But don’t pretend that you had an open mind about Root’s book and were planning on reading it.

  4. Robert Milnes

    Peter Orvetti, Yes, I have proposed that instead of conducting an unconstitutional war in Afghanistan, we propose a colony state with them. That would be a treaty much like that with Texas, where a 50/50 land & population 2 states were created -like Israel and Palestine- and an economic parity arrangement. This would create a Y shaped state with the U.S. controling the border much like the US- Mexico & US-Canada border (smart fence) between Pakistan & Afghanistan. It would almost immediately bring each & every Afghani out of the Stone Age economically. I also proposed a package for Pakistan which involves a land purchase much like the Gadsden & Louisianna, & Alaska purchase(so it is not unprecedented) of a mostly uninhabited area between Afghanistan & Pakistan providing ocean port access. This was a goal I believe ultimately of Soviet conquest of Afghanistan-a warm water port just a little farther south.

  5. Erik Geib

    In my humble opinion, Libertarians would be much better served focusing our campaigns on 2 or 3 issues the major parties are afraid to touch instead of coddling one side or another. Find the libertarian niche of independents, moderates who vote against parties instead of for, non-voters, and actual libertarians. Drug legalization is a great issue, for example.

  6. Jeremy Young

    Dr. Phillies, do you think Root is more or less libertarian than Chuck Baldwin? It sounds at times as if you’re describing Baldwin exactly here. Interesting.

  7. Robert Milnes

    Susan, is that you? Haven’t seen you in IPR comments for a while. I have some questions. Holtz says you are one of few libertarian radicals that didn’t support Ron Paul last year. Along with Prof. Phillies, Tom K. & me. Is that true? Also, paulie says Phillies is not a radical or anarchist. I say he is both. What say you? Also, can you lend or sell me a solar panel? Or point me in the right direction to get one?

  8. Solomon Drek

    “Dr. Phillies, do you think Root is more or less libertarian than Chuck Baldwin? It sounds at times as if you’re describing Baldwin exactly here. Interesting.”

    Root, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr and, yes, even Ron Paul are all cut from the same Robert Taft/Bill Buckley/Pat Buchanan paleoconservative cloth. As George Wallace once said, ther’s hardly a dime’s worth of difference between them.

    I haven’t read his book, don’t intend to, but I’ve seen enough of him on TV and read his blog posts to know he’s the political equivalent of a used car salesman, in this instance selling a paleoconservative ideology wrapped up in libertarian packaging.

    Every paleocon, and even some neocon Republicans, sound like libertarians when they are out of power. Just wait until they get back in.

    Root’s book should really be called “Lack of Conscience: How a former numbers picker and gambling promoter uses fast-talking marketing skills selling himself to frustrated paleocons and win-at-any-cost libertartians”.

  9. Cork

    Real libertarians oppose having a powerful, centralized government exercise brutal control over the states (unlike Phillies).

    Real libertarians oppose capital gains taxes (unlike Phillies).

    As for the war on drugs, neither Phillies nor Root have (to the best of my knowledge) gone very far beyond “legalize medical marijuana.” Both seem to shy away from the issue.

  10. Tom Blanton

    Just reading the full title of Root’s book is enough for me:

    “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts”

    Even if I knew nothing at all about the author of such a book, I wouldn’t be tempted to read this garbage. It is clear who this book is aimed at and it sure isn’t me.

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    I don’t have another forum to post this at so that others are made aware of it, but thought some here might find this a bit interesting. Sorry for hijacking the thread.
    MW

    Commentary
    Wichita Witch Hunt
    Harvey A. Silverglate, 09.01.09, 04:15 PM EDT
    The Justice Department wages war on pain relief.

    No good deed goes unpunished when a private citizen is up against the federal drug warriors–those members of the Department of Justice who have been seeking, with increasing success in recent decades, to effectively control the practice of pain relief medicine. But a current drama being played out in federal court in Kansas portends an even darker turn in the DOJ’s war–a private citizen is being threatened with prosecution for seeking to raise public and news media consciousness of the Feds’ war against doctors and patients.

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/01/siobhan-reynolds-pain-relief-network-wichita-justice-department-opinions-contributors-harvey-a-silverglate.html

  12. Eric Dondero

    Of course, Libertarians are all over the map on foreign policy, from Pro-War/Hardcore Anti-Islamo Fascists all the way to pussy boy wimps, who cower at fighting against America’s enemies.

    So, to criticize Root for not playing up a “libertarian foreign policy” in the book is kind of stupid.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    From the excerpts I’ve read, Wayne takes a generally non-interventionist line on foreign policy, and also recognizes the role that insane levels of “defense” spending plays in transferring money from the wallets of taxpayers to the bank accounts of the political class.

    He comes off, in other words, as considerably more libertarian on foreign and defense policy than big-government jingoist nutjobs like Eric Dondero.

  14. Jeremy Young

    Phillies is definitely not an anarchist or a radical, as evidenced by the fact that he is the Libertarian leader closest to me on most issues (immigration and foreign policy excepted).

  15. Michael Seebeck

    After the end of Cold War, why, even with ‘geopolitik’ and strategist concerned, do we need Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, Virgin Islands, PI, the Mariannas ??????

    Dunno what PI is, unless it’s a typo for Puerto Rico, but as for the rest:

    Guam: Yep, for national security purposes.
    Hawaii and Alaska: they’re states, duh!
    Virgin Islands: Sure, for the tourism.
    Marianas: Not really.

  16. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 9 9 Erik Geib // Sep 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    “In my humble opinion, Libertarians would be much better served focusing our campaigns on 2 or 3 issues the major parties are afraid to touch instead of coddling one side or another. Find the libertarian niche of independents, moderates who vote against parties instead of for, non-voters, and actual libertarians. Drug legalization is a great issue, for example.”

    Erik in all seriousness how do we get the LNC to press this issue? And I seriously agree. Focus!!

  17. Solomon Drek

    “Real libertarians oppose having a powerful, centralized government exercise brutal control over the states (unlike Phillies).”

    That’s right. They oppose SCOTUS telling states they can’t force black kids and white kids to go to separate public schools, or local police departments put people in jail without making sure they understand their constitutional rights, or putting doctors in jail for performing abortions, or allowing evidence in criminal trials that were obtained without due process, or making sure that citizens have the same right to vote in elections without regard to their race.

    And I’m sure all real libertarians would oppose the recent SCOTUS decision overturning the right of a town to change its testing policies regarding promotions in their own fire department.

  18. Melty

    Full independence for the United States Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands would do wonders for the Chamorro.
    As for Guam, it’s far gone. It’s our West Pacific unsinkable aircraft carrier. Guam’s our ticket out of all our foreign bases in East Asia. The best thing for Guam is statehood.

  19. John Famularo

    Michael Wilson wrote,
    “how do we get the LNC to press this issue? And I seriously agree. Focus!!”

    The LNC is not so much a political strategy committee as it is mostly a finance committee trying to keep itself and the LPHQ funded. Any narrowing of focus scares them because they think it will cause one or more of the many factions within the LP to cease or reduce their financial support. I’m not saying that any individual LNC member thinks this through, but as a group and with the influence of the senior paid staff and contractors, the lack of political focus is the result.

    I can’t see any circumstance that will alter the pattern that has existed since the inception of the LP. Those contributing members who are dissatisfied with the LP will become non-contributors (as a few hundred thousand have done over the last 37 years). Those who are currently satisfied or still hope for future success will continue to support the LP at about the 15,000 member level on average.

    Most delegates at any national convention have no rhyme or reason as to how they vote for LNC members.

  20. The New New New New Reform Movement [?????????]

    American Samoa is the odd duck here, the natives are not United States citizens, they are United States residents. I love them, there is a Veterans Administration Hospital, I would love to move there, even tho I could not buy property [rent only to ‘out siders’] but I did not want to unfairly lump them together.

    I make mistakes, but do not deliberately aim to do so ……….. Donald R. Lake

  21. Melty

    Thanx, George.
    I didn’t read the book, but reading the above, and having seen a few TV interviews, I get the impression then, that Root wants to “decrease foreign aid”, rather than cut off all foreign aid, so we can continue to subsidize Israel with a few billion per annum. Root is pro-Israel expansionist . . . no? Root also does not want to even scale down on any of our foreign occupations, evidently. He just wants the folks at the pentagon to not squander carelessly, right? So what is there to Root that’s not interventionist? Sure, he’s less warbent than Eric Dondero, Duncan Hunter, Pat Robertson, Curtis Le May, Madame Chang, Attilla the Hun . . . Root’s foreign policy is unlibertarian.

  22. Melty

    I suggest, for three points to focus on that neither ruling party is willing to touch . . .
    cut spending
    cut spending
    cut spending
    for main talking points – drugs, sex and other moralizing ways to get a crime without a victim, and peace

  23. mdh

    George, what particularly do you see as un-libertarian about Root’s positions in his book? You mention that he doesn’t play up a libertarian foreign policy, but it is nonetheless in there (strategically, given who his target audience is, that does make some sense – don’t drop bombs on these people before they have their foot in the door.) You mention being opposed to forced vaccinations and the myth of global warming – which I dare say most libertarians are.

    Can you provide some more details on exactly what positions Root espouses that are not libertarian in your opinion?

  24. Agent Kris

    Root, the current face for a discount lawyer in Las Vegas with ads running on TV (CW Las Vegas) and on billboards around town, seems to be very proud of his book’s title: “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling, & Tax Cuts.”

    As a libertarian for 10+ years, all of my years as a voter, I find the title very confusing. For those who have read it, does his book answer:

    What is “the conscience of a Libertarian”?

    How “the conscience of a Libertarian” empowers a citizen revolution with God, guns, gambling, and tax cuts?

    How a citizen revolution is empowered with gambling and tax cuts?

  25. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    Mr. Famularo has, apparently, been an observer of the NatCom for quite some time and was, if I’m not mistaken, responsible for software at one point. So he knows whereof he speaks.

    Any “Board of Directors” has several responsibilities. The financial and administrative health of the entity is certainly one of them. But a Board should also be directing the strategy of the entity: shall we introduce a luxury car to the line, shall we expand by buying XYZ Corp. and how would it fit into our corp. culture, etc. etc.? Ove the years, the LNC has had (various) mission statements. Candidates for LNC have blathered on about what they will do when elected. Apparently, most have succumbed to the politics of supporting one faction or another, not in advancing the overall health and mission of the LP. He is right that delegates have frequently elected unqualified NatCom members. Remember once when a teenage girl, new to the party, got a substantial vote against Steve Dasbach for Chair? Sure, it may have been a protest, but what if she had won? Some regional reps are elected, it seems, because no one else volunteered to spend thousands of dollars each year attending NatCom meetings.

  26. Who's Thumbing Who?

    Milnes,

    How did you come to the conclusion that either you or Phillies is an anarchist? An anarchist is someone who advocates getting rid of all monopoly government. Phillies does not, and you don’t either, as far as I know.

  27. Thomas M. Sipos

    I get the impression then, that Root wants to “decrease foreign aid”, rather than cut off all foreign aid, so we can continue to subsidize Israel with a few billion per annum.

    Root does not want to decrease foreign aid. Perhaps he sincerely thinks so (perhaps not), but he apparently confuses “foreign aid” with “occupation.”

    I say this because his website used to say (perhaps still does) that “wealthy nations in Europe and Japan should pay for their own defense.” (No mention of wealthy nations in the mideast.)

    Still, so far as it goes, it sounds good, sounds like he’s opposing foreign aid — except that this statement has nothing to do with foreign aid.

    Foreign aid is when you give money to nations, to spend as they wish. By that definition, Israel is the largest recipient of foreign aid. Egypt comes in second.

    The U.S. does not give foreign aid to Europe or Japan. Rather, the U.S. has military bases there — not to defend those nations, but to project American power.

    The U.S. essentially forbade Japan and Germany from defending themselves after WW 2, as a security measure.

    Agree or disagree, forbidding them from developing a vast military, while defending their territories from the USSR, was not foreign aid, but defending the U.S. on European/Japanese soil from Soviet expansion.

    Now, when Root says European nations or Japan should “pay for their own defense,” does he mean that the U.S. should close its bases and those nations should be free to pay for their own defense, buying whatever weapons systems they choose?

    Or does Root mean that the U.S. should maintain and control its foreign bases, but that Europe and Japan should pay a fee to the American Empire. What was called a “tribute” in the Roman Empire.” And imperial tribute for miltitary protection is not libertarianism.

    I think Root confuses “ending foreign aid” with “demanding tribute.”

    At the 2008 Denver convention, I heard Root say that he believes in “massive reductions in foreign aid.” But you can’t have “massive reductions in foreign aid” without touching the money we give Israel and Egypt. And Root hasn’t named those names.

  28. libertariangirl

    incidentally Wayne is working hard , barely sleeping and hardly eating , doing interviews and working for the LP

    Just a few highlights:

    FOX & Friends on Fox News on Wednesday at 8:15 AM EST
    Lou Dobbs Radio at 3 PM EST Thursday
    Bill Cunningham today at 1 PM EST
    Jim Bohannon at 10 PM EST Thursday
    WABC Radio in NY tonight

  29. Michael H. Wilson

    re John’s comments at #27;

    John you are probably right and until the LP decides to get serious about explaining what it stands for and why little or no change in government will happen.

    Over the years we’ve seen such publications as “Libertarian Solution for Local Issues” and the “Viewpoint” as well as a number of brochures, but no longer do we have much in the way of literature that has been produced specifically by the LP.

    Until the LP improves its public relations efforts it leaves the door open for the opposition to define what the LP is all about. That is detrimental to both the LP and the wider Libertarian movement.

  30. Thomas M. Sipos

    that IS a good point Sipos .

    Thanks, LG. Coming from you, a big Root supporter, that’s quite a compliment.

    Yes, Root is working hard. But he’s working hard for himself, to build his own celebrity status, hoping to build a career as a paid pundit, author, and radio/TV host. The LP is his platform to his personal goals.

    Now, some may think the LP enjoys collateral benefits from Root’s work (or not, if you disagree with his message).

    But either way, Root is primarily a self-promoter. He’d be working just as hard promoting himself, in whatever way he could, even were he not affiliated with the LP.

  31. libertariangirl

    wayne root is a walking , talking public relations phenomena for the LP .
    thankyou Wayne , for giving up so much of your time , sacrificing lots of family time , and putting up with so many nay-sayers ,all to promote the LP .

  32. Pingback: Eric Sundwall: Chapter by Chapter review of Wayne Root’s ‘Conscience of a Libertarian’ | Independent Political Report

  33. Robert Milnes

    As far as I can tell, most anarchists are simplistic hotheads. I’m right. anarchy now. Trash the classrooms. SDS. Soldiers: Hand over the keys and fly out of Iraq on the next plane.- Steve Kubby, Christine Smith. Phillies & I & others represent a more patient, sophisticated, thoughtful type. Like, since we are a tiny minority, how do we -survive- & reach the vast majority without freaking them out? What is the best way to defend our rights & those of others in the meantime? (Hint e.g. federal intervention in cases of states’ rights abuses) How do we change everybody into an anarchist?; because that’s the only way anarchism, whatever it turns out to be, will work. Anything before that would be incomplete and premature. Social political revolution. By the way, what might it actually be like? etc.

  34. libertariangirl

    Thats probably the biggest area where Root and I differ , but unlike most LPers , I like to focus on common ground and making progress.

    noone is working harder and I disagree he is working for himself . there are a million other things he could do that would bring more money, more notoriety and less fallout. he’s working for more freedom and the LP , and he’s sacrificing ALOT to do it.

    those who say he’s just in it for himself , have never taken the time to get to know him or to to evaluate his performance UNBIASED.

    he is the frontrunner , because he earned it.

  35. Who's Thumbing Who?

    Ah, I see.

    You believe Phillies is an anarchist because he is in favor of a strong “federal” (central) government and against states rights.

    Is that your final answer?

  36. Michael H. Wilson

    Welcome back LG. You seem to have Root’s ear so to speak and I have criticized him for his comments about union workers so may I suggest that perhaps you can get him to read up on the Anti-corn Law League of England here http://www.historyhome.co.uk/peel/cornlaws/acll.htm.

    This is just one of many articles on the group that promoted the idea that free trade helped workers and could put a dent in poverty.

    Legal restrictions such as occupational licensing laws, regulations that outlaw competition in urban transportation, building codes, zoning and a host of other laws help the politically connected, but harm the workers and increase poverty.

  37. libertariangirl

    thanks Michael , its good to be back . gotta a much better , more reliable internet access.

    Ill pass along the suggestion to Root .

  38. Who's Thumbing Who?

    “Who’s thumbing Who, are you an anarchist? You seem rather simplistic, unsophisticated & a hothead.”

    How did you come to any of that conclusion?

  39. Thomas M. Sipos

    there are a million other things he could do that would bring more money, more notoriety and less fallout.

    Like what? To get media face time, you need to be an “expert” on something, preferably a celebrity expert.

    Root’s only area of “expertise” was gambling, but (1) that was a mostly a local and insular fame, and (2) his gambling business failed. So that area of expertise had been mainly wrung out for all it was worth.

    What was Root gonna do? He’s attracted to fame. He’s a media hound. But why would anyone put him on TV anymore? To talk about … what? Finance, politics, what? What made him an “expert” on those subjects?

    Certain things make one an “expert” in the eyes of the media, whether you are or not. A title. A book. A degree. A show.

    Gaining the LP VP slot (a title) made Root an “instant expert” on libertarianism. Through tireless self-promotion (one of his main skills) he leveraged this “instant expertise” into a book deal, which compounded him as an “official expert” on libertarianism in the eyes of the media.

    Doesn’t matter how clueless Root is. He’s got a title, and now a book, under his belt. And the more TV and radio shows he appears on, the more his “official” status builds.

    The media doesn’t care how much you know about a subject, only that you have some titles to justify your presence, and that you be entertaining (as Starr has admitted).

    So now this clueless but entertaining self-promoter is paraded before the media as an “official expert” on libertarian philosophy.

    It also helps that Root doesn’t seriously challenge the Empire, because that’s how Fox News, Mike Savage, et al, wish to spin libertarianism. Doing so neuters the prospects of an “antiwar right,” relegating the antiwar movement into a “left ghetto.”

    Root is using Fox News for personal gain, and Fox News is using Root to neuter the “antiwar right.”

  40. Robert Milnes

    Who’s Thumbing Who, …meant to include “self righteous hothead”. No, not Phillies. So funny I forgot to laugh. He is clearly NOT a government agent. W.A.R. He is clearly most possibly pushing the government agenda: Keep the LP split; impede a possible progressive-libertarian alliance, make money while doing so-campaign funding, sell books, TV appearances/speaking tours/fees, long term “campaign” etc. Kind of like sell arms to Iran & skim off some $ & send the rest to Contras.

  41. libertariangirl

    Sipos , Wayne could join the GOP and be elected already or moving up a FAR , FAR more successful ladder than the LP’s. He would be welcome , un-ridiculed and DEF , be making more money.

    Instead he picks the somewhat masochistic choice of promoting freedom and liberty as an LPer , with sneers and un-gratitude launched from all sides .

    NOONE would pick that lest it was something thy truly believed in and their calling.

  42. libertariangirl

    ‘tireless self promotion’ is a good thing people . if we all learned to do it , instead of ridiculing it , we’d be far more prevalent in the mainstream media .

    if you want to bring Wayne down why not do better instead of pointing fingers?

    oh wait…

  43. libertariangirl

    Milnes , I come from the anti drug war left . But unlike some LPers I dont let my imagined ‘side’ dictate my decisions .

  44. Who's Thumbing Who?

    LG _ ‘tireless self promotion’ is a good thing people . if we all learned to do it , instead of ridiculing it , we’d be far more prevalent in the mainstream media .

    if you want to bring Wayne down why not do better instead of pointing fingers?

    oh wait…

    WTW _____ Good point.

    Milnes ____ you are making my argument that he could be a government agent.

    WTW ______ Jealous?

  45. Who's Thumbing Who?

    “Milnes there are agents everywhere , one is watching you right now”

    The man in the mirror?

  46. Thomas M. Sipos

    Wayne could join the GOP and be elected already or moving up a FAR , FAR more successful ladder than the LP’s.

    That’s an unproven theory.

    And I don’t buy it.

    The GOP is real politics, full of Big Boys. With Big Money stakes. You can’t just join and be a candidate for office.

    If you’re nobody off the streets, you start at the bottom, and must wait your turn before you get the chance to run for serious office. If it ever comes.

    And Root is impatient. He wants to start as “leader.”

    It’s much easier for anyone to make their mark in a small pond. In the LP, it’s almost impossible not to have a title if you stick around even a few years.

    I’ve held several LP titles that were shoved on me simply because the party has a surfeit of titles, and not enough activists to fill them.

    The late Dave Larkin (former Los Angeles County chair) told me he merely wanted to hang out at meetings, but because he did so, he was eventually elected to titled LP positions that he didn’t even want. He accepted them out of a sense of duty.

    You want a title, or a chance to run for Congress or Assembly in the LP? Step right up, plenty of titles and candidacies to go around.

    You want a title or candidacy in the GOP or the Dems? Much harder to get. They’re far bigger ponds, with far larger fish.

    LG, your notion that Root could have joined the GOP and quickly rocketed to political stardom is baseless.

  47. libertariangirl

    politics in the real world , at least in Nv , is who ya know. Root has the proper connections in Nv and I have no doubt were he to join the GOP , he’d be an electable candidate rather quickly

  48. Thomas M. Sipos

    Root has the proper connections in Nv and I have no doubt were he to join the GOP , he’d be an electable candidate rather quickly

    Okay, that’s your theory. As I said, it’s an unproven theory. You buy it, I don’t.

  49. Pingback: Tom Knapp: ‘Consciences of the Critics’ | Independent Political Report

  50. Bruce Cohen

    Wayne could have the NV Senate seat if he rejoined the GOP.

    His gambling business didn’t fail either, you yerk, Sipos. He sold it for a lot of money.

    As far as Milnes, he’s running for President in his mind and is just anti-Wayne because he thinks his candle is brighter.

  51. Thomas L. Knapp

    “His gambling business didn’t fail either, you yerk, Sipos. He sold it for a lot of money.”

    Which gambling business?

    As of Q1 09, “W Technologies” — which lists Root as CEO — reported assets of $43,000 and debts in excess of $1.5 million.

    The company did sell a bunch of its assets last year. If Wayne made “a lot of money” on that deal, the stockholders — who are far into negative equity and who will, according to the company’s own statements, likely never see a dime — might be interested in how that happened.

  52. paulie Post author

    Peter@84,

    You’ve worked at LPHQ, write or have written for several of the top libertarian and alternative party blogs, are a published author, and the equivalent of a state officer in your local party; I’d say that qualifies.

  53. Pingback: Mike Renzulli reviews Wayne Root’s Conscience of a Libertarian | Independent Political Report

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