Wayne Root Doubles Down On David Nolan’s Challenge

Email from Wayne Root, 2008 Libertarian Party candidate for Vice-President, and a candidate for LP Chair:

LP founder David Nolan recently said he was “curious how the five announced candidates for LNC Chair would score” on a political quiz that Brian Holtz modeled on the LP platform:

I like Nolan’s invitation so much, I’ll double down on it. I challenge the other candidates for Chair to see how high they can score using only statements they have already made in public.

It’s easy for a Chair candidate to talk the talk right before the convention. It’s easy for a Chair candidate to check some boxes and claim to be a consistent and principled libertarian. What’s harder is to show that you’ve walked the walk. To show that you’ve already been hard at work promoting a complete libertarian package — for multiple years, to millions of Americans.

So here is how I score a 100/100 on the quiz, using only quotes from my book (Conscience of a Libertarian) and my website (RootForAmerica.com). And if anybody worries that a Nolan-chart quiz doesn’t address foreign policy, check out my W.A.R. and Peace blog entry from April 2008!


How free should we be from government censorship? Who are these religious right-wingers and leftist feminists to tell me what I can watch or read? Who gave them authority to determine what materials are “allowed” on military bases? What gives them the right to define morality for G.I.’s? Who made them the arbiters of right and wrong? Who gave them the right to override the constitution and ban freedom of speech? Playboy plain and simple represents FREE SPEECH. It is none of anyone’s business to tell our fighting boys (and girls) on military bases what to read or watch. It’s called freedom. It’s called choice. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s at the heart of the American way of life. If a soldier is willing to risk his or her life on behalf of this country; if they are willing to die to protect my freedom and rights; then I think we owe it to them to protect THEIR rights; their freedom; their choice; their right to do and watch and read whatever they want in the privacy of their bedroom (or barracks or tent).

When you allow anyone (or any one group) to determine what is right, what is moral, what is allowed- you’ve driven down a slippery slope. Today it may be Playboy or online gaming that is deemed immoral and banned. Tomorrow it may be liberal atheists in power, and Christian activists may be outraged to find religious programming like TBN and 700 Club banned. In a society that values freedom of speech and expression, government should not ever be in a position to ban anything.

How free should we be from government monitoring? Warrantless wiretaps are a violation of the constitution and must be ended immediately. PERIOD. It’s quite simple: if the government has proof of a possible crime being committed then get a judge to issue a warrant. Many provisions of the Patriot Act should be repealed. The so-called Real ID program is yet another abuse of the rights of privacy of American citizens. Real ID will be a bureaucratic boondoggle run by the same government bureaucrats who lost one laptop and thereby exposed the private information of millions of U.S. veterans to identity thieves. Worse, Real ID will turn America into a Big Brother-like police state. As long as the Homeland Security Administration is in place, our liberties will be in jeopardy.

How free should you be from government religion? With all the violence, drugs, and sex rampant in our schools, we could all do far worse than start each school day with a prayer. But that would be a mistake. You see, Christians (and religious people of all kinds) are making a terrible error when they try to inject God into government. A big government religious enough to give you all you want can also turn against your religion, and take it all away. […]

It’s simply too risky to have government assert itself into the realm of religion. And it’s not even effective. You can’t make someone adopt your religious beliefs at the end of a gun. That was the wisdom of our brilliant Founding Fathers. They did not create a religious state. They created a country based on religious freedom — the freedom to practice any religion (or not) you chose — without government interference. Our Founding Fathers wanted to avoid the creation of a religious state, such as the country (England) they risked their lives to escape from.

How free should you be to donate for any political ad? Some well-meaning people believe they can control the corruption by limiting how much can be spent on campaigns. I oppose that idea. Leaving aside the First Amendment issues of limiting political speech, that’s treating the symptom instead of the disease. The fact is that government has grown so large that the stakes are too high for the special interests to ignore. There is gold in the hills of Washington D.C., and the halls of Congress. One way or another, the money flows to influence the outcome of elections. If the money doesn’t go directly into the candidates’ coffers, it is instead spent directly by “independent committees” or special interest groups aimed right at the voters (through TV, radio, direct mail).

How free should you be to risk your own body? I will end the Nanny State. I will give personal responsibility back to the American people. The decisions on how to live your lives are yours. The decision on what to eat is yours. The decision to smoke or drink or gamble is yours. The decision to wear a helmet on a motorcycle is yours — as long as you accept personal responsibility. The job of government is not to protect you from yourself. Or to prosecute victimless crimes. Big Brother will no longer be open for business under my watch.

How free should you be to marry the same gender? Government should not even be in the business of “licensing marriage.” It is none of the government’s darn business in the first place. Marriage is between you, your religious institution and God. Government has no right to determine who can or cannot be married. That’s the answer. However that is not the case right now. Until it is the case, I’d support a States’ Rights resolution. Once again, I’d argue strongly that incremental success on the state level, which can lead to full-fledged success on the national level, is preferable to no success at all.

How free should you be to choose whether to procreate? I believe a majority of younger Americans will choose to become a perfect mix of conservative (on issues such as smaller government, lower taxes, reduced government spending, lower entitlements, elimination of affirmative action) and liberal (on social issues such as abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, assisted suicide, online gaming and Internet freedom). That combination is not found in either the GOP or Democratic Parties. It is only found in the Libertarian Party.

How free should you be to pay for adult entertainment? Living in a free society requires that we take ownership of our own values and not relinquish them to others. If you don’t like violence, sex, or foul language on TV, change the channel. If you don’t like the views being expressed on talk radio, change the channel. If you don’t want to see pornography on your computer, I have more good advice — don’t go to any porn sites. You have complete freedom on the Internet to go, or not go, wherever you want. If you want to protect your children from adult sites on the computer, install parental controls. If you don’t like magazines like Playboy with photos of naked women, don’t buy Playboy. No one is putting a gun to your head in a free country like the United States. You have the freedom to choose. To enforce your version of morality is to take that freedom away through the force and power of government. […]

It’s no wonder that Nevada is the small business capital of the country. Mix that with legalized gambling, and legalized prostitution (the only state in USA) and you start to notice the distinct Libertarian streak. People want to move to Nevada to be left alone by government. They want to keep more of the money they’ve earned (after all, government forgets- it is our money in the first place)…and they want the freedom to do what they want in their private lives without interference from Big Brother.

How free should you be to own a gun if you’re an adult?
I support the rights of citizens to bear arms. I believe in the Second Amendment- the part of our Bill of Rights that protects the individual right of all Americans to keep and bear arms. PERIOD. The first line of defense against terrorism is the armed American.

How free should you be to use drugs if you’re an adult? The war on drugs is a failure- this is one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money. Let’s start with legalization of medical marijuana- this is a states’ rights issue. The federal government has no constitutional right to interfere in this issue versus states that have approved the use of medical marijuana by individuals. […] I’d prefer that no government (local, state or federal) limited the personal freedoms of consenting adults, but I am a realist. Incremental success on the state level, which can lead to full-fledged success on the national level, is preferable to no success at all. And even if the freedoms that are achieved at the state level are never implemented on the national level, it gives citizens a chance to live in the states that allow the most personal freedom that fits their lifestyle.

How free should you be to buy any foreign product? Remove the barriers to free trade, thereby increasing the interdependence of other countries on the success of ours. Nineteenth century French economist Frederic Bastiat once wrote: “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” Or to put it another way, greed is good. Create wealth for another nation, and that nation will rarely, if ever, risk damaging or losing that wealth by starting a war.

How free should you be to not subsidize corporations & farms? President Bush dramatically increased corporate welfare spending for farmers at a time of record farm profits. Why? Politics is the answer. Senators and Congresspersons from farm states pushed hard to bring home the bacon (excuse the pun) for their constituents. […]

I don not believe government has a right to take my money (in the form of taxes) and redistribute it (in the form of bailouts) to failing companies that just happen to make huge campaign contributions to the very politicians supporting and voting for the bailouts. […]

If it’s so easy to see the mistake, why does the Fed continue to pursue a failed strategy? Good question. The answer is simple: political pressure from fat cats (big contributors like banks, Wall Street, real estate firms), special interests (big contributors), and voters- who demand prosperity, easy money, low interest rates, and entitlements from big government. Someone has to pay for all these giveaways, handouts, goodies, corporate welfare, bailouts, stimulus packages, and entitlement ponzi schemes. The Fed makes it all possible by printing up new money to pay for it all. Without the Fed printing presses working overtime, politicians couldn’t make promises to pay for every program under the stars. They certainly couldn’t afford to pay for all those promises.

How free should you be to invest your own retirement savings? All Americans should have the choice to create personal retirement savings accounts that give us ownership over our own retirement savings. […] The biggest benefit of private retirement accounts isn’t even the higher rate of return. It is that we would all gain whole ownership of our private retirement accounts. One way that people can secure their finances as soon as they retire is through a lifetime mortgage. A lifetime mortgage is a type of equity release which lets homeowners aged 55-95 release cash tied up in the value of their home. You can find out more about lifetime mortgages by visiting a site such as Key Advice. It becomes our private property. […]

Would you do away with Social Security, Wayne? I’d certainly like to. At best I’d do away with it because I can find better ways to spend and save my own $15,000 a year. I’d like it to be mine, so I could leave it to my kids and grandkids.

How free should you be to control your child’s tuition dollars? We need to give parents and students the freedom to pursue the education of their choice- just as my wife and I do by choosing to home-school our 4 children. I support giving parents control of the education of their own children, instead of government bureaucrats. I support utilization of school choice, vouchers or tax credits on the state and local level to increase education competition; encourage private, parochial and home-schooling; reward superior performance for educators; create magnet schools which give principals autonomy over budgets, hiring and firing; and streamline bureaucracy- giving our education dollars to teachers and kids, NOT bureaucrats and administrators.

How free should you be to shop for your health insurance? Repeal all government laws, rules and mandates that prevent American consumers from buying any health insurance policy they want, anywhere in the country. It is government rules, regulations, laws and mandates that make healthcare expensive in the first place. The answer is to allow the American consumer to buy any policy, in any state, that best fits their family’s needs, without government mandating what should be included in that policy. Allow Americans to choose and own their own health insurance- without the employer involved. Allow all individuals to deduct healthcare costs (starting with the first dollar) directly off their income taxes. This allows anyone to change jobs or employers, without worrying about losing their health insurance.

How free should you be to hire any healer or buy any medicine? All Americans should have the freedom and rights to choose the health insurance, doctors, holistic healers, medicine and treatment they deem satisfactory.

How free should you be to risk your own money? We are the descendants of the gamblers. That is why America leads the world in entrepreneurship and small business creation. Americans love to risk, test their skills versus fate, and win their fortune. That could be why Americans love Las Vegas. […] I’d use Nevada as a model for the nation. Our combination of lower taxes, smaller government, and legalized gambling works.

How free should you be to accept any currency or interest rate? The “Free Competition in Currency Act” proposes that the money monopoly of the banksters be ended forever and competing currencies be established to bring financial sanity back to the marketplace. America became the greatest nation in world history because of our economic freedom. Free markets worked. Here Congressman Paul is proposing free markets in money! It’s not a radical idea at all, and ending the money monopoly is an idea whose time has come.

How free should you be to accept a job at any wage? It sounds nice to mandate a “living minimum wage”. Nice but naive liberal policies have turned the California Dream into a nightmare. […] Government has no right- according to the Constitution- to get involved in bailouts, managing corporations, limiting salaries of executives, or firing CEO’s. The answer is to leave these companies alone and let the free market and private investors figure out a way to save them, fix them, improve them, or let them go the way of the Edsel.

How free should you be to keep what you earn, produce, trade? We propose eliminating the income tax and all other sources of federal tax revenues, including payroll taxes (FICA), excise taxes, and import duties, and replacing it with only one tax: a tax on each state in proportion to is population, with each state deciding for itself how to raise its share of the money.

68 thoughts on “Wayne Root Doubles Down On David Nolan’s Challenge

  1. The Issue of Trust

    The trouble is not (or rather, not entirely) with what Root says, but that many people don’t trust him.

    If you don’t trust a man, it doesn’t matter what he (currently) says.

  2. AroundtheblockAFT

    Well at least he mentioned he was a Libertarian not a Republican twice on Fox & Friends this morning.

  3. Brian Holtz

    If you’re determined not to trust a man, it indeed doesn’t matter what he’s been doing for multiple years, in hundreds of pages of writings and thousands of hours of media appearances.

    Given what we read above, I just don’t see in a Root Chair tenure any existential risk to the Libertarian brand. I still wish Root would find more media opportunities to repeat his excellent answers to the Personal Liberty questions. But if for some reason Root turned 180 degrees and tried to subvert the Libertarian brand, he would become a bug on its windshield.

  4. John Jay Myers

    Before I take on all the questions, let me just address one issue, from the above linked article on W.A.R. and Peace:
    “It’s time to admit the war in Iraq has distracted us from the real “war on terror” we are waging against the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

    Let me say this as clearly as possible. Wrong.
    We need to bring our troops home from Afghanistan now.

    You have to read through the lines of that blog in order to understand that Wayne doesn’t want to pull our troops out of the middle east any time soon. It would be hard to fight his “war on terror” if we were not there.

    How about my line…. “if we were not there we would not have a “war on terror””. We wouldn’t be worried about regimes giving terrorists bombs. We would be worried about buying goods from them, and they would in turn be worried about maintaining our friendship in peace.

    This has to be our issue, we need to bring the troops home.

    In order to accept Waynes theory you have to believe that either terrorists hate us because we are free or that they hate us because of our religion. Either case is ridiculous.
    They hate us because we are there taking their resources, installing puppet dictators and trying to sell them democracy through the barrel of a gun.
    That is the truth. Someone besides Ron Paul needs to say it. That needs to be us.

    Wayne will never say that. Given that his article was written 2 weeks ago, I don’t think he is going to change his tune any time soon.

  5. Brian Holtz

    It wasn’t written two weeks ago. It was written two years ago. Here is what Root wrote on Afghanistan in December 2009:


    Although President Bush violated the Constitution by never bothering to ask Congress for an official declaration of war (and shame on him for it), I supported him on Afghanistan, the training ground and epicenter of Al Queda and their attack on America on 9/11/01. However, over the past two years my views have changed dramatically. Despite my conservative, pro-military background, I no longer support this war.

    I believe President Obama has made a grave decision that will result in a never-ending commitment to a war that America can neither afford, nor win. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is a country comprised of people without national identity, with only family and tribal loyalties. They have no interest or desire to build a democracy. America has no business in attempting to force them to do so, and I, for one, am unwilling to commit American lives and treasure to support a corrupt group of war lords. Let them fight their own battles.

    I would not risk the lives of my young sons on this tragic game plan. Would you? Would Obama? Would any of the gung-ho Republicans who have come out in support of Obama’s war expansion plans? I don’t think Karl Rove or Newt Gingrich would send their sons. I know that Mitt Romney has never sent any of his 5 sons. But they certainly have no problem sending your sons with enthusiasm.

    If we are going to fight this war, we had better be able to answer the simple question: “Why are we in Afghanistan?” While watching the NBC Evenings News on Wednesday night, I heard two very disturbing statements by 4-star General Stanley McCrystal, the commanding general of our war efforts in Afghanistan. First he stated we were there “not to conquer, not for glory, not for money…but rather to help the Afghan people shape their future.” Is that why we’re there? Silly me. I thought we were there to punish and destroy our enemies in the war on terrorism. Even our generals are now recruited into Obama’s politically-correct world.

    I have to assume that neither President Obama nor General McCrystal have ever read the United States Constitution? Because nowhere in that brilliant contract with the citizens of America does it say the government has the right to sacrifice American lives to “help other people in far-away lands shape their destiny.” The destiny of the Afghan people is their concern, not ours. We have no right to tell them how to live their lives, nor will they listen. After we leave, whenever we leave, they’ll surely go back to the way things were before we got there.

  6. Eric Dondero

    No, John Jay Meyers. They don’t hate us for our foreign policy! They hate us for who we are as a PEOPLE! They hate our culture.

    I’ve lived in the Middle East. I speak basic Arabic.

    You talk to any Muslim there or even over here in the US. What they hate is Madonna, MTV, Lady Gaga, Baywatch, HBO, our lax Marijuana policies, Gambling, Women in Bikinis on our Beaches.

    This fight against Islamo-Fascism is all about Culture, and virtually NOTHING to do with our foreign policy or our support for Israel.

    Stop the lies!

  7. Eric Dondero

    Meyers, are you prepared for the bloodbath and killing fields that will result if we pull out of Afghanistan?

    3 million people died after our pull-out of Saigon in 1975: 2 million in the killing fields of Cambodia, another 1 million or more drowned in the South China Sea fleeing Vietnam.

    I was there on an Aircraft Carrier in 1981. I remember fishing out of the Sea the Vietnamese Boat People.

    Do you honestly believe if we pull out of Afghanistan the Taliban won’t seek revenge on all those who supported Karzai, and all those who adopted a “Western Culture”?

    We could see the murders of hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of Afghanis if we pull out.

    Would you be comfortable with that?

  8. Eric Dondero

    You apparently don’t get the fact that if we pull out of Afghanistan, and leave the Afghanis to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda all by themselves, we’re looking at the possibility of mass murder.

  9. John Jay Myers

    There were 7,000,000 Muslims living in the United States prior to 2001.
    If they hate us because we are free… why didn’t those Muslims want to kill us?
    I mean for 1% of them to want to kill us that would have been 70,000 atacks…. do you remember those? .1% would have 7,000 attacks remember those? .01% would be 700 attacks remember those?
    I don’t.
    So obviously it’s not our religion.
    Amsterdam is a very free city (when it comes to sex etc.) it’s much closer to Afghanistan than we are… why don’t they attack them?

    Because they are not in their country stealing their resources, installing puppet dictators and spreading democracy through the barrel of a gun.

    What is right is that we start bringing our troops home from around the world. We are creating terrorists every day we are there.

    This will be a never ending battle, unfortunately it WILL eventually turn into the religious battle some of the media want it to be.

    That will be a shame.

  10. Erik G.

    Dondero has clearly never read the 9/11 Commission Report.

    And notice Root is only opposed to the Afghanistan intervention once it became Obama’s war. He even goes out of his way to talk about Obama’s connection to it. I have my suspicions this isn’t a ‘principled stand’ on his part, but rather a calculated anti-Democrat stance, which isn’t exactly screaming a departure from the view that he has a right-wing fetish.

    Why didn’t he have this stance when he was our party’s VP nominee?

    I’ll continue to say, adamantly, that Root should not be chair. I don’t have a problem with him considering himself an L; my problem lies in him being the face of the LP. His friends think the opposition to him are become Ls want some small-tent party with a ‘purity test.’ Not so. Most Ls just want someone *as chair* who a.) represents their views well to all audiences, and b.) is consistent and trustworthy to portray the LP position correctly.

    I give Wayne credit for getting out there and being in the media, but I’d rather he do so as *a* Libertarian, not *the (face of, as chair)* Libertarian.

  11. Erik G.

    The more I hear from Mr. Myers, the more I wish I was attending this year’s convention to support him.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    “You talk to any Muslim there or even over here in the US. What they hate is Madonna, MTV, Lady Gaga, Baywatch, HBO, our lax Marijuana policies, Gambling, Women in Bikinis on our Beaches.”

    Unlike Mr. Dondero, who apparently dropped into Bahrain for weekend liberty or something, I actually spent six months in Saudi Arabia and had the chance to talk with everyone from wealthy Saudis to penniless immigrant garbage collectors.

    My impression was that Madonna may have been the single most popular individual in the country at that time (1991). Every time I had to climb into some worker’s truck to escort him onto base, the inside of the cab was covered with Madonna pinups from American “pop idol” magazines.

    Hell, I even found a poster of “Holiday”-era Madonna on the wall of an Iraqi bunker just inside Kuwait, next to a battered copy of “Tiger Beat.”

    Out in town, you could get just about any music you liked, but the biggest stacks of bootleg cassette tapes on the market tables were Madonna and Depeche Mode.

    What Mr. Dondero thinks he “knows” about Muslims is a bunch of fairy tale bullshit.

  13. Warm Afghan

    JJ@11:
    “Amsterdam is a very free city (when it comes to sex etc.) it’s much closer to Afghanistan than we are… why don’t they attack them?

    Because they are not in their country stealing their resources, installing puppet dictators and spreading democracy through the barrel of a gun.”

    You are actually incorrect. The Netherlands is a full partner in the Afghan occupation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Security_Assistance_Force

    The NATO command for occupation is also run out of Brunssum, Netherlands and is led by a German.

    Just a factual update. The US is not the sole oppressor here. This is Europe vs. Asia and Afghanistan along with the rest of the middle east is in the fracture zone. The people in the Middle East are also trying to preserve their own culture and way of life.

    I am with Mr. Meyers about what is right in Afghanistan but I typically concentrate on other reasons.

    ###

    I have to ask Mr. Dondero. By what natural right do I, you and the rest of us have for being in Afghanistan?

    Please do not try and sell me on fear. I want to know the source of authority for doing our own mass murders in that part of the world as justification to stop different mass murders.

  14. Steve

    I think I was in the Middle East more recently than Mr. Knapp and I’ll corroborate his story. Although by 2001 Brittney Spears and Eminem were closing in on Madonna in popularity.

    Arabs, especially the young educated ones, love western culture. Not just the music, but their slicked back hair, flashy jewelry, fancy European suits, and pimped out cars directly ape what they see in the rap videos they love so much.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is probably a small number who really do hate us for who we are and not just what our government does. The key to fighting terror is to isolate this small group from the general population. But when the US government plays into the hands of the extremists by propping up dictators in one Muslim country, occupying others, and bombing still others, then suddenly the radical narrative makes a lot of sense and becomes an easy sell. That’s when those young educated Arabs put down the Playboys and pick up the Kalashnikovs.

  15. George Phillies

    I am already on record at great length.
    Fortunately, my Presidential web site phillies2008.org is still up; it has not been changed significantly since then.

    There has been some interesting polling on words that mean almost the same thing

    Peace-Liberty-Prosperity

    is far better phrased as

    Peace-Freedom-Opportunity

    On Issues, I wrote:

    Major IssuesMajor Issues

    Issues

    I am running on the core Libertarian message of Peace, Liberty and Prosperity. I intend to discuss other topics, including Education and Science Policy, Energy and the Environment, and Medical Care. These topics do not amount to a full set of policies for a Federal government, but they are topics that concern large numbers of our fellow citizens. A short summary of proposals follows. For extended discussions, please follows the links.

    Peace

    We have a foreign policy, which describes how we govern our relations with other nations, and a military policy, which describes how we protect ourselves against other nations. For foreign policy, I propose to end the Iraq War, end Cold War entanglements that refer to a potential enemy that no longer exists, and reduce our military to a size appropriate to the situation that most of the rest of the world is filled with our friends and allies. In particular, I propose:

    * End the Iraq War immediately
    * Greatly reduce the Defense budget
    * End foreign aid
    * Stop supporting foreign tyrants.

    (Read more about my Diplomatic and Military Policy proposals.)

    Liberty

    The first purpose of the Federal government is to protect the civil liberties of every American. In recent years, our civil liberties have come under great stress. To protect liberty for our children and grandchildren, we need to make major changes. I propose

    * As President, I will defend all your constitutional rights
    * I will swear my oath of office with my hand on our Constitution
    * My advisors will be loyal Americans
    * Our government should obey our laws
    * Torture is Unamerican and illegal
    * The Kelo decision should be reversed
    * I support equality before the law for all Americans
    * The right to keep and bear arms is a purely individual right
    * I am 100% pro-choice
    * School-enforced prayer has no place in public schools
    * Prohibition — It failed in 1932. It’s still failing in 2008.
    * Prisoners of War will receive the full protections of the Geneva Conventions
    * We have a President, not an Emperor.

    (Read more about my Civil Liberties proposals.)

    Prosperity

    Prosperity is something that we Americans must create for our selves through hard work, sound investment, and frugal spending habits. Uncle Sam cannot make us rich. We Libertarians would like him to stop throwing up roadblocks in our path. I propose:

    * The current economic crisis arises from a liquidity shortage and counter-party risk. Tax cuts and rebates will soak up capital, making the current economic crisis worse
    * The first tax to eliminate is the national debt — the tax on grandchildren.
    * Federal corporate welfare should be ended, but that won’t solve the budget deficit.
    * We should make Washington, D.C. a model for how business deregulation lets small businessmen make their community wealthy.
    * The Social Security system is in a near-impossible financial situation. We could encourage people to opt irrevocably out of the system and to invest what would have been their Social Security tax. That change will relieve the strain.

    (Read more about my Economic proposals.)

    Education; Engineering and Science Policy

    There is no more fundamental responsibility shouldered by a parent than to assure that each of their children gets a good education. Of all the ways we have to invest in the future of our country, investing in a sound education for each child is the most effective. American prosperity and security is based on our excellence in science and engineering.

    I propose

    * No Child Left Behind should be repealed.
    * Move education in Libertarian directions by associating a $5000 a year education tax credit with every child.
    * Use foreign visitors to strengthen our education, science, and engineering.
    * Strengthen university education and create allies around the world by expanding student visas.
    * End wasteful science research boondoggles. Don’t let science policy be dictated by particular religious sects.

    (Read more about my Education and Research proposals.)

    Energy and the Environment

    The climate is changing. Oil is a finite resource; world oil fields are being progressively exhausted. Fortunately, Americans thrive on change. We will have dramatic changes during the rest of this century. My policies are steps that would reduce the impact of expected changes in our climate and energy stockpiles.

    I propose

    * Energy costs are changing because there is more and more demand for a limited resource–fossil fuels. Americans thrive on change, and this one is coming.
    * The Federal government should use private enterprise and long-term contracts to move to renewable energy as its power source.
    * Americans will need to adopt to changes in climate. Fortunately, we thrive on change.
    * Environmental protection is a property rights issue. Litigation does not make sense as an environmental defense when there are vast numbers of small polluters whose cumulative effect is bad.

    (Read more about my Energy and the Environment proposals.)

    Medical Care and Costs

    Many Americans are frightened by the high cost of medical care, not to mention uncertainties in its delivery. The Republicans and Democrats have repeatedly use Federal legislation to intervene in questions that many Americans viewed as strictly being their private business.

    * Congress should stay out of family decisions on life and death questions for the dying.
    * I will not force a primary care physician on you.
    * I am 100% pro-choice; government should have no role in this matter.
    * There are no magic cures to medical care costs, so I propose some simple partial remedies.

    (Read more about my Medical Care proposals.)

    Immigration

    Immigration is a great strength of our Republic. Foreign immigrants enrich our culture, our cuisine, our sports, our science and engineering, and every other positive aspect of American life. By welcoming foreigners to come and live in America, as we now do, we make ourselves richer and better people. It was in great part foreign immigrants that made America a powerhouse of high-technology life. Other countries may produce far more engineers than we do, but when we welcome the best of the best we ensure that their talents will benefit our people.

    In particular, I propose:

    * End racist immigration quotas.
    * End H1-B Visa Quotas.
    * Student Visas are a Weapon for Liberty.

    (Read more about my Immigration proposals.)

  16. Observation

    Dondero @ 8: I don’t believe the propaganda you posted, but even if it were true that they’ll kill each other in huge numbers, that still doesn’t justify us being there, and that doesn’t excuse the mass murder our soldiers are committing.

    Also, I’m pleased that Root answered the challenge so soon from David Nolan, but did I miss his response to Steve Kubby’s challenge, to pledge not to run for President?

  17. Steven R Linnabary

    … it indeed doesn’t matter what he’s been doing for multiple years, in hundreds of pages of writings and thousands of hours of media appearances.

    It hasn’t been multiple years. It has been THREE years.

    And in that three years, through “hundreds of pages of writings and thousands of hours of media appearances”, he has clearly been EVOLVING.

    Granted, he is “evolving” in the direction of libertarianism. But the job of Chair of the LP should not involve on-the-job training and “evolving”.

    PEACE

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steve,

    That’s a pretty tall order. As a matter of fact, I suspect it’s an unfillable one. I’ve yet to come across a “fully evolved” libertarian who has nothing left to learn. Either we have an “evolving” chair, or we don’t have a chair at all.

  19. Professor Smarty Pants

    Okay since everyone is going to get to ask questions of the candidates for Chair. I have a couple of my own. Make that a few.

    We know full well that people who commit crimes of passion are not repeat offenders. Given that bit of information if person “A” kills person “B” in a fit of passion why should person “C” be taxed to arrest, charge, try and possible incarcerate person “A”? After all “C” was not harmed but now is being told she must subsidize the prosecution of person “A” who in all probability will never kill again.

    In your Libertarian world who will be responsible for determining time zones?

    In your libertarian world if the butcher cheats Mrs. Smith by placing his thumb on the scale should the state intervene and prosecute the butcher for theft? Or should Mrs. Smith take matters into her own hands? If she does is assault acceptable or should she sue for fraud?

    Ask Professor Smarty Pants! ;)>

  20. LP Pragmatist

    Evolving and on the job training. I will take a principled person that can accept “course adjustments” while being a chair or CEO. I saw what George Bush 43 was all about– never changing course and so damn stubborn. I’m saying one should be a populist and put ones finger in the air to check the wind direction. I know a lot of “newbies” in the LP and many are in leadership roles at a state level. They are evolving every week because of the Libertarian Party. If we had waited for them to get 90% there or pass some “purity test” we would still have a bunch of empty seats in many key roles at the state level. So yes, any CEO or chair should continue to grow, evolve, learn, etc.
    NONE of us are born libertarian, because somewhere we have to learn about it, whether it be age 14, or 49, or even 56.

  21. LP Pragmatist

    On 24 I should have added word “NOT” before comment about “populist”.

  22. paulie

    I saw what George Bush 43 was all about– never changing course

    He certainly changed course from his campaign promises. “Humble foreign policy” comes to mind immediately, and I doubt most of the 2000 Bush voters had any idea he would grow government faster than any president since either LBJ or FDR (according to various sources I’ve seen).

    That many/most of his 2000 voters, voted for him again in 2004 is a testament to the hypnotic power of the duopolistic see-saw as it relentlessly attacks the base of the tree of liberty.

  23. paulie

    I’m saying one should be a populist and put ones finger in the air to check the wind direction.

    That’s not what populist means. Per wikipedia, “Populism, a political philosophy urging social and political system change that favours “the people” over “the elites”, or favours the common people over the rich and wealthy business owners. “

  24. Steven Wilson

    He would double down…and they would come..

    WAR ugh good god, what does it stand for?

    Would being the chair of the party alter Root?

    In his word play, he states clearly his past and his book, of course, as if someone can live in a book. Does Root function differently or operate on another road as Chair?

    If he is on TV now, let him stay on TV. If he wants to publish a book and live in the cover, let him. What does Root do, when no one is watching?

    IS being chair make him better? Does it make the party Better? Is the outcome different?

    He has been doing the same interview for two years now, so let him keep doing it.

  25. Brian Holtz

    Answering @23:

    1) It’s unlibertarian for the justice system to practice prior restraint, so risk of recidivism shouldn’t matter. How to non-coercively fund a justice system is a solved problem.

    2) Government is no more needed to enforce time zone boundaries than it is needed to enforce language boundaries. “Pave the cowpaths.”

    3) Many anarcholibertarians might approve of private assault in pursuit of retribution/restitution. The rest of us usually consider it a natural monopoly for there to be a rights-protection coordination framework with a defined jurisdiction, within which individuals may not usurp or ignore that framework unless it becomes so destructive of individual liberty that it needs to be altered or abolished by revolutionary force.

  26. Eric Dondero

    John Jay Meyers said:

    Amsterdam is a very free city (when it comes to sex etc.) it’s much closer to Afghanistan than we are… why don’t they attack them?

    Eric’s Response:

    You are a blithering idiot. Surely you weren’t being serious when you wrote that statement above. Were you high, or on crack-cocaine when you made that statement???

    Amsterdam is under daily assault by Radical Islamists.

    READ BRUCE BAWER WHO LIVES THERE!!!!!!

    He’s the former NY Times Western Europe correspondent, who wrote the book “While the West Slept.” Bawer, who is Gay, chronicles in detail daily assaults on the local Homosexual population from Muslim Youth: Stones being thrown at Gays, Muslim clerics lobbying for Marijuana and Sex Shops to be shut down, local Dutch folks even afraid to go outside of their doors at night, cars burned in the streets.

    You are either completely ignorant or a nutball Paleo-Anarchist who hates America. My gosh man, READ SOME NEWS ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR GOING ON RIGHT NOW IN WESTERN EUROPE BETWEEN THE EUROPEANS AND THE MUSLIM EXTREMISTS TRYING TO TAKE IT OVER.

  27. Eric Dondero

    Knapp says Muslims don’t hate us for our Culture?

    Really?? Is that why Bin Laden issued that Fatwa a few years ago, and specifically cited Madonna and Pop Culture as the primary reason for the War on the West?

  28. John Jay Myers

    So those daily attacks are Muslims who were sent to Amsterdam to attack them?
    It sounds like those are people who are breaking the law.
    Who would think people would lobby for something to happen politically, can you imagine?

    I am not judging the Libertarianism of the Muslims living in Amsterdam.

    Thank you for your constructive response, I will definitely keep it in mind. I will also use it as a guage when reading your responses in the future.

  29. Erik G.

    Dondero,

    I didn’t realize Bin Laden spoke for all Muslims.

    And how do you explain the high number (read: vast majority) of Muslims that love our culture?

    And I’d love to see where Bin Laden said his “primary reason” was pop culture, because the 9/11 Commission Report, amongst numerous other sources better than the ramblings in your head, have clearly stated that they attack us BECA– USE WE’RE OVER THERE.

  30. Solomon Drek

    This is so childish and ridiculous. Wayne Root and his TNUT followers act like spoiled kids playing in a sandbox.

    No wonder the L:ibertarian Party has become useless and ignored as a legitimate alternative to the major parties.

    It’s a shame because I’ve long admired and respected activists like George Phillies and Mary Ruwart, even if I didn’t agree with them.

    The LP sold itself out in 2008 for a “celebrity” candidate, and is making the same mistake again. This time it’s much worse because they’re selling their souls to a lousy snake-oil salesman and his Dixiecrat followers just for the sake of getting their fifteen minutes of political fame.

  31. Eric Dondero

    Yeah, that 9/11 Commission Report is really credible. You’re talking about the Report that was conceived by a bunch of liberal Democrats and some squishy moderate Republicans, of course.

    Keep hiding your heads in the sand. Nah, Islamo-Fascism is no threat to the United States. Those heads of yours will soon be rolling in the sand, if you all keep hiding your eyes to the threat our Nation faces.

  32. Tom Blanton

    Root is a knucklehead.

    Read his response to this question:

    How free should you be to choose whether to procreate?

    Absurd answer. He doesn’t even understand the question.

    How about his answer for:

    How free should you be to own a gun if you’re an adult?

    “The first line of defense against terrorism is the armed American.”

    This harkens back to his pre-evolution when he wrote Dondero-screeds about the peril of Islamofascism. I believe Dondero claims to have roped this dope in to the LP, so it figures Root is a terror war kind of guy.

    Next question:

    How free should you be to use drugs if you’re an adult?

    Root ends his reply with this nugget of ignorance:

    “Incremental success on the state level, which can lead to full-fledged success on the national level, is preferable to no success at all. And even if the freedoms that are achieved at the state level are never implemented on the national level, it gives citizens a chance to live in the states that allow the most personal freedom that fits their lifestyle.”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. No cigar for this buffoon. If heroin is legal for 3rd graders in Idaho but it is against federal law, little Wayne Junior is not free to skin pop the junk grandma gave him for Easter. Just like if medical marijuana is legal in California, the feds can still bust you there for it under federal law – even if Obama says they won’t. You can move from state to state where the laws fit your lifestyle, but if what you want to do is illegal under federal law, the feds can bust you no matter where you move. Clearly, Root hasn’t evolved quite enough to figure this out.

    On Social Security, Root says:

    “All Americans should have the choice to create personal retirement savings accounts that give us ownership over our own retirement savings.”

    How nice, what are the other choices? Am I free not to save AND not pay FICA under the Wayne’s World Plan? Should I have the choice to invest in real estate, or gold, or baseball cards? Root sounds like he has adopted the Bush “privatization” plan of forced savings in approved investments.

    I’ll see what the Root-4-Root crowd says about this crud if the Wayne Train slows down enough for them to write a coherent complete sentence. But, I will say now that I have not contacted Root directly about these issues as that seems to be a common response to criticisms directed at Root.

  33. Tom Blanton

    Hey Dondero, I hear Xi and Dyncorp are recruiting for lucrative positions in the middle east that offer opportunities for killing Islamofascists. It’s bound to pay more than collecting signatures or operating donkey shows.

  34. Eric Dondero

    Apparently, Meyers and Blanton missed this news from yesterday:

    Muslim Gang assaults Swedish Cartoonist at University Forum over Cartoon critical of Muhammed

    http://www.libertarianrepublican.net/2010/05/muslim-gang-assaults-swedish.html

    And I guess they also missed the news of two weeks ago, when a Radical Muslim website threated the LIBERTARIAN creators of the South Park cartoon series Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

    Guess these Muslims are attacking Libertarians and Free Speech advocates cause, ya know, we’ve got Troops in Saudi Arabia, or something.

  35. Eric Dondero

    Hey Blanton, I’ve already done my time – 4 years HONORABLY in the United States Military.

    Have you?

    Just a guess, but something tells me you’re a non-Veteran.

  36. whatever

    Eric Dondero Rittberg —

    RevolutionMuslim.com, the website which posted threats against Parker & Stone, is run by a Jewish Israeli kid who changed his name from his Jewish name to some other name.

    Just FYI.

  37. Observation

    So, Eric, you’re doubting the 9/11 Commission report? So….you’re a TRUTHER???

    As far as a Muslim website threatening the creators of a cartoon, if it happened, it’s just one of many Muslim groups. It could possibly be just propaganda. The fact that they’re all plotting together to destroy our country is an overblown exaggeration.

    Why don’t you leave us Libertarians alone?

  38. Eric Dondero

    Hey Observer, how about posting on this blog under your real name instead of some bogus on-line moniker.

    I’ve got 25 long years in the Libertarian Party. I’m about as REAL LIBERTARIAN as they come:

    Former Libertarian National Committee member
    1988 Libertarian for President Campaign Travel Aide
    Former Libertarian Party of Florida Secretary

    Two-time Libertarian Party National Convention delegate

    Petitioned for the Libertarian Party in over 20 States.

    How about you show us your Libertarian Party credentials? Oops, ya can’t do that…

    CA– USE YOU WON’T EVEN POST ON AN ON-LINE BLOG UNDER YOUR OWN NAME.

  39. Eric Dondero

    For the record, my name is Eric Dondero Rittberg. No “changes,” involved. Ya wanna use Rittberg feel free. And no, I’m a proud American, not Israeli. Been all over the Middle East, but never been to Israel.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    bh: Many anarcholibertarians might approve of private assault in pursuit of retribution/restitution.

    me: Yes, this is why my proposed Nonarchy Pods wall in those who wish to personally secede.

  41. Trent Hill

    Eric,

    Arlen Specter has a long list of Republican credentials. Guess what–he isn’t one anymore.

  42. Don Wills

    Eric Dondero – aren’t you a Republican now? If not, will you be attending the LP convention?

  43. Warm Afghan

    Mr. Dondero. By what natural right do I, you and the rest of us have for being in Afghanistan?

    Please do not try and sell me on fear. I want to know the source of authority for doing our own mass murders in that part of the world.

  44. Eric Dondero

    Warm Afghan, please do not try to sell me on pacifism, or girlie-manism or scardy-cattism.

    Tell ya what. Be glad to answer your question. Post under your own name, and not under some bogus on-line moniker.

    What are you afraid of?

  45. Michael H. Wilson

    Maybe it would help to get these candidates to focus on how they will go about building this party. So far I have only seen any thing like that coming from Dr. Phillies group. Details gentlemen count for something. Get specific!

  46. Eric Dondero

    25 + Year Dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party

    Registered Republican, State of Texas

    Proud Republican
    Proud Libertarian

    Considering that the Libertarian Party was founded by the Colorado State Chairman of the Young Republicans, and that all Libertarian Party presidential candidates save one were/are Republicans, and that every single elected Libertarian State Legislator – all 10 or 11 of them – caucused as “Republicans,” once in office, I really don’t see a contradiction.

    Note – the current Libertarian Party nominee for Governor of New York is REPUBLICAN Warren Redlich. The LP’s highest elected official in the Nation currently is REPUBLICAN Dan Halloran on the New York City Council.

  47. Michael H. Wilson

    re 51. Dondero I think Justice Richard Sanders of the Washington State Supreme Court may be the highest elected Libertarian in the nation. All though elections to the court are non partisan I think I can safely state the Justice Sanders is a Libertarian.

    This year he is in a tough re-election battle. It is time we all stepped up to the plate.
    Everyone here can help by contributing to his campaign at http://www.friendsofjustice.com/

  48. Warm Afghan

    ED@49
    “Warm Afghan, please do not try to sell me on pacifism, or girlie-manism or scardy-cattism.”

    I asked for authority. I am not a pacifist, I do believe in justice, I do believe that I have a responsibility not to hurt others except in clear and present defense (no matter how much fun it could be or how much entertainment I may derive.)

    So, describe our authority in Afghanistan if there is any.

    “Tell ya what. Be glad to answer your question. Post under your own name, and not under some bogus on-line moniker.

    What are you afraid of?”

    Psychopaths.

    Why is connecting words to people so important for you?

    Got some vengeance on your mind?

    Do people who disagree with your need to pay?

    Does posting in forums give you a little chubby?

    Maybe not so chubby any more; does it get more difficult to get satisfaction with each passing… post?

    I am not a candidate; I am not here to be your bud; I am interested in your arguments; but even that is waning as it is becoming more and more obvious that you may not actually have any.

    Tell ya what. Answer the question. Stick to the point, defend your ideas, and stay far away from me IRL because I could not give 2 bits for “who” you or anyone else posting here “is”.

  49. Warm Afghan

    Oh, and Mr. Dondero, since no one else has said it, thank you for your service.

  50. paulie

    25 + Year Dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party

    Registered Republican, State of Texas

    Proud Republican
    Proud Libertarian

    To help clear up people’s confusion:

    When was the last time Mr. Dondero voted Libertarian for President in a general election?
    When was the last time Mr. Dondero voted for a Libertarian who was running against a Republican in a general election for any office?
    How many years out of the total number of years he has been a registered voter has Mr. Dondero been registered Libertarian, and what years were they?
    How many total years has Mr. Dondero been a dues paying LP member – that is total actual years, not just first and last years of membership?

    If Mr. Dondero is willing to share his answers, they may help clear up questions a lot of people have whether he is more Libertarian or more Republican.

    Considering that the Libertarian Party was founded by the Colorado State Chairman of the Young Republicans, and that all Libertarian Party presidential candidates save one were/are Republicans, and that every single elected Libertarian State Legislator – all 10 or 11 of them – caucused as “Republicans,” once in office, I really don’t see a contradiction.

    Note – the current Libertarian Party nominee for Governor of New York is REPUBLICAN Warren Redlich. The LP’s highest elected official in the Nation currently is REPUBLICAN Dan Halloran on the New York City Council.

    The LP needs to get better at reaching people who are not former or current Republicans. That would be the #1 thing to make the party more successful.

  51. paulie

    ROOT “Incremental success on the state level, which can lead to full-fledged success on the national level, is preferable to no success at all. And even if the freedoms that are achieved at the state level are never implemented on the national level, it gives citizens a chance to live in the states that allow the most personal freedom that fits their lifestyle.”

    BLANTON Wrong, wrong, wrong. No cigar for this buffoon. If heroin is legal for 3rd graders in Idaho but it is against federal law, little Wayne Junior is not free to skin pop the junk grandma gave him for Easter. Just like if medical marijuana is legal in California, the feds can still bust you there for it under federal law – even if Obama says they won’t. You can move from state to state where the laws fit your lifestyle, but if what you want to do is illegal under federal law, the feds can bust you no matter where you move. Clearly, Root hasn’t evolved quite enough to figure this out.

    P: Root has a good point here, actually. What he is talking about, I think, is getting the feds out of the way so that they would stop interfering with patients in states like California, Colorado and others which have made medical marijuana legal, stop the feds from arresting people in states which make recreational marijuana legal in the future, etc.

    But, even with existing federal interference, 98% of the resources used to go after drug “offenders” are state and local. Thus, even when the feds can and sometimes do attack people despite better laws at the state level, they don’t get nearly as many as in states which don’t have those laws. Sure, there have been publicized – and outrageous – raids against dispensaries in California, but there are thousands that have not been raided, serving….hundreds of thousands? Millions, maybe? That’s a big step forward, and I’ll welcome more of those.

    It’s also true that success at the state level can lead to later success at the national level.

  52. Erik G.

    Anyone else find it ironic that Dondero insists on knowing the real name of ‘Warm Afghan,’ when Eric himself only goes by his first and middle name (or so I’ve been led to believe)?

  53. Alexander S. Peak

    “Who are these religious right-wingers and leftist feminists to tell me what I can watch or read?”

    While I consider myself a feminist, I nevertheless like this sentence. I’m glad that sex-positive feminism appears to be gaining popularity, especially within the third wave.

    “…to tell our fighting boys (and girls) on military bases…”

    A very small complaint: I would have preferred he not put “and girls” in parentheses.

    “Many provisions of the Patriot Act should be repealed.”

    The USA Patriot Act should be repealed.

    “…the freedom to practice any religion (or not) you chose…”

    I would have put the “(or not)” after “practice.”

    “Before I move onto the next part of this book, I want to briefly discuss the issue of God and government and its relationship to the Libertarian revolution. I included God in the subtitle of this book for good reason. This revolution cannot happen without the support of God-fearing religious Christians—the biggest faction in the conservative movement.”

    While it’s probably true that religious Christians constitute the biggest faction in the conservative movement in America, they also probably constitute the biggest faction in the so-called “liberal” movement in America.

    So, why does Mr. Root mention the conservative movement?

    Our relation to the conservative movement is exactly the same as our relation to the “liberal” movement: We’re outside of both of those movements—thoroughly outside of them—yet we recognise that both of them have some good views, and we want to show them that libertarianism offers them more freedom and less government than their respective movements.

    To put it more bluntly, the libertarian movement is not a part of the “liberal” movement nor is it a part of the conservative movement. It is a separate movement.

    Google books won’t let me read pages 77 and 78, so I’ll skip to page 79.

    “I haven’t drunk a sip of alcohol in 25 years.”

    “Drank,” I believe.

    “Yet I would never try to prevent you from enjoying a martini, or beer, or cigarette. I would never deny you the right to use medical marijuana. As long as you are not putting others in harm’s way, that’s your business—not mine. Now if you get in a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that’s a completely different story. Then you are…”

    I would have preferred it if the second sentence were re-written as follows:

    “I would never even deny you the right to consume marijuana.”

    “But I have no right to get government involved to force you to live your life the same way I choose to live mine. If you want to smoke, drink, use medical marijuana, or play poker online—none of that is any of my business. Now keep in mind, it’s my right to not want to party with you. It’s my right to not want to be your friend. It’s my right to avoid you. It’s my right to keep you away from my daughter.”

    Again, in place of “use medical marijuana,” I’d write “consume marijuana.”

    He’s already stressing that freedom of association entails the right to disassociate oneself from whomever one wants. Chances are, those who view marijuana to be some horrible thing will be comforted by that.

    What I don’t like about the term medical marijuana is that it seems to imply that there is something worse about recreational marijuana than recreational alcohol, that while recreational alcohol use may be legal, recreational marijuana use is somehow too “dangerous” or something.

    Granted, I recognise that this is not what Mr. Root—or anyone else who discusses medical marijuana—necessarily means to imply. But, I really don’t see the harm in openly defending responsible recreational use of the medicine we call marijuana.

    I think Mr. Root, in particular, would be a very effective voice for the defence of recreational marijuana, given that he clearly says he has never even tried it, and given that he doesn’t even drink. He could simply say, “Look, I’ve never used it, I don’t regularly associate with those that do, I definitely don’t want my daughters using it…but, I don’t believe you and your friends should be thrown in prison, at the tax-payer expense, for responsibly smoking a little recreational pot.”

    Root goes on to defend federal taxation of things. Bad, bad approach, in my opinion. “If this guy thinks the government is so bad at things,” people will naturally think to themselves, “why would he want to see it raise more revenue?”

    “As a matter of fact, millions of us are playing poker on their computers right now.”

    Horrible sentence.

    Either: “As a matter of fact, millions of us are playing poker on our computers right now.”

    Or: “As a matter of fact, millions of Americans are playing poker on their computers right now.”

    Proof-reading is important.

    “A conservative and religious administration (think Bush) might choose to oppose or ban stem cell research, assisted suicide, medical marijuana, sex and violence on television, the sale of Playboy on the newsstands, and gambling (poker) on the Internet. You might approve. But if you give a conservative government the power and authority to do all that, I promise you that tomorrow when a more liberal, or atheist, or anti-Christian, or simply anti-religious administration takes power, they may choose to use that same power and authority to ban TBN (Christian television) or religious web sites, or religious free speech, and implement “The Fairness Doctrine” (banning conservative talk radio).

    Great paragraph. I would have inserted something to the effect of “that power you gave the government will still be there” &c., &c, and again I definitely would not have used the word medical in this paragraph, nor would I have mentioned Bush, but still—great paragraph.

    “I wrote this chapter for my many religious Christian friends, fans, and voters. I’m one of you. We need you to support the Libertarian ‘Citizen Revolution.’ It is a conservative revolution that should appeal to every Christian American.”

    Horrible! Libertarianism has no place in a “conservative revolution.” We are not conservatives.

    In fact, when National Review called Frank Chodorov (a member of the so-called Old “Right”) a conservative, he wrote in protest, “anyone who calls me a conservative gets a punch in the nose.”

    While I could never actually condone such a violation of the non-aggression axiom, I sympathise with Chodorov’s view.

    Libertarians are not conservatives. Hayek, perhaps the most famous libertarian before Ron Paul ran in 2008 for president, even wrote an essay titled “Why I am Not a Conservative.”

    Root’s sentence would have been fine if it had left out the word conservative. But because he throws that word in there, he greatly misrepresents what I understand libertarianism to be.

    “Reducing the power of government, getting government out of your way and out of your life, is the very definition of conservative. Ending the Nanny State is conservative.”

    No, it’s libertarian. There is a big difference.

    Up until he started using the term conservative in a positive sense, I was thinking to myself, “This chapter would be great for outreach to Christians! We could turn this into a monograph and distribute it to Christian groups.”

    But, now that this chapter is singing the praises of conservatism, and pretending that conservatism means “Reducing the power of government [and getting it] out of your way and out of your life,” when in reality conservatism means supporting the status quo and longing for a return of the ancien regime, I can no longer endorse turning this chapter into a monograph.

    I am unable to read pages 84 and 85.

    “Government should not even be in the business of ‘licensing marriage.’ It is none of the government’s darn business in the first place. Marriage is between you, your religious institution and God. Government has no right to determine who can or cannot be married. That’s the answer. However that is not the case right now. Until it is the case, I’d support a States’ Rights resolution. Once again, I’d argue strongly that incremental success on the state level, which can lead to full-fledged success on the national level, is preferable to no success at all.”

    One, and this is very important, there is no such thing as States’ Rights!

    The tenth amendment in no way pretends that states have “rights.” It clearly says that those powers—not rights, but powers—not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states and to the people.

    Only individuals can possess rights.

    Two, why is Mr. Root even talking about the federal level? What possible “success” does he want to see occur at the federal level?

    All the states have to do is cease licensing marriage. Once the states cease doing this, precisely what does he want to see the federal government do? For, once the states cease doing this, our objective is complete, marriage has been privatised. Separation of marriage and state is our goal, so the federal government needn’t get itself involved.

    “I believe a majority of younger Americans will choose to become a perfect mix of conservative (on issues such as smaller government, lower taxes, reduced government spending, lower entitlements, elimination of affirmative action) and liberal (on social issues such as abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, assisted suicide, online gaming and Internet freedom). That combination is not found in either the GOP or Democratic Parties. It is only found in the Libertarian Party.”

    I don’t see what this has to do with the freedom to pro-create. It doesn’t answer the question.

    Also, as I’ve already noted, I don’t associate conservatism with “smaller government.”

    “I support the rights of citizens to bear arms. I believe in the Second Amendment- the part of our Bill of Rights that protects the individual right of all Americans to keep and bear arms. PERIOD. The first line of defense against terrorism is the armed American.”

    Okay, true, but I doubt this would convince the so-called “liberals.”

    Michael Cloud recommend that libertarians engage in what he calls “political cross-dressing,” where you tailor your message to your audience. Root does this very well with his religious chapter. He defends there a socially libertarian position in a way that religious folks can understand. But this gun quote is not tailored to bring liberals into the movement.

    As Sharon Harris, president of Adocates for Self-Government, puts it, “To the conservative, talk about the tremendous cost of the drug war, the fact that it actually causes more crime, that it diverts law enforcement resources away from fighting violent crime, and that it actually makes drugs more available to children. To the liberal, present the idea that guns can—and often do—protect the weakest among us. Talk about guns being ‘equalizers’ for women, give examples of totalitarian governments disarming citizens, show gun ownership as a civil liberty.”

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Mr. Root doesn’t seem to understand how to communicate with “liberals” very well.

    “The war on drugs is a failure- this is one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money. Let’s start with legalization of medical marijuana- this is a states’ rights issue. The federal government has no constitutional right to interfere in this issue versus states that have approved the use of medical marijuana by individuals.”

    Again, there is no such thing as a State’s right. States cannot possess rights, and the Founders understood this. That’s why the tenth amendment doesn’t refer to states’ “rights,” but rather to states’ powers.

    Root is right that the federal government should not force states to have legal marijuana. But we do need one thing from the federal government: we need it to stop standing in the way of states repealing their drug laws. In other words, the federal government should recognise that it has no constitutional authority to get involved in the drug question and to immediately repeal all of its unconstitutional laws.

    I do not mind starting with medical marijuana, but marijuana is nevertheless not a “states’ rights” issue. As far as the federal government ought to be concerned, it is a tenth amendment issue. As far as the state level ought to be concerned, it’s an issue involving black-market-fueled violent crime, the sovereignty of the individual, a health matter that should be handled by the family and the family’s doctor—but not a matter that should be dictated by legislators.

    “These experiments on the state level can serve as models for the entire nation and eventually lead to federal breakthroughs and reform. That is why I strongly support States’ Rights. I’d prefer that no government (local, state or federal) limited the personal freedoms of consenting adults, but I am a realist. Incremental success on the state level, which can lead to full-fledged success on the national level, is preferable to no success at all. And even if the freedoms that are achieved at the state level are never implemented on the national level, it gives citizens a chance to live in the states that allow the most personal freedom that fits their lifestyle.”

    (1) But I don’t want anything to “eventually lead to federal breakthroughs and reform.” I just want the federal government to cease standing in the way.

    When a libertarians says we need to end the federal war on drugs, she’s not saying (A) that the federal government should force states to end their wars on drugs and also not saying (B) that states should keep their wars on drugs going. All the libertarian is saying when she says that we need to end the federal war on drugs is that the federal government is standing in the way of the sort of experiments in which Mr. Root wants to see states free to engage.

    (2) There’s no such thing as “States’ Rights.” If governments possess any legitimate authority, said authority is granted by the government. Authority that is granted is called “privilege,” not “right.” Privileges can be granted and revoked, rights cannot be granted nor revoked. Since it is the right of the people to alter or abolish government, according to Jefferson and every other man who signed the Declaration of Independence, states therefore have no “right” to exist, and thus have no “rights” at all. Rights originate innately in the individual, and are a product of our nature as humans. We couldn’t alienate them from ourselves if we wanted to. States, by contrast, derive their just powers—if they even have any, which I do not believe they do—from the consent of the governed. Thus, the only two forms of authority that states could ever possess are (A) privilege and (B) usurpation. The third type of authority, right, is not within their purview.

    (3) Again, what sort of “full-fledged success on the national level” does Mr. Root wish to achieve? Does he want to eventually see the federal government force states to keep drug laws off their books?

    ” Or to put it another way, greed is good.”

    That’s a very Objectivist thing to say. Which is okay, but I prefer to avoid the term greed.

    When I use the term greed, I mean to describe the desire to have something without earning it. So, a business that accepts a government bailout would be exhibiting greed, while a business that aims to make tremendous profits by providing the highest quality goods and services to consumers would not be exhibiting greed.

    I don’t think it looks well on us to claim that “greed is good.” I think that few who use the term greed associate it with wanting that which is earned.

    “The Fed’s strategy is simple: The Fed floods the economy with “easy money” by either artificially lowering interest rates, or printing more money.”

    More precisely, the Fed targets the interest rate through buying and selling bonds in what it calls its open-market operations using money that it creates out of thin air with the stroke of a pen. It doesn’t actually print the money—the treasury, I believe, does that.

    “I support utilization of school choice, vouchers or tax credits on the state and local level to increase education competition…”

    I have no problem with offering tax credits, but I oppose the voucher solution, to which you just know the political class will attach stipulations on educational facilities accepting voucher students should the voucher system ever become prominent. Then, we wouldn’t have private schools anymore—all schools would be de facto government schools. This is a dangerous solution.

    “It’s time to admit the war in Iraq has distracted us from the real ‘war on terror’ we are waging against the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

    Wait, what?

    The war in Afghanistan is an utter failure.

    Further, the war on terror itself has done more to spawn terrorism than it has to discourage it.

    Root says he’s not a pacifist. Neither am I. But it’s about time we took notice of the fact that the wars in the middle east are not making Americans safer, but rather less safe. If we care about American lives (to say nothing of the innocent Afghans killed in the crossfire), then it behoves us to bring the troops home as soon as safely possible.

    The reason we have the Islamic terrorism problem we have is simple. Extremist are willing to murder innocent Americans because they’re upset at our federal government for meddling in the affairs of the middle east for over a half century. While my libertarian ethics prevents me from ever condoning the slaying of even a single innocent person, and while I unashamedly support the punishment of those who do slay innocent people (including bin Laden and his henchmen), we have to realise that the most effective way to keep Americans safe is to not be in the middle east, to not install governments there, and to not even send a cent of U.S. tax money to aid the governments there. Such reforms would take the wind right out of the sails of those who are recruiting terrorists; thus, noninterventionism would make us far safer.

    Harry Browne’s position was essentially this: just put a really large bounty on bin Laden’s head. Surely someone will find a way to take him out, if there is monetary reward for doing so.

    Bin Laden is able to recruit right now because he can tell people, “Look, the Americans are invading our countries. Isn’t this horrible?” But who would want to kill himself at bin Laden’s request if the American politicians pose no threat to their sovereignty? Virtually no one. Moreover, under such libertarian conditions, they might come to the conclusion that it is wiser to kill bin Laden, and accept the bounty, than to kill themselves.

    We don’t need a war in Afghanistan, we just need to use common sense. This is common sense.

    I am extremely disappointed in Root for this. I had thought that he had come around to the libertarian perspective on this matter. I see I was mistaken. While I had felt that Root was the fourth best of the five candidates for chair of the LNC, I now think Hancock is the fourth best.

    ” As Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.'”

    The actual quote was, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, de?erve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    “That will only happen however if a tough-talking, patriotic Libertarian like myself is the Presidential candidate. No weak-sounding pacifist Libertarian will ever break the 1% of the electorate barrier, let alone wage a credible, realistic campaign to actually win the White House.”

    Most anti-war people, and most libertarians, are not pacifists. Ruwart, for example, is not a pacifist. She believes that defensive force is justifiable, and we can be sure of this because she has said that she does not believe a libertarian society would prohibit the dealth penality, but that instead “the victim(s) of an aggressor might be able to lay claim to that aggressor’s life as compensation for injury.”

    Yet, I would be shocked to discover Ruwart supporting the war in Afghanistan. While she would not object to the execution of the criminals who orchestrated the murder of innocent Americans on 11 September 2001, she would not condone the killing of innocent people caught in the crossfire. Neither would I.

    I think Rothbard said it best:

    “Before considering inter-State actions, let us return for a moment to the pure libertarian stateless world where individuals and their hired private protection agencies strictly confine their use of violence to the defense of person and property against violence. Suppose that, in this world, Jones finds that he or his property is being aggressed against by Smith. It is legitimate, as we have seen, for Jones to repel this invasion by the use of defensive violence. But, now we must ask: is it within the right of Jones to commit aggressive violence against innocent third parties in the course of his legitimate defense against Smith? Clearly the answer must be ‘No.’ For the rule prohibiting violence against the persons or property of innocent men is absolute; it holds regardless of the subjective motives for the aggression. It is wrong, and criminal, to violate the property or person of another, even if one is a Robin Hood, or is starving, or is defending oneself against a third man’s attack. We may understand and sympathize with the motives in many of these cases and extreme situations. We (or, rather, the victim or his heirs) may later mitigate the guilt if the criminal comes to trial for punishment, but we cannot evade the judgment that this aggression is still a criminal act, and one which the victim has every right to repel, by violence if necessary. In short, A aggresses against B because C is threatening, or aggressing against, A. We may understand C’s ‘higher’ culpability in this whole procedure, but we still label this aggression by A as a criminal act which B has every right to repel by violence.

    “To be more concrete, if Jones finds that his property is being stolen by Smith, Jones has the right to repel him and try to catch him, but Jones has no right to repel him by bombing a building and murdering innocent people or to catch him by spraying machine gun fire into an innocent crowd. If he does this, he is as much (or more) a criminal aggressor as Smith is.

    “The same criteria hold if Smith and Jones each have men on his side, i.e., if ‘war’ breaks out between Smith and his henchmen and Jones and his bodyguards. If Smith and a group of henchmen aggress against Jones, and Jones and his bodyguards pursue the Smith gang to their lair, we may cheer Jones on in his endeavor; and we, and others in society interested in repelling aggression, may contribute financially or personally to Jones’s cause. But Jones and his men have no right, any more than does Smith, to aggress against anyone else in the course of their ‘just war’: to steal others’ property in order to finance their pursuit, to conscript others into their posse by use of violence, or to kill others in the course of their struggle to capture the Smith forces. If Jones and his men should do any of these things, they become criminals as fully as Smith, and they too become subject to whatever sanctions are meted out against criminality. In fact if Smith’s crime was theft, and Jones should use conscription to catch him, or should kill innocent people in the pursuit, then Jones becomes more of a criminal than Smith, for such crimes against another person as enslavement and murder are surely far worse than theft.”

    Rothbard adds, “War, then, even a just defensive war, is only proper when the exercise of violence is rigorously limited to the individual criminals themselves. We may judge for ourselves how many wars or conflicts in history have met this criterion.”

    This is my view on war. I agree with Dr. Rothbard fully on this matter.

    “Douglas Casey once defined foreign aid “as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.””

    Great quote!

    “If we want to apprehend Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists, have Congress issue letters of marque and reprisal, as currently authorized in the Constitution, to allow American companies to earn billions of dollars for successfully capturing these thugs here and abroad.”

    Good. But can we leave Afghanistan, Mr. Root?

  54. Alexander S. Peak

    “I describe myself as a Reagan Libertarian.”

    Oxymoronic term. I do not want a presidential candidate or LNC chairman who uses this term.

    “However, over the past two years my views have changed dramatically. Despite my conservative, pro-military background, I no longer support this war.”

    Good. Excellent! You’ve gone back to being #4 on my list.

    “I would not risk the lives of my young sons on this tragic game plan. Would you? Would Obama? Would any of the gung-ho Republicans who have come out in support of Obama’s war expansion plans? I don’t think Karl Rove or Newt Gingrich would send their sons. I know that Mitt Romney has never sent any of his 5 sons. But they certainly have no problem sending your sons with enthusiasm.”

    Well-said.

    “Because nowhere in that brilliant contract with the citizens of America…”

    The Constitution is not a contract.

    “The ‘rules of engagement’ set by Obama will lead to a disaster.”

    What rules have been set? Let’s be specific.

    “So why exactly is President Obama expanding the war, when candidate Obama was so loudly and strongly anti-war?”

    Candidate Obama was not loudly or strongly “anti-war.” He campaigned on a promise to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. He refused to take off the table the “option” of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran. The man ran as a war-monger because he is a war-monger.

    War-monger Obama bombed Pakistan right after taking office. He also invaded Somalia.

    “Obama’s plan is the opposite of Ronald Reagan’s. Reagan wanted to cut taxes to starve government and free the American people (and the capitalist system) to exercise individual initiative and personal responsibility.”

    If this is what Reagan wanted, he’s the biggest failure this planet has ever seen.

  55. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Dondero,

    “You talk to any Muslim there or even over here in the US. What they hate is Madonna, MTV, Lady Gaga, Baywatch, HBO, our lax Marijuana policies, Gambling, Women in Bikinis on our Beaches.”

    But very, very, very few of them are willing to die over these things. They are willing to die to fight what they see to be an imperialist government, however.

    Many countries have liberal policies regarding sex. Yet you only see Islamic terrorists bombing innocent people who live under the thumb of governments that involve themselves in the middle east in some fashion. You never see them bombing the innocent people in fairly noninterventionist countries, regardless of how liberal their sexual policies are. Why is that?

    “Do you honestly believe if we pull out of Afghanistan the Taliban won’t seek revenge on all those who supported Karzai, and all those who adopted a ‘Western Culture’?”

    Are you arguing for never-ending war?

    “Is that why Bin Laden issued that Fatwa a few years ago, and specifically cited Madonna and Pop Culture as the primary reason for the War on the West?”

    Please provide the transcript in English translation. Thus far, everything I’ve read from bin Laden has been about our foreign policy.

    “And I guess they also missed the news of two weeks ago, when a Radical Muslim website threated the LIBERTARIAN creators of the South Park cartoon series Trey Parker and Matt Stone.”

    I read in a magazine that this site is only run by six or so guys.

    Wikipedia has this to say: “In addition to their website, the group distributes anti-Israeli literature outside of a mosques.[3] Legal and law enforcement officials in the US monitor the group, but describe its activities as protected by the First Amendment.[3] The Anti-Defamation League has monitored the group since 2006.[3][10] The mosque has called the police several times on the group, but has reported no actual violence.[11]”

    And this: “Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, stated regarding the Revolution Muslim group, ‘[It is] an extreme fringe group that has absolutely no credibility within the Muslim community. In fact, most Muslims suspect they were set up only to make Muslims look bad. We just have very deep suspicions. They say such outrageous, irresponsible things that it almost seems like they’re doing it to smear Islam.'[13]”

    “For the record, my name is Eric Dondero Rittberg. No ‘changes,’ involved. Ya wanna use Rittberg feel free. And no, I’m a proud American, not Israeli. Been all over the Middle East, but never been to Israel.”

    I’m confused; what does Israel have to do with your name?

    Sincerely yours,
    Alex Peak

  56. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. G writes, “[Root] even goes out of his way to talk about Obama’s connection to it.”

    I can’t fault Mr. Root for this. (1) It helps promote an opposition to Obama amongst anti-war Democrats and (2) helps promote an opposition to the war amongst anti-Obama Republicans. My bigger problem with his article is the insinuation that Obama was ever anti-war. He wasn’t. I predicted in 2006 that either an anti-war Republican or a pro-war Democrat would win in 2008—and I was right. If the GOP had been smart, they would have nominated the anti-war Republican, as he was the only Republican candidate with the ability to beat the pro-war Democrat. Unfortunately, they decided to nominate another big-government, pro-war Republican. And, just as I predicted, the pro-war Democrat beat him.

    Someone asks, “In your Libertarian world who will be responsible for determining time zones?”

    If I were dictator of all, I would make everyone use Eastern Standard Time (EST), regardless of where they are in the universe. I can hear the aliens now, in a thick British accent reminiscent of Monty Python: “Well, I didn’t vote for you.” 🙂

    But, no, seriously, although I would never impose a time zone on anyone, wouldn’t it be nice is the whole planet did happen to simply use EST? Would make things a whole lot simpler.

    Mr. Capozzi writes, “Yes, this is why my proposed Nonarchy Pods wall in those who wish to personally secede.”

    I have no clue what this sentence is saying. Please translate.

    Sincerely,
    Alex Peak

  57. Robert Capozzi

    ap, I propose that those who wish to personally secede can do so onto their property, where they’d have to stay. Think of a tiny Lichenstein, one where the borders would not allow entry or exit. These Nonarchy Pods would allow a person to practice anarchism on his/her property, avoiding all taxation and regulation…the ultimate opt out.

  58. Brian Holtz

    Drafts and offensive wars are both aggression. There should be no taxes for aggression. The only taxes should be on aggression: polluting, depleting, congesting, or monopolizing the natural commons.

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