Mary Ruwart: Open letter to the Florida and Idaho Libertarian Party State Executive Committees

By Mary Ruwart at Liberty for All. Republished with permission from Liberty for All publisher Lee Wrights.

by Mary J. Ruwart, LNC At-large

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you in my capacity as an At-Large Representative of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC), which is in receipt of your resolutions concerning Mr. Root. As you are probably aware, I attempted without success to have the Florida resolution placed on the agenda at the LNC meeting in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter, Idaho passed a virtually identical resolution.

As your At-Large Representative, I feel honor-bound to give you a response in the absence of one from the LNC as a whole. I understand that another state is considering passing a similar resolution, so a response seems necessary and timely.

Several LNC members, including myself, share your concerns. Mr. Root makes it abundantly clear in his 2009 book that he has little respect for liberals and gives the impression that only conservative-leaning individuals are welcome in the Libertarian Party (LP). I have attempted to do some damage control by posting reviews of his book that hopefully will correct that mistaken impression (http://www.amazon.com/review/R3TX5IAH0JSW5A/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=047045265X&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=#wasThisHelpful).

Upon receiving the Florida resolution our late founder, Mr. David Nolan, put forward a resolution of his own which was passed at our New Orleans meeting. He told me specifically that he hoped that Mr. Root would take the hint and stop discouraging approximately half of the American public from seriously considering the LP.

You might recall that during the last LNC term Mr. Starr initiated proceedings against both Ms. Angela Keaton and Mr. Lee Wrights that were presumably intended to remove them from their At-Large positions. The delegates to the National Convention in St. Louis responded by giving his opponent for Treasurer a landslide victory.

I believe that this incident speaks to your resolution. Although At-Large Members can be removed “for cause,” the delegates frown on such removals without considerable justification. Consequently, even though I and others on the LNC are sympathetic to your concerns, I am unaware of any support, including my own, for removing Mr. Root for the reasons stated in your resolution.

However, if you feel strongly about Mr. Root’s comments, you have several avenues open to you. You can correct Mr. Root’s public statements as I have attempted to do. You can attempt to persuade him to change his behavior as LP founder, the late Mr. David Nolan, has tried to do. In addition, you and any LP members who share your views can attend the next national convention en masse and cast your votes for someone more to your liking. Mr. Starr’s fate has demonstrated that the delegates to a National Convention can effectively prevent the election of anyone who does not meet their expectations.

Our next convention also elects our 2012 presidential nominee; Mr. Root has clearly stated his intentions to run both in his book and on the air (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIeLgzWDekI at about 6:15 minutes). If you would rather not see Mr. Root in another leadership position, you may wish to attend the Las Vegas convention and vote for a candidate who better represents your views.

Mary J. Ruwart, Ph.D., is the author of Healing Our World, a liberty primer for liberals, Christians, New Agers, and pragmatists. She also wrote Short Answers to the Tough Questions: Sound Bites for the Libertarian Candidate after her Internet column (www.self-gov.org) of the same name.

127 thoughts on “Mary Ruwart: Open letter to the Florida and Idaho Libertarian Party State Executive Committees

  1. Robert Milnes

    Nice to see Mary trying to deal with this situation.
    The solution is Nolan’s original resolution
    Not the amended resolution.
    A few word changes turned the original into its opposite.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    MR: …so a response seems necessary and timely.

    Me: Yes. This is a stand-up move by Ruwart. Many seemed to want the FL and ID resolutions swept under the rug to fest. This is not healing, but rather denial. Mad props to Mary for stepping up.

    MR: [Nolan] told me specifically that he hoped that Mr. Root would take the hint and stop discouraging approximately half of the American public from seriously considering the LP.

    Me: Thanks for sharing this. While it seemed likely that Nolan’s intention was to dispose this “purge bomb,” we now have some confirmation. Although I share Ruwart’s concern that Root’s rhetoric can be alienating toward those who self-identify as liberals or liberal-leaning, the 50% figure seems high to me, perhaps 10-30 points high. While Root may well identify more closely with conservative thought, I believe he makes a mistake when he castigates liberals and liberalism. Making it personal is poor strategy. It’s the “sin,” not the “sinner,” would be the preferred path. IMO. Let’s not forget that conservative positions on many issues are also “sins,” too! Ls share some values with both and neither; we forget that at our own peril. To forget that most Ls were formerly conservatives or liberals (or leaners) is a profound mistake. Making it personal is a bigger mistake.

    MR: You might recall that during the last LNC term Mr. Starr initiated proceedings against both Ms. Angela Keaton and Mr. Lee Wrights that were presumably intended to remove them from their At-Large positions. The delegates to the National Convention in St. Louis responded by giving his opponent for Treasurer a landslide victory.

    ME: This starts to careen toward dysfunctional places. The attempted purges of Root, Keaton and Wrights were different circumstances. The Wrights attempt was especially dysfunctional, as it was IMO sneaky, technical, and highly procedural. The Keaton (I guess) successful purge was over behavior (publicly divulging privileged communication on an ongoing basis) was poorly handled but understandable. The Root situation is purely ideological. While Starr is associated with Root, it seems a stretch to say his role in the Keaton and Wrights situations were entirely the reasons for his loss in St. Louis. We don’t know. I seem to recall wild attacks on Starr in the months prior to St. Louis based on false understandings of accounting principles and how Starr presented financial information, for ex. The attacks on Starr seemed personal to me, given the absurd charges I saw at the time. There seemed to be an animus against Starr for (perceived) exclusionary and high-handed behavior that pre-dates the Keaton and Wrights situations.

    MR: I believe that this incident speaks to your resolution.

    ME: This is unclear or a non sequitur. The Starr loss? Or the Nolan Resolution?

    MR: Although At-Large Members can be removed “for cause,” the delegates frown on such removals without considerable justification. Consequently, even though I and others on the LNC are sympathetic to your concerns, I am unaware of any support, including my own, for removing Mr. Root for the reasons stated in your resolution.

    ME: Thank you for making this plain. Disagreeing with Root — even strongly so — doesn’t justify purging him, is my strongly held view. The eye-for-an-eye ethics do not work on many, many levels. The appropriate place to “purge” Root is in convention, if one believes that to be appropriate.

    I sometimes do not agree with Ruwart, either, but she deserves praise for having an adult conversation. Some may view that as a mere “style” matter, but in politics and human relations, how we treat one another is perhaps 90% of the effort, IMO.

    Thank you for addressing this festering sore of retribution. Let the healing begin.

  3. paulie Post author

    MR: [Nolan] told me specifically that he hoped that Mr. Root would take the hint and stop discouraging approximately half of the American public from seriously considering the LP.

    RC: Thanks for sharing this. While it seemed likely that Nolan’s intention was to dispose this “purge bomb,” we now have some confirmation. Although I share Ruwart’s concern that Root’s rhetoric can be alienating toward those who self-identify as liberals or liberal-leaning, the 50% figure seems high to me, perhaps 10-30 points high.

    P: If anything, 50% is too low. Do you think the idea that President Obama is a secret Marxist plays well in the middle of the road? I think not just those on the left, but also moderate “socially liberal, fiscal conservative” types would be repelled by such rhetoric, no? Let’s say maybe one third of Americans find such rhetorical flourish as more of a plus than an indication of paranoid disorder; wouldn’t they be the same ones that say that Obama has to be stopped by any means necessary…and wouldn’t that mean that Libertarians should stay out of that race?

  4. paulie Post author

    MR: I believe that this incident speaks to your resolution.

    RC: This is unclear or a non sequitur. The Starr loss? Or the Nolan Resolution?

    P: The way I read that was that the Starr loss speaks to the Florida and Idaho resolutions.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    p12: Do you think the idea that President Obama is a secret Marxist plays well in the middle of the road?

    me: Nope. I too wish he’d lose that theme. Whether that theme leads to alienation of more than 50% of the pop to the totality of Root’s message, it’s hard to say. Were it not for his Columbia connection, the likelihood that Root’s “Obama’s a Marxist” message would really seem hyper-partisan, possibly conspiratorially deranged. That he took classes from profs that presumably Obama also took classes from gives him a tiny bit of credibility on the matter. Lose it, though, remains my counsel.

    Speaking of alienation, what’s up with this bio:

    “Mary J. Ruwart, Ph.D., is the author of Healing Our World, a liberty primer for liberals, Christians, New Agers, and pragmatists.”

    Conservatives can’t benefit from her work? I hope that was an oversight. While we’re at it, why only Christians and New Agers? Is HEALING irrelevant for atheists, agnosticists and Buddhists? As an unaffiliated metaphysical Taoist, no wonder the book doesn’t especially speak to me! 😉

  6. Robert Capozzi

    P13: The way I read that was that the Starr loss speaks to the Florida and Idaho resolutions.

    me: I took it the other way…the Nolan resolution was designed to address the FL and ID resolutions. Chalk this up to sub-optimal construction, I think.

    The Starr loss did not address FL and ID, as it preceded them, yet I agree as the sentences flow, one could reach your conclusion. I give Ruwart more credit than your interpretation seems to, since it makes no sense, to me at least.

  7. paulie Post author

    @ 15 I took it the other way…the Nolan resolution was designed to address the FL and ID resolutions.

    You lost me. A resolution speaks to a resolution…where’s the incident in that one?

  8. Robert Capozzi

    rc9: The Root situation is purely ideological.

    me: Ah, oh, I’m talking to myself. My statement is not quite accurate, is my current understanding. FL apparently reached out to Root with concern after the Vegas magazine article was published. It’s my understanding that they felt dissed by his responses, and THAT led to the Resolution. So, it’s more accurate to say that their call for purge was triggered by ideological plumb line violations but then sealed by perceived disrespectful responses to their inquiries. I still remain somewhat sympathetic like Ruwart, but ultimately my view is the FL (and ID) resolutions are WAY over the line and profoundly disproportionate to inartful, poorly conceived words from Root.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    p16, timeline:
    1) Starr loses in St. Louis.
    2) FL issues their resolution.
    3) Nolan offers a different resolution.

    I quoted: “MR: I believe that this incident speaks to your resolution.”

    I commented: “This is unclear or a non sequitur. The Starr loss? Or the Nolan Resolution?”

    You said: “P: The way I read that was that the Starr loss speaks to the Florida and Idaho resolutions.”

    I reiterate: The Starr loss had nothing specific to do with the FL or ID resolutions. The Nolan resolution speaks to those state LP resolutions.

    By inference, the Starr loss is in MR’s opinion the more appropriate way to address Root’s transgressions from the (perceived) plumb line. There I agree with her, although, like spoons, there is no plumb line, and never was, actually. 😉 If one thinks there IS a plumb line, though, by all means an individual should vote for candidates for leadership who share that view.

    Further, Starr’s apparent demise was not so much for his verboten ideology, but rather for his perceived heavy-handed tactics, including his role in the attempted purges of Wrights and Keaton.

    I’ve seen no charges that Root is per se heavy-handed, and clearly he had nothing to do with the attempted purges of Wrights and Keaton. Rather, I think it’s fair to say that Root raises the hackles of plumb liners and absolutists for his deviationist and fusionist views.

    Clearer? Or is my coffee too weak? Perhaps we understand the term “speaks to” differently, Mr. 100% on the verbals! 😉

    [Understanding takes a lot of work sometimes.]

  10. paulie Post author

    Speaks to =/= designed to address. Obviously, we know the timeline and that Starr’s loss was not based on Root’s subsequent statement. I believe “speaks to” was used in the sense of – you can learn a lesson from X on how to handle Y.

    The words “this incident” follow a description of what Dr. Ruwart considers to be a correctly applied remedy in St. Louis, followed by an explanation as to why she is not willing to write an alternative prescription that the patient has requested, and finally by an explanation of why her prescription is the correct way to deal with what she and the patient consider to be the malady.

  11. paulie Post author

    MR: You might recall that during the last LNC term Mr. Starr initiated proceedings against both Ms. Angela Keaton and Mr. Lee Wrights that were presumably intended to remove them from their At-Large positions. The delegates to the National Convention in St. Louis responded by giving his opponent for Treasurer a landslide victory.

    RC: The Wrights [attempted explulsion -P] was especially dysfunctional, as it was IMO sneaky, technical, and highly procedural.

    P: Agreed.

    RC: The Keaton (I guess) successful purge was over behavior (publicly divulging privileged communication on an ongoing basis) was poorly handled but understandable.

    P: There was no purge. Ms. Keaton resigned voluntarily rather than submit to dispute resolution.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/12/angela-keaton-speaks/

    I did not do this as a result of pressure from either Mr. Garris or the LNC. [..]

    While I won Saturday?s battle, I had no intention of sitting through yet another round of investigative nonsense

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/12/draft-minutes-from-december-lnc-meeting/

    After a five-minute extension by Dr. Lark, Michael Jingozian offered a substitute motion:

    The LNC shall form a dispute resolution committee to address this issue.

    Mary Ruwart seconded. The motion to substitute passed.

    This newly minted main motion passed with no objection.

    “Publicly divulging privileged communication on an ongoing basis” was one of the alleged grievances for dispute resolution. There were others.
    Their merit or lack thereof is not the point here; the motion for dispute resolution was seconded by Dr. Ruwart and passed without objection.
    The bottom line was that Ms. Keaton had come to believe that the activities of the LNC are on balance detrimental to the cause of liberty, as well as that participation in the LNC was detrimental to her health and a drag on her time, and took the appropriate action given those beliefs by resigning.

    RC: The Root situation is purely ideological. While Starr is associated with Root, it seems a stretch to say his role in the Keaton and Wrights situations were entirely the reasons for his loss in St. Louis. We don?t know. I seem to recall wild attacks on Starr in the months prior to St. Louis based on false understandings of accounting principles and how Starr presented financial information, for ex. The attacks on Starr seemed personal to me, given the absurd charges I saw at the time. There seemed to be an animus against Starr for (perceived) exclusionary and high-handed behavior that pre-dates the Keaton and Wrights situations.

    P: It is true that there was animus, but the Wrights and Keaton matters contributed greatly to its momentum building to the point that it did.

  12. paulie Post author

    MR: Although At-Large Members can be removed “for cause,” the delegates frown on such removals without considerable justification. Consequently, even though I and others on the LNC are sympathetic to your concerns, I am unaware of any support, including my own, for removing Mr. Root for the reasons stated in your resolution.

    RC: Thank you for making this plain. Disagreeing with Root — even strongly so — doesn’t justify purging him, is my strongly held view. The eye-for-an-eye ethics do not work on many, many levels. The appropriate place to “purge” Root is in convention, if one believes that to be appropriate.

    P: Agreed.

    RC: Some may view that as a mere “style” matter, but in politics and human relations, how we treat one another is perhaps 90% of the effort, IMO.

    P: right again.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    p19, sure, but we could say that defeating ANY candidate in convention applies, then.

    Had MR said something like, “After Phillies lost his campaign for chair, due in part to the discovery that he’d filed a complaint with the FEC over trivial and specious matters.”

    She didn’t say the Phillies loss “speaks to” the FL and ID resolutions. That would really be confusing.

    It seems the better phrasing might have been:

    “I believe that [the defeat of Starr in convention provides a more appropriate example of how to address the grievances your resolutions contain.]” Or something.

    She might have even said: “Express yourself at the Las Vegas convention by voting for a candidate other than Root or his associates for any position they might stand for. Support ‘real’ Libertarians. [While] At-Large Members can be removed ‘for cause,’ the delegates frown on such removals without considerable justification….”

    I suspect that’s closer to what she meant. Of course, as we know, I don’t read minds, though. 😉

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    I think Paulie @19 has the “speaks to” passage correctly understood.

    What Ruwart is saying there is:

    “Aaron Starr failed of re-election as treasurer at least in part because he was seen as behind the effort to remove Keaton and Wrights. The LNC, myself included, treat that as an instruction from the membership that removal of an LNC member be a last resort in extreme situations, not a first resort whenever an LNC member pisses some people off.”

  15. paulie Post author

    Speaking of alienation, what’s up with this bio:

    “Mary J. Ruwart, Ph.D., is the author of Healing Our World, a liberty primer for liberals, Christians, New Agers, and pragmatists.”

    Conservatives can’t benefit from her work? I hope that was an oversight. While we’re at it, why only Christians and New Agers? Is HEALING irrelevant for atheists, agnosticists and Buddhists? As an unaffiliated metaphysical Taoist, no wonder the book doesn’t especially speak to me!

    I don’t think liberals, Christians, New Agers, and pragmatists is meant as an exclusive list. Obviously, the rhetorical style of Healing Our World plays better with some audiences than others, just as Mr. Root’s Conscience of a Libertarian plays better – just to a different audience. I’d prefer us making attempts to play to both, and give each other the space to do so, over the circular firing squad.

    I’ve read all of the first edition of Healing Our World and parts of Conscience of a Libertarian. You?

  16. Robert Capozzi

    p20:…the Wrights and Keaton matters contributed greatly to its momentum building to the point that it did.

    me: Yes, I can buy that. The Wrights matter was especially crazed, coming on the heels of the Keaton matter. A hand was severely overplayed there, is my take. If Wrights hadn’t happened, I doubt there would nearly be so much contention. The bad karma boomerang came ’round, for it’s very difficult to see the Wrights situation as anything other than ill will made manifest.

    But, again, I don’t read minds!

  17. Mack Orwelly

    RM

    perhaps if the rightists, who are ruining the LP, were purged, a lot of alienated libertarians would join it.

    The time to call for a purge or attack is not when your side is outnumbered. Right now, the left leaners and radicals are outnumbered.

    If and when you gain the upper hand you can contemplate whether a purge is necessary, beneficial, or harmful. If you do not wish to be purged yourself, there are two approaches you could take:

    1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    2. Do unto others first before they get back in a position to do unto you

    Which do you think works best?

  18. AroundtheblockAFT

    When has the LP actually purged a faction?
    Crane & Co. walked out after Bergland beat Ravenal for the presidential nod in 1983. Rothbard and Rockwell walked out in 1989 after their candidate did not win the Chair’s race.
    The latest dust-ups seem to foretell another big walkout depending on how Root does at the 2012 convention. Not good for the LP at a time when a fair number of Tea Partiers are questioning whether the GOP will ever be their home and increasing numbers of liberals are tiring of Obama’s disregard for civil liberties.

  19. NewFederalist

    #27- Your recollection is the same as mine. I hope somebody who really knows can answer your question.

  20. Gains

    MO @26: “1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    2. Do unto others first before they get back in a position to do unto you

    Which do you think works best?”

    Works best for which goal?

    Playing king of the hill or effecting political and social change?

  21. paulie Post author

    The latest dust-ups seem to foretell another big walkout depending on how Root does at the 2012 convention.

    I have seen/heard the same thing, and maybe even said it myself, predicted about the 2008 and 2010 conventions. It didn’t happen then, and I’m hoping it does not happen now. It came close to happening in 2008, but Steve Kubby upon advice from Tom Knapp prevented that.
    In 2010, things went much, much better than I expected; we came out stronger and with a greater sense of unity.

    Not good for the LP at a time when a fair number of Tea Partiers are questioning whether the GOP will ever be their home and increasing numbers of liberals are tiring of Obama?s disregard for civil liberties.

    …And endless wars. Agreed. This is why I hope to see more libertarian voices from a variety of perspectives get in the media more often and filling the current LNC vacancies in a way that does not upset the current ideological balance of the LNC.

  22. paulie Post author

    @ 29 You can be 100% assured of being king of the hill when the hill consists solely of yourself and no one else. If Mr. Milnes’ goal is to be king of his hill, he has already succeeded. If his goal is social and political change, the fact that he has no allies whatsoever in his continuous efforts should be indicative.

  23. Starchild

    It would be wonderful if we had a Libertarian Party where we could take it for granted that we are all on the same team, fighting for the same things.

    Short of this, I would be satisfied with a Libertarian Party in which people had a wide variety of positions on major public policy issues, so long as our party’s structure and/or culture guaranteed that the LP remained strongly libertarian and that people with insufficiently libertarian views did not become party leaders or high-profile candidates.

    Sadly, neither of these are the party in which we now find ourselves, and at this late juncture, collegial behavior and gentle attempts to educate probably won’t be enough to get us back on track.

    As an organization, we are reaping what we have sowed. For years, Libertarian leaders at the national level and in many state parties have emphasized winning elections, projecting a “mainstream” or “professional” image, and so on, at the expense of our party’s uncompromising commitment to freedom.

    Over time, this has changed our culture to the point where it has become fertile ground for conservatives and self-serving opportunists to take root and get themselves elevated into the highest levels of the LP.

    All is not lost. I think many of the Libertarians who supported Barr and W.A.R. did so not because they had lost faith in libertarianism, trusted these men or agreed with their stances, but because they were seduced by that old and always tantalizing promise of winning elections, or at least making substantial electoral progress.

    I trust that at least some of these folks have seen what this chimeric approach has gotten us (essentially nothing) and where it is leading (further and further away from the ideals embodied in our Statement of Principles). I trust that many of them are rightly dismayed by the shameful spectacle of our last presidential candidate working as a mouthpiece for the former dictator of Haiti while our last vice-presidential candidate uses his soapbox as an apologist for the current dictator of Egypt.

    I hope that rather than give up and turn their backs on the LP in disgust, they will make their voices heard at upcoming state conventions and the national convention in Las Vegas and take back the party that bears their name and belongs to them. I’d rather not spend the time leading up to the next presidential election having to satirically promote the Libertarian ticket of “Duvalier/Mubarak 2012”.

    In the meantime, I support the Idaho and Florida resolutions. It is sad that such actions are warranted, and I wish we had better means in place to deal with the situation, but they are and we don’t. I urge the leaders of other state LP chapters to adopt similar resolutions and take a strong stand for reaffirming the Libertarian Party’s commitment to libertarianism.

  24. Kyle Hartz

    “All is not lost. I think many of the Libertarians who supported Barr and W.A.R. did so not because they had lost faith in libertarianism, trusted these men or agreed with their stances, but because they were seduced by that old and always tantalizing promise of winning elections, or at least making substantial electoral progress.”

    Starchild, you hit the nail on the head.

    “I hope that rather than give up and turn their backs on the LP in disgust, they will make their voices heard at upcoming state conventions and the national convention in Las Vegas and take back the party that bears their name and belongs to them.”

    I agree with this point. However, it’s going to be pretty hard to convince people to support the LP if our Presidential candidate goes from someone as horrible as Barr to Root.

    The LP is hardly the only libertarian gig in town. If we don’t remain principled, there will be no reason to give your time and financial support to the LP over other libertarian organizations.

  25. Marc Montoni

    I really don’t understand why Libertarians continue to cling to the antiquated idea that being elected to a position such as chairman, At Large rep, or regional representative, confers any special respect or privilege. Or immunity from being called on the carpet for acts injurious to the organization.

    A chair, for instance, is simply supposed to be an even-handed referee. When a chairman is unable to impartially do his job, it is time for him to hand over the gavel, either for the duration of the issue at hand, or permanently. Other members of the board are likewise supposed to serve the best interests of the organization.

    If they don’t, then they *should* be removed.

    Call it purging all you want, but the simple fact is that a board member who publicly and frequently calls for the opposite of what the organization supports is not acting in good faith.

    An idea for reform I’ve had for some time now is to adopt the “graduation system” of governance, where the rank and file elect precinct captains, the precinct captains elect the county and regional committees up to the US congress level, the congressional district committtees elect the state committee, and the state committees elect the national committees. At all levels, the committees appoint their own officers (such as chair, treasurer, etc).

    This would eliminate the “convention packing” risk we have now; and substitute a system whereby you have to be an activist at a lower level, and become known as being able to play well with others, before you’re graduated to the next level up. It would also make it far more likely that those who aspire to leadership will actually be expected to get their feet wet doing some sort of actual organizing.

    I’ve had quite enough of the “let’s put this former celebrity on the national committee so he can show us how we’re doing everything wrong” nonsense.

    In my opinion, those who “deserve” to be on the national committee are those who have actually demonstrated some ability to recruit new members, raise money, and find candidates for public office. Those who do NOT “deserve” to be on the national committee are ‘celebrities’ who have no experience actually making the party bigger.

  26. Gains

    SC @32: “I hope that rather than give up and turn their backs on the LP in disgust, they will make their voices heard at upcoming state conventions and the national convention in Las Vegas and take back the party that bears their name and belongs to them.”

    As far as I can tell, you have already lost. Ambiguous calls to action do not tend to move people.

    What goals do you have, other than anxious kneejerk reaction to social retards (who think that politics is about creating as small a party as possible) with socially retarded tactics designed to create as small a party as possible through anxiety?

    C’mon man, gimme something positive to sink my teeth into.

    KH @33: “If we don’t remain principled, there will be no reason to give your time and financial support to the LP over other libertarian organizations.”

    I do not believe that people “remian principled.” I think that people struggle in principle and that the easy road is to eschew the hard work, run away and blame others for what is in fact, one’s own failings.

    Principle, and social mores take time to take root. To change a social paradigm takes buy in and that means educating people. Since living up to principle is hard you must not only educate new people, but also provide mechanisms for persistent education. That being said, I think that you can educate people in one of two ways:

    1. Indoctrinate them with fear, force and fraud.

    2. Educate them with love, acceptance and truth.

    Only one of these is compatible with libertarian principle.

  27. AroundtheblockAFT

    Mr. Montoni has been around a long time and could probably do a scorecard on every LNC member who ever served. My impression is that most of the LNC officers have worked their way up through the ranks by being success in doing the LP’s business. Hinkle, Redpath have been active “forever.” It’s the regional reps that have frequently disappointed, and the many state chairs that have seemingly come and gone because no one else would take the job.
    Some regional reps have labored long and hard in the LP vineyard – Dan Karlin comes to mind.
    I don’t know many of the at-large well enough to comment except Mary Ruwart has long been active in the LP and various other movement groups.
    However, Marc’s proposal sounds interesting and I wonder if that’s how the RNC and DNC do it?

  28. paulie Post author

    Starchild,

    All is not lost. I think many of the Libertarians who supported Barr and W.A.R. did so not because they had lost faith in libertarianism, trusted these men or agreed with their stances, but because they were seduced by that old and always tantalizing promise of winning elections, or at least making substantial electoral progress.

    I trust that at least some of these folks have seen what this chimeric approach has gotten us (essentially nothing) and where it is leading (further and further away from the ideals embodied in our Statement of Principles). I trust that many of them are rightly dismayed by the shameful spectacle of our last presidential candidate working as a mouthpiece for the former dictator of Haiti while our last vice-presidential candidate uses his soapbox as an apologist for the current dictator of Egypt.

    I hope that rather than give up and turn their backs on the LP in disgust, they will make their voices heard at upcoming state conventions and the national convention in Las Vegas and take back the party that bears their name and belongs to them. I’d rather not spend the time leading up to the next presidential election having to satirically promote the Libertarian ticket of “Duvalier/Mubarak 2012?.

    In the meantime, I support the Idaho and Florida resolutions. It is sad that such actions are warranted, and I wish we had better means in place to deal with the situation, but they are and we don’t. I urge the leaders of other state LP chapters to adopt similar resolutions and take a strong stand for reaffirming the Libertarian Party’s commitment to libertarianism.

    Many of the people you speak of who supported Barr and/or support Wayne did/do so because they are tired of the party being small and insignificant. Barr, to them, seemed capable of taking us to the next level. My prediction was that this would not happen, and I was right. Wayne is getting a lot of media attention. It gives him credibility with a large chunk of LP members, including activists and delegates, who are more concerned that we get some attention in the real world than whether the message is exactly correct.

    The very last thing these Libertarians who are in the middle of (ie neutral in) the extremist/moderate-conservative battle for control of the LP want to see is purges and calls for purges. That makes them react against the people calling for purges. If you want to hand control of the LP completely to Wayne and his close allies, spend as much of your time as you can calling for their ouster. You will make yourself look like the internal enemy to those who want to see the party grow, and they will ally with your opposition.

    So, what do you do if you want to not cede control of the party to the moderate/conservatives, but want extreme and left-friendly libertarians have more of a say in shaping our message? More on that in a minute.

  29. paulie Post author

    So, what do you do if you want to not cede control of the party to the moderate/conservatives, but want extreme and left-friendly libertarians have more of a say in shaping our message?

    Paradoxically, Starchild himself shows the way:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/san-francisco-libertarian-activist-starchild-at-protest-of-solidarity-with-the-people-of-egypt/

    This is what we need more of.

    And this:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/ernie-hancock-mark-hinkle-mary-ruwart-join-with-others-to-help-bring-libertarian-message-to-arab-world/

    We don’t need to take the party back. We need to take it forward.

    Don’t purge. Outgrow, outorganize, outshine.

    That is how you convince the people on the fence to vote for us to be the leaders and top of the ticket candidates of the party. Extremism is not what is hurting the party. Neither is moderation.

    Circular firing squads are.

    So is lack of effort.

    As Marc Montoni says,

    In my mind, the only real problem facing the LP and libertarianism in general is that there are WAY too many ?libertarians? who can?t be bothered to:

    – organize their own precinct
    – pick up a petition form
    – run for office
    – run an information table (even in their own precinct)
    – write letters to the editor, or
    – meet with legislators.

    However, they just LOVE to waste what must amount to THOUSANDS of hours every month (collectively) sitting behind a computer screen writing breathless screeds about all of the things that are wrong with the LP, and dispensing their own peculiar ?wisdom? on how to ?fix? the LP. […]

    Only WORK works. If you are spending more time talking to other libertarians about how flawed their efforts are, then you?re working for the enemy. Stop worrying about the platform, pledge, pragmatism, whatever, and instead do what is really necessary to build a proper political party:

    WORK.

    And as Wayne told me yesterday,

    My critics can continue to knit-pick a word here or there?one sentence in a 1000 word cover story?one view among hundreds of media appearances?but they can NEVER, EVER, EVER outwork me.

    What this party has never lacked is words. What the LP needs is sacrifice, volunteers, and work ethic. Talk is cheap. Compete with me by outworking me. Out sacrificing me. Out performing me. Instead of criticizing my 1000 media appearances a year?go get your own.

    Marc and Wayne are both right!

    We don’t need to purge fellow libertarians. We need to get more media, more votes, more members, more delegates on the floor of the next convention and demonstrate with our actions that we are the hardest working people in the party and the ones who will make the most progress on its behalf.

    Then, and only then, do we earn leadership positions.

    One other thing: hard work is not enough. People need to know what you have done, and they need to be reminded. Wayne spends a lot of time reminding people about all the work he’s doing. That’s smart.

    Quit trying to purge Wayne. Learn his methods (not message) and emulate them.

    More on that shortly…

  30. paulie Post author

    I said …

    Quit trying to purge Wayne. Learn his methods (not message) and emulate them.

    So, what have I learned so far through observation? What thoughts do I have on applying it so we can move forward? I’m glad I asked. 🙂

    I posted this yesterday, but some of you who are reading this thread either didn’t read that one or lost interest in it by the time I posted it. If you did read it before, please read it again. Then read it couple more times. Yes, I know, I’m sounding kind of self-important to some people right now. I don’t think I’m that important, but I think this message is. So I hope that a bunch of people read it and then do something about it. Anyway, I’m babbling again.

    What I said on that other thread yesterday was…


    Observer @ 33

    Well, your question is fair, and in any situation besides Wayne Allyn Root I would agree with you that honey works better than vinegar. However, I?ve had dialogue with this man for MONTHS. I have politely asked questions, and pointed out words of his that aren?t Libertarian in a gentle way, but nothing works. I?ve talked to him here, on Facebook, and in person. NOTHING WORKS.

    Then let me suggest another approach. Refer back to Wayne’s response to me @ 11.

    Wayne says:

    What this party has never lacked is words. What the LP needs is sacrifice, volunteers, and work ethic. Talk is cheap. Compete with me by outworking me. Out sacrificing me. Out performing me. Instead of criticizing my 1000 media appearances a year?go get your own.

    Maybe he doesn’t want advice from people that he believes are not reaching as many people as he is, regardless of whether that advice is friendly or hostile.

    So, how do you get his attention and convince him that your concerns are worthwhile?

    I’ve been told that Wayne gets all the press that he gets by hiring a media booking person. Thus, what we need is one or several energetic, knowledgeable spokespeople that are willing to devote some time to writing fairly regular op-eds and making media appearances. Perhaps you might be one of them, or perhaps doing interviews is not your forte.

    Regardless of the answer to that first question: Perhaps, you and several people could chip in to hire a media booking person for the person or several that takes on the spokesperson role.

    http://newslink.org provides numerous contacts for every type of print and broadcast publication. Someone could go through that and book tons of media interviews and places to publish op-eds. Small town daily, urban free weekly and college newspapers are usually very easy to get published in.

    Include a note with every column that lists your website, contact info, the fact that you are interested in doing interviews, and encouraging people to disseminate and publish your articles far and wide with proper author credit and that same note attached. Send your media clips to your fans and other media with that same note.

    On your site, have your media clips featured prominently, like Wayne does on his. Include an easy, and (sorry folks) in your face way to get everyone who visits to either sign up for your column and interview clip release email list or reject signing up for it before proceeding. Have other interactive features on the site that keep people there more.

    At the very top of the site, feature your core message graphically as well as verbally. For example, a peace sign, a marijuana leaf and a gold dollar sign and below them the words PEACE, CIVIL LIBERTIES, FREE MARKETS.

    Find a few friendly LNC reps to make sure all your op-eds and lists of your media appearances appear on the official LP blog. Send them to contact.ipr@gmail.com as well. Share them on twitter, facebook, etc. Post the media clips on a youtube channel.

    Rinse, lather, repeat.

    We need a list of a few people that are ready, willing and able to disseminate the flavors of libertarianism that you and I are closer to, just as Wayne is doing with his. And we need a few people with the time and/or money to hire the people with the time to get them booked.

    After that, just keep building, step by step. Build your lists of supporters. Give them stuff to do. Build your lists of warm media contacts. Build your lists of appearances and places published. Use them to leverage more and bigger ones.

    Rinse, lather, repeat.

    Let’s say you are like me, with a face for radio, a voice for print and a writing style that best suits a TV soap star, but no money. Well then, help spread this idea and maybe a few people with money will hire one or two of us to be the media booking people – “the back office,” so to speak.

    Tell your friends. Spread this concept. Make it happen.

    Don’t feel like it? No problem. Maybe someone will read this and do something about it.

    I’ll try to remember to post this every time we discuss a Wayne Root op-ed from now on 🙂

    @ 60 Harry Browne’s campaign journal at
    http://www.harrybrowne.org/2000/
    (read the links titled campaign journal) are a good place to learn some of the things to do and not to do.

  31. paulie Post author

    Few people can equal Wayne’s energy by themselves alone, but between us, we have enough credible, knowledgeable, well-spoken and not too horribly hideous to put in front of a camera people, and enough money to hire a media booking person or several, and people with time to be that booking person if need be. So, does anyone want to help get things rolling…if so, what do you want to do?

  32. Marc Montoni

    Paulie,

    While I understand what you’re trying to do here, I just want to clarify my meaning. Perhaps it wasn’t clear: If an individual consistently proves by his actions that he has a negative effect on the organization he’s been elected to help lead, then I am entirely in favor of removing and replacing that person with someone who will spend more time advancing the goals of the organization than running it or its activists down.

    I understand that reformer types will claim that I’m just rationalizing my secret tendencies to conduct purges (they read minds, too). However, that’s because those now holding themselves up as “anti-purge” simply don’t know the plain-english definition of “purge”.

    Too, there’s a lot of hypocrisy afoot — some who are now anti-purge when it comes to Root were right there in the trenches piling on Keaton, Wrights, and Labianca, and would have been perfectly happy to foam at the mouth if other politically-incorrect people like Ruwart or Hawkridge were suddenly spiked with a vulnerability.

    No one is talking about removing Root from the party. That *would* be a purge. What some *have* called for, however, is removing him from a position of leadership. That is NOT a purge. Again: if a leader’s effect on the organization is negative, then he should be removed from his position and someone else should be given a shot.

    It **shouldn’t** be a big deal.

    Root has spent time at LP events running other activists down. I had the pleasure of sitting at the same table with him at an LP event some time ago, and practically the first words out of his mouth after introductions was what was “wrong with the LP”. I’m going to paraphrase because unless I sit and think about it for a while, I can’t say his exact words — but his talking points were his usual ones — the neolibertarian dogma about consistent libertarians “being more interested in being a debating society than being getting involved in real politics”. My immediate rejoinder was “no, that’s not the problem with the LP.” “So what is it?” he asked. I said, “The problem with the LP is the people who spend their time telling those of us involved in politics that we’re a debating society, while they haven’t organized their own precinct.” Root chuckled gamely, but the conversation died at that point.

    Gee, I can’t understand why.

    The reason I am not impressed with Root are many, but I suppose some of the primary ones are:

    1) He may get a thousand media appearances a year, but there is never any “Root bump” in membership or new inquiries as a result. In contrast, just about every time Harry Browne appeared on TV or radio, within minutes of the broadcast, new inquiries would start coming in (I was in a position to know, because I often temped @ LPHQ and personally fielded the 800# calls). I have listened to a few of his interviews, and his schpiel normally has very little material that might inspire someone to call us or write us. When Harry was on TV, I made a point to watch, just because he handled interviews so well and presented Libertarian ideas so well. Root has his media qualities, but he is not anywhere near as polished in presentation as Browne was.

    2) Root has a tendency to come off as a used-car salesman. His looks and demeanor are certainly part of that image. He could tame that aspect with a more conservative appearance (different haircut, darker suits, etc) and some stage training.

    And probably the most important point, for me:

    3) His message is not necessarily “libertarian”. If he’s getting 1000 interviews a year, but he’s not selling libertarianism, what do I gain by supporting him?

    I’m a numbers guy. I think the leadership should focus tightly on recruiting more donors, more candidates, more fundraising, more media, and more local affiliates up & running. If you don’t recruit more donors, you won’t have a donor base to support candidates.

    In short, yes, I favor removing nonperforming/badly performing leaders. And no, I don’t call for stripping people of their membership in the LP. Neither of the resolutions are calling for Root’s membership in the LP to be stripped away, either. Neither Florida nor Idaho are calling for a purge; both are calling for better leadership.

  33. James Babb

    Its a shame that LP “leadership” and paid staff have dishonestly manipulated the convention location to serve Mr. Root’s candidacy.

    At least if WAR wins the presidential nomination, the remaining principled libertarians will have overwhelming evidence that the LP is no longer viable. Either Barr was a freak mistake, or the true nature of the LP. We’ll see.

  34. paulie Post author

    Marc,

    Perhaps it wasn’t clear: If an individual consistently proves by his actions that he has a negative effect on the organization he’s been elected to help lead, then I am entirely in favor of removing and replacing that person with someone who will spend more time advancing the goals of the organization than running it or its activists down.

    OK then, replace them. The question is how.

    You don’t replace them by impotently shaking your fist.

    At best, you piss them off enough to go away. At worst, you piss them off enough to make you go away.

    Let’s look at the mirror reflection.

    Aaron Starr wanted Angela Keaton and Lee Wrights to go away. Angela Keaton had enough and did what he wanted her to do. It was the right thing to do for her own reasons, but that fact nevertheless remains true. Lee Wrights fought back, and prevailed. He isn’t going away.

    Aaron Starr did not go away either, but he did get overwhelmingly voted off the LNC at the very next opportunity by the delegates. In no small part because of the perceived purge attempts.

    Wayne Root is not going to go the Angela Keaton route. You can call him names all day and call for his ouster. It’s not going to get him out. You don’t have the juice. So what is it going to accomplish? It’s going to earn you the same reaction that Aaron earned by engaging in the same tactics from the opposite side. It will make Wayne stronger. It will make the people on the fence reject you.

    There’s only one way you can replace Wayne, and that is to replicate what he is doing with your own message.

    Yes, I quoted you. Yes, I am aware that I disagree with you on this point.

    Yes, I also pointed to something Starchild is doing as part of my answer to something Starchild is saying.

    And yes, I also quoted Wayne. Because that part of what he said is 100% correct.

    Does that mean that I agree with everything any of you say? No.

    Like I told New Federalist yesterday, I call ’em as I see ’em, and I revere no man.

    When you’re right, you’re right. And when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

    When you say that only work works, you’re right. And when you say that we should call for leadership purges, you’re wrong. That’s how I see it. Maybe I’m wrong. But I think I’m right.

    When Wayne says that Reagan was a Libertarian and that Obama is a secret Marxist, he’s wrong. When he says that we need to stop whining and outcompete him, he’s right.

    When Starchild goes out there, demonstrates on behalf of the people of Egypt, photographs it and sends it to us, he is leading the way. And when he calls for leadership purges, he is also leading the way…for us to be the ones to be purged, or at least demoted.

    Marc, you were right when you said only work works. And the only work that will work to replace Wayne is to outcompete him.

    That’s my story. I’m sticking with it.

  35. paulie Post author

    Its a shame that LP ?leadership? and paid staff have dishonestly manipulated the convention location to serve Mr. Root?s candidacy.

    Three people from the Las Vegas area are already known to be among the possible candidates for the presidential nomination: Wayne Root, Jim Duensing and Jim Burns. Lee Wrights is currently living in Texas. Texas is a big state with a big delegation. They could fill up some buses and car-a-vans and get people there.

  36. paulie Post author

    No one is talking about removing Root from the party. That *would* be a purge. What some *have* called for, however, is removing him from a position of leadership. That is NOT a purge.

    Semantics. It’s a purge of the leadership. IE a leadership purge.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    If you coulda you woulda but you can’t so you haven’t.

    There is only one way you can replace Wayne in a position of leadership.

    Earn more votes.

    And you do that by being perceived to be doing more for the party. People don’t always vote in their best self-interest, but they usually vote in what they think is their self-interest.

  37. paulie Post author

    Marc,

    Root has spent time at LP events running other activists down. I had the pleasure of sitting at the same table with him at an LP event some time ago, and practically the first words out of his mouth after introductions was what was “wrong with the LP”. I’m going to paraphrase because unless I sit and think about it for a while, I can’t say his exact words — but his talking points were his usual ones — the neolibertarian dogma about consistent libertarians “being more interested in being a debating society than being getting involved in real politics”. My immediate rejoinder was “no, that’s not the problem with the LP.” “So what is it?” he asked. I said, “The problem with the LP is the people who spend their time telling those of us involved in politics that we’re a debating society, while they haven’t organized their own precinct.” Root chuckled gamely, but the conversation died at that point.

    Gee, I can’t understand why.

    The reason I am not impressed with Root are many, but I suppose some of the primary ones are:

    1) He may get a thousand media appearances a year, but there is never any “Root bump” in membership or new inquiries as a result. In contrast, just about every time Harry Browne appeared on TV or radio, within minutes of the broadcast, new inquiries would start coming in (I was in a position to know, because I often temped @ LPHQ and personally fielded the 800# calls). I have listened to a few of his interviews, and his schpiel normally has very little material that might inspire someone to call us or write us. When Harry was on TV, I made a point to watch, just because he handled interviews so well and presented Libertarian ideas so well. Root has his media qualities, but he is not anywhere near as polished in presentation as Browne was.

    2) Root has a tendency to come off as a used-car salesman. His looks and demeanor are certainly part of that image. He could tame that aspect with a more conservative appearance (different haircut, darker suits, etc) and some stage training.

    And probably the most important point, for me:

    3) His message is not necessarily “libertarian”. If he’s getting 1000 interviews a year, but he’s not selling libertarianism, what do I gain by supporting him?

    Then he should be easy enough to outcompete on his own terms. So let’s get that done.

  38. paulie Post author

    I’m a numbers guy. I think the leadership should focus tightly on recruiting more donors, more candidates, more fundraising, more media, and more local affiliates up & running. If you don’t recruit more donors, you won’t have a donor base to support candidates.

    I agree.

    Neither Florida nor Idaho are calling for a purge; both are calling for better leadership.

    Call it what you want to.

    There’s a better way.

    Mary wanted the Florida and Idaho resolutions considered by the LNC, but even she says she would have voted against them. The majority of the LNC did not even want them to be considered.

    What does that tell you about the the likelihood of getting better leadership by going that route?

  39. Ken Moellman

    paulie said: “I call ‘em as I see ‘em, and I revere no man.”

    Right on.

    As for all the other stuff; let’s spend more time fighting the man and less time fighting ourselves. C’mon.

  40. paulie Post author

    @52 Why is that interesting? It’s called a simple response chain sequence. Here it is in context:

    Milnes @ 3

    perhaps if the rightists, who are ruining the LP, were purged, a lot of alienated libertarians would join it.

    Mack Orwelly @ 26 in response to Milnes @ 3

    The time to call for a purge or attack is not when your side is outnumbered. Right now, the left leaners and radicals are outnumbered.

    If and when you gain the upper hand you can contemplate whether a purge is necessary, beneficial, or harmful. If you do not wish to be purged yourself, there are two approaches you could take:

    1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    2. Do unto others first before they get back in a position to do unto you

    Which do you think works best?

    Gains @ 29 in response to Mack Orwelly @ 26

    Which do you think works best?”

    Works best for which goal?

    Playing king of the hill or effecting political and social change?

    M-wah @ 31 in response to Gains @29:

    You can be 100% assured of being king of the hill when the hill consists solely of yourself and no one else. If Mr. Milnes’ goal is to be king of his hill, he has already succeeded. If his goal is social and political change, the fact that he has no allies whatsoever in his continuous efforts should be indicative.

    So, the question remains which route we take…”stick it to the man” as Ken Moellman says, and outshine other libertarians in doing so more often and more noticeably….or get stuck in Robert Milnes’ House of Horrors….

    …. looking into our own fragmented reflections?

  41. hlm

    Root should go, and go far. So should any libertarian who helps cover up fraud or otherwise helps rip people off of their hard earned money.

  42. FYI! [More Don Lake]

    And yet, when Don Lake criticized the waste of treasure AND LIVES with CALVETS / CDVA ……….

    At least Libs were on board with corrupt California Governor Gray Davis!

    Lake’s spot lighting of KCMO fruit basket up set Mayor Mark Funkhouser and his part in the totally wasteful quarter of a mil throw away in a ‘artsy fartsy’ wrought iron art fence around Ruskin High School, near Grandview [Missouri] * ……..

    * 2005, Forbes magazine, one of the ten worst small towns in the USA

    [Funk En Stein is up for re-election, after deflection of THREE recall attempts on February 22nd, and (hopefully not), in March 22nd ………..]

  43. Robert Milnes

    @50, “…less time fighting ourselves.”
    In this case ourselves consists of rightists v. libertarians = not fighting ourselves but fighting the usurpation of the non-ourselves rightists who claim to be libertarians/ourselves.
    There are several schools of libertarianism. Libertarian conservative is not one.
    Dixiecrat conservative is not one.
    Neo-conservative is not one.
    Paleo-conservative is not one.
    Reagan libertarian is not one.
    etc.
    Yet people of these schools seem to find their way upward in the party heirarchy to leadership , policy/bylaw decisions & candidate positions.
    You can try to get them to withdraw one at a time with great divisiveness & complications, OR,
    you can utilize The Nolan’s Original Resolution which would be a passive-aggressive manner, OR you can firm up that resolution with MY resolution. Simple & direct.
    Only a genuine libertarian as defined can hold party position or be a party candidate. To be determined by a Peer Review Board. As determined.
    It would be very interesting to investigate how & by whom the Original Nolan Resolution became The Amended Nolan Resolution, its virtual opposite.

  44. David Colborne

    Paulie, I’m right there with you. In fact, I’ll do you one better:

    Don’t sweat the National LP. No, seriously.

    The GOP and Democrats both seem to do just fine having regional “dialects”. Republicans in California push on different issues than Republicans in Georgie. Democrats in Michigan push a different agenda than Democrats in Oregon. There’s enough in common to keep the parties together and provide some ideological consistency, but not much more than that. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Here’s the thing – Libertarians in Wyoming are going to have different hot-button issues than Libertarians in Nevada, who are going to have different hot-button issues than Libertarians in Utah, who in turn are going to have different hot-button issues than Libertarians in New Hampshire. Alcohol control is a bigger issue in Utah than it is in Nevada, for example; why push legalizing marijuana when the majority of your state can’t even agree that Prohibition is over? Zoning, I suspect, is a bit less of an issue in rural Wyoming than it would be in, say, urban California. Heck, Starchild’s event was popular in San Francisco because San Franciso loves those events. If I tried to replicate something like that here in Reno, it’d be five Libertarians on the front lawn of the Federal Building, like every other LP-sparked protest up here. Protests just aren’t in Reno’s makeup.

    What Wayne says makes sense in the context of the social circles he hangs out in. It’s not my cup of tea for many of the same reasons it’s not paulie’s cup of tea – I love the effort and I love the media attention, but I don’t think the problem with the LP is that its ideology is too “liberal”. If anything, I’d argue it’s not liberal enough – those that think of us at all largely think of us as a vacation spot for disaffected Republicans, whether they be Ronulans or otherwise. Personally, I’m more than a little miffed that the idea that we should treat each other equally and fairly, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation, or that we should be free to do what we want with our bodies has somehow been transmogrified into supporting big government. It’s annoying. But, I don’t mind Wayne speaking to his audience. We need disaffected conservatives to make the switch, too, just as bad.

    The big thing to remember is this: People don’t become more Libertarian by hanging out with Republicans and Democrats. They become more Libertarian by hanging out with Libertarians. This means opening a big tent and welcoming all who are interested in the message of freedom, even if they might not be as far along their journey of political discovery as others in the Party. If we can remember that, we’ll be fine.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Starchild’s event was popular in San Francisco because San Franciso loves those events. If I tried to replicate something like that here in Reno, it’d be five Libertarians on the front lawn of the Federal Building”

    And if they were all dressed like Starchild, everyone would assume it was just the cast of a product of some casino’s production of La Cage Aux Folles taking a smoke break.

  46. Robert Milnes

    @63, no it doesn’t paulie.
    That is just more big tent rationalization for Root et al to not only join the party but to run it too.
    Run it into the ground.
    The open/own thread policy is stupid.
    No more!
    Never again!

  47. Pingback: David Colborne: ‘Don’t sweat the National Libertarian Party’ | Independent Political Report

  48. Robert Milnes

    IPR policy is to compel off topic comments on a particular subject-Root for Root in this case-which become problematic to their own thread.
    Or be deleted.
    So, go ahead & start a Root thread. Root rooters go to that thread or be deleted.

  49. Thomas W Cornell

    The political ideology of Root, Palin, and Beck is identical. All are journalists and they are very different from other Liberatarians. There won’t be a big tent if they succeed in subverting the Libertarian Party, the LP will just be captured by the neocons.

  50. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    Read carefully when Ruwart writes, “… even though I and others on the LNC are sympathetic to your concerns, I am unaware of any support, including my own, for removing Mr. Root for the reasons stated in your resolution.”

    This is just a false statement. If she thought she had the votes for it, in a heartbeat she’d vote to remove Wayne and a few others as well. After all, she admits to having tried to put the resolution calling for Wayne’s removal on the agenda, even though she claims she didn’t support it.

  51. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    And why does Ruwart make such a big deal out of that Florida resolution, as though it represented Egypt-style public outcry? Their state leadership did not actually adopt the wording of that resolution. It was just one guy writing his own opinion, as the Florida state chair has verified.

    If another person were to write a resolution calling for Ruwart’s removal, would she introduce it to the LNC at the next meeting or ignore the concerns of the membership?

  52. Porn Again Christian

    This is just a false statement. If she thought she had the votes for it, in a heartbeat she’d vote to remove Wayne and a few others as well. After all, she admits to having tried to put the resolution calling for Wayne’s removal on the agenda, even though she claims she didn’t support it.

    Wanting to have something come up for discussion is not the same thing as being for it. She felt it belonged on the agenda, even if it was to be unanimously defeated, because two state parties went through the trouble of bringing up a resolution to the LNC.

    Does that mean she would vote yes if she had enough votes? Maybe, maybe not. That is speculation. Perhaps you have some additional evidence about that; if so, you can provide it for consideration if you so choose. But the simple fact alone that she wanted it to be on the agenda does not prove that she was in favor of it.

  53. Gains

    Hypo @71: “This is just a false statement. If she thought she had the votes for it, in a heartbeat she’d vote to remove Wayne and a few others as well.”

    What ever anyone perceives as her motivations, Dr. Ruwart’s declaration that she does not support the resolution or the tactic is a stronger indicator to me than the inferences you draw.

    If she is willing to deescalate the Urge to Purge, my hope is that it will lead to more to follow suit.

  54. paulie Post author

    Their state leadership did not actually adopt the wording of that resolution. It was just one guy writing his own opinion, as the Florida state chair has verified.

    Checking further into that with several different members of the Florida leadership, the best information I have been able to find at this time is that they actually did pass it. It remains somewhat of a mystery. I have not heard anyone allege that Idaho did not pass their equivalent resolution. If I am reading Mary’s column correctly here, at least one other state may be on the verge of passing one.

    If another person were to write a resolution calling for Ruwart’s removal, would she introduce it to the LNC at the next meeting or ignore the concerns of the membership?

    If one or more states passed such a resolution (on what grounds?), I suppose the LNC could consider it, although it would seem rather one sided if they did not then consider the one in regards to Wayne as well. Would she introduce it? I guess we would have to see if the situation came up. Personally, I think any state that did that would be wasting their time and potentially the LNC’s.

    I don’t think Wayne, or Mary, should be removed from the LNC.

    I do think Mary, Lee, Jim Duensing, and maybe some others (John Jay? Starchild? etc) should start doing the same things to bring more attention to their take on libertarianism (which also happens to be closer to mine) as Wayne is doing for his take.

    See above @ 30, 31, 37, 38, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53.

  55. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    I seem to recall Ernie Hancock giving a speech and saying something along the lines of, “if there’s one thing the youth in America won’t tolerate in its leadership, it’s hypocrisy.”

    It is awfully hypocritical that Ruwart demonizes others for alleged purge attempts, but she did not bother to mention that she tried to get someone purged from the LNC, too. She and Rachel Hawkridge tried to introduce a motion to remove Aaron Starr, but they didn’t have enough votes to get it on the agenda.

  56. FYI! [More Don Lake]

    Mack Orwelly // Feb 10, 2011:
    “he [Bob Milnes] want to tell libertarians how to run their party? Seems kinda strange ……..”

    [Lake: what is ‘strange’ is the way local, state and LP USA run their ‘libertarian’ organizations. Incompetence or sabotage, it is sooooooooo difficult to say for sure, may be both. All kinds of folks feel more than free to dog pile on this non Liberty mess.]

  57. Observer

    Rumor has it that California had a resolution about Wayne presented, but it didn’t pass. It seems to me that there have been more than a few disgruntled Libertarians re: Rott.

  58. WAR is ROTTen, WAR is EVIL, WAR is the ROOT of all EVIL

    You were right the first time Observer.

    As Thoreau said, stop striking at the branches, STRIKE THE ROOT!

    When the ROOT is ROTTen the Tree of Liberty WEAKENS FROM WITHIN.

    Money is not the ROOT of all evil
    WAR is!

    Stop striking at the branches, STRIKE THE ROOT!

    WAR is the ROTTen ROOT of all EVIL that ROTs the Tree of Liberty.

    Stop striking at the branches, STRIKE THE ROOT!

  59. Porn Again Christian

    @ 82 Take a chill pill and relax. Don’t pop a vein in your brain. Gradually decrease your daily dose of cocaine. Try not to go any more insane.
    Stop taking blotter and windowpane.

  60. Porn Again Christian

    @ 76It is awfully hypocritical that Ruwart demonizes others for alleged purge attempts, but she did not bother to mention that she tried to get someone purged from the LNC, too. She and Rachel Hawkridge tried to introduce a motion to remove Aaron Starr, but they didn’t have enough votes to get it on the agenda.

    In keeping with the premise in her article here, if in fact she did try to introduce such a motion, that does not necessarily mean she would have voted for it.

  61. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    @77, Paulie asked “For what reason?”

    The minutes do not document the charges in the motion. Just that the motion to put it on the agenda failed. I’m told it was a list of various charges.

  62. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    @ 84, Paulie says “In keeping with the premise in her article here, if in fact she did try to introduce such a motion, that does not necessarily mean she would have voted for it.”

    By the same reasoning, show me where Aaron Starr voted for a motion to purge Angela Keaton. Just because he seconded a motion or even introduced one, that does not necessarily mean he would have voted for it, right?

    Mary critiqued Aaron for allegedly initiating actions “that were presumably intended to remove them from their At-Large positions.” If she presumes intent from the motions of others, it is fair for others to presume intent from hers.

    Mary is not entitled to a different standard than the one she applies to the rest of the universe.

    Mary is guilty of the same things for which she publicly condemns others. That makes her a hypocrite.

  63. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    Oops, in 86 I got the names wrong. “Porn Again Christian” asked that. I just had Paulie’s name leftover from 85.

  64. paulie Post author

    show me where Aaron Starr voted for a motion to purge Angela Keaton.

    I’m not aware of anyone who voted for a motion to remove Keaton. Perhaps there was a vote I’ve forgotten; I’ll have to go back to look at the old record.

    Ms. Keaton resigned voluntarily rather than submit to dispute resolution. See additional details above @ 20. The motion for dispute resolution passed without objection, and Mary Ruwart seconded it.

    Mary is guilty of the same things for which she publicly condemns others. That makes her a hypocrite.

    That’s possible, although I don’t think all the facts are yet in evidence.

    But, let’s suppose that she is.

    Does that make her wrong?

    I say it does not.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote some very good words in the Declaration of independence, and yet he did not free his slaves. He was a hypocrite. His words remain true. The founders of the USA suppressed rebellions such as Shay’s rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion; doing so made their stated reasoning in the Declaration hypocritical, yet it still remains correct.

    I believe that Dr. Ruwart’s stated conclusion in this article is correct. Furthermore, I don’t think it is any less correct even if she at times fails to live up to her ideals.

    I certainly fail at times to live up to my ideals. That does not mean that I chuck my ideals out the window, or stop trying to live up to them, or stop holding them up for others as being the right thing to do.

    We need to forgive each other more and work harder to spread the message of liberty in different ways to different audiences.

    That is what I have been saying all along in this thread, and I hope some people act on it more, even though I’m an admitted hypocrite.

  65. Alan Pyeatt

    Robert Milnes @ 58: FWIW, I don’t want any board overriding the decision of delegates in convention.

    Observer @ 79: I did indeed introduce a resolution to the California Executive Committee in response to Wayne Root’s interview in “Seven” magazine, and the Florida and Idaho resolutions. However, unlike those resolutions, it did not call for Root’s removal from office. What it would have done is to state the California LP’s opinion that as far as practicable, LP representatives should distinguish between their own views and the LP’s, when they express an opinion to the press or a public meeting that differs from the LP national platform.

    My concern was Root’s statements about “redefining” the LP, his anti-Muslim rhetoric (as I interpret it to be, anyway), and his promotion of the “Reagan libertarian” fiction. I don’t see what’s so hard about this, and I think people should do it anyway. I have distinguished my own views from the LP’s (for example, regarding 9-11) when speaking in public. It just ain’t that hard.

  66. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    Paulie @ 88,

    You seem to be missing the point. Ruwart wrote a piece praising the fact that Starr was not re-elected, presumably based on her condemnations of his alleged purging activities.

    She is not advocating that the delegates do the same to her – vote her out of office – though she has done and continues to do the same things for which she criticized Starr.

    Some of you are praising her for this, rather than calling her on the blatant hypocrisy.

    Paulie, should Mary be subjected to a different standard than everyone else?

  67. Mary Ruwart is a Hypocrite

    It is hypocritical for Ruwart to publicly portray Starr as some sort of lone-wolf purging force. Check the minutes, folks. No motion can pass without getting at least a majority, yet Starr is singled out as though a motion passed by 1-16.

    It is clear that many on the LNC thought some of Keaton’s behavior needed to be addressed. Ruwart seconded the motion to form the committee to address it. The motion passed without objection. That means that Ruwart voted the SAME way Starr did.

    So if Starr is a purger because of that, then so is Mary Ruwart, so is Lee Wrights, so is Julie Fox, so is Rachel Hawkridge, and the rest of the LNC members by the same standard.

    Always fact-check when Ruwart starts pointing fingers at others.

  68. Gains

    If there is a most “bumped” subject on IPR; I think it must be WAR. Go go gadget propaganda machine.

    AP @89:

    WAR’s article was referenced as his direction for the LP, not the position of the LP. He did the due diligence you would ask for and you are as empty handed as before.

    A resolution such as this one you describe would never do what you want it to, and may do that which you did not expect.

    In principle and in practice it is a bad idea to suppose authority over others… No matter how much they need it.

    There is always someone who thinks you need it too.

  69. paulie Post author

    You seem to be missing the point. Ruwart wrote a piece praising the fact that Starr was not re-elected, presumably based on her condemnations of his alleged purging activities.

    I didn’t read it that way.

    The way I read her article was that those people who are demanding that Wayne be removed from the LNC should instead work to defeat him at the next convention. In a way, her article was also a warning that those who work to remove Wayne by a vote of the LNC may find themselves voted by the convention out for that reason.

    And my addendum to that was that those people who want to vote Wayne out can only do so if and when they are perceived to be doing more for the party – perceived being a key word. I do not believe they will get what they consider better leadership by cutting anyone down, only by building themselves and the party up at the same time.

    She is not advocating that the delegates do the same to her – vote her out of office – though she has done and continues to do the same things for which she criticized Starr.

    And yet, that is exactly what might happen if the “sides” keep playing games to cut each other down rather than working productively both together and individually. I think the message from the delegates at the last convention was loud and clear; if not, it certainly should have been. Stop the internal bickering and get to building.

    I believe there was a good reason why someone perceived to be a unifier was elected chair, why people who were perceived to be dividers on “both” sides were not re-elected, and why people from “both sides” were chosen by the delegates to work together. I think the committee and its members should take that message to heart.

    Paulie, should Mary be subjected to a different standard than everyone else?

    No.

  70. Robert Capozzi

    Hypocrite, I take your point, as far as it goes. How about the attempted Wrights purge, though? And the CA cruise ship incident?

    As my comment 9 indicates, Ruwart’s letter creates some dust and misdirection. She relies on festering grievances to make her point, rather than leaving the matter to the NEXT convention. She should IMO know better. Her attempt at “healing” takes some wild stabs at Starr, perhaps to rev up opposition to Root. Only Sipos knows for sure. 😉

    She COULD have been less specific in her “indictments” of Starr, using his “involvement” in generic heavy handedness, and/or perhaps made vague allusions to Keaton and Wrights. Using Starr’s loss as an example is in bounds. Overstated accusations and pandering is out of bounds, IMO.

    Instead, she called those incidents out explicitly, where Starr has plausible deniability (much like she does in the Root purge attempt). Instead, it appears she went for Starr and Root’s jugular (passive aggressively?), which IS disappointing coming from the author of HEALING OUR WORLD.

    If she wishes to heal, then she should do so, IMO. Uncertain steps (mixed with missteps) toward healing are better than the status quo of fractious infighting, but surely Ruwart knows there’s another way.

  71. Consistency please!

    So when Pat Dixon writes an article:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/pat-dixon-via-libertarian-party-blog-the-gay-agenda/

    telling some Libertarians to crawl back to the Republicans where they belong, and that ReCons should flee the party?will Mr. Dixon get the same reaction as Mr. Root? Is Mr. Dixon unfit to be in a leadership position? Would David Nolan have written a resolution urging Mr. Dixon to welcome people from across the political spectrum? Compare Dixon?s comments to Root?s, and let?s have some consistency.

  72. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    Mary Ruwart voted for a motion where the LNC asked Angela Keaton to apologize to staff members Casey Hansen and Austin Petersen for her blog comments about them.

    So if Starr is a purger because of that, then so is Ruwart, so is Lee Wrights, so is Julie Fox, so is Rachel Hawkridge, and all but two of the other LNC members by the same standard.

    Again, always fact-check when Ruwart starts pointing fingers at others.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    p93: The way I read her article was that those people who are demanding that Wayne be removed from the LNC should instead work to defeat him at the next convention.

    me: I agree that that’s the upshot. Ruwart’s means, however, are less than “honorable,” is Hypocrite’s point, yes? Ls of all people should understand that there should be no contradiction between means and ends.

    We’re told that this missive is a function of Ruwart being “honor bound,” yet it also says, for ex., “…Mr. Starr initiated proceedings against both Ms. Angela Keaton and Mr. Lee Wrights that were presumably intended to remove them from their At-Large positions.” Since she did the same thing, in effect, with Root, that does not seem to be an especially “honorable” choice for citation. If “initiat[ing] proceedings is good enough for Ruwart, it should then be good enough for Starr, yes? If she wants to apply a double standard, then it seems incumbent on her to state why she thinks so. Are we to believe that simply because Starr was defeated, this proves that his behavior was unacceptable but hers was OK, since she won?

    In junior high school, that line of argument might well sell. To adults? Not so much.

  74. paulie Post author

    MRIAH,

    It is hypocritical for Ruwart to publicly portray Starr as some sort of lone-wolf purging force. Check the minutes, folks. No motion can pass without getting at least a majority, yet Starr is singled out as though a motion passed by 1-16.

    It is clear that many on the LNC thought some of Keaton’s behavior needed to be addressed. Ruwart seconded the motion to form the committee to address it. The motion passed without objection. That means that Ruwart voted the SAME way Starr did.

    I think that a closer reading of that section is in order:

    You might recall that during the last LNC term Mr. Starr initiated proceedings against both Ms. Angela Keaton and Mr. Lee Wrights that were presumably intended to remove them from their At-Large positions.

    I don’t believe that this was meant in a procedural sense, as in ‘Mr. Starr proposed a motion that Ms. Keaton and Mr. Wrights be removed.’ If it was, I would agree that Dr. Ruwart is disingenuously playing into a myth that distorts the record. I think a more accurate understanding of that passage is that she believes Mr. Starr was behind the scenes behind efforts to get rid of Ms. Keaton and Mr. Wrights, and that the way those efforts played out procedurally was just the consequence, not the cause. Whether that allegation is true or not, I believe it is accurate to say that many delegates believed it to be, and that this contributed to many of them deciding to vote against Mr. Starr.

    Dr. Ruwart does not mention one additional fact that also speaks to what I believe her point to have been here: the delegates also did not re-elect Mr. Wrights. I believe that this may have had something to do with a fairly large number of delegates having the belief that he also was behind some of the excessive divisiveness last term, regardless of whether that belief was accurate.

    So if Starr is a purger because of that, then so is Mary Ruwart, so is Lee Wrights, so is Julie Fox, so is Rachel Hawkridge, and the rest of the LNC members by the same standard.

    Although I believe that your reading of her words here in a procedural sense is the wrong way to read them, let’s stipulate that all have sinned and that the one who has done no wrong should cast the first stone.

    Where do we go from here, how do we move forward in a productive fashion?

    I have to say that as far as I know, the only way is to move forward in a productive fashion. And to the extent that competing takes on libertarianism exist, we all win if they compete to win converts in the marketplace of outreach. We all lose when we spend our time determining who is guilty, who should be purged, who is a hypocrite, who started it, who’s rubber and who’s glue.

    Every moment spent on that could be used more productively on an outreach and growth related activity.

    How do we expect to convince others to join us, when this is what they see?

    How do we expect to untangle the massive injustices we have all done against each other through government, should we ever find ourselves in a position to try, when we can’t even forgive each other first?

    Always fact-check when Ruwart starts pointing fingers at others.

    Whenever anyone points a finger, four point back.

    Now, can we take something positive from this discussion and do something useful?

  75. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    Later in the same meeting, Pat Dixon moved to censure Angela Keaton for having blogged what she had put onto the LastFreeVoice website. A substitute was adopted, so instead they voted overwhelmingly for an LNC recommendation to ask Angela Keaton to resign.

    So if Starr is a purger because of that, then so is Ruwart, so is Julie Fox, so is Pat Dixon, so is Mark Hinkle. Eleven LNC members are purgers by the same standard.

    Again, always fact-check when Ruwart starts pointing fingers at others.

  76. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    Paulie @98,

    I have no problem with your prescription, that we focus on productive things rather than on pointing fingers.

    So how about you pushing Mary to do the same? If that’s how you want to move forward, then you should disapprove of Mary’s article above.

    Why does Mary get a free pass in the PR wars?

  77. Robert Capozzi

    p98: …let’s stipulate that all have sinned and that the one who has done no wrong should cast the first stone.

    me: So stipulated. Hypocrite is wise when he/she suggests fact checking, but that applies to everyone, not just Ruwart.

    This Ruwart letter is a sub-optimal attempt at healing, IMO. It seems wise to recognize its sub-optimality for what it is. She seems to have an (not so hidden) agenda which I’d prefer she’d have made more plain, rather than the apparent attempt to hide behind apparently passive-aggressive niceties.

    We agree that purging is generally a bad idea, to be reserved for extraordinary cases, not silly comments to city-based magazines. Moving forward IS, IMO, the optimal course, preferably without half efforts at healing.

  78. Porn Again Christian

    If she wishes to heal, then she should do so, IMO. Uncertain steps (mixed with missteps) toward healing are better than the status quo of fractious infighting, but surely Ruwart knows there’s another way.

    If she doesn’t, then yes, she should.

  79. Robert Capozzi

    cp95: …telling some Libertarians to crawl back to the Republicans where they belong, and that ReCons should flee the party…will Mr. Dixon get the same reaction as Mr. Root?

    me: Hope not, though anything is possible, sadly. I’d say you overstate Dixon’s point, which is far narrower than you imply. He was talking about homophobes who are hostile to gay rights, and, yes, I agree with Dixon, homophobes probably would be more comfortable with the “ReCons.”

    This is controversial?

  80. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    RC @94 wrote “Hypocrite, I take your point, as far as it goes. How about the attempted Wrights purge, though? And the CA cruise ship incident?”

    How was the Wrights incident an attempted purge? Wrights did it himself, by not abiding by the bylaws requirements to pay his dues. There was an LNC vote where a majority of them agreed that the proper reading of the rule was that a failure to maintain his dues status meant he wasn’t on the board anymore. Then they reappointed him back to fill his old seat once his dues were paid.

    Starr had no power to issue declarations in that matter. The chair and secretary agreed it was the rule. It was upheld by a majority vote.

    So if Starr is a purger for that, then so are many others. Why is one person singled out? It’s seems to be personal dislike, not principle.

  81. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    And regarding the California cruise ship “incident”, I think the use of the word “incident” injects some bias.

    In what state party does the state chair just dictate where the convention will be? The CA board approved the convention site. I seem to recall that it was appealed to the CA Judicial Committee (chaired by Mark Hinkle at the time), and they unanimously upheld the decision of the board.

    Why is Starr solely responsible for a board and JC decision?

    And how was it a purge attempt, exactly? Who was the person being purged? I am unaware of that angle in that story. If you think the cost of the cruise was some sort of prohibition, how is that different than the registration fees the CA party currently charges at its conventions? Is Kevin Takenaga evil, too?

    Mr. Starr was elected to be national treasurer a couple of years after the cruise ship convention, which tells me that delegates did not see it as a purge attempt.

  82. paulie Post author

    How about the attempted Wrights purge, though? And the CA cruise ship incident?

    How about the time I threw a spitball with a rock in it at Nikolai in kindergarten, and left him with a big boo boo on his face? Huh? How about it? I haven’t been a Democrat in 19 years, but it’s time to “Move On.”

    Uncertain steps (mixed with missteps) toward healing are better than the status quo of fractious infighting,

    Agreed. So, let’s start down that way. Recognize missteps when they happen, and try to compensate, not cast blame. One day at a time.

  83. Porn Again Christian

    So when Pat Dixon writes an article:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/pat-dixon-via-libertarian-party-blog-the-gay-agenda/

    telling some Libertarians to crawl back to the Republicans where they belong, and that ReCons should flee the party?will Mr. Dixon get the same reaction as Mr. Root? Is Mr. Dixon unfit to be in a leadership position? Would David Nolan have written a resolution urging Mr. Dixon to welcome people from across the political spectrum? Compare Dixon?s comments to Root?s, and let?s have some consistency.

    To be fair here, Pat Dixon’s article did not say that we shouldn’t welcome former Republicans who are becoming more libertarian, just that some people who have joined the LP and hold extremely unlibertarian views that they do not even question should perhaps leave.

    If large numbers of welfare state progressives joined the LP and tried to remake it into a welfare statist party, at some point you might say the same thing.

    Pat Dixon did not say that we need to change the historical definition of libertarianism to make it less conservative or more liberal, or to remake a centuries old philosophy.

  84. paulie Post author

    A substitute was adopted, so instead they voted overwhelmingly for an LNC recommendation to ask Angela Keaton to resign.

    Was this a different motion than the one for dispute resolution?

  85. paulie Post author

    I have no problem with your prescription, that we focus on productive things rather than on pointing fingers.

    So how about you pushing Mary to do the same? I

    I am. Refer to my advice to Marc, Starchild, Mary and others above. What am I telling them to do? Be productive.

    If that?s how you want to move forward, then you should disapprove of Mary?s article above.

    My purpose here is to turn away from all the finger pointing back and forth. Thus, it would not serve my purpose to finger point at Mary, Aaron, Wayne, Lee or anyone else.

    What I have been trying to do lately with Wayne’s articles is A) find points of agreement B) Use them to urge all the people making negative comments to outcompete Wayne in outreach.

    Why does Mary get a free pass in the PR wars?

    Nobody gets a free pass, and everybody does, at the same time.

    Let’s do something useful. Like this:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/ernie-hancock-mark-hinkle-mary-ruwart-join-with-others-to-help-bring-libertarian-message-to-arab-world/

    and this:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2011/02/san-francisco-libertarian-activist-starchild-at-protest-of-solidarity-with-the-people-of-egypt/

    And a lot of other things.

    You can get with this…or you can get with that.

    I remember a dust-up recently about Wayne and some other people people criticizing Mark Hinkle for doing outreach to Muslims.

    Wayne said we should do outreach to Christians and Jews.

    I am glad Mark Hinkle is doing outreach to Muslims.

    I suggested some materials to Wayne for outreach to Christians.

    No blame at anyone. Just trying to be helpful. Too much blaming going around already.

    Around and around and around it goes…

  86. Robert Capozzi

    h104: How was the Wrights incident an attempted purge? Wrights did it himself, by not abiding by the bylaws requirements to pay his dues.

    h105: I think the use of the word “incident” injects some bias.

    p106: How about the time I threw a spitball with a rock in it at Nikolai in kindergarten, and left him with a big boo boo on his face?

    me: If Starr was not involved in the Wrights purge, my apologies. I found the entire incident petty and hyper-technical. That’s my bias, yes.

    And, yes, I’m biased about the CA cruise ship. Bad idea on a lot of levels, IMO.

    These boo boo’s, as Paulie calls them, amount to past events that some my assess to be a pattern of poor judgment. I’m more than OK with assessing poor judgment as a pattern. Starr partisans may not agree. That’s cool! It’s all good, after all.

    If delegates found Starr’s tactics on balance a reason to vote Oaksun, that’s also cool. That Oaksun cannot serve his term is also cool, too.

    Personally, I think Starr is doing his best, but I would suggest that he learn from his mistakes, even if they are only misunderstandings about his motives and the appearance of heavy handedness. I put him in the “plus” column myself, but I too detect the pattern, although I also recognize that my OWN perceptions may be distorted. I can’t imagine that others don’t fall victim to their own distorted perceptions, too…including Starr!

    We’re all doing our best, at every moment, actually…but we sometimes make mistakes. Gee, would I love to see more people but just a wee bit forgiving, OR to tell us how they have arrived at 100% certainty. We could all benefit from such knowledge, including, I’d humbly submit, the sharer!

  87. paulie Post author

    And regarding the California cruise ship “incident”, I think the use of the word “incident” injects some bias.

    In what state party does the state chair just dictate where the convention will be? The CA board approved the convention site. I seem to recall that it was appealed to the CA Judicial Committee (chaired by Mark Hinkle at the time), and they unanimously upheld the decision of the board.

    Why is Starr solely responsible for a board and JC decision?

    And how was it a purge attempt, exactly? Who was the person being purged?

    Many people believe that Mr. Starr intentionally proposes convention locations, such as cruise ships and Hawaii, that are unaffordable for the poor party members that don’t have the money for a ticket. That other board members have agreed with such proposals is true. That they have been upheld as procedurally valid by other people, who may or may not have agreed with the proposals per se, is also true. Rightly or wrongly, Mr. Starr has the reputation of being a moving force behind such proposals.

    If you think the cost of the cruise was some sort of prohibition, how is that different than the registration fees the CA party currently charges at its conventions?

    How do those compare with the price of a cruise ship ticket?

    Mr. Starr was elected to be national treasurer a couple of years after the cruise ship convention, which tells me that delegates did not see it as a purge attempt.

    It may have, however, contributed to a build up of ill will over time.

    But rather than focusing on that…ah, you know, I’ll just be wasting my time saying it again.

    Well, what the hell, I will say it anyway.

    Let’s all find more beneficial and productive projects to work on, and give each other some breathing space.

    I think we can.

  88. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    Paulie @ 108 asked “Was this a different motion than the one for dispute resolution?”

    Yes. Look at the previous meeting in September. When Ms. Keaton did not take them seriously in the September meeting, things progressed a step further in the December meeting.

    There are two different “scenes” in the September minutes, one dealing with her comments about staff. Then another later when she was blogging executive session material during the meeting.

  89. Mary Ruwart is a hypocrite

    Paulie wrote, “My purpose here is to turn away from all the finger pointing back and forth. Thus, it would not serve my purpose to finger point at Mary, Aaron, Wayne, Lee or anyone else.”

    You serve as an enabler by posting this type of article. Your assistance gives finger-pointers a larger audience, and it fosters more division and infighting.

    It may not be your intention, but this is the result.

    I recognize that you try hard to be fair in what you personally write about people, and I respect that about you.

    But you can choose what writings of others merit a broader audience here.

    There is a difference between finger-pointing as an offensive tactic and making public the hypocrisy of an aggressor. They are not equal.

  90. Observer

    CP @ 95: What? Pat Dixon’s article is nothing like Root’s article in Seven. Pat Dixon is defending a long-held libertarian position, where Root says he’s going to remake the party, effectively tossing aside those long-standing platforms.

  91. Observer

    Gains @ 92: “In principle and in practice it is a bad idea to suppose authority over others… No matter how much they need it”.

    I think you’re over-simplifying things. There needs to be some standard of behavior, even if it’s minimal.

    “There is always someone who thinks you need it too.”

    I’ll take my chances.

  92. paulie Post author

    You serve as an enabler by posting this type of article.

    I don’t only publish articles I agree with. Send me a response piece and there is a very good chance it will get posted for discussion here as well.

    it fosters more division and infighting.

    That goes on anyway. What we are doing here is giving people a place to discuss things with all sides, not just their own. We also post differing perspectives. Try sending us some or pointing to where they are already posted, and you may see more of what you agree with on IPR.

    I asked Bruce Cohen, Aaron Starr and Brian Holtz to write at IPR for this very reason.

    We want different perspectives here.

    And yes, it does give me a place to make my points in the comments, and hope some people notice them and take some actions on that basis.

    My advice to you is in some ways much the same as my advice to those on “my side.”

    I’m telling them, instead of spending their time criticizing every word Wayne says, emulate his outreach tactics (see comments 30, 31, 37, 38, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53 above for details).

    And I’m telling you, instead of criticizing me for publishing Mary’s opinion or cutting it apart in the comments, send me a response essay. If Mr. Starr would like to write one personally, I’ll post it for him. If it’s from an anonymous source, I’ll see if Trent and the gang have any objection to me posting it – I have none myself.

    And no, I don’t know who you are. Nor do I care.

    You may have noticed that I have posted a lot of Wayne Root’s articles.

    I also publish a lot of the articles from the Constitution Party, Green Party, various Socialist Parties, ever nazis (which I detest with a passion). They all get coverage here.

    We have published different perspectives about internal feuds in other parties too, when we have become aware of them.

    That’s what we do here.

    Not to perpetuate bickering, but to create a place to air out differences in the sunshine. I believe sunshine is the best disinfectant. When these resentments linger behind closed doors and hidden away in relatively obscured corners, they just fester and grow to malignant proportions.

    What precisely we publish is in large part a function of what we are made aware of.

    It so happens that Lee Wrights maintains a site that regularly publishes opinions that I think a portion of our readership finds interesting to read and comment on.

    Perhaps Mr. Starr, or someone friendly to him, would like to start another site like that. If they do, their articles can get posted here too.

    Maybe that site already exists and I don’t know about it. If so, send me the link.

  93. George Phillies

    conflict resolution…I must differ.

    Stewart Flood made an excellent presentation of his position. He was entitled to a vote. Angela Keaton had defended herself and had been dragged through two LNC meetings on this issue. She was entitled to a vote, and, no, her side had the votes. Instead, she was going to be dragged out over a further three or for months and yet another LNC meeting. The “conflict resolution” motion was in my opinion in its effects abusive.

    Readers should imagine what would have happened if Angela and her partisans had stood and fought through another three or four months.

  94. Porn Again Christian

    Looking forward to the response piece from Starr and Company if they send one in.

  95. Thomas L. Knapp

    MRiaH,

    To reiterate and extend on Paulie’s comments:

    IPR covers third party and independent news developments.

    When a sitting member of the Libertarian National Committee puts out a public statement, that’s “newsworthy” in the sense that it falls within IPR’s mission.

    One cannot plausibly infer from the fact of Paulie posting something, that Paulie agrees with its content. He posts stuff he believes IPR’s readers will find interesting.

  96. Robert Milnes

    @89, if Root and/or Barr etc. were vetted by a Peer Review Board- & found to be not libertarian, & barred from candidacy, then they never would have been up for vote by delegates at convention in the first place.
    I see no problem with being vetted & monitored by LP state after having been vetted by national Peer Review Board.

  97. Robert Capozzi

    Hypocrite114: You serve as an enabler by posting this type of article.

    Me: I’d prefer to say “facilitator” over “enabler.” You have now made your case about Ruwart; it’s on the record. IPR seems to be a well-read place for the LP and LM to consider ideas. Ruwart put her ideas out there, others picked it apart, seeing some helpful aspects, and so not-so-helpful aspects. Anyone who’s interested in such things can read all this, assess the facts, check their premises, and begin to draw conclusions.

    Back in the day, these sorts of things were hashed out through angry-screed newsletters and on the phone. Now, fair-minded people can make an assessment on a more real-time basis.

    In this case, Ruwart partisans will read what they will here. Those who favor a Ruwart-type approach might generally agree with her conclusions, but also see that Ruwart is like everyone else: prone to using what Paulie said @ 98, “…disingenuously playing into a myth that distorts the record.” Whether such disingenuousness rises to the level of “hypocrisy” is something for us to assess individually. (My contention is that everyone, including me, is a hypocrite and a liar at least sometimes. Some seem to have more integrity than others, is my experience.) And Root and Starr supporters and leaners will have their takes as well.

    I would be so bold as to suggest that hyper-partisans from any “camp” are in some major denial. To expect your guy or gal to be a saint seems to suggest that someone is not paying attention.

    Hypocrite, that you seem to defend Starr’s actions that have led to a reputation for being heavy handed based on technicalities only adds to the reputation. A little contrition might be in order here, and it might go something like: I thought the cruise ship, Keaton and Wrights situations were the right things to do at the time. I do, however, see that others find this pattern to be perceived as heavy handed. Message received. I will be mindful that my actions can sometimes come as a bit zealous and technical. Etc.

    Ruwart, too, might learn to be more forthcoming and transparent in her dealings with those who she disagrees with, as I’ve suggested throughout this thread.

    I stipulate that this is my opinion. Others may think the the LP and LM should be warring camps, that one camp should “win” and others should “lose.” I disagree with this.

    Both can preamble comments and criticisms by noting that, at least, I see and understand the (many) other side’s point. Not to do so is disrespectful. I would suggest that nothing good can come from disrespect. Human dysfunction often entails a (seemingly desperate) attempt to be “right” at all costs. Happiness and harmony, however, require that we set this dysfunction aside in our dealings with others. I have reason to believe that Ruwart especially knows and agrees with this. Hence, my disappointment with her effort here. Perhaps she will make further adjustments in this regard in the future.

    Jp123: It would be nice to think we learned something from the Bob Barr debacle.

    Me: Yes, the LP moved its convention forward. That shows to me there was a recognition that the LP prez candidate needs more time to prepare. I would hope the NEXT candidate also learns from Barr that past positions need to be thought through more cleanly. He came off very badly on the question of DOMA. Also, with Paul and Johnson possibly running, we have more time to reflect on the prospects of L-leaning Rs being in the primaries, and losing, and what the LP does in response. (I stipulate that L-leaning Ds are rare/nonexistent IMO and that at the moment odds are still high that Obama will stand for re-election. IMO he is not L leaning. I could imagine Paul or Johnson being our candidate, but I know of no prominent D who could plausibly fill that role.) The LNC and Barr’s treatment of Paul was not deftly handled, IMO. Finally, the Treasurer of LP Presidential candidate 2012 will avoid using the line item “limo services.” I suggest “local transportation,” if possible. I have no real opinion as to whether car services from the airport should only be taxis, from an optical perspective, but the 2012 campaign should recognize that some in the LP read FEC filings hyper-literally and closely, and the word “limo” stands a good chance of leading gadfly-role-players to go ballistic, making wild accusations based on one word in a filing.

  98. Robert Capozzi

    one more thought. Our abolitionist/absolutist friends often contend that things can turn around in a blink of an eye, that “revolution” could be just around the corner.

    In truth, I’ve always believed this. TAAAL-ism accommodates what I call “step functions,” major breaks in the current trajectory.

    Abolitionists/absolutists have pointed me to the crack up of the Soviet Union as an example. I’ve taken the point, noting, however, that I’m not sure whether and how much the fall of communism is necessarily a major blow for liberty. My jury is still out, as oligarchism is not necessarily an improvement.

    We now have some datapoints in the making. Apparently, the situation in Tunisia started with one man, fed up with the State riding him, tragically deciding to self immolate. Not recommended, but that event led to a toppling of a Tunisian dictator, and now an Egyptian dictator.

    While I continue to be a moderate in my approach, this is a teachable moment unfolding before our eyes. Forcing a teachable moment by holding high the black flag remains IMO premature and unripe, but being prepared for a spark like Tunisia experienced is wise. IMO.

    If revolution is to begin, let it be.

  99. Nikolai Stepanov

    “How about the time I threw a spitball with a rock in it at Nikolai in kindergarten, and left him with a big boo boo on his face? Huh? How about it?”

    I am come to America and have revenge.

    Nikolai from the childrens garden, 1978, akadyem gorodok, Irkutsk, SSSR.

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