KNOXVILLE (May 2) – R. Lee Wrights told the Tennessee Libertarian State Convention that he’s not seeking the Libertarian nomination for president in order to tell people what they want to hear. “I am not interested in telling people what they want to hear. I am interested in telling them what needs to be heard,” he said.
He said that message is simple. The libertarian writer and political activist believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war.
Wrights begin his address with an emotional tribute to Fred Childress, a beloved friend and Tennessee libertarian activist killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2010.
“I would not be where I am, or doing what I am doing had it not been for Fred Childress,” Wrights said. “He was like me, he was a warrior. But the anomaly of Fred Childress was that he was also a peacemaker.”
Wrights noted that the last time he addressed Tennessee libertarians he was defending himself against an effort to remove him from the Libertarian Party national committee.
“I was at war, and I felt I was justified because I was defending myself,” Wrights recalled. “ I had my mind made up about what I was going to say, how I was going to conduct my war … until I talked to Fred Childress.”
Childress changed his perspective on the situation. “Even though I had known him for years, it became clear to me then, more the ever before, the importance of being at peace,” Wrights said. He said that the real adversaries of the Libertarian Party are not “in this room,” they are outside.
“Fred Childress was not the kind of man who just talked about things, and complained and whined,” Wrights said. “Fred Childress was a man who did things. That’s what lives on.”
He said that it will take all libertarians, working together, to fill his shoes. “It’ll take all of us to match what Fred gave me, and that is a sense of peace,” Wrights explained.
“Fred would understand what I am trying to do,” Wrights noted. “Stopping war, stopping any kind of war … I don’t care if it’s across the ocean or right here in this room … requires a conscious self-determination. Each one of us has to say to themselves: ‘I am not at war.’”
He said that if enough people say this, wars will become impossible because “we have more power than we think we do.”
R. Lee Wrights, 52, a libertarian writer and political activist, is seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.