by R. Lee Wrights
BURNET, Texas (Feb. 18) – The Libertarian Party can make a difference in the 2012 presidential campaign. But the only way we can make a difference is by being different. We can only make a difference if the Libertarian candidate for president is not ashamed to present a clear, principled, unwavering and unequivocal libertarian message that offers Americans true choices and rational alternatives. We can only make a difference if we offer the American people a radically different answer to our nation’s problems, not variations or modifications of the false solutions promoted by Democrats and Republicans.
We must start by showing that libertarians are not the boogeymen portrayed by the establishment party politicians and mainstream media. At its heart, the libertarian message is an American message. We love our country, we care for our neighbors, and we want everyone to be happy, healthy and prosperous. We want people to be free to raise their children in peace. We’re only different because we’re not afraid to stand by the principles upon which our nation was founded. We’re only different because we believe, as our Founding Fathers did, that individual initiative and creativity, and voluntary cooperation and mutual assistance among people is best way to solve any problem or overcome any difficulty we face.
Libertarians are different because we believe that the Golden Rule, an idea shared by people and cultures all over the world and throughout history, not only applies to one-on-one relationships but to all human relationships and to relationships among nations. We are different because we mind our own business. We’re different because we insist on leaving people alone.
Libertarians are different because we believe that raising taxes, even while cutting or freezing spending, will never get us out of debt. We are different because we do not accept the status quo as a necessary evil. We’re different because we believe the only way to get out of debt is to stop spending.
Libertarians are different because we believe that no tax is fair. We’re different because we believe the only way to get federal spending under control is to eliminate the taxes that feed the addiction, not keep revenue the same. We believe that if it’s wrong for someone to spend more money than they earn, it’s also wrong for government to spend more money than it collects. We believe bureaucrats should not be allowed to collect what is not voluntarily given, so we are very different from the other parties.
Libertarians are different because we believe that if it’s wrong for an enemy to torture or mistreat our soldiers, it’s also wrong for our soldiers to torture or mistreat the enemy. We’re different because we believe that the values of mercy, honor and compassion we cherish apply even in the most difficult circumstances – indeed especially then.
Libertarians are different because we believe that’s its wrong for any nation to engage in preemptive or preventive war. We’re different because we believe there is no such thing as a “humanitarian” or “just” war except in direct defense of our nation. We’re different because we believe the only defensible war is a war of defense.
Libertarians are different because we believe that all rights are individual rights, given to every human being by virtue of their existence, and not dependent on any written document or government favor. We’re different because we believe that two people, two hundred people, or two million people don’t have any more rights than one person. We are different because we realize that when it comes to rights, there is no number greater than one.
Libertarians are different because we believe that if it’s wrong for other nations to stick their noses into our business it’s also wrong for the United States to stick its nose into other nations’ business. We’re different because we believe that it’s not only wrong to have thousands of troops in other countries, but it’s also wrong for our government to keep ownership of property and facilities in other nations once we bring the troops home.
Libertarians are different because we believe we don’t have an illegal immigration problem, we have an employment problem. We’re different because we believe that as long as it’s so difficult for unskilled workers to easily and legally enter country to do jobs that need doing, people will still swim the Rio Grande to get work.
Libertarians are different because we believe it’s wrong to put anyone — foreigners or American citizens — in prison, or to execute them for any reason, under any circumstance, without due process of law. We’re different because we believe that the “unalienable” rights spoken of in the Declaration of Independence apply to all human beings, not just Americans.
Libertarians are different because we believe the surest way to make something people enjoy even more popular, and more expensive, is to pass a law making it illegal. We’re different because we believe government has no business telling us who to love, who to marry, or what we eat, drink or consume.
Libertarians are different because we believe in the radical idea that individuals have the right – and the responsibility — to live their lives as they see fit. To make decisions about their lives, the families and their safety, without unwanted hindrance or interference from any one or any government. We’re different because we actually believe what our nation’s founders believed: that government’s only legitimate role in society is restricted to protecting the individual rights of citizens.
The libertarian promise of peace and prosperity is a message Americans are longing to hear. We don’t need to soften, refine or modify what we believe in order to win votes. Instead, we must embrace our beliefs and wear them proudly, because our “different” message is what America wants and needs. As the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States, I’ll be ready, willing and able to take this bold stand. I’ve never been afraid to speak truth to power, and I won’t stop now. I will ensure that in 2012 the Libertarian Party is the difference that makes a difference.
R. Lee Wrights, 53, 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.