Lee Wrights: Libertarianism Is Different Because It’s About Peace

by R. Lee Wrights

BURNET, Texas (March 17) – As I’ve crisscrossed the country the past few months visiting Libertarian state party conventions, I’ve had plenty of time on the road between stops to reflect on what I’ve heard from my fellow libertarians. And what I’m hearing from an increasing number of them is that they’re ready to make a difference in 2012 simply by being different, by being true libertarians.

Libertarianism is all about non-aggression. The philosophy of life which guides all libertarians and which drives some of us to plunge into the political process is the exact opposite of what motives Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. We leave people alone. They tell everyone how to live. We’re good neighbors. They’re nosy neighbors. We’re for peace. They’re for war.

As I’ve said many times, I’m running for president of the United States not to do things, but to undo things. I am, proudly, part of that vast libertarian conspiracy that wants to take over the government so that we can leave you alone. My good friend Anthony Gregory called libertarianism “the ultimate anti-war philosophy.” I can see manifestations of that truth at every event I attend. When I started this campaign more than a year and a half ago, I was motivated primarily by the many young people I met who asked why the Libertarian Party wasn’t taking the lead in the antiwar movement. But as this campaign has progressed, I’ve been encouraged and reinvigorated by the fact that people of all age groups have been just as receptive to the message to stop all war.

In a speech at LibertyFest West, Adam Kokesh said, “The message of liberty is of love and empowerment and we shouldn’t be on the sidelines shaking our heads because we’ve realized something that others haven’t. We should be right there in the game, taking charge and showing people that there is a better way, that survival and reproduction are better off in a free society, that freedom is the greatest thing we can do for our own security because it’s the greatest thing we can do to provide for our own prosperity.”

That’s what this campaign is all about. As the Libertarian candidate for president in 2012, I can, and will tell people exactly what libertarians really stand for, not what they’ve been told we believe. I won’t have to think about how to answer a question with a true libertarian response because I already know that whatever the question, freedom is the answer.

More than that, I’m determined that whoever is the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2012 is just as committed and just as able to do the same. While I respect Dr. Ron Paul as an advocate for libertarian ideas, and greatly admire the commitment and dedication of his supporters, I don’t think he’ll be the Republican nominee. That means that the only presidential candidate speaking for liberty in the 2012 election will be the Libertarian candidate. So I want all Ron Paul supporters to know that their help and support will not only be welcome, but will be sorely needed to guarantee that liberty has a genuine and fearless champion come November.

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.

Lee Wrights for President
Contact: Brian Irving, press secretary

43 thoughts on “Lee Wrights: Libertarianism Is Different Because It’s About Peace

  1. John Jay Myers

    I officially endorse Lee Wrights for President, I will vote for him until I can no longer vote for him.

    After Gary Johnson’s recent article at http://www.libertarianrepublican.net/2011/10/whoa-gary-johnson-takes-surprisingly.html

    I can no longer sit on the side lines without making a strong endorsement for peace and someone who understands what is really going on in the world.

    KONY isn’t even in Uganda, the Army he references is basically nothing. Ugandans don’t care, this is all about…….you guessed it oil.

  2. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    Myers this article from Eric donkedoodoo was written in Oct. ’11 while Gary Johnson was still seeking the RP nomination.

    Mr.Wrights has ran a good campaign and deserves thanks and support. If Ron Paul doesn’t enter the LP race Gary Johnson will be the 2012 nominee. All LP members need to dispense with the circular firing squad this year. Let’s get on with building the Party at the local and state levels. Run for office and then you can give your L message to the masses. I think Lee Wrights is man enough that he will support the nominee and get on with building NOT tearing down the Party.

    I agree that the LP needs to continue a solid “end all wars” message until Nov. and beyond! Not only at the top of the ticket but all the way down the ticket !! The establishment is hearing the message. Let’s keep it up !!!

    Libertarian means antiwar. – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=340

    “At what point will you say ‘no more!’? – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=258

    “End the War! Vote Libertarian.” – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=174

  3. Jill Pyeatt

    LtTRoTREU @ 2: Why settle for second best? If you want a presidential candidate who really means No War, the choice is for Mr. Wrights.

  4. John Jay Myers

    It’s not a firing squad, it’s a legitimate article with Gary’s stance. I am not saying if Gary gets the nomination I wont support him.

    But I am saying I have made up my mind who I support, based on too many of Gary’s views that are in print in regards to foreign policy.

  5. Alan Pyeatt

    Lee Wrights is like a breath of fresh air. It’s nice to hear from an honest-to-God Libertarian for a change.

  6. Rob Joyce

    I second John Jay`s notion. I will vote for Lee Wrights until I can no longer vote and then some! War breeds war, peace breeds prosperity. Lee Wrights-

  7. George Phillies

    @2 I believe your line goes “We are the Borg. We are inevitable.”

    Bob Barr at least had the decency to pretend to have joined and be supporting our party before he ran.

    Gary Johnson did not.

  8. Ctomp

    Wrights is my first choice for the LP. Though Johnson is no Paul or Wrights, I plan on supporting him if he gets the nomination. However, Wrights is philosophically sound and that is where my first choice must be. Either way, I think libertarians have a lot going for them this cycle.

  9. LibertarianGirl

    exactly , Im with Wrights as well but if Gary gets it I wont be ashamed and want to vomit like when Barr did….but Lee is closest to my beliefs and IMO the most libertarian Libertarian running…

  10. Steven Wilson

    Lee Wrights has been consistent and worthy of fellowship. He encourages people to fight for what they believe in and he is helping others who might want to run for office.

    He may not get the nomination, but after 2008 and the recent crap from the LNC, Lee has earned respect for keeping his campaign on message and strong.

    Cheers on St Patty day to the Freedom Fighter of Texas.

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    Yes, Happy St Patty’s Day to all! Alan and I will be working the LP table at the Freedom Law School event in Orange County. I can’t wait to soak up more liberty energy!

  12. Bill Wood

    Little off, but Bob Barr was mentioned I see he is suing the TSA posted on Drudge.

  13. Mike B.

    I am definitely voting for Lee Wrights if he becomes our party’s nominee because he is a principled libertarian who has “fully embraced” libertarianism-not just parts of it that appeal to the left-right political spectrum.

    He is a consistent advocate for peace.

    The Republican Party has their Massachutes Moderate; I don’t think the Libertarian party should have the equivalency in ours.

    I can’t see myself holding my nose and pulling the lever for Gary Johnson this fall. Haven’t we had enough of Republican carpetbaggers who become our party’s nominee then feel uncomfortable articulating or avoiding our stances on the issues from a principled libertarian point of view?

  14. Kimberly Wilder

    I like a lot of what Lee Wrights stands for.

    But, to be fair, The Green Party candidate will also be anti-war, and for peace. Those ideals are part of the Green Party values and platform.

  15. Brian Holtz

    What Kim said.

    The LP is hardly the only anti-war party. In the last presidential election, three other candidates issued this joint statement:

    We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing.

    In fact, there have been three other nationally-organized anti-war candidates in every presidential election going back to at least 1996. There is no shortage of anti-war minor parties. In the next comment are platform excerpts from five of them. Which of them is the LP? Can one read all five excerpts and then say with a straight face that foreign policy is what sets the LP apart?

  16. Brian Holtz

    Our government does not have the right to justify pre-emptive invasion of another country on the grounds that the other country harbors, trains, equips and funds a terrorist cell. We urge our government to bring home our troops stationed abroad, except for the military assigned to protect a U.S. embassy. The U.S. must prohibit all covert actions used to influence, destabilize or usurp the governments of other nations, and likewise prohibit the assassination of, or assistance in any form for the assassination of, foreign government officials.

    The U.S. is properly a free and sovereign republic which should strive to live in peace with all nations, without interfering in their internal affairs, and without permitting their interference in ours. We are, therefore, unalterably opposed to entangling alliances – via treaties, or any other form of commitment – which compromise our national sovereignty, or commit us to intervention in foreign wars. Since World War II, the U.S. has increasingly played the undesirable role of an international policeman. Through our involvements abroad our country is being changed from a republic to a world empire in which our freedoms are being sacrificed on an altar of international involvement. The U.S. is now committed by treaty to defend foreign nations in all parts of the world, and by agreements other than treaties to defend more. Therefore, we call upon the President, and Congress, to immediately commence a systematic withdrawal from these treaties and agreements, each of which holds the potential to plunge America into war in some far-flung corner of the earth.

    We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.

    We stand for peace between nations and the right of all peoples to self-determination. No U.S. intervention anywhere. End all support and aid to repressive regimes and all military and police training aid everywhere. End efforts to destabilize foreign governments. End U.S.-directed economic warfare against other countries. Abolish the CIA, NSA, AID and other agencies for interference in other countries’ internal affairs. Withdraw all U.S. troops and weapons from all other countries.

    We stand in total opposition to U.S. imperialism and the current “war on terror” which is just another subterfuge for U.S. imperialism. We call for the closing of all U.S. military facilities at home and abroad that train foreign military and paramilitary personnel. We call for the United States to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

  17. Andy

    “LibertarianGirl // Mar 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Happy St Pattys day , today my baby is getting married , and to an awesome man too…:) today is awe-some.”


  18. Gary Johnson Needs You !

    Gary Johnson on the Issues: we should resort to military action as the last option and only as provided in the Constitution.

    Bring the troops home. AMERICAN MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN AFGHANISTAN SHOULD END, our troops returned home, and the focus of our foreign policy reoriented toward the protection of U.S. citizens and interests.

    With Osama bin Laden now killed and after 10 years of fighting, U.S. forces should leave Afghanistan’s challenges to the Afghan people.

    Decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, American troops remain scattered throughout Europe. It is time to reevaluate these deployments.

    The U.S. must make better use of military alliances which allow greater sharing of the human and financial burdens at less cost of protecting national interests.

    Lead by example. AMERICA CAN ACHIEVE OUR FOREIGN POLICY GOALS without sacrificing American values.

    No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.

    Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts.

    Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts…, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes.

    Get Involved – http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/become-a-delegate

  19. Robert Capozzi

    20 GP, source? My google search elicited no hits with “Gary Johnson Kenya.”

  20. Robert Capozzi

    JJM, thanks. Perhaps GP confused Kenya and Uganda, or perhaps he’s referring to something else.

    In concept, I am open to the US participating in multi-lateral humanitarian interventions to quell mass murders in some circumstances. I know that GJ has stated this position in the past, so I am not surprised by it, and generally I support that stance.

  21. Tom Blanton

    Humanitarian interventions are great for stopping predictions of genocide made by liars.

    Do those who believe in humanitarian wars also believe that war is peace?

  22. Alan Pyeatt

    The problem with “humanitarian interventions” is much like the problem with resource allocation in a socialist regime. Everybody has a different scale of values, and everybody has different priorities.

    If someone thinks it is worth the risk and the cost to intervene, then by all means, they should do so. However, they should NOT commit anyone else’s resources or risk their safety against their will.

    I think it’s a safe bet that most American soldiers volunteered to protect America, not Uganda.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    24 tb: Do those who believe in humanitarian wars also believe that war is peace?

    me: No. I am not opposed in principle to intervening in a domestic dispute to stop carnage.

    ap 25: If someone thinks it is worth the risk and the cost to intervene, then by all means, they should do so.

    me: Yes, you could say that about a domestic court system, too, if one was an anarchist. I’m personally reluctant to support humanitarian war efforts for many of the same practical reasons that you do, but leaving such things to uncapitalized Lincoln Brigades also seem ineffectual. Privately ginning up things like helicopters and other capital equipment to stop a slaughter seems highly improbable.

  24. John Jay Myers

    Why us Robert? Why does the entirety of the United States have to pay for your war in Africa?

    Why can’t African countries get involved in Africa?

    Why doesn’t Sweden get involved with Africa.

    Probably because they all understand that “humanitarian war” is code for “Democrat’s war” because obviously they can’t fight for our freedoms, so we have to fight for something that pulls on the heart strings of the left, even though the interventions are no less corrupt and filled with crony capitalism than our interventions in the Middle East.

    If you believe that you want to save people in Africa, get a gun, and go enlist in their army, send them money leave me out of it.

    The problem here is that normally the side that is cutting the most peoples arms off etc, is simply the side in power at the time, put the other side of their internal civil war in power, and they will be the one cutting everyone’s arms off.

    It just doesn’t make sense, why are we the worlds police? Who pinned a badge on us? Obviously this about more than stopping a criminal, it’s about oil, power, the military industrial complex and future control of monetary policy globally.

  25. Robert Capozzi

    jjm, consider rereading my comments. I have not said I support any particular humanitarian effort, including one in Uganda, Kenya, or anywhere else.

    I don’t find proximity to be especially relevant. Why should we care about a Latin American genocide and not an African one?

    Given the situation in the US and the many wars already being fought, I would not be inclined to support another one now. Nor would I be inclined to support any unilateral US humanitarian action.

    I’m simply open to the possibility that a judicious, multilateral intervention could be supportable if it could result in averting slaughter.

    In theory.

    I am not in a position to justify GJ’s view, since I don’t know enough about the particulars or GJ’s position on them. I don’t find what I’ve read of his position to be deeply dysfunctional or utterly unreasonable, however.

    Some Ls take the view that the US should never, ever do anything outside its borders to establish or keep the peace. I once held that view, too. Then again, I — for about a week — believed that the NAP dictated the right to private nukes, too.

  26. Joe


    I’ve heard Gary Johnson was a member of the Libertarian Party back in the 1990s, and that his membership records from then were found before he announced in Santa Fe back in December (I was there; I’m not sure but I think it was LNC Chair Mr. Hinkle who announced that at that time.)

    So it seems to me Gary Johnson was a LP member long **before** Bob Barr . . . (or Wayne Root for that matter).


  27. Joe

    PS — I DO like Lee Wrights PRINCIPLE-BASED Libertarian defense of PEACE. I, for one, want to support a “Party of Principle” over one that merely advocates “less” of un-principled government crap.

  28. George Phillies

    @30 However, he was elected Governor as a Republican. Twice. He made a show of joining our party. He wants, for five months alter, to be made our Presidential candidate.

    Fortunately, eh talked enough to the press before hand to make clear that his primary motive is revenge on the Republican Party for not letting him into debates, when they let zeros like Cain into debates.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    GP: [GJ’s] primary motive is revenge on the Republican Party for not letting him into debates…

    me: Hmm, I missed that. I saw his statements about motive to be about his message, actually, of smaller government across the board.

    That’s the thing with perception…we all hear what we want to hear.

  30. JT

    Capozzi: “Hmm, I missed that. I saw his statements about motive to be about his message, actually, of smaller government across the board.”

    I missed that as well. GJ has said he resents being excluded from the Republican debates. I think that’s understandable. I’ve also heard him say that his motivation is for people to hear a fiscally conservative, socially liberal message up until the election. If you have quotes indicating otherwise, George, I’d like to see them. Otherwise, you shouldn’t so blithely impugn someone’s integrity like that.

  31. Matt Cholko

    My votes for all LNC positions and the POTUS and VP nominations are for sale to the highest bidder. How much are you paying for my vote GP?

  32. Thomas L. Knapp


    I’ll pay you five bucks to put my name in nomination for POTUS, just to make them call me and ask if I’m interested so I can tell them to piss off.

  33. Marc Montoni

    Hey, someone set up our convention in Las Vegas, so why not?

    In fact, I’m thinking I need to start checking out if the oddsmakers are taking any bets for LP prez or chairman.

    And whatever your winning bid is for Matt’s vote, cancel it and you can buy mine for a 5% discount.

  34. Ayn R. Key

    @Myers in post 1

    To be fair, Mr. Myers, you are quoting Eric Dondro, who is trying to paint his own views onto Gary Johnson. Which means that, to whatever little extent you are guilty of this, you are ascribing credibility to Eric Dondro.

    Since that article was written in late 2011, Johnson seems to have gotten better on this great weakness of his platform. I was able to talk to him at the 2012 California Libertarian Convention and expressed my reservations with what had been his foreign policy views – while much less hawkish than other Republicans, were still more hawkish than Libertarians.

    He was polite and friendly and has apparently spent the last few months hearing this same message because he appears to have come to the same conclusion that non-intervention is the libertarian foreign policy.

    I’m still endorsing Lee Wrights, but if Johnson continues to improve he won’t be nearly as bad as our horrible waste of the 2008 ticket.

  35. Alan Pyeatt

    RC @ 26: I’m sorry to see that your statist conditioning has been so effective. There are other forms of social organization besides government.

    You do realize that Xe has plenty of helicopters, tanks, etc. that aren’t being used in the Middle East, right? And that the Lafayette Escadrille and the Flying Tigers were both effective fighting units?

    If there is significant support for “humanitarian” intervention in this country, then those who support it can organize and raise funds. If not, then America has no businesses intervening in any case.

    I don ‘t give a damn how “good” anybody’s reasons are for taxing us and using American soldiers to fight in foreign wars. That’s the same excuse we’ve heard for centuries from socialists who want to intervene in the economy, or infringe on people’s civil liberties. And as always, those advocating intervention want to do so in order to impose their values on others. If everyone shared their values, there would be no need for coercion in the first place.

    Everyone has “good” reasons for forcing others to do their bidding. The only defense is allowing people the freedom to make their own decisions how to allocate their resources and live their lives, including whether to fight and whom to fight against.

  36. paulie

    Actually, I think promised my first-ballot vote for POTUS to Milnes if he shows up at the convention.

    You should be in the clear then.

  37. Matt Cholko

    Yeah Paulie, I know. But, a promise is a promise.

    TK – My VOTES are up for auction. Nominations from the floor come at a flat rate – I haven’t determined what it is yet, but it is more than $5. I’m gonna have to do some market research. Then again, you may be the extent of the market.

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