Lee Wrights: Peace Is the Death of War

by R. Lee Wrights

BURNET, Texas (May 26) – When I began my quest for the Libertarian presidential nomination, my staff and I were committed to making the campaign about more than just winning the nomination. We determined that whoever was the nominee, the message of the Libertarian Party in 2012 would be “Stop All War,” and that message would be heard in all 50 states. To that end, we pledged 10 percent of all donations to insure ballot access, and began The Million Vote March project to achieve a historic first for the Libertarian Party.

As I have said from the beginning, this is not about Lee Wrights. It’s about the Libertarian Party and the libertarian message of peace, prosperity and progress. While the campaign for the nomination is over, the campaign to Stop All War, to gain 50-state ballot access, and to win one million votes for the Libertarian candidate for president continues. It must continue. Not only because it’s what my staff and I have pledged to do, but because it’s right for the Libertarian Party and it’s right for America.

So we’ll continue to seek donations for ballot access. We’ll continue to produce videos for Libertarian candidates and affiliates. We’ll continue The Million Vote March to vote libertarian to stop all war. We’ll strive to Occupy Ballot Access in as many states as possible.

But if the Libertarian Party is going to be the Peace Party, we must begin by declaring peace among ourselves. I’ve said it at dozens of state conventions, I said it in Las Vegas, and I will say it again and again until everyone hears and believes: I am not at war. If enough of us say it, they can’t have them anymore.

Peace is the death of war. Peace is not the opposite of war. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is the death of war. Peace happens when enough people decide they have had enough killing. Peace happens when enough people say, “I am not at war.”

And peace, like charity, begins at home. As I’ve said across the nation at state Libertarian conventions and repeated in Las Vegas: we cannot begin to stop the wars outside of a convention hall until we stop the wars within its walls. Libertarians must first stop being at war with each other before we can even begin to think about stopping the wars Democrats and Republicans conjure up. As long as we’re fighting each other, the only victor will be those who desire neither peace nor liberty, but only war and tyranny.

On Saturday night and early Sunday, between the two rounds of voting for national chair, I was besieged by people asking me if I would support this or that person, or this or that compromise. I told every one of them that all they were doing was setting themselves, and the party, up for war. I told them all: “I am not at war.”

These are not just words. Many people who know my reputation as a warrior have found it difficult to believe, but it’s true. Those who know me know I’m sincere. These are not just words to be recited, they are words that must be lived. Peace, like libertarianism, is more than a philosophical or political concept. Peace is a way of life. We must be it and live it.

R. Lee Wrights is a writer and political activist living in Texas. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Libertarian Party national committee. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Contact Lee at rleewrights@gmail.com.

6 thoughts on “Lee Wrights: Peace Is the Death of War

  1. Joe Buchman

    Lee,

    I love the message above . . .

    Can you point to the first couple of steps to get from being at war with war (angry, disappointed, fearful for my 17 year old son’s future (getting ready to register for the draft at 18), and that of his three sisters, and all of their friends), hopeless (nearly) in the face of a government that has bankrupted all of us, and, just in my lifetime been in Vietnam, the Middle East, and dozens of other violent acts around the world).

    My grandfather fought in World War I, my dad in World War II, most of my childhood I figured I was headed for World War III, and not I fear my son (and/or his sisters are).

    Getting from being at war with war isn’t about just not caring anymore . . . so any hints about how to get from here to there (and it seems like there for you is a Peaceful Warrior, not a guy on the sidelines, way of being . . .)?

    Joe

  2. Michael H. Wilson

    It’s about the Libertarian Party and the libertarian message of peace, prosperity and progress.

    Well stated. Thank you.

  3. wolfefan

    I am very taken by this: “Peace is the death of war. Peace is not the opposite of war. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is the death of war.” I know little of Lee Wrights and nothing of his faith journey, and I know that many party members are from a variety of faiths or hold no faith, but I find this deeply spiritual and moving.

  4. Michael H. Wilson

    I grew up a navy brat and some of the kids I knew as a child had lost their fathers in WWII or Korea. I later spent four year in the service myself and while I did not deploy to Vietnam I knew many who did and now know many who are dealing with the problems of that conflict. I have known men who had to deal with problem from other conflicts. And today I know and see men and women who are dealing with the problems from this nation’s most recent conflict.

    I live just south of what was known as Fort Lewis and is now Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State. There are about 34,000 personnel attached to the base and along with their dependants total around 100,000 locally. Many retire or stay in the area after leaving the military. When I shop on the other side of town it is not uncommon to see men in wheelchairs, with prosthetic limbs or scars from burns. Then not too many weeks ago I saw a man get out of a car without any legs.

    I do know from reading that some men are going to sperm banks before they are deployed because in some cases they are losing their sexual organs to IEds while on patrol. Just imagine what it would be like to never have a sexual relationship with someone because you lost everything in combat. And that the people who sent you to combat got their ideas of what combat was like from a movie or television and never had been themselves.

    It is time to demand peace.

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