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 firstname.lastname@example.org.