Additionally, much of what I do will be covered in other reports, and I will leave reporting the progress and activities of others to others.
The two most significant highlights I would like to bring to everyone’s attention are:
In September I spoke as part of a panel at a regional CPAC conference in St. Louis. The panel was titled “Can Social Conservatives and Libertarians Ever Get Along?”. The moderator was Tom Minnery of CitizenLink, and the other two panelists were Matthew Spalding of the Heritage Foundation, and Doug Bando of Cato. This panel was main floor and prime time. In fact, they even rearranged their agenda so that I could be present, since I had already booked a speaking engagement in Dallas for the evening.
I was fully expecting an “ambush” kind of event, but it really did not turn out that way. The questions were targeted and tough, but reasonable. The audience was receptive, and I got a lot of positive feedback from the attendees I talked with. Of course, I’m sure people who did not like the panel were inclined to avoid me, but that’s how it goes.
On top of that, I was sought out and graciously thanked for my attendance by Al Cardenas, Chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU). I was made to feel welcome, and the experience was positive in every regard (well, not the flight, but I won’t blame the ACU for that). I have independently been told that this same panel and topic is under consideration for inclusion in the national CPA conference. That would be good.
I have tried to correspond with LP leaders for most of my term, and this led to an invitation to be a panelist at the Adam Smith Forum in Moscow. I also have spent a small amount of time conversing with the Partei der Vernunft (German LP) and the Partido de la Libertad Individual (Spanish LP) over the last few months. I decided to accept the invitation to be a panelist at the Moscow Forum, and was able to also work out an event with the P-Lib during the same trip.
I will not bore you with a huge travelogue.
The Adam Smith forum was attended by about 200 people. It comprised three panels of about three hours each with simultaneous translation back and forth between Russian and English. I was well received, met a lot of great people, and treated like royalty. One of the attendees was the chair of the Netherlands Libertarian Party – Toine Manders –a hard-core anarcho-capitalist. Of course the LP of Russia Chair was there too – Andrey Shalnev.
In Madrid, the P-Lib arranged a speech and dinner event which was attended by a packed house of 100, and many were turned away. Their Chair, Juan Pina, is the most organized libertarian I have ever met. I was overwhelmed by their professionalism. People flew or drove in from all over Spain, including from Mallorca. Additionally, there were attendees from libertarian from other countries, including Guy Montrose (UK Chair), Leonardo Facco (Italian Chair), and Uwe Schreoder (German Treasurer).
Four European LP’s have joined together to create EPIL – European Party for Individual Liberty. Their intent is to run candidates for the European Parliament. At this event, we met and the consensus was that there was a need for a global libertarian political alliance. It was even suggested to hold the first formal meeting at our upcoming National Convention in Columbus, Ohio.
Since this trip took place, we have been notified that there now is a formal Libertarian Party of South Africa. Also, the Chair of the Brazilian Party asked me when I will be visiting them.
Libertarianism is growing worldwide, and these new parties look to us with respect and admiration. I hope we can live up to their expectations.