Submitted by Arvin Vohra, former LNC Vice Chair and current candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination:
This culture has produced this government. If today, we achieved the ancap dream, abolished all government departments, fired all federal workers, shut down all foreign military bases, then this culture would recreate this exact government by tomorrow.
Don’t believe me? Consider what happened during the recent partial government shutdown. Both Democrats and Republicans insisted that we needed to immediately restore the government, and that the shutdown was the other guy’s fault. Even the LNC decried the fact that the lives of Federal workers were being thrown into turmoil.
Let me be clear: if I’m elected president, I will throw the lives of federal workers into turmoil.
The 2020 nominee must be ready to work to change culture, not just pander to it. The time for innocuous, minor issue, PTA mom friendly “libertarianism” is past, if there ever was such a time. The time to try to contort Libertarianism into some shadow of itself that can somehow fit into statist culture is past. If we’re going to change government, and I mean actually change it, we need to stop avoiding those culture wars.
Most presidents won culture wars along with their political victories. The cultural victories led to the political victories. Reagan won a culture war. Obama won a culture war. Trump won a culture war. Lincoln, the last successful 3rd party presidential candidate, won a culture war. The strategy of avoiding culture wars, of refusing to engage on the topics where libertarians and statists fundamentally, irreconcilably differ, is no strategy at all. It’s just defeatism. It comes from the belief that we cannot win the culture war, a belief with no connection to actual historical reality.
Today, the country believes that Democrats, not Libertarians, were the ones who fought successfully for marijuana legalization. That’s not because they “coopted” it. It’s because the short sighted “pragmatists” in the Libertarian party, in the past, insisted that we never ever talk about marijuana legalization. Some are still insisting that! Even as recreational cannabis is legalized in one state after another, backwards facing, socially fearful, non-strategic, culture-war-avoiders still insist that we should avoid the topic, because some conservatives get freaked out by it.
History has told us what we should have done. We should have been a thousand times bolder about legalizing all drugs and ending the drug war. Our opponents should have been announcing to the world that “those Libertarians” want to legalize drugs. Then this major cultural and political victory would have been ours, and massively grown our brand and influence.
The same was true about gay marriage. The same today is true about abolishing government schools, opposing military employment, jury nullification, using cryptocurrencies, and ending the income tax. The simple fact is that homeschooling and private schooling are the future of education, just as a few decades ago the computer was the future of work. Free market education is better. Those who use it have kids who are equipped for actual life, who don’t have the psychological and academic damage that comes from government schools. We should be on the leading edge of this. A decade from now, let all homeschoolers know that we fought against government schools, against forced taxation to fund incompetence.
Military and police recruitment is falling. Let’s be at the front of that cultural wave. When people who enlist today soon realize how big a mistake it was, let them remember it was the Libertarians who were right. As we stop being the world’s police, let people remember who fought the hardest to leave NATO, shut down foreign military bases, and bring the troops home.
In 2008, we faced a choice between Dr. Mary Ruwart, a powerful, intellectual libertarian force, a world famous author, a principled speaker with visionary ideas and a strong legacy. On the other side, Bob Barr and Wayne Root. The delegation chose the latter, who ended up with low results while diminishing our principles. Bob Barr, on national TV, told the nation he didn’t want to end the drug war. Barr and Root later both endorsed Mitt Romney for president.
How could the delegation have made such a bizarre decision? Dr. Ruwart had some really “scary” ideas about age of consent, and child porn laws. Like most anarchists who don’t believe in any laws, she didn’t believe in those laws. And those laws are the easiest way to emotionally trigger people. They are very difficult political battles which many libertarians think they can avoid.
Her political opponents did their best to ignore her body of work why to abolish all the other laws, and fixated on those. They even got the issue as far as Time Magazine: http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1808384,00.html
To change culture, we will have to have a lot of hard discussions. We need someone who can explain that if you don’t want your 5 year old to go on a date with a 70 year old…don’t drive him or her to the date. We’re going to need to actually discuss the role of parents, and say that having the state play parent is morally wrong, and economically absurd. We’re going to need to fight for the principle that parents should provide food, clothing, legitimate education, and a basic level of discipline and control over their own kids. I’m not talking about corporal punishment, I’m just talking about managing to not drive your 5 year old to a date in an old folks home.
This culture thinks that’s a job for government. I don’t. I strongly doubt that you do either.
Knowing that Team Republican Lite would use that exact tactic on me, since I am also an anarchist who does not believe in a parental state, I’ve brought up those issues, and the other hard sell issues already. I, and my team, are putting together strategies and tactics to take this cultural war to the next level.
I believe that many declared candidates have what it takes to fight a real culture war, not to preemptively declare defeat. I know that I can. I know that Adam Kokesh can.
The LNC is going to pick some “famous” Republican or minor league celebrity as their chosen candidate to get behind. They always do. Leading up to 2016, they put as much focus on Gary Johnson as they could, using the excuse that it was because he was the past nominee. After 2016, they switched over to Weld, having him write a major donor email, for example, because he was the past Vice Presidential nominee. It had nothing to do, of course, with the fact that both were the preferred nominees for the future.
In 2016, the DNC almost lost control of their primary, with Clinton having to resort to extreme tactics to fake-defeat Sanders. The RNC did lose control over its primary, where Trump defeated their chosen candidate, Jeb Bush.
I believe that in 2020, the LNC will lose control over the convention. I believe that we will have, for the first time in 12 years, a real, principled, Libertarian candidate who will massively change culture. If that person is me, and I win the election, I’ll pardon Snowden, Ulbrich, Assange, and all nonviolent drug users, people in prison for only a weapons’ charge, etc. I’ll fire most federal workers, scale the military back to nearly nothing, and eliminate the income tax.
But what if I lose? I will fight the culture war, and we will get results. If I lose, at least as many people will know that jury nullification is allowed, that it’s how we got freedom of press in America, as now know where Aleppo is. If I lose, there will be much more homeschooling, and much more cryptocurrency use. If I lose, more young people will be refusing to enlist in the military or police.
I aim to advance this culture war farther than we’ve ever dared before. To help my campaign, please visit www.VoteVohra.com, and please become a delegate in your state party.