I’m Mormon and a Libertarian

round_lds_libertarian_sticker-r61564c5dda0b4cf3958447aaf505f1ba_v9waf_8byvr_324I wanted to get a little personal for a moment and talk about my spiritual side. It is true that I am a member of the LDS Church and also adhere to the principles of Libertarianism. Some may think that they are mutually exclusive including some who may be in the Church. However, based on the religious doctrines that I have studied in depth and the principles of libertarianism I have studied, there is far more in common between the two than what is normally perceived.

 In order to understand the first line up of the religious doctrine to libertarian philosophy, we must go before the world was created. According to our beliefs, in Heaven there was a great assembly of all the souls that would eventually inhabit the Earth. During this meeting our Heavenly Father laid out his Plan of Salvation. This plan would require for us to come to Earth, forgetting our Heavenly home, and come to accept God through prophets he would send. Because of this mortal state, we would make mistakes and would be considered unclean in the sight of God. In order for us to return to his presence and reunite with him after our passing, we would need a Savior to atone for the sins we commit.

 God’s plan required us to have agency, or the ability to choose to accept to come back to him. This is the first instance of free will.

 Another entity we believe as Lucifer, stood up to God and offered an alternative. This alternative was to force everyone to be righteous and then there would be no need for us to have this agency. There would be no need for a savior. Through Lucifer’s plan, all would be guaranteed to return to Heaven.

 The flaw with Lucifer’s plan was that without the ability to make a mistake, we could not learn beyond that which we already knew. We would not grow as spiritual beings in truly knowing the difference between right and wrong, suffering and pleasure, sorrow and happiness. We had to learn these things in order to become more like God. We had to understand things through experience.

 Ultimately the proposal from Lucifer failed, and we came to Earth with free will: our agency. This is 100% in line with the philosophy of libertarianism, as we believe all interaction must be voluntary without any force or coercion.

 The next doctrine I find that falls in line with philosophy is what we consider “Articles of Faith.”

The first one that I find aligning with libertarianism is the second article: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” This is saying that you can only be accountable for the actions you choose to take. You are the only one responsible for what you do, no one else.

The next one I find aligning perfectly with libertarianism is the eleventh article: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

In the Book of Mormon, taxation is linked with slavery and bondage of the people. One king was described as wicked for, among other reasons, a 20% income tax on the people, while another king is praised for his righteousness for levying no taxes whatsoever.

Doctrine and Covenants 134, a chapter in scripture prefaced as “A declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general,” contains several verses which uphold the explicit right to private property. For example: “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.” If you fall into the faction of libertarianism that believes a cornerstone of rights is the right to property, this is one that definitely aligns with our philosophy.

David O. McKay, the man who served as prophet of our church from 1951 until his death in 1970, stated the following: “A man may act as his conscience dictates so long as he does not infringe upon the rights of others.” On of the highest leaders of the Church in our history understood the importance of individual liberty.

Towards the latter end of the Book of Mormon, one of the books that serves as a doctrinal instruction and testament of Christ in the Americas, the prophet Mormon, who later compiled the record of scripture offers a stark warning to those who would eventually read the passages. He had documented how secretive groups of conspiring individuals brought down two strong civilizations by infiltrating the governments and imposing their  wills on the masses.

As members of the Church, we are counseled to “suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain” and commanded by God to “awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you.” Many members of the LDS faith thus are sensitive observers and tend to oppose corruption and conspiracy— especially within government, since our scriptures also document such groups usurp political authority in an attempt to further their lust for control and power over others.

One of the prophets in my lifetime, Ezra Taft Benson, regularly cited individuals like Hayek and Mises when delivering advice to members of the Church. He spoke often of freedom and liberty, both socially and economically.

These are just a few examples of places that we align. While some members of the Church come off as more authoritarian, we are not supposed to force our will upon others. We are supposed to have voluntary acceptance of our faith. Some who have garnered power have used it to enact spiritually based laws, which would negate why we came to Earth in the first place: to choose. We must remember that free will is why we are here, so I do encourage members of my faith to start reading into libertarianism.

2020 Is a While Yet

Elections AheadIt seems to be never ending. Now that one election cycle has ended, I have seen the myriad of Libertarians asking “Who should we run in 2020?” To be honest, it is time to stop asking that question. It is time we start focusing on building a foundation instead of starting with the spire of the tower.

I certainly understand the drive for getting someone solid advocating on a national scale for what I also believe in. However, when we continue to focus on the Presidential election, we put the cart before the horse. All too often it becomes a former elected official from one of the major parties swooping in every four years with promises of their notoriety getting us to the top. We accept their grandiose claims, nominate them, lose the election, then complain about running someone better for the next four years only to have the cycle repeat itself.

While we certainly should run a top ticket each cycle, we shouldn’t wait four years to take action. Our focus needs to be cheetah intense at the local level every year. There are many down ballot positions that come available each year, whether it is a city council position or state House member. We need Libertarian County Commissioners. We need Libertarian City Councils. We need Libertarian legislators.

This gives us a record to run on in the future. This makes it so that we don’t have to borrow from one of the other parties to run a reputable candidate. We would now have the ability to showcase what we have done in practice instead of speaking in theory.

People would be able to take us more seriously when we field someone from within our own ranks that fought for decreasing government at lower levels before stepping up to the big time. We need to stop pipe dreaming about the Presidential Election, especially before the newly elected individual has been inaugurated. We need to identify the people who are ready to lead their communities. We need to donate and volunteer to get those foundation candidates elected.

If we ever want to be taken seriously, we need to start acting serious. This means that we don’t focus on the top before we have a record to run them on;

Take my advice Libertarians, from a former candidate who won a county position: we make our best efforts when we worry locally before we put people up for top dog. There are hundreds of races that are unopposed in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Let’s get some people in there and winning.

Let’s get the forgotten 47% of America their voices back. Let’s fight for liberty at every level. The change happens once we start to change our focus.

Do Libertarians Have What it Takes?

Third_Parties-matterEarlier today, I saw an article posted by a friend that crossed my timeline essentially taking the stance that the Libertarian Party tends to run a bunch of inexperienced individuals for office.

“I think and this is sad, that most Libertarians don’t give a damn about winning an election. The people inside the Libertarian Party are so immature that some nobody with no money, no resume, no experience, and no skills, calls himself a Libertarian and says that want to run for a seat in Congress and the party says: “Ok cool, there you go”

This is not how things go.

The author has looked at a couple of examples and used a broad brush to paint us in a bad light. It is a common theme that libertarians are used to, but here are the facts that we found about the candidates who ran for Federal office this year from the 120+ races:

  •  There were dozens of business owners who stepped up to run. These are entrepreneurs who know what small business needs to fix a broken system.
  • There were many with prior military experience. The average time we were able to find was 6.5 years of service in the Armed forces between those with verifiable time in.
  • At least one Congressional candidate in the race had actually been elected to a county policy board.

This is not an all inclusive list of the many experiences and talents that candidates brought to the table. The other thing that needs to be noted is that there were a total of 602 candidates recognized by the National Party.

We ran candidates for City Councils, County Commissions, Railroad Commissions, Governors, Attorney Generals, State Houses, State Senates, School Boards, and so many other positions.

The author also ignorantly states that the candidates just approach the Central Committees and say they want to run and are given the go ahead to do so. This is not the case according to the bylaws of nearly every affiliate in the United States. What is done in most cases is that a State Convention is held. These individuals who are running for office must state their case and qualifications to the body of voting members, in some cases hundreds of individuals. Even if the candidate is running unopposed in this Convention Process, they must still in most cases receive a 2/3 majority support in order to receive the nomination. Further, each candidate must face the opposition of “NOTA”or None of the Above.

These are vetted individuals in almost all cases, and most of the candidates are professional in what they attempt.

These individuals put in a lot of time, effort, money, and shoes wearing out to do what they do. There are plenty of critiques to be had in order to help make things better. This article was nothing more than a hit piece against the people who are doing more work than most in the fight for the author’s liberty.

Beyond the 2016 Election

libertarian-leade-2So here we are. The 2016 election has been decided and while the Libertarian Party had some great gains, we didn’t really win any seats. Does it show that we are starting to break through to people? You bet. But there is so much more that we need to do.

The road didn’t come to a dead end on November 8th. No, it just took a detour and there are still miles ahead. So what are we to do now that the election is over? Do we go back to sleep and hope that there is another candidate in four year? Should we hedge our bets on some personality stepping forward to follow?

My answer is no.

What I would like to offer you are a few things you can start doing as we lead up to something even more impressive four years from now. It is going to take some work. It is going to require more than being on Facebook in a Libertarian group arguing whether anarchy or minarchy is superior. Dust of your jacket, lace up your shoes, and get ready to build.

  1. Live libertarian. The first thing you need to do is to live by example. This is probably one of the most underrated and least discussed thing among libertarians from what I have encountered. We need to step up and truly be the change we want to see. This means that we need to be the ones acting without government. So it’s time to organize a food drive, attend a cancer run/walk, do a coat drive for the homeless, gather blankets for the women’s shelter. We talk about the need for people to step up and do these sorts of things without government coercion. So it’s time that we all start doing what we can, so that when people see us running for office, they know we are putting our time and money where our mouths are.
  2. Pay your dues. Make sure to pay your state and national dues. We can’t do much without money to help candidates. There are still states that haven’t secured ballot access, and a lot of the funds raised go into those efforts. Other affiliates are using the funds to pay for things like filing fees to get candidates on the ballots in their states. We need to make sure that these sorts of things can be paid for so that we can focus on more important things like running a campaign.
  3. Outreach, outreach, outreach! There are opportunities every day for you to recruit people in your community. Whether you sign up to volunteer to run the Nolan chart at a community festival where your state party set up a booth, or talk to your co-worker at the water cooler, take the opportunity to try to get people involved in the party. Everyone can find a way to be a spokesman for the party. Find out how you can get communicating with other people and get them showing up.
  4. Help candidates. We cannot wait to help out in 2020. There are local elections in 2017. Let’s get some candidates running and elected into city councils, county boards, maybe even a couple Mayors. It is 100% possible to get great people into office in these levels. This gives credibility should that candidate seek higher office and gives people in the community a sense of what can be achieved by libertarians once they are elected. So help identify races, run if you can, support those who step up with your time (and money if you can).

Just a few things you can start doing right away to help the movement. We need to stay active, vigilant, and grow our ground game. Things will continue to get better so long as we stay dedicated.

My Final Electoral Thoughts of 2016

LiberporcTo the Members of the Libertarian Party:

The 2016 election has ended. It ended much the way that I expected it to. What I am about to say will apply to many of you. There are some who this doesn’t apply to because I know there were efforts taken by those willing to do the hard work it takes to make a difference; most you did not. If you think I am writing about you after reading this memo, it likely is about you, and if the shoe fits, it’s yours to wear.

First off, it is beyond clear now that the so called “pragmatic approach” so many elected to take at the National Convention has failed once again. What could have been a prime opportunity to truly embrace our unique identity as libertarians was white washed by Hillary praising and half measures by Governors Bill Weld and Gary Johnson.  While certainly the most government experience present as candidates, when it came to what opportunities were available to the duo, they fell short.

One could argue that they were trying to be more centric to appeal to people, one can even claim that we may not have garnered the media we did in the election. What these claims ignore is that the mountain we must climb as a third party is already a high bar, so we should remain as consistently principled in our approach as possible. We are not centric in our ideology. We are not a grab bag of Democrat and Republican ideas. We are a totally separate option. We also wasted the opportunities with the media with several praises of one of the other candidates in the race.

From experience speaking with many people in my area, I witnessed the disappointment from many voters first hand. I saw so many people come up to me as I did outreach throughout the season telling me that they considered supporting our ticket, but couldn’t after either not sticking to principles or praising Clinton. It is one thing to keep a campaign clean and above the mudslinging, it is quite another to make statements about another candidate being the most qualified in the race.

For all the promises of debates, hitting at least 5%, and possible electoral votes, these all fell flat as this ticket floundered all the way to election night on so many chances.

I personally could have far more tolerated the ticket without Governor Weld. Because of him on the ticket, I had to hold my nose to cast my ballot for the Libertarian ticket this year. The only reason I placed that vote was to help my state preserve ballot access for future candidates like myself, and possibly you the reader, to run.

I argued against Governor Weld because of his history. What I learned on the campaign trail further solidified my disagreement with him being the Vice-Presidential nominee. I held my tongue to stay out of the constant arguing amongst libertarians, but I regret this decision. I should have brought this to light when I first overheard it. I owe everyone an apology, and it is something that will likely haunt me.

On August 6th, the Johnson/Weld campaign held a rally at the University of Utah. I had originally been scheduled to speak at the rally, however, in the “wise judgement” of the campaign management, I was excluded in favor of Republicans, a Bernie Delegate, and someone who had only been in the party a couple weeks as a recently converted State legislator from the Republican Party to Libertarian.

Despite this exclusion, I decided to show unity even though this would have helped propel my own campaign for the U.S. House and it hurt to schedule work off to attend. I was allowed into the green room, got some photos and one on one time with both governors. Things were going well, all things considered.  As the speakers started filing out, and Governors Weld and Johnson moved over to the door, I overheard a quirk that should have sent me ringing the alarm bells.

Though a joke, I’m sure, I don’t consider this a joking matter in the least. Governor Weld stated to Gary that things would be so much easier if they could just get rid of the 5th amendment in regards to opposition. The worst part wasn’t even just that Bill Weld stated something like this, it was that Gary Johnson agreed with him and laughed about it. Therefore, I regret staying silent so long. Due process is something that we need to defend and it is not something to quip about. This in combination with so many bad stances taken should have been enough for me to speak out more boldly. While I certainly corrected the record on libertarian stances when the ticket went off script, I neglected to speak about this issue.

I can tell you this much, if I am in a position as a delegate again, I will never support another Republican cross over candidate. It is one thing to come to learn and leave the old ideas at the door as you learn about and advocate libertarian principles; it is quite another to have a whopping three weeks’ time in the party and run for Vice President. Thankfully, I never voted for Weld in Orlando, but I should have fought harder to get someone like Larry Sharpe on the ticket.

This is the revelation I have on the top of the ticket from this election. The rest of this writing applies to some issues I observed in my own race and races across the country.

Where was the same level of motivation and dedication to down ballot candidates that you all had for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld?

This obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, as there are many dedicated volunteers who have helped us out, but the clear majority focused at the top instead of also helping build the foundation for a future of the party. The number one reason why individuals argued for the ticket we got was experience. So answer me this libertarians: how the hell do we advance things if we don’t get people into positions to get that experience? Are we just supposed to keep having former Republicans and Democrats come over and use our ballot access while promising the world? Or doesn’t it make sense that you build a foundation so we can make greater strides?

When are we going to stop bringing over the Welds, Barrs, and Roots? Are we ever going to learn our lessons about them?

To further illustrate this point about top down instead of bottom up, I have seen over thirty different polls online asking who we should run in 2020. Why are we focusing on 2020 when there are local elections in 2017? What about the midterms in 2018? We shouldn’t wait four years before we start getting people into office. We need to be supporting those principled individuals to get into the ground work and start implementing libertarian policies!

I get it. It is elating to feel a part of a Presidential campaign. However, there are so many people running to represent you across the board that need your help. We need people to help phone bank. We need people to donate if they are able. We need people to door knock. We need people to help man outreach booths. We need people to hold signs in parades. We need people to help hand out material at public events.

Most of you jumped at the chance to do it for the top ticket, but forgot about the state legislative candidate. You left out the Senate candidate. You left behind that County Commissioner candidate. You let down that Congressional candidate. You could have done so much more than what you did in races that could have made a huge difference.

There were at least 16 federal elections with only the Libertarian and one major party candidate that could have used the help. There was a myriad of two way races at the local and state levels that could have used your support. Is it great you help Gary? Of course, however, you failed the people who could have made the biggest impact on the political climate where you are most affected: your community.

For the record, this is not me complaining about my own run either. I had some wonderful supporters who regularly helped me out and it reflected in the results of 5.59% and over 11,000 votes which set a record for the party in my state and put me with only two other third party candidates in my district’s history. Some of Gary’s volunteers even did double duty with me. Don’t think this is a blanket for everyone, but if the shoe fits, you had better wear it and accept the bed you made.

The only two disappointments I had in my own run was when I was so close to being in the debates in October. I let people everywhere know the polling was going on. I asked for support, and in a moment I could have used it, too few stepped forward. I ended up excluded over .5% in the polls. If I could have gotten more support, I know without a doubt I would have been on that stage. The second disappointment I had was when I asked for support to protest the exclusion only four people showed up to support me outside of the venue. This was heartbreaking beyond measure. If you followed the campaign at all, you saw how much I put into it. I was not a placeholder.

Now, before someone wants to jump in and start blaming libertarian “purists” or throwing out accusations my way, or to others, we are not the reason why the race was low. We were not the ones who failed to show up. This may be anecdotal, but from what I experienced, it was radicals who were showing up for outreach, it was radicals who were donating, it was radicals fighting tooth and nail in tons of races. There were radicals all over the place pushing for the most libertarian direction possible.

Most of the donations I personally received in my race were from radicals. Even though I wasn’t endorsed by the Libertarian Radical Caucus, several of their members stepped up to help with their time and money, seeing that while I wasn’t as far down the path they had traveled, I was sincere in what I was doing and truly believed in the principles I spoke about.

This brings me to my final point: I am sick and tired of feeling like we aren’t welcome in this movement. There are constant attacks against anarchists in the party and it needs to stop. We fight for liberty as hard as we can. We are out there doing ballot drives, manning outreach booths, running effective campaigns, and even when we didn’t get our choice in, we gave Gary Johnson and Bill Weld a chance. Many of us still volunteered to help the campaign. Some of us donated. It wasn’t until they continued to go against principles, including against our platform, admitting such on national news, that we started correcting the record and dropping support.

But seeing as how we are one of the smallest minorities in the country as radicals, we are not the cause of this. It falls square on you for choosing them. I don’t know what would have happened with a different ticket.  We had a chance to have someone advocate for libertarianism in a way not ever presented before, as the two most horrible people possible stepped up for the major parties. As of now, we also see that all the excuses of government experience are now thrown out the window, as President-elect Trump has none.

To further illustrate the point, look at Evan McMullin’s results in his home state of Utah and compare them to Gary Johnson’s results in the state of New Mexico. Evan McMullin, basically a nobody at all, garnered 20% of the vote at home. Gary Jonson in contrast as the former Governor of New Mexico only managed to get 9% of the vote. We literally could have nominated just about anyone and focused on stopping the electoral college 270 minimum to force the House vote and possibly had success.

I’m done accepting promises from former Republicans swooping in to run and being accepted with open arms almost immediately with their lofty promises. For all the promises made, none of them happened. We didn’t get into the Debates. We didn’t get 5% of the vote. If this continues, there is no real party of principles, because the people we are running end up lacking principles, yet we continue to accept hand me downs looking for the ballot access we fought for. Where were they during these efforts?

I am not giving up on the efforts of liberty, but I hope what I have stated today helps to take stock of your part in this campaign season. I hope that if you were one of those who could have done far more, you take it to heart and do what you can going forward.

I will personally take about two weeks of time away from most things political. After that, I get back to work on the movement for liberty. As a Chairman of a County affiliate, my work doesn’t end after a Presidential cycle; I hope your own contributions don’t cease and you work to help grow the party and educate people about the philosophy of libertarianism. I sincerely hope that you don’t go to sleep for another four years until it’s time for another Presidential race.  We have elections in 2017, 2018, and 2019 before we get to the National Convention in 2020.

We need tomorrow’s leaders to step up to run. We need volunteers to man those booths as we do outreach. We need people helping man the phones. We need people to door knock and hand out flyers.

Will you step up?  Will you do your part? Will you help truly grow libertarianism in the world?

I will be there. I will be in the trenches with you if you’re willing to help dig in. Will you join me? Will you prove me wrong from 2017 up to 2020 about what I saw this year?

It is your choice libertarians.

In Liberty

Craig Bowden

In Response:Wisdom vs. Reality

LiberporcRadicals in the Libertarian Party were challenged to respond to an article written on LibertyPoint.org entitled Wisdom vs. Reality: Libertarian ‘wisdom’ vs. ‘real’ politicsAs a radical, I decided to offer my two cents to the issue in response. I do this independently of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, though I am a member. These thoughts are my own and should not be used in an official format as a response from the caucus.

The very first rebuttal I wish to convey is to the following statement within the article:

Unfortunately, as with all too many revolutionary movements, this devotion, dedication and adherence to our tenets sometimes ignores reality.

There is no reality to ignore when adhering to the core of libertarianism. We believe things like taxation being theft, which by definition, it is. You can try to rationalize the “need” for taxation all you want, but when we apply definitions to terms we find that even the dictionary agrees.

From Merriam-Webster’s:

the act of stealing; specifically:  the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it

Just because a group voted to steal, instead of breaking into your home and taking it themselves, doesn’t change the fact that your property was taken as the rightful owner.

Another core tenet of libertarian thought is that we believe in the non-aggression principle, which means that we believe the initiation of force against a person is wrong. This is the most basic reality that exists. Every one of us was taught since early developmental years that we don’t hit people, break other people’s things, or take what doesn’t belong to us. Libertarians simply take it a step further and say that just because the majority voted to do so, doesn’t mean it is right.

We do not have the power to give authority to someone, if we do not have the authority to do so on our own. Since I cannot steal from my neighbor, I cannot give the authority to someone else to steal from him. When we do this without “government approval,” once we face a court of law, we are still guilty of conspiracy and held at the same level of accountability as the person who actually took the action we asked of them. Why is it different when we ask government to do it?

The next portion the author goes wrong is in the following excerpt:

One of the leading examples of this is the belief that “most people are libertarian but don’t know it yet.”

Reality is somewhat less appealing. Libertarians who’ve been involved with any municipal planning or zoning process know “it ain’t so.” The reality is that, in the United States, in the 21st Century, “most people” have come to expect government to do certain things.

Most people expect local government to pick up the garbage, maintain the streets, provide water and sewer services and police and fire protection. They expect zoning regulations and local ordinances to prevent their neighbor from building a 24-hour convenience store in his back yard.

Evidently, the author seems to think that only the city does trash pick up, providing of water/sewage, police, and fire. I would have to assume that the author has never hired private security to guard assets, has never heard of a volunteer fire department, and never lived in a Home Owner’s Association that does trash pick up. It is also apparent that the author has never lived in a rural community, where there is no sewage system and you maintain your own septic tank. Examples already exist where people have demonstrated that they can do these sorts of things without municipal planning groups. All you have to do is experience things beyond a narrow world view.

Not everyone has city utilities on the grid. Not everyone has to rely on subsidies on farmed food. What utter chaos there must be in the non-incorporated areas around the nation.

The reality is that individuals like the author are just too lazy to do things on their own, or in voluntarily associations. It takes a lot more work to make sure things get done, but why bother when city councils and state legislatures can just do it for you?

The author paints things as there being a dependence on government as a “modern reality,” yet for anyone who lives in a rural area, reality is very different. The vast majority of things are done through voluntary association and personal responsibility. Want power? Better make sure the windmill is in good repair. Want heat? Better make sure to order that propane. Want indoor plumbing? Better make sure the septic system is in good order.Want fire put out? Put on your boots and gear up, because all that’s available is volunteers.

The next passage is one I believe you will find an immediate contradiction between the two statements:

Self-government, however, may have another meaning if you consider that man is a social animal. While rugged individualism is an American ideal, and has and does exist in our society, most people also need and seek community. Even in the “frontier days,” when a man was striking out on his own, family in tow, other individuals came together in voluntary association to help him build his barn.

In other words, wherever two or three are gathered, there will be government in the midst.

Notice how the author is speaking about voluntary association and adhering it to meaning government. There is nothing voluntary about government. You pay taxes or go to jail. You cut your grass or be fined. You want salt? Too bad, it’s banned. 32 oz. soda? Too much sugar for you. Want to choose cannabis as a medical treatment? Too bad, jail time for you. There is nothing voluntary about what is going on. It is put in place with authority that never existed.

Most people are social creatures, but there are miles of difference between voluntary exchange and forced compliance to societal norms defined by a majority.

The reality of the situation is that while it may currently be accepted by the majority, we must always speak the truth boldly and plainly. Watering things down does no one any good. Is it ok if you are elected to a city council to vote in favor of a partial tax decrease? Of course. Take what you can get now, but never settle for more than absolute liberty in all things. As soon as you vote yes, the very next day you should be right back on the offensive in decreasing taxation more.

When we water down things to fit society’s current status, we get lost in all the noise. We must be bold in our approach and show exactly how libertarianism is different. Give examples of ways to improve and always strive for the highest amount in all areas of civil and economic liberty.

In my own candidacy for the U.S. Congress in 2014 and this year, I didn’t cut corners in what I placed in my platform. In 2014, I doubled the Libertarian vote in my district and set the highest polling third party for federal office in Utah since the 90’s. In 2016, I have polled even higher than 2014, and the election is still a month away.

I didn’t say to cut taxes; I said eliminate them. I didn’t say legalize medicinal marijuana; I said all prohibition must end. I didn’t say cut foreign aid to our enemies; I said it isn’t our business to be involved in other nations at all. I didn’t say that we should only go to war with Congressional approval; I stated that war must end and violence is only a means through defense.  I spoke the truth. I didn’t take half measures. In the end, a new record will be set in Utah because of it.

The reality is that pragmatists like this author cannot do anything without radicals speaking boldly on principle so that people can see the difference between us and the two major parties.

Third Party Candidates Excluded from Debates in Utah

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Photo from 2014 Protest of Debate Exclusion. Now being excluded again

The Utah Debate Commission has decided to exclude the campaign for Craig Bowden, candidate for Utah’s 1st Congressional District, as well as candidates for the Gubernatorial race and Attorney General race. This measure to exclude candidates is egregious on its face, and will be challenged. For far too long, systems set up by the two major parties have worked to keep alternate voices from being able to be heard. Whether it is with debates or ballot access, the drive to maintain power has kept third party ideas out of the eye of the public.

 The Debate Commission is in direct violation of election laws, and will be held accountable for what it is doing. Under the Equal Time Rule, candidates from opposing parties are able to receive equal air time at the same rate that is offered to other candidates broadcast. Normally, this would not apply as a law, as it does exempt organizations that hold their own debates as long as it is not the broadcast station itself. Where the Utah Debate Commission violates the law, is that the news media sits on the board for the commission. They are instrumental in planning these debates, and dedicate non-regular air time to have these debates. As such, it does not fall under “on the spot news” as required to be exempt from the law. The media is helping manufacture the news under the guise of a private entity.

 As such, the campaign of Craig Bowden, will be seeking the price of 30 minutes airtime from every broadcast station, both televised and aired on radio, on the prime time slot. This lawsuit will go away if the campaign is included in the debates.

 Further, Craig Bowden’s campaign will be seeking equal damages for every third party candidate and independent who was excluded. This is in combination with any fines the Federal Communications Commission may seek to impose on the Utah Debate Commission. The monies awarded on behalf of other third party candidates will be paid to each candidate that was excluded from the debates.

Huge Opportunity 2016

Election2016The Libertarian Party is more popular than ever this year, as people across the nation are starting to realize both parties have continued to burden future generations with more debt, we continue to send men and women to wars we don’t belong in, civil liberties are attacked, and cronyism runs rampant.

However, in my observation, we are not seizing the real advantage this year. It is beyond amazing that we have our top ticket performing so well this year. I am doing my part on my outlets showcasing Gary Johnson too. The problem is that with the momentum in our favor, we continue to focus at the top ticket, instead of bringing to light the great candidates who are running down ballot.

The fact is that we need to get people associating what they are seeing with Governor Johnson with the candidates who are running locally. We need state legislators, Congressmen, Senators, Mayors, etc. to build up a base to run for higher office in the future. I fear we are hoping that this will just occur naturally, and people will just find out about those candidates. If we put all our eggs into one basket, and the basket falls, our eggs will break and we will lose out on this chance.

Evidence is already showing that we are losing our greatest chance in history.

In one such instance, Lily Williams, U.S. Senate candidate from Colorado, fell .02% short of being included in the debates in her state. Imagine if we had put the same amount of volunteer work and donations that we are putting into the Johnson campaign for Mrs. Williams? She would be on that stage for sure.

Another example is that from my last time looking at FEC reports, only two candidates have even raised more than $5,000 in their campaigns. We need to be supporting those candidates so they have a chance of winning and being heard. If you would like to see the list of federal candidates you can go to http://www.5n1plan.com and see who is running to represent you. You should also go to your state or county’s election page to find out who is running for county and state office.

We need to be out knocking on doors, making phone calls, sending donations, writing the media, etc. If everyone were to do this across the whole country in support of our amazing slate of 2016 candidates, we would start lighting liberty’s torch in a way our nation hasn’t seen in over 100 years.

The choice is yours, I cannot force you to help out candidates who are running, but I know that they need support. Do your part for everyone, not just the top ticket. There could be a future presidential candidate in that mix who will now have experience to run on. Those state legislators could run for Congress with records to run on.

Seize this opportunity and fight as if we didn’t have a top ticket doing as well as they are. Get those people into office!

Correcting the Record

LiberporcSeems that libertarianism is under full attack lately by those in the Democrat and Republican Parties, and as such, we are left to set the record straight when the attacks come. The latest that has crossed my feeds in social media come from Citizen’s Daily Journal entitled Gary Johnson is Progressive – Not Libertarian. Aside from many of the regular attacks that involve “he’s just there to steal votes from [insert candidate here], and if you don’t support [insert candidate] then [insert candidate] will win” fear mongering both parties use to maintain power in this article, I want to address the list of things this author believes are not libertarian.

It is time for people who know the history of libertarianism to stand up and defend the record so that we can make sure our message is heard, not what the two parties want people to think.  I will post why each position lines up with the Libertarian Party platform as well as also history of libertarianism as each apply.  People need to understand what we stand for from the sources that actually matter: the people in the trenches fighting for it every day.

So here is the list of things considered unlibertarian, and also where Gary Johnson fails on libertarianism according to this author.

  • Pro legalized drugs
  • Pro legalized prostitution
  • Pro amnesty for illegal aliens
  • Pro open borders
  • Pro jihad resettlement in the USA
  • Pro free trade with communist regimes
  • Pro unrestricted abortion
  • Pro affirmative action
  • Pro same-sex marriage
  • Pro separation of church and state
  • Soft on crime
  • Anti-death penalty for violent offenders
  • Anti-military
  • Anti-national security
  • Pro isolationism

So here we will post the break down, fully sourced as always, to show you the actual positions of libertarianism and when needed, the position of the Libertarian Party candidate running at the top of the ticket.

Pro legalized drugs

legalization-go-feds-09-01 (1)It is true that the Libertarian Party and Gary Johnson are pro-legalization or decriminalization. Incarcerating people for crimes where there is not a victim is no form of justice. Just because you don’t like what a person does, it is their body they are using to ingest or inject substances. Until someone, other than the user, has their life, liberty, or property harmed, there is no actual crime.

This aligns completely with the party platform.

1.1 Self-Ownership

Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.

1.7 Crime and Justice

The prescribed role of government is to protect the rights of every individual including the right to life, liberty and property. Criminal laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Therefore, we favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. The constitutional rights of the criminally accused, including due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must be preserved. We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.

Pro legalized prostitution

For the same two planks above, this falls in line with libertarianism and the party platform. It is a voluntary transaction that doesn’t have an actual victim. Now, if we were going to address the human trafficking currently occurring in the realm of illegal prostitution, you now have a victim that is being forced. However, if this were brought into the light, those who are trafficked or abused by pimps would have a way to come forward without fear of reprisal from the criminal justice system.

Pro amnesty for illegal aliens

The is where the writer actually starts lying about Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party. While we are not opposed to traveling across borders, we have made it clear through our platform where we actually stand.

3.4 Free Trade and Migration

We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.

Where does Gary Johnson stand on the issue? Well here is his stance from his website:

Having served as Governor of a border state, Gary Johnson knows the complex issues associated with immigration reform first hand. Solving immigration problems is not as easy as building a wall or simply offering amnesty.

We should appreciate and respect the diversity of immigrants that come to the United States to be productive members of society. But we also need to recognize that everyone who comes here is not so well-intentioned.

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld don’t want to build an expensive and useless wall. The only thing a big wall will do is increase the size of the ladders, the depth of the tunnels, and the width of the divisions between us.

Candidates who say they want to militarize the border, build fences, and impose punitive measures on good people, ground their position in popular rhetoric, not practical solutions.

Governors Johnson and Weld believe that, instead of appealing to emotions and demonizing immigrants, we should focus on creating a more efficient system of providing work visas, conducting background checks, and incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment, and otherwise assimilate with our diverse society.

Making it simpler and more efficient to enter the United States legally will provide greater security than a wall by allowing law enforcement to focus on those who threaten our country, not those who want to be a part of it.

Certainly doesn’t sound like amnesty to me. It only takes simple research to find out where actual stances exist instead of misinforming people.

Pro open borders

Are open borders a bad thing? No. Liberty actually transcends the lines we draw in the sand. In the Declaration of Independence it states that “All men are created equal…” It doesn’t say you have to be born in a certain area. Libertarian philosophy transcends borders. It fosters the belief that everyone is born free, that no man has power over another.

The root of libertarianism in the non-aggression principle. This includes blocking free movement of people.

Pro jihad resettlement in the USA

This is where the author really goes off the deep end on this bit of misinformation towardswp-1460868613314.jpg Gary Johnson. At no point does Governor Johnson state that he is “pro jihad.” This is exactly the type of scare tactic that has been being used by Republicans to cause hate.

The fact of the matter is that there are people in Syria who are facing death every day. I will not pretend to know what would be required for the vetting for entry, and while generally libertarians don’t believe in intervening, a human crisis where we might be able to help some people escape the daily horror they face would be one of the times where it would be acceptable to at least this libertarian.

Up-Arrow-Money-ChartPro free trade with communist regimes

How do you help people in poverty around the world? You do so by eliminating the barriers we erect. The people who live in these nations are not enemies to liberty. They are families with no options, and we would restrict their ability to make a difference in their lives for the better? The only harm that comes from trade embargos are for the innocent people forced to live under systems of oppression. Oppressing them further serves no purpose. The evil still thrives in those regimes, and their control is stronger because there is no mobility. Free trade includes everyone and would foster relationships with people who committed no offense against us. Truly free and open trade is 100% a libertarian position, and is within the scope f the libertarian platform as well.

3.4 Free Trade and Migration

We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.

What is wrong with this position? Nothing.

Pro unrestricted abortion

The author attempts to state a position Governor Johnson does not take in his article. Further, libertarians actually fall on both sides of the spectrum of abortion. This is a debate that is difficult no matter what side you are on, but to set the record straight for Governor Johnson, as well as the official libertarian stance on the issue, evidence is provided amply throughout the internet.

An interview with David Scheff in Playboy Magazine in 2011 states this position on abortion from Governor Johnson:

Q: Where do you stand on abortion rights?

A: It should be left up to the woman. If my daughter were pregnant and she came to me and asked me what she ought to do, I would advise her to have the child. But I would not for a minute pretend that I should make that decision for her or any other woman.

Q: But you have supported legislation that requires parental consent and signed a ban on partial birth abortions.

A: I think the decision can be made at an earlier stage. That’s why I don’t support partial birth abortions. I realize it’s a fine line, but I generally come down on a woman’s right to decide.

Q: Do you disagree that parental consent is problematic for teenagers who can’t talk to their parents?

A: I believe that parents ought to know. Where that can’t occur, there needs to be a process in place, which we have in New Mexico.

There’s strike one on the lies told by this author about unrestricted access. But it continues with the governor’s record. During the GOP Primary Debate on Ma 5th, 2011, located in South Carolina, Governor Johnson had the following exchange:

Q: Most Republicans and everyone else on the stage but you identified themselves as pro-life; you have said that abortion should be legal until the fetus is viable. How do you hope to woo conservative GOP voters with that position?

JOHNSON: I support a woman’s right to choose up until viability of the fetus, as governor of New Mexico, I would have signed a bill banning late term abortion, I’ve always favored parental notification, I’ve always favored counseling and I’ve always favored the notion that public funds should not be used for abortion. So running for Governor of New Mexico in a state that was 2:1 Democrat, I really didn’t get that vote in the primary, but I’d like to think that I got all of those votes in the general election and that’s a reality here also, for those individuals that hold that as their number one issue, I’m not going to get that vote, I would hope to get that vote if I were to move on to the general election.

That makes strike two for the author. Could there have been more? As a matter of fact there is. Another interview by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine , Jun 15, 2011 has the following exchange:

Q: You have unorthodox takes, for a member of the GOP, on abortion.

A: I support women’s rights to choose up until viability of the fetus. I’ve supported the notion of parental notification. I’ve supported counseling and I’ve supported the notion that public funds not be used for abortions. But I don’t want for a second to pretend that I have a better idea of how a woman should choose when it comes to this situation. Fundamentally this is a choice that a woman should have.

Strike three already, so the author is out. It continues with this throughout Governor Johnson’s record on the issue. Governor Johnson also believes that insurance companies shouldn’t be mandated to provide contraceptives and that the government shouldn’t fund abortion. Each of these can easily be found.

To the point of where the Libertarian Party stands on the issue, we have the following to say:

1.5 Abortion

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

We fall on people to make informed decisions. It is a very difficult decision, and it isn’t the role of government to determine this course.

Pro affirmative action

Once again, the author chooses a stance that is false about the record for Governor Johnson. What does the Governor believe about affirmative action? Like the Libertarian Party, we believe in a meritocracy. A place where you rise or fall based on your personal performance regardless of your sexual orientation, gender, religion, or skin pigmentation. You don’t have to take my word for it, however. In the 1998 New Mexico National Political Awareness Test taken November 1, 1998, Governor Johnson answered the following:

Indicate the principles you support concerning affirmative action. Should state government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following sectors: College and university admissions?

A: No.

Q: Public employment?

A: No.

Q: State contracting?

A: No.

And the Libertarian Party agrees:

3.5 Rights and Discrimination

Libertarians embrace the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights. We reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that “right.” We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts and other free-market solutions.

Pro same-sex marriage

Libertarians are less pro same-sex marriage and more in line with removing government from the equation of determining what people decide to do as consenting adults. It is none of our business. However, since people who are in same-sex relations were being denied the equal treatment of the law, we support the current status where they are now allowed to marry, while continuing to advocate for the separation of marriage and state.

Liberty is choosing your life and your pursuit of happiness.

Pro separation of church and state

The author here is attempting to convey that the governor is somehow against religion. This is not the case. As a matter of fact, once again, ample evidence shows that Governor Johnson falls on the side of choosing for yourself. America is a melting pot with more religions than imaginable. Where all libertarians stand is that you are free to worship as you choose, so long as you don’t force it on others.

Soft on crime

Most crimes are victimless. We do not advocate for throwing people’s lives away for choices that involve consent or their own bodies. I have already shared the platform planks, and feel they do not need to be repeated. We are not soft on crime. We are just only interested in prosecuting things like rape, murder, burglary, and robbery. Crimes with victims.

Anti-death penalty for violent offenders

With the error rates in convictions, estimated to be at 4.1%, we would rather not kill innocent people. It is not the job of government to take life, and as a party we have also passed a new platform position that matches this.

1.8 Death Penalty

We oppose the administration of the death penalty by the state.

The government should not be the ones determining who lives and dies. Especially when 4 out of every 100 that have been determined so far, will have committed no actual crime.

Anti-military

Another lie from this author. As a matter of fact, for a claim of him being anti-military, he is polling higher than both the Republican and Democrat candidates among active duty military. 38.7% average, a full 8 points ahead of Donald trump and 24 points ahead of Hillary Clinton. Why would the military be backing him in such high percentages? I would say it is his military and veteran policies. Again, you don’t have to trust my word for it, take the words of the governor and the Libertarian Party for what they are.

Q: Libertarians are seen as isolationists. Where do you see a role for U.S. military in the world?

JOHNSON: If we are attacked, we’re going to attack back. And you can certainly argue that we have been attacked by ISIS, but let’s involve Congress also in this process. Congress has abdicated to the president and to the military–we find ourselves in these conflicts without an open debate and discussion on how we should move forward. We’re obligated to defend borders in other countries that have not been negotiated through Congress, either.

Q: But if we have been attacked by ISIS, then how can you not be involved in Syria, which is obviously a big swath of the Levant, where ISIS has its stronghold? How do you stay out of there?

JOHNSON: Well, because of our intervention, ISIS has grown as a result. I mean, you had Assad against ISIS, and now you take out–you know, we decided to go against Assad, and that’s ISIS. So, you know, is that now our new ally?

Maybe they see things like this where he is actually taking reasonable action instead of promising to send them anywhere for any reason like most presidents of the past. This page is called Marine Vet For Freedom, I’m a Marine Veteran, and I am done with wars that don’t defend our nation. I didn’t sign up to invade other countries. Lots of us feel the same way.

As for the Libertarian Party on the military?

3.1 National Defense

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. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.

Anti-national security

Anti national security, another lie from this author, as was demonstrated already with the party stance on national defense. So what does Gary Johnson say?

From his website it states this about national security:

The objective of both our foreign policy and our military should be straightforward: To protect us from harm and to allow the exercise of our freedoms.

Looking back over the past couple of decades, it is difficult to see how the wars we have waged, the interventions we have conducted, the lives sacrificed and the trillions spent on the other side of the globe have made us safer. The chaotic, reactive military and foreign policies of the past two Presidents have, if anything, created an environment that has allowed real threats to our safety to flourish.

As President, Gary Johnson will move quickly and decisively to refocus U.S. efforts and resources to attack the real threats we face in a strategic, thoughtful way. The U.S. must get serious about cutting off the millions of dollars that are flowing into the extremists’ coffers every day. Relationships with strategic allies must be repaired and reinforced.

Pro isolationism

This one is the most hilarious claim, and gladly the best was saved for last from this author. The author claims that the Governor is pro isolationism, yet has also claimed that we want open trade & borders, stated he is pro-trade with communist regimes, and wants to bring Syrian refugees into the U.S. If he were isolationist, he wouldn’t do the others. So which is it? The fact of the matter is the attacks against libertarians are going to continue from the right-left adherents because we are a threat to the powers that be.

I’m not the biggest fan of Gary Johnson, and have been critical of him on several things. However, I am not going to lie about him, nor am I going to bash someone who is clearly the best choice of the slate currently available. When the Johnson/Weld ticket cross my line fully, you’ll hear it from me, but for now they are the most liberty minded ticket available to us.

Remember that libertarianism is neither left nor right. We merely believe that people should be free to seize their own lives and do what works best for them. As long as governments exist, we will always believe their only use is to support policies that protect life, liberty, and justly acquired property. Aside from that, it honestly isn’t anyone else’s business.

In Response to The Progressive

LP_EagleflameIn an article posted on August 31st, 2016, writer Bill Lueders wrote a hit piece against the Libertarian Party titled Do Libertarian Converts Know What the Party Stands For?  To set the record straight with the truth, here is my response:

The first thing of critique is this quote:

Johnson, who garnered 1 percent of the vote when he ran for President in 2012, is the former governor of New Mexico. His running mate, William Weld, is the former governor of Massachusetts. Both are enjoying unparalleled political attention and success, with roughly 9 percent of the public now planning to vote Libertarian.

But probably many of these people are largely unaware of the party’s positions.

That’s in part because the Libertarian Party’s rising fortunes in the current presidential sweepstakes have little to do with the Libertarian Party. Rather, they reflect a greater-than usual degree of popular dissatisfaction with the candidates being offered by the Democratic and Republican parties.

First, in the top five polls being considered for inclusion in the debates, Gary Johnson currently sits with an average of 10%, but that isn’t the meat and potatoes to point out. The biggest slam is actually not against the party or candidate, but against the people currently supporting their new found home. The writer assumes that the people supporting Johnson and the Libertarian Party are “unaware” of what we stand for.

If that were truly the case, I guess that means that the surges of people looking up who Gary Johnson is and searching for Libertarian candidates on sights like Google should just be ignored. I suppose we should also ignore the record viewing being set when he is on the television. There is also the fact that for the media is actually inviting the Libertarian ticket to be interviewed far more than ever in Party history. I suppose the author believes that no one is paying attention to the news; that you are ignorant and just hating on Trump and Clinton.

The author further doesn’t mention that there are other candidates that people are paying attention to with Darrell Castle and Jill Stein. Both also polling higher than normal. Even Ed McMullin, the long shot independent candidate from Utah is getting press. In spite of this, Governor Johnson has separated from the other candidates to become a realistically viable choice.

The next quote to note, that the author didn’t fully research is in regards to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Johnson backs the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that Trump, Clinton and Green Party candidate Jill Stein all vow to reject.

The truth is that Bill Weld, his running mate is really the one lauding the agreement. Gary Johnson, however, had this to say in an interview  with Glenn Thrush he did on June 6th, 2016 about the TPP:

Well, first of all, NAFTA. Would I have signed it or not? My skepticism says that maybe I wouldn’t have signed it, because these trade agreements are just laden with crony capitalism. Would I have signed or implemented the Trans-Pacific Partnership? I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s laden with crony capitalism. Free market really is the answer. It’s the answer to unifying the whole planet, in my opinion, and if China wants to subsidize the goods that it sells to the United States, who benefits from that? Well, we do. And at the end of the day, who pays for any sort of tariffs? We do.

So free trade, genuine free trade, that’s another one of Trump’s–you know, hey, he says “I’m all for free trade” but then, in the next sentence, he says, “I’m going to force Apple to make their iPads and their iPhones in the United States.” Hm, that sounds really free trade to me.

In another quote from a CNN interview that aired July 3rd, 2016 he talks a little wp-1460868578585.jpgoptimistically about the bill, simply based on what he has learned so far, but also remains skeptical due to cronyism that runs rampant in bills like these.

I am a real skeptic when it comes to these trade agreements that, in fact, these trade agreements can be laden with crony capitalism. But based on people that have been advising me that I hold in very high esteem, I am being told that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would, in fact, advance free trade, and so I would support that document.

The devil is in the details, though, and for the most part legislation that passes really promotes crony capitalism, promotes those that have money as opposed to a level playing field for everybody. So I am a skeptic, but based on what I know, I would sign TPP.

Moving on from the TPP, the next statement to take issue with is where the author forgets how to research for a retraction, or intentionally left out the part where Governor Johnson walked back comments on “burqa banning.”

And finally, while Libertarians purport to be all about personal liberty, there are some limits to their tolerance, as when Johnson told the Libertarian magazine Reason that he would ban the wearing of burqas in the United States. One reason he gave is that these make it harder to see when Muslim women are beaten.

While it is true that the initial comments made were in line with this, after hearing from Libertarians like Will Coley within the Muslim community, he has since become more educated on Islam, and offered this statement:

In an interview with Reason Wednesday, I was asked about a ban on women wearing burqas. The question came in a discussion of Sharia law and its incompatibility with the fundamental tenets of liberty. I answered the question in the context of the fact that, under Sharia law, women have no choice but to wear the burqa, and live under a system of law that not only allows, but condones, abuse of women. In that context, I stated that banning the full-face burqa, as was done in France, would be a reasonable step toward preventing signs of abuse from being hidden. My response was not about telling women what they can and cannot wear, but about protecting them from harm under a brutal ideology under which women have nothing resembling equal rights.

However, having had time to consider, my response was wrong. As with many well-intentioned ideas, a government-imposed ban on full-face coverings would have unintended consequences and likely result in government overreach. As governor, I vetoed many such well-intended laws, and on reflection, would in fact veto a government ban on full face burqas. While the law must provide protection for women from abuse, it is clear that banning face veils wouldn’t work, and would be impossible to enforce without infringing on basic rights.

Sharia law is incompatible with the freedoms upon which America is founded, and it must not be overlooked that, under Sharia ideology, women have no rights, and are certainly not free to dress as they wish. Imposing such a system on women under some guise of freedom of religion or expression is not acceptable under any notion of liberty. On that point I am firm. But a government ban on an item of clothing might well have the consequence of restricting, not protecting, freedom.

LiberporcThis quote was sent to the same Reason Magazine that interviewed him the first go around.

Those are the real big fallacies I found in the author’s evaluation of Gary Johnson. The real cringe worthy reporting is where things take a turn of selective pasting.

The first part he wrote on self-defense is as such:

  • Self defense: “Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.”

The Libertarian Platform, however, states this:

The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights—life, liberty, and justly acquired property—against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.

This is not what the author tries to portray. He is essentially saying that we should just allow anyone to have firearms, while ignoring the part where the only legitimate use of force is in defense. This is whether you have a firearm or not. We believe that those who violate the rights of others should be prosecuted. We do not advocate any type of threats or aggression. Had the author included that, you would have known that we do not advocate violence, which is one of the most important parts of this plank.

The next part to have a gripe with is this quotation:

Energy policy: “While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.”

While he is citing the clause correctly, he is doing so out of a want of promoting green energy. What he fails to mention is the fact that we oppose all forms of subsidies, including the ones that progressives want to be rid of: those on fossil fuels. We would be natural allies if the author would look to what it really means. If big oil weren’t given such advantages in the cronyist system that currently exists, green technology would overtake it in the market. Fossil fuels are only surviving because of sweetheart deals.

The next problem the author really has is our position on unions. He cited this:

  • Union membership: “We favor repealing any requirement that one must join or pay dues to a union as a condition of government employment.”

It is meant to look like we do not support unions at all, however, the Libertarian Party platform actually has this to say:

2.5 Government Employees

We favor repealing any requirement that one must join or pay dues to a union as a condition of government employment. We advocate replacing defined-benefit pensions with defined-contribution plans, as are commonly offered in the private sector, so as not to impose debt on future generations without their consent.

Note that this is only directed at government employees, but it gets better because the Party also covers private unions in a separate plank he conveniently left out:

2.8 Labor Markets

Employment and compensation agreements between private employers and employees are outside the scope of government, and these contracts should not be encumbered by government-mandated benefits or social engineering. We support the right of private employers and employees to choose whether or not to bargain with each other through a labor union. Bargaining should be free of government interference, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain.

We do not oppose unions in the least. This is a private agreement between parties that the government doesn’t need to take part in. You have every right to associate as you feel, and you have the right to attempt to bargain collectively. This is a voluntary contract entered into, so we have no issues with it in the least. Many Libertarians even advocate for people to join unions and are members of unions themselves.

This next one is puzzling, and it isn’t clear what the author is trying to get at, but again, he leaves out the majority of the plank on Healthcare:

Health care: We favor a free-market health care system. . . . People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.”

The plank in its entirety actually states:

2.10 Health Care

We favor a free-market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.

The important part of this is that we advocate for freedom of choice in what a person want for their healthcare needs.

The author cherry picks a lot in his critique of the Libertarian Party, and it is something he may want to brush up on. Luckily the truth can be found quite easily. The Republicans and Democrats have been trying for years to misinform the public about libertarians. Why? Because we are the fastest growing party and political machines like to keep their power.