Tag Archives: Libertarian

Yes, There is a New President

505545764-republican-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-delivers-jpg-crop-promo-xlarge2No the world is not going to end.

As a libertarian, I have the point of view of never really getting what I would like to see elected to any significant office, and we are likely still years away from seeing even a member of the U.S. House come from the Libertarian Party. As such, I have seen that it doesn’t matter who occupies the White House. Things over the last several presidents have stayed roughly the same.

It is true that economic and civil liberties are just as likely to erode as they did when President Obama was in office, and President Bush before him. The main object of people in power seems to be that they wish to continue to consolidate that power.

Many of you who are on the left are starting to feel what people like me feel every day. The lesson from this is not to grow government when you have the reins, because someday, the other side will end up getting the seat that you grew. The power and abuses you ignored under President Obama are now under a different banner. The sad thing is that the Republicans who spent the last eight years bemoaning the power of the President under Obama, will now work to consolidate it under President Trump.

This cycle repeats regularly. It takes stepping back and looking over a much longer scope of history to see this. It really does require to look at more than a single presidency or even the last couple.  You need to look over the span of generations and it requires you to approach it in a different way. You need to approach things as objectively as possible to see the power pendulum swinging. You have to look at the reactions and bias of the groups on both ends as the transfer of power takes place.

I didn’t always see things this way. I used to be a Republican who would do this same cycle I speak of. Only talking about Democrats being bad and excusing things Republicans did. It took me going to war in Iraq to wake up and see that Republicans aren’t exactly freedom loving or economically inclined. I personally hope that you don’t have to wait for something as drastic as going to war to see the writing on the wall of the need for power to be limited, not grown, in government.

I invite you to seriously consider looking at things in a different way. People like me are available to answer questions all over the internet and the nation. We know what you are feeling and we know ways to help make things better in the future. We have an opportunity to build things together. Ignore the people who are trying to tell you to riot or burn things down. They are just as power hungry as any other politician. Peaceful protests are more than fine, but we need to build, not destroy.

We are going to get through this if we are willing to work together in spite of government. We can bring about a more voluntary and loving society if we ignore the rhetoric and push to improve our lives and the lives around us. Our communities are where we make a difference. One man doesn’t change that. You have all the power required.

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.

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.

Down Ticket Matters Too

LP_EagleflameRecently, among many Libertarian Party groups I associate with online and off, I have heard many complaints about our top ticket candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. While I certainly agree that there are some valid concerns and issues raised, some individuals have spent a large majority of their time doing nothing more than attacking the top ticket.

I do appreciate dissent, and we should all be willing to declare our lines that should never be crossed. It is one thing that the Libertarian Party has done for the most part as the Party of Principle. We will call out candidates that are wrong.  However, this focus of non stop attacks is not serving the party well. Voice your dissent and move on is the best way to handle the disagreement. I have even voiced my disagreement on my various outlets, but then I move on and get back to work for down ticket candidates, including myself.

One of the legitimate arguments that was brought in for support of Gary Johnson was that other candidates, though more consistent in their application of libertarian philosophy, was that he was the most experienced candidate available to carry the banner at the top of the ticket. It is hard when you compare the experience of a two term governor and self made millionaire to what was on the debate stage with him at convention. Only one other candidate on the stage in Orlando had the credibility and ability to get media, and that was John McAfee, who was a multi-national businessman.

So now is the time to stop focusing so much time on the blunders and start focusing on the candidates down ticket to get elected and into debates. You want to have a strong base going forward over the next four years, so that when we have the next go around, we have those more principled individuals with more credibility to their resume. We have around 100 candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, several gubernatorial candidates, a myriad of state legislative candidates, and plenty of those running for county and municipal races on the Libertarian ticket.  If the people who spent as much time attacking Gary Johnson and Bill Weld went and spent that time promoting and volunteering for those locals, we would see many gains this year, as there is already a much larger interest in what we are saying this year ever since Trump and Clinton, two of the worst candidates possible for Democrats and Republicans, have driven people to seek other options.

We need to direct those people to looking into the people we have available for them to vote for at all levels of government. We’ve been plotting to take over the world and leave everyone alone, but we will only be able to do that if we actually start making headway in other races.

If you are one of the individuals focusing your time on Johnson or Weld in the negative and reading this, I implore you to stand up for the people who need your help. Doors are not going to be answered if no one is there to knock, flyers do not hand out themselves, letters to the editor must be written and submitted, phone calls aren’t made without someone to dial.

We have enough people in the party, and those that agree with us, that if we all went to work for the down ticket, we would no longer be considered a minor party. We would become the most legitimate threat to the two party system and start to dismantle the barriers to liberty.

The choice is yours on how to spend your time, but this is my two cents on the matter.

A Libertarian Day Out

10653518_639801622785119_256797751595299941_nYesterday was one of the busiest days I have had on the campaign trail. It all started with setting up for an event in Ogden for the Pride Festival. We had a booth set up to do some outreach on behalf of the Libertarian Party in Utah. After set up,  I headed out to join in a rally for Governor Gary Johnson, this is where things started to get really interesting for me. As a person heavily involved with Utah’s Libertarian Party, I was afforded the opportunity to head back into the Green Room to get some words in with the media and also be with the two former Governors who are the top ticket.

During the time back there, I was able to speak with Governor Bill Weld at some length, and I was glad to have that opportunity. As many of you in libertarian circles know, I have13873127_10208882314609380_8510925225473331989_n been critical of Bill Weld’s past as Governor of Massachusetts. Speaking with him directly has given me the chance to see things from him in a different light, and I can see that he isn’t the same person now he was then. I’ve always prided myself on being able to judge a person’s character when I am able to meet with them, and Governor Weld was being very honest with his answers to me. I still don’t agree with everything, but I never have agreed 100% with every candidate who has run to represent me. The areas that matter most to me, he is on the right side of the issues.

One of the highlights of our conversation, after it turned from political issues, was laughing about how fast our shoes have been wearing out on the campaign trail. It was a very human moment, and something I don’t think I will forget.

13770333_10157325731435381_144355872572393718_nShortly after this, I joined in with the rally to listen to the speakers chosen, including Barry Short, Mark Madsen, and of course, the two Governors. It is definitely looking like Utah may be the place for a state to turn Gold. The crowd numbered between 1200 and 1800 from estimates given, which marks it as the largest libertarian gathering in Utah’s history.

This trend continued as I traveled back to Utah to finish out the day manning the booth at the Ogden Pride Festival. I have to say that in all my years volunteering to help with events like these for the party in Utah, I have never seen such a huge response from people asking questions, taking information, and saying they plan to vote libertarian this election.

Nearly all the material that was brought was handed out and several new libertarians pledged to support our nominees this year. We also were approached by the candidate 13942248_127464721029647_989434929_nrunning for the U.S. Senate in Utah, Misty Snow, where we had a great conversation about civil liberties. She seems to have a pretty good head on her shoulders, and I sincerely wish her the best of luck in her efforts; it’s not easy stepping up to run for office. She definitely seems like someone I would be able to work with on several issues that affect Utah, like dismantling the Draper NSA facility.

The best part of the evening was discovering the booth next to us featuring Even Stevens, a sandwich company in Utah. This company has the Libertarian solution to “who’s going to take care of the poor” question we are often asked. Essentially what this sandwich shop does is to donate one sandwich to a charity for every sandwich you buy. They do this without government mandates or interference. They do it because they care about the people who need some help.

I am certainly excited for what has been happening in Utah, and every day that passes I feel we are getting close to being included in the 1st District Debates. That is one thing I would sincerely ask for you all to donate what you are able as we start doing our Top of Utah Tour this week. Just head to www.Craig4Congress.org and give your best donation.

We are getting so close to changing the landscape of politics, and Utah is the place for it to happen.

The Libertarian Party Convention – My Take

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you know me to be downright

LP_Eagleflame

To learn more about the Libertarian Party go to http://www.lp.org or call 1-800-ELECT US

blunt in my positions. I am not someone who is afraid to tell the truth, and I am not going to hold anything back.

 

I am honestly aghast at how the more radical elements of the Libertarian Party were treated the weekend. I am a member of the radical caucus myself, and I would say pretty close, if not fully, an anarchist. What I personally witnessed caused me to have to step out more than once during the convention.

While there will be some disagreement between the anarchist and mincarchist elements of the Party, there were several times where it went from slightly disagreeable to outright hostility.

This is not to say anarchists are without flaws, as one of the more radical members of the party majorly embarrassed the party with his display on stage doing a strip tease. There was no respect whatsoever in what that individual did, and it makes our movement look ridiculous.  We are trying to create a better way for the American people, but doing things like stripping on stage is not going to help you in the least.

For those who don’t know as much about the more radical elements of libertarianism, it

13322133_10157028976370381_9089393737354678863_n

Over 250 media credentials were issued for the 2016 Convention.

really boils down to two principles: self ownership and the principle of non-initiation of aggression. It literally is about as libertarian as you can get, as the smallest form of governing, is when you are fully allowed to govern yourself.

 

More than once, we were called fools, purists, stupid, and other names as arguments were brought to the floor in opposition or support of various platform changes. Out of every proposal, the only one that really set a new standard that anarchists/radicals seem to agree with is that the Libertarian Party has added a new plank that opposes the administration of the death penalty

That new plank makes it clear where we stand as a Party, and I am glad we were at least able to get this done. Another bright light that came of convention was the election of Caryn Ann Harlos, a fellow member of the Radical Caucus, to be the Region 1 Representative of the National Committee. This was by and large the greatest choice to represent the West (minus California, who has their own Region).

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Outside of business measures as a delegate, things were far better with the amount of educational seminars, motivational speeches, and togetherness in various hospitality suites.  I did enjoy being able to see so many people who were advocates of more liberty. I was able to speak one on one with John McAfee, Adam Kokesh, Darryle Perry, Shawna Sterling, Larry Sharpe, Austin Petersen, and just about everyone I am friends with on social media that I got to meet for the first time face to face. It took a minute to recognize a few of you, but definitely great to finally put names to faces.

 

The one thing that was clear throughout the convention is that pragmatism was more important to the majority than principle adherence. Gary Johnson and Bill Will, both former serving Republican Governors, were selected as the Presidential and Vice

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With Kerry Douglas McKennon, Candidate for Vice President

Presidential nominees after two rounds of voting each.  Gary Johnson won with 55% of the voting delegates, Bill Weld receiving 50.5% of the delegates, barely meeting the threshold.

 

I personally am not overly excited about either nominee, but will be helping every candidate at every level I can, and also working with John McAfee’s #VoteDifferent Initiative to unsure that I do what I can to help all down ticket races in the Libertarian Party get some wins. This will be the majority of my focus outside of my own race for Utah’s 1st Congressional District.

It was certainly a lot of fun to be there, but I am worried about the massive compromises that have been made, especially with appointing Gov. William Weld. There is nothing more I can do, but I do want you to know that I did cast my delegate vote in favor of principles.

I do ask that everyone get out an keep educating the nation about our local, state, and federal candidates who can better articulate the philosophy of freedom. We may not be former governors, but at one point, neither were they.

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With Austin Petersen, Candidate for President

I would also like to thank all the other candidates who ran, but especially Austin Petersen. He and I have butted heads since he declared in July of 2015. When meeting him face to face he was beyond cordial and he stuck to his principles, though I may agree with some of them. He was the most consistent of the candidates. I like to think that I am able to see character once I look someone in the eye, and I can tell you that Austin is the most genuine out of everyone I met (though John McAfee isn’t far behind). Once you get him one on one and the bumper sticker soundbite is gone, he is far better than I ever gave him credit for.

 

I hope that all the candidates who weren’t selected continue to work toward the greater liberty that we all seek. I know most will stand tall, but some of them are seemingly in the mood to “take their ball and go home” in mentality.  I had hoped that we could put things aside and work together so that we can actually make a difference. I will be available to answer questions anyone may have at Craig_Bowden@Craig4Congress.org.

I will also be releasing the Winning strategies video once I can get home and have some time to unpack.

One Week Until History Is Written

LP_EagleflameA historic opportunity has been given to the Libertarian Party this election year.  2016 has produced  two of the most disliked candidates from the Democrat and Republican Parties. On the one hand is Donald Trump, a candidate who changes his mind on where stands more often than most people bathe. On the other hand is Hillary Clinton, a known liar, riddled with scandals beyond compare. Mr. Trump should be in an asylum for his split personalities, and Mrs. Clinton in a federal penitentiary for breaking the law. Yet, many people say we must choose between these two horrible options. But do we?

The answer to that question is no. We don’t have to accept the choice of being shot or stabbed. We can choose to vote for the Libertarian Party nominee in November.

The Libertarian National Convention, taking place from May 26-30 at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida, will choose a nominee that the American people can get behind. A candidate that espouses liberty, economic freedom, and social acceptance of all the varieties of people that exist in the world. In the pre-convention process, three candidates have emerged as the front runners in the Libertarian Party, and all three offer far more than what the two-party system is giving us.

wp-1460868578585.jpgFormer Governor Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson brings in a very pragmatic approach to every man, woman, and child in America. He brings experience to the table as a two term Governor of New Mexico, CEO of Sativa, and building up a one man handyman business to being one of the largest construction companies in New Mexico. As the 2012 nominee for the Libertarian Party, he was able to break old records and garner over 1.2 million votes in the General Election.

Unlike other Republicans who tried using the Party’s ballot access, then leave after losing the election, running back to the Republican Party, Governor Johnson has stuck around.  He has been instrumental in the ballot access fights and the fight for inclusion in the Presidential Debates for third parties.

His brand of libertarianism may certainly be easier to swallow for the American people who have yet to embrace what libertarian philosophy has to offer. Combined with his experience governing, he is certainly a choice that would be palatable to the majority of the United States.

wp-1460945117493.jpgCyber Security Titan John McAfee

Already a household name by a great number of Americans, John McAfee joined the fray in the Libertarian Party to bring new approaches to expanding liberty. While new to the Libertarian Party, Mr. McAfee has made a life living in freedom and refusing government corruption.

He brings with him an intimate knowledge of cyber-security threats that very well could be facing our nation. The battlefield is becoming more technology oriented, and is waged with keyboards instead of rifles. Having the unique perspective John has is an asset to an administration in this century.

He and his team are also putting together one of the greatest movements the Libertarian Party has ever had. The project called #VoteDifferent is all about offering America a better choice at every level of office. He is helping with tools, resources, and exposure not before seen by many candidates seeking office on a third party ticket. This kind of project is exactly what the party, and America, needs leading into 2018 and 2020.

austin-petersen-600x400Young and Passionate Austin Petersen

Austin Petersen is the best of the grassroots, ground game candidates in the 2016 election. With far fewer resources and little name recognition in the beginning of the season, he has become a powerhouse, especially in social media.

He brings with him experience from FreedomWorks, the Ron Paul campaign, Outreach Coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and helping produce Judge Napalitano’s show on Fox Business. He may be young, but throughout the campaign has become very articulate, relatable, and more consistent as the time has gone on.

He may be young, but he brings passion with him that has otherwise been very lacking in previous nominees. This passion makes him far easier to follow and support, since most people want to get behind someone who will real bring a fight, and Austin looks like he will be more than ready to take the gloves off if the time comes.

Regardless of who the delegates choose in one week, the candidate selected will be a far better choice than what is offered. It is important to look to the principles of the candidates and not just who get them most media time. The mainstream may try to say that a vote for one of these three men may be wasted, but in all reality, you are only wasting your vote if you aren’t voting for something you believe in.

Marine Vet for Freedom will be on site at the Libertarian Party Convention, and we will report all results as they happen. So stay tuned for the announcement of the next President of the United States after the votes are tallied on May 29th.

 

Time to Unify

LP_EagleflameOne of the constant challenges faced within the Libertarian Party goes beyond the election cycles, selecting candidates, or running for office. The biggest challenge I believe we have is the way that certain factions tend to fight.  Anarchists versus Minarchists, big tent versus philosophy centric, winning versus educating. It is something that has certainly hit us with the 2016 election, where it could be said that we are nearly in a non-violent civil war.

It has gotten to the point where certain groups are calling for the expulsion of others, and this is why this article is being written. To hopefully add voice to the fact that without each other, there is no way to get to where government can be limited.

The Libertarian Party is the only party that has spoken up consistently against waste, fraud, corruption, and abuse. It has been the only voice championing liberty, even when it wasn’t popular. Since its inception in 1971, the Libertarian Party has given voice to hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised people in America.

The ultimate goal of all libertarians is to move in a direction of more liberty, and we should be doing so in as large a manner as possible. If a bill introduced falls short of the goal, we should accept the step and then push to continue moving towards abolition. We cannot cut off our noses to spite our face.

It feels like the many sides of libertarian believe they are the only ones who can do this, not recognizing that we all need each other in order to bring about anything even close to what our goals are. The purity test, the exclusion of anarchists by minarchists; we are fast becoming our own worst enemy.

It seems that many are forgetting the alliance set by the Dallas Accord to make sure that we can eventually obtain a more ideal world. That union is what keeps the Libertarian Party centered on principles (as the more radical elements provide a check and balance to the party being overrun), and the more minarchist elements are able to reach out to the people who aren’t quite ready for radicalism.

We need to recognize that without this alliance, the Libertarian Party goes nowhere. Radicals and minarchists need each other. Now is the time for us to really push as 2016 has afforded us the unique opportunity to contrast the two party system. We cannot afford to fight about what a “real” libertarian is.  We need to utilize each other to build and grow like never before.

 

 

Top 5 Reason Libertarians Shouldn’t Support Donald Trump

donald-trumpA lot of individuals on social media have been trying to make a libertarian case for Donald Trump. The worst part of it is that several self-proclaimed libertarians are getting into the pro-Trump movement, and trying to bring us back into the lesser evils argument.

So here are my top ten reasons why no libertarian should support Donald Trump as President of the United States:

  1. Donald Trump has called for war crimes in public. In an interview on Fox & Friends, Candidate Trump had the following words on how to handle the problem with ISIS in the Middle East. “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.” As libertarians, we do not believe in killing innocent people, and we do not condone murdering people based on the crimes or atrocities that may have been committed by a family member.
  2. Mr. Trump favors eminent domain.  While some argument might be made in defense of eminent domain when discussing something like roads, Mr. Trump has used the force of government to utilize eminent domain for personal profit in his own business ventures.  Private property is one of the things that is considered a cornerstone of the American brand of libertarian philosophy. And even in the more left leaning circles of libertarian thought, land is held in the commons and not something that can just be taken for personal gain.
  3. The presidential candidate wants to shut down travel from Islamic nations, and build a wall preventing travel across the Southern border. Libertarians believe that part of a free society includes the ability to freely travel.  While some will disagree citing national security, what they fail to realize is that we wouldn’t be in half of the mess we are currently in if not for an interventionist foreign policy. We must also remember that if we trade liberty for security, eventually we will eventually have neither.
  4. Until Mr. Trump suddenly decided to become a Republican, he has been donating to politicians that have been implementing economic policies that have wrought havoc on cities, states, and the nation. This includes one of his opponents, Hillary Clinton, who he is quoted as saying she is a close friend, and in 2008 that there was no one more qualified to be President.
  5. It wasn’t until a few months ago that Donald Trump changed his tune on health care. While we can certainly agree that a person can change positions in what they believe, normally you can find a pivot point. However, with Mr. Trump running with the wind, there is never a demonstrated pivot, only him stating the popular opinion of the time.  So this would indicate that since no pivot can be demonstrated, he still would advocate for a single payer healthcare system, which is a bane as choices become limited, lines for treatment get longer, and we continue to further our national debt.

There are far more reasons to not support Donald Trump. These are enough for any libertarian to say no to him being selected as the leader of the nation.

Utah Libertarians Pick Candidates, Choose National Delegates for 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, the Libertarian Party of Utah held their annual convention to select candidates and choose delegates for the National Convention in May, where they will help select the nominee for President of the United States. This year’s turn out was possibly the largest in the state’s party history.

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It began, as all conventions, with credentialing attendees who were eligible to vote on candidates and party business items. The reason to bring this up is that it took far longer than normal to finish the process, as the line literally went out the door for the majority of the morning, even though credentialing started thirty minutes prior to the scheduled start.

In spite of the long lines and a late kick off, enthusiasm ran high as candidates prepped their final thought in their heads, and old friends shook hands. New faces were present as well, with several officially joining the Libertarian Party on the spot.

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Libertarian Party of Utah Chair Andrew McCullough

Party Chairman, Andrew McCullough, kicked things off with great news on the fiscal situation in the Utah party, as well as the record growth experienced in the last year. The party has been adding record number of concerned Utahans every month, which as reported, may have even tripled the size of the party.

There were of course the candidates up for nomination, and while a little smaller than 2014’s, looks to be one of the strongest seen based on the experience of the candidates who stepped up.

*Craig Bowden – U.S. House, 1st District
*Brian Kamerath/Barry Short – Governor/Lt. Governor
*Andrew McCullough – Utah Attorney General
*Jim Dexter – Utah State Senate, District 6
*Aaron Davis – Utah State House, District 6
*Joe Buchman – Utah State Senate, District 14
*Derryck Gordon – Utah State House, District 10
*Brent Zimmerman – Utah State House, District 16
*Chelsea Travis – Utah State House, District 35
*Lee Anne Walker – Utah State House, District 46

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State House candidate Derryck Gordon

On top of the selection of candidates for offices within Utah, the Libertarian group held a Presidential straw poll and chose delegates to head to the National Convention in May at the Rosen Centre in Orlando.

Results of the straw poll are as follows:
Gary Johnson – 33
Austin Petersen – 11
John McAfee – 10
Vermin Supreme – 4
Darryl Perry – 1

The candidates selected for the poll were based off those who had representation speak on their behalf.

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Charlynn Patterson, one of the selected delegates pitching why she should be chosen

This year, Utah was also able to select a full delegation of 8, with all 8 alternates chosen as well. Each person interested in becoming a delegate was able to speak for two minutes on why they should be selected.

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Former Mayor Willie Marshall

Former mayor Willie Marshall addressed the crowd on how to get elected as a Libertarian using his three rules of “Suit up, show up, and play the game.” It was amazing to have an example of triumph from an elected libertarian in Utah.

Utah Libertarians lastly selected their six electors in the event the Libertarian nominee wins the majority of votes in November.