Archives for category: Libertarian Party

UKIP
I pride myself on not being an ethnocentric  American. I have traveled the world and served in third World Countries. I studied Anthropology in college and keep myself abreast of most world events. But as we libertarians spout a return to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and balance of power in the government, we look at the world through our red, white and blue glasses with no view for understanding-myself included.
A case in point is our harsh judgment of UKIP (United Kingdom Independent Party) as libertarians. They are touted as the Libertarian party of the UK, yet most American libertarians when presented with their party platforms and listening to their speeches, give them a “thumbs down” in the Libertarian assessment pool. UKIP is making some huge strides in the political realm of Great Britain. Their membership has reached a whopping 28% in EU elections (where they recently won their first seats) and polling at 15% in the general elections. Its American counterpart polls around 8%. This is especially impressive considering UKIP is about 20 years younger than the US Libertarian Party.
The reality of my skewed interpretation of UKIP hit me between the eyes or, I suppose ears, recently as I listened to Robin Koerner of Blue Republican Radio as he interviewed the Chair of UKIP, Steven Crowther. http://dailypaulradio.com/ukip-libertarian-interview-stephen-crowther/
We, as Americans, measure liberty by our culture and our Americanized view of the world. Two of the measures of liberty we fight for are freedom to bear arms and free market health care. We view both of these as an important measure of limiting government and, therefore, important libertarian issues.
When presented with these issues Mr. Crowther could not comprehend them as an important libertarian issue. In the culture of the UK, a society free of weapons (even in the case of the police) and unlimited free health care, is a benevolent function of government. It was in his view almost revered.
Never mind the fact that more medical breakthroughs have happened thanks to the free market medical system of the US. There is also the American clichéd view of Brits not having straight white teeth like the American obsession due to their social medicine. Had the British soldier who was knifed to death by militant Islamists been armed, he wouldn’t have lost his life. But I digress back to my American paradigm.
In any case listening to Mr. Crowther’s confusion at Mr. Koerner’s insistence on the importance of these issues for liberty caused me to recognize my own bias and lack of understanding of the differences between us.
It also struck me that if we strive for liberty in all areas we may be like the lion in the circus, who when presented with the three legged stool, not knowing which one to focus on, is controlled by the trainer. Maybe, like UKIP, who focus on getting out of the EU and immigration reform, we can take a few key issues, that are most important to Americans-like privacy and decriminalizing drug use. Then we can win them over for Liberty and a better America.

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Gary JohnsonIn my blog Rhett Butler-Libertarian I discuss the Liberty Movement in America and how it crosses party lines.   There has been some interesting movement between the Libertarian Party with a capital “L” and those who espouse libertarian values with a small “l” in other political parties-particularly the Republican Party. Candidates who embrace the tenets of the Libertarian Party but feel that their chances for getting elected will be better in the “D” or “R” party are led like lambs to the slaughter within the Bi-partisan wolf packs of these parties.  This was evident in the 2012 presidential election in the way that Dr. Ron Paul was bypassed in the Republican Convention despite his popularity in the primaries.

As the results are finalized for the 2014 California Primary, once again Republican shenanigans have squelched the efforts of those candidates bearing the small “l” in their philosophies and political polices. Money was infused into the campaigns of the candidates who would maintain the status quo of the Republican political machine. In one district, it was evident that a candidate was purposely moved to the district to oppose the “libertarian” Republican opponent and thousands of dollars were given to his campaign by an “establishment” republican benefactor.  Libertarian ideals are dangerous, according to Governor Chris Christie  and the powers that be are eliminating the danger.  This was evident in several of the races in California.  The small “l” libertarians were shut down by their “own” Republican party.

I had the privilege of hearing from and meeting Governor Gary Johnson at the Washington State Libertarian Party Convention in Seattle, Washington on May 30-31, 2014.  I had the great honor of Governor Johnson allowing me to join him for breakfast at the hotel coffee shop for an individual conversation with him, as well. Gov. Johnson served as Governor of New Mexico under the Republican brand but ran for president as a Libertarian and continues to affiliate with the big “L” as he considers another shot at the White House in 2016.

After recently hearing the speech of small “l” Rand Paul at UC Berkeley, it was refreshing to hear from a true capital “L” Libertarian who not only espouses libertarian values but proudly wears the brand of the Libertarian Party.  Other candidates who are “lovers of liberty” would be better served by following Governor Johnson’s example by joining the party who will embrace and support them rather than the more powerful parties who will sabotage their efforts.

I was impressed by the charisma of Governor Johnson, something I had previously not seen in the small amount of media exposure that he received during the 2012 elections.

I loved his opening story about Big Boy the rapper from Outcast who was asked if he still experiences racism.  He said, ”Yes I was approached by a woman in an airport in California who said ‘ you must be happy that your guy won’( meaning Obama) I told her “b_ _ _ _, I voted for Gary Johnson!” This apparently has become a popular bumper sticker in Florida!

Here are some of the Libertarian Party’s Values and how Governor Johnson is a proponent of them:

Smaller Government:

-As Governor, Gary Johnson vetoed more bills than all of the 49 other governors combined

-Abolish the IRS, income tax and corporate tax- implement a national consumption tax and reduce govt by 25%

-use the consumption tax to fund Medicare and Medical

-Abolish the Federal Department of Education –for every 11 cents that the FDE gave to the state of New Mexico during his service it cost the state 16 cents to follow federal compliance rules.

-reduce term limits

Strengthen the Free Market

-School Choice Vouchers to promote Free Market competition to improve education

-insurance for catastrophic health care only to stimulate free market in health care

-create a level playing field where everyone has an equal shot at growing their businesses

Increase personal freedom

-Repeal the Patriot Act

-No Department of Homeland Security

-De-felonize drug use

-observe the 2nd amendment

-uphold the constitution

-eliminate the death penalty and the possibility of any innocent being executed

-allow for work visas for immigrants who want to come here to work –consumption tax would provide resources

Non- Aggression Policy

-stop our military interventions which are creating enemies around the world. Drone strikes have no due process and take out more lives by thousands than just the intended target.

-de-militarizing the police force

It was refreshing for me to hear his unabashed support for these Pillars of the Libertarian Party and proudly wear the Libertarian Party label.  You can view the speech at 1:00 on the following link http://tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2014050112

As I said my good-byes to Governor Johnson after a pleasant conversation with him over breakfast, I told him “I look forward to supporting you for president in 2016.  America needs you.” Yes it does.