Mary Ruwart to run for president

I’ve been sitting on the information that Mary Ruwart was going to run for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, but kept my mouth shut so as not to ruin their announcement plans. However, the information is on the Internet and people are talking about it, so here’s one clip from a Yahoo Group posting about her “official” announcement timing:

I spoke directly with Mary, and she estimated it would be late this week (I said within 10 days to provide a limit she would beat). Obviously, the grapevine wasn’t as accurate as the information I received. Keep in mind that she probably contacted me early because I had promised to make the legal maximum contribution as soon as she committed to running, and not because I’m in any way more important than other people.

The reason for the delay is that you only get one chance to make a first impression. She wants her web site to look good and to have the ability to take credit card contributions, and there are a few other matters that protocol requires before making a public declaration.

Ruwart outperformed Wayne Allyn Root in this recent survey of convention delegates, as well. Recent related post at TPW here.

134 Responses to “Mary Ruwart to run for president”

  1. Hugh Jass Says:

    YES! Now I finally have someone I can get behind!

  2. Andy Says:

    I’ve been hearing rumors about this for the last few weeks. I wish that she’d hurry up and officially announce if she’s going to go through with this. It is getting late in the game with the nominating convention being in May.

  3. Robert Milnes Says:

    Like I said before, Dr. Ruwart would be acceptable to me as vp should Dr. Kwiatkowski fail to get it. The strategy would be a female southerner to balance my male northerner & right libertarian to balance my left libertarian. As I said, I believe Teddy Roosevelt was a left libertarian. KK would be preferable over MR only in that she has desirable military experience.

  4. Andy Says:

    “As I said, I believe Teddy Roosevelt was a left libertarian.”

    LOL @ the thought of Teddy Roosevelt being any kind of libertarian!

  5. johncjackson Says:

    So is she now the real frontrunner?

  6. Robert Milnes Says:

    Andy, that is the conclusion I’ve reached. LOL all you want. It was about 100 years ago. How else do you explain his splitting from the GOP & forming the left leaning progressive party? Are you familiar with Carl Milsted’s concept of “upper left party”? Do some homework & crunch some numbers like I did, then lol.

  7. Robert Milnes Says:

    Well as far as I’m concerned that seems about it. Me & KK or MR ticket. KK/MR can reach the Ronulans & other rightists. With the LP nomination, I can reach the GP & other leftists & progressives. That is total about 40 million contributors & votes. Sounds like a winner to me. If only the delegates do not screw it up.

  8. Stephen Gordon Says:

    So is she now the real frontrunner?

    Come on, you know there are as many LP presidential frontrunners as there are LP presidential candidates? :)

    Seriously, I would say she is the frontrunner at the moment. That would change if Barr jumps in the race, though.

    However, remember that Fred Thompson was the frontrunner for a while, too.

    At this point, even if Root was able to marginally beat her in polling, her positives are so high I expect she would beat Root in a final convention round between the two of them.

    I don’t expect either Root or Ruwart to go negative on each other (or other candidates)—both are personally nice people who prefer to debate issues rather than engage in Russo/Nolan style character attacks. As a result, some of Root’s negatives will likely improve by convention time.

    If I had to call it, (at this moment), I’d say they are the two frontrunners, followed by Kubby and then Phillies. Phillies certainly gets the award for most improved lately, too. I wonder how far he can take it.

  9. johncjackson Says:

    Dude, I have tried to stay out of any Milnes bashing, but you aren’t gonna win. maybe you have some good points and can find a better way to contribute. Don’t take it personal, as 90+% of announced LP candidates have no business running either.

  10. johncjackson Says:

    Yeah, my question was serious as far as the actual frontrunner, not the self-proclaimed. I figured if she jumped in she would go to the front of the pack immediately. At least the top tier.

    I tend to agree with Phillies as most improved.

  11. Chris Bennett Says:

    You know, we have VP candidates that need support as well!

  12. Robert Milnes Says:

    Chris Bennett, I know. Are you a female southerner?

  13. silver Republican Says:

    I just look through a bio of her. . . now why is she viewed as more qualified then Root or Phillies? I mean, her background is perfectly respectable for a third party candidate, but it ain’t stellar.

  14. Chris Bennett Says:

    No. I am not female…..

  15. Robert Milnes Says:

    I know all this talk about Root has Tom Knapp in a tizzy!

  16. Robert Milnes Says:

    & all the talk about Phillies too!

  17. Robert Milnes Says:

    Johncjackson, bash away. I doubt if you can bash better than the FBI.

  18. Freeman Says:

    wow… Ruwart’ll win hands down… looks like it’ll be just women on the ticket, and in a predominantly man’s party. That’ll work.

  19. Robert Milnes Says:

    Johncjackson, dude, knock yourself out!

  20. Stephen Gordon Says:

    I just look through a bio of her. . . now why is she viewed as more qualified then Root or Phillies? I mean, her background is perfectly respectable for a third party candidate, but it ain’t stellar.

    While some LP members don’t like her all that much, the overwhelming majority do. Her positives are high, her negatives low. Most of the people who like her like her personally—not for what she might be able to do in a presidential election. She’s the Libertarian Party sweetheart.

    It’s a good position to be in when one can personally speak with every last delegate in a convention with less than 1000 in attendence.

  21. silver Republican Says:

    Is friendly sweetheart what is needed to keep all of thoes Paul folks in the fold?

  22. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Is friendly sweetheart what is needed to keep all of thoes Paul folks in the fold?

    If Bob Barr jumps in, the Paul folks will be signing up as delegates. If not, I don’t see a big reason for most of them to jump on board. I’m saying this as someone who has run LP presidentials and had a statewide position (media) for the Paul campaign. Ruwart does have some Ron Paul credentials (his quote helps promote one of her books, as one example), though. It will be interesting to see how she uses them.

  23. Robert Milnes Says:

    Silver Republican, right. That’s what I said.

  24. Andy Says:

    “Robert Milnes Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 12:25 am
    Andy, that is the conclusion I’ve reached. LOL all you want. It was about 100 years ago. How else do you explain his splitting from the GOP & forming the left leaning progressive party? Are you familiar with Carl Milsted’s concept of ‘upper left party’? Do some homework & crunch some numbers like I did, then lol.”

    I have done some homework. For instance, G. Edward Griffin wrote about Teddy Roosevelt’s run for President under the Bull Moose Party banner in his excellent book, “The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve.” According to Mr. Griffin’s well documented account of this election, all of the candidates, the Republican William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Teddy Roosevelt were all “bought and paid for” by the bankers who were behind the income tax and the Federal Reserve System. However, it was Woodrow Wilson who was their “favorite son” (so to speak) so to ensure that he got elected, they gave Teddy Roosevelt a bunch of money to campaign with so that he could draw votes away from Taft to ensure the election of Woodrow Wilson.

  25. Robert Milnes Says:

    Andy, that may very well be. So what? It doesn’t change the fundamentals.

  26. Chuck Moulton Says:

    Enough with the Teddy Roosevelt cult, Milnes. Progressivism is the antithesis of libertarianism.

    Progressivism is a political ideology that believes the state should be run efficiently by a managerial elite. The conception was state partnering with businesses and protecting them—in essence neo-mercantilism. Society was viewed as a corporate organization with Protestant values. They wanted to co-opt organized labor, drawing inspiration from Bismark (who created the first true welfare state). Progressives co-opted the “liberal” term from libertarians (now “classical liberals”).

    They worked to eliminate control of cities by states and the voters. City governments were to be run as corporations with appointed city managers rather than mayors, transition from ward elections to city-wide, and government seizing private utilities to make them public entities. Progressives supported zoning, building permits, vice regulation, and prostitution regulation.

    At the state level they favored restriction of women’s labor, child labor, and working hours, as well as worker’s compensation and compulsory unemployment insurance laws. There was an explosion of rent seeking in every industry. Government expansion flourished.

    Progressives pushed populist reforms including initiative, referenda, recall, direct primary, and the secret ballot. The earlier 4 all lead to majoritarian government oppression of minority rights. The latter lead to the horrible ballot access laws we all now suffer under (secret ballot itself wasn’t bad, but the consequences were).

    Progressives championed the 16th-19th amendments: the income tax, direct election of Senators, suffrage for women, and prohibition. Of those only suffrage for women was libertarian.

    Progressives advocated imperialism in order to gain colonies as markets for American goods. The US seized the Phillipines, Guam, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hawaii, Samoa, etc. in a war started at the urging of progressives. Progressives also supported high tariffs. Like I said before: neo-mercantilism.

    Theodore Roosevelt was the quintessential Progressive: he had the Panama Canal built thousands of miles away with taxpayer funds, created the FBI by executive order, passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to significantly expand government regulation of business, expanded the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroads and telegraphs, started inspecting meat, created the precursor to the Food & Drug Administration, etc.

    Roosevelt is one of the worst Presidents in US history from a libertarian perspective. The state grew by leaps and bounds in his administration. Progressivism is practically synonymous with neo-mercantilism. It involves imperialism, state expansion, and rent seeking.

    You might as well propose a libertarian-authoritarian coalition.

  27. Robert Milnes Says:

    Chuck Moulton, vice chair, LNC Chuck Moulton? The LNC that pandered to Ron Paul & the Ronulans a direct result of which is the cause of most of the LP presidential candidates having pathetic peanuts for campaign contributions? Thus ruining their campaigns & LP state conventions & the LP in general? THAT Chuck Moulton?

  28. Andy Says:

    “Progressives pushed populist reforms including initiative, referenda, recall”

    I don’t consider initiative, referenda, and recall to be bad things. They provide the people with a check & balance against the government.

    Pro-liberty reforms such as property tax limitation, spending limits, and medicinal marijuana never would have passed if not for initiatives.

    Referenda has been used to block bad laws such as a law in California a few years ago that would have forced small businesses into a state healthcare program.

    Recalls have been used to kick crappy politicians out of office such as California governor Grey Davis.

    There is a ballot initiative in Massachusetts this year to abolish that states income tax. Does anyone here believe that this is something that the legislature would have done on their own?

    While it is true that initiative & referenda gets used for crappy stuff sometimes, it should be noted that most of the crappy anti-liberty stuff gets passed by legislatures or city councils, NOT through initiatives.

    The bottom line with a law is not whether it was passed by a legislative body or through an initiative but rather is the law going to lead to more liberty or less liberty?

  29. Brent Burk Says:

    Andy,

    Libertarians should also remember their roots. They broke apart from the Republican party when Nixon got us off the (quasi)gold standard. Economic liberty and freedom and the non-interventionist foreign policy we had before was greatly diminished when Woodrow Wilson got elected thanks to Roosevelt’s Bull Moose party sponsored by J.P. Morgan and other folk.

    Though today there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, so splitting a ticket wouldn’t have changed history as we know it.

  30. Andy Says:

    “Robert Milnes Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 1:58 am
    Chuck Moulton, vice chair, LNC Chuck Moulton? The LNC that pandered to Ron Paul & the Ronulans a direct result of which is the cause of most of the LP presidential candidates having pathetic peanuts for campaign contributions? Thus ruining their campaigns & LP state conventions & the LP in general? THAT Chuck Moulton?”

    The LP presidential campaigns weren’t doing much before Ron Paul got in the race and wouldn’t have done anything close to what Ron Paul did even if Ron Paul hadn’t entered the race.

    Look back to 2004, 2000, 1996, and before. Did ANY Libertarian Party campaign ever accomplish as much as the Ron Paul campaign has in this election cycle?

  31. Brent Burk Says:

    Andy,

    The answer: no. Ron Paul has turned me onto politics like none other. I am a byproduct of the so-called Revolution. I now spend most of my time reading and talking politics and, who knows, may accomplish something important because of him.

    Also, if the LP elect the very edgy Republican/libertarian Root, I would think he would get the protest vote from Republicans not willing to bow down to McCain. Though I wouldn’t say Root is very much an ideal Libertarian (believed the war was just, supported the surge, wants out of Iraq now though! Immigration. Friends with Fox News?!) But ya.

    Oh, and Milnes, are you a candidate or a political commentator?

  32. Chuck Moulton Says:

    Initiative, referenda, and recall are direct democracy. Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Pro-liberty things can be passed by direct democracy—even a stopped clock is right twice a day. A monarchy can also have a benevolent dictator who rules in a generally libertarian fashion. Institutionally I prefer a constitutional republic that protects minority rights to either of those arrangements (if we must have a government).

  33. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I prefer Ruwart to Root. Though I much prefer Karen Kwiatkowski to either.

    I saw Ruwart speak at the 2004 LP con. She used this squishy, therapeutic psychobabble. Someone would say X, offending someone else, and Ruwart would suggest rephrasing it so it sounded less “threatening,” like, “I have a fear that when you say X, I hear…”

    The image I came away with was of a New Age flake. However, I know little of her, and we have worse candidates than New Age flakes running this year.

    Robert Milnes: “Dr. Ruwart would be acceptable to me as vp should Dr. Kwiatkowski fail to get it.”

    I’m sorry I often bash you Robert, but you’re such an easy target. I can score bulls-eyes on you without even having to think.

    Such as your above clueless comment. The thought of you, who have no visible support for the nomination, and no visible life achievements, suggesting that either of these women run as your VP, rather than the other way around…

    Don’t you think it should be the other way around? Why do you imagine you’re so qualified that you belong on the top half of the ticket?

    Milnes: “With the LP nomination, I can reach the GP & other leftists & progressives. That is total about 40 million contributors & votes. Sounds like a winner to me.”

    It would be if the GP and LP each scored 20 million votes in 2004. Since neither of them came close, there is no 40 million.

    Hey Robert, if we took my 35 billion dollars, and your 35 billion dollars, we could buy Fox/News Corp. Assuming we each had 35 billion dollars.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    “I just look through a bio of her. . . now why is she viewed as more qualified then Root or Phillies?”

    – She’s apparently served in public office before (local boards). They haven’t.
    – She’s written a political book that is intended for the mass market (Phillies’s political books have been LP-internal) and that is libertarian (Root’s political book was Republican).
    – She’s a long-time party activist—Root isn’t, and though Phillies is, Ruwart has been around for much longer, has a more near-universally positive image with LP members, and has spent many years winning friends and influencing people on the LP convention speaking circuit. That’s not necessarily a “qualification,” but it is a reality.

    “Is friendly sweetheart what is needed to keep all of thoes Paul folks in the fold?”

    I seem to recall that Ron Paul wrote an introduction or forward to Dr. Ruwart’s book Healing Our World, and that he proposed her as a nominee to head the Food and Drug administration.

  35. Robert Capozzi Says:

    I have a personal bias regarding Ruwart. At the 1983 LP Prez nominating convention, she ran for president in a fairly crowded field, but it came down to Bergland, the Rothbardian candidate; Earl Ravenal, the moderate candidate; and Ruwart. Ruwart threw her support to Bergland, killing any hope that the LP might build on its reasonably strong 1980 Ed Clark showing. There were other factors at work, of course.

    Ruwart has strengths, no doubt. She mixes Rothbard with Wayne Dyer, creating an interesting, paradoxical worldview. I wish she’d lose the Rothbardian/nonarchist vestiges.

    In concept, I still prefer Barr or Ventura. Between Root and Ruwart, it’s a push.

  36. Bill Wood Says:

    When that question is asked “If the U.S is attacked, as the President of the U.S and Commander in Chief, what would you do? Are you willing to use the military to protect this Country?”

    I wonder how the LP Candidates would respond.

  37. Eric Dondero Says:

    Best thing she’s got going for her, is that she’s actually a former elected public official. If memory serves, she was elected/appointed to two public offices in Kalamazoo, Michigan as a Libertarian in the 1980s, and early ‘90s. One of them was a State Science Board of some sort, I believe.

    Downside for her I think, is she’s sort of yesterday’s news. She was much more popular back in the 1980s. She’s a bit past her prime. She should have run in 1992 or 96, instead of Marrou or Browne. Never could figure out why she balked at running those years.

    Now, she’s a bit like Fred Thompson: She waited too long.

  38. Eric Dondero Says:

    No Robert. You’re kidding me

    Ruwart was a Bergland supporter??? Are you absolutely certain about that???

    If so, that’s it. David Bergland was simply THE VERY WORST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN THE HISTORY OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY.

    If what you say is true, forget it! She will not under any circumstances get my support.

    I’ve vote for McCain over Ruwart.

    Please tell me your information is incorrect.

  39. Eric Dondero Says:

    Tom, everything you say is true. Yes, she’s got strengths as a former elected officeholder.

    But if she supported Bergland in 1983, and helped to put him over the top over Ravenal no less, causing the Libertarian Party to have its worst election year of all-time, than that’s a complete deal breaker.

    Waiting to hear from Carpozzi if his info is correct. If it is, ain’t no way in hell I’d ever even consider supporting Ruwart.

    Any friend of David Bergland’s is NO FRIEND OF MINE

  40. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Eric,

    My recollection (from old newsletters, etc.) is that Ruwart was drafted from the floor to oppose Ravenal in 1983 after Burns dropped out, that Bergland then arrived to oppose Ravenal as well, and that after extended balloting, Ruwart dropped out and her supporters went mostly to Bergland. I don’t recall whether she specifically endorsed Bergland or not, but she was obviously not pro-Ravenal.

    I know you’re looking for an excuse to pull the “’Libertarians’ for McCain” rabbit out of your hat, but going back 24 years to a reluctant candidate’s withdrawal from a three-way deadlock for that excuse is pretty weak.

    Let’s see:

    We’re supposed to forget that Wayne Root’s last book was Millionaire Republican (2005), that he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he’d only seek the LP nomination if it didn’t hurt his GOP aspirations (early 2007), and that he endorsed McCain/Lieberman 2008 for president at the same time the ersatz LP “draft” effort for him was cranking up (late 2006). All that’s ancient history.

    But we’re supposed to remember—and disapprove of—the fact that Ruwart supported her party’s nominee in 1984. That’s breaking news!

    Errrrrrrr …..

  41. George Whitfield Says:

    Thomas Knapp, Very well stated.

  42. Andrew Taylor Says:

    “Waiting to hear from Carpozzi if his info is correct. If it is, ain’t no way in hell I’d ever even consider supporting Ruwart.”

    Well, that pretty much guarantees that Dr. Ruwart will be the LP nominee, considering how Mr. Dondero’s non-endorsement is the political equivalent of the Midas touch.

  43. Libertarian Breaking News Says:

    Just In:

    Steve, drinks beer;hangs out with dykes.
    Chuck: Ruwart, fuckable. Roosevelt, not.
    Eric: Ruwart, not so fuckable. McCain, maybe.
    Bob C: Really old. Still smarting from when Bastiat
    tossed his support to Molinari.

  44. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Most of the people who like her like her personally—not for what she might be able to do in a presidential election. She’s the Libertarian Party sweetheart.

    This strikes me as a sort of damning-with-faint-praise, but I suppose for someone still hoping that Barr (who has been actively fundraising for Republican congressional candidates while serving on the LNC) will enter the race, that’s not so surprising.

    Consider the possibility, though, that people value Ruwart because she (1) thoroughly understands and (2) can communicate libertarian principles. She’s also been an integral part of the libertarian movement and the LP for some time.

    I’m enthusiastically supporting Ruwart. I am delighted to have a candidate of her stature in the race. I wish Steve Kubby the best and hope to see him continue his libertarian activism, but this is Ruwart’s year – and I for one appreciate her taking the time from her life to do all the work involved in a presidential campaign.

  45. Jason Gatties Says:

    I’m thrilled to hear this news. I just hope its not too late. The convention is just 2 months away.

  46. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Andrew Taylor: “that pretty much guarantees that Dr. Ruwart will be the LP nominee, considering how Mr. Dondero’s non-endorsement is the political equivalent of the Midas touch.”

    Dondero’s distaste for Ruwart does score her points in my eyes.

    I still don’t think much of Ruwart, but now I’ll have to take a closer look. If she displeases Dondero, she can’t be all bad.

  47. NewFederalist Says:

    I have voted for most LP nominees since 1976 (missed Bergland in ‘84 since he wasn’t on the ballot in my state and write-ins were NOT counted) but seriously, does it really matter whether the LP nominee is Mary Ruwart or Wayne Root or George Philles or even Bob Barr? None of them will get any significant media coverage and what little coverage they will get will be presenting them in a less than complimentary light. I sure would rather see people save their venom for the other guys rather than creating ill will just for the sake of getting a footnote in a history text.

  48. Stefan Says:

    Eric showing some “consistency”! He has said he would ONLY support McCain IF he selects a few specific names as VP candidates and then he will vote for the VP, not McCain. Now, all of a sudden he is saying he will vote for McCain based on what Ruwart might have recommended years ago. Note: even if Ruwart has endorsed a candidate, it does NOT necessarily means he is friends with the person. Somehow
    one is not surprised….

  49. Carl Says:

    Mary Ruwart is by far the best candidate to grow the LP in the short run—a fate I no longer consider desirable.

    She has worked for the party a long time and managed to stay out of the mudfests.

    Mary Ruwart is a Harry Browne type of candidate. She masterfully plays the “Government doesn’t work” card, seemingly uniting the consequentialist and moralist strains of libertarianism. This sleight of hand is done using massive amounts of data. Even though “Healing Our World” starts off with the Zero Aggression Principle, most of the book is filled with data that makes a consequentialist case for less/no government.

    Unlike Harry Browne, Mary Ruwart has experience working in big organizations, and her rhetoric is non-selfish. She has done her homework to the point where she can sound quite pragmatic, and there is an outside chance that she would be pragmatic if actually elected.

    As for the New Age stuff, it’s far better to have a fluffy New Ager who operates from two contradictory premises than a Vulcan who adheres to an incorrect set of premises to the bitter end.

    Mary Ruwart could be the strongest LP presidential candidate since Ed Clark. Were I still an LP member, I’d be jumping for joy.

    Alas, a Ruwart campaign would still leave the LP in it’s state of denial: that it can govern and adhere to the Zero Aggression Principle at the same time.

  50. G.E. Says:

    Kubby has been so incredibly underwhelming; I think Ruwart’s entry allows a chance for his supporters to abandon ship.

    “YES! Now I finally have someone I can get behind!”—Come on, now. Is nobody going to take that bait?

  51. Carl Says:

    Oh, I may have underestimated Ruwart above. When I have heard her speak on the FDA, I recall she focused on the efficacy requirements added in the 1960s. I don’t think she called for the outright abolition of the FDA, only reigning it in.

    If she proves capable of sticking to such data-driven, incremental proposals, then she could be a strong candidate indeed.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    I don’t think the “New Agey” stuff is exactly what some people are making it out to be.

    The focus of Ruwart’s approach to communication is finding ways to tell people (especially VOTERS) “we are ON YOUR SIDE —we CARE ABOUT THE SAME THINGS YOU CARE ABOUT.”

    In terms of politics, that’s often—not always, but often, and probably with more people—a more effective approach to persuasion than “I’m right, you’re wrong, here’s why, now I’m going to stand here and tap my foot and wait for you to change your mind.”

    The “New Agey” element is mostly that she seems to largely address herself to nominally left-leaning people with her demonstrations of that approach …

    ... which is another plus so far as I am concerned. The LP has spent the last 35 years ineffectively courting the right by parroting the GOP’s rhetoric on taxes, spending, welfare, regulation, etc.—rhetoric that the GOP pitches and then never effectually follows through on. Anyone who’s still voting Republican over those issues at this point is hopelessly deluded. We’ve got all of them we’re going to get, at least through intentional targeting.

    The left, on the other hand, is largely unexplored territory. We have the goods to offer with respect to the currently ascendant left trends on foreign policy, immigration, the rights of people of all sexual orientations, the drug war, etc. The Democratic Party’s candidates tend to be some combination of wrong, inconsistent or cowardly on all those issues.

    Nominating a “GOP Lite” candidate this year would be returning to a well that has been dry as a bone for at least 8 years. IMO, even Phillies is too far to the right with his immigration pandering and trade protectionism.

    Of the likely nominees, I’d have the hardest time supporting Root. I don’t know if I could bring myself to do it. Phillies or Smith, less so; I’m not sure how much enthusiasm I could work up, but I’d try and I wouldn’t feel bad about pulling the lever for either of them in November. Kubby or Ruwart, no reservations at all. I support Kubby and will continue to do so, but if Ruwart enters the race and wins, so be it. No reservations—I’ll work my ass off to get either one of them votes in November.

  53. Skidoo Says:

    “I have a personal bias regarding Ruwart.”

    “If she proves capable of sticking to such data-driven, incremental proposals, then she could be a strong candidate indeed.”

    Well that’s a fine howdoyado? The Peepaw Caucus is split on Ruwart.
    Give it a rest, Pops. This ain’t no party for old men.

    G.E., you and ‘disinter’ are the only glimpse of light. Shine it on the rest of the world. The world isn’t going to change because these jackasses are still doing their daily on line circle jerk.

    Let these never beens and the others serve as an object lesson.

  54. Robert Milnes Says:

    Tom, your approach to the left is lame. Passive. “We are available to you & care about what you care about. Trust us; we are not fascists or neocons. We are nice right wingers. Vote for us & we’ll show you!” Come on. As nominee, I’ll take the alliance message directly to the greens, grassroots & party hacks. Then directly to their convention. The rest of the leftists will follow suit because their only other viable choice will be the democrat.

  55. Roscoe Says:

    New Federalist, it matters which candidate can connect best with the people he or she does reach, who can best “sell” the libertarian message, and not appear kooky. Mary Ruwart fills the bill, even if she only gets 500,000 votes.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Bob,

    If the “alliance message” is “eugenics, compensated emancipation, I’m the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt, and I have 40 million votes stashed in a secret cavity in my ass,” then it doesn’t matter how directly you take it to the Greens et al.

    I don’t advocate a “passive” approach. I advocate a very active approach—but it has to be an approach to people on the issues THEY CARE ABOUT. I’m sure you could nail down the “Jingo! Bully! Let’s ship the blacks back to Africa and selectively breed the caucasians until they’re all Cherokees” vote nailed down, but so far as I know you’re only talking to one voter there, and that’s yourself.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    erratum: “compensated emancipation” should have been “compensated emigration.”

  58. Carl Says:

    Tom writes:
    The focus of Ruwart’s approach to communication is finding ways to tell people (especially VOTERS) “we are ON YOUR SIDE —we CARE ABOUT THE SAME THINGS YOU CARE ABOUT.”

    But do Libertarians care about the same things the voters care about? Communicating such is either:

    1. A lie.
    2. A call for violating the Zero Aggression Principle when other concerns take precedence.
    3. A patently false belief that ZAP is in tune with other voter concerns.

    The LP declaration that zero aggression trumps all other political/social concerns is a statement that Libertarians DON’T CARE. This is why Libertarians need courses on how to sound caring. The technical term is “spin.”

    Of course, there are many situations where moving towards less aggression is in tune with other voter concerns. Once upon a time I advocated that the LP focus on these issues—and was blasted for being “unprincipled.”

    So, unless the LP gets over its ZAP trumps all mentality, I hope they nominate Christine Smith for president, Ernie Hancock for Chair, and put Wes Benedict and Susan Hogarth on the LNC. If you are going to be “principled” be principled. Don’t hide behind consequentialist rhetoric. Don’t spin.

  59. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Carl writes:

    The LP declaration that zero aggression trumps all other political/social concerns…

    There is no such declaration:

    http://www.lp.org/members/newmember.shtml

    “I certify that I do not advocate the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

    A Libertarian’s highest social concern may be education of children, welfare of animals, or preservation of unspoiled lands. Libertarians will not agree on how we rank our social concerns, because we are individuals who have different goals and values. What unifies us is our understanding that aggression is neither the most moral nor the most effective way to get what we want.

  60. Andy Says:

    “Chuck Moulton Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 3:08 am
    Initiative, referenda, and recall are direct democracy. Democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Pro-liberty things can be passed by direct democracy—even a stopped clock is right twice a day. A monarchy can also have a benevolent dictator who rules in a generally libertarian fashion. Institutionally I prefer a constitutional republic that protects minority rights to either of those arrangements (if we must have a government).”

    Legislators and city council members are all elected via direct democrcay, and then once they get in office they often pass bills that violate individual rights. You must put a lot more trust in politicians than I do.

    Some people say, “Vote them out.” or “Elect good people to office.” Well both of these things are easier said than done. If electing good people to office is so easy then why does the Libertarian Party have a 35 year record of mostly failure at doing so?

    Initiative, referenda, and recall are all tools that citizens can use to fight back against government power.

    Another good thing about initiative, referenda, and recall are that they allow groups who may not agree on every issue to work together in coalition in areas where they do agree in order to get something passed through an initaitive, or to defeat something that was passed by a legislative body through a referenda, or to get a common foe removed from office via recall.

    I can think of NUMEROUS instances where initiative, referenda, and recall were used for pro-liberty purposes. Initiative, referenda, and recall being used for pro-liberty purposes are not just cases of “even a broken clock is right twice a day,” they are used for pro-liberty purposes on a regular basis.

    Why do you think it is that establishment politicians are always cooking up schemes to hinder initiative, referenda, and recall? Almost all establishment politicians HATE initiative, referenda, and recall because they KNOW that these things reduce their power.

    Whether or not a law is good or constitutional has NOTHING to do with whether it was passed through an initiative.

    I don’t think that just anything should be passed through an initaitive, but I also don’t think that just anything should be passed by a legislative body either. More often than not it is legislative bodies that are on the anti-liberty side, and more often than not it is initiative and referenda that is on the pro-liberty side.

    Heck, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both argued IN FAVOR of initiative & referenda.

    As long as we have a government we should have initiative, referenda, and recall as tools for citizens to fight back against government power.

  61. Andy Says:

    “I’m enthusiastically supporting Ruwart. I am delighted to have a candidate of her stature in the race. I wish Steve Kubby the best and hope to see him continue his libertarian activism, but this is Ruwart’s year – and I for one appreciate her taking the time from her life to do all the work involved in a presidential campaign.”

    It should be Ron Paul’s year. Ron Paul has advanced the cause of liberty this year more than anyone else.

  62. Andy Says:

    “But if she supported Bergland in 1983, and helped to put him over the top over Ravenal no less, causing the Libertarian Party to have its worst election year of all-time, than that’s a complete deal breaker.

    Waiting to hear from Carpozzi if his info is correct. If it is, ain’t no way in hell I’d ever even consider supporting Ruwart.

    Any friend of David Bergland’s is NO FRIEND OF MINE.”

    David Bergland may have been underwellming as a candidate, but at least he wasn’t a member of the Council on Foreign Relations like Ravenal. Having a CFR guy as a Presidential candidate would have destroyed the LP.

  63. Eric Sundwall Says:

    ’ When that question is asked “If the U.S is attacked, as the President of the U.S and Commander in Chief, what would you do? Are you willing to use the military to protect this Country?” ’

    I’m willing to carry arms and fight if my country or property is really threatened.

    There’s the tough guy answer you’re looking for.

    I’m not willing to conscript citizens, unjustly invade foreign countries or promulgate a military industrial complex at the expense of common sense, and decency or under the pretext of false threat or under the aegis of vengeance.

    There’s the opposite answer of the current and former occupants of the White House for the last 100 years.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Carl,

    An ideological constraint on method (such as eschewing force initiation) says nothing one way or the other about what the person or party hewing to that constraint might otherwise consider important.

    For example, I would very much like to own a brand new Toyota Prius. That’s something I care about. The fact that I’m not on my way to the nearest major intersection with a pistol in my pocket and a plan for jacking the next Prius that stops for the red light does not mean that I don’t want a Prius. It just means that I’ve accepted certain constraints in my quest to own one.

    Presumably you accept constraints in seeking your own desired policy goals as well. For example, you work through the electoral process rather than attempting to rally the army to your cause and seek power. The fact that you find the constraint institutionally adhered to by the LP too confining for your tastes is irrelevant to the question of whether or not Libertarians care about [insert goal here].

  65. Kyle B Says:

    a little change of the topic here. but since someone had mentioned Bob Barr in one of the comments I felt that gave me an in to mention this thought I had.

    I think that the LP could benefit more from Bob Barr running for office in Georgia, be it Senate, Governor, or U.S. Rep then him running for President.

    (for disclosure I am not a Libertarian, I am a Democrat, I just have an interest in Third Parties)

  66. Jose C. Says:

    “Chuck Moulton, vice chair, LNC Chuck Moulton? The LNC that pandered to Ron Paul & the Ronulans a direct result of which is the cause of most of the LP presidential candidates having pathetic peanuts for campaign contributions? Thus ruining their campaigns & LP state conventions & the LP in general? THAT Chuck Moulton?”

    Yes. That Chuck Moulton.

  67. Jose C. Says:

    “If Bob Barr jumps in, the Paul folks will be signing up as delegates. If not, I don’t see a big reason for most of them to jump on board.”

    How is that possible? Don’t you have to be elected as a delegate by the state parties at convention. Someone can not just sign up. Also I do not know how it is in other state parties but in California you have to be a member of the Party for at least three months before someone can be elected as a delegate. If other state parties have similar rules it will make it such that someone who is a Republican can not just be a delegate.

  68. Jay Edgar Says:

    You can see 9 of the candidates in a debate on the NJLP website ( http://njlp.org/content/view/111/1/ )

    I thought that except for Milnes, Imperato, and Link the candidates were better than I expected them to be. (Milnes, Imperato, and Link are wasting their time running, no libertarian would support them)

    Ruwart would be awesome. Why did she wait so long to announce?

  69. Robert Milnes Says:

    Jay Edgar, your last name wouldn’t happen to be Hoover, would it? Cute.

  70. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    Cool! I am glad she may be running. I was very impressed by her at San Diego.

    As for her being somewhat “New Agey” that might be a benefit. There is a huge liberty-minded component of the lightworker/ new age community and she could potentially reach them. Her talk of manifestation meshes well with the whole 11:11 material, which would give many hope and perhaps a reason to vote for her.

  71. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Lidia Seebeck: “As for her being somewhat “New Agey” that might be a benefit. There is a huge liberty-minded component of the lightworker/ new age community and she could potentially reach them.”

    Well, now that the Natural Law Party has lost its ballot status in California, I suppose their members need a new political home.

    Ruwart could appeal to the NLP crowd, though I don’t know how many members they have. And they may just as well go for Obama (though not for Hillary).

  72. Paulie Says:

    Consider the possibility, though, that people value Ruwart because she (1) thoroughly understands and (2) can communicate libertarian principles. She’s also been an integral part of the libertarian movement and the LP for some time.

    Well said Susan! As Less Antman elaborates
    (in response to me)

    P> The “next ten days” part bothers me though. What’s taking so long?
    > Multiple sources in my grapevine told me that it would be this
    > weekend. Apparently, unless TPW is slow to report, it hasn’t yet
    > happened.

    L) I spoke directly with Mary, and she estimated it would be late this
    week (I said within 10 days to provide a limit she would beat).
    Obviously, the grapevine wasn’t as accurate as the information I
    received. Keep in mind that she probably contacted me early because I
    had promised to make the legal maximum contribution as soon as she
    committed to running, and not because I’m in any way more important
    than other people.

    The reason for the delay is that you only get one chance to make a
    first impression. She wants her web site to look good and to have the
    ability to take credit card contributions, and there are a few other
    matters that protocol requires before making a public declaration.

    P> A few minor weak points: unlike both Kubby and Root, she has no
    > claim – as far as I know – to the allegiance of any constituency
    > outside the libertarian movement.

    L) Well, she is big in the FIJA movement, which goes well beyond the LP.
    I don’t think anyone has a big outside constituency, but I agree she
    isn’t ranked first among the candidates in that regard (I’d say she’s
    third by that measure).

    P >what “hook” can we use to get her more media attention than LP
    > presidential candidates received in the last few cycles?

    L) In my view, the critical hook in 2008 is the Ron Paul Youth, who can
    create an activist base this year that will cause an explosion in LP
    support and influence in the upcoming years.

    In that light, I think a mistake is being made by people thinking Ron
    Paul’s support is primarily a Republican thing, and an even bigger
    mistake is to assume that the average Paul supporter agrees with his
    positions on abortion and immigration, and the biggest mistake is to
    think that those of his supporters who ARE Republicans are the most
    likely to defect to the LP. Ron Paul Nation polls revealed that only
    35% of his activist supporters voted Republican in the previous
    election (and the election returns this year made clear that his
    support among Republicans was much smaller than his overall support).
    Exit polls in the elections suggested that secular, pro-choice,
    indepent voters were most likely to choose him. And note how the
    campaign started to fade in December when his staff began to turn from
    the war and civil liberties to immigration and “national sovereignty.”

    Ruwart is strong here for a few reasons. One is that Paul has
    publicly supported some of her previous activities. Two is that her
    disagreements with Paul are all on issues where she is closer to the
    Ron Paul Youth than Ron Paul. Three is that she is not a novice to
    Internet communication, which is where the Ron Paul Revolution
    developed and where all those young people still are located. I
    believe she will consciously target the Ron Paul Meetup Groups, and a
    press release along the lines of “Ron Paul favorite declares for
    Libertarian nomination” with his letter nominating her to be FDA
    Commissioner and his strong praise for her HEALING OUR WORLD
    libertarian book will allow those hardworking LP members who have been
    participating in Ron Paul Meetup Groups to be able to use their new
    connections to gain support for her (I also think that, after the
    Republican Party nomination in September, Paul is more likely to
    publicly endorse her than any other candidate, but I don’t want to
    hang my hat on just that point). Again, one reason for her delay is
    to have a place for people to go and start connecting (including a
    forum for open discussion) once things are official.

    P > Also, it concerns me that she is still unlikely to beat Bob Barr for
    > the nomination if he decides to seek it even after she does.

    L) Barr will have a certain support base, but I think that Ruwart’s
    campaign will gain the majority, especially since she is the perfect
    example of someone who can answer the tough questions in an appealing
    way. Restore ‘04 and the Ruwart campaign have important synergies,
    even if she is not the driving force behind it, and to the extent we
    work for Restore ‘04, we are helping to tip the balance in Denver
    toward a candidate who is proud of our ENTIRE philosophy. In any
    event, a campaign between Barr and Ruwart will definitely bring to a
    head the issue that threatens the future of the LP, and I think we
    will make a solid case for the inspirational value of a hard-core
    campaign, especially with a candidate who has put in many years of the
    long, hard study time needed to support it.

  73. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Thomas, I think you misunderstand what my wife was getting at.

    There is a large left-libertarian streak in the new age community. They are that way because of what they see as religious persecution and a general mistrust of the religious majoirty and government interfering with them actually living in a free manner. These folks simply want to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against because of their beliefs. In a lot of ways they are kindred spirits in that respect to Muslims in the U.S. post-9/11, and the LP has in some states made vast and productive inroads in those departments. Like pet owners, which we outreach to specifically on the property rights and leave-me-be issues, new agers are actually natural constituents for the LP if the militant atheist part of the LP and the hyperfundamentalist Christians that exist in all parties can get over themselves and accept different beliefs in the party. They’ll never go to the GOP or CP, and while some go to the DP or GP they quickly get disillusioned with them when they see the hyperegualtory state those two parties propose, because they see the direct negative effects on them.

    And to associate all new agers with the NLP is just fallacious bullshit…

  74. Stephen Gordon Says:

    How is that possible? Don’t you have to be elected as a delegate by the state parties at convention.

    First of all, each state has their own rules. One key rule is in the national bylaws, where delegate names must be submitted in 30 days in advance.

    In some states it’s easier than others to slip in delegates.

    Also, many of the current delegate already support Ron Paul.

  75. Paulie Says:

    Second try.

    Andy is correct.

    The legislative process is far worse, more authoritarian, more corrupt and
    harder to correct the abuses in than the initiative, referendum and recall process.

    People aren’t always great but they are better than politicians on average.

    The winner-take-all system virtually gurantees negative consequences from government, especially viewed in light of the insights of public choice theory.

    The parliamentary system can be even worse, as we can see from, e.g., Europe.

    “Power to the people” is not necessarily an anti-libertarian slogan, and populism is not always equivalent to authoritarianism. Indeed, populism can be very libertarian, and elitism is generally authoritarian.

    There is a very good reason why petition for redress of grievances, which goes back at least to the Magna Carta, is the capstone right of the fve rights in the First Amendment. At least up until pro-slavery legislatures got sick of being tied up by the petitions of abolitionists, all state legislatures had to hear and consider and respond to every single petition brought before them by citizens and groups of citizens.

    Reading the US declaration of independence puts this in perspective.

    It is true, however, that progressivism was generally very anti-libertarian. In fact, “progress” towards what? Apparently, towards totalitarianism. If you have to eat an elephant, you do it one bite at a time.

    Progressivism is essentially Fabian socialism, as opposed to Revolutionary socialism (Marxism).

    It reminds me of progressive disease, such as progressive cancer.

    Did Chuck mention eugenics in his littany of progressive evils?

    I should mention though, there is another aspect to progressivism which in fact went hand in hand with classical liberalism and allowed them to claim some credibility in stealing the liberal name.

    Womens suffrage was part of it. Secularism is another. Gay rights is a more modern example.

    Populists and progressives peeled off parts of the classical liberal coalition, which was essentially (correctly) working for the rights of the underdog masses against the establishment authorities of the State and Church which went hand in hand.

    When the coalition broke up, poulists and progressives decided to use rightist (ie statist, authoritarian) means to achieve leftist (that is libertarian) goals.

    At the same time, business, under attack by populists and progressives, began to disingenuously use libertarianesque language – opposition to big government and so forth. In reality, of course, big business has always benefitted from government far more than the poor, workers, children, and the environment, etc, which in fact have been hurt by its “help”. Another group of conservatives, whose racial segregationist and church-and-state traditionalism came under attack by progressives later, also disingenuously madde an alliance with libertarians – but it is not because they truly seek liberty, only constitutionalism at the federal level on behalf states rights (to be used to destroy individual rights).

    What libertarians need to do now is break the umbilical cord that the pimple on the centuries-old historical face of libertarianism that is the “modern libertarian movement” (conservative-libertarian fusionism)
    represents, and reunite the classical liberal coalition – the original Left in the French parliament, from which Left/Right drew its name – against a revived Conservative coalition in the old sense: statist, pro-big government, militarist, imperialist, jingoist, chauvinist, theocratic in a church-and-satte fashion, pro-big business, corporatist.

    Youth, alternative lifestyles folks, educators, students, workers, small businesspeople, family farmers, artists, musicians, journalists, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, ...can be the heart of the new left-leaning libertarianism, which is just a revived classical liberalism.

    As Less points out in the section I quoted above, they were the Ron Paul Youth and can become the Ruwart coalition.

  76. Paulie Says:

    Well, the software here won’t let me post the full text of this, (not even moderation queu – tried several times!) but here are some issues this coalition would organize around

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/31/state-of-the-empire-2/

  77. Paulie Says:

    Kudos to Mary Ruwart for helping deny CFR member Earl Ravenal the LP nomination for president all those years ago. Just one of the many reasons I admire her, along with her excellent books HEALING OUR WORLD and SHORT ANSWERS TO TOUGH QUESTIONS.

    True, Bergland was a terrible speaker (way before I became a libertarian, I used to use his late night LP presidential infomercials in 1984 as a superior alternative to a sleeping pill). He was however a solid libertarian and a good writer; LIBERTARIANISM IN ONE LESSON helped me connect the dots in 1992, and reading through the books in the index in the back (92-94) completed the picture.

    At least, by nominating Bergland, there was an LP that was still ideologically libertarian enough to be worth it to even begin rebuilding.

  78. Paulie Says:

    Mary Ruwart is a Harry Browne type of candidate. She masterfully plays the “Government doesn’t work” card, seemingly uniting the consequentialist and moralist strains of libertarianism. This sleight of hand is done using massive amounts of data. Even though “Healing Our World” starts off with the Zero Aggression Principle, most of the book is filled with data that makes a consequentialist case for less/no government.

    Unlike Harry Browne, Mary Ruwart has experience working in big organizations, and her rhetoric is non-selfish. She has done her homework to the point where she can sound quite pragmatic, and there is an outside chance that she would be pragmatic if actually elected.

    As for the New Age stuff, it’s far better to have a fluffy New Ager who operates from two contradictory premises than a Vulcan who adheres to an incorrect set of premises to the bitter end.

    Mary Ruwart could be the strongest LP presidential candidate since Ed Clark.

    Well said Carl! I completely agree.

    Except that Ruwart can do much BETTER than Ed Clark by appealing to Ron Paul Youth as best defined by Less Antman. Also, the new technology (Youtube, facebook, myspace, internet boards, email, etc., etc) can allow a lot more to be done than could be done in 1980, and the combination of a hugely unpopular war and an economy tailspinning out of control creates a huge opportunity.

    What she needs, maybe, is a wealthy individual willing to spend a great deal of personal money on the campaign as a VP candidate (by LP standards anyway) the way Clark did with David Koch.

    Maybe John Mackey, CEO Of Whole Foods market. Maybe Mark Cuban, or Colin Hunter of Transmeta?

  79. Paulie Says:

    Kubby has been so incredibly underwhelming; I think Ruwart’s entry allows a chance for his supporters to abandon ship.

    “YES! Now I finally have someone I can get behind!”—Come on, now. Is nobody going to take that bait?

    I haven’t left the Kubby campaign, but the Kubby campaign may (and I did say MAY) have left me.

    This is a shame, as there are in fact a couple of areas in which Steve SHOULD be able to outcompete Dr. Ruwart – at least in theory.

    Steve has actually made positive changes for liberty HAPPEN in the real world, and I know of none that Dr. Ruwart has – although my knowledge may be lacking.

    Steve has a potentially huge constituency (drug policy reform) that intersects with the libertarian movement, and is larger than us. Does Dr. Ruwart have any outside constituency? (Less Antman answered FIJA ON this point, but Drug Policy Reform is much bigger than FIJA. Perhaps Alternative medicine folks?)

    Steve has a compelling personal story – does Dr. Ruwart have any such thing?

    But none of that even begins to matter since right now within the LP it is NO CONTEST in favor of Dr. Ruwart, and we can only have one post-nomination presidential candidate.

  80. Paulie Says:

    TLK makes an excellent point here

    http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/03/17/mary-ruwart-to-run-for-president/#comment-539947

  81. Paulie Says:

    Skidoo

    G.E., you and ‘disinter’ are the only glimpse of light.

    And I’m what, chopped liver?

  82. Paulie Says:

    A Libertarian’s highest social concern may be education of children, welfare of animals, or preservation of unspoiled lands. Libertarians will not agree on how we rank our social concerns, because we are individuals who have different goals and values. What unifies us is our understanding that aggression is neither the most moral nor the most effective way to get what we want.

    Well put!

  83. silver Republican Says:

    Ruwart seems like the perfect candidate to win libertarians who have personally met her. She however doesn’t sound like one who would actually expand the vote.

  84. Paulie Says:

    The LP declaration that zero aggression trumps all other political/social concerns is a statement that Libertarians DON’T CARE. This is why Libertarians need courses on how to sound caring. The technical term is “spin.”

    Quite the opposite. Zero aggression is the best and only TRUE way to care, unlike other ways of “caring” which can only be a lie or a delusion. The extensive details in HEALING OUR WORLD prove that from a pragmatic, real world perpective. SHORT ANSWERS breaks it down in bite sized chunks.

    The more agression, the more the issues that people should CARE about
    (and the people who care about them) are hurt.

    Living in the USSR as a kid makes it easy for me to understand this. Living in many different parts of the US, and having been in may lines of work with vastly different incomes ranging from 4 to 7 figures a year, living in a wide variety of different kinds of neighborhoods, my experiences with “the law” (watch The Wire if you haven’t lived it like I have), and my travels in every state of Mexico, every nation in Central America and every major island in the Carribean make it even easier. My reading just allows me to REALLY understand how it applies consistently across the board.

  85. Paulie Says:

    As for her being somewhat “New Agey” that might be a benefit. There is a huge liberty-minded component of the lightworker/ new age community and she could potentially reach them. Her talk of manifestation meshes well with the whole 11:11 material, which would give many hope and perhaps a reason to vote for her.

    True!

  86. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Eric,

    Yes, I was at the 83 convention and, yes, Ruwart threw her support to Bergland. I recall the moment quite distinctly, as it led to Crane’s leaving the LP and put the Rothbardians in charge of the debating society/purity police force.

  87. Paulie Says:

    Seriously, I would say she is the frontrunner at the moment.

    I agree.


    That would change if Barr jumps in the race, though.

    I agree again. But I am not happy about it.

    If Barr’s strategy is to peel off a chunk of McCain’s vote, he would hard pressed to compete against Roy Moore, Steve Stockman or Alan Keyes – and finally, against McCain himself, who will bring many of the people who are not happpy with him home by hammering relentlessly on the evils of Clinton or Obama.

    The stratgy we need to pursue is spelled out by Tom Knapp here

    http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/03/17/mary-ruwart-to-run-for-president/#comment-539947

    Combine with the selection from Less Antman I quoted above.

  88. Paulie Says:

    If I had to call it, (at this moment), I’d say they are the two frontrunners, followed by Kubby and then Phillies. Phillies certainly gets the award for most improved lately, too.

    Right again. If the convention goes to more than one ballot, whoever emerges among Ruwart, Kubby, Phillies and Smith, which looks like it would be Ruwart, will get the bulk of the people who voted for any of those other three (not sure yet how Jackson and Jingozian, and Hess if he ever runs in more than theory, might factor in) on the first ballot will unite against Root.

    I’m also not sure whether or not Barr would equal Root in this equation.

  89. Paulie Says:

    In concept, I still prefer Barr or Ventura. Between

    Jesse Ventura? His record in office as mayor and governor leads a lot to be desired. He’s far better on the stump than in office.

  90. Eric Dondero Says:

    Wow Robert. That was the absolute worst moment in the entire history of the Libertarian Party.

    To think of how things would have been so much different if Bergland had not been the Nominee in 1984. To think of the opportunities the LP had in that election cycle that were just pissed away by the LPers who supported Bergland over Earl Ravenal.

    It makes one want to cry. And now we learn that Ruwart was right there in the middle of assuring Bergland’s nomination.

    I cannot support her. If she’s the Nominee I’ll vote for John McCain.

    And it’s for this, and this reason alone.

    As long as I live I will never ever forgive David Bergland for causing such shame and embarrassment to the Libertarian Party and the overall libertarian movement with his horrible campaign of 1984. And anyone who ever supported him deserves to be similarly shamed, including Ms. Ruwart.

  91. Paulie Says:

    There is a large left-libertarian streak in the new age community. They are that way because of what they see as religious persecution and a general mistrust of the religious majoirty and government interfering with them actually living in a free manner. These folks simply want to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against because of their beliefs. In a lot of ways they are kindred spirits in that respect to Muslims in the U.S. post-9/11, and the LP has in some states made vast and productive inroads in those departments. Like pet owners, which we outreach to specifically on the property rights and leave-me-be issues, new agers are actually natural constituents for the LP if the militant atheist part of the LP and the hyperfundamentalist Christians that exist in all parties can get over themselves and accept different beliefs in the party. They’ll never go to the GOP or CP, and while some go to the DP or GP they quickly get disillusioned with them when they see the hyperegualtory state those two parties propose, because they see the direct negative effects on them.

    True!

  92. Eric Dondero Says:

    Robert, have we ever met? Sounds like you’re a 1980s Libertarian Party guy, as am I.

    I served on the LP NatComm 1986/87, and then as Ron Paul’s Travel Aide in his Presidential campaign 1987/88.

    You’re in Jersey, right? I remember quite a few events Ron and I attended in Jersey. I remember a real successful one in Cherry Hill. Any chance we might have run into each other?

  93. Eric Dondero Says:

    The fundamental question now is: Did Steve Kubby support David Bergland for President in 1984? If so, he’s off my List. If not, than I’d back him over Ruwart. Ditto for Phillies, Jingo, or anyone else.

    If by some chance Root doesn’t win the nomination, I’d support any candidate who didn’t support David Bergland in 1984.

  94. Paulie Says:

    Another benefit that Ruwart as a candidate brings to the LP is getting any Ravenal supporters who have snuck back in post-2002, back out.

  95. Chuck Moulton Says:

    Paulie is right that progressives used conservative means (statist, authoritarian) to aim for liberal goals (libertarian). Of course those means don’t actually work and in reality achieve totalitarianism.

    I didn’t mention eugenics, Jim Crow, conscription (outlawed volunteering for the military), etc. because I stopped at Roosevelt and those came later. But yes, progressives continued to support very bad things under Wilson and subsequent administrations.

    I don’t really understand the direct democracy worship. I’ve already admitted that direct democracy can achieve some libertarian things if all the stars align. They can also achieve a lot of statist things, which they have over and over again. The founding fathers explored democracy and rejected it because it leads to majoritarian oppression of minorities. Libertarianism is not majoritarianism.

    The two differences between a constitutional republic and a direct democracy are intermediaries to the voting process and checks on what can be voted on. The latter is far more important from a libertarian perspective. Theoretically there could be a constitutional direct democracy which would guard against majoritarian oppression, but in practice direct democracies can amend the Constitution to get around any checks on majoritarianism (except that super-majorities can be required, which just raises the threshhold for oppression).

    The former problem is important too, but not nearly as clear to casual observers. Politicians are bad, but the notion that unrestrained direct democracy does not have similar flaws is incorrect. See Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter for an explanation of systematic anti-market, anti-foreign, make work, and pessimism bias among voters. In short, voters currently are predisposed to vote for big government because they don’t understand the benefits of libertarianism.

    Fundamentally I believe in rights which cannot be taken away by government. As a libertarian, I will never support a system which by definition can take away all rights by popular vote.

    Will I use the current initiative and referenda system to pass libertarian legislation? Of course! But I’m not going to pretend it is an optimal libertarian institution.

  96. Eric Garris Says:

    At the 1983 national convention, Justin Raimondo and I led a split against Murray Rothbard. The majority of the Radical Caucus central committee voted to endorse Ravenal over Bergland. Rothbard supported Bergland because of his opposition to the Kochtupus/Crane Machine, not because of ideology.

    The reason: Ravenal promised to make non-interventionist foreign policy his #1 issue. Bergland was adequate on foreign policy, but not well-informed on it and not interested in focusing on it.

    Ravenal was not the hawk candidate, quite the contrary. In fact, he supported UNILATERAL nuclear disarmament by the US. He was very vocal in his opposition to the Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”).

    The Defense Caucus was supporting Toni Nathan on a hawkish platform. After she was eliminated, I remember most of the them supporting Ruwart as the lesser of three evils. In the end, I doubt that many of the Defense Caucus members supported Ravenal.

  97. Eric Garris Says:

    My understanding is the Mary Ruwart talked to both Bergland and Ravenal about being their VP running mate.

    Ravenal said he would not support her for VP.

    Bergland said he would support her for VP. Ruwart then endorsed Bergland. Bergland publicly endorsed Ruwart for VP, but told his supporters to vote for Jim Lewis. Lewis won.

    I have great respect for Ravenal’s integrity.

  98. Brent Burk Says:

    Eric Dondero, what is wrong with you? You seem to be very cocky, rude, inconsiderate, and you cozzy up with the likes of McCain and Giuliani way too much to be a very “kind” libertarian.

    “She did what? THEN I’LL VOTE FOR 100 YEARS OF WAR! MWHAHA~!”

  99. Wesley J. Pinchot Says:

    Mary Ruwart’s the Libertarian Party sweetheart. Yes! I wanted her to run back in the 80’s, but this was worth waiting for.

    She has more charisma than Obama, more than Bill Clinton. Probably more than Harry Browne. Hillary or McCain? No contest!

    She’s 100% libertarian and after hearing her explain why, many people who never took it seriously, will.

    And being cute as a button never hurts. OK, she hasn’t got as much “cute” as 20 years ago, but consider the competition. She’s gained 20 years of experience explaining why liberty’s great.

  100. Robert Milnes Says:

    Chuck Moulton, Progressivism. “...I’m not going to pretend it is an optimal libertarian institution.” Me either! I’m not saying we win utopia in November. I’m not saying libertarians have to become progressives or greens have to become libertarians. Mostly what I’m saying is with this strategy we can actually elect some libertarians & greens. & then politics-agree when we agree. Agree to disagree when so. etc.Get certain things done & done properly & promptly. Like end the war. etc. & we’ll still have to deal with dems & reps. Winning in November would be just the beginning. Slow revolution is better than no revolution.

  101. Juno Says:

    Paulie Home Skillet Doodle,

    Take a peak at pages 413-422 of Radicals for Capitalism.
    It ain’t no Etch A Sketch.

    J.

  102. Andrew Taylor Says:

    Eric Dondero: “If she’s the Nominee I’ll vote for John McCain.”

    Two responses:

    (1) This is excellent news for the country. Anyone supported by Mr. Dondero (Giuliani, Romney, Chris Peden, ad infinitum, ad nauseum) eventually LOSES. The United States can hardly survive four more years of McSame.

    (2) This is utterly unsurprising. Mr. Dondero’s been looking for an excuse to back the “National Greatness Conservative” McSame ever since he cinched the Republican nomination. What a “Libertarian”!

    An aside: Since Mr. Milnes apparently worships all things Teddy Roosevelt, one wonders why he doesn’t pull the plug on his candidacy and cast his lot with McSame, as the Arizona senator’s political philosophy (such as it is) is almost a carbon copy of that advocated by Mr. Bull Moose?

  103. Robert Milnes Says:

    Andrew Taylor, isn’t the internet wonderful? People can say all kinds of incorrect things about me like you & Tom Knapp & there isn’t much I can do. Just say “No. You got it wrong.” I do like to win, though. Which McC will do & you libs will not.

  104. wmb Says:

    Does anyone take Dondero seriously. I doubt it. One great thing about Mary, as opposed to the other candidates, is that she is not a closet conservative but a dyed in the wool libertarian. If she runs I´ll be thrilled. If antiimmigration candidates win then I´m totally finished with the party.

  105. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I don’t see that most New Agers are naturally libertarian.

    I’ve lived over 20 years in Santa Monica, CA —one of the core centers of New Age thinking. The streets are filled with free New Age journals and magazines. I’ve flipped through them, on occasion, for some 20 years.

    Yes, they’re good on peace. But they’re also quite socialistic, politically speaking. Lots of editorials on global warming, pro-Kyoto treaty, support for recycling laws, environmental laws, the need for “national health care reform,” the need for more education funding, praise for Al Gore, Kucinich, Nader, Obama, etc.

    Yes, they want liberty for alternative lifestyles and spirituality, and the use alternative medical treatments—but they also want the government to force insurance companies to pay for those alternative medical treatments.

    Most New Agers I’ve met want personal liberty—subsidized by the state.

    I’m sure most oppose the freedom to own guns.

    I realize Ruwart isn’t one of those socialistic New Agers, but from my decades of flipping through their freebie journals (and meeting them, and dating some of them), most of them strike me as Democrats, many Greens, and of course, those in the Natural Law Party.

    I’m sure the LP will appeal to some. But the New Age voting pool isn’t as friendly to hard core libertarianism as some may imagine.

    I much prefer a brainy Vulcan with gravitas, and military experience, and major serious media recognition, like Karen Kwiatkowski.

    I wonder what would happen if she announced at this late time? Karen Kwiatkowski, like Ruwart, was a keynote speaker at the 2004 LP convention, and she was electrifying! Very well received. More so than Ruwart, who spoke just before or after her (before, I think).

  106. Robert Milnes Says:

    Thomas L. Sipos, like I said, first KK the MR as vp with me. THAT would be the best ticket for the LP to win in 2008.

  107. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Thomas (Sipos),

    Of course most “New Age” types are statists on many issues. Most Americans are statists on many issues. That’s just a fact of life. The question is what to do about it.

    In order to succeed in an environment where most people are statists on many issues, the LP could:

    – Become more statist itself (an option which some people support, but which I oppose); or
    – Work on turning statists into libertarians (certainly worthwhile, but very labor-intensive and a long-term project); or
    – Emphasize the areas of common ground, i.e. the areas where those generally statist people are not statist. Work to persuade those generally statist people that the common ground non-statist areas are important and worth basing one’s vote on. In aside, point out how the logic underlying the areas of common ground applies to other issues. Collect votes, and let the collection of votes hopefully be a libertarianizing experience for those from whom the votes are collected.

    Ruwart’s communications strategies fall into that last category. Political positions for most people are based on particular fears or desires, usually the former. Ruwart attempts to place the libertarian in the same state of fear/desire as the person the libertarian is talking with. The following is NOT from her book, but I think it is a similar approach.

    USUAL LIBERTARIAN APPROACH: Social Security is a Ponzi scam! You’ve been had! Trillions in unfunded liabilities! Run! Hide!

    RUWART TYPE APPROACH: Like you, I desire to retire comfortably. Like you, I do not want to retire to a life of deciding whether I have cat food for dinner in order to afford my medication, or forego my medication in order to eat properly. So, let’s talk about whether or not Social Security fits the bill, gives us what we both want, saves us from what we both fear. I say it doesn’t and here’s why …

  108. Robert Capozzi Says:

    On the New Age question:

    Rothbard cited Lao Tzu, author of the Tao, as the “first libertarian.” Some consider the Tao to be New Age.

    Does that make Rothbard New Age?

    Like most labels, the term “New Age” is used by some to exclude and categorize. If Ruwart takes the approach to SS that Knappster cites above, that strikes me as just good politics and rhetoric.

  109. Less Antman Says:

    Carl said:

    Oh, I may have underestimated Ruwart above. When I have heard her speak on the FDA, I recall she focused on the efficacy requirements added in the 1960s. I don’t think she called for the outright abolition of the FDA, only reigning it in.

    If she proves capable of sticking to such data-driven, incremental proposals, then she could be a strong candidate indeed.
    ————————————————She advocates the total abolition of the FDA. In discussing it in speeches, she does spend her time talking about the draconian effects of the Kefauver Amendment in 1962, but she describes the 1938 creation of the FDA as aggression and leaves no doubt that the FDA has no proper role in a free society:

    Her chapter on “Protecting Ourselves To Death”, without the time constraint of a speech, makes clear that the FDA before 1962 was as unacceptable as the one after:

    http://ruwart.com/Healing/chap6.html

  110. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Santa Monica is not new age. It’s socialist, period. The Berkeley of SoCal. Venice is far more new age than Santa Monica, and even there they are minor leagues.

    Real centers of New Age thought are not in California. They’re in Sedona, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Manitou Springs, CO, and other parts east.

    And BTW, your’e talking to a new ager here, and I’ve NEVER been a D or G.

    You need to get out more.

  111. George Whitfield Says:

    Thanks everyone for sharing your views on Mary Ruwart. I think she would be a good LP Presidential candidate. I hope she and Bob Barr make their decisions soon.

  112. paulie Says:

    Paulie Home Skillet Doodle,

    Take a peak at pages 413-422 of Radicals for Capitalism.
    It ain’t no Etch A Sketch.

    J.

    Gladly. As soon as I get my hands on a copy. I don’t buy books anymore due to storage issues, and my attention span has unfortunately become too short to read them much anymore. But I’d be happy to read a book dedicated to Angela Keaton.

  113. paulie Says:

    Knapp and Seebeck are once again correct.

  114. paulie Says:

    Paulie is right that progressives used conservative means (statist, authoritarian) to aim for liberal goals (libertarian). Of course those means don’t actually work and in reality achieve totalitarianism.

    Correct.

    I didn’t mention eugenics, Jim Crow, conscription (outlawed volunteering for the military), etc. because I stopped at Roosevelt and those came later. But yes, progressives continued to support very bad things under Wilson and subsequent administrations.

    Right again!

    I don’t really understand the direct democracy worship. I’ve already admitted that direct democracy can achieve some libertarian things if all the stars align. They can also achieve a lot of statist things, which they have over and over again. The founding fathers explored democracy and rejected it because it leads to majoritarian oppression of minorities. Libertarianism is not majoritarianism.

    Initiative, referendum and recall isn’t absolute direct democracy, although it is a step in that direction. And I certainly oppose direct democracy. If there is any thing I oppose more than direct democracy, it is the interlocking circle jerk of elites in control of pyramids of power within government, business, religion, etc., etc., all in cahoots against the rest of the people, who are essentially in one way or another divided, conquered, bamboozled and tricked into giving and maintaining power to and on behalf of said elites.


    The two differences between a constitutional republic and a direct democracy are intermediaries to the voting process and checks on what can be voted on. The latter is far more important from a libertarian perspective. Theoretically there could be a constitutional direct democracy which would guard against majoritarian oppression, but in practice direct democracies can amend the Constitution to get around any checks on majoritarianism (except that super-majorities can be required, which just raises the threshhold for oppression).

    In practice, too, checks and balances break down as elites within all branches of government (and outside of it) figure out how to game the system and enter into cahoots for their mutual benefit.

    I&R and recall are checks on this system, but I agree that there also need to be checks on I&R.


    The former problem is important too, but not nearly as clear to casual observers. Politicians are bad, but the notion that unrestrained direct democracy does not have similar flaws is incorrect. See Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter for an explanation of systematic anti-market, anti-foreign, make work, and pessimism bias among voters. In short, voters currently are predisposed to vote for big government because they don’t understand the benefits of libertarianism.

    As I said, I don’t trust the voters too much; I just trust politicians even less.


    Fundamentally I believe in rights which cannot be taken away by government. As a libertarian, I will never support a system which by definition can take away all rights by popular vote.

    I don’t believe I & R goes that far.


    Will I use the current initiative and referenda system to pass libertarian legislation? Of course! But I’m not going to pretend it is an optimal libertarian institution.

    Neither am I. At present, it seems slightly better than the legislative process. That is the best that can be said.

  115. paulie Says:

    I’m afraid Eric Garris’ account of the 83 convention is outside my depth. It was before my time. I’ve read Rothbard’s detailed post-convention analysis recently; it is available online, but I don’t have the link handy. Read a few Anti-Kochtopus rants which mentioned the 83 convention over at LewRockwell.com over the years. Talked to a few people who were there, such as Mark Pickens. They all had more or less roughly the same story/analysis, which differs from the account above. That’s about all.

    I’m not a fan of the CFR, but know little specifically about Ravenal other than that he was a member. I had always read previously that he was mushy on foreign policy, but I don’t remember the specifics.

    I’ve never read anything mushy on foreign policy by Ruwart, so I’m not sure why the so-called Defense Caucus would consider her the least of three evils.

  116. Andy Says:

    Here’s some confirmation that Earl Ravenal was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:FfASApnjzWUJ:www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/roundtable/CFRL-Rlist.html+Ravenal+cfr&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us

  117. Andy Says:

    Here’s more on Earl Ravenal being a member of the CFR. Scroll down to page 6.

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:EhKzEUXCpMEJ:www.mises.org/journals/lf/1983/1983_09-10.pdf+ravenal+cfr&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

  118. Andy Says:

    “I don’t really understand the direct democracy worship.”

    I don’t really understand the politician worship. It is as if once these people are DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED they are elevated to some kind of god like status.

    “I’ve already admitted that direct democracy can achieve some libertarian things if all the stars align. They can also achieve a lot of statist things, which they have over and over again. The founding fathers explored democracy and rejected it because it leads to majoritarian oppression of minorities. Libertarianism is not majoritarianism.”

    The overwellming majority of anti-liberty legislation is NOT passed through citizens intiatives, but rather by the legislative bodies whom you apparently trust a lot more than I do.

    Initiative, referenda, and recall don’t just achieve libertarian things “when the stars align,” they do this on a regular basis.

    Here’s an example.

    A few years ago in Washington the state legislature passed a tax increase on small businesses. Some small business owners got together and did a referendum petition and were able to get the tax increase overturned.

    Here’s another example.

    A few years ago in Los Angeles the city council banned lap dancing. Yes, that’s right, the city council of Los Angeles had nothing better to do so they decided to pass an ordinance to BAN lap dancing. Some strip club owners in Los Angeles got together and were able to get enough signatures on a referendum petition and got the ban rescinded. Lap dancing is still a legal activity in Los Angeles thanks to citizens right to referenda.

    Here is yet another example.

    In 2007 in Cincinnatti the city council passed a sales tax increase which they wanted to use to pay for a new jail. A lot of people in Cincinnatti were outraged by this so they started up a referendum petition to overturn this sales tax increase that was passed by the city council. They gathered enough signatures and successfully repealed this sales tax increase.

    So if there was no right to citizen referendum small business owners in Washington would have had to pay higher taxes, lap dancing would be a crime in Los Angeles, and people in Cincinnatti would have to pay a higher sales tax.

    These were just a few examples, I could go on and on with more.

    Initiatives can bring important issues to the voters, issues which many legislative bodies wouldn’t dare touch, issues where often times it is THEY THAT ARE THE PROBLEM. Such as…

    Put Spending Limits on State Government

    Legalize Marijauana

    Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal Use

    Reduce Penalties for Marijuana Pocession

    End Affirmative Action

    Legalize Casino Gambling

    J.A.I.L for Judges ( www.jail4judges.org )

    Fully Informed Jury Amendment

    Stop Eminent Domain Abuse

    Limit Property Taxes

    Limit Vehicle Registration Fees

    Abolish the State Income Tax

    Stop Rent Control

    Protect Home Owners Rights to Make Alterations to Their Homes

    All of these initiatives were in response to your beloved and trusted legislative bodies VIOLATING peoples rights.

    “The two differences between a constitutional republic and a direct democracy are intermediaries to the voting process and checks on what can be voted on.”

    There already are checks on what can be voted on in an initiative. There are also initiatives which have been ruled unconstitutional and thrown out.

    “The latter is far more important from a libertarian perspective. Theoretically there could be a constitutional direct democracy which would guard against majoritarian oppression,”

    Theoretically we are supposed to have a government which is “bound down by the chains” of a Constitution that protects individual rights and only allows for a limited government, but of course in REALITY this is not the way that things have turned out.

    The fact of the matter is that there are individuals who seek power and control of others. These people are attracted to government like flies are attract to fresh doggie doo doo. They are outstanding liars and they can successfully con enough people into electing them to office. If elections didn’t exsist they would simply take power by force.

    Some people say, “Well just elect good people to office.” As I said above, this is easier said than done. Once these corrupt individuals get into office they abuse their position by rewarding their cronies and punishing their opposition and enriching themselves. These corrupt individuals network with other corrupt individuals who have also managed to con their way into office and then they help get even more corrupt individuals like themselves into office. Then as if this wasn’t bad enough, they set up a bunch of roadblocks to make it more difficult for a good, honest, freedom loving person to get elected. The longer these individuals stay in office the more powerful, ruthless, and corrupt they get.

    This is why it is a good thing to have citizens initiaitve, referenda, and recall. It gives those who are disenfranshised by the political power establishment an avenue to fight back.

    “but in practice direct democracies can amend the Constitution to get around any checks on majoritarianism (except that super-majorities can be required, which just raises the threshhold for oppression).”

    In practice legislative bodies can amend constitutions to get around checks & balances and to violate individual rights. In practice, legislative bodies as well as the exectuive and judicial branches of government can and do flat out ignore constitutional restraints on their power.

    “The former problem is important too, but not nearly as clear to casual observers. Politicians are bad, but the notion that unrestrained direct democracy does not have similar flaws is incorrect.”

    Who said anything about supporting unrestrained direct democracy? Of course there should be limits on what can be voted on, and this is true for legislative bodies as well as initiatives.

    “See Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter for an explanation of systematic anti-market, anti-foreign, make work, and pessimism bias among voters. In short, voters currently are predisposed to vote for big government because they don’t understand the benefits of libertarianism.”

    And yet these same voters who you don’t think should be able to vote on initiatives, referenda, and recall do vote for the politicians who are in the legislative bodies.

    Something which you are not taking into consideration is that a lot of people – while not being consistently pro-liberty – do believe in liberty on some issues, and these people often end up voting for politicians who do not support liberty on issues where they do support liberty.

    For instance, a lot of Democrats (and probably some Republicans as well) in Nevada and Colorado voted yes on ballot initiatives that would have legalized an ounce of marijauna for adults 21 and over in 2006. However, these same people had gone to the polls and voted for politicians who support the War on Drugs such as John Kerry.

    Why do people do this? I’d say a lot of it boils down to the system that the corrupt politicians have created. They brainwash people in the education system and media which they worked to create and influence, and they also created an election system where it is very difficult for a good, freedom loving person to get elected. From special interest money to gerrymandered voting districts to “debates” where not all of the candidates are included to difficult ballot access barriers to campaign finance laws that give the advantage to incumbents, the corrupt politicians have created a pretty comfortable racket for themselves.

    However, in spite of this, they can’t “stomp” all of the desire for freedom out of all of the people. A lot of people still get mad when their property taxes go up. A lot of people think that marijuana should be legal. A lot of people get angry over the idea that government can take a person’s land and hand it over to a politicially connected corporation or government agency, and that they don’t even have to give the property owner just compensation. A lot of people think that the court system is corrupt. A lot of people hate paying outrageous fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    So what are these people to do? It is very difficult to get a good person elected to office. In a suprising number of races there is only one candidate on the ballot. Even when there are good, freedom loving candidates on the ballot most of the public never hears about them because they recieve little to no coverage in the media and are generally not included in the debates. Not all of these people are consistently pro-liberty and even out of those who are at least generally pro-liberty they usually get intimidated into and in some cases even forced to chose between whoever they consider to be the “lesser of two evils” when they vote.

    Initiative, referenda, and recall (in the places where it exsists) is one of the few peaceful tools that regular people have left to fight back against government power.

    “Fundamentally I believe in rights which cannot be taken away by government. As a libertarian, I will never support a system which by definition can take away all rights by popular vote.”

    I also believe that rights should not be taken away by government, however, what you are forgetting is that legislative bodies vote to take away people’s rights on a regular basis.

    This reminds me of a quote from Benjamin Franklin that I believe goes, “Nobodies liberty is safe when the legislature is in session.”

    In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson said that “We the people” have a “Right and Duty” to “alter or abolish government” if it violates our rights.

    Initiative, referenda, and recall is a peaceful means of altering, or in some cases abolishing at least a part of, government.

    “Will I use the current initiative and referenda system to pass libertarian legislation? Of course! But I’m not going to pretend it is an optimal libertarian institution.”

    The optimal libertarian solution is to abolish all coercive government and have a voluntary society. Of course this is far easier said than done.

    The fact of the matter is that we have to deal with the reality of the situation in which we are living and work to make changes from here. I think that having citizens initiative, referenda, and recall is a good thing because it gives us more tools to enact pro-liberty changes.

    Long time libertarian activist Paul Jacob certainly agree with this.

    http://www.citizensincharge.org/

  119. Less Antman Says:

    I wrote speeches for Bergland in 1983, and must correct Garris’ memory that foreign policy wasn’t a focus of Bergland’s campaign: non-intervention and opposition to SDI were in every single speech I wrote for him up through the nomination (I only wrote one more speech after the convention, a stump speech that also focused on these issues, but for various reasons I was not otherwise involved in the campaign after that point). These were central campaign themes for Bergland.

    I’d like to see any evidence that Ravenal called for unilateral nuclear disarmament during that campaign: he was opposed by most LP members because he had written pro-intervention articles and provided no evidence of knowing or agreeing with the LP platform. Perhaps he said this privately to Garris et al before they jumped, but I’m pretty sure the convention would have remembered any public avowal of that sort. I should remember: MY 1982 campaign for state senate in California was the first one that included a call for UND. Jeffrey Rogers Hummel wrote a position paper on UND for my campaign that we ran in Caliber, the California Libertarian newspaper I published at the time for the LPC. Since Jeff and I obviously talked about this extensively, we would have remembered any candidate taking such a position. I certainly don’t, and I’ll ask if he did tomorrow, as this was one of the most important issues to him at the time, and he was even in the process of writing a book on the subject (later abandoned).

    Certainly, Ravenal was a foreign policy expert and former Defense Department analyst who, prior to the convention, had always described himself as a libertarian sympathizer, but denied he was a libertarian, and thought it went too far. At the convention, he recanted some of his previous disagreements, but not others. He said he no longer thought a military draft was ever needed (he had previously written in support of the draft in certain circumstances), but continued to defend compulsory vaccination, his earlier call for a military attack of Iran in response to the 1979 hostage crisis, and his support for CIA assassination programs. He preferred to talk about reducing the size of government and its programs and was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of sounding like a radical (since he had a reputation to protect as a respected mainstream policy analyst). I thought at the time that he was a very nice man who was still only a libertarian sympathizer, and to this day I don’t know where he stood on a whole host of military, economic, and personal issues.

    Bergland himself didn’t think he was an ideal candidate: he only entered the race because of the surprising withdrawal of Gene Burns. I respect the decision of Garris, Raimondo, Hunter, and Olmsted to change to Ravenal because of a sense that Bergland was too dull, didn’t have a good strategy for the general election, and wouldn’t be getting any financial support from the Koch brothers (the Kochs were only going to stay if Ravenal was the nominee). But Bergland never, but never, was soft on any part of the platform. I spoke recently with Olmsted, who does not remember ideology playing any part in his decision to go with the Radical Caucus Gang of 4 to support Ravenal.

    Bergland did not take a position on VP (as if LP members have ever let the presidential nominee choose his running mate). After Ruwart dropped out, the votes of Bergland and Ravenal went up by roughly equal amounts, with Bergland reaching a majority. There wasn’t the slightest reason for Bergland to feel indebted to Ruwart for his nomination.

    By the way, Garris may have been unfairly smeared by Rothbard, who told me that Eric and Justin switched to Ravenal because of promised paid positions in the campaign. I think Murray was genuinely upset that 4 members of the Radical Caucus decided to abandon the only clearly radical candidate (nobody really knew much about Ruwart in 1983, or we would have realized we had an appealing radical alternative available), and so he was willing to accept any rumor as to the reason. I know that I was very upset by the change, as well, but have come to accept that the Gang or 4 just saw things differently from me at the time.

  120. Susan Hogarth Says:

    MY 1982 campaign for state senate in California was the first one that included a call for UND.

    w00t! You should consider running in 2012, Less. This is an issue that has gotten surprisingly little voice since the eighties, it seems to me. Let’s get the city-flattening weapons out of the hands of the government!

  121. Robert Milnes Says:

    Susan, not exactly. That would get OUR cityflattening (& incinerating) weapons out of the hands of OUR government. What about the REST of them in the hands of Russia, England, France, China, Pakistan, India & Israel(unofficially)? I’ve proposed negotiating them down to 100 total. That’s the threshold for a nuclear winter. At that number the use them or lose them is no longer valid. & a firing by one on another would not destroy all. & all would be motivated to not engage. etc,

  122. Chuck Moulton Says:

    Andy wrote:

    I don’t really understand the politician worship. ... All of these initiatives were in response to your beloved and trusted legislative bodies VIOLATING peoples rights.

    You seem stuck on responding to straw men. I don’t worship politicians, I don’t trust legislatures, and I want to drastically scale back government.

    Andy wrote:

    The overwellming majority of anti-liberty legislation is NOT passed through citizens intiatives, but rather by the legislative bodies

    That’s an irrelevant statistic. Obviously a lot more legislation total is passed by legislative bodies (including both anti-liberty and pro-liberty measures). The real question is whether initiatives in the aggregate expand government or contract it. A look at the history of initiatives clearly shows government grew. Cherry pick examples all you want, it doesn’t change that fact.

    Andy wrote:

    I think that having citizens initiative, referenda, and recall is a good thing because it gives us more tools to enact pro-liberty changes.

    It also gives our opponents more tools to enact anti-liberty changes. As long as you only look at the benefits and don’t factor in the costs, you won’t get a full picture of the effect of direct democracy.

  123. Wesley J. Pinchot Says:

    Of course, consistent libertarians uphold the right of private individuals and organizations to own any kind of weapon.

    That ought to be a consistent deterrent against foreign-instigated cityflattening or incinerating.

    I realize we are talking political non-viability here.

  124. Less Antman Says:

    Susan, I will say that I considered it key that I was running as a local candidate at the time. Bergland never called for UND in any speeches I wrote, I don’t expect Dr. Ruwart to do so, and I wouldn’t do it today were I the nominee. I think the presidential candidate should not adopt a campaign theme at variance with the views of most of those he is representing, and while always honestly answering when asked, should remember that honesty includes making clear when most LP members disagree. One of many reasons for a comprehensive platform is to discuss tough issues, and if large numbers of Ron Paul Youth join as a result of a solid campaign outreach, the topic should be addressed in the 2010 platform discussions. But I think most LP members sincerely believe that we are safer with a large cache of nuclear weapons under the sober control of George Bush.

  125. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Robert writes:

    That would get OUR cityflattening (& incinerating) weapons out of the hands of OUR government.

    Gotta start somewhere, eh?

    Less, you had me going for a bit there. Now I have a hankering to get UND into the platform :)

  126. Robert Milnes Says:

    Susan, this is a good example of why the radicals can not win. MAYBE it is a correct argument-start somewhere. But most people will objectively see that it unnecessarily puts the U.S. in a vulnerable position & throws its trump cards. Suddenly in nuclear negotiations our position is as strong as the weakest third world country. & Less, those weapons are under a LOT more control than GB’s sober finger. & I wouldn’t rely too much on the wisdom of ANY youth. You think any youth has all the answers? I don’t think so.

  127. paulie Says:

    Chuck,

    In contrast to I&R, I can’t think of much in the way of PRO-liberty legislation passed by legislatures.

  128. Andy Says:

    “You seem stuck on responding to straw men. I don’t worship politicians, I don’t trust legislatures, and I want to drastically scale back government.”

    By opposing initaitive, referenda, and recall, you are opposing three good tools for scaling back government.

    “That’s an irrelevant statistic. Obviously a lot more legislation total is passed by legislative bodies (including both anti-liberty and pro-liberty measures). The real question is whether initiatives in the aggregate expand government or contract it. A look at the history of initiatives clearly shows government grew. Cherry pick examples all you want, it doesn’t change that fact.”

    How often does any legislative body pass any pro-liberty legislation? A lower percentage of stuff passed by legislative bodies is pro-liberty than when compared to initaitive & referenda when you look at a comparison on a ratio scale.

    Also, you completely ignore that in the aggregate, legislative bodies CLEARLY lead to growth in government.

    One other thing that you are ignoring is that in many cases, there are initiatives that are PUT ON THE BALLOT BY A LEGILATIVE BODY. Yes, that’s right, not all initiatives are put on the ballot through citizen petitions. Sometimes legislative bodies put initiatives on the ballot. And guess what, these initiatives that are put on the ballot by legislative bodies are almost always for bigger government.

    Case in point.

    A few years ago in Los Angeles a citizens petition came out to increase the sales tax for more money for the police. However, it turned out to be very difficult to get signed as this was unpopular with a lot of the public. It was so difficult to get signed that it looked like they weren’t going to get enough signatures to make it on the ballot, so they called the petition drive off. However, this was not the end of the initiative. To save the initiative from failing to qualify for the ballot, the city council just put it on the ballot! That’s right, they were having trouble getting enough signatures on it so the city council just jumped in and said the heck with getting signatures, we want this on the ballot so we are just going to put it there!

    “It also gives our opponents more tools to enact anti-liberty changes. As long as you only look at the benefits and don’t factor in the costs, you won’t get a full picture of the effect of direct democracy.”

    Yes, anti-liberty things can be done as initiatives as well, however, there is less of a need to take anti-liberty things to a citizens initiative because legislative bodies are usually more than happy to pass things that are anti-liberty. Legislative bodies are less likely to pass anything that is pro-liberty, and they are way less likely to pass anything that is radically pro-liberty. This is all the more reason that we need initiative, referenda, and recall.

  129. Eric Dondero Says:

    There is now a major article on this very topic, quoting many of the commenters here, up at www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com

    Alas, make comments at TPW, and you may end up quoted in a news article.

  130. Less Antman Says:

    Some corrections:

    (1) Ruwart declared in 1983 AFTER Bergland, a couple days before the convention. She clearly wasn’t happy with either of the existing choices.

    (2) The round after her withdrawal, Bergland went up by 51 votes and Ravenal by 45 (Bergland winning 270 to 230). Her campaign was not part of a master plan to get Bergland the nomination, or at least nobody told any of her supporters.

    (3) A review of notes and discussion with Hummel confirms that Ravenal did not come out for unilateral nuclear disarmament. I actually have a videotape of a panel on national defense that included Hummel and Ravenal that will make clear the faulty memory of the gentleman who remembers it that way.

    (4) This “nothing but a sweetheart” stuff is nauseating. Nobody who ever read any of her books or saw her speak on libertarianism (including a speech last month at the LPC convention) would make this error. I will not deny that she is attractive, and non-confrontational in style. Radicals don’t HAVE to be aggressive.

  131. Phillip Rhodes Says:

    Why would Bob Barr run for the Libertarian nomination? And why would anybody want him to represent the LP? He has a long way to go to earn enough Libertarian “chops” in my mind at least, to even think about doing something like that.

    Libertarians for McCain? Give me a break… McCain is a freaking fascist warmonger and if he wins, you might as well say Bush won a 3rd term. What Libertarian wants that?

    Mary Ruwart? Don’t know a lot about her, but everything sounds pretty positive so far.

  132. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Alot of stuff going on here. I think it is great, even the Donderoooooooo stuff. Every time Dondero opens his mouth . . . well, we know what is inserted.

    I am only going to say that (and I am not necessarily plugged in to the PULSE of the LP) of the people who I know are going to Denver as delegates, the ratio of Ruwart to everyone else is about 10 to 1. The first step is getting the nomination, then marketing to the “masses” (To the extent an LP Prez candidate actually gets marketed). Mary Ruwart has the best shot of all the declared candidates by far to win the nomination, and new agey or not, she alone (of the LP candidates) can assimilate with a large number of voters as to how and why libertarianism is best for them.

    As an aside, Carl (Milsted) has shown why he is no longer an LP member. He cannot accept the non-aggression axiom as proper for human interaction. So, how much violence Carl, are you willing to inflict on people anyway? For what purpose? Does omniscient Carl get to decide when, where how and why that initiation of violence is warranted? Not likely. That is why “Zero” aggression is proper, because political, power hungry individuals in the coercive state do! The less opportunity that power hungry people in the state (a redundant phrase?) have to initiate violence, the better, with zero being best.

    Steve LaBianca

  133. Steve LaBianca Says:

    If I had to categorize, I believe that Mary Ruwart absolutely supports the non (zero) aggression principle. This is fundamental libertarian political philosophy. However, and I believe that this is where too many libertarians get confused, is the getting from where we are to “zero” requires strategy and marketing. Mary Ruwart excels there as well, with the ability to reach all political types. In my book, this is why Mary Ruwart is THE “Win-Win” candidate . . . “Philosophically-Strategically”.

    SL

  134. John David Christensen Says:

    Mary Ruwart for President

    Dr. Mary J. Ruwart’s recently announced candidacy for the Libertarian Party’s (LP) presidential nomination should be cause for celebration by libertarian activists everywhere. Or at least by those who desire a movement that is as broadly-based and spirited as the revolution Ron Paul inspired.

    Dr. Ruwart is the Libertarian presidential candidate most likely to rally a larger constituency amidst growing disaffection with the McCain/Obama/Clinton redux Russian roulette. She is the candidate who can yet recapture the now leaderless legions of Ron Paul supporters, particularly Dr. Paul’s younger enthusiasts. Dr. Ruwart’s candidacy has the potential to revitalize Libertarian presidential politics and energize the libertarian base constituency. The evidence posted here and elsewhere suggests that I am by no means alone in these sentiments.

    Her Web site www.votemary2008.com features endorsements from former LNC chair Dave Walter, Freedom Library president Howard Blitz, Liberty Reclaimed author Jim Peron, and Jarret Wollstein, author of Surviving Terrorism and Society without Coercion.

    Rather more to the point Mary Ruwart is no ‘Johnny-come-lately’ to Libertarian politics. For the past three decades she’s been a consistently engaged and tireless LP candidate, spokesperson, and champion of libertarian causes. Dr. Ruwart carried the LP banner in a dozen campaigns for public office. Her 1990 candidacy for the Michigan Board of Education won the support of the Detroit News, which makes her one of the first Libertarian candidates to receive a major newspaper’s endorsement.
    But she never compromised her plumb-line libertarian principles in the pursuit of public office. Her Web site states libertarian position from which she does not waver: “We need to get our nation back on track. Only a president who understands the libertarian ideals that made this country great can do so. Big Brother-style taxes and regulations legalize the exploitation of one group for the benefit of another, creating division and sowing discord. Liberty, on the other hand, unites us in true equality, prosperity, and peace. Only Liberty can heal the rifts that divide and impoverish us.”

    So who is Mary Ruwart and why are so many libertarian worthies saying such nice things about her? By profession she is a respected research scientist, ethicist, and a successful author. Her book Healing Our World is highly praised by none less than Dr. Ron Paul himself. In 2002 Dr. Paul nominated Dr. Ruwart to be Food & Drug Administration Commissioner. How she might have performed in that role is revealed in her analysis of health care issues: “We could be enjoying a Golden Age of health and unsurpassed longevity without the government interference that started in the 1950s.”

    On the War in Iraq Mary Ruwart understands George Santayana’s warning that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it: “The lives of our brave young men and women who have volunteered to protect us are being sacrificed in a Middle Eastern Vietnam.” Unlike the other parties’ candidates Dr. Ruwart would bring all the troops home, including those in Europe, Korea, and Japan: “My priority as Commander-in-Chief would be the protection of our nation’s shores.”

    She bluntly describes the post-9/11 erosion of Americans’ civil liberties: “The current administration tells us that the terrorists attacked on 9/11 because they were jealous of our freedoms. If that’s true we’ve played right into their hands with the ‘Patriot Act’ and the Military Commissions Act. These acts have all but eliminated our Bill of Rights. We are no longer the land of the free, but the home of the slave.” As a U.S. Congressman Ron Paul of course voted against both measures.

    Candidly, Mary Ruwart does disagree with Ron Paul on the issues of abortion and immigration. But these are issues on which many libertarians, while still supporting Paul, also parted company with him. And these are the issues that distinguish, or ought to distinguish, libertarians from garden-variety Republican conservatives. Where Ron Paul’s anti-war positions drew liberals to libertarianism, Dr. Ruwart casts her net wider still, and without compromising libertarian principles.

    At the Vermont Libertarians’ recent state convention LP member and Ron Paul supporter Steven Howard described the libertarian challenge as, “changing the conversation.” More than any candidate seeking the LP presidential nomination Mary Ruwart will certainly change the conversation and build a campaign, a movement, that is truly beyond left and right while drawing support from both camps.

    In the 1940s when libertarians were thin on the ground and the movement was yet in its infancy it was three women—Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Ayn Rand—who charted the course to freedom at a time when the prospects for liberty looked remote indeed. Rand’s novel The Fountainhead, Lane’s book The Discovery of Freedom and Paterson’s The God of the Machine inspired the modern libertarian movement. Perhaps it’s time for a woman to again lead libertarianism out of the wilderness.

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