Steve G.

Ending a long-term relationship.

In Libertarian on July 6, 2008 at 9:46 pm

I have had many relationships and friendships. I have been faithful to my wife for 8 years. I have been faithful to my party for almost 16 years. Some relationships come and go and I’m not divorcing my wife. As of November, I will no longer be involved in the Libertarian Party and will allow my membership to relapse in January. The LP of today is not the same LP I joined in 1992. I did not become a libertarian to be part of a party that is increasing becoming Republican-lite. If I wanted to be a Republican, I would have joined the Republican Party years ago. There are many things that led me to believe that the LP is no longer the “party of principle”.

How many of you are supporting the Barr/Root ticket just because they are the LP nominee? I don’t know about you but my principles far outweigh the party, especially when the party has been becoming more unprincipled. Just a few examples:

Our platform has been obliterated.

We selected a non-libertarian for our Presidential nominee

We waste money on Razor’s Edge database, an extravagant office at the Watergate Building and we hire non-efficient mercenary petitioners.

Our National dues pay for a hothead as Political Director, a conservative for Executive Director, who thankfully resigned, the interim executive director is a complete moron, a homophobe for Media Coordinator and a Member Services Specialist, who didn’t get my wife’s name right even after you tell her how to spell it THREE times. We can’t forget Scott Kolhass, who makes 40 cents for every dollars he fundraises for ballot access and then doesn’t pay the petitioners for their services!

We have Bill Redpath, who has been incompetent as the Chair. M Carling is a bigot, sexist and racist. Aaron Starr, Scott Lieberman and Bruce Cohen are all warmongers and want to mold the LP to their liking. Of course there are many of those who I have worked with in the past who have abandoned their libertarian values for short term electoral gains. To the rest of the decent folks on the LNC, jump off the sinking ship NOW while you still have your sanity!

Let’s face it, there is a purge going on. Those in control of the LP want the party to be more conservative and less libertarian. You know leaving the party to rot isn’t such a bad idea. If you want to run as a real libertarian, do it as an Independent or the Boston Tea Party. I will still support real Libertarian candidates. Stop supporting National! Without your funds they can’t survive. If you really feel compelled to stay in the LP, do it within your state and local organizations. Don’t let National run your ballot access drives and do not let them contribute a dime to those efforts.

I went back to college to help the LP elect REAL Libertarian candidates to office, looks like I wasted my time and money to pursue a goal for a party that doesn’t deserve me. I’ll be concentrating my efforts elsewhere;the party is just a small portion of the libertarian movement.

Maybe Richard Boddie was right? The difference between a libertarian and an anarcho-capitalist is 6-7 years.

  1. […] His entire post can be read at Last Free Voice. […]

  2. Bravo, sir!

    And for the others who read, but haven’t yet jumped ship, decapitalize today!

    My only thought is… November?

  3. I can’t speak for Chris, but Mike, I assume it has to do with prior commitments. Chris Bennett is a man of integrity.

  4. I have commitments on my state party’s organizational committee and I am the campaign manager for Larry Stafford who is running for US Senate here in Illinois. After November I wash my hands of this filth!

  5. Chris, I can’t say I blame you. I’m embarrassed to admit that I just sent $50 to national. They won’t even take the time to add my campaign link to the website. I feel like a rube.

    Just understand that the exodus of actual libertarians all but assures the prophecy will continue to be fulfilled. I hope you’ll reconsider and at least stay connected with your state party.

  6. The LP has *ALWAYS* had a problem with conservatives attemping to hijack the party and make it into something approaching (as Tom Knapp describes) the republicans’ bitch.

    And, the LP has always had a problem with hardworking, dedicated activists becoming demoralized and digusted with the seeming incompetence in the LP national office. At least since I became active in the LP in the early eighties. Anybody remember the neonazi that ran the Houston office before we moved the national office to DC?

    But I hope that Chris Bennett reconsiders his decision. Yeah, it *DOES* show integrity to expose the current incompetence, malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance.

    I just don’t wish others to consider flight to be an option when we still have some fight left in us.


  7. Chris Bennett Said on June 15, 2008:
    “I haven’t left the party…..I have unfinished business that needs to get taken care of before I ever bolt.”

    It must have been a sour two weeks.
    Explain the Boddie reference to me. Are anarcho-capitalists closer or further from senility than libertarians?

  8. “We have Bill Redpath, who has been incompetent as the Chair. M Carling is a bigot, sexist and racist. Aaron Starr, Scott Lieberman and Bruce Cohen are all warmongers and want to mold the LP to their liking.”

    Mr. Bennett,

    It is precisely these sorts of unsubstantiated offensive remarks that are poisonous to any volunteer organization.

    I don’t recall ever having a conversation with you on this subject or any other subject for that matter.

    I am not a warmonger. For you to call me one is downright rude.

    If your posting is representative of your level of manners and civility, I invite you to take a long walk on a short pier.

    Good day!

    Aaron Starr

  9. Sounds like no great loss to me.

    As much as I agree with the “radicals” on all the issues, the LP will never be anything as a radical niche party. We should gladly count as an ally any one who wants to move in the right direction, regardless of how far they want to go.

  10. Are anarcho-capitalists closer or further from senility than libertarians?


  11. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

    Quitters never win, WINNERS never quit…

  12. I see that I got Aaron Starr’s goat. Just seeing Aaron respond made my day. I hope he’s happy that he finally got the party and the non-libertarian presidential candidate that conservatarian had wet dreams about.

    Quitters quit when hope is hopeless. The LP is hopeless and I’ll win doing something else.

  13. I’ve disagreed with Aaron Starr many times on the LNC, but I haven’t ever seen anything from him that leads me to believe he is pro-war. I’ve heard such allegations about Scott Lieberman for a while too, but none of my interactions with Scott have supported that conclusion either.

    Lack of comment on your other allegations does not mean I agree with them.

  14. I hope you will reconsider leaving the Party, Chris. You are a great asset to the LP. I’d recommend at least attending the 2010 convention to try to change the direction.

  15. Chris – your exit, however noble, is exactly what these fascist fucks want.

    I can assure you that after Barf loses, as all LP candidates will (by design), he and his opportunist posse will move on to scam other gullible idiots. A good number of retard caucus morons, and other barfers, will finally pull their heads out of their asses and realize that the LP is a waste of time and bail (although it takes many years for some). Others may progress towards a more Libertarian ideology and stay. That will leave another opportunity to return libertarianism to the LP.

    The sad thing is, the one year when the LP has a golden opportunity to make huge advances with a Libertarian message (thanks to Ron Paul), it has decided to nominate a McNuts clone (per voting record) as its standard bearer. Of course Barf was in the CIA for nearly 10 years. Once in the CIA always in the CIA. His odd presence could very well not be a coincidence at all.

  16. At the February 17 2008 LNC meeting in Charleston, I presented an Iraq Withdrawal resolution.

    Aaron Starr moved a substitute motion:
    “Resolved, the LNC applauds staff’s ongoing public policy pronouncements on public policy matters.”

    By now most of us know about the later press release which attacked a leading presidential candidate, Mary Ruwart. Obviously, applauding staff’s pronouncements would have been a big mistake.

    Believe it or not, Aaron’s substitute motion failed by just one vote, and one of those votes was Bob Barr’s.

    I do think Aaron Starr means well but he’s by trade a bean counter. He’s the Treasurer of the Libertarian Party yet seems to think of himself as a marketing expert. Aaron, if you’re some kind of marketing and fund raising expert, then why, despite the fact that you contribute more and more, does the LP seem to be raising less and less?

    Perhaps your well-intended efforts are hurting more than they’re helping. Perhaps you are ignorant of secondary unintended consequences.

    Perhaps you owe a big apology and a big payment to the LP for your role in smearing Mary Ruwart (even though you covered your tracks quite well). What exactly was your indirect role in smearing Mary Ruwart?

    Aaron, how much money do you think the Bob Barr campaign will raise by election day?

  17. Thank you for this clear statement, Chris. You rock!

    I agree that Aaron Starr is a war enthusiast. If he’s not actually selling the war, he has not convinced me he’s against it. And since he invites you to take a long walk off a short pier, it seems to me that you are right to wrap up your commitments and go.

    The Boston Tea Party is ready, willing, and able to take on the role of being the party of principle. I have gone over some of the reasons I think we’ll do a better job – openness, less money to corrupt us, more control by the members. See my comments at or for details.

  18. “openness, less money to corrupt us, more control by the members”

    All those things could also be attributed to the fact that you’re a few dozen guys on some blogs.

  19. I thought we were calling it Retard Carcass now, disinter, because carcass will be all that’s left past November.

  20. All of this in fighting between radicals and non-radicals is like a 400 pound man refusing to go on a diet because he can’t decide whether his goal weight should be 200 or 150.

  21. wesbenedict Says:
    July 7, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Perhaps you owe a big apology and a big payment to the LP for your role in smearing Mary Ruwart (even though you covered your tracks quite well). What exactly was your indirect role in smearing Mary Ruwart?

    Apparently “tracks” were not quite covered well enough! Is it not common knowledge (my understanding is that this is accurately documented) that Starr personally ordered Mary Ruwart’s “Short Answers to the Tough Questions” in April from Laissez Faire Books? That this order was placed with “extreme rush”, with shipping cost no object, for the express purpose of getting it into the hands of, i.e. was “rush” shipped to, Mark Schreiber (W.A.R.’s campaign manager) in Lexington, Kentucky? That this book purchase was revealed by Schreiber publicly at the Indiana Convention (including, that an extremely expensive “rush” shipping cost was paid) for the express purpose of “revealing” the page 43 “tough” question about how a libertarian could argue against child pornography? (Mind you, Mary Ruwart was giving reasons for libertarians to argue against child pornography, not FOR it!)

    Wes, is this the “indirect role” of Starr in the Ruwart smear that you allude to? If not, and this information wasn’t common knowledge, then I guess I’ve “outed” Starr! Oops!

    I would be interested to know if Barr had any “role” in any of this as well. If there was such a role, maybe those “tracks” were covered better than Starr’s.

  22. I supported Mary Ruwart through 6 ballots in Denver. I agree, however, that her child porno answer was inelegant and could be misinterpreted by non-libertarians. That is true of just about any stand “real” libertarians take: drugs, terrorism, privatizing lighthouses, whatever. I think what hurt her was not her answer per se but that it worked against her image of being able to articulate tough libertarian answers to a non-libertarian audience. Bob Barr isn’t, apparently, any better at it (and may not be giving “tough libertarian answers” in the first place.)
    The LP has been “captured” in the past by supporters of a presidential candidate – the ‘834 Berglandistas lasted through the Gingell administration ton ’94 and then the Browne-iacs had their back to back runs. Persistent opposition eventually wins, without destroying the Party, and successive exodus’ by Crane, Rothbard, Emsberger, Willis et al – while personally satisfying to them – have not caused the LP to substantially alter its ways.

  23. I am so sorry that you feel this way – and that you have taken this action.

    Chris, a couple of months ago, when I realized how things were going here in the REAL Washington, I walked into an State ExecComm mtg., and claimed the Convention for myself. It was pretty successful, given the 6 week lead time. Given all the constraints, it was DAMN successful!

    When I got to Denver, and realized that we had no representation, I put together Region 7, and became Regional Rep. And I had to do both things – to be able to steer the boat that I’m afraid may be sinking, and I want to reclaim; AND because I can’t just quit something that I value so much. What has been an important part of my life, and a huge part of my Hugs’ and my life together.

    I know that you have been much more active than I in the last few years, and I understand burn-out. Will you consider taking a break for a few months, and then reconsidering?

  24. Chris, congrats on your sensible decision to stop throwing away your money and time on a lost cause!

    Now, please consider the next logical step: Joining the Free State Project!

  25. Yeah, indeed, get up here to New Hampshire, where you can actually make a difference.

  26. Hi Michael – long time no hear! Coincidentally (?) Van Dyke popped up here today as well for the first time in ages.

    Great essay!

    I hope we can get you to write here too, and publish stuff like that…

    BTW your essay ties in well with a good comment from Starchild that has me thinking – made on LPRadicals list

    “Things really have gotten to
    the point in the United States that we dissidents need to start
    cultivating our international contacts and appealing to them to put
    pressure on the government that is disenfranchising us as well as
    violating accepted international standards for fair electoral
    practices and various international treaties to which it is a party.”

  27. Oh, so “dissident” is Starchild’s latest conceit of the hour?

  28. Conceit or not, it’s not far off.

    You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  29. A few dozen guys on some blogs have the power to change the world. We are, so far, 175 men and women on Facebook, and 150 men and women on the official party site. We were about 37 in early May, so we are certainly the fastest growing libertarian party in America.

    Given that the LP is shrinking, you can be sure our growth makes me very proud.

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