Steve G.

Multiple BTP NatComm candidates not even old enough to drive

In Boston Tea Party, Children, Libertarian, Politics on October 25, 2008 at 12:52 am

Earlier today, I covered the ongoing BTP convention.  Checking into some of the National Committee candidates with whom I am unfamiliar, I ran across an admission on the BTP site that Matty Grossman, candidate for Vice Chair, just turned 16 years old within the last few days (if he’s even 16 yet).  Looking closer I discovered that Andrew Martin, candidate for At-Large Representative, has admitted that he is only 13 years old.  There may be others who are also that young, as I don’t know most of the candidates.

Normally I would never name anyone under the age of 18.  In this case, however, I feel I have no choice because these boys are on an election ballot for a national political party, and those voting have a right to know they are that young.

I cannot support anyone that age seeking a National Committee position, because they simply don’t have enough life experience to make the types of decisions necessary at that level of responsibility.  Even if, for the sake of argument, they are the most mature young teenagers on earth, they are not old enough to legally enter into any kind of contract.  They also are completely dependent upon their parents’ authority; and their parents may not even know, or approve, of their candidacy since this is all being done online.  

This could cause some very serious problems for the BTP.  Who knows how their parents may react, if they are opposed to the idea but didn’t know about it until it was too late?  Who knows what someone that young may be interested in next month, much less next year or two years from now?  The truth is, at their ages even they don’t know.  There’s nothing wrong with that, because it’s normal for young teenagers.  However, it is problematic if they are running for an elected office in a national political party, with a two-year term.

It also raises another extremely serious concern. Very recently, a woman contacted Todd Andrew Barnett, in his capacity as BTP Vice Chair – the same position now sought by Matty – regarding alleged childhood sexual abuse which she thought needed to be brought to the party’s attention.  I really don’t think a 16-year-old, much less a 13-year-old, should be exposed to details of such an obviously adult subject.  Furthermore, to discuss it with someone that young may even be viewed by authorities as abuse, thus opening up a whole other can of worms.  In some states, having a sexual conversation of any type with a child online is a felony, and it doesn’t matter whether you knew they were a child.

I also do not believe that lady (or any other responsible adult) would ever intentionally share adult conversation of any type with someone that young. However, had Matty or Andrew already been elected to BTP NatComm, there would be no reason for anyone to even suspect they were talking to a child.  It simply would never occur to anyone that National Committee members of any political party are young teenagers.  It makes absolutely no sense that someone that young would ever hold such an office, or even be permitted to become a candidate.  It makes absolutely no sense that adults would place these boys in a position where they are likely to be exposed to harassment and abusive behavior from disgruntled and angry adults, as we all know happens regularly in third parties, and especially online.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these boys.  I don’t even know them, though I wish them only the best as with all young people, and strongly encourage them to follow their dreams.  However, at this point in their lives, they cannot possibly be mature enough or experienced enough to hold that kind of position.  It is not in their best interests, and it is not in the party’s best interests.  And frankly, it worries me for their sake that they are being allowed to get themselves into a situation which is definitely not for children.

This brings me to my final point.  Unless someone has actually met these boys, how do you know it’s not someone just messing with the BTP, trying to make the party look ridiculous just because they can?  It wouldn’t be the first time that happened, after all.  During the BTP Presidential nominating convention, the site was invaded by a group of teenagers intent upon skewering the election results.  While the damage was undone by quick recognition and intervention, there is absolutely nothing to stop someone from perpetrating a hoax intended to harm the party, if they simply take the time to become accepted on the site.

  1. In 1993, a teenager ran for chair of the Libertarian Party at its convention in Salt Lake City. That was “before my time,” but my recollection from secondhand accounts is that she was 14 or 15 and polled double-digit percentages. It didn’t destroy, or particularly embarrass, the Libertarian Party.

    Mr. Martin and Mr. Grossman have not been dishonest about their ages.

    Whether or not they are “children” is a matter of opinion (both are of an age at which, as late as early in the last century, they might very well have been married, procreating and earning their own livings).

    As far as whether or not one or both of them are running some kind of hoax, well, sure, it’s possible — as it is of each of the other candidates. That’s the risk any organization takes any time it opens itself up to membership.

    As the party’s web site administrator (a job I’ll be happy to hand over to someone else ASAP, btw), I monitor the site’s activity, looking for indicators of fraud, ballot-stuffing, etc. The only voting anomaly I’ve seen so far is that I myself seem to have a lot more votes than I expected for national committee. Since it would be improper for me to investigate that myself, I’ll be asking the chair to do so.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  2. I think you’re right ENM. I was surprised to find this out as well. 13 is definitely too young.

    That said, there are other, older candidates involved, and assuming voters do their due diligence, they can make their own decisions about this.

    But your points about very young person’s interests changing rapidly and the inappropriateness of them being exposed to certain adult issues they may not be ready for is right on.

  3. There was a fellow named Peter Borah who was 17 that was elected to the BTP National Committee in 2006.

    I’m not sure, but I think he survived the ordeal.

    http://www.pnar.org/btp.htm

  4. There are no restrictions pertaining to age in the BTP’s bylaws. Nor, in my opinion, should there be.

    We are libertarians, which hopefully indicates that we are individualists and that we therefore judge individuals, not age groups (or genders, or skin colors, or sexual orientations, etc.) in any particular matter.

    Last time I looked, neither of these two candidates appeared set to win their elections … but if either or both of them did, I’d continue to evaluate them on performance, not age.

    My two sons are 10 and 7 respectively. I would not encourage either of them to be involved in this particular aspect of politics yet (nor would they want to), but frankly I suspect both of them have attended more political committee meetings, marched in more demonstrations, put candidate literature on more doors, worked more hours at polling places, and conversed with more politicians on matters of policy than the average American adult. Hell, Daniel has attended three national LP conventions, Liam two. I can think of three local elections that might quite possibly have gone the other way without their activism, including their mother’s election to public office.

  5. The arguments against younger members running for office are the same tired arguments made about every minority. You can’t trust blacks with the vote, women would faint at every major event, the immigrants don’t deserve the vote, etc. All these arguments are vile bigotry.

    The age of majority is thirteen. Biological events take place at that age. Traditional cultures have recognized manhood at that age.

    There have been kings crowned at age 13 and marriages consummated at age 13. If you are charged an adult price to sit in the theater, why shouldn’t you be eligible for election? It isn’t like the George W. Bush administration has been mature or reasoned.

    Note that there are no comments on this thread from people under age 21. I wonder why.

    People should be free. They should be free whether or not Mom thinks they are old enough to be free. It should not be up to my mother whether I’m free. So why should it be up to, say, Matty’s?

  6. It’s sad that ageism exists even among libertarians. Of course age is often a poor proxy for maturity: there are many mature 13 year olds and many other immature 40 year olds.

    Thankfully the National Youth Rights Association and Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions are fighting such prejudice. Perhaps someday ageism will seem as silly as racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and people will be embarrassed of their bigoted views rather than proud enough of them to triumphantly share long diatribes with the world.

    http://www.youthrights.org/
    http://www.asfar.org/

  7. What a great experience for these young men to run for party offices and be involved in the conventions like this! Like the LP, the BTP has many members under the age of 18 who volunteer for the party, state affiliates, and campaigns. It took me until my 20’s to understand libertarianism and to get actively involved in politics. It is great to see people who are awake and active in our movement at such a young age.

    I of course have had my concerns about putting such young people in officer positions. I remember that when I was their age, I was constantly changing my opinions. However, I was also steady in my principles and priorities. I worked very hard and responsibly on the things that were most important to me. I have every confidence that these young men can do the same. If they are committed to the welfare of the party and its platform and they are qualified for the position, they have my votes. I voted for one of these guys for national committee.

    I also recently appointed a Vice President of the Boston Tea Party of Indiana who is under 18. He was the best man for the job. He has been steadily in contact with me about his interest in advancing our affiliate. He sent me a list of goals and ideas he have that are very possible and could be great for building our affiliate’s membership. Finally, once I saw all the work he was doing for the LPIN, I didn’t hesitate to nominate him to be VP of the BTPIN.

    Andrew and Matty, if you are not elected this weekend, I encourage you to keep being involved. Run for a position in your state affiliate or inquire with members of the BTPNC about what you can do to support the national party. We intend to have fifty state affiliates and candidates running in at least a dozen states within two years, and we will need your help to do that!

  8. “Multiple BTP NatComm candidates not even old enough to drive”….. ElfNinosMom

    I’m curious about this driving ‘thing’. They mights not be olds ’nuff to legally drive a horseless-carriage on public’s roads and stuff, but when I was their age, it didn’t stop me. Some folks their age fly airplanes, drive tractors, and some ev’n ride ‘crotch-rockets’ (motorcycles).

    Do you think these lil’ns should be ‘good’ teenagers and go skateboarding?

  9. I must say that I am disappointed with his comment that you’ve made ElfNinosMom. The title of your blog is “Last Free Voice,” yet because of your opinion on my candidacy, you are outright against it. So I challenge you, what is the “Last Free Voice” because it is clear that your blog is not. You don’t have to be a supporter of my candidacy. That’s fine. That’s what makes this country great, but for you to just critisize my candidacy merely because I am 16, that is just low. In your picture you look to be able 45-50 years old, I am 16 and I know the difference between right and wrong, clearly, you a 50 year old woman does not.

  10. Matty,

    I disagree with ENM, but please keep in mind that for the last century or so, Americans have been constantly encouraged to believe that at the age of 18 or 21 (and whichever age precisely, not an instant before or after), people magically transform from thumb-sucking infants into full-grown adults.

    I think it’s reasonable to give ENM the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is something she hasn’t worked through logically yet, rather than evidence that she’s a bad person.

    Also, what makes Last Free Voice what it is is not that everyone here agrees on X, but that everyone here is free to express his or her opinion on X. Including you.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  11. Call me an ageist, but I also agree with ENM on this one. I’ll take what she posted a bit further by saying I don’t want to see *any* kid enter politics. The thought of youth being wasted on politics is depressing. Leave it to us older and more bitter people!

  12. Regarding the 14 year old girl who ran for LP NatCom Chair in Salt Lake City: I was there. It was covered in Liberty Magazine in an article entitled “Anarchy In Salt Lake City”. I have that issue packed away somewhere, but would probably take me forever to find it!

  13. ….. that at the age of 18 or 21….people….transform…… infants into…..adults…..Thomas L. Knapp

    In the ’60’s I had friends who had completed tours of duty in Vietnam (drafted), but as combat veterans, weren’t old enough to go to a bar and drink alcohol in the U.S. A frequent complaint about the ‘draft’ (at that time) was about the different standards of ‘age’ and ‘adulthood’. At 18, you’re old enough to die for Unca Sam, but not old enough to drink.

    Opinions about age & adulthood get serious when a ‘draft’ is involved.
    The opinions on this blog site are actually mild and tame, compared to the 60’s.
    No need for anyone to get uppity.

  14. I also agree with ENM, but it’s not based on feelings. It’s based on the numerous studies done on the differences in brain activity. And that I was working full-time in an office at 15 years old, was considered very mature for my age, and at 27, I look back now at the way I handled certain situations and can see how much better I would handle it today. And I fondly recall wanting to manage the office back then and I’ve since realized what a mistake it would have been – and why I never got it.

    And oddly enough, Matty’s response just proves ENM’s point – that a 16-year-old lacks the maturity and self-awareness to effectively lead. Who really wants a leader who is going to respond to valid doubts about someone his age running for office by saying something to the effect of, “You look about 50. I’m younger and I know better than you.”

    When you’re young, right and wrong are black and white. Life experience teaches us that it is not so simple and forces us to see the shades of gray in between. Those with an open mind are able to truly understand the gray areas and the complexities of all sides of an issue.

  15. The candidacy of the 14-year-old girl does still embarrass the LP. In fact, I personally know more than one libertarian who has refused to join the LP specifically because of it. Whenever it comes up, as it did again recently after being mentioned in Brian Doherty’s book, there are always those who cite it as “proof” that the LP is not to be taken seriously.

    Ageism might be at play if I were against these teens sharing their ideas or otherwise participating, but I am not. In fact, just last night, I was talking with Jason Gatties about forming a youth caucus for the BTP. Teenagers comment on LFV regularly, and I treat their ideas exactly like I treat the ideas of adults. So no, this is not ageism. This is a valid concern for whether someone that age can perform the duties of the positions they seek.

    However, I am also realistic. Teenagers that young, in our society, are not miniature adults. Though as a rule I treat them like adults, and expect them to act like adults, they nevertheless do not act like adults. Their interests, beliefs and ideas are still evolving at a very rapid pace compared to adults, as is normal since their brains are still developing. We as a society no longer teach or even expect children to be mature at their ages, such as was done a hundred years ago. I have never once met a boy that age ready to take on the responsibility of a national political party, and I raised a son of my own who, at only 21, actually agrees with me on this. If anything, teens now are far less responsible than they were even when I was a teen in the 70s.

    I figured you guys would cry “ageism”, though. However, what seems far more clear is that the BTP obviously hasn’t thought this through very well.

    These boys can’t legally enter into binding agreements, so the participation of people that age on the NatComm may invalidate important NatComm decisions. And what if the Chair resigns or dies, and the Vice Chair is under the age of 18? You would then have a Chair who is not legally qualified to sign anything on behalf of the party, or to make binding decisions of any kind on behalf of the party.

    Do what you want, though. Just don’t be surprised when other parties use it against you to invalidate party actions, including those involving ballot access. There is not a judge in this country who would ever rule that someone under the age of 18 is legally qualified to make those sorts of decisions, because the case law is very clear that they are not.

  16. Matty: You are not even a libertarian at this point, but you are running for the NatComm of a libertarian political party. I wasn’t going to get into that, but there it is. You want the government to tax more, and spend more. You actually want more government. Anyone can see your statement on the BTP website, as well as the fact that it was very clearly pointed out to you that your beliefs are not libertarian beliefs.

    So why did you run at all? That alone tells me that you lack the maturity and judgment necessary to fulfill the requirements of the position, and that would be true regardless of your age.

    I don’t care if you have your say. You are commenting here, and I have absolutely no problem with that. However, I see very serious problems with someone who cannot legally contract being elected to a position of that nature, for reasons already discussed.

    By the way, your argument about my age only proves that YOU are the one engaging in ageism. I voiced valid concerns based upon little somethings I like to call science and experience, and you responded based upon the fact that I don’t look like a 19-year-old supermodel. If you thought that was going to hurt my feelings or make you look clever, you are very sadly mistaken.

    This will undoubtedly come as a surprise to you, but people my age really do know more than you know, because we have decades of life experience which you don’t have. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are more intelligent, but it does mean that smart people know to listen to those with more life experience, because we learn from them even if we disagree.

    Either way, you have more than proven to me that you are nowhere near as mature as you need to be in order to run for that kind of position, regardless of your age. All in all, your response is best described by the old joke, “Hire a teenager while they still know everything”.

    Now if it’s okay with you, I think I’ll go back to the nursing home, and sit in my rocking chair by the window, so I can knit while watching the world go by. LOL

  17. Oh, yes, let’s trot out the pseudoscience. Their brains are not fully formed. Whee! Drapetomania anyone? How about Dysaethesia Aethiopica? Scientists have claimed for years to “know” that women weren’t sensible enough to vote.

    You can make the argument that Matty isn’t mature, Mama, and maybe he isn’t. If he isn’t a paragon of virtue and maturity, being very young also, he’s not likely to win any office in the party. Don’t you trust the voters? And what if he were very mature for his age, and quite sensible, maybe a prodigy for intelligence?

    You evidently want a rule: no younger than age X can play. But what is your basis for including mentally retarded persons older than age X? What is your basis for including incredible fools like George W. Bush who are arguably not entirely mentally retarded? And what is your basis for complaining if women aren’t treated equally, or blacks aren’t treated equally, or immigrants aren’t treated equally, if you are going to push forward this disgusting bigotry based on age?

    You don’t believe that people younger than you are smart enough to vote, responsible enough to hold office, or decent enough to hire and train for work. Which is fine for you. Have whatever bigoted belief you like. But it is not fine for the Boston Tea Party. They have no rule against it, and as soon as someone young enough to upset you chooses to run for office, you want them to institute a rule. Good thing the founder of the party and their current chair don’t agree with your obnoxious bigotry.

    Matty is correct. He can tell right from wrong. And you are wrong. If he’s about as mature as, say, Susan Hogarth or Todd Andrew Barnett in his directness, so what? You never made age an issue with either of them.

    The question is not whether he is to be allowed to run for office. He is, and you don’t like it. The question for the voters in the party is whether to choose him. By discriminating against him and mocking him, you make a figure of sympathy of him, Mama. That is very Bushy stuff.

  18. C. Al Currier makes some fine points.

    An age limitation on gun purchase didn’t keep me from owning one at age 8, and getting good with it.

    An age limitation on driving didn’t keep me from learning on the family farm. And agricultural use license in our state was 12.

    An age limitation on drinking didn’t prevent me from getting a beer when I wanted one. Same for cigarettes.

    I don’t agree with a draft. People Against People Enlisting or Re-enlisting Civilian Life Is Preferred is against a draft, too.

  19. ENM,

    It may very well be the case that Matty Grossman and/or Andrew Martin lack the maturity to serve on the national committee of a political party.

    That’s up to the members of the political party in question to decide. At present, those members appear to agree with you.

    However … I don’t think most of those members are looking at a calendar while agreeing with you, or that they would cite that calender as their reason for disagreeing with you.

    Insofar as ballot access is concerned, you’re incorrect, for the simple reason that national committees have nothing to do with ballot access. It is party state organizations (or individual campaigns) which qualify for ballot access, not party national committees.

    Furthermore, the BTP’s national committee doesn’t engage in contract, etc., because those require the exchange of valuable consideration and the BTP’s national committee is essentially forbidden to raise/spend money.

    Insofar as case law is concerned, you are also wrong on this:

    “There is not a judge in this country who would ever rule that someone under the age of 18 is legally qualified to make those sorts of decisions, because the case law is very clear that they are not.”

    I happen to personally know at least one individual who was, in fact, given the legal authority to engage in contracts, etc. prior to the legal age of majority by a judge. The process is called “emancipation,” and I’m reasonably sure that statutory law in most, if not every, state provides for it and that case law in most, if not every, state has, at one time or another, sustained it.

  20. I do think it’s interesting that all this goes back to the LP’s 1993 convention in Salt Lake City. A 14-year-old ran for chair, L. Neil Smith gave a speech titled “Lever Action — Accept No Substitutes.”

    That 14-year-old set an example, Smith pointed the way forward … and the LP soiled itself and ran like hell for the cover of cargo-cultism.

    It was the year after that that the greedhead cuckoo egg which Michael Cloud had hatched in Andre Marrou’s 1992 presidential campaign spread its wings over the LP as Cloud and Perry Willis moved to coopt the whole LP to the purpose of their care and feeding on precisely the logic that Smith (in words) and that 14-year-old (in action) had warned it against.

    I hope the BTP proves to be something of a political time machine, going back to the potential of 1993 and not pissing away the next 15 years like the LP did.

  21. I posted this comment on ENM’s other blog and decided to subject you poor souls to my blather:

    These are just my rambling thoughts and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

    Actual children couldn’t possibly do any worse than “adults” have, as far as “running things” goes. If voting is such a good thing, let everyone participate. Toddlers would have as much a chance of electing good people as professionals or educated people do.

    My offspring are my business, and other than not harming other peoples’ children with my actions, their children and teens are their business. I guarantee you these kids hear things at school that make any discussion on BTP’s site seem mild by comparison, including the abuse accusation. I know I did, and that was decades ago.

    Who “allows” these teens to participate? The party? Their parents? Or do they make that decision on their own? It is none of my business, so the parents and the teens should be the ones to negotiate that. I wonder if the Dems and Reps have age requirements. Not that I think anyone should emulate those examples of depravity.

    When you bring “the law” into it, well, then you are out of my territory altogether. Yes, I’m sure lots of things are “felonies”. I really can’t pretend to care. Was harm done? Would those teens agree with your assessment if you think it was? When they are old enough to “count” would they agree with your judgement? I don’t have the answer, by the way. I can only judge by my own life. I would not have been harmed in any way (by the things you bring up) when I was 10 or 11, much less 13 or 15. Of course, I would not have been the slightest bit interested in doing what they are doing either. Different strokes for different folks.

    One of the good things about the internet is that it allows people to be judged by their words instead of things like age, race, beauty, or disability. Of course, that means many people are judged harshly when they don’t measure up, regardless of those other things.

  22. The other thing that arises as a result of ENM being bigoted against people based on age, which the honorable Mr. McManigal makes so obvious, is not that an attack on the ages of candidates for party offices could be rational, but rather the openness of candidates about their ages may be lost.

    Is it worse to take children seriously, or require them to deceive others about their age? A determined candidate is going to run for office. Is bigotry going to encourage them to hide their ages?

    Last Free Voice? No free voice for felons, no free voice for the young, and no free voice for anyone who disagrees with Mama. No soup for you! Now go to your room. Mama’s got a peach switch and she’ll beat you senseless.

  23. > require them to deceive others about their age

    Sir, no one, ever, REQUIRES you to lie. You always have a choice in the matter.

    > no free voice for anyone who disagrees with Mama

    Sir, you just showed up around these parts and are spouting lie after lie. This is another entirely false and baseless accusation from you.

    Again, if you want to impugn the honor of people, at least demonstrate some courage and use your real name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym.

  24. In 1988 at age 15 I campaigned for Dr. Paul. I had no idea what the Libertarian Party was, and my understanding of “libertarian” was nebulous at best and nothing near what it is today (critics can STFU here). But I like what I heard and volunteered, since I could not vote for the Wimp or the Shrimp, and I knew Reaganomics sucks–call it teenage piss and vinegar and a little bit of “leave me alone” rebelliousness, which is probably what it was twenty years ago–and I filed it away for the future. 15 years later the LP came (back) into my life and has never left.

    Was I “ready for prime time” then? No. But that was me. At 16 I was asked to be the Youth Representative on my Catholic Parish Council, because some people believed I could do it. I respectfully declined because my high school time was already way too booked.

    I would suggest rather than call Matty Grossman and Andrew Martin too young with an implication of immaturity, that they be judged by the merits of their positions.

    For Matty, you bristle at ENM’s suggestion of ageism, but then engage in a little of your own back in a personal attack. I’d suggest to not go there as it does you no favors. The subjective notions of Right and Wrong are not that clearly defined, especially when dealing with such artificial temporal lines like age, and ENM was clearly expressing her own opinion. Rather, it makes more sense to respond to the points she makes in a respectful and cognitive manner.

  25. @Laertes: My mother has never hit me. Go lie about somebody else.

    @Kent: If you think people that young should lead, then you are far too willing to follow.

    @Matty: No wonder people think you are immature, when you open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  26. Never said she did. No doubt you think your mama is the only one on the planet. She seems to.

    George, if I hadn’t been kicked off this site, I’d be happy to lend my name to my opinions here. Get a grip dude. I’m neither new nor unacquainted. No free voice for anyone who disagrees with ENM. You want a list? For a complete list, ask Paulie Cannoli. He’s most likely to have it and to care.

    ENM showed no respect, Michael, for anyone who doesn’t meet her age requirements. She’s a horrid authoritarian. This point has been well established.

  27. Some people need to lighten up a bit and think about what has been written here. Between the snarky comments by some people there are some thought provoking ideas that need to be discussed.

    MHW

  28. An IP check shows that Laertes is Jim Davidson.

  29. Mom, can’t say I’m surprised….

  30. I think it’s fine for 13-year-olds to run for office if they want to, and I think it’s perfectly appropriate for the media (in this case, LFV) to cover the fact that they are 13 years old.

  31. Hi Folks,

    Great blog. I’m enjoying my retirement from the LP whipping up Libertarians in foreign countries via internet. I rarely post, but I’m waiting for a phone call so here we go.

    BTP is none of my business, and I agree with some of the concerns. There are plenty of creeps and insane people out there. But here’s some things to know.

    At 13, and granted he was even then some kind of pain-in-the-pitoots prodigy with great connections, MG conceived and a year later with family members in the places founded the Libertarian Party in Florida, New York, D.C., and Liberal-Libertarian Network in Spain. I was the third or fourth person he swore in with the Libertarian pledge he dusted off from Ulpian. (Next thing I know he’s got me mixed up in the LP’s first success, creating an initiative process in Florida). 2 years later, the national LP was born in reaction to that among other things (Somebody started an LP in California, and that seems to have been the last draw.) Had I paid attention to MG I would have made one phone call and gone down in history as founder of the US LP. MG was then getting himself elected to public office, but what do teen-agers know? (I supported the girl in question, BTW, pointing out that if a teen-ager was goos enough to start the LP, one was good enough to be its then mostly symbolic head promoting local strategies. That went over real well.)

    Come to think of it, David Nolan was older but still a young man, and most of the early LP locals were led by teens. This was a movement of the first generation of truly educated, ideas and tech-savvy, very bright kids who had decided 6,000 years of rule by a system for armed imbeciiles was enough. They had no intention of ending their lives as radioactive waste. I was among the old fogey’s (47, ahem) even then who was frequently consulted because I had built up big parts of several organizations (GOP, my church, various leagues for racial equality) and understood the mysteries of Politics 102.

    The saga continues. At 13, MG’s daghter, Kira, is now the youngest Lib in public office I know of, appointed to a pilot youth advisory board here. She’s smart too, and pretty mature. But local youth advisory boards have plenty of 15 year olds on up.

    But wait. I was recently trading e-mails with some enthusiastic budding Libs in Africa who are 16 and are seeking local offices. Now I don’t think I should tell them to stop. That’s par for the course. I do know that when I brought them to ISIL’s attention, Vince Miller was shocked when he communicated with teen-agers who wanted to found an LP in Costa Rica, but it seems to be doing OK: http://www.libertario.org with over 80 people in office. I think Miller forgot how young he was when he got started.

    In my opinion Libertarians have launched a trend. I hope we don’t fall behind the parade we started in the US as has happened in the past, with party leaders oblivious to trends and what people are doing in the field: http://www.innovations.harvard.edu/news/113051.html

    and
    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-37551176.html

    There is a move to encourage teen-age participation, and not just in youth boards. For example, see: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/04/13/2008-04-13_push_to_let_teens_sit_on_community_board.html

    There have also been a growing number of young mayors. I have a memory that some who criticized the LP refused to see the PBS special we had rented on this young man:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crabb,_Texas

    These days we have mayors of 17 (18 when he took office, I think) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10004343/
    and now 14 http://www.youngmayor4lewisham.co.uk/y_mayr.htm who and who now http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/NewsAndEvents/News/NewsArchive/JulySeptember2007/YoungMayorCabinet.htm

    and as a result, encouraging teen-age youth to become public officials is now policy there in the UK. Why can’t it be in the LP and others? The interenet is a great tool to research these things. I’m doing it at my age and with a cataract in one eye!

    People are different. Young people more so. At LIO we get all kinds of requests from young people around the globe interested in Libertarianism. We make sure that we have the parent’s OK for any legal minor, and then suggest or give them a shot at something if their maturity seems appropriate. Each case varies.

    Well, I might post some more if I see more of these interesting articles where I might know something. Keep up the good work!

  32. (Second click)

    Hi Folks,

    Great blog. I’m enjoying my retirement from the LP whipping up Libertarians in foreign countries via internet. I rarely post, but I’m waiting for a phone call so here we go.

    BTP is none of my business, and I agree with some of the concerns. There are plenty of creeps and insane people out there. But here’s some things to know.

    At 13, and granted he was even then some kind of pain-in-the-pitoots prodigy with great connections, MG conceived and a year later with family members in the places founded the Libertarian Party in Florida, New York, D.C., and Liberal-Libertarian Network in Spain. I was the third or fourth person he swore in with the Libertarian pledge he dusted off from Ulpian. (Next thing I know he’s got me mixed up in the LP’s first success, creating an initiative process in Florida). 2 years later, the national LP was born in reaction to that among other things (Somebody started an LP in California, and that seems to have been the last draw.) Had I paid attention to MG I would have made one phone call and gone down in history as founder of the US LP. MG was then getting himself elected to public office, but what do teen-agers know? (I supported the girl in question, BTW, pointing out that if a teen-ager was goos enough to start the LP, one was good enough to be its then mostly symbolic head promoting local strategies. That went over real well.)

    Come to think of it, David Nolan was older but still a young man, and most of the early LP locals were led by teens. This was a movement of the first generation of truly educated, ideas and tech-savvy, very bright kids who had decided 6,000 years of rule by a system for armed imbeciiles was enough. They had no intention of ending their lives as radioactive waste. I was among the old fogey’s (47, ahem) even then who was frequently consulted because I had built up big parts of several organizations (GOP, my church, various leagues for racial equality) and understood the mysteries of Politics 102.

    The saga continues. At 13, MG’s daghter, Kira, is now the youngest Lib in public office I know of, appointed to a pilot youth advisory board here. She’s smart too, and pretty mature. But local youth advisory boards have plenty of 15 year olds on up.

    But wait. I was recently trading e-mails with some enthusiastic budding Libs in Africa who are 16 and are seeking local offices. Now I don’t think I should tell them to stop. That’s par for the course. I do know that when I brought them to ISIL’s attention, Vince Miller was shocked when he communicated with teen-agers who wanted to found an LP in Costa Rica, but it seems to be doing OK: http://www.libertario.org with over 80 people in office. I think Miller forgot how young he was when he got started.

    In my opinion Libertarians have launched a trend. I hope we don’t fall behind the parade we started in the US as has happened in the past, with party leaders oblivious to trends and what people are doing in the field: http://www.innovations.harvard.edu/news/113051.html

    and
    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-37551176.html

    There is a move to encourage teen-age participation, and not just in youth boards. For example, see: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/04/13/2008-04-13_push_to_let_teens_sit_on_community_board.html

    There have also been a growing number of young mayors. I have a memory that some who criticized the LP refused to see the PBS special we had rented on this young man:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crabb,_Texas

    These days we have mayors of 17 (18 when he took office, I think) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10004343/
    and now 14 http://www.youngmayor4lewisham.co.uk/y_mayr.htm who and who now http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/NewsAndEvents/News/NewsArchive/JulySeptember2007/YoungMayorCabinet.htm

    and as a result, encouraging teen-age youth to become public officials is now policy there in the UK. Why can’t it be in the LP and others? The interenet is a great tool to research these things. I’m doing it at my age and with a cataract in one eye!

    People are different. Young people more so. At LIO we get all kinds of requests from young people around the globe interested in Libertarianism. We make sure that we have the parent’s OK for any legal minor, and then suggest or give them a shot at something if their maturity seems appropriate. Each case varies.

    Well, I might post some more if I see more of these interesting articles where I might know something. Keep up the good work!

  33. Hi, Dr. Ralph Swanson. Your comments got caught in the spam filter due to multiple links, but I of course approved them. My apologies.

  34. Dr. Swanson, one question: who is MG?

  35. Scientists have claimed for years to “know” that women weren’t sensible enough to vote.

    I’ll buy that.

  36. Restricting someones’ right to run on a committee is pure AGEISM. Period.

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