Brian’s Column: A New Strategy for Libertarians?

The first Michigan Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) convention

RLC_MICommerce Township, December 5, 2015. Roughly 50 members of the recently rejuvenated Michigan RLC met at its first convention today to elect a board of pro liberty directors and pass key resolutions. The stated mission of the organization: “to further the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and free markets within the Republican Party and throughout America.”

The following two resolutions also passed unanimously:

Resolution: Defending the 4th Amendment and Privacy Rights

Whereas: Our privacy rights should never under any circumstances be violated by the NSA or any other rogue spying agency operating lawlessly in Washington D.C., and it is unacceptable that Big Brother Republicans are shamefully complicit with these violations of our freedom.

Whereas: The state of Michigan must disavow any partnership or association with the NSA or any other federal agency working to facilitate the destruction of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution and the development of Big Brother and the national police state.

Therefore: The Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan denounces all unwarranted privacy violations, and until Michigan officials take corrective action, we recommend resistance through all means permissible by the Constitution of the United States including but not limited to nullification, anti-commandeering, denial of resources, noncompliance, and civil disobedience.

Resolution: Restoring the Integrity of Selecting Republican Nominees

Whereas: Recent elections have proven that by allowing corporate interests and progressive outsiders to choose our nominees, the Republican Party is betraying the bedrock principles of its educated and dedicated grassroots members.

Whereas: Despite the Michigan Republican Party being a private organization claiming to support free markets, limited government, fiscal responsibility, and other core Constitutional values, it has allowed the Michigan taxpayer to foot the bill for its primary elections for over four decades.

Therefore: The Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan demands that the Michigan Republican Party stop fleecing the taxpayer to fund its primary elections, and that the party closes the process to outsiders to make the will of the grassroots better represented.

Important Foreign Policy Resolution Passed by RLC Board

The following resolution was passed by the former RLC board, as written and submitted by Dennis Marburger:

Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan Executive Board Resolution
Opposing U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

“Whereas, the purpose of the American military is to defend our homes, our Liberty and the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and…

“Whereas, the people and Government of Syria have neither attacked nor threatened to attack our homes, our Liberty or our Constitution and….

“Whereas, the Constitution requires a Congressional Declaration of War for the President to call the Armed Forces into service with the President as their Commander in Chief and…

“Whereas, aggressive war is an enemy of Peace, Prosperity and Liberty, and…

“Whereas, contrary to American and international law, the Obama Administration has engaged in unauthorized acts of War in and against Syria, which have aided and abetted the rise of radical Salafist jihadi terror in that nation and has unnecessarily increased the chances of an accidental and catastrophic war with Russia…

“Resolved, that the Republican Liberty Caucus of Michigan Executive Board affirms that our elected Congressional Representatives and U.S. Senators are duty-bound to prohibit President Obama from putting our military, as well as American and Syrian civilians, in harm’s way by attacking, or arming those (including, but not limited to, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, ISIS, the Army of Conquest or the so-called Free Syrian Army) who are attacking Syria. Further, it is resolved that the President has no authority to initiate such an action absent a Constitutionally required Congressional Declaration of War. Be it further resolved that any deployment of the Armed Forces (or aiding other forces) against Syria (or any other nation) without a proper Declaration of War by Congress, except in the case of an attack by that nation requiring a defensive deployment, would be an impeachable offense on the part of this or any other President. Finally, we resolve that, consistent with the Nuremberg Principles, aggressive war is the greatest of all war crimes which must be avoided and must be ended wherever US Government officials are conducting such a war.”

This resolution will be communicated to the local media, the Michigan Congressional Delegation, including our two U.S. Senators, and the White House upon adoption.

An Open Invitation to the Libertarian Party and LP of Michigan

RLC_Convention_BadgeOr rather to key Libertarian activists who can appreciate the reality of our political situation and let go of what is ineffective and nonresponsive. Some 43 years ago as I sat in the founding convention, in Taylor, for the Libertarian Party of Michigan, I thought it was a long shot… but worth it. I wasn’t active initially, but kept in touch with key LPM people and supporters. Then in 1979 decided to kick it up a notch and see what I could do, myself, to move the party forward. The four year span from ’79 to ’83 was my prime time for the LP of Michigan, in which I saw the LA National Convention that nominated Ed Clark and then the NY National Convention that picked Dave Bergland. I was chair and newsletter editor at various times in that four-year interval, and spent a winter doing a volunteer petition drive—where I personally obtained 6,000 signatures—to regain ballot status. [My dear wife (at the time) Rose, ran the Metro Detroit Libertarians, which attracted notable speakers from all the newsmaking tributaries feeding the river of freedom.]

As a functional liberty movement of which the LPM/LP was a key part—not simply exceptional individuals e.g. Dr. Bette Erwin, Dick Jacobs, Fred Collins, Jon Coon shining brightly for a few years statewide—those years were simply the most promising of all time.

Cover_Leaving_Sandbox_FrontYes, I know this sounds like tooting my own horn or taking a parochial self-serving view of the history. But it is not, no ego on this, no axe to grind. I’m happy to share my reasoning with anyone who asks, and in fact have written a book that makes sense of the background and where we need to go: Leaving the Sandbox: Grand Strategy for Libertarians in an era of wanton US federal crimes and terror (2014). If you please, contact me here: brian@brianrwright.com.

One can do a lot of different metrics about the national and state parties, but it’s a solid proposition that the LP as a potentially effective organization (that causes people to pay attention to the principles of liberty and consider voting for its candidates) peaked in 1979, leveled off in 1982, then crashed in 1984, never again to amount to more than a cultural oddity. Local points of excellence would exist, even a world-class presidential candidate[1] would emerge (Gary Johnson) 30 years later, but organizationally as a movement that gave realistic hope of liberty to the people, the LP/LPM flatlined at the New York City convention in 1983. IMHO.

I attended that convention… and several more… holding on to wishful thinking that the fundamentals of the game would somehow change, that a) we’d attract big money supporting competent candidates of integrity, b) we’d break thru the riggings of two-party privilege, c) we’d recognize, stop, and reverse the stampede into federal deception and tyranny by New World Order puppeteers, and d) that we’d find LARGE numbers of true, active, capable persons who all pulled together and worked for a Party that worked.

Not what we have now, which in Michigan, candidly but kindly, is a denouement into a ‘tempest in a teapot’ conflict among three principal groups: a) well-meaning but wholly under-resourced and under-supported leadership going through the motions, reinventing wheels, b) the supper clubbers who remember the good old days and keep the flame alive by holding sometimes-animated discussion over soup and salad, and c) the niharchists (nihilist anarchists). All under the umbrella of an impenetrable, shrinking national party bureaucracy that is facing the same problems… and a handful of lethargic attendees.

It’s time we put a fork in it.

Here’s what I propose to key activists (you know who you are, and I’ll be contacting you individually): Move on. To use a Randian analogy, shrug. The horse is dead. You can keep alive the traditions, the platform, and the social club aspects if you want… or embrace the alternative concept I suggest in red below. [Some truly effective activists I’ve come to know in the RLC got their start by finding the Libertarian Party, usually on campus, then reading from the recommended lists, and joining others, often for local liberty action campaigns rarely supported (or even known about by the state party).]

But let go of running candidates. It’s pointless. Let the party become an information hub if you want, for principles of liberty, but do your activism—for statewide issues like opposing Proposition 1 (May 2015) or neighborhood activity to fight police state practices or ballot proposals like freeing up marijuana completely or even supporting Republican liberty candidates (there may occasionally even be a Democratic liberty candidate) for statewide office—where it counts.

Better yet, run candidates for all the offices you can find people interested in running for, and DECLARE VICTORY for all of your properly vetted candidates in their respective races. Then FORM A GOVERNMENT. It will be a Libertarian Party of Michigan VIRTUAL (voluntary) GOVERNMENT. Shadow the real (coercive) government on all the major issues. Publicize your deliberations (if you’re legislative or judicial officials) and your decisions and actions (for executive positions). This virtual government concept folds in well with people asserting their own control over their own lives… and leaving coercive racketeer government out in the cold. What’s more it makes the LP/LPM winners NOW.

Call your virtual governing alliances ‘Good Neighbor Government’ and solicit donations or contract fees. If you get enough financial support, you can expand your service portfolio to the public and become a REAL voluntary government.

RIGHTEOUS!

Fellow LP activists, until that gets going, or you get it going with likeminded friends, I recommend you consider taking part in the Republican Liberty Caucus. You may go here to join via the national organization: http://rlc.org/. The first Michigan convention of the RLC just happened, and I can tell you, that 90% of the attendees are serious liberty activists, who are making a difference right now. My prediction is that within two years, the liberty Republicans, essentially the people belonging to this caucus and sharing the beliefs of this caucus, will have taken over the Republican organization in Michigan from the ground up… and will throw out all the statist pretenders in the Republican establish-ment-mob straightaway.

If you want to do something practical for liberty, be part of what we’re doing here. Please contact me at brian@brianrwright.com, and I’ll put you in touch with activists for your geography. Power to the individual! Power to the people!

[1]Some would argue that Johnson doesn’t fully understand ‘libertarianism,’ i.e. the political implementation of the nonaggression principle, and I would agree with that… because I’ve spoken with him and seen him in action, and he’s a ‘practical’ man. He seldom announces any radical or natural law principles that guide his political program. Even his repeal of drug prohibition in New Mexico was practicality focused. A more important observation: he doesn’t have an appreciation of the New World Order and how its threats dominate our lives now and have become the only ‘practical’ target for liberating political activity.

Ref. my grand strategy book, Leaving the Sandbox.  Basically, until a more fundamental strategy is embraced by liberty people, one that recognizes who and what exactly is the enemy, liberty will not win. Despite good men like Johnson and anomalous election results. Also, reference the Thrive video and the Thrive movement.

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2 thoughts on “Brian’s Column: A New Strategy for Libertarians?

  1. As a newly elected member of the Board of the Michigan RLC, I wholeheartedly agree with our mission which is “to further the principles of limited government, individual liberty, and free markets within the Republican Party and throughout America.”
    I pledge to endeavor to the best of my ability to make these words become the rock upon which every Republican candidate and elected official bases his actions. Anything less is unacceptable

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