Thursday, September 6, 2012

2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Candidate Leaves Party

Many of the people posting this on the Internet are doing so with the headline that Root is leaving the Libertarian party to seek a U.S. Senate seat, I assume as a Republican.  He doesn't mention the latter though in the press release.

I completely agree with his reasoning. Even though I agree with 80% of what Libertarians say on the issues, at the end of the day political philosophy doesn't matter if you arenot in a position to enact any of those libertarian policies.  That's why I prefer "libertarian," the adjective, over "Libertarian," the noun.

Here is Root's press release:
To My LNC and Libertarian Party Friends,
I have spent the last 60 days thinking about my political future. I have consulted with many friends and political experts I trust. I have listened to my wife and my family’s wishes. And I have come to an important decision — perhaps among the most important of my life.
Wayne Root
 It has been a whirlwind last five years in my political career. I started as a S.O.B. (son of a butcher), small businessman, home-school dad, Las Vegas oddsmaker, and political newcomer running for the Libertarian Presidential nomination in 2007. Some thought my journey a longshot.
But in America anything is possible. In this great country, never discount a longshot. I was elected the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee in 2008. The Bob Barr/Wayne Root Presidential ticket went on to garner the second highest vote total in Libertarian history.
I was then elected to the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) — the governing Board of America’s Third Party. Soon thereafter I was also elected Chairman of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee (LNCC). I was honored to be re-elected this past May to the LNC Board and LNCC Board.
I dedicated myself to getting more media attention for the LP than anyone in our party’s history – and did so with about 4000 media appearances in the past four years. My libertarian commentaries now reach millions of Americans at places like, The Washington Times,,,,,,, and many more.    
I sought a position in public office and was named by the Governor of Nevada to the Judicial Selection Commission in 2010, one of only two Libertarians nationwide to be given such an honor by their Governor.
For me this has been a dream come true. I want to thank every Libertarian that voted for me in each of these elections, and the many words of support and encouragement you gave me. It was you who made this success possible. I will be forever grateful for the faith you placed in me.   
But it is now time for a change.   
Today I’m announcing the most important decision of my political career. Today I am stepping down from my roles in the LP, LNC, and LNCC. After six years of giving my heart and soul to our party, this decision does not come lightly. I leave with nothing but fond memories. I leave awed by the intensity, love, and loyalty of Libertarians, LP political candidates, LNC members, and LP leaders.
The people I have worked with on the LNC and LNCC are warriors and patriots. I have met some of the most amazing people of my life. I hope to remain friends for the rest of our lives. I hope to work together to continue fighting for smaller government, expanded personal and economic freedoms, individual rights, and more power to the people.
Like some of my political heroes who have fought the good fight for smaller government — Ron Paul, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Jim DeMint, and in earlier generations Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater — I have come to the conclusion that I’ll have more opportunity to elect good people and change the direction of this country outside of a third party.
It is the exact same decision that Ron Paul (our former LP Presidential nominee) and his son U.S. Senator Rand Paul made. It is the decision that many libertarians have made- from David Koch (our former LP Vice Presidential nominee), to the founders of CATO. My personality is goal-oriented and highly competitive, and because of that, I aim for one metric as the indicator of success — winning elections to change public policy. My colleagues are correct when they state that there is no point to winning without a philosophical foundation rooted in liberty. But I believe it’s also correct to state there is little point to having such a philosophical foundation, if you are not going to use it to improve people’s everyday lives. I owe it to my four young children to try to actually elect people that can change policy and make a difference in their future.
But regardless of any differences there might be in matters of strategy, I will always have fond memories of my six years with the Libertarian Party. I salute all of my colleagues as heroes fighting for liberty. The hard work you do day in and day out is nothing short of remarkable. I remain amazed and stunned at your level of loyalty and work ethic. I leave with only positive things to say about my LP experience.
But I’m not really leaving. I am a Lifetime Libertarian Party member and will always call myself a REAGAN Libertarian, or Libertarian conservative. Just like a Congressman Ron Paul or U.S. Senator Rand Paul, I have simply decided to move my Libertarian beliefs and the fight for smaller government to a different battlefield. 
Nothing will change with my goals. I will work harder than ever to get more media exposure than ever before. I simply think my skills and media megaphone will be more productive in a different venue. It will be easier to get my message of limited government out to mainstream voters who remain skeptical, cynical, or oblivious to third party politics. And you can bet I’ll always support ballot access for third parties too.   
I want to do more than talk about issues without actually affecting them…and I want to do more than attempt to move policy in the right direction. I want to elect people to office with the aim of creating a country built upon smaller, more limited government; lower taxes; less spending; a stress on individual rights and States’ Rights versus an all-powerful federal government; a balanced budget; more economic and personal freedom; energy independence; school choice; and the principles of our Founding Fathers as embodied in the U.S. Constitution.    
Perhaps most importantly, I want to restore a free market economy – one based on supporting the private sector, taxpayers, job creators, small business owners, and capitalism. History demonstrates time and again that the economics and politics of envy – taking wealth from those who have earned it and redistributing to those have not – leads to massive failure, economic collapse and eventually totalitarian government. And in the absence of economic liberty, personal liberty ceases to exist.   
After all, can one really have freedom of the press if it’s illegal to own one? I want to be in a leadership position in American politics to reverse the course our country is traveling down the Road to Serfdom, and to save the future for my four beautiful, wonderful children.   
To save our country and restore liberty, I have come to realize that I need to take practical steps to win office myself, so I can have a direct effect on the future of America. I plan to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.
Do those elected officials have imperfections in their beliefs or their track records? Absolutely! Every politician does. But I don’t see how one can make progress by demanding nothing less than perfection from others. Effective politics is about finding where you agree with others, and working with them to achieve mutual goals.
I wish you all my best. And I sincerely hope there will be opportunities to work together to save our country, our economy, our Constitution, and make this world a more Libertarian place for ourselves and our children.   
God Bless.  
In Liberty,
Wayne Allyn Root
2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee


patriot paul said...

Mike Kole said...

He was having a devil of a time reconciling being a member of the LNC and being a pundit- the kind of pundit that was cheering on Mitt Romney. Root was taking all kinds of heat for questionable ethics in being unable to understand who to remain true to. So, resignation was wholly appropriate, and really, he shouldn't have been seeking re-election to the LNC as recently as May, given the '60 days' of thinking about it, which backs us up only the 60 days after he was elected.

So, I am very happy with the resignation- because I do think of myself as a 'L' Libertarian, and 'L' Libertarians are the ones who should be on the LNC, not the 'l' variety.

patriot paul said...

There seems to be a marked trail of high profile Ls leaving the LP. In both cases of Bob Barr and Wayne Root seem prone to eventually back the Republicans.
In any event, Root is back Romney (but I think we all knew that anyway).

Nicolas Martin said...
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Nicolas Martin said...

Back to this "80 percent agreement" legerdemain goes Paul.

There is one indispensable libertarian view from which all others follow. One cannot be a libertarian (but can be a Libertarian) if one doesn't hold this position, which is the non-aggression axiom.

As the Mises Institute explains it:

"The non-aggression principle (also called the non-aggression axiom, or the anti-coercion or zero aggression principle or non-initiation of force) is an ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate. "Aggression" is defined as the "initiation" of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense."

For those who prefer, here is a fun cartoon explaining the non-aggression axiom:

Eighty percent of zero is zero, and libertarianism without the non-aggression axiom is zero percent libertarian.

To claim to be a libertarian (or 80 percent libertarian) without supporting the non-aggression axiom is like claiming to be a follower of Hazel Motes' Church of Jesus Christ Without Jesus.

Nicolas Martin said...

So, I am very happy with the resignation- because I do think of myself as a 'L' Libertarian, and 'L' Libertarians are the ones who should be on the LNC, not the 'l' variety." -- Mike Kole

Finally admitting what I've been saying for years. A Mike Kole Libertarian is by no means a libertarian.

Indy Student said...

Root is an absolute nutjob birther. I don't really think you want him in your party.

Nicolas Martin said...

The term "nutjob" is pejorative without being descriptive. It's a cheap insult that requires no thought to issue. Being a "birther" (which I'm not because I don't care) is well below the harm threshold of believing in drug wars, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, indefinite detention without trial, and foreign wars of aggression. There is a good deal of silliness in politics, but the moral issues deserve the focus. I'd rather be a "nutjob" than a war criminal.

Root is a politician. He's not very different than the many other hacks and opportunists who comprise the Libertarian Party. They are, as Mike Kole has generously demonstrated, devoted to party, not to principle.

Mike Kole said...

Why, it's my stalking troll!

Nicolas, Of course I am a libertarian. I am also a 'L' Libertarian. You don't get to define me.

Nicolas Martin said...

Your views define you, and you do not subscribe to the non-aggression axiom that is the foundation of libertarianism, Mike Kole. You were the "proud" permit inspector for the Hamilton County Surveyor's office, which is essentially an enforcement job backed by police power.

Invoking the term "stalker" to describe a peaceful critic in a public space inadvertently reveals your lack of commitment to open debate and liberty. As you infamously wrote to me in 2004, "Your attempt to cause dissention within our ranks is not appreciated."

A "libertarian" who opposes dissent? Impossible. "Our ranks" referred to the LP hacks I consistently criticize for debauching the name of libertarianism.

Nicolas Martin said...
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Nicolas Martin said...

Why, in his own words, did Mike Kole run for Indana's Secretary of State?

"I am running for Secretary of State out of a deep concern for our elections; and for the future of the Libertarian Party."

An occasional politician with thin skin who does not run for office -- as Ron Paul does -- to promote liberty. He runs for better elections (he thinks) and his party.

Indy Student said...

Nicolas, I've listened to Root many times as a guest on the Billy Cunningham Show. I couldn't tell you the first thing of what he believes in on any of the policy issues he rattles off, because he spends most of his time on Cunningham's show talking about how he majored in the same thing as Obama at the same school in the same graduating class and NEVER heard of Obama. He also spent a good deal in 2008 promoting this and other Obama related conspiracies.

What good is having these beliefs in a person if all he does is talk about nonsense? Perception is a big part in politics. If he has a great view on the war on drugs, but never talks about it, then what good is he?

I fully stand by my "nutjob" statement. Unless you are denying that he doesn't hold these birther beliefs, in which case I'd need you to source that claim.

Cato said...

Good comments, Nic.

Nicolas Martin said...

@ Indy Student

I assume only nutjobs listen to the Billy Cunningham show, much less make themselves available as guests on it.

Nicolas Martin said...

Mike, do you support the non-aggression axiom?

Cato, thanks.

Unigov said...

The LP would accomplish more of its agenda by infiltrating the Republican party, just as communists have infiltrated the Democratic party.

I picture the LP as a group playing Dungeons and Dragons at an NFL game...ineffective, yet with endless infighting.

patriot paul said...

Greg Garrison had a blistering diatribe against Libertarians on his call-in show today accusing them of waisting their vote that might put Obama in office for another 4 years. Whew. Apparently, several libertarians (small l) called in to support Garrison's recommendations to support Romney. The whole episode lasted about 45 minutes.

Nicolas Martin said...

It comes down to the definition of a libertarian. Just as one isn't really Catholic if one disputes the pope's divine authority, one isn't a libertarian if he rejects the non-aggression axiom.

There is nothing in libertarianism, clearly understood, that places an adherent closer to Romney than to Obama. Republicans have long adopted free market (or at least pro-business) rhetoric to attract gullible voters, but their behavior is relentlessly pro-government, and especially in the case of Romney, whose only political experience consisted of governing as a liberal.

It was the Republican establishment that originally pushed for Obamacare!