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Happy New Year from the LPL
As the current year comes to a close, many people look to this moment as an opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments, find areas to improve, and seek goals for the new year.
We saw tremendous membership growth for the Libertarian Party of Louisiana (LPL) and away from the two old parties in 2015. This year, we welcomed over a thousand new registered Libertarians into our state party. The LPL also saw a new Parish Executive Committee (PEC) formed in Avoyelles Parish and we’re happy to see that they’re off to a good start.
Finally, a big thank you to our candidates: Jennifer Werther for St. Tammany Parish Sheriff, Jason France for Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) District 6, and Jay Price for State Representative, District 70. Our candidates are often the most prominent figures in our party and we’re blessed to have such wonderful people running in our state.
This expansion certainly is encouraging for those who seek an alternative to the two-party duopoly that controls both the state and federal government. The Libertarian Party seeks to limit the power of government and restore maximum freedom back in the hands of We the People. We seek to empower the individual, not government.
Going forward, the LPL looks to continue membership growth and the formation of new PECs. In addition, anyone who shares our values and is considering running for office is whole-heartedly encouraged to run as a Libertarian. Candidates are the lifeblood of the party and show the duopoly that third parties are both viable and competitive!
2016 is an exciting opportunity for the LPL to spread its wings and let Liberty ring. Happy New Year's to you and your family from the Libertarian Party of Louisiana! And if you haven't already, please consider making a donation to the party that stands for freedom in ALL areas, not just those that are politically convenient.
Libertarians say stop reckless Middle East interventions, honor freedoms of innocent Muslims
Republican presidential candidates are drawing upon the rhetoric of hate. They call for shutting out refugees, ominous border walls, stepped-up military action, and dragnet profiling of Muslims in the United States.
Donald Trump called for creating a database of US Muslims and suggests government actions to shut down mosques -- an unprecedented encroachment upon religion in the U.S. Ben Carson wants a database for all American citizens.
But such frenzied, reckless proclamations are exactly what have made Americans abroad and at home a target for Islamic extremists. They play into the ISIS strategy of recruiting more terrorists and put all Americans at greater risk.
“When your enemy wants you to do something, you may want to think twice before doing it,” said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
"Libertarians condemn, in the strongest of terms, terrorist acts of violence against innocent civilians,” he added. “But we will not condemn people of an entire religion based on the actions of a few. Nor will we deny them the freedom to escape from tyranny and horror.”
Libertarians call for maintaining the U.S. ethos of open borders for peaceful people. Protecting the United States from threats of terrorism should not come at the cost of the First and Fourth Amendment rights of all Americans.
“More domestic government surveillance is not the answer, especially for peaceful people who have harmed no one,” Sarwark said. “Libertarians vehemently oppose any infringement of religious liberty and of government data-gathering of citizens, Muslim or otherwise, without probable cause as required by the Fourth Amendment.”
Since the Moroccan-American Friendship Treaty of 1786 through the middle of the twentieth century, America enjoyed generally friendly relations with Islamic countries across the Middle East. But after the discovery of oil in the region, the U.S. government began a string of destructive, terrorism-inciting interventions in the region:
- The U.S. government sent the CIA to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1953, setting off an escalating chain of events that reverberates to this day.
- The CIA installed the Shah of Iran, a brutal dictator, who kept the oil supplies flowing. This outraged the Iranian people, building up to the Shah's overthrow by the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979.
- The U.S. supported Saddam Hussein of Iraq against Iran, eventually leading to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
- The U.S. permanently based troops on Saudi Arabian soil, a decision that Osama Bin Laden viewed as religious sacrilege and which partially motivated his 9/11 attacks of 2001 on the World Trade Center.
- The U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 under the false pretext of Saddam’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction.” The resulting chain of events culminated in the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria today.
“Just as creative destruction in a free market replaces less desirable products with ones that work,” said Sarwark, “we must replace foreign policies that provoke war and terrorism with ones that foster peace.”
“Ending U.S. meddling in the region is the only way to unwind the centuries-old blood feuds into which lawmakers have entangled the American people,” he continued. “America and Middle Eastern countries can then, once again, have a chance at peace.”
Libertarian Party four-decade advocacy for marriage equality pays off with US Supreme Court decision
In a 5-4 ruling today, the US Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license same-sex marriage and recognize those marriages entered into in other states.
Libertarian candidates, including the party’s 1976 presidential nominee, Roger MacBride, have been bravely calling for marriage equality since long before it was politically correct. In fact, they’ve been doing so when it was considered downright dangerous.
David Boaz, Vice President of the Cato Institute, noted in a column in The Advocate, “The Libertarian Party endorsed gay rights with its first platform in 1972 — the same year the Democratic nominee for vice president referred to 'queers' in a Chicago speech. In 1976 the Libertarian Party issued a pamphlet calling for an end to antigay laws and endorsing full marriage rights.”
“I'm glad to see that the Supreme Court has upheld the equal rights for all Americans that the Libertarian Party has been fighting for, for over forty years," said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
“We applaud and celebrate this victory, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all Americans to pursue happiness and prosperity in any way they choose,” he said, “as long as they don't hurt others or take their stuff."
"Established by the States" Not So Much; The Supreme Court Upholds the ACA
Despite what many assert as clear diction in the law, the Court ruled against a direct reading of the legislation. The Court opted for an interpretation and in the process delivered a blow to Liberty. Many initially indicated that the verbiage in section 1321 was constructed as a punitive means to force or rather "entice" states to create exchanges. If the states failed to comply with the requirements the federal government would step in and do it. Failure to comply came with a monetary punishment; the state would not receive federal subsidies. This, of course, would leave these states who did not participate to the hands of a populous who now could not afford the new healthcare and as such the opposition stalwarts would suffer masses of uninsured unhappy constituents.
Whether section 1321 was meant to be a carrot or a stick, it is clear what the law as passed says. There is still a fleeting hope that Liberty could be preserved in this political era but even so, it should be no surprise that the ACA once again is saved in such a muddy fashion. If there is one thing government does well, its a bad job.
As libertarians there were two losses today. One is legislative and the other is philosophical. It is important to make this distinction as there has been plenty of legislative resistance to the ACA coming from the Right side of the aisle and occasionally from the Left of the aisle, but often they seem to be focused only on their version of a law and not the Constitutional and moral foundation of the legislation. This became evidently clear when the GOP chose to run Mitt Romney in 2012. As the President has "Obamacare," Romney had "Romneycare." It was a blow legislatively to the Right as well as libertarians. Both lost due to the federal government holding fast to its new power granted to it in the ACA.
Philosophically, libertarians suffered a major blow as well. Core to our principles are ideas such as non-aggression and the free market. We did not have a free market in healthcare before the ACA, but with behemoth legislation like the ACA there is little hope of seeing a meaningful turn-around in our political landscape. In addition to the codification of ideas that are anti-Liberty, our predicament is exacerbated by the laws and politicians servicing them, using them as a bully pulpit from which statists will continue to broadcast a claim on your life and labor. No better showcase of this is in a White House response to the ruling in which the President stated that health care is a right. Health care is a service and as such there must be a provider. If healthcare is a right this means that inherent in the ethos of the ruling political party there is a belief that individuals are entitled to services of other individuals. An astute observer only needs to step a few years into the history books to learn the horrible results of such an idea as being the rightful owner of another's labor.
Adam Kokesh to Speak at Liberty Sessions
Liberty Sessions welcomes Author and Liberty Activist Adam Kokesh
Liberty Sessions was formed by a few members of the Ascension Parish/EBR PECs for the purpose of spreading the ideals that the Libertarian party was founded on. Each month they take a single hot button issue and present the libertarian take on it. By first giving a small introduction to the Non Aggression Principle, they construct the setting for the topic at hand and get the audience to view the issue through the microscope of self ownership and the NAP so as to come to the libertarian position on the issue. The goal is not necessarily get everyone to agree, although ideally that would be great, but to at least give an understanding on how we reach our positions and give people a little insight on the principles that make up the “party of principle”. After a brief speech, Liberty Sessions breaks into discussion groups with a set of questions for each group to answer or inspire fruitful discussion.
So far, Liberty Sessions has touched on topics such as the negatives of prohibition in general (food, drug/alcohol, and guns), 2nd amendment, marriage equality, and marijuana legalization. Some future topics are jury nullification and the social safety net.
While Liberty Sessions has seen an increase in attendance over the last month or two, they certainly would love to see more participation from registered libertarians in the area as well as non registered guests. They advertise on Facebook mostly so check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/louisianalibertysessions
This month will
be a very special one, at least in the eyes of the planning committee and
founding members, as we welcome a special guest. Adam Kokesh is a well known
figure in the liberty movement and has recently released his first book
“Freedom” in which has been used as a tool for liberty sessions. They also have
purchased a couple of hundred to hand out to our newly registered brethren. Adam
was a TV show host on RT, ran for Congress in 2010, and is currently
continuing his activism as a podcaster, author and currently is on a national
speaking tour to spread the message of liberty.
Please join us on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:00 PM in Baton Rouge at The Londoner for what we hope to be a great event!