The Libertarian Party is calling for increased coordination and communication between federal and state law enforcement agencies in order to help to apprehend and convict child predators and those who engage in child pornography.
“FBI Chief Robert Mueller was correct when he said we are losing the war on child pornography,” says Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory, referring to comments made by the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday before a House Judiciary Committee meeting. “We have an obligation to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, and we can do this by increasing communication between state and federal agencies to help combat this repulsive industry. While privacy rights should always be respected in the pursuit of child pornographers, more needs to be done to track down and prosecute the twisted individuals who exploit innocent children.”
I tend to agree with Stephan Kinsella over at LRC:
While child abuse is obviously evil and unlibertarian, it is still bizarre that the LP would issue this release. To specifically call for the national police force to work more with state and local police is not just something radical libertarians would have trouble with. It is also unconstitutional. Under the Tenth Amendment, criminal justice questions–-including murder, rape, arson, theft, child abuse, violence against women, drug policy, gun laws and the like–are to be handled by state and local governments, not the federal government.
There is some gossip that this release was a stupid inner-party power play, to make radicals, including believers in decentralist law enforcement, feel uncomfortable in the party. By forcing this issue over the very emotionally charged issue of child porn, some people in charge of the party are trying to force anarchists and other radicals to admit they do not think the federal government should be involved in such questions. Specifically, they are attacking one presidential candidate, Mary Ruwart, over this and using it as an excuse to alienate radicals.
Ruwart–who spent 19 years as a pharmaceutical research scientist for Upjohn Pharmaceuticals and holds a PhD in biophysics–says she has been unfairly attacked and her words have been misrepresented in a smear attempt. Apparently the sell-outs and compromisers are trying to destroy her career.
In any case, why should a presidential election even have anything to do with this? The 1996 and 2000 LP presidential candidate, Harry Browne, used to point out that “The Constitution recognizes only three federal crimes — treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. The federal government has no Constitutional authority to deal with any other crimes.” He convincingly argued that this was a reason even pro-life libertarians should oppose federal abortion laws. (And Ron Paul would argue that pro-Choice libertarians, for similar decentralist, Constitutional reasons, might oppose Roe v. Wade.) (See Browne on prohibition and drugs; Browne on abortion.)
Would Harry Browne feel left out of what the Libertarian Party has become?
David Nolan, the minarchist founder of the Libertarian Party, was outraged by the press release. He wrote:
“The question is, how does society best protect its members from these bad things? And the LIBERTARIAN answer is ‘rarely, if ever, by giving more power to governments, especially at the Federal level.’ I am appalled at the national HQ staff putting out a press release that implicitly disowns one of our candidates over such a relatively minor issue. First, because that’s not a proper role for paid staffers to assume, and second because several other candidates have taken overtly anti-Libertarian stances on a number of issues, and none of them have been shot at by the national staff for doing so. This whole fiasco just reeks of cronyism and witch-hunting.”
This is why I hate political activism and electoral politics. The desperate attempts to seem respectable, the constant disingenuous smearing of more principled opponents as racists or pro-pedophiles, the selling out of even Constitutional government to hysterical federal wars on terrorism and child porn, and under-the-belt punches. It’s all very disgusting.
And even Ian Free Talk Live has had enough:
The Libertarian Party (LP) had, after the late, great Harry Browne’s campaigns, been falling further and further from it’s original principles. In the early portion of this decade, when the LP removed from the party platform their calls for the abolishment of the CIA and FBI, I wrote their newspaper to say I’d not send them another dime of money until they got back to their founding principle: the non-initiation of force.As I drifted away from the LP and politics and toward market-based action, I paid less and less attention to the LP. I even said on the air recently on “Free Talk Live“, my talk show, that the only reason I was still a member is because I bought a life membership and it hadn’t been worth my while to cancel it.
Well, along comes this post on the LRC blog. I agree with the sentiments of the post, and felt this move by the LP was the last straw. I called and revoked my membership, and felt clean and fresh afterward!
The LP is dead to me and no longer resembles the party I joined ten years ago. After the 2000 Browne campaign, I jumped into LP activism. I attended meetings regularly and single-handedly organized and paid for libertarian outreach at the county fair, gun shows, and gay/lesbian pridefests as well as created and tended their website. I did and funded it all myself because of the political nature of the LP. It was not hard to notice how bureaucratic and slow they were. For example, they spent uncountable weeks debating over bylaws. Plus, at the non-bylaw-reviewing regular meetings, whenever an idea was proposed there would nearly always be someone who would derail the discussion into debate on the idea or the issue. Very little ever got done. This was just my experience with the local LP in Florida. (Nothing against the individuals, they are good people. It’s the central planning that is the major failure.)
The LP state conventions I attended were dull. Having watched the LP national conventions on TV, I can say that while some of the speeches were excellent, the bulk of the time was spent bickering over party platform, blah blah blah. I’m glad I never went to one. All of this distasteful bureaucratic, political garbage was frustrating to me, as I didn’t know what else to do to achieve liberty in my lifetime.
Since I discovered the Free State Project in the first half of the decade and especially since moving to New Hampshire, I’ve been learning about the free market and experiencing REAL, decentralized, activism. Sure, there are a bunch of political Free Staters (for those of you who still believe you can change the system from the inside), but the most exciting and effective activism has been market-based. There’s a cadre of great market-based activists (both NH natives and Free Staters) here in Keene, NH, and that number is growing. We’re creating our own media (TV, radio, print, blog) and have begun living free. If the Blue Light Gang interferes, we already have proven success at deterring their aggression. As more join in withdrawing from coercive society and joining the voluntary society, we will only be more successful as the coercive gang’s veil of legitimacy will crumble from its own inherent contradictions. Eventually, the transition to the free market will be completed and not one vote need be cast or politician promoted.
Goodbye LP. Their contribution to the dilution and destruction of the term Libertarian is appreciated. “Free Marketeer” is so much more descriptive of my beliefs. Thanks LP, for helping me realize that politics is never the solution to problems.
We will never be free by begging, but only by choice. I choose liberty. What about you? Will you join the Nonviolent Evolution?
I think the means to freedom is multifaceted. We need political and apolitical actors. If we don’t defend ourselves in both spheres we risk serious loss of ground. However, party politics will not be the vehicle for change. As you see here the “party of principle” has been infiltrated by rejected Republicans and Democrats. Mike Gravel, Bob Barr and Waine Allen Root may be better than your average D and R politician but that’s not saying much. This latest attack on Mary Ruwart has really turned me against the LNC moreso then I had been prior. The outright lies and slim being thrown around at Third Party Watch and the like is incredibly petty and sad.
The national LP will likely continue to run candidates who blow the competition away for some time but they will also likely continue to pick up D and R rejects and their downward spiral. Oh well…. one more reason to head up to NH.