Skip to comments.Stand up to unchecked federal power
Posted on 08/25/2009 8:33:35 PM PDT by marktwain
Libertarian activist and radio host Ernest Hancock fired up concern about right-wing extremism around the country last week after he revealed to CNN's Rick Sanchez that he had planned the interview with someone who carried an AR-15 rifle to the protests outside of President Barack Obama's Aug. 17 appearance at the Phoenix Convention Center. At the Tribune's request, Hancock explains his motivations.
In 1994, I learned that holding a sign, "Legalize Freedom ... Register Libertarian," at a Janet Reno speaking event would get you arrested by Phoenix police. I was quickly released with no charges and returned to the event, but it was clear to me as a young man that we were on a very dark path.
One tool to illuminate this dark path was the filing of ballot initiatives that would inject into the political discourse some concepts, such as Second Amendment rights, otherwise ignored during election cycles. One of those 1994 initiatives was "unrestricted concealed carry of firearms," which evolved into Arizona's permit system. SAFE (Second Amendment is For Everyone) was the political action committee that was created in support of this initiative.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio called to inform me that SAFE and I were at the top of a state-by-state listing of militias created by the Southern Poverty Law Center that had been sent to every local law enforcement agency in the nation. Fortunately, Arpaio knew me well enough to know I was not a danger. Ironically, it was after this that I bought my first gun.
Then, I saw a very close friend incarcerated for more than five years in the infamous "Arizona Viper Militia" case of 1996. Those of us who knew the defendants knew they were an easy target because their views were considered too far out of the mainstream. But it would take lies and a willing media to accomplish the demonizing, and conviction, of a friend we knew to be peaceful.
The "Viper Reserve" was created to document the case and to archive it on the Internet. This included a $5 million lawsuit in 1998 against Janet Napolitano for her role as prosecutor in the case. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a federal judge.
William Kostric's decision to bring a firearm to a protest outside of President Barack Obama's Aug. 11 health care town hall in New Hampshire was enough of an opportunity for the same people surrounding the "Viper" case in Washington, D.C., to repeat the rhetoric of "threats" from the Arizona militia. Rahm Emanuel was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 1998, and Napolitano (now head of Homeland Security) was the "Viper" prosecutor. The Southern Law Poverty Center made a Phoenix visit recently, and I was getting a very strong feeling of deja vu.
When making my plans for Obama's Phoenix visit, these recent events prompted a call from me to the Phoenix police's "Confrontation Prevention Squad." People I respect in the Phoenix Police Department understand why I would be concerned about the same rhetoric we all experienced 13 years ago - with the same people, in even more powerful positions of government, with new unchecked powers. Our respect for each other has improved over the years, and we have come to understand each other's concerns.
I would bring my personal firearm to the planned protest outside of the Phoenix Convention Center, broadcast my radio show live, and the Phoenix police would protect my right to do so. This inspired others to do the same, including a peaceful young black man with an AR-15 who wanted to make it clear that the increasing financial enslavement of his generation would eventually be resisted.
As expected, the "Viper Militia" case was resurrected, and for all of our protection it needed to be. And the perception that local law enforcement and individual rights are now on the same side makes us all more secure.
This is the Second Revolution (peacefully, of course). We will not give up until the liberals are in fast and furious retreat! Be in D.C.!
Libertarians always claim the high ground. “We are independent. We love liberty.”
But, they always have an affinity for the lefty side of the equation. Over the past 20 years, I bet Libertarians have voted Democrat 90% of the time while claiming all the while that they are strictly impartial. Well, la dee dah.
I will defend your right to free speech.
Will YOU DEFEND MINE?
You know the identity of a libertarian is difficult. That is because Statist impulses exist on both the left and the right. On the right, law and order republicans demand tougher laws and penalties, demand a zero risk environment, a highly controlled and predictable society, and will demand that at the point of a gun (a police officer). The lefty statists want a strong aggressive government to carry out their wacky and misguided aims, again, at the point of a gun. So where does that leave your basic libertarian? He does not not want to transfer risk to others, but rather to assume risk in return for freedom. So who is on his side?
“You know the identity of a libertarian is difficult. That is because Statist impulses exist on both the left and the right. On the right, law and order republicans demand tougher laws and penalties, demand a zero risk environment, a highly controlled and predictable society, and will demand that at the point of a gun (a police officer). The lefty statists want a strong aggressive government to carry out their wacky and misguided aims, again, at the point of a gun. So where does that leave your basic libertarian? He does not not want to transfer risk to others, but rather to assume risk in return for freedom. So who is on his side?”
Lots of words are pretty, yours included. But let’s cut to the chase. How many Libertarians have you known who have voted R vs. L? What’s the percentage? IMHO, they’re all just disguised lefties, late to the party. Worse than Dims. Scum suckers.
In my state, most of them. Do you think Libertarians are incapable of being practical?
My problem with Libertarians is their candidates in several key instances have cost the Republicans victory. Although I was no fan of McCain, Bob Barr running as a Libertarian cost him Indiana and North Carolina (not enough to change the outcome, but enough to get it closer in the EC). Sens. Tim Johnson (D-SD) & Jon Tester (D-MT) won narrow victories because Libertarian candidates deprived the Republicans a victory (and in Tester’s case, that was the difference between the GOP tying control of the Senate in ‘06 and losing control).
Another way to describe the outcome of the election is to say that if they could have convinced the voters of their libertarian creds, they would have won. Why are you blaming the libertarian voters instead of the R’s who failed to sell themselves as libertarian enough?
I’m stating that in close elections, the presence of a Libertarian only tends to serve that of the Democrats. Absent the presence of that one single Libertarian candidate in MT opposing Conrad Burns, it would’ve changed the outcome of power in the Senate. Did that one Libertarian candidate think he was doing the country a favor by putting the Democrats in charge ?
The way things are looking lately, we may be fortunate McCain lost. For that to remain true, more conservatives and libertarians that actually follow their principles have to become activists.
Why the Tenth Amendment? (The line in the sand)
Maybe the Libertarians you hang out with are deformed in some way.
My experience differs greatly.
That’s subjective as hell. It all depends on the candidates. Would the average libertarian vote for a blue dog dem (pro life, anti-gun control, anti-police state, ect) over a neoconservative or overmilitant Repub? Probably. But that same libertarian would take a paleoconservative over the blue dog ever time out.
Considering the damage (perceived and real) the Republicans did to American freedom in the name of fear and security, perhaps the Libertarian figured the Dems couldn’t do much worse. Of course, what he got was a different flavor of crap.
I always thought of libertarians who wanted a strong constitution, carried out to the letter.
Do you disagree with this premise?
Am I missing something?
How about the essense of the argument. I can’t call myself a Republican, but I have always voted that way. I am registered a republican and have been for 22 years. But I am tired of driving through swarms of cops to get to the grocery store. So what does that make me? I would call myself a Thomas Jefferson republican.
“Do you think Libertarians are incapable
of being practical?”