"We must learn to defend all our personal resources with reason, clarity and the kind of effective persuasion that wins friends, rather than alienating them. For this, no group is more helpful than the Advocates, which teaches independent thinking coupled with empathy and tolerance for others."
â€” Tonie Nathan, first Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate (1972), and first woman in American
history to receive an electoral college vote.
WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Daily Beast: World's Smallest Political Quiz and OPH Recruiting New Libertarians at CPAC
* Libertarian Landslide: Rand Paul Wins Big (Again) at CPAC
* MintPress: Young Libertarians and Progressives Redefining American Politics
* Video: Hilarious Remy Take on "Working 9 to 5"
* Libertarian Party: Stay Out of Ukraine - and Everywhere Else
THEY SAID IT: Stop free speech, says outgoing NSA director.... Libertarian candidates "banned" by Ohio GOP.... North Korea's ballot laws: a model for Republicrats?.... Sec of State John Kerry calls for non-intervention â€” for everyone except U.S.... Jimmy Fallon quotes God on Obamacare....
PERSUASION POWER POINT #366 by Michael Cloud
* Questions to Open People's Minds to Liberty
ASK DR. RUWART by Mary Ruwart
* Will libertarianism only work if people are rational and reasonable?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP by Sharon Harris
* "Home to Their Families"
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* Upcoming: Advocates communication workshops and speeches
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
* 2014 Freedom Cruises
by Sharon Harris
Daily Beast: World's Smallest Political Quiz and OPH Recruiting New Libertarians at CPAC
Guess which booth at this year's widely-covered CPAC drew the biggest, most excited crowds?
(CPAC â€” the Conservative Political Action Committee â€” is the nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists and office holders, with a strong number of libertarian students among the attendees.)
Here's what The Daily Beast â€” one of the most influential news sites on the web, read by millions of readers each month - reported:
"Of all the booths, the one consistently drawing the biggest crowds was WarOnYouth, a joint project by Generation Opportunity and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)...
"As a clever gimmick, YAL was having passers-by fill out a quickie quiz to determine where they fell on an ideological quadrant that included not just a left/right divide, but also a libertarian/statist one.
"According to the results chart, the vast majority of respondents fell into the libertarian range, represented by â€” surprise! â€” Ron and Rand Paul."
Yes, that's Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) and the World's Smallest Political Quiz working their magic on the CPAC crowd!
Once again the incredible effectiveness of the Advocates' Operation Politically Homeless booth was demonstrated. Once again OPH has been used to reach the minds of the political leaders, activists and donors of tomorrow.
From the very first time the Advocates introduced OPH, some 25 years ago, users have told us over and over again that OPH brings their outreach booth and tabling efforts alive.
OPH consistently makes a booth the most active, the most talked about, the most fascinating, at any event. OPH consistently draws the biggest crowds, the greatest attention. It is fun and fascinating â€” for boothers and attendees alike.
And OPH opens minds and changes lives.
I strongly believe OPH, and the World's Smallest Political Quiz that is the heart of OPH, has played a major role in opening up America's political landscape to include libertarians.
Prior to the introduction of the World's Smallest Political Quiz, most Americans thought of politics using a simplistic model of left versus right â€” which excludes libertarians.
But for over 25 years the Quiz has opened tens of millions of minds to a better political map â€” one that includes libertarians.
The CPAC OPH booth is just the latest example of the crowd-drawing, mind-opening power of this remarkable tool.
Ron Paul observed the power of the Quiz and OPH many years ago, and put it very well: "The World's Smallest Political Quiz is responsible for many Americans' first contact with libertarian ideas. While traveling around the country, I have often heard people say, 'I never knew I was a libertarian until I took the Quiz!'"
Over 1,000 OPH Kits Delivered FREE to
Campus Libertarian Groups
More good news: I am pleased to announce a new OPH milestone.
In the past few years the Advocates has given â€” completely free of charge â€” over 1,000 OPH booths to libertarian campus organizations across America.
These kits have reached tens of thousands of students with the ideas of liberty, and they will continue to do so for years. (Student groups: learn more about OPH â€” and how you can get your FREE OPH kit if you haven't already â€” here.)
These OPH kits are being used by libertarian campus groups to discover libertarian-leaning students and welcome them to the liberty movement. Libertarian campus organizations are using OPH to sign up new members and supporters â€” new libertarian activists who will work in college and after graduation to bring liberty to all America.
And that's great news indeed!
* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!
Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.
Learn more about libertarianism â€” the philosophy of liberty.
Become a SUPER COMMUNICATOR for the ideas of liberty!
Learn how at an entertaining and enlightening Advocates communication workshop, led by acclaimed libertarian communication expert and Advocates President Sharon Harris.
Find out how you can get Sharon to speak at your organization. Email Sharon now, or call her at 770-386-8372.
Attendees rave about the workshop:
â€œThis workshop should be taken by every individual in the liberty movement. The practicality and content have the power to take us from a minority to a majority."
â€œA fabulous workshop for anyone interested in cultivating their communication skills (especially on liberty). Sharon Harris is a brilliant presenter.â€
Don't miss this opportunity to learn the very best tested and proven ways to win others to the ideas of liberty. More details here.
by James W. Harris
Libertarian Landslide: Rand Paul Wins Big (Again) at CPAC
"CPAC Shifts to the Libertarians" â€” Daily Beast headline.
"A Rand Paul Rout in CPAC Straw Poll" â€” Politico Magazine headline.
The headlines tell the story â€” and an exciting story it is.
The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) is the nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists and office holders. A highlight of each convention is a presidential straw poll, closely watched as an indicator of where Republicans and the broadly-defined conservative movement are moving.
This year, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky simply ran away with the Saturday March 8 poll, winning a whopping 31 percent of the 2,459 votes.
No one else was even close. Sen. Ted Cruz came in a distance second with 11 percent of the vote. Trailing behind them in single digits was a host of big-name Republicans, including Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and more.
It should be noted that the large number of younger activists who attend CPAC give the event a noticeable libertarian flavor. Rand Paul won last year's poll as well, and his father Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011.
Ron Paul's CPAC victories previewed his historic 2012 race, which galvanized and mobilized the liberty movement. So Rand Paul's sweeping victories last year and this year are widely seen as an indication of the growing political power of libertarian ideas.
On Friday night of the convention, Rand Paul delivered an electrifying speech that called for a liberty movement that would reach beyond the Republican party.
"Imagine a time when liberty is again spread from coast to coast. Imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty. You may think I'm talking about electing Republicans. I'm not. I'm talking about electing lovers of liberty.
"It isn't good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action, who will lead us back to greatness. There is a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not of the Republican Party but the future of the entire country.
"The question is, will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion or will we be sunshine patriots retreating under adverse fire?"
Rand Paul's speech was peppered with quotes from the Founders, anti-slavery activist William Lloyd Garrison, and other great freedom fighters of the past. Paul attacked indefinite detention, NSA data collection, violation of Fourth Amendment rights, and more in a rip-roaring libertarian defense of civil liberties.
You can see the entire speech here.
After the speech and its wildly enthusiastic reception by so many young activists, the Daily Beast wrote:
"The crowd loved [Rand Paul]. These were his people, and they were whooping and hollering and chanting and fist-pumping like it was Saturday night at the roller derby.
"By the time Rand wrapped it all up by calling on the crowd to 'Stand with me! Stand together for liberty!' at least half the room would have followed him down to the gates of hell if he'd asked.
"If I were among the conservative movement's values voters or hawks, I'd be getting mighty nervous right about now."
UPDATE: New poll finds Rand Paul is GOP presidential race front-runner. It's not just CPAC attendees who are ready to "Stand for Rand." A new CNN/ORC International survey finds that Paul now tops the list of potential Republican presidential candidates.
MintPress: Young Libertarians and Progressives Redefining American Politics
"Libertarians, Progressives Poised to Redefine American Politics" is the title of a Feb. 25, 2014 article by Frederick Reese at MintPress News, a new independent online journalism site.
"With an historically high 42 percent of Americans identifying themselves as independents as of January, the United States is becoming a nation increasingly not served by either the Republican or Democrat label," Reese writes. "According to a December 2013 Gallup poll, 72 percent of all Americans believed that Big Government is a bigger threat to the United States than Big Business (21 percent) or Big Labor (5 percent).
"While this may be burn-out from years of government malpractice â€” an increase in unmanned drone usage, the largest government surveillance apparatus; several scandals involving the Executive Branch; a government shutdown in an attempt to repeal the patient Protection & Affordable Care Act followed by more than 40 repeal attempts â€” the general feeling is that the young vote has been moving away from the 'Big Government' parties."
This portends huge change in the near future for American politics, the article predicts. Reese noted that young progressives and libertarians share many concerns on civil liberties and foreign policy issues â€” and those concerns are not being addressed by the two-party Establishment.
"As Millennials may represent the most Progressive or Libertarian generation ever, and as Millennials are expected to constitute 75 percent of the workforce by 2020, one might be tempted to say that the fate of the 'Big Two' parties lies in the embrace of their small-government cousins," says Reese.
The article quotes Carla Howell, political director of the National Libertarian Party, on this coming sea-change:
"As the views of Americans, and especially young voters, converge with the Libertarian platform, we are attracting more votes than the party has ever seen," Howell told MintNews. "Over 15,000,000 votes were cast for Libertarians in 2012. The Robert Sarvis for governor campaign in Virginia last year garnered 6.5 percent of the vote, the highest vote total for a candidate who was neither a Democrat nor a Republican in a southern state in over 40 years. His vote among those aged 18-29 stood at 15 percent.
"Both Democrats and Republicans have expanded Big Government to the limit that they could get away with for years, especially in the last 14 years during both the Bush and Obama administrations," Howell continued. "Bailouts, FEMA, needless wars, Obamacare, the Drug Prohibition and NSA spying â€” all of which have failed their stated mission. They failed to create jobs, failed to stop the escalation of health care costs, violate personal liberties and put people and our country more â€” not less â€” at risk. Young voters have witnessed these abysmal failures and see that government is not the place to turn to solve human problems."
(Hat tip to Libertarian Party blog)
Video: Hilarious Remy Take on "Working 9 to 5"
The great liberty-minded comedian Remy sings about working "9 toâ€¦ hey, wait a minute!"
See how Obamacare shakes up Remy's employment situation. And he's not the only oneâ€¦
Watch it, laugh, then share with friends. PS: Lyrics, with helpful info links, are at the bottom of this page.
Libertarian Party: Stay Out of Ukraine â€” and Everywhere Else
While the Republicans and Democrats argue about where the U.S. military should intervene next, and how many more billions of tax dollars to spend doing so, the Libertarian Party is singing a very different song.
"Libertarians are lining up to run for federal office in 2014 on a platform to cutmilitary spending immediately by at least 60 percent, close a substantial number of overseas military bases, and bring troops home," says a news release by the Libertarian Party.
Specific Libertarian proposals to downsize the U.S. military, while keeping America far safer than now, include:
- Immediately withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and bring them home to their families.
- Stay out of Syria, Ukraine, and every other foreign conflict.
- Close unneeded U.S. military bases and outposts in more than 130 countries around the world, and bring our troops home. First on the list are the massive deployments in Germany, Italy, South Korea, and Japan â€” countries that can, and should, fund their own military defense.
- Close at least half of the nation's 4,402 domestic Department of Defense sites.
- Use 100 percent of operating cost savings to reduce the federal income tax, balance the federal budget, or both.
- Sell off all foreign and domestic real estate holdings of closed military bases and Department of Defense sites â€” while requiring that all proceeds be used to pay down existing government debt. Not a penny of this money, stresses the Libertarians, should pay for more government spending.
All of this is consistent with the Libertarian Party's platform on National Defense, which reads: "We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service."
Plus, said Geoffrey J. Neale, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, it just plain makes sense.
"Reducing and eliminating military bases in foreign countries will remove a major source of hostility towards the United States, reduce the threat of a terrorist attack, and reduce federal government debt by $300 billion," Neale said.
"Cutting military spending by $600 billion every year will go a long way toward balancing the federal budget and ending the federal income tax," he said. "This will give back $5,000 every year to each taxpaying family in the United States; stimulate investment in small businesses; and create millions of sustainable, private-sector jobs. Plenty of jobs for veterans and millions of others now out of work."
Learn more about America's fastest-growing political party, the Libertarian Party, at their website.
* * * * * * * *
Intellectual Ammunition is written by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."
THEY SAID IT...
NSA HEAD PREDICTS LEGISLATION TO RESTRICT FIRST AMENDMENT: "I think we are going to make headway over the next few weeks on media leaks. I am an optimist. I think if we make the right steps on the media leaks legislation, then cyber legislation will be a lot easier." â€” outgoing NSA director General Keith Alexander, March 4, 2014. An outspoken opponent of whistleblower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald, Alexander himself has been accused by critics of leading unconstitutional programs and lying to Congress.
LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATES "BANNED" BY GOP IN OHIO: "I really am the equivalent of a book in Boston. Yeah, I've been banned." â€” Libertarian Party of Ohio gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl, after Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted disqualified Earl and attorney general candidate Steven Linnabary from the May 6 primary, based on an obscure clerical error. This new Republican attack follows a failed attempt in January to keep all Libertarians off the 2014 ballot. In Ohio the GOP governor faces a very close race and a strong LP showing could cost him the election.
NORTH KOREA OFFERS BALLOT MODEL FOR DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS: "With no one else on the ballot, state media reported Monday that supreme leader Kim Jong Un was not only elected to the highest legislative body in North Korea, he won with the unanimous approval of his district, which had 100 percent turnout. â€¦ Voters in the election have no choice who to vote for â€” there is only one candidate's name on the ballot for each district." â€” Associated Press, "NKorea: Not a Single Vote Cast Against Kim Jong Un," March 10, 2014. (See quote above about Ohio's ballot shenanigans.)
KERRY CALLS FOR NON-INTERVENTION â€” FOR EVERYONE ELSE: "You just don't invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests. â€¦ You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext." â€” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on TV news shows Face the Nation and Meet the Press, March 2, 2014. Apparently Kerry is not familiar with recent U.S. activities in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yugoslavia, etc. etc. etc.
GOD SAYS DON'T BLAME ME FOR OBAMACARE: "This week President Obama told his supporters that they are doing God's work by helping to promote Obamacare. God said, 'Whoa, there. Look, I'm flattered. But Obamacare, that's all you, man. Don't involve me in that mess.'" â€” Jimmy Fallon, Feb. 27, 2014
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
Persuasion Power Point #366
by Michael Cloud
Questions to Open People's Minds to Liberty
When you discuss politics or economics with others, do you ask thought-provoking libertarian questions?
Or do you make statements?
Do you invite them to consider new possibilities?
Or do you just argue?
What if certain provocative questions could get others to let down their mental defenses
and impartially consider libertarianism?
Would you be willing to experiment with several mind-opening libertarian questions â€” and see what results you get?
"What if the situation is the opposite of what people in government say it is?"
"What if marijuana prohibition and the Drug War don't contain or hold down drug use? What if they drive it up?"
"What if they have it backwards?"
"What if drug cartels and drug gangs don't cause more drug use? What if drug prohibition and the War on Drugs promote and strengthen the cartels and gangs?"
"What if drive-by shootings are the result of drug prohibition, not drugs? How many drive-by shootings have we seen by alcohol distillers and brewers in the last 80 years?"
"What if the government 'cure' is worse than the disease?"
"What if the 2009 federal government bailout of Wall Street businesses caused more economic harm to taxpayers who footed the bill and other Wall Street businesses than liquidating the reckless, riverboat-gambling businesses would have?"
"What if tax-funded federal government propping-up of overpriced houses and inflated home loans made things worse for taxpayers and home buyers who were prudent and frugal and did NOT recklessly gamble their earnings and savings?"
"What if government non-involvement results in quick, efficient, inexpensive private-sector solutions?"
"What if, left alone by government, most social or economic problems were solved by private charity, private enterprise, and private ingenuity â€” at no cost to taxpayers?"
"What if, with NO government involvement, most social or economic problems were dramatically reduced or solved by the men and women and families in the private sector?"
Want the people you talk with to examine and embrace libertarian answers?
Why not ask them thought-provoking libertarian questions like those above?
Ask Dr. Ruwart
Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.
Will libertarianism only work if people are rational and reasonable?
QUESTION: I'm not sure libertarianism can work unless people are rational and reasonable. And I've encountered at least as many irrational, unreasonable folks in my life as I have rational and reasonable ones. I'd like to know: how does libertarian philosophy address that issue?
MY SHORT ANSWER: The ideal political system is one which teaches people to be rational and reasonable. Only libertarianism does this by rewarding responsibility and penalizing irresponsibility.
Conversely, our current system usually does just the opposite.
You'd probably have run into fewer irrational, unreasonable folks if the 20th century had been more libertarian!
LEARN MORE: Suggested additional reading on this topic from Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences-winning libertarian economist Gary Becker addresses this question briefly in his essay "Libertarian Paternalism: A Critique."
The relevant excerpts:
"Libertarians believe that individuals should be allowed to pursue their own interests, unless their behavior impacts the interests of others, especially if it negatively impacts others. So individuals should be allowed, according to this view, to buy the food they want, whereas drunk drivers should be constrained because they harm others, and chemical producers should be prevented from polluting as much as they would choose because their pollution hurts children and adults. ...
"Classical arguments for libertarianism do not assume that adults never make mistakes, always know their interests, or even are able always to act on their interests when they know them. Rather, it assumes that adults very typically know their own interests better than government officials, professors, or anyone else...
"In addition, the classical libertarian case partly rests on a presumption that being able to make mistakes through having the right to make one's own choices leads in the long run to more self-reliant, competent, and independent individuals. It has been observed, for example, that prisoners often lose the ability to make choices for themselves after spending many years in prison where life is rigidly regulated.
"In effect, the libertarian claim is that the 'process' of making choices leads to individuals who are more capable of making good choices."
* * * * * * * * * *
Got questions? Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR tough questions on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart
Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.
Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.
Dr. Ruwart's latest book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, Expanded Edition is available from the Advocates, as is her acclaimed classic Healing Our World.
One-Minute Liberty Tip
by Sharon Harris
"Home to Their Families"
In a statement this week â€” featured in the Intellectual Ammunition column in this issue â€” the Libertarian Party called for the U.S. to "immediately withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and bring them home to their families."
"Bring them home to their families." That's very powerful wording.
Libertarians often use wording like "bring our troops home." And that's a very useful phrase.
But adding "back home to their families" makes that far, far stronger.
"Bring our troops back home to their families."
The use of "back home" and "to their families" creates a vivid and heartwarming picture of returning husbands and fathers, back from the wars at last, greeted and embraced by tearful, loving wives and children. Of sons and daughters welcomed by their happy and relieved moms and dads and brothers and sisters.
This phrasing has an emotional appeal, something we libertarians need to do more often.
"Bring our troops back home to their families."
That's exactly what we want to do. That's where American soldiers belong â€” defending America, not carelessly flung abroad to fight in vague wars without constitutional legitimacy and without national defense purposes. It's a great way libertarians can demonstrate they â€” to use an oft-heard phrase â€” truly "support our troops."
And many Americans â€” especially those with friends, relatives and loved ones in the military â€” will respond positively to this wording.
Try it and see.
* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.
What's Happening with the Advocates
ADVOCATES LIBERTARIAN COMMUNICATION EVENTS
Advocates President Sharon Harris will be speaking at the following events:
March 29: Speaker at the Libertarian Party of Colorado's state convention.
March 30: Half-day Communication Workshop co-sponsored by LP-CO.
April 5: Banquet speaker at the Libertarian Party of Maryland's state convention. Liberator Online columnist and author Michael Cloud will also be speaking.
June 26-29: National Libertarian Party convention. The Advocates will have a booth, and Sharon will be speaking.
August 8-9: Featured speaker at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)'s "Communicating Liberty" conference.
Attendees will learn how to dramatically increase their effectiveness at communicating the ideas of liberty.
Email us now if you'd like us to send you further information on these events.
Email Sharon to find out how you can have a communication event near you.
FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS: Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits to libertarian student groups FREE â€” if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH â€” praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement -- normally sells for $50.00.
If you're in a student libertarian group, click here for more information on getting your free OPH kit.
JOIN US ON TWITTER: Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don't worry â€” we won't bombard you with tweets. We're keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)
Go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the "follow" button below our picture. Thanks!
JOIN THE ADVOCATES ON FACEBOOK: The Advocates Facebook page offers you a chance to share your ideas on liberty, meet some great people and show your support for the Advocates for Self-Government and liberty. Join us and you'll receive regular Facebook updates on Advocates news, communication tips, and special offers for our Facebook friends.
2014 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board member and long-time libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for a Freedom Cruise. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser â€” at a bargain rate! Great food and fine company. Non-libertarians welcome! (These aren't Advocates events, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) For photos and more details â€” or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates â€” visit Freedom Cruises.