Since I signed on as the campaign manager of the Lee Wrights for President Exploratory Committee I’ve taken some heat from some of my radical and anarchist friends in the libertarian movement, people I love and respect, for getting involved in electoral politics. Some of them have even called me a statist, which is very hurtful.
Now I understand libertarians may have disagreements about tactics, and I understand that some in the movement refuse to participate in electoral politics because it’s based on force and violence. I understand and I agree with many of these views. But a true libertarian attitude is to respect each other’s choices, not condemn them.
I’ve chosen to become involved in the electoral process because I’m driven to do it. I’m driven to do it first because I love and respect R. Lee Wrights and what he stands for, and second because it’s a way to use the networking infrastructure of electoral politics to educate the mainstream about radical libertarianism, the heart and soul of libertarianism.
That’s why I think it’s the right thing to do and I’ll continue to do it. I have no problem with disagreements and arguments over tactics. But disagreement is no reason for good people in the movement to be mean to one another. As Lee has said, libertarianism is a way of life. I’m a libertarian because of what I do, not what I say. If we in the libertarian movement can’t respect the right of each of us to make our own decisions, what kind of message does that send to people outside the movement? What ammunition does that give to our real opponents?
All of us in the libertarian movement are on different parts of the journey. I came from a conservative, classical liberal background and I evolved. We all evolve over time. Some will take a little longer to get to that point where we are not afraid to think about a society without the state. We are all afraid because we have been conditioned to be afraid by the state, by government schools, by our society.
From the classical liberal to the anarchist, no matter where you are on that journey towards freedom I’ll work with you because you are my friend, you are a friend of liberty. I’ll never call you a statist because you participate in electoral politics. I’ll work with anyone wanting to maximize freedom and minimize coercion.
Lee Wrights has earned a well-deserved reputation as a radical, passionate warrior for freedom and liberty. He’s devoted his life to working within the Libertarian Party, one small part of the libertarian movement, in order to secure a freer tomorrow.
Lee chose to participate in electoral politics and the Libertarian Party because he believes Americans can’t vote for liberty and freedom unless there are Libertarian candidates on the ballot. That’s also why he’s made sure ballot access drives were a key component of Libertarian Party activities, including running successful ballot access drives in his home state of North Carolina.
He believes, as I do, that the Libertarian Party should promote a message that represents the views of all libertarians — radicals, reformers, minarchists, anarchists – whatever label you want to apply to yourself. We are all on the same team, we just play different positions. This campaign is focused on representing and celebrating libertarianism in the Libertarian Party.
The message of this campaign is a message all libertarians can and should embrace – stop all war. But before we make peace with the world, we must stop all war within ourselves, and within the libertarian movement.
All of us in the Wrights 2012 campaign agree with Lee that Stop All War is the message the Libertarian Party must champion in 2012. If we don’t, nobody else will. To spread that message across the country, we will need the help of anyone who desires to be free and who opposes tyranny in any form.Credit: Thomas Hill, “The Libertarian Message Is Peace,” published with permission
Thomas Hill is chair of the Lee Wrights for President Exploratory Committee. He is also executive director of Stop All War and regional coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty. In 2008, he served as aide de camp for the Dr. Mary Ruwart for President campaign. Hill is a past chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and a charter member of the Cabarrus County LP, where he has served as chair, treasurer and membership secretary. He was a candidate for Cabarrus County Commission in 2002 and 2004, the Cabarrus County Board of Education in 2006 and 2008, the N.C. Senate in 2008 and the U.S. House 2010. The North Carolina native now lives in Illinois.