I know that it might not have been number one on your list of things to pay attention to, but the Libertarian Party recently held its 2004 presidential nominating convention in Atlanta. As with the past three Libertarian conventions, I was invited to speak. This time things were a bit different. There was an organized ?Boot Boortz? petition drive to have me removed from the speaker?s list. It seems that some fellow Libertarians didn?t exactly approve of my support for the liberation of Iraq. The quest for Libertarian ideological purity raises its ugly head.
As I spoke to a standing-room only gathering the Boot Boortz crowd was relegated to meandering about the ballroom lobby handing out their cheap computer-printed anti-Boortz stickers. Hint: If you can?t afford real buttons or good printing, find another cause
OK ? I took the heat and made my speech. Now that the convention has gone virtually unnoticed to the vast majority of Americans, it?s time for me to get a few things off my chest.
Libertarians! You blew it. You had the chance to make an impression on the media and the American people, and you blew it.
I?ve been promoting the libertarian philosophy for many years on talk radio, and I?ve won a lot of converts. I believe to this day that if individualism, freedom, economic liberty and constitutional government are to be restored and preserved in the United States it will be the libertarianism, if not the Libertarian Party, that gets the save. The way the party is playing right now, that save looks in doubt.
There?s a quiz located on the Internet at which helps people figure out if they may, in fact, be more libertarian than conservative or centrist. The Washington Post has said that this quiz ?has gained respect as a valid measure of a person?s political leanings.? Take the test. See where you stand. If you discover to your amazement or dismay that you might be a Libertarian, read on.
It is all-too common for people, when they discover that I?m a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party , to respond with ?Oh, you?re the people who want to legalize drugs.? Now if you give me 10 minutes of quality time with any person reasonably capable of rational thought, I will convince them that the most sensible way to combat drug usage in the United States would be to end the war on drugs and move to a treatment-centered drug policy. I need those ten minutes though, and those ten minutes usually aren?t there.