Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ron Paul and Victory in November with Mary Ruwart

The candidacy of Wayne Allen Root is yet another in a long line of attempts to use Libertarianism for purposes having nothing to do with the philosophy of freedom. What does he hope to gain? Notoriety to feed his gambling ventures? A well burnished ego? Does it matter?

His candidacy has reached depths previously unplumbed. Normally, ambitious and well-heeled wanna-be presidential candidates confine themselves to meaningless but entertaining flights of oratory. Since these platitudinous extrusions sell some extra packages we have long tolerated such ego indulgences. And Root followed the usual pattern – until Indiana. There things changed.

Using as his mouthpiece Mark Schreiber, a former LP employee whose debts to the LP were eventually written off, Root launched an obviously carefully planned attack on the most credible candidate opposing him, long time activist Dr. Mary Ruwart. Root stayed away from the Indiana LP Convention, letting Schreiber do the dirty work for him. At the candidate forum, in the morning session, Schreiber loudly accused Mary of approving of pedophilia. Mary produced forthwith her book that says otherwise. Later Schreiber blurted out that it would not have happened if Ruwart had agreed to accept the nomination for vice-president.

An honest moment in a campaign of lies.

It was an attempt at 'the big lie' that blew up in their faces. Anyone who has known Ruwart for very long knows the attack to be a complete slander of her personally and a misrepresentation of Libertarianism. The tactics of attack within political parties are not new to the LP, but never has the attacker been more plainly exposed.

The entry of Ruwart into the field of candidates provides the opportunity we have long needed, the opportunity to renew the original purpose for which the LP was founded.

The Libertarian Party was founded to advance the cause of individual freedom in the aftermath of the destruction of the Goldwater Revolution.

Ron Paul is a classical conservative in the Goldwater mold, a libertarian. Those who today use the word, 'conservative' are something very different.

In the mid 60s the word 'conservative' was hijacked through the efforts of people who were then called Rockefeller Republicans. Rockefeller Republicans were a small cadre of individuals who were using politics to ensure their continued subsidies through military adventuring by the US and a lock on the sale of gasoline. Their motivations were not ideological but to profit using any means necessary.

Today we know their replacements as NeoConservatives.

The Libertarian Party was intended to create the common ground for freedom between Right and Left, carrying the freedom message to the mainstream of America. Individual rights were our rallying cry.

For some of us freedom has been a life-long time issue.

As Libertarians what matters is making freedom happen. All too often in our movement words have been used to profit individuals who simply want to make a living in politics. We have accepted words instead of insisting on real change, real revolution. We need to become far more discerning. Just because someone has money and is willing to support a campaign staff does not mean they are a Libertarian.

Our movement started because of the yearning we felt to experience our own freedom back when the specter of the Vietnam War hung over America. We watched as Richard Nixon instituted Wage and Price Controls. We supported both civil liberties and economic freedoms. We left the GOP taking our power into our own hands, coming together locally to reach out to others with the message that they should be free – and settle for nothing less. Then, the freedom movement was local. Then, we did not sell the nomination to the highest bidder.

After listening to ad nauseum discussions over the years on various plans for fooling people into accepting freedom it was clear to me by 1988 that freedom was a condition that most did not understand. Before you can find something you need to know what it is you seek.

Yes, we started a political party. But our intention was never to make the existence of the LP an end in itself. We never intended to 'be a presence for the ideas of freedom.' We intended to enact freedom using the LP as our tool. The point of having a Libertarian Party was to fulfill the vision that made America a shining hope for the entire world. That vision still brings tears to our eyes, it remains the goal. We did not come together to make money, burnish egos, or make deals with politicians by selling the rhetoric and letting them use the 'brand' of freedom for their own designs.

Freedom is not rhetoric, it is the power to own your own life, make your own choices, discover the best in yourself and others. Freedom is crafting that life with the power God placed in your hands from birth. Freedom is an absolute. It is a whisper in your ear that says, take your life and live it, own it, make of it the glorious truth that speaks the best within you. The choices are yours as long as you do no harm. That was our joint intention when the LP was founded. But life happened.

We have taken wrong turns, compromised, sold out and bought in. All of that and more is true. But we can change direction, renewing our commitment, our party, and taking into our hands the work that remains to be done.

Root would have you view a life lived under the control of government as freedom. He is wrong.

Listen carefully to how he truncates the message, distorts what it means to be free. On every issue he plays false with what it means to live as a Libertarian.

Root has never understood that war is waged equally against those we bomb and on we who pay for the bombs. He does not feel the horror of honorable men and women, barely grown, who march off to kill for corporate profits. He sees 'terrorism' not for what it is, the newest boogie man used to frightened Americans into acquiescence and silence. Root also has failed to understand that a free market has never existed because the underlying freedom for each of us to choose has never been affirmed.

Iraq was not a mistake. It was a crime carried out by this administration at the behest of and for the benefit of the Bush 'core constituency.'

The rapacious greed of those who would put our money and lives into their own pockets kept that from happening. Divided we can be controlled. United we can win through to freedom.

Root and his ilk ignore the fact that until each of us is free of the limitations imposed on us by statute none of us are free. Laws that limit our rights violate the Constitution and bring moral bankruptcy. Freedom is the one thing in life you will never have until you give it to everyone.

Root has been critical of Ron Paul, attacking the Congressman fo lacking eloquence. What Root actually means is that Dr. Paul is uncompromising on freedom. Paul's words and obvious sincerity, not polished and deceptive delivery, are his strength. Paul simply says what he means and what he has lived.

Such as Root are incapable of understanding that in the cantankerous physician from Texas we see the essence of Libertarianism lived out through the life of a man who, understanding the principles, exemplifies the courage of his convictions. It is easy to speak the words of freedom, hard to live those words, transforming them from words into a consistent record that says, 'yes' to freedom in the face of sneers and contempt. Ron Paul has done that.

Root is a retread of past candidates who believe that we need a messiah to lead us. Look in the mirror to find the one you should follow. Look into your heart and mind and say YES to a campaign that delivers the reality of freedom. We hold the power in our own hands to live our own lives in community with others. That was the original Revolution, that is the essential lesson repeated when the LP was founded and most recently by the Ron Paul Revolution. Now we can take the Revolution home to America and finish the job we began in 1971.

The Ron Paul record of commitment galvanized the Ron Paul Revolution. It has created the opportunity of the campaign to come. But Ron will not be on the ballot this November. We need a candidate who is, like Ron, themselves the message.

Americans are ready for freedom, hungry for it, despite the dangers we face today. And there are dangers and problems to be overcome. But it can be done.

Freedom brings no guarantee of anything but the right to seek your own happiness and fulfillment. Freedom promises us nothing - but is everything. Such as Root sneer at absolutes but freedom is just that, an absolute.

Go to Denver and choose freedom, nominate Mary Ruwart. Renew and affirm the mission we took up in 1971. America is hungry for hope, ready to be free. This November, if you choose right, our candidate can give Americans what they so desperately want and need. If victory was ever possible this is the time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Growing Carrots for Freedom and for America

Carrots can fight back. I remember when my youngest daughter, Ayn pulled out one carrot and it suddenly let go after resisting. Plump, she went right on her bottom, looking surprised. Then she started to laugh, still holding on to that carrot. Then she ate it. It was a long time ago.

Back then I tried to grow all of our food because I knew it was much healthier. Also cheaper. That meant time in the garden with the kids. Those were good times that still make me smile. Such are the moments you treasure, along with the luminescent expression on a child's face when they figure something out. Like how to tie their shoe or get the kite up by themselves. What we remember through a glaze of tears are the things that last.

I can remember when I was little myself. Sitting in the backyard of our house on Colby Avenue in West Los Angeles I would listen with fascination to Mr. Bell, my friend Alan's grandpa, from across the street, tell me about what it was like to be a Pony Express Rider. He remembered the sound of the wind, the feel of his horse, sweating as the sun fried his face even under his hat. He told me the elation he felt when he arrived yet again unscathed. Listening still connects me to him and to the history of the country I love.

Most of us today are hungry for that sense of connection and for more things in our lives that are worth remembering; the things you take with you no matter what else happens. The good news is that we can have them. The bad news, if it is bad, is that we will have to give up on piles of things that we don't remember and on working hard to have nothing much worth the effort.

We need to give up on the idea of being a world power, having our children go off to die in wars that are about corporate profits. And, finally, we need to remember the vision that is still the America we love. That vision drew millions to the promise of what could be when a people were free to live their lives for themselves, in community with others. Close you eyes and see how it was for them. It was never about wealth, it was about hope, security, watching your children grow up strong and free. It was about realizing the best in yourself and showing respect for others. It was and is about community; looking into the eyes of people and finding those connections that last a life time. It is about doing the right thing because you know it matters. Each of these involves a choice. Each of those choices take us back to the freedom that makes human relationships work. When you choose right everything else falls into place.

America is the place where freedom was first recognized as an inherent part of our nature; a gift of God existing before government. Then it was understood that government had no rights, being a simple organizing tool to be changed at our will. That was the real Revolution, the change of ideas. We need to remember that truth.

When you stand on a firm foundation of values, honesty, integrity, community, you do not need to be afraid. Today we are just that, afraid. In this America we have learned to fear things that would have astonished our parents.

Today we worry when we see a police car; we worry about the steady increase of executive orders that ignore the Constitution. We see the direction of an administration that does not even bother to pretend it is acting within the law. We stand at risk, the stark reality of a police state staring us in the face. Shaking out heads we wonder how we arrived at this insanity.

America is now looking at a projected minimum of two million foreclosures in the coming year. We are watching with horror and disbelief as the economy melts down into a sizzling puddle of unidentifiable goo and tent cities spring up to hold the dispossessed. An unsettling rumor is now circulating that in early May the Amero will begin circulating. The Trans Texas Corridor continues to be built, eviscerating our nation, the product of that ugly union of government and corporations. And none of it was an accident. Each step followed the logic of greed, using deceit as its tool and concentrating power as its means.

The steady trend over the last 200 years has been to a centralization of power that allows the extinguishing of the rights of individuals and evasion of accountability for those in power. Each of these changes over time have resulted in the conversion of our institutions to the control of corporations and those who hold power through government.

We are now clear about what does not work. It is time to hit the reboot button.

America began with a Revolution that was organized from the small towns across the colonies. They had reached a common understanding of the rightness of their cause from the Internet of the day. That was the Committees of Correspondence and the letters outlining the issues that were passed from hand to hand among a population that was highly literate and had, for generations, participated in militias that were sponsored by towns, most of these less than a thousand individuals. They were a people who knew each other very personally. Men brought their own guns and ammunition to the Commons. They knew that duty demanded they be ready to act. Community mattered and the tool for decision making was not the vote, it was persuasion and consensus. This ensured that all were heard and all were respected. It built and reinforced strong community values. The solution is a return to community and the values that made America possible.

We can take back America building from the county level and stopping right there. Let the rest wither away as an unwatered weed.

For us the target unit of action should be the county. The sheriff of your local county is the top law enforcement officer, entitled to order out or arrest those who violate the rights of residents. There are men and women who are not afraid to speak the truth and for the Constitution. Sheriff Richard Mack, the proponent for the Mack – Printz Decision that overthrew the Brady Bill and affirmed the wisdom of the Constitution, stood tall when he said NO to the Feds. Other sheriffs can learn to stand tall, too. We can help them understand what their oath means.

With some exceptions most counties in the US are small enough to be reformed, their offices filled, through the concerted efforts of a small group of determined individuals who win election to essential offices. The excess infrastructure of the county should be pruned. During the coming readjustment we will need cutbacks that place the nexus of control firmly in the hands of the people who will handle those services they still deem to be necessary themselves.

It will be a time filled with challenges and changes. We will each of us grow with it.

Food grown locally will ensure it is there to nourish us and lower the need for oil. Locally grown food helps local small farms survive and provides excellent nutrition that builds our ability to flourish. Good nutrition is the too long ignored essential to simple good health and factory food is devoid of essential value. Medical bills will decline. Local food also provides the possibility of new local business as our values shift to those things that last, that are worth remembering.

And Americans will rediscover their ability to innovate. Energy, transportation, our spiritual foundations; each is ready for many changes. Expect surprises that remake the world. We will live differently and better, finding the things that convert hope to reality.

In the end America can emerge from the fire reborn for a freedom that is newly understood and vastly more valued. America is still the unrealized vision, the hope for all our tomorrows.

And a new generation of Ayns will learn to eat carrots that they have watched growing and smile when the carrot pops out of the soil, ready for the eating.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bob Poole and Privatization, Enemies of Freedom

Terri Hall founded TURF, Texans United for Reform and Freedom, to fight for the rights of all Americans. She along with other Texans had been shocked at the move to turn the highways paid for by tax payers in Texas over to corporations, to be operated for corporate profit, on a lease that would last longer than most Texans expect to live. Located in San Antonio, Terri and TURF continue their battle against the looming specter of what is variously known as the Trans Texas Corridor, the North American Union, and the Security and Prosperity Partnership. By any name this long term grab for corporate hegemony over the whole of America by foreign based corporations is simply another form of fascism. We see fascism everywhere today.

Now, TURF and Terri fight continuously just to hold on to what Americans have always believed was theirs by right. Their enemy was spawned by our own movement. America is being 'privatized' out from under Americans, sold in plain sight to foreign corporations.

There was a time when the term, 'privatization' was thought to mean a return of control to individuals. Today those who have long been involved in the Freedom Movement are learning that it is something very different. How do you react to betrayal that is decades long? What do you say when suddenly you see the logic of a line of action that you once supported? That is the question that now confronts all of us who understand that the foundation on which the Revolution stands is the sovereignty of the individual and the individual's right to exercise power over their own life. Freedom does not equal efficiency. Corporations are not individuals and have no rights.

We have been betrayed by the familiarity of those who we trusted. The reasons for that betrayal are profit and ego; they go deep into the history of our movement and even deeper into the emotional investment that those in positions of power come to feel in their own work, even when that work is revealed to be the antithesis of everything they, and we, profess to believe.

No one involved in the original Freedom Movement would have expected that one of their original heroes would be haunting the offices of state legislators in a vigorous campaign to see this naked grab for profits by corporations installed in Texas and throughout America. But that is exactly what Terri has witnessed. Over and over she heard the word, 'privatization' used to describe what she well knew was actually the corporatization of assets paid for by people like herself, hard working Americans who now would be expected to pay in perpetuity for something financed through taxes that grow ever higher.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership is one component of a larger plan by global interests. It is represented by the Bush Administration, intended to convert America into one large plantation filled with serfs. We, the serfs, are intended to be virtual slaves. There is no need for direct ownership because everything we do can be monitored and controlled by the same corporations who, through the Real ID, will own the very information that determines who we are. Under the SPP we move under the control of corporations and effectively outside of the Bill of Rights. The Real ID, reinforced by biometrics that were fraudulently sold to Congress as reliable, are the lynch pin of the plan that is now reaching its full fruition. All of this is being rapidly brought on line.

The man appointed by Governor Rick Perry, the man who coined the word, 'privatization,' and founded Reason Magazine and Reason Foundation is Robert Poole. If you have been in the movement for very long you know his name. Once, Robert Poole was admired for his work, looked up to as a hero for freedom. Today he is on the other side, opposed by the out-gunned and indomitable activists like Terri Hall. Terri, the mother of five children, is fed up with all forms of government. She also chose to home school her children. For Terri freedom is personal.

Most people who knew Bob through the last decades would not have believed this possible. But it is the voice of Bob Poole that you hear advising the frustrated Texas Senate Committee on how to evade the law after they spent the 2 – 2 ½ hours discussing the Federal prohibitions for the kind of agreement Poole urged be adopted. This happened in the afternoon of February 5th, 2008. Terri reports that she often saw Poole talking to legislators there, working to persuade them to pass into law a measure that their constituents begged them to stop. Poole, who retired to Florida some years ago to play with his model trains, has been very busy, using the respect according him to sell fascism in Texas.

That outcry began as soon as the public learned what was being considered. The legislature reacted by hiring lobbyists, another move that was clearly proscribed by Texas law. The original law enabling the grab, HB 3588, was passed by the Texas legislature in 2003.

In Texas the legislature meets only every two years for a few months beginning on January 1st and continuing for around four months. When the ordinary people found out there was hue and cry you could hear across the state. Immediately people like Terri became active. A new generation of freedom fighters launched their own battle. Their activism resulted in a measure, HB 792, in 2007. But according to Terri Hill that was at best a partial victory. While hundreds of thousands of Texans emailed and called to complain what was achieved was a partial moratorium, a measure that leaves Texas, and America, vulnerable today.

What Poole is promoting is called a Comprehensive Development Agreement, or CDA, a measure that, if not defeated, will result in the conversion of the entire infrastructure of government to the control of corporations, control that cannot be ended by a vote, even if such was possible given the presence of Diebold's Vote Stealing Machines. Such agreements allow corporations to control and profit from their contracts for fifty years with another fifty years available at their option.

What this provides to corporations is a safe haven for their money, money stolen from Americans that is then 'invested' through bonds that protect their ill-gotten gains for another four generations.

Bob's motivations are clear. This phase of 'privatization' is a natural extrapolation of his previous work, begun in the early 1970s with his book, “Cutting Back City Hall.” Then, we believed that freedom, not fascist profits and efficiency was the point of the exercise. Seeing the ugliness of the truth takes a special kind of courage, a courage that few possess. Over the last thirty plus years Bob has been heaped with honors, lauded and celebrated as a defender of freedom. It would take a better man than Bob Poole to acknowledge his mistake. That is why the biggest lies die last.

This is what Bob Poole has done with the trust invested in him. He either failed to see, or seeing, could not confront the contradiction lacking the courage. The failure to acknowledge mistakes when the emotional investment extends across an entire lifetime is, perhaps understandable. But it is cannot be overlooked. This is the failure to objectively see and acknowledge that drove Ignaz Simmelweiss, an obstetrician in Vienna in the middle 1800s, to infect himself with child bed fever. His fellow butcher – surgeons refused to follow his example and save lives by simply washing their hands because to do so would leave them with a monumental burden of accountability. Too many had died for them to see. Ideas are powerful. Because they are powerful those who build new institutions bear a terrible responsibility. Along with the praise and profits they must bear the consequences and shoot their own dog when it proves to be rabid, which 'privatization' has proven to be.

Poole has long been associated with those we now understand to be the architects of fascism, “Robert Poole founded the Reason Foundation in 1978, and served as its president and CEO from then until the end of 2000. He was a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team in 2000. Over the years, he has advised the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations on privatization and transportation policy.”

Next time you get a fund raising letter from Reason Magazine or Reason Foundation remember who is supporting the Trans Texas Corridor; remember to look more closely at all of the ideas they have spawned, including another Poole brain child, the right to pollute. If the idea does not return control to the individual, affirming that inherent autonomy, ask yourself who is receiving the profits.

Terri Hall and TURF will continue their fight for freedom. They must. Freedom is the one thing you do not have until you give it to everyone, now and always and they see and understand what freedom is.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why You Should Nominate Mary Ruwart

If the Heartland’s 5-state straw poll is any indication, the LP has sadly lost its way and forgotten the core values that brought it into existence nearly two generations ago now. Some few of us still remember the tears that welled in our eyes when we came together to work for the vision that is America. Like no other nomination in our history this one matters and this is why.

The original idea was freedom for all of us, man and woman, every race, every kind and part of that cantankerous collation of living, beating spirits who comprise humanity. We felt that in those opening days, saw ourselves as new revolutionaries fighting a new battle for a war never truly won. It was all about the individual; it was never about playing into the frame of corporate glitz that is strangling America today. Now, at a time when the make up of those seeking our nomination clearly indicates that American politics faces a realignment of political parties, we need to choose for principle. This is the time for which we have been waited so long. Everything tells us so.

No one anticipated that a cantankerous family doctor from Texas, his words ignored for so long, would become an icon. But it happened. It happened because America is ready to hear the truth about freedom from the Party that made freedom its unifying goal. Dr. Paul gave Americans the thing for which they most hunger, hope and the promise of a renewed freedom. That ground swell awakened hundreds of thousands of Americans to the reasons America lost its way. War, corporate greed, rapacious government, the strangling of hope from all sides. Some among us decided that efficiency was a greater virtue than individual rights. Some of us came with only one issue clutched to our heart, the other issues we shrugged off as irrelevant. Too often we ignored the always present truth that until all are free no one is.

In all of these ways we went a long way down the path to losing everything that really matters. Now, we can redeem all the errors. This is the moment when we rediscover freedom for ourselves and help all Americans find it for the first time. We need the right candidate, and when you finish reading this the right candidate will be obvious.

To be a Libertarian is to understand that the people must govern themselves. To be a Libertarian is to know, down to your innermost being, that you own yourself. When you realize that you stand up a little straighter, feel the ease of tension across your back.

We have settled for words, rhetoric, that while well honed, was empty of the truth found only in action. It is actions, not words, that matter. True liberty is what we live. Ron Paul's message resonated because his actions, a full measure, speak his truth. That is the message for which Americans hunger; Not words but a life-time of proven truth.

We need a candidate we can trust, who understands us because they have withstood the terrible temptations of power. We need a candidate with honor we can take to the bank, not just another practiced salesman with eyes on the potential for publicity this nomination could bring. Most of all, we need a candidate who understands what it means to be a Libertarian.

And because this is a realigning campaign we need a candidate who can do the job if elected. If we ever had the opportunity to smash the two party system this is the moment. To grasp that opportunity we need a candidate who has been a consistent Libertarian and who can bring into their campaign people from both Right and Left. By so doing we could, finally, elect a Libertarian president. That is not an opportunity to be wasted.

That said, these are the candidates who offered themselves.

Wayne Allen Root, who received 22 votes is a polished speaker. He has practiced speaking the words of freedom. But what does his life say to us when examined? His professional association is with the gambling industry and he intends to recruit on-line gamblers who are angry with the government for Internet restrictions on their favorite pastime. Root has been a LP member for only a short time and has no record of activity with his state party. Root’s presidential run is his first LP campaign ever.

Until late February, Root told delegates that we needed to be in Iraq, but has recently changed his tune. Root uses his initials (WAR) proudly all over his web site. Root has been getting prime radio spots and some TV exposure because of his reputation in the gambling industry. Root might play well in Nevada, his home state, but how is the LP going to play to the public with a gambler at the top of our ticket? For years we’ve fought the image of gun-toting pot heads who advocate prostitution. The kind of media coverage we’re going to get with Root may brand us for decades. It will speak a powerful negative to our allies in the anti-war and peace movements.

The candidate is not words. The candidate is the message Americans will hear.

Next in line was Bob Barr, who has not formally announced his candidacy, but is expected to do so shortly. A former Republican congressman, Barr’s reputation as a drug warrior, Patriot Act supporter, and homophile have all been well-documented. Barr converted to the LP a couple years ago and currently serves on the LNC.

Barr probably has the most name recognition of any candidate, except Mike Gravel. He also has the most checkered past. Barr is actively hated by the gay community for his authorship of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies the federal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. The LP will alienate the gay community, one of the LP’s strongest support bases, with Barr.

But that’s just the beginning. Barr is also the author of the legislation, which has effectively ended the possibility of medical marijuana in DC. The MPP recently paid the newly-reformed Barr big bucks to unsuccessfully lobby against his own legislation. Barr is likely to alienate yet another of the LP’s staunchest allies, those who want to end drug prohibition.

Barr now regrets his support for the Patriot Act, as do many others. I realize that he says he has had a change of heart and I am thrilled to have Bob in our party. However, we all must live with the consequences of our actions. Bob voted for the most egregious piece of legislation to pass through Congress in our lifetimes without even seeing it. He has been a typical Republican for many years, and only flip-flopped to the LP recently when the Republicans no longer had any use for him. His candidacy only serves to divide this party.

This background gives the media carte blanche to blacken the LP’s name. I can just see the headlines now: “Drug Warrior Receives LP Presidential Nomination.” “Patriot Act Supporter Nominated by Libertarians.” “Author of Marriage Defense Act to head the Libertarian ticket.”

Since Barr got 19 votes, when not even present, he could possibly, according to the straw poll, be the LP’s leading contender. The LP should welcome former evil-doers with open arms once they sincerely reject their past. Should they become the LP’s standard-bearer, when that same past will alienate large segments of the LP? Isn’t that a steep price to pay a little more media exposure, and potentially damaging exposure at that? We have fallen for the promises of big money and huge media attention before, and what did it get us? Nothing! It is time we stop believing in empty promises and select the best Libertarian nominee we can. We should have a messenger at the top of the ticket that we can be proud of, not one that we will have to make excuses for during the whole campaign!

Does Barr send a message that says NO to the concentration of power in Washington DC? Ask yourself and be honest.

Placing third was former Democrat Gravel, party member for all of 7 days. Gravel supports universal health care, a subject which he carefully avoided during the debate. As stated in the debate, he wants to replace the income tax with the Fair Tax (which appears to be about the only thing he and Bob Barr agree upon), rather than do away with it altogether. Two-time LP candidate Harry Browne used “eliminate the income tax and replace it with nothing” as his signature issue. Republican candidate and former LP nominee Ron Paul garnered a lot of support pledging to do the same thing. Will Libertarians back off from their “taxation is theft” stand in the hopes that Gravel’s, or Barr’s, name recognition will garner them a few new votes?

And what about Gravel’s signature issue, total democratic referendum, where every piece of legislation is passed not by Congress, but by direct vote of the people? The Constitution is out the window if a slick ad campaign can convince a majority of the voters to do so, an easy sell in the days of public education. Ron Paul has demonstrated that a large segment of our population is set on fire by the Constitution, but it looks like the LP is ready to throw the Constitution to the flames in the hopes for a bit of media.

Mike Gravel has done heroic things for America – but he has not even begun to understand freedom.

Running fourth in a field of over a dozen candidates is Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, long-term libertarian author and activist. Ruwart, a cancer survivor, has claimed for years that she would rather write than campaign. She has lived freedom, showing her courage in quiet ways that last, speaking loudly to those who know her. Eloquent and yet able to touch her audience, she is the author of Healing Our World, Short Answers to the Tough Questions, and an Advocates for Self-Government web-column. Through a career decades long she, like Ron Paul, has stayed on message in her own life as well as in what she says.

No other candidate has campaign books while Ruwart has a comprehensive libertarian primer and a short version for our public school graduates. Her life proves that what matters to her is freedom. She is one of the few who have extended the reach of the freedom message to the Left, and there she also has a following.

Ruwart decided to run not because one person asked her but because many veteran LPers asked saying they desperately needed an experienced, principled candidate. Ruwart, a veteran of close to a dozen state and local races, garnered one of the first major news endorsements (The Detroit News for State Board of Ed).

You may well be one of the many she has brought to the LP.

Ruwart brings the people together. She sees every person is a potential libertarian because everyone benefits from liberty and her fervor is tangible. She not only explains Libertarianism, she has lived it. When someone sits down with her to listen they understand our message from both heart and mind. They learn the same things by watching her live her own life. Man, woman and child, they get the message.

Mary is what we need. We must stop acting out of desperation. We must never fear that Americans cannot understand that vital, inner need to be free. The Ron Paul Revolution has proven the opposite to be true. Self doubt has made us weak just when we most need to be strong.

Go to Denver and nominate Mary Ruwart as your candidate for president. Give Americans the opportunity to see what freedom means when someone has lived it all of their life, in every way. If you really believe in freedom then believe in Mary.