Why are we here today?
We refuse to live in a bubble, in an echo chamber, understanding and believing in what we know to be right, and true, and best, and we also refuse to merely remain comfortable among others who agree with us. There are many libertarians who express their beliefs online, on social media, in clubs, in local affiliates. That’s all well and good, as far as it goes. A libertarian can be inspired by Tom Woods podcasts, Jeffrey Tucker speeches, Murray Rothbard, the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, John Locke, Frederic Bastiat, whoever. There are many current libertarians who became libertarians because of Ron Paul.
Now let me tell you why Ron Paul is important, actually maybe the only reason he IS so important- HE RAN FOR OFFICE. Now, he did run as a Republican, and I forgive him for that. I’m partial to the Libertarian Party, and I have pretty good arguments as to why libertarians should run as Libertarians, but that’s for another speech. My point is that Ron Paul is important NOT because he’s brilliant, there are other brilliant libertarians. Not because he’s articulate, because he’s not always articulate. He is important because he is an APOSTLE for liberty. He walks and talks among the enemy, among the uninformed, among those who connive, berate, cheat him, or spit in his face rather than open their minds and consider the truth. He walks among the bought and paid for. And so must we.
We know what it's like, and it’s fitting that we’re kicking off this campaign at the spot where every Saturday, all spring, summer and fall, libertarians stand right here, promoting liberty and truth, while suffering sneers, dirty looks, derisive comments, and occasionally, actual literal spitting. We do this because we love peace and liberty, and despite the interference, despite being illegally excluded from the debate stage by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, whose office is right over there, we want our fellow Wisconsinites to enjoy the peace, prosperity, and privacy that will wash over our beautiful state if we can win at least a majority of voters to the idea, that the best government is the least government, that they have the right, the expertise, and the energy to govern themselves- as individuals, and local communities. We believe in people, and because of that belief, we DON’T want power over them, we seek to EMPOWER them.
It has become the common practice of the 2 big parties, to play identity politics, to highlight the differences between us, to sow suspicion and envy, fear and loathing, to drive people toward the worst in human nature, in order to get their votes, and thereby control them. They practice the old imperial tactics of the Belgians in Rwanda and the British in India- creating hate and fear between people who previously got along just fine. It’s no wonder that these parties attract the sort of people who will say anything to get elected, bend any ethical constraint to get a donation, sell the power they accrue to the highest bidder. Politics in America, and Wisconsin, has become a sick cycle of misdirection, deception, deflection, and I, as a libertarian and resident of Wisconsin, take exception to all that. Libertarian candidates offer a rejection of that cycle, and of that sick culture. My constant message has been that we have much more in common as human beings, here and all over the world, than the differences corrupt parties love to point out. It’s time for politics, and policies, that respect that, instead of seeking to bury it.
We believe in people’s and communities' rights to make their own decisions. There is nothing more fair, more humane, more accountable, and more transparent, than that.
Furthermore, and finally,
We understand that a truly unselfish belief in the principles of liberty requires ACTION.
A truly unselfish understanding and care for not only ourselves but our friends, neighbors and society requires ACTION.
A truly caring and loving regard for not only the PRESENT but also the FUTURE requires ACTION.
Not Facebook posts, not clever tweets, not luxury cruises with like-minded people, not vacations in Acapulco with like-minded people, not reading a book, or writing a book.
Action means running for office, and I am honored and grateful for the candidates here with us today, as well as those who couldn’t join us: Matt Bughman running for State Assembly in District 7, Mike Hammond running in Assembly District 6, Rick Braun in District 14: Larry Kaufman running for Congress in District 1, Liam Coughlin in Congressional District 5, Nate Gall running for Sawyer County Board, and many others soon committing to running for office.
Action means volunteering for these campaigns, serving as treasurer, hosting events, donating money to our campaigns, distributing literature, attending events, even going so far as to SHARE a post rather than just LIKING it.
All of these actions are welcome, and necessary. None are too great or too small. It’s all hands on deck.
Because for those of us up here, and those of you out there, and all liberty-loving people across the state, it is time to act.
We are apostles, but not sent by anyone in particular. We are inspired by the TRUTH. The TRUTH is so compelling that people of good conscience MUST ACT. And what is this truth?
That people have the right to live their lives as they choose, loving whom they choose, raising their children as they choose, expressing themselves, worshipping, loving, trading, and defending all these rights, as they choose, as long as they don’t interfere with others’ rights to the same.
Let’s act on this, starting now, starting today.