“I don’t need a ride, I need ammunition”

Know your why.
“The president is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang your kids’ photos instead, and look at them each time you are making a decision.” -Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Last weekend was spent participating as a member of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania in the state convention in Williamsport.

These are my observations and my plans moving forward:

The Mises Caucus treated the annual convention as an opportunity to settle perceived grievances and to hold a national party at the expense of members who were using a political party as an organization to cooperate in getting people elected and changing public policy to better align with our values.

Michael Heise is not just importing Republicans to vote in Libertarian Party elections and nominating active Republican Congressional candidates to block active Libertarian candidates, he has also imported the Republican culture of “rule or ruin” where the victors punish their political opponents even if it hurts the goals of the party.

As someone who agrees with Justin Amash on the purpose of a political party being to cooperate to elect candidates and change public policy toward our shared goals, I believe that people who want to make symbolic gestures should stick with activist organizations that educate or agitate public opinion and exist separate from and parallel to the Libertarian Party.

The low behavior of the Mises Caucus members at the convention toward anyone who was not in lockstep with Michael Heise’s agenda was some of the worst that I have ever observed in over two decades in the Libertarian Party. Physical violence, hateful names, nasty insults, shouting down speakers, and other thug tactics are mob behavior. The cruelty is the point, to punish people like me who they see as their enemy. It is unpleasant and awful and it drives good people out of the party, but it will not make me leave.

For those who have been hurt by their cruelty, consider the following: “They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me,” was what he wrote after being forced off of a train car because of his color. Likewise, the bullies showed all those who are still able to see what their values are.

There are those who say that we must learn to work with the Mises Caucus because they have taken over the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. They are wrong. Each of us Libertarians has the power as an individual to decide who we associate with and who is allowed to associate with us. It is clear that the Mises Caucus rejects those who do the work and those who do the work should do likewise.

The convention body chose None of the Above for the office of Governor, which is a convention resolution not to run a candidate for that office. Under the bylaws, the board of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania is legally prohibited from nominating a candidate for that office. Actions have consequences and letting a thug from Norristown direct the actions of the delegates means that the party will have no candidate for Governor in 2022.

Joe Soloski has been running a positive Libertarian campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania and should continue that campaign. There is no reason for that campaign to end, in fact it should continue stronger than ever. There are 178 elected Libertarians and great Libertarian candidates for lower office who deserve a leader to be their voice in the Keystone state and by continuing his campaign, Joe can be that clear Libertarian voice to rally those people who want to elect candidates and change public policy.

Any candidate who accepts a nomination for Governor or Lieutenant Governor from the board in violation of state party bylaws (as well as the election code violations in the election of those party officers with the votes of out-of-state members) places themselves in constant and serious jeopardy of being removed from the ballot by the state government at any point during the campaign. If you don’t think the Rs and Ds will do that with glee, you haven’t been a Libertarian long enough.

“I would unite with anybody to do right; and with nobody to do wrong.” -Frederick Douglass

That quote is on the back of my Libertarian Policy Institute business cards, because it defines my political philosophy. If there are individuals who are running good races in Pennsylvania, they will have my help, but the Mises Caucus controlled board and those who associate with thugs and bullies will have nothing from me. Not even my enmity. They are entitled the same respect that our Republican and Democratic opponents are when they work to sabotage our efforts and punish us for standing up for our values.

That also goes for those who enable the Mises Caucus by being on their advisory board or making excuses for their poor behavior. Freedom of association is a core libertarian principle and choosing to disassociate is powerful. You have that power and as we are seeing with the world disassociating from Putin for being a tyrant, it is incredibly powerful.

There is no reason to start another political party or to leave the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania because it has been hijacked by incompetent misfits. We will stay and we will continue to define what a good Libertarian is by our words and our actions, no matter how many vile trolls bully us to leave. Attacks will be converted into positive action to support good Libertarian candidates, both in Pennsylvania and around the country.

My service as “the least important person in the Libertarian Party” didn’t end in 2020 when my third term as Chair ended, it only became deeper. If you want to help me with time or money, please reach out to talk. I know many of you may have been supporters of the party and looking where to put your money where it cannot be siphoned to support people working against our values.

Don’t agonize. Tell your story about what you witnessed, it is important to share the truth about what happened so that people can see.

“Plot, Plan, Strategize, Organize and Mobilize.” – Killer Mike, dealing with the pain of yet another police killing in Atlanta

Like the people of Ukraine, we are being invaded by a force directed by an autocrat who doesn’t care what he destroys. It hurts to see him destroy what we have built, but we will not give up, we will not surrender, we will stand up for our values and our party and we will see a world set free in our lifetime.

When Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected, he instructed his government not to put up the traditional pictures of him as head of state in their offices, but instead to put up pictures of their families, because that is what we are working for.

We don’t engage in politics for for power, or glory, or money. We do it for a better future and a better country for our families.

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