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INDEPENDENCE DAY TRUTH: Equal People Are Not Free and Free People Are Not Equal

“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the “I have a dream” speech in Washington, D.C.


Today we are hearing about equality, equity, along with the big lies of “Wokeism.” These words are Marxist false flags that force, via government mandate, the elevation of one group over another group for political purposes.

MAKING PEOPLE EQUAL

The goal of Marxism is to make everyone equal as humans, as workers and as a people. The problem is when this is put into practice the individual is replaced by the state. As the powers of the government increase the freedoms of the individual shrink or disappear completely.

History tells us repeatedly that as government grows the individual shrinks. Just look at the former Soviet Union to understand what is now happening in America.

QUESTION:  Will Independence Day 2021 go down in history as the day we the people lost our freedom?

In The Revolution Betrayed Leon Trotsky wrote:

The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat. Exactly how many Bolsheviks have been expelled, arrested, exiled, exterminated, since 1923, when the era of Bonapartism opened, we shall find out when we go through the archives of Stalin’s political police. How many of them remain in the underground will become known when the shipwreck of the bureaucracy begins.

The people are replaced by government bureaucrats. The laws change from defending individual liberties to taking away the individual and replace the people with crushing state mandates, take the Covid pandemic as a recent example.

Covid shifted power from the individual to that state overnight. The pandemic was used by bureaucrats to take away individual freedom to assemble and replaced it with lockdowns and social distancing.

Covid took away the rights of business to remain open and prosper. It took away individual livelihoods and replace it with government hand outs.

Rev. William J. H. Boetcker spoke of the “Seven National Crimes.”

  • I don’t think.
  • I don’t know.
  • I don’t care.
  • I am too busy.
  • I live well enough alone.
  • I have no time to read and find out.
  • I am not interested.

These seven crimes are the fundamental laws of Wokeism writ large. When we stop thinking, understanding, caring and find ourselves alone, bored and uninformed then our freedom is lost!

A FREE PEOPLE ARE NOT EQUAL

In a truly free society people are never equal. They are different and do things differently throughout their lives. From birth people are influenced by both nature and nurture. No two people are exactly the same when born. The same is true about people who have different life experiences. Even biological twins do not have the same life experiences.

It is fundamental that society understand that it must create opportunities that encourage and use these natural inequalities for the good of all.

The following sentiments were created by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, who lectured around the United States about industrial relations at the turn of the twentieth century. They are all the truth.

  • You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  • You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

There are those who are hell bent on tearing down big men, weakening the strong, destroying the rich, inciting class hatred and taking away man’s initiative and independence.

The founding fathers understood this and that is why they wrote the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

CONCLUSION

QUESTION: How many American patriots have been expelled, arrested, exiled, exterminated, since the 2020 election?

As we Americans approach Independence Day 2021, let us reflect on our freedoms and defend our liberties. If we fail to do so then American, as we have known it, will cease to exist as One Nation Under God and become one nation under big government.

Is this what we want for our children and grandchildren?

I think not.

Have a blessed July 4th.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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Libertarian VP Candidate William F. Weld Continues to be Anti-Gun

As governor of Massachusetts, William Weld supported various gun control schemes, including a ban on semi-automatic firearms.  Unfortunately, and despite being the Libertarian candidate for vice president, Weld continues his anti-gun ways.

In July 2016, while NRA and other groups concerned with civil liberties were hard at work fighting legislation that would have stripped Americans of their Second Amendment rights without due process based merely on their placement on a secret government watch list, Weld expressed support for such measures.

In an interview with the Washington Post Editorial Board, Weld said of watch list gun control legislation:

I think the Susan Collins stuff looks good. I mean, it’s hard for me, uh, having proposed this super-duper task force getting bits of information from all over to say, it wouldn’t lie with good grace in my mouth to say ‘no, don’t use the terrorist watch list as a source of such information.’ So I would go with that.

In an August interview with Revolt.tv, Weld reiterated this position. When asked about what can be done “to control this flow of guns,” Weld responded, “you shouldn’t have anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all.”

At another point in the interview Weld characterized commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines as potential weapons of mass destruction. Displaying a level of ignorance usually attendant to politicians carrying the endorsement of the Brady Campaign, Weld told the interviewer:

The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle. The problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon. And those are independent criminal offenses. That’s when they become essentially a weapon of mass destruction.

Weld went on to suggest to the interviewer that both handguns and AR-15s are a “problem,” stating, “The problem with handguns is probably even worse than the problem of the AR-15.”

This latest episode reveals that when pressed on firearms issues, despite any assurances he has given to voters, Weld’s political instincts are to abandon gun owners and embrace gun control.

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The Terror Watch List And Due Process Of Law

Is the West Threatened More by Islamist Fact or by Right-Wing Fiction?

The left characterizes non-liberals as extremists whether they are right-wingers or centrist conservatives, libertarians, independents, people of faith, or simply neutral critics of liberal social policy. This provides cover for Islamists.

Why are progressives so quick to disparage traditional Jews or conservative Christians who question the liberal agenda, yet so reluctant to criticize Islamists who oppress minorities and women, persecute those of other faiths, stifle free speech, and promote religious supremacism through jihad and genocide?  Not only do they downplay the terrorist threat at home and abroad, but they deflect attention away from Islamic radicalism by focusing on a supposed right-wing terror menace that has been defined into existence more by questionable statistics than objective analysis.

The New York Times recently reported that fewer people have been killed in the U.S. by jihadists than by right-wing extremists since 9/11, citing among other things data from the International Security Program at the New America Foundation (“NAF”), which according to critics uses the term “right-wing” so broadly as to dilute its meaning.  The NAF claims that jihadists have killed twenty-six people, while “homegrown non-jihadists” have killed forty-eight since September 11, 2001.  The implication is that Islamist extremism is the lesser threat.

The problem with this narrative is that it fails to factor in the growing number of homegrown jihadist plots that have been foiled by law enforcement.  Moreover, it excludes the 9/11 terror attacks themselves, which although perpetrated by foreign nationals, nonetheless killed three-thousand people on U.S. soil.  It also makes no mention of honor killings of Muslim women and girls who are condemned for adopting western culture or refusing to submit to prearranged marriages.

The message of the story is used to tarnish Republicans, conservatives, and pro-Israel advocates, who are often described by progressives as fascists and loons.  The left has a penchant for characterizing non-liberals as extremists whether they are truly right-wingers or are instead centrist conservatives, libertarians, independents, people of faith, or simply neutral critics of liberal social policy.  This tactic is used to provide cover for Islamists – whom progressives often regard sympathetically as victims of European and American oppression – at the expense of domestic political opponents, whose expression of dissenting viewpoints is actually more in keeping with America’s constitutional and electoral tradition.

Despite their obsession with proving that the right is more dangerous than radical Islam, progressive partisans and their mainstream media flunkies have identified no monolithic dogmas or institutions that endorse global right-wing terrorism for the purpose of destroying western civilization.  Neither have they exposed reactionary ideologies comparable to jihad that sanction the killing of innocents for doctrinal gratification, or rightist organizations analogous to ISIS, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which aim to conquer and subjugate. Furthermore, Islamist terrorism is openly supported by state sponsors like Iran, whereas coordinated right-wing extremism is not.

If progressive alarmists truly wanted to show the existence of a global support network for non-jihadist terrorism similar to that which facilitates radical Islam, they would have to look back at the behavior of communist and socialist regimes over the years, including those in Russia, China and Cuba, which exported violence throughout the world and are estimated to have killed between 85,000,000 and 100,000,000 or more during the twentieth century.  But to do so would require the acknowledgement that progressives have a long history of supporting brutal dictatorships.

According to a number of experts and resource organizations, the FBI has purged its anti-terrorism training manuals of material deemed offensive to Muslims.  Nevertheless, the only consistent law enforcement warning regarding domestic terror these days seems to focus on Islamists – not right-wing zealots or anti-abortion fanatics.  In a recent “60 Minutes”interview, for example, FBI Director James Comey warned that domestic attacks by the Khorosan group could happen “very very soon” and conceded the difficulty of preventing radicalized Americans from joining terror groups like ISIS on the battle field and returning stateside on their US passports.

These observations seem all the more prescient in the wake of the recent shooting deaths of a US naval officer and four marines by a Kuwaiti-born American Muslim in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Some have tried to draw comparisons between Islamist terrorism and the recent racist shooting that left nine African-Americans dead in Charleston, South Carolina.  But as horrific as those murders were, they were not part of an international terror campaign to eradicate western culture and impose religious totalitarianism.  Those murders were the acts of a depraved individual who was motivated by despicable racial hatred, not an extremist doctrine that preaches the destruction of liberal democratic society.

The White House’s knee-jerk tendency to discourage any discussion of the religious roots of Islamist terror bespeaks a willingness to rationalize abhorrent conduct that would not be tolerated if perpetrated by Christians, Jews, Americans or Europeans.  However, government is not required to tolerate faith-based practices that threaten or harm others. There can be no excuse for honor killings, institutional degradation of women, or the suppression of other faiths in a pluralistic society like the United States, in which the Constitution mandates tolerance for the beliefs of all citizens but establishes no state religion.

America’s founding fathers conceived of a society balancing individual liberties and communal obligations regardless of personal religious belief. Generations of immigrants were able to embrace American culture without abdicating their ethnic or religious identities because the Constitution imposes no creed beyond the political ideals enumerated within it.  Jewish immigrants were able to adapt to the general culture because of the concept of “dina d’malchuta dina,” or “the law of the land is the law.”  In contrast, jihadist supremacism holds itself above the law of the land and contravenes the freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution.

It’s ironic that the Obama administration reflexively accuses its political opponents of demagoguery and zealotry, but seems to exempt from scrutiny the intolerant ideology of real extremists.  This inconsistency does not only compromise American national security and integrity – it also undercuts the aspirations of those Muslims who come to the US in search of a life free from tyranny and oppression.

An objective discussion of the theological basis of militant Islam cannot be omitted from the debate no matter how hard the Obama administration attempts to restrict the dialogue.  The reality is that radical Islamists are not a harmless minority, but a volatile element dedicated to perpetuating a state of holy war.  This is the central doctrine that motivates ISIS in its goal of reestablishing the caliphate, and which fuels Boko Haram’s war against Christians in Africa.  It galvanizes Hezbollah’s abuses in Lebanon, provokes Hamas’s genocidal hatred of Israel and the Jews, and informs Iran’s now unfettered nuclear ambitions.

Islamists will win if we restrict speech to avoid insulting them, give more credence to their cultural sensitivities than to our own beliefs and ideals, validate their revisionist grievances against the West, and behave with the meek resignation of the subjugated.

They will also win if we allow ourselves to be deluded by red herrings and bogeymen, including overblown reports of the right-wing terror threat, which obfuscate the true nature of their holy war against western society.  Islamists can only prevail in this clash of civilizations if we modify our conduct to accommodate them.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Obama administration has done – by refusing to acknowledge religious beliefs that sanctify terrorism, by minimizing the threat of ISIS, by ignoring strategic realities in Syria and Iraq, and by guaranteeing the nuclearization of Iran with a very bad deal after years of negotiating from an embarrassing position of moral weakness.

The dangers of Islamist extremism are real and will only be exacerbated by the failure to respond effectively.  It will not disappear by ignoring it or referring to it generically as “violent extremism.”  Nor will Islamic radicalism be defeated by welcoming its largest state sponsor – the Islamic Republic of Iran – into the community of nations while it continues exporting terrorism, working to develop nuclear weapons, exerting its influence throughout the region and beyond, and toppling other governments through its proxies.

The most clear and present danger to world order today does not come from some shadow right-wing conspiracy concocted by the administration and mindlessly parroted as immutable fact by its acolytes in the press.  It comes from the purveyors of Islamist extremism.  This is the reality, and it’s one that cannot be changed by wishful thinking, semantic disingenuity, political misdirection, or left-wing dissimulation.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Israel National News.

Stephen Limbaugh Answers the Question: Are Corporations People?

In Dinesh D’Souza’s the latest video of the “new voices” series, Stephen Limbaugh gives his unique take on the liberal dogma that “corporations are not people.”

EDITORS NOTE: This video initially appeared on DineshDSouza.com. Keep an eye out for more “new voices” videos on DineshDSouza.com in the coming months. In the meantime, watch some more of Stephen’s videos and connect with him on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Dinesh D’Souza’s latest #1 New York Times best selling book is “America,” a rebuttal of the progressive shame narrative of American history, now available in paperback for the first time!

Libertarian Folly: Why Everybody is a Social-issues Voter

There is this notion, one we hear more and more, that the Republican Party has to shed the social issues to seize the future. “Social issues are not the business of government!” says thoroughly modern millennial. It’s a seductive cry, one repeated this past Tuesday in an article about how some young libertarians dubbed the “Liberty Kids” are taking over the moribund Los Angeles GOP. Oh, wouldn’t the political landscape be simple if we could just boil things down to fiscal responsibility? But life is seldom simple.

If you would claim to be purely fiscal, or assert that “social issues” should never be government’s domain, I’d ask a simple question: Would you have no problem with a movement to legalize pedophilia?

Some responses here won’t go beyond eye-rolling and scoffing. Others will verbalize their incredulity and say that such a movement would never be taken seriously. This is not an answer but a dodge. First, the way to determine if one’s principles are sound is by seeing if they can be consistently applied. For instance, if someone claims he never judges others, it’s legitimate to ask whether he remains uncritical even of Nazis and KKK members; that puts the lie to his self-image. And any thinking person lives an examined life and tries to hone his principles.

Second, there is no never-land in reality. People in the ’50s would have said that homosexuality will “never” be accepted in the U.S. And Bill O’Reilly said as recently as 15 or 16 years ago that faux marriage (I don’t use the term “gay marriage”) would “never” be accepted in America. Sometimes “never” lasts only a decade or two.

Third, my question is no longer just theoretical. As I predicted years ago and wrote about here, there now is a movement afoot — one that has received “unbiased” mainstream-media news coverage — to legitimize pedophilia. Moreover, it has co-opted the language of the homosexual lobby, with doctors suggesting that pedophiles are “born that way” and have a “deep-rooted predisposition that does not change.”  A film reviewer characterizing pedophilia as “the love that dare not speak its name” and activists saying that lust for children is “normative” and those acting on it are unjustly “demonized.” Why, one Los Angeles Times article quoted a featured pedophile as saying, “These people felt they could snuff out the desire, or shame me into denying it existed. But it’s as intrinsic as the next person’s heterosexuality.”

My, where have we heard that before?

So, modern Millie, as we venture further down the rabbit hole, know that one day you may be among “these people,” these intolerant folks who just can’t understand why “social issues” should be kept out of politics and government out of the bedroom.

I should also point out that a movement advancing bestiality has also reared its head, using much of the same language as the homosexual and pedophiliac lobbies.

Of course, I’m sure that many libertarians have no problem with legalized bestiality; hey, my goat, my choice, right? And there may even be a rare few who would shrug off pedophilia, saying that, well, if a child agrees, who am I to get in the way of a consensual relationship? But these issues, as revolting and emotionally charged as they are, are just examples. There are a multitude of others, and this becomes clear if we delve a bit more deeply.

After all, what are “social issues”? What are we actually talking about? We’re speaking of moral issues, which, again, thoroughly modern millie would say should be kept out of politics. But this is impossible. For the truth is that every just law is an imposition of morality or a corollary thereof — every one.

Eyes may be rolling again, but let’s analyze it logically. By definition a law is a removal of a freedom, stating that there is something we must or must not do. Now, stripping freedom away is no small matter. Why would we do it? Unless we’re sociopathic, like Aleister Crowley believe “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” and are willing to impose our will simply because it feels right, there could be only one reason: we see the need to enforce an element of a conception of right and wrong. We prohibit an act because we believe it’s wrong or mandate something because we believe it’s a moral imperative. This is indisputable. After all, would you forcibly prevent someone from doing something that wasn’t wrong? Would you force someone to do something that wasn’t a moral imperative? That would be truly outrageous — genuine tyranny.

There are laws where this is obvious and unquestioned, such as the prohibition against murder. But the same holds true even when the connection to morality isn’t so obvious, such as with speed laws: they’re justified by the idea that it is wrong to endanger others.

Then there is legislation such as ObamaCare. The wind beneath its wings was the idea that it was wrong to leave people without medical care; this case was consistently made, and, were it not for this belief, the bill could never have gotten off the ground. Or consider the contraception mandate and the supposed “war on women”: the issue would have been moot if we believed there was nothing wrong with waging a war on women.

Some will now protest, saying that there is nothing moral about ObamaCare and the contraception mandate. I agree, but this just proves my point. Note that my initial assertion was not that every law is the imposition of morality — it was that every just law is so. Some legislation is based on a mistaken conception of right and wrong, in which case it is merely the imposition of values, which are not good by definition (Mother Teresa had values, but so did Hitler). It is only when the law has a basis in morality, in Moral Truth, which is objective, that it can be just. Hence the inextricable link between law and morality. For a law that isn’t the imposition of morality is one of two other things: the legislation of nonsense or, worse still, the imposition of immorality.

So this is the fatal flaw behind the attack on social conservatives. It would be one thing if the only case made were that their conception of morality was flawed; instead, as with those who sloppily bemoan all “judgment,” they’re attacked with a flawed argument, the notion that their voices should be ignored because they would “impose morality.” But what we call “social conservatives” aren’t distinguished by concern for social issues; the only difference between them and you, modern Millie, is that they care about the social issues that society, often tendentiously, currently defines as social issues and which we happen to be fighting about at the moment. This is seldom realized because most people are creatures of the moment.

But rest assured that, one day, the moment and “never” will meet. And then you very well may look in the mirror and recognize that most unfashionable of things: a social-issues voter.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

What does Rep. Eric Cantor’s Primary Loss in Virginia Really Signify?

Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s hopes to replace House Speaker John Boehner were crushed with his defeat by Randolph Macon Economics Professor David Brat by 11 points, 56% to 45% in Virginia’s Tuesday primary. After the stunning upset victory in suburban Richmond, Virginia’s 7th Congressional District by Republican challenger David Brat, a self-styled Tea Party libertarian, Republican Party leaders are confounded about future prospects. They are concerned about House contests and national mid-term and Presidential elections in both 2014 and 2016. Long term Virginia 7th C.D. incumbent Republican and US House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor has no choice but to resign forcing the House GOP majority to elect a new leader. Because of the immigration issue raised in this defeat of Cantor by Tea Party upstart Brat this could be a further warning to House Speaker John Boehner that he might face similar prospects in his home district in Ohio this November. The Wall Street Journal in its report on Cantor’s upset loss to ‘underfunded’ Brat commented:

Mr. Cantor’s defeat marked an unexpected and staggering turn in this year’s primary-election season, overturning the building narrative that Republican Party leaders and allied business groups had trampled the GOP’s tea-party wing, which has fought to push the party to the political right.

Mr. Cantor’s defeat could reshape many areas of policy in Congress, foremost the prospects for immigration legislation. Many Republican leaders say the GOP won’t make gains with the fast-growing Hispanic population unless it helps to liberalize immigration laws and grant legal status to some illegal immigrants. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) has said he wants to take up the issue, but opposition from conservatives in his ranks has stalled the effort.

In his largely under-the-radar campaign, Mr. Brat, 49 years old, primarily sought to cast himself as more conservative than Mr. Cantor on immigration policy. He also criticized the GOP leader’s alliance with business groups and his record on fiscal issues, particularly his votes to raise the federal borrowing limit, casting Mr. Cantor as part of a leadership team that he argued had grown disconnected from its constituents.

While many are shocked about the Brat primary victory that dethroned House Majority leader Eric Cantor, we do not believe it was because he is Jewish. Rather, it is reflective of the extreme polarization of both parties. Democrats who recently were polled to determine if they were moderate versus liberal, skewed towards liberals. In January 2014 the Gallup organization released findings of self-identification in more than 13 polls taken in 2013 of 18,000 Americans. Their report confirmed this trend:

Americans continue to be more likely to identify as conservatives (38%) than as liberals (23%). But the conservative advantage is down to 15 percentage points as liberal identification edged up to its highest level since Gallup began regularly measuring ideology in the current format in 1992.

On the GOP side, the traditional country club business moderates that we were occasioned to see in prominence as party leaders over the period from the 1940’s through the Reagan, Bush I and II eras have been diminished by the rise of the Tea Party and libertarian grass roots movements.  That is reflected in the ironic confrontation in the November Henrico Virginia Congressional District race which is now between two professors at Randolph Macon University., Brat, a self styled tea Party libertarian, versus Democrat candidate, Jack Trammell, who styles himself as “liberal progressive”. Given the 7th CD voting preferences heavily skewed to conservative Brat might represent the district in the next Congress. As to why Cantor lost, look no further than the comments of David Wasserman of the Cooke Report quoted in this USA Today article on Cantor’s defeat:

Cantor’s leadership position, unwillingness to prolong last October’s government shutdown, far-fetched attacks on Brat, and stylistic clash with Virginia’s gun-owning, very conservative 7th (district) all played a role in the ‘perfect storm’ of base anger that engulfed him.

In a warning sign of Tea Party discontent in Cantor’s Richmond-based district, activists booed and heckled Cantor during a party convention in May. Cantor had invested nearly $1 million into the primary, running television ads and sending mailers attacking the underfunded and little known Brat.

Former Connecticut US Senator Joe Lieberman was upended in a highly partisan primary in August 2006 in the Nutmeg state.  As a Connecticut resident then, many of us were appalled to find that a minority of registered Democrat voters nominated Ned Lamont, scion of a wealthy Greenwich family; many were progressives, virulently anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. That energized involvement of a number of us in the Lieberman Independent campaign and resulting victory in November 2006.  A majority of those who elected him were Republicans and a distinct minority were union members, what pollsters called conservative lunch bucket Democrats.  That was an indication that the progressives had taken over local Democratic politics.  See my Israpundit post, August 10, 2006.

Unlike the Lieberman example, Cantor can’t run as a ‘sore loser’ Independent candidate in Virginia. And even if he could, he would lose because of the polarized Conservative electorate who didn’t appreciate his moderate views on immigration and other issues.  The defeat of Cantor may possibly lead in the next Congress to overturning current House Speaker John Boehner.  Polarization at the extremes of both parties has vaporized bi-partisan resolution of major public policy issues perhaps reflected in the low approval ratings of Congress. More ominously it may presage the emergence of an autocratic executive branch of our government relying on executive orders.   That could translate to a majority of Independents and moderates in the country being turned off, not voting and both Congressional and Presidential race outcomes determined by activist minorities.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review. The featured photo is courtesy of the Associated Press.

Freedom of Association is No Excuse to Target Gays by Casey Given

A recent spate of proposed laws protecting business owners’ right to discriminate against homosexuals has reignited a longstanding debate in the libertarian community. Under the guise of protecting “religious freedom,” 13 states have each introduced bills over the past few months preempting the State from forcing employees to service individuals if they believe doing so conflicts with their beliefs. While none of the bills specifically mention homosexuality, each one effectively only applies to gays since most other classes (e.g. race, sex, religion) are protected under the federal Civil Rights Act.

Many libertarians have cheered the proposed laws, citing the small-government principle that the State has no business interfering in individuals’ private contracts. LewRockwell.com’s Lawrence M. Vance voiced his support of Kansas’s recent attempt, while admitting it “doesn’t go far enough,” reasoning that “[i]n as much as the bill legalizes—if only in a small degree—the freedom to discriminate, such provisions in it should be welcomed.” Such an instrumentalist approach to protecting freedom of association is strategically flawed, as the current bills’ targeting of gays suggests bigoted motives that libertarians best not associate with.

Legally, businesses in almost all of the 13 states in question already have the right to deny gays service. As mentioned previously, sexual orientation is not currently a protected class in the Civil Rights Act. While 21 states have compensated for this federal gap by enacting LGBT nondiscrimination acts of their own, no state considering the current legislation is in the number except Oregon. Thus, these anti-anti-discrimination bills do not expand freedom of association but merely serve as redundant reassurance of the right to not serve gays—effectively targeting the LGBT community.

While almost every libertarian would defend an individual’s right to associate (and not associate) with whomever they choose, that’s not quite the issue with the current class of bills. Their implicit targeting alienates one demographic, making them look like not-so-subtle expressions of bigotry. The freedom of association issue looks like a red herring here.

As David E. Bernstein explained in a 2010 Cato Unbound essay, “I would be troubled if there was a sudden popular move to repeal antidiscrimination legislation, if it were unaccompanied by broader libertarian political trends, because it would suggest that opposition to such laws arose from hostility to minority groups, not from opposition to Big Government.” Granted, Bernstein is speaking about repealing antidiscrimination laws whereas the issue at hand is enacting laws that protect discrimination, but the underlying point is analogous. Namely, a libertarian push for protecting discrimination suggests its advocates are motivated by bigotry, regardless of whether it is the case or not. This point is only amplified in the present case. And perceptions matter.

Fortunately, the issue may be moot soon enough thanks to the massive public outrage that has accompanied these bills, prompting some of the most conservative state legislatures and governors to reject the measures. On February 18th, four bills in South Dakota, Kansas, Idaho, and Tennessee failed to pass their state legislatures. One week later, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed another attempt that captured national attention.

Libertarians have a long history of being ahead of the curve on gay rights. The Libertarian Party has supported marriage equality since its founding in 1971, decades before the two major parties dared to address the topic. Associating with an apparently homophobic push to protect the right to discriminate against gays that already exists would suddenly put the movement on the losing side of the question of LGBT equality.

ABOUT CASEY GIVEN

Casey Given is an editor and political commentator with Young Voices, a project aiming to promote Millennials’ policy opinions in the media.

POLL: Sink 47%, Jolly, 37 %, Overby 12% in FL-13 Special Election

SAINT LEO, Fla., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Democrat Alex Sink leads Republican David Jolly 46-37 percent ahead of the March 11 special congressional election in the Pinellas, Florida-based 13th congressional district, according to a new poll released today by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute. Libertarian Lucas Overby would get 12 percent of the vote if the election were held today.

“Ms. Sink’s advantage is being driven by solid favorability ratings coupled with issue positions that seem to be more closely aligned with voter preferences than are Jolly’s,” said Frank Orlando, a political science instructor at Saint Leo University.  “She overcomes a partisan ID disadvantage in the district by maintaining much higher favorability among Republicans and Independents than Mr. Jolly does among Democrats.  The fact that a Libertarian candidate has robust support levels in the double digits seems to be contributing to the size of Sink’s lead.”

Democrats are overwhelmingly (88 percent) favoring Sink with only 6 percent favoring Jolly and 4 percent favoring Overby.  However, Republicans are a bit more divided on their candidate.  Only 64 percent of Republicans are backing Jolly.  Sixteen percent of Republicans say they’ll vote for Sink and another 14 percent say they’ll chose the Libertarian candidate.

After a heavy advertising campaign, both Sink and Jolly have become well-known in the district and have similar favorable ratings. Sink has a net favorability ratings of +7 and gross ratings of 51 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable. Jolly has a net favorability rating of +3 and gross ratings of 47 percent favorable, 44 percent unfavorable. Sink enjoys an intensity advantage among voters who say they are “very favorable” toward a candidate, with 33 percent holding a “very favorable” opinion of Sink and 21 percent holding a “very favorable” opinion of Jolly.

Libertarian Overby, who has been included in debates and has received more media attention than third party candidates often do, has hard name identification of 58 percent (30 percent favorable, 28 percent unfavorable). His net favorable rating is +2.

Methodology: The Saint Leo University Polling Institute poll of likely voters who live in FL-13 was conducted February 9-11, 2014 using a blended sample reached by Interactive Voice Response and an online panel. The sample size was 400 respondents, yielding a margin of error of +/- 5% with a 95% confidence level. 372 respondents (93% of sample) were reached on randomly dialed landline telephones using an automatic dialer, pre-recorded questions, and touch-tone telephone keypad responses. To ensure that a representative sample of younger voters was included, 28 respondents in this age group were reached using an online panel. To be included in the survey as a “likely voter,” all respondents had to affirm twice that they are 18 or older and then they had to get past three screening questions.

SOURCE: Saint Leo University Polling Institute

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.

Libertarian Candidate in FL District 13 race seen as Equal to Major Party Challengers

Danielle Alexandre from the 1787 Radio Network reports:

In the wake of the death of 43 year US House Representative, Bill Young, a special election will be held on March 11, 2014. As the Republican Primary comes to a close the race will come down to Democrat Alex Sink, Republican David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby.

Lucas Overby has been heavily campaigning for this seat, raising over $12,000 in the span of 72 hours to secure his place on the March ballot, holding town hall meetings throughout the district to speak with the voters and launching an aggressive ground campaign with volunteers going door to door in voter outreach efforts.

Today, it was announced that Lucas Overby will also be included in the televised debate for the Florida Congressional District 13 race. This putting him on equal footing with the two major party candidates and making Lucas the first Libertarian candidate included in a debate for a federal office in Florida.

The televised debate will be held on February 3, 2014 from 7-8 pm and can be viewed locally on Bay News 9 or nationally on C-SPAN.

This is a victory for the Libertarian Party which has historically been plagued with media and debate blackouts and gives the Lucas Overby for Congress Campaign the credibility and respect needed to be seen as a viable candidate in this race.  This has become the race to watch for Libertarians around the country.

Read more.

Matt Schnackenberg is the Libertarian candidate in US Congress District 11 and Ray Netherwood in US House Dist 19.

Below is the letter from the Tampa Bay Times Managing Editor inviting candidate Overby to participate in the February 3rd debate with Jolly and Sink:

letter from tampa bay editor

Which Presidential Candidate Sides With You?

Charles Schelle and Mark Maley in their Sarasota Patch column “Online Tool Matches Voters with Ideal Presidential Candidate” note that “Floridians’ presidential preference leans more Libertarian in this online free quiz that takes an in-depth look at your stance on a range of issues, then compares them to candidates’ responses … A new website launched earlier this year to help voters match up with their ideal candidate, and it’s quickly gaining popularity through social media channels. In fact, according to iSideWith.com’s homepage, more than a million people have taken the free quiz to determine their ideal candidate since it launched in March.”

The free quiz may be taken by going to iSideWith.com.

According to Schelle and Maley, “The selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate has put presidential race into overdrive now that we know who all the players are.”

“But do you really know which presidential candidate best matches your stance on those issues? It may surprise you to find out who Floridians’ beliefs support,” note Schelle and Maley.

According to the iSideWith.com’s website Florida goes with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson on domestic policy, healthcare and immigration issues. Who Florida sides with by party are: 51% are Democrat, 41% Green,  39% Republican and 37% Libertarian. This non-scientific survey shows Florida’s favorites in order: Libertarian Gary Johnson, Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Ron Paul and Republican Mitt Romney. Note that the three conservatives are most in line with how Floridians stand.

The question is will the Libertarian and Ron Paul vote go for Romney in November? Ideology may trump candidate support once inside the voting booth.