Livingston County Michigan Libertarians

A Party of Principle

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  • Get Angry With Me

    Malcolm X Quote
    Get Angry With Me

    by Jeff Wood

    In 1931, in downtown Lansing, Earl Little died in a mysterious incident which was officially ruled a “streetcar accident.” His wife, Louise, was denied a life insurance claim because the company alleged he had “committed suicide.” They couldn’t prove it, but the Little family knew the truth. It hadn’t been an accident, or a suicide. Earl Little was murdered by The Black Legion, a white supremacist offshoot of the KKK. Seven years later Louise Little was admitted to the Kalamazoo State Hospital, apparently after suffering a “nervous breakdown.” She wasn’t released for 25 years.

    It seems quite natural that their son Malcolm, left effectively orphaned by racists and the state at the age of thirteen, would grow up to be angry. He was angry about his personal history. He was angry about the discrimination his people were facing. He was angry about the hypocrisy of his own organization’s leadership. He was not, however, angry about his own anger, because he realized the strength it gave him. He recognized that anger could provide the impetus for change.

    “Anger is a gift” -Malcolm X

    Tragically he was assassinated before seeing the changes brought about by the movement he helped start. The anger that he had instilled in his followers in life was only amplified by the rage brought about by his death. In the wake of his loss, his cause finally found the strength to rise to the occasion.

    Now, half a century after his death, the people of Michigan are once again suffering under oppression. The Black Legion no longer stalks the streets of Lansing, and the dark oubliette of the state mental hospital has been replaced by a more modern building, but the oppression we face is no less real. We face the oppression of a government that no longer cares about the will of the people.

    In May of this year the people of this state sent a resounding message to our government, a message that we reject their proposal to hike taxes in order to pay for their frivolous public works projects. Unfortunately, our legislature’s response has been to move forward with a tax increase, willfully ignoring the demands of its constituents.

    This is not the first time our government has betrayed us, and it will not be the last. As long as people continue believing in its right to rule over us, rather than rising up in indignant outrage, it will betray us with impunity. Why? Because it can. Because if we don’t have the strength of will to demand change, the bureaucracy has no motivation to grant it.

    The larger an organization is, the harder it is to change. This is what makes challenging the state such a monumental task, but at the same time it is what makes the Libertarian Party a legitimate threat. We are adaptable, we are quick to respond, we can seize an opportunity and exploit it before our opponents are even aware of it.

    Many members of the Libertarian Party of Michigan have taken umbrage at my attempts to drag our party into the 21st century. Many members have resisted my attempts to change our party’s course. Many thought we were doing just fine without all these radicals and anarchists mucking things up. To those people I would ask, what do you have to show for it? After 40 years of begging the system for inclusion, where do we stand?

    I say we stop electing hypocritical leaders who want to bring about liberty by imposing a strict and authoritarian hierarchy on our own party. I say we stop trying to recruit from our competition, and start appealing to their marginalized children. I say we stop urging our fellow Libertarians to be moderate, and start radicalizing the populace. I say let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may.

    I know that this message will make many people angry. You’re welcome. Because if you’re not angry yet, then you haven’t been paying attention, or you’ve become inured, or you’ve grown hopelessly dependant upon the system. You’re going to need to be angry if we’re going to change the way our society is run. So to everybody reading these words, whether you’re one of my critics or one of my supporters, whether you’re a fan of mine or a total stranger, I want to extend to you a cordial invitation, to get angry with me.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Wood, Vice-Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan

    Go to the profile of Jeff Wood

    Jeff Wood

    Libertarian Candidate for US Congress in Michigan’s 8th District. Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Livingston County.

    Speaking Truth to Power

    Jeff Wood For Congress_1

    Speaking Truth to Power

    by Jeff Wood

    Everybody asks me the same question. Whether they’re my critics, my supporters, my friends, my enemies, or total strangers, the question remains the same.

    Why would an Anarchist run for office?

    It’s a good question, so I want to address it thoroughly. If you boil the answer down enough, it’s quite simple: Because I can. You see, unfortunately in our society, we are not granted many opportunities to challenge the cult of the omnipotent state. Most ideas that come immediately to mind that would promote the cause of Anarchy will also land you in jail. Running for office is one of the few outlets we are still allowed to use for venting our frustration with our government. I believe that the goal of bringing about liberation in our lives is too important to be whispered about in our living rooms and speakeasies, it must be shouted from the rooftops! For this reason, I choose to indict the system by the most public means at my disposal.

    Some mistake me for someone who wants to change the system from the inside, but that is unrealistic. The tracks are already laid, the throttle is maxed, the handle broke off miles back and the government is barreling like a locomotive toward tyranny. The only hope we have of avoiding it is to derail the train. I do understand the apparent conflict of interest in seeking a position you don’t believe should exist, and while I would accept the position if elected and use it to further spread the message of liberty, that is not my primary motivation for seeking the position. My primary motivation is to speak truth to power.

    “Speaking truth to power” is a phrase that some claim originated in the civil rights movement, others claim it began during the opposition of the Cold War by the Quakers. Either way, it came to mean taking a bold stance against injustice by voicing your opposition directly to those responsible for it as often as possible. That wholly describes the goal of this campaign.

    You see, your so called representatives in government actually believe that they rule over you with your consent. Even though politicians are the most despised and ridiculed class of people the world over, they think we respect their decisions. Even though less than half the eligible populace bothers to vote in their elections, they think that they have our support.

    The time has come for someone to shake them out of this daydream, to inform them that they were sorely mistaken about the docile impressions their constituents seem to have made on them previously. The time has come for their ivory towers to feel a bit less opulent and a bit more claustrophobic, so that no door might be closed in Washington DC without hearing the baying of the wolves behind it! The time has come for their fair warning that the next time a chink appears in the armor of their precious empire, whether it be financial collapse, social unrest, or political upheaval, we will be there, torches and pitchforks in hand, ready to topple their power structure, rip them from their decadent nests, and cast them out into the cold world that we know and endure.

    How can we, as lovers of freedom, stand idly by while our precious liberty is stripped away? How can we suffer this outrage in silence? Will you go quietly into the twilight of human dignity? Are you made of weaker stuff then your forebears who stood up and demanded the rights you hold dear today? I say NO! I say we can be the generation that breaks the cycle. I say we can create for our children a world free of the oppression we’ve inherited. I think that if we have the bravery to speak truth to power, that we can bring about the dawn of a new era of human freedom in our lifetimes.

    New officers elected to Livingston Libertarian leadership

    Two new officers were elected at the Livingston Libertarians’ meeting on Thursday February 7th.

    Veteran member Rodger Young is the new Political Director of the Livingston County Libertarian party. Young’s advice will be valuable, to the party, as he  received 25% of the vote when running for County Commissioner last November.

    Newer member Jeff Wood was elected Treasurer of the Livingston County party. Wood brings youthful energy to the group. He convinced party members to vote for him by taking the election very seriously, dressing in a suit and stating that he was “too excited to eat.”

    New Treasurer Jeff Wood brings youthful energy to the position.

    New Treasurer Jeff Wood brings youthful energy to the position.

    “It is exciting to have new members stepping up to the plate!” agreed Chairperson Pam Sanderson. “We will be making the official switch next Wednesday at our business meeting.”

    Continuing in their offices will be Pam Sanderson as Chairperson, Dan Goebel as Vice-Chairperson, and Karl Kiefer as Secretary.

    Donna Gundle-Krieg continues as appointed Media Director.

    Special thanks to outgoing officer Ron Sanderson, who will continue to be an asset to the party while helping the Chairperson and others.

    Congratulations and thank you to all of the officers!

    Candidates announced for Livingston Libertarians February election

    The Livingston Libertarians will elect officers at their February 7th meeting.

    All members can vote for the officers as long as they have a state or national Libertarian Party membership and are in good standing.

    At the January meeting, the following candidates discussed their interest in the positions:

    1)      Chairperson: Pam Sanderson, who is the current chairperson, announced that she will be happy to head the group for a
    second year if no one else is interested.

    2)      Vice-Chairperson Dan Goebel also expressed an interest in continuing to operate as second-in-command.

    3)      Treasurer Ron Sanderson is interested in continuing his position. In addition, Jeff Wood is running for Treasurer, and hopes that the group will amend their bylaws to allow non-members to be more active.

    4)      Karl Kiefer was not present at the meeting, but has said that he would continue as Secretary.

    5)      Rodger Young  volunteered to be the Political Director.

    Cleary's Irish Pub

    Cleary’s Irish Pub

    The responsibilities for each of these positions are outlined in the organization’s bylaws.

    The election will be held at 7:00 on Thursday, February 7th at Cleary’s Pub in downtown Howell.