Livingston County Michigan Libertarians

A Party of Principle

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  • 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.

    James Weeks II wins election for vice-chair of Livingston Libertarians

    Congratulations to James Weeks II, who was elected vice-chairperson of the Livingston Libertarians at the May 2nd social meeting.
    Weeks has many good ideas for improving the local party. Weeks outlined these ideas during his campaign for vice-chair.

    James Weeks II

    James Weeks II

    The officers of the Livingston Libertarian party now include:

    Chair – ?TBD
    Vice Chair – James Weeks II
    Treasurer – Jeff Wood
    Secretary – Karl Kiefer
    Political Director – Rodger Young
    Media Director – Donna Gundle-Krieg

    The officers meet on the second Wednesday of each month, following the social meeting for the party, which is held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 at Cleary’s in Howell.

    Weeks, Brennan square off for vice chair of Livingston Libertarians

    The Livingston Libertarians are lucky to have two passionate candidates running for vice-chairperson of the group, James Weeks II and Michael Brennan.

    The election for vice-chairperson will be held at the Livingston Libertarians’ social meeting at Cleary’s on May 2nd at 7:00. 

    The winner of the election will replace former vice-chairperson Dan Goebel, who became chairperson after Pam Sanderson announced her resignation.

    The vice-chairperson candidates were asked several questions about their reasons for running, ideas for the office, etc.

    Good luck to both candidates!

    Q1) Why you want to be vice-chair of the Livingston Libertarians?

    Brennan: I am willing to serve as chair to bring unity to the LPLC. I am willing to serve in any capacity to facilitate the future growth of the party, first at the local level and then at the state level. I am bound by logic, critical thinking, and conscience. In this way, I am a moderate. I am willing and able to hear every argument.

    Weeks: I want to be vice-chair so that the party can focus on growing the party and spreading the libertarian message in the county. Livingston County is known as the epicenter of libertarianism in the state and we, as a party, need to make that grow even more. How we do that is getting out and talking with the community. More than once a year, regular activism is needed so the people know we are here. We must not take a back seat and let the GOP have all the fun. The LPLC needs to make a show at other festivals and events in the community as well as sending out press releases regularly. I feel the party needs to take a more active roll in the community and not just during election time.

    James Weeks II

    James Weeks II

    Q2) What ideas you have to unite the Livingston Libertarians?

    Brennan: In an effort to unite the party I will focus on those issues foundational to the promotion of Liberty. I am a critical thinker, able to weigh issues to mediate discussion. While I appreciate extreme views on issues, I believe in resolution without compromising value systems. To me, this means working within the system to educate people about their natural rights and getting candidates elected that will promote this educational view of liberty rather than “in-your-face-politicking.”

    Weeks: Well, we need to focus on issues of significance and not on petty disagreements about who is more libertarian than the other. If all libertarians agreed on everything we wouldn’t be very libertarian now would we?

    Q3) What ideas you have to help grow the Livingston Libertarians and elect candidates?

    Michael Brennan

    Michael Brennan

    Brennan: In effort to grow the party, I will continue the advertising campaign, and invite people to social gatherings. I want to encourage participation in community outreach events to inspire conversation with our neighbors about liberty. Events could include community cleanup under the banner of the LCLP. Grass root type rallies to build an audience. Community learning which encourages forward, critical thinking. I’ve been teaching Constitution classes through the Libertarian perspective.

    Weeks: We need to get out in the community and make our presence known. The more people who know we are here the more likely they are to show up to meetings and vote for our candidates.

    Q4) Please give any biographical info that might help people make a choice. For example, how long have you lived in the area, how long have you been a Libertarian and active, etc

    Brennan: I have been an active member of the Libertarian party for about 3 months. I have been a nominal Libertarian for nearly 5 years.

    My family moved from Massachusetts to Brighton, MI in 1981. I was just about turn 2 years old. I lived in Brighton for the next sixteen years and graduated from Hartland High School in 1998. I moved to Massachusetts to pursue a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Nazarene College. I wanted to teach elementary students because they are the most excited learners.

    Weeks: I have lived in Livingston county almost all my life, I grew up here. I have been a “small l” libertarian for as long as I can remember, even before I knew the word libertarian.

    I became active in the party about two years ago after finally finding out about the meetings while I was doing some activism on my own. Someone from the party walked up to me and told me about the LPLC, and that is when I was introduced to the group. However I did not officially join the party, with State Party membership, until I decided to run for State Rep last year. That is why I feel we need to get out and be active in the community, I would not have known about the LPLC had I not been approached and informed about the LPLC.

    Q5) Is there any other information about yourself, your beliefs etc. that would help people know you better?

    Brennan: I believe that in most things, people need to be responsible for their personal value system. I believe that the Law is universal –for example, gravity was a discovered law. I believe that revealed Law provided in the Egyptian Exile by Moses were Laws already common to everyone.

    I believe that the Constitution is still an effective document. It is weightier than a contract because people gave their lives for the perpetuation of it. Some claim that it is an illegal document because the congressmen were sent to amend the Articles of Confederation and instead drafted the Constitution. However, that is not the end of the story. Every state in the Union must ratify the Constitution before becoming part of the Union. This means that every one of the fifty states acknowledges and submits to the Constitution as Law for the protection of the Natural Rights; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (which is to be understood as the ownership of private property according to the founders).

    I believe that the Constitution exists to limit the government and that the Law exists to protect the people’s unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and Property as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and that no form of tyranny can usurp the rights of the individuals as it is they who create or diminish governments made up by the people and for the people.

    Weeks: As many in the party know I identify as a Voluntaryist, which means I apply the Non-Aggression Principle to everyone, and don’t feel a funny hat or shiny badge grants extra rights that we as individuals don’t have naturally and that all interactions between individuals must be voluntary. Some call this extreme, but I feel that it is the only moral way for society to be. We must place the Non-Aggression Principle where it belongs as the center point of all interactions. As was said by Thomas Jefferson “I would rather live in a world of too much freedom, than not enough.”

    Voters rally to support Lewis and other Libertarians excluded from debate

    Supporters of James Lewis’ bid for state Rep in the 42 District of Michigan staged a peaceful, yet powerful, protest yesterday in front of the local candidates’ debate at Cleary University in Howell. The group was protesting the fact that Lewis, who was initially invited to participate in the “all-candidates” debate, was suddenly “uninvited” a week later.

    More than two dozen Lewis supporters lined the Grand River entrance to the debate site; many had their mouths taped shut to visually demonstrate the intentional silencing of the Lewis platform.

    Libertarians recently protested at Cleary College over their candidates being excluded from local forums and debates.

    According to Steve Mace, Manager of the Campaign to Elect James Lewis, the protest was planned to be orderly and non-disruptive. “We respect the rights of all candidates to have their voices heard, unlike the debate sponsors,” explained Mace, “and we were insistent that any protest be outside the debate hall, and not disrupt the proceedings.” The candidate himself was pleased, but not terribly surprised, by the strong showing of support.“Third party candidates around the country are rallying huge support,” said Lewis, who attended the protest and spoke to several interested voters. “The people of Michigan, and this entire country, are looking for a new voice, a new way to fix this broken, malfunctioning two-party system. They know there is a better way, and we are seeing fast-growing support for viable alternatives.“The time for change has come, defenders of the entrenched two-party system are going to have to learn to adjust to the will of the people,” Lewis continued. “Pay to play, back door deals, lobbyists and PAC money – all of this corrupts the political process to the point that politicians are in it to better themselves and their own party, not the people. This has to stop, and the people are seeing it.”

    Event organizers who rescinded Lewis’ invitation to participate in the debate cited a decision to only include “main party” candidates.

    The event was sponsored in part by the Livingston Press & Argus, whose Executive Editor Rich Perlberg publicly stated that third party candidates are “interesting,” but serve only as a “distraction” in these debates. His comments drew sharp public criticism from local business owners who traditionally vote for either Republican or Democrat. Many of these critics joined the debate demonstration, along with Libertarian party members, and Lewis supporters.

    “For being only a distraction, we had a fantastic showing,” said Mace. “We did a quick head count and it appears that the number of Lewis supporters outside the event equaled the number of supporters for either Rogers or Willis inside.” (Lewis is running against incumbent Bill Rogers (R) and challenger Shanda Willis (D) in November.)

    “The turnout tells us that the two-party system is about to get a huge wake-up call,” Mace continued. “And judging by the number of motorists who honked to show their support, our message is getting out there and it resonates with the people of this district.”

    Mace estimates at least 100 passing motorists signaled their support of the Lewis campaign by honking or waving. He also notes only one dissenting gesture, made by a person with a Romney bumper sticker on his car. “Apparently he disagrees, and he let us know in a pretty rude way,” laughed Mace. “That’s okay; this is America, and he has a right to his opinion, however vulgar a way he may choose to express it.” That person parked at Cleary, placed candidate signs and entered the debate hall.

    The Lewis campaign continues to gather momentum, new supporters and donations, and Lewis is slated for several public appearances throughout the district in the coming weeks.

    For more information, see James Lewis for US Representative