Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Peaceniks Reverse Root

Here's my latest editorial, which appears in the March 2008 issue of California Freedom (which went to the printer a few days ago, but for some reason, is still not on the LPC website):

Wayne Allyn Root approached me at the LPC convention, wanting to set the record straight. I'd blogged against his presidential candidacy, because of his pro-war remarks ("Iraq is the wrong war. Iran is the right war.").

Root told me he's changed. He's been educating himself, reading libertarian thinkers such as Rothbard. Root says he now agrees with the LP's non-interventionist stance. He also claims he'd said "Iran might be the right war," but in any event, that was last year. He currently does not believe that war with Iran is necessary.

Root has also called the Iraq War "a mistake." I've seen photos of scorched and limbless Iraqi children, of blind or limbless U.S. vets. This war begs for stronger condemnation than calling it "a mistake." Still, it's a start.

Root was friendly and personable to me. He said that were I to know him better, I'd find much to like about his economic views. That may be. Although before entering the race, Root had endorsed a McCain/Lieberman GOP ticket, so it seems Root has evolved economically as well.

The question arises: Is Root sincere in his conversion to non-interventionism? I can't read his heart, but either way, Root's reversal is a victory for LP peaceniks.

If Root's conversion is sincere, it demonstrates the intellectual strength of classical libertarianism. The power of our ideas caused a 180°shift in this man's worldview. If he's lying, it demonstrates the political clout of the LP's antiwar faction. That there is at least a perception that one can't win the LP's nomination unless one opposes empire.

Root's reversal proves the LP, far from being "significantly divided," is a majority antiwar party. But I think everyone already knew that.

Curiously, pro-war/pro-defense (whatever you wish to call it) LPers still back Root. This suggests two possibilities: Either they believe Root secretly supports the war. Or they have nowhere else to go. At least Root (unlike Steve Kubby) hasn't called for the impeachment of Dick Cheney.

It seems Root is trying to appeal to both pro- and antiwar libertarians, offering a quiet, back-of-the-bus, non-interventionism (he plans to emphasize economic issues if nominated) as opposed to in-your-face, stop the war rhetoric. It may be why he won the convention's straw poll. He held his pro-war base, while gaining among moderate non-interventionists.

I'm not comfortable giving our top spot to a newcomer who's still learning and evolving. (That would include Christine Smith.) I'd rather Root continue his education, and prove his sincerity by supporting the LP in other ways. He can always run in 2012.

"Gibby the cat" won a vote in the straw poll. (No, it wasn't mine.) An LPC ExCom member deleted Gibby when posting the results on blogs. He told me it was because Gibby was ineligible, but I suspect it was because he worried that Gibby's vote would cast the LPC in a frivolous light. He was unhappy that I planned to report Gibby's vote in California Freedom, but I believe those of you who weren't at the convention have a right to know what went down, unsanitized.

This and recent issues of CF have featured articles from libertarian activists around the state. Many were directed to me by Kevin Takenaga. He tours the state, learns of members' projects, and directs them to contact me. Kudos to Kevin.

Kudos also to English libertarian Stuart Smith. The Coffee Club graphic on page 4 was drawn for us by him, free of charge. Convention delegates applauded Stuart for his work. Please visit Stuart's website: www.GravitonCreations.com.

No comments: