Massachusetts Libertarian Party Chair George Phillies reports on Independent Political Report (comment 148):
"I am amused to report that the LNC was contacted by a reporter who wanted to do a story on possible interactions between the Libertarian Party and Malcolm X, the question being 'Has Malcolm X inspired your Libertarian activism?'
"It was observed by one LNC member that there was a PA local candidate who was a member of the Nation of Islam. It was noted that another LNC member had made a study of Malcolm X and his beliefs. Another LNC member claimed there is no one like that in our party.
"Mr. Root gave the LNC 'I am the de facto face and voice of the LP.' and opined that he should get the interview. Another LNC member answered Wayne 'You have indeed gotten a lot of media. However, as I pointed out in an earlier e-mail with graph attached, this has not translated into new members for the LP. We have fewer new members each month. Whatever you are doing is not growing the LP.' Glaringly obvious reasons for this failure were then listed.
"If you are wondering why our national party is in its current shape, you should recognize that this was most of the LNC's activity for a number of days.
"I have not yet learned if the reporter got an interview with anyone."
1. This above thread concerns 1972 LP presidential candidate John Hospers's call to oppose the Muslim cultural center being built two blocks from Ground Zero.
2. LNC member Wayne Allyn Root had previously also called for public opposition to the Muslim center.
3. Root's position resulted in criticism from Libertarian bloggers, which is why Hospers felt the need to jump in and defend Root.
4. Well, of course it resulted in negative reaction! For Root and Hospers to call for public opposition to building the Muslim cultural center is to invite the public to suppress the property rights of the building owner and the religious freedom of Muslims.
Seems the Libertarian Party tent has gotten so big, it now welcomes people who are pro-war, anti-property rights, and anti-religious freedom.
And now Root claims that he's the "de facto voice and face of the LP." Considering Root's constant conspiratorial speculations about Obama being a black radical at Columbia University (even though Root claims that he never met Obama at Columbia), I wonder what Root would have told the reporter about the LP's views on Malcolm X.
(I myself have no views on Malcolm X, as I've never read or studied him. I only saw the Spike Lee film, which is not enough for an informed opinion.)
Root's defenders (the usual suspects) chimed in that Root hasn't called for government intervention against the "Ground Zero mosque" (a misnomer, since it's neither a mosque, nor on Ground Zero -- it's a Muslim cultural center two blocks away from Ground Zero).
Root's defenders praise Root for calling on the private sector to exert "market pressure" on the property owner and Muslims to not build there, and to leave the government out of it.
Now, can you imagine if anyone in the LP called for the private sector to exert "market pressure" on someone to not build a synagogue? Or a gay or black cultural center? Yes, it would technically be "libertarian" in that it's not a call for government intervention -- but it would still be bigotry.
While the LP may well defend the rights of haters, that doesn't mean the LP should actually instigate hateful action. The ACLU defended the free speech rights of Nazis, but it didn't go the extra step of encouraging the Nazis to engage in hate speech.
Alas, Hospers and Root are calling for the LP to side with haters.
However, Root may well be correct in that he is one of the more famous LP members out there. How tragic for liberty if Root becomes the "de facto" voice of the LP.
Ron Paul is far more famous that Root, and more respected. But Paul is not active in the LP. (Yet another thing to admire about Dr. Paul).
If there was ever any doubt, Root and Hospers are not libertarians. Whatever titles they accumulate, however many talk shows they appear on, they have left the pro-liberty reservation.
Gasp! Am I suggesting a litmus test?!
See Thomas Knapp's excellent article on libertarian litmus tests.
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