Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wesley Snipes -- Libertarian for President?

As the Libertarian Party seeks a presidential candidate for 2012, perhaps they should consider actor Wesley Snipes?

Snipes is about to begin a three-year prison sentence after being convicted for federal tax evasion.

But Snipes was not merely trying to save money. It seems that he's a tax protester.

On January 14, 2008, The New York Times reported:

"But unlike other celebrities who find themselves on the wrong side of the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Snipes has a flamboyant explanation: he argues that he is not actually required to pay taxes."

I believe the federal income tax is Constitutional and legal. But I'm also a "Big Tent" libertarian. If the LP's tent is big enough to include pro-war neocons like Wayne Allyn Root and Neal Boortz, it should be big enough to include tax protesters.

Running Snipes for president will stimulate debate and discussion on the nature of taxes in general.

That Snipes has spent time in prison is another plus. As with Steve Kubby, prison will have sensitized Snipes to civil liberties concerns. Nor is there any reason that Snipes can't campaign from prison. In fact, it can make for a colorful "talking point." Here is a man who understands the need to reign in federal power!

Root's supporters often argue that the LP should run a "celebrity" (like, they say, Root), because celebrities attract media attention. Well, Wesley Snipes is a real A-list celebrity, unlike Root, who's a few rungs below Kathy Griffin's D-list status.

That Snipes is African-American is another plus. His candidacy will broaden the LP's appeal to progressives. Snipes will mitigate the impression that the LP is filled with Tea Party racists.

I don't know much about Snipes's political views in general. If I learn that he's pro-war, that would be a deal-breaker. But he's worth a closer look.

Here are some intriguing items about Snipes, from Wikipedia:

"Snipes converted from Christianity to Islam in 1978. His current beliefs are unknown.

"Snipes's apartment was destroyed by the collapse of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers during the September 11 attacks in 2001. He was on the west coast at the time.

"A September 24, 2002 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee press release listed Wesley Snipes as an 'artist who is supporting' a $6 million fundraiser with tickets ranging from "$500 to $250,000."

I'm still Catholic, not a Muslim, but I'm "Big Tent" enough not to require that a political candidate share my religious views. Indeed, I think that, in this time of anti-Muslim hysteria, it would be a positive public statement for the LP to run a Muslim for president.

Snipes can also address 9/11 from personal experience -- his home was destroyed. It's not like anyone can accuse him of being ignorant of that tragic day.

As an LP presidential candidate, Snipes would be an African-American, ex-Democrat, with strong civil liberties/tax-protester creds.

I'm not a Snipes supporter yet (my dream team is still Ron Paul/Karen Kwiatkowski), but I think Libertarians should take a closer look at Snipes. Learn more about him. Ask if he'd be interested in running.

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