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Category Archives: Libertarian
Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:50 pm
Being Libertarian Perspectives serves as a weekly, multi-perspective opinion and analysis piece by members of Being Libertarians writing team. Every week the panel, comprised of randomly selected writers, will answer a question based on current events or libertarian philosophy. ManagingEditor Dillon Eliassen will moderate and facilitate the discussion.
Dillon Eliassen: Please answer in the affirmative or negative, and provide reasoning for the following question: The conservative and liberty movements will benefit from Milo Yiannapolous continuing to lose access to privately owned and maintained speech platforms. Hes been banned from Twitter, his college campus tour is continually disrupted and he just lost his Simon & Schuster book deal. Conservatives and libertarians are better off with him out of the public eye; hes become a pariah and his advocacy for free speech is a mask for his desire for flamboyancy and notoriety.
David McManus Jr.: At least from my lens, what he is saying is a complete detraction from libertarian thoughts and ideals, although its quite possibly our best tool in sustaining free speech. In the day and age of the left vs right dichotomy, people are afraid of language from both sides and the right wing have been castrated and forced to kowtow to PC culture. Regardless of how you view his advocacy, it hits headlines on CNN and is starting to cloud the mainstream media with a puppet from the internet that dances on a whim of what the online communities want. As Im sure you can all agree, the online anonymity allows people to splurge their innermost thoughts all over a forum and not get arrested for thought crime (yet). So this incredible ability that Milo brings to the table to put a name, face and sense of rationality to the online hub of free speech does help to advance a free thinking society through acceptance and tolerance of other ideas. He is a pawn in a big game of chess, he learned his place, which was playing the role of the contrarian on a massive scale. It just so happened that he jumped the gun and perhaps tried to advocate for something that our culture wasnt quite ready to discuss as of yet.
Danny Chabino: On the one hand, freedom of speech is exceptionally vital to a free society. However, on the other hand, private groups must be free to select whomever they want to speak and whatever messages and ideas they wish to convey. Otherwise, it is pointless to have such organizations. I dont particularly like people who stir the pot for the sake of stirring the pot. They tend to be arrogant and obnoxious, seeking only attention for themselves. But, Milo is free to speak whatever he wishes to speak and to associate with whatever group he chooses. Is he good for freedom and for the liberty movement? I dont really know or care that much. Ill readily admit that I dont follow him too closely because I find him off-putting. The voices that put forth solidly logical thought will usually end up being heard. Im certain that if Milos ideas are found worthy, he will be heard.
Charles Peralo: I think the answer to this is simple: The roots to Being Libertarian were Being Banned From Being Liberal. Id say right now a page, thanks to Billy Bob Clinton, we just barely passed was Occupy Democrats Logic. Both pages were founded due to censorship from a group. Now, Being Libertarian has banned people. People posting spam or maybe sometimes some HEAVILY racist or bizarre stuff. But theres no Banned From Being Libertarian or no claim we deny people the power to ask a question. Being Libertarian is always open to the left or right to like us and make a point. So We have some censorship rights here and pages get the right to censor how they wish, the same as universities. The question is between denial of speech or denial of the right to ask a question. BL being at 400,000 followers and ODL being at 350,000 is kind of just proof being rude and just denying some rights to talk creates the problem from the likely reality neither groups would exist if Being Liberal and Occupy Democrats werent so ban happy. But we need to actually point out the left isnt immune to this. One of my best friends got banned from the LP page for saying in a comment You guys should just nominate Rand Paul. Also, our own special neck bearded pal from Fresno and our favorite guido with a taxation is theft hat and jersey block people left and right. So All movements do this. And Im going to stand up for Berkeley here. Rand Paul goes to speak and gets a standing ovation there, with it being the largest crowd a Republican ever got there. Milo speaks and its a riot. That shows this is not really a censorship of the right, because of economics or whatever. Theres clearly a line drawn in how they are different. And why do they stand for Rand and riot for Milo? Because Rand Paul says we need to abolish the payroll tax. He devotes an entire chapter in his book saying the criminal justice system is rigged against black people and our big government economics are making them poor. He says the TSA is bad for wrongly profiling Muslims. He says we shouldnt bomb the shit out of everyone. He had a plan to make getting a work visa much easier for immigrants. Milo runs around and says transgenders are mentally confused, black people have no real issues that are the polices fault and he does it all from the perspective and life experience of a 32 year old college dropout who gets joy from riots.
Jacob Linker: Theres a difference between saying theres a right for someone to speak and actively providing them a platform though. BL as a private entity has a total right to decide to limit input from detrimental content providers. Also I doubt weve seen the last of Milo.
Baruti Libre Kafele: The truest test of ones advocacy for the natural and constitutional right of freedom of speech is for one to convey or disseminate perspectives that may be contradictory or disagreeable to ones social and political views whether they are politically correct or not. Whether I, or anyone agrees with Milos views on pedophilia and other topics or not, he is unequivocally making history and getting crucified for all of us to share our idiosyncratic perspectives or views to the world via journalism, blogging, public speaking, etc. His flamboyancy, sexual orientation or courting tendencies should not negate that he has the right to express himself however he pleases.
TJ Eckert: I agree with Charles and Danny to some extent. Free speech is one of, if not the most important, rights to maintain. That includes the ability to pick and choose when in private groups, otherwise private groups lose part of their meaning. While I think Milo should be able to speak when invited by a group that thinks they will benefit from having him, I dont think he benefits our movement much at all. He is a provocateur, in my opinion, a narcissistic egotist, and isnt interested in helping anyone really. Like Charles said, Rand Paul can come speak, deliver a message, and even get through to some who would riot for Milo. Why? In my shooting classes we have a saying that if you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. In my opinion, Milo has been playing these stupid games for a while, and hes just won his stupid prize. Were better off without him, and good riddance. The only thing he was ever even good for, if you can call it that, was pointing out how absolutely crazy the left can go to twist their own thinking. Believing that words are actual violence, and actual violence in response was just self defense. But all the baggage he brings with him isnt worth it.
Bric Butler: I think we are all in agreement that free speech is vital to protect and the only such limitations to be put on it should be in regard to private institutions deciding who they allow to use their venues. Yet this Rand Paul and Milo comparisonIm not OK with. In my shooting classes we have a saying that if you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. That is overt victim blaming. Same as, Well what did she expect when she wore such a short dress? Of course she was going to get raped! Milo might be unhelpful and just being an ass, but that doesnt mean we should make even small excuses for rioters.
TJ: Im not excusing riots, nor am I victim blaming. Maybe I shouldve been clearer: The stupid prize is him being dropped from his book deal, and possibly fired from Breitbart. Him pointing out that the left will riot over words may have been his only good contribution. The riots werent justified. The case of play stupid games, win stupid prizes is not a victim blame. Much like the kids who think its fun to shoot each other with Roman candles, they dont get my sympathy when they get burned. Milo tried making a career at just pissing off anyone and everyone. Look at his Bill Maher interview. He just had to get a fuck you from each panelist, he was literally begging for it. Well, now hes getting a big fuck you, just like hes asked for.
Bric: Yeah, the Bill Maher interview really kind of finally turned me off from supporting him, before all this other stuff even came out. I think Milos problem is he got too famous too fast. Wasnt able to properly handle it.
TJ: I honestly think his pedophilia video is a planned attack on him more than anything. I just dont really feel bad for him though. Hes not an innocent victim by any stretch of the imagination. I dont know if hes the type that would handle it well even if he got famous in other ways.
Anna Trove: I used to like Milo. I agreed with him on a lot of issues and liked how he was blunt and uncompromising in the face of SJWs and feminists. However, as he got more in the public eye he just got more ridiculous. His views became giant caricatures. He started saying things like there should be a cap on women in STEM fields, and that birth control makes girls unattractive and crazy. Instead of simply using facts to dispel myths like the gender wage gap, he started promoting his own insane ideas about things. The Bill Maher interview was the nail in the coffin for me. It was painfully cringe-worthy. I absolutely dont think the liberty movement should be associating themselves with Milo. It is not beneficial for us. Did anyone else hear in the Maher segment Milo said something like Im a liber- but Bill cut him off? He has distanced himself from libertarians in the past (thankfully) and I hope he continues to.
Nima Mahdjour: Yes, conservatives & libertarians will continue to benefit from the establishments attempts to prohibit his free speech. No, I dont think theyre better off without him in the public eye, but we dont know since hes just been getting more and more publicity from the smear attempts, especially this past month.
David: Hes really just the exodus king. If you take him away from one place (Twitter), hell find another way to come back bigger and better. You take away his spotlight and you give the spotlight to another spot. He will march them all towards a new platform. Hes kind of like hosting pornography on your website, hes big business for whatever platform hes on, but youve got to deal with the morality and the consequences of hosting a provocateur. He and Trump are two sides of the same coin ridiculously offensive and for that reason theyve inspired a new counterculture, but at the same time, they are in no way libertarian. Libertarians are grasping at straws to tag their ideology onto his likeness, but within a societal context, hes doing us proud on our only shred of common ground.
John Engle: Milo has helped to normalize and propagate a brand of populist conservatism that has hijacked many of the people who would have once been found in the liberty movement. It hardly seems likely that his public censure will do much to bring all those people back, but it at least removes from that strand of thought one of its most able propagandists. Free speech is obviously fundamental. And odious though I find much of what he says (and claims to believe), Im no great fan of de-platforming. As a general thought though, this is not a classic no-platform case since the moves have been made due to revelation of new information, so in the presence of that information no invitation may have been forthcoming in the first place. That said, it is interesting how quickly so many groups moved to distance themselves from someone who has said some provocative, even hateful things. Its a decent case study of how uncomfortable provocation makes many people. Simon & Schuster was clearly desperate for a way to cut ties after the bashing they have received over the past several months and this is a face-saving opportunity for them.
Dillon: The freedom to express ones self does not exist in a vacuum. Like the Second Amendment, there is a functionality required to exercise this natural right. An individual must own a gun for his right to bear arms to have any real meaning. The First and Second Amendments are not as abstract as other entries in the Bill of Rights, such as the Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments, as those exist regardless of your behavior and interaction with others, and the application of those Amendments to you. Yes, you exercise your free speech when conversing with friends, or yelling at passers-by on a street corner, but to use your speech to effect change, tools and infrastructure are needed for your speech to be entered into the public domain. i.e. TV, radio, the Internet, printing press, etc. Milos speech will no longer be discursive since hes been banned from Twitter, hes resigned from Breitbart, hes forced to cancel his college campuses speeches, his books been cancelled, etc. Milo has essentially squandered his right to free speech by prioritizing confrontation, flamboyance and provocation; he fell into the style over substance trap and hes paying a price for it. Hes become radioactive; Milo made choices regarding how he would exercise his right to speech that caused not only those ideologically opposed to him to try to stifle him, but those normally predisposed to his beliefs are now shying away from him. In some ways, hes made it more difficult for conservatives and libertarians who can make valid arguments and have important things to say due to guilt by association. Milos reaping what he has sewn. He spent so much time portraying feminism as cancer. IRONY ALERT: Milos the cancerous entity now, having expended so much time and effort arguing that Muslims, feminists and other groups who are the subject of his ire should be forcibly removed from society, but he has proven to be the most effective in causing himself to be removed from society.
This post was written by Dillon Eliassen.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.
Dillon Eliassen is the Managing Editor of Being Libertarian. Dillon works in the sales department of a privately owned small company. He holds a BA in Journalism & Creative Writing from Lyndon State College, and needs only to complete his thesis for his Masters of English from Montclair State University (something which his accomplished and beautiful wife, Alice, is continually pestering him about). He is the author of The Apathetic, available at Amazon.com. He is a self-described Thoreauvian Minarchist.
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Posted: at 3:50 pm
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
By: Eli Bowman
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD Its no surprise that certain media outlets have received criticism from President Trump. Attacks during campaign season, as well as recent criticisms of the Presidents policies and executive orders have likely been the fuel for Trumps media hating fire. A source close to the President said If he could hed rather burn fake news reporters instead of booksbut hes sticking with books for now.
Large left-leaning media outlets such as CNN and The New York Times were banned from a White House press conference earlier today. The Overton window would suggest that this slippery slope will soon turn into a regular occurrence.
Among the media outlets that have been journalistically castrated by the white house are wildly popular libertarian publications The Libertarian Republic, Liberty Hangout, and Liberty Viral. They were banned from todays white house briefing as well.
Of course, youd never know it because these three publications were also banned from the articles naming the media outlets that were banned.
This is a shame for our readers. We work tirelessly to put our lighthearted, yet informative pieces to advance liberty and be included in the list of exclusions. Being left of the list of excluded media is a big league mistake. Grant Deltzsaid in letter to Liberty Virals subscribers. Trump responded via Twitter.
When Kody Fairfield, Editor-in-chief of The Libertarian Republic, was asked about the matter he said It doesnt make sense. I understand being banned from the white house for doing unbiased journalism, but to be banned from the list of banned media outletsthats a real punch in the gut. Well, Trump is banned from TLR in that case then. Thatll piss him off.
When hearing of his ban from TLR Trump took to Twitter.
Keith Doiron, founder of The J3BOLUTION and Chairman of the Please Clap Foundation cant believe it either, telling us in a text message Ive clapped for many things before that werent necessarily popular at the time, but I just cant clap for thisnot even if Jeb! asked me to. Lets just say that Jeb Bush wont ban those three groups when hes President in 2020.
President Trump initially denied our requests for comment but then tweeted out the following.
Justin Moldow, founder of Liberty Hangout, had this to say about the sneak diss. Its a total shock to me. On his helicopter he specifically told me that Liberty Hangout would never be excluded from briefings and press conferences. He said that right to my faceon his helicopter. Now, Im about to take him for another helicopter ride.
While libertarian media outlets are hoping to be able to once again gain access to the White House, this tweet from The Cheeto King isnt promising:
Liberty Virallibery hangoutsmediapress corpssatireThe Libertarian RepublicWhite House
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Posted: at 3:50 pm
The Complexity of French Secularism Examined
This past week, during her visit to Lebanon, the French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, made headlines when she refused to dawn the proper dress in order to meet with a local Islamic cleric. Many conservatives and libertarians applauded her for defiance towards, and rejection of, one of the most notorious symbols of a repressive religious ideology, the headscarf (the least concealing of a variety of head and body coverings for women in the Islamic world). The justifications for this are found in such passages in the Quran as 33:59, that states:
O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Many modern Islamic scholars will attempt to explain away this as an error of translation or that there is no specific mention of the face or head. Yet, this does not bode well when you read in the Hadith, Sahih Bukhari (60:282),
Aisha used to say: When (the Verse 24:31 of the Quran): They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms, was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.
The face is found upon the head, and these women began to cover themselves there, and it must have pleased the Prophet for he did not correct them. Yet, I digress, Im sure defenders of Islam will say I continue to misinterpret the texts due to my bias against the religion (disclaimer: as an atheist and anti-theist I am against all religions, not just Islam). Even if they are correct, the very fact that their holy texts contain passages that can easily lead to interpretations causing such marginalization of women is another problem in itself that no amount of historical revisionism can whisk away.
Okay, now Im really off topic. Lets get back to the main point.
Marine Le Pen refused the headscarf, and many cheered her defiance of religious fundamentalism and applauded a true act of legitimate feminism. Amidst the fanfare, some raised objections. These people branded her a hypocrite because of her strict support for French secularism, known as lacit, and the use of legislation to further legally ingrain it in French society. Those who subscribe to lacit often oppose almost any form of religious expression in the public square. Lacit has been the driving force behind a law forbidding religious symbols and dress (including Islamic headscarves) to be worn by children in public schools. It has also been rumored to be a driving force behind the law that banned face concealing headwear in all public spaces in France, even though it was officially promoted for security reasons. Le Pen supports both of these laws, and even wishes to expand laws regarding religious dress in order to further legally enshrine lacit.
So, in short, she sees being forced to wear a headscarf as an affront to liberty, yet also sees no affront to liberty in forcing women to not wear one.
To those outside of France, this seems like utter hypocrisy, and understandably so, but only because we (speaking to my fellow Americans) come from a society with a much different history pertaining to religions relationship with the law. So, please, before judging her as an enemy of freedom, take the time to discover the history behind the secularisms of France and America.
French lacit in not like American secularism, also known as the Jeffersonian wall of separation enshrined in the Constitutions First Amendment, stating:
Congress shall make no lawrespecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
American secularism is a very live-and-let-live secularism. Basically, it only limits the government, making sure it doesnt suppress a religion or give one special preferential treatment. This has left citizens free to practice and demonstrate their religion in almost any way. Yet, French lacit is much more strict and regulatory in nature.
The differences stem from dissimilar histories.
America was first settled by those who were fleeing religious persecution, and by the time it was organizing as a new nation under the Constitution, dozens of sects of Christianity had made themselves at home along the Eastern Seaboard. Therefore, the lingering thoughts of their forefathers religious persecution and the need to facilitate peace among multiple sects naturally led the framers of the Constitution to create such a liberal, free-range secularism.
In France, the history since the Revolution of 1789 had been marked by struggle against an often legally entrenched and powerful Catholic Church that acted jointly with the monarchy to suppress the French people. Its power would fall with the rise of each Republic but would return once more with the return of monarchy. For example, after the rise of Napoleon via the Concordant of 1801, he made Catholicism the official state religion once more. This was a policy continued through the Bourbon Restoration and July Monarchy until 1848, with the rise of the 2nd Republic. Yet, upon the 2nd Republics fall in 1852, Catholicism was once again resurrected as the state religion. This remained throughout the whole 2nd French Empire, and then for 35 years into the 3rd French Republic until the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and State disestablished Catholicism as the state religion and ended the churchs privileges in society once and for all.
That was a 116-year battle between the French people and legally privileged organized religion.
So, the French people, out of fear of the return of Catholicism to its former power, have since 1905 passed many laws, and continue to support many more, that place harsh restrictions on all religions in the public sphere to make sure none may rise to have political power or legal privilege ever again.
As a society, they have decided to place relatively mild restrictions on liberty with regards to religious expression so as to guard one of their societys greater liberties: freedom from state religion. This is a utilitarian approach to liberty, but an approach to liberty nonetheless. Accepting a cost, in this case, a little loss of freedom in one area to get the benefit of securing a larger freedom; the freedom from an established religion by further safeguarding their return to revolutionary struggle between church and state that plagued their nation for over a century.
So, do not cast off Le Pen as a hypocritical foe to liberty. She is simply promoting liberty as she understands it; albeit a precarious brand of it. But for France, a nation with a long and complicated relationship to such an idolized ideal, that may ever be the only way.
After all, France is the nation who prides herself as being depicted as the bare breasted Marianne. Can we really ever realistically expect her to accept her fellow women to be wrapped in veils?
This post was written by Bric Butler.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.
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Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:59 pm
The first proper day of events at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was underway on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 at the Gaylord resort in Maryland. Being Libertarian was there on Media Row, representing an all-too-scarce libertarian presence alongside the mainstream media outlets that normally frequent these events.
But then something very unexpected happened: CPAC was friendly. It was friendly to us libertarians; it was friendly to minority activist groups who still consider themselves conservative; it was friendly to LGBT rights and non-federal intervention. In other words, the first day of events at CPAC proved to be much more libertarian-ish (as Dr. Rand Paul would say) than ever anticipated. Perhaps that was because we simply knew where to look, but either way, the mainstream-pushed image of the typical right-wing zealots unwilling to hear other viewpoints fades quickly upon further investigation of this conference.
At The Hub, which is essentially CPACs equivalent to Comic Con for political nerds, the many many booths of the participating organizations complete with all their wonderful, unique swag were lined up for mass consumption. There were think tanks such as the Capital Research Center offering internships, colleges such as Hillsdale advertising their intensive academic programs and fellowship opportunities, and newspapers like Campus Reform empowering students to bring free speech issues on their respective college campuses to light.
But in addition to these usual elements to a conservative conference, there were other groups being represented here that might have been less wise to bet on showing up: there was a booth dedicated to giving conservative atheists a voice; there was a booth dedicated to members of the LGBT community who understand and embrace the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for their protection; and there was even a small group of Republican transgender activists at CPAC raising awareness of the fact that trans people are not delusional, nor do they have to be exclusively liberal.
One such activist, Jennifer Williams, was upstairs on the main event floor housing the Potomac ballrooms. She was proudly sporting a GOP elephant pin sportingthe trans rights colors, and holding up a sign that read: Proud to be Conservative. Proud to be Transgender. Proud to be American. #SameTeam. And she was doing all of this while also being wrapped in the dont tread on me me flag. When asked her opinion on the relationship between the GOP and trans people in America, Williams pointed out that while there was still work to be done, she was confident that the more the trans community raises awareness about its plight and perspective, the less alien trans people will seem to traditional conservatives in America. Williams believes in a truly free United States in which ones sex, gender, or creed does not dictate ones politics, and where all people are free to express themselves politically however they feel right doing so.
James Spiller, a general attendee who seemed to support Williamss cause,spoke to us about how understanding trans people in many ways is the final step toward bridging the gap between liberal and conservative voters on the social front. He pointed out, rightly, that upon receiving hormone treatment, trans athletes bodies transform into the body type of their borne-in gender (i.e. a trans woman on hormones loses muscle mass and experiences slight realignment of bone structure, meaning she is not unfairly advantaged against her biologically female cohorts). Spiller also cited the fact that by pointing this out, both liberals and conservatives will learn very real truths that will bring the two groups closer to an understanding. For instance, in addition to conservatives realizing the transformative effect of hormone treatments, liberals might also have to acknowledge that there are genuine mental and physical differences between men and women than a transgender persons transition could help to highlight, and therefore unveil the real reason for the gender pay gap: women and men approach life, work, etc. differently from one another, make different choices, and have different frames of mind, so naturally different choices will be made in the workforce leading to different rates of pay.
Williams, while she didnt comment directly on Spillers points, did seem to share the outlook that many liberals claim to understand trans people just to virtue signal, but that they do not own concepts like compassion and social justice conservatives can display it, too. I did not vote for Trump, Williams admitted. I was a Kasich supporter. But I would have voted for Trump had New Jersey been in play at the time. But she clarified that she does hope Trump continues to support the LGBT community, and that any reversal on the issues would feel like a slap in the face to her community.
This point was touched upon later in the day during the Steve Bannon speaking event, in which he and fellow presidential aid Reince Priebus explained that President Trump still supports LGBT rights, as well as the lack of authority for federal overreach on such matters, and is therefore leaving the trans bathroom issue to the states. While much of the mainstream media has been reporting this stance as a reversal on trans rights, its actually quite consistent with the small government conservative and libertarian viewpoint. Leaving the bathroom issue to the states while still explaining ones personal views in support of trans people is, through this lens, not a contradiction, and is still very much a pro-LGBT position for a Republican president to have.
And the best part of all of this was that the entire room erupted with applause at this statement. Let that sink in: an entire ballroom full of conservatives and Republicans cheered on a trans rights issue. And the conference itself let atheists, gays, transgenders, and other minority groups through its doors in the name of liberty, freedom of expression, and fellowship. If you are a conservative, you are welcome at CPAC, regardless of any other aspect of your person that might not historically line up with the perceived norm. That is the message CPAC 2017 has chosen to convey. And I frankly hope that sentiment continues. As our new acquaintance James Spiller noted, true understanding is the only way the lefts claim to social and intellectual superiority is going to be curtailed.
Well, to be fair, there was one minority group that CPAC chose to discriminate against: white supremacists. Alt-right leader and white nationalist Richard Spencer attempted to crash the event (much like he had done with short-lived success at the International Students for Liberty Conference last week), but was made short work of by event organizers and hotel security. Racism, it seems, has finally run its course with the Republican Party and the conservative movement as a whole.
Yeah, I see the fuck face, one CPAC attendee could be overhead saying when Spencer first came on the scene. It was established that it is okay to punch Nazis, right? While back at the spot on the convention floor where Miss Williams was waving her no tread flag, an elderly gentleman walked up to her, shook her hand and said: I dont quite understand, but Im trying to.
No, the modern conservative movement isnt perfect. And no, we should not drop our guard on the frontier of looking at it critically. But we also must be mindful that, just as the older man shaking Williamss hand said, it is trying. It is trying to branch out and finally be the all-inclusive, anti-big government movement it has long claimed to be but never quite delivered on. And that effort should be commended. We should continue to hold the conservatives and the GOP accountable for continuing that, of course (and Bannon himself said at his event that the American people should hold the Trump administration accountable as well), but for now, this is more than expected, and pleasantly surprising. Especially for libertarians.
This post was written by Micah J. Fleck.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.
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White nationalist Richard Spencer attempts to troll Libertarian conference and is promptly rejected – TheBlaze.com
Posted: at 6:59 pm
According to Reasons Robby Soave, white nationalist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer attempted to crash a Libertarian gathering in Washington D.C., but after a heated argument with one of its famous attendees, Spencer was escorted out.
The incident happened Saturday night during 10th annual International Students for Liberty Conference at thethe Marriott Wardman in Woodley Park where the event was being held. Spencer reportedly attempted to host an unscheduled and unwanted conversation at the bar of the hotel regarding his pro-white nationalist views with attendees.
According to economist and author Steve Horowitz, the group Hoppe Caucus a group of alt-right libertarians named after philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe intended to bring Spencer to the hotel at the same time as the ISL conference as an intentional troll, even including a sign that saidRichard Spencer ISFLC 17.
Soave gives more details of Spencers time at the hotel, and his inevitabledeparture.
Eventually, Jeffrey Tuckeran influential libertarian thinkerconfronted Spencer and made clear to the alt-right provocateur that he did not belong at ISFLC. Some shouting ensued, and hotel staff intervened. Shortly thereafter, Spencer left.
Its not completely clear whether Spencer departed of his own accord: he seems to think he was forced to leave, while others say he asked security to see him out safely, even though he was in no danger. But it hardly matters: the Marriott Wardman hotel is private property, and should enjoy the absolute right to evict irksome and unwelcome guests from its premises.
Horowitz says that when conference attendees heard Spencer was at the bar, and number wentto confront him. At first there was an attempt at rational discussion, but as the crowd grew in size, and the shouting match between Spencer and Tucker grew heated, the hotel staff saw fit to kick everyone out of the bar. Spencer reportedly asked to be escorted out for his own safety, though Horowitz denies that Spencer was ever in any danger.
You can watch video of the exchange between Spencer and Tucker below:
One common theme many of the Libertarians discussing this incident share is that Spencer, and the alt-right are not welcome amongst the Libertarians. As the Libertarians of SFL demonstrated, and Soave writes into words, the incident should make abundantly clear that the alt-rights racism is incompatible with the principles of a free society. Libertarianism is an individualist philosophy that considers all people deserving of equal rights. In contrast, Spencer is a tribalist and collectivist whose personal commitment to identity politics vastly exceeds the lefts.
As well, the SFL President Wolf von Laer said in a statement that his organization did not invite Spencer, and that they reject his hateful message and we wholeheartedly oppose his obsolete ideology.
Posted: at 1:42 pm
The 2016 election wasthe gift that keeps on giving for the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party ofIowa (LPIA) will soon officially be given major party status, allowinglibertarians to be on the ballot in future state elections, and greater exposure for its candidates.
We plan to have a record number of candidates in 2018, said LPIA Chair Keith Laube in an interview for IVN. There were a record 25 Libertarian candidates on the ballot in Iowain 2016.We have been building a base of Libertarian registered voters in Iowa since 2008, the first year Iowa voters could register as a Libertarian.Our plan istoreach out to voters to continue increasing the number of registered Libertarians in Iowa.
Iowa state law allows political parties to gain status when 2 percent of the vote is earned by the partys presidential candidate. Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2016, received a little over 3 percent in the state about the same percentage he got at the national level.
We plan to have a record number of candidates in 2018.
American elections have always been dominated by the two-party system at every institutional level of elections and the political landscape. The plight of third parties to get on the ballot has been a long struggle. Ballot access is easy for Democrats and Republicans, but that isnt the case for Libertarians or other third party candidates.
And while the Libertarian Party has garnered ballot access and party status in several states after 2016,Laube says obstacles remain to keeping the LPs party status.
Per Iowa code, to maintain party status in Iowa a party must receive at least 2% of the vote for the top of the ticket. So in 2018, our governor candidate must receive at least 2% of the vote, he explained. We met with state officials and have been conversing back and forth with them as we go through the transition in party status. The state officials have been very professional and good to work with.
We need to continue to educate voters thatLibertarian candidates are very capable of serving at the State and Federal level. Libertarian views attractqualified candidates who run for office because they want positivechange to occur in Iowa.Libertarian candidates are often independent thinkers whodo not want to be draggedalong with the partisan political baggage that comes with the two older parties.
And theremay be no greatertime to be a libertarian. The Libertarian Party has gained popularity amongst voters as more people break off from the Democratic and Republican parties in dissatisfaction. Supporters of the Libertarian party share a common belief that the government should be less involved in peoples lives, in the household and with their wallets.
As such, libertarians tend to be viewed as fiscally conservative and socially open or liberal or tolerant. Such a stance on government and domestic and foreign policy is making the party more attractive to many voters because such an approach looks outside the current political establishment for solutions.
I believe Libertarian candidatesin 2018 will rely on the majority of the population who want tohave their individual liberties restored and who desire a more accountable,Laube said. As a major party,2018will be the first year our candidateswill beable to participate in the Primary Election. Candidates will know they are on the ballot in early June rather than late August. This will create stronger campaigns and allow voters to learn about our candidates andissues earlier in the election cycle. Having more candidates talk aboutissuesearlier in the election cycle isa positive forIowans.
Iowas secretary of state will make LPIAs party status official on March 1.
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Richard Spencer attempted to crash a Libertarian conference and was shown the door An error occurred. – Salon
Posted: February 22, 2017 at 4:41 am
Richard Spencer the alt right leader who vowed were not going awayafter Donald Trump won the presidency, was caught leadinga Nazi salute for Trumpand who got punched in the face at his heros inauguration was evicted from the 10th annual International Students for Liberty Conference after trying to crash itsparty.
Spencer, a self-declared white nationalist who believes the U.S. is losing its white identity, had no business attending a gathering of libertarian students, and conference organizers had every right to eject him, Robby Soave wrote in Reason Magazine. Indeed, their decision to do so was a valid exercise of libertarian principles in action.
Soave described how Spencer set himself up in the bar of the hotel in Washington D.C. where the event was being held and attempted to host an unscheduled and unwanted conversation about his despicable views. He was eventually confronted by libertarian punditJeffrey Tucker, who confronted Spencer and made clear to the alt-right provocateur that he did not belong at ISFLC. Some shouting ensued, and hotel staff intervened. Shortly thereafter, Spencer left.
In characteristic libertarian fashion, Soave pointed out that the Marriott Wardman hotel is private property, and should enjoy the absolute right to evict irksome and unwelcome guests from its premises.
Spencer has naturally availed himself of the opportunity to troll libertarians on his Twitter account. Some of his tweets are included below, although for spatial reasons we have not included all of them.
When you accept the reality of race it's hard to be a libertarian. Liberty isn't consistent with equality. Grow up and pick one. #ISFLC17
— Richard ? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 19, 2017
You can't be pro-science libertarians if you don't understand human evolution gave us races. #ISFLC17
— Richard ? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 19, 2017
On the biggest issue of our times — immigration & White replacement — libertarianism has failed us. #ISFLC17
— Richard ? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 19, 2017
How do libertarians intend to practice muh freedom if so few of them have kids? They're inviting their conquerors with a smile. #ISFLC17
— Richard ? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 19, 2017
— Richard ? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 19, 2017
White millennials voted for Trump & support Le Pen. Libertarianism is over because it ignores white replacement. #ISFLC17
— Richard ? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 19, 2017
Attempts to disrupt the conference, both from the far left and far right, were not entirely unexpected, but the appearance of Mr. Spencer and alt-right activists at the hotel demonstrated the alt-rights hostility to the ideas of liberty and freedom, said Students for Liberty CEO Wolf von Laer in a statement. Although we support freedom of speech and thought, we did not invite Mr. Spencer. We reject his hateful message and we wholeheartedly oppose his obsolete ideology.
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Posted: at 4:41 am
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By: Elias J. Atienza
Young Americans for Liberty, a political organization with roots in the Ron Paul liberty movement, has 900 chapters nationwide established on college campuses.
Appearing on Fox Businesss Varney and Co. YAL president Cliff Maloney Jr. announced that the organizationhad 900 chapters along with updates on YALs nationwide Fight for Free Speech campaign on college campuses.
Maloney Jr. discussed free speech zones and unconstitutional speech codes which he claimed the left is using to shut down libertarian and conservative ideas. For example, several YAL members were arrested for handing out pocket constitutions on a college campus in Michigan.
YAL has its roots in both conservatism and libertarianism, with platform positions like reducing the federal debt, protecting constitutional rights such as the 4th Amendment, and promoting a realistic foreign policy.
Disclaimer: I am a member of Young Americans for Liberty and a leader in my colleges chapter.
4th amendmentCliff Maloney Jr.Fight for Free Speech campaignfree speechliberty movementron paulyoung americans for liberty
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Posted: at 4:41 am
Bill Redpath was Chair of the LNC from 2006-2010. He was Chairman of the LPs Ballot Access committee from 1992-1996 and under his direction the Libertarian Party became the first non-major party to achieve ballot access in all 50 states plus DC in two-consecutive elections in United States history. He has been a six-time candidate for the party and today serves as Treasurer for FairVote.
Jacob Linker: If you look at the 2016 campaign on the whole, its odd at just how much of an issues-free campaign it was. Johnson and Weld seemed more inclined to talk about the real issues but nobody else really was interested, theyd rather take their sides like they usually do.
Bill Redpath: Yeah thats my bias, Ill admit. Somebody has to address policy here. It cant just be waving the flag chanting USA, USA at rallies thats a recipe for falling behind in this world among nations. You know what, heres the thing: CATO just came out with the index of Human Freedom? Somebody needs to talk about point blank we are losing our freedoms in this nation. The index of Human Freedom came out a few weeks ago, the United States is ranked number 23. I swear there was not coverage of this that I could see in the major press. You would think that would be news and be something that would concern the American people, but as I said theyre too busy waving the flag and chanting USA, USA. So somebody has to address the public policy issues and if its up to the Libertarian Party to do that then so be it.
Jacob: And you can point out that in many indices the US has been declining in economic freedom as well under Bush and Obama.
Bill: Yeah well economic freedom as well. Our freedoms are melting away in this nation and frankly the body politic, the general public, theyre pretty much unconcerned about it.
Jacob: If you look at it, it just seems people are more inclined towards hating their political opponents that looking at the common issues that are affecting everybody. Its less about solving problems than winning.
Bill: Absolutely, thats absolutely right and I have seen such tribalism frankly among people I know and respect and love in this 2016 campaign who didnt vote for Gary Johnson, not that you necessarily have to be a tribalist, but youre right, its like Team Red vs Team Blue and that rules everything. In the Republican Party, heres the thing, I often hear that, well, when the chips are down and things are really tough, someday the American people will reach for us, reach for a libertarian to solve their problems. Well, you know, they had that chance in 2016 and they had it before. They could have elected Ron Paul as president in earlier elections. And they could have nominated Rand Paul for the Republican nomination and they could have voted for Gary Johnson in the general election, but they didnt do that. They elected an authoritarian, not a libertarian.
Jacob: Do you think theres much more that libertarians as a movement could do to run better campaigns, better sell the message to moderate types, and generally just succeed more? You often hear these numbers like 11% of Americans are libertarian according to Pew or 27% of Americans are libertarian according to 538 and yet our numbers just dont approach that.
Bill: I dont know what more we could do. I have a great friend in the Libertarian Party who complains that our problem is all in marketing and messaging. I dont buy that. Its the election system and, lets just face it, were a political minority. Im very skeptical of these claims that, oh the American people are really libertarian.
Charles Peralo: They arent. Not at all.
Bill: I know! I wouldnt say not at all theyre not much libertarian but the devil is in the details and libertarians, if youre talking big picture things and themes people will sign on to that, but when they get into the details its what, youre going to privatize Social Security or youre going to change Medicare, Im not signing up for that. So theres just a disconnect with a person saying keep government out of my Medicare. What? That shows such an incredible disconnect in thinking and understanding so at the end of the day I think were doing all we can and like I said, the Ron Paul and Rand Paul and Gary Johnson options are there and the American people chose Donald Trump. What does that say?
Charles: Shifting it a little bit more, you were the Chairman of the Party from 2006 to 2010. During that election you had 2008. In 2008 we had the Barr-Root Campaign. Now, Im a pragmatist. I dont really look for the anarchist, dont really look for the radical, Ive been criticized pretty heavily for saying the Libertarian Party should explore some other options. But I look at Bob Barr, he wrote DOMA, wrote the Patriot Act, had a very neo-conish record and I look at his running mate Wayne Allen Root who, and it may be harsh to say this, but I think he was just trying to sell his own little books there, and hes willing to play with whatever pariah movement gives him a shot. Do you have any problems with that ticket or 2008 as a whole?
Bill: No I think that given the knowledge at the time first of all I want to say this, I think Bob Barr did change and change for the betterI really think Bob Barr had rethought some things and became a changed person from how he was earlier with DOMA and all of that. And I think Bob Barr also, I came to think of Bob frankly as a personal friend. Bob Barr made a lot of personal sacrifices that people dont know about, or dont think about. There are sacrifices made to be a Libertarian Party Candidate and Bob made a lot of them and I think Bob represented the Libertarian Party well in the 2008 campaign. Now hes no longer involved in the LP but hes welcome back any time he wants to come back. And frankly, the same for Wayne Root even though I do mind his support for Donald Trump this campaign. I think he is a good man. I think hes interested, Wayne is selling Wayne and its his right to do so, he has taken some positions that I disagree with, some that make me cringe, and his enthusiasm for Donald Trump frankly was disappointing. But, these things happen. Unfortunately, because of the election system, its very hard to grow candidates in our own party who are recognized by the American voters and so this is an unfortunate byproduct people coming from outside the party to within the party, sometimes they stay sometimes they leave, but its a byproduct of the voting system that we cant grow our own politicians from the lower levels up.
Jacob: Looking at 2008 the convention picked Bob Barr for its nominee when former Senator Mike Gravel tried for the nomination as well after failing in the Democratic race. He seems like he would have been a much stronger candidate, having held a higher office, being a strong anti-war candidate, and having greater fundraising capacity given the endorsement of Ralph Nader who went on to run in 2008 and raise more money than Bob Barr did. Do you think compared to a more conservative guy and not as big of a name like Bob Barr that Mike Gravel, or a Gravel-Barr ticket, could have been better? Meanwhile Barr might just be better running for the LP in a House race like the special election coming up in Georgia.
Bill: I liked Mike, Im not surprised that he didnt get the nomination, but to have a former United States Senator come over I thought is, I didnt agree with everything he had to say, but again I thought he was a good man and a person of good will who added something to the LP and the presidential nomination process in 2008. And Im sorry, your other question was?
Jacob: I was talking about a recent Reason article about the Special Election for Congressman, Prices Senate Seat in Georgia. Its of the same sort of New South Demographic that Robert Sarvis in Virginia polled double digits in and seems like a strong possibility for the Libertarians, with Bob Barr a former Georgia Congressman seeming like a good potential candidate.
Bill: It depends on his positions. I mean if he took highly libertarian positions that would be great. I havent talked to Bob in years now and it depends on the positions that he would take. But to have an actual libertarian elected to the US House of Representatives would be huge for the Libertarian Party. Now, I havent read the article, I know of the article. Its gonna be an uphill battle. Its not impossible, my sense is itd be very much a long shot. We definitely need to take advantage of special elections because it is very, very difficult for our candidates in Georgia because under the laws there we have statewide ballot status but for US House and State Legislature we dont have ballot status and it is very difficult to get on for regular elections but it is easier to get on for special elections and we should take advantage of this opportunity and run the best candidate possible who is willing and able to run.
Jacob: So youre not that sure about Barr as the candidate and you dont think the race there is that big an opportunity for us.
Bill: Just to get in there would be a good thing. Again I dont think we have a realistic chance at winning but I think we ought to run candidates for every election. It is very difficult for us. We had a situation here in Virginia where Gerry Connally ran unopposed there was a fellow who was running and he would have made the ballot except he became quite ill in May and dropped out of the race because he was diagnosed with an illness from which he would recover but it was going to take a while and he just said he couldnt run.
Charles: I mean when it comes to candidates in the LP I think its kind of a weird situation. You are correct, we need more people to run for office. I go to New York to vote, and when I see Gary Johnson and Alex Merced and Senate and Presidential candidates, but then I look at the rest of the ballot and we have no one on Congress, nobody on state senate, nobody for anything else, that does create a problem where I can see why more people vote for one of the other main parties. But one issue Ive had is just that some of the Libertarian Party candidates arent very strong and they tend to say things or do thing during the campaign that almost make me wish they wouldnt run or I wish we could have John Doe run instead. How do actually have a lot of candidates run but make sure theyre the right candidates?
Bill: Well its ultimately up to the various state organizations and their rules. There are rules to nominations and if somebody gets the nomination theyre the nominee. I would say Id like to go back for a second. I highly recommend people go to reason.tv and watch a 12 minute interview done recently with Richard Winger and he talks about ballot access. Its getting easier to run for president, but its been getting harder to run for US House of Representatives. There are states where its 3,000 or more signatures. In Virginia its 1,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot for US House of Representatives. In Georgia its 5%. It would take something like over 12,000 valid signatures in Georgia to get on the ballot for a general election US House of Representatives race. Theres only been one case of somebody doing that in the last 70 or 80 years. In Illinois its something like 3,000 valid signatures. Its tough. I agree that the Libertarian Party should run as many non-embarrassing candidates for office as possible, but its tough. Its up to the state parties to pick the candidates, but I agree that when you have your candidate at a forum being laughed at, not just disagreed with but laughed at, its bad.
Charles: Id also just say keep your clothes on, unlike one little incident from Orlando with a very good pal of the radical caucus. I was in Bill Welds delegation at the convention and I was just looking at the face he was giving as that was happening. I was just saying what did I get myself into?
Bill: That was an extremely unfortunate incident and it was one of these things where I just was sort of frozen. I could have and should have run up on the stage and stopped the guy. Jim Lark who was chairing at the time had actually stepped out of the hall for a moment and was coming back in and had heard what happened. That was unfortunate. There were plenty of people there but it was surreal you couldnt believe what was happening. You were just sort of frozen because of disbelief as to what was going on. Mr. Weeks definitely damaged the credibility of the Libertarian Party by doing that and he should be censured for what he did.
Charles: It was kind of a sad thing to happen but, oh well, weve progressed on from it. I find it sad that in this point in time James Weeks I think would have a better chance at winning a Libertarian Party popularity contest than Bill Weld sadly. Im a big supporter of Bill but sadly thats just the truth at this point.
Bill: Well, perhaps I dont know.
Jacob: Changing the subject back to FairVote and electoral reform, how are you feeling going forward? Where do you think the next success is going to be? California has its referendum system which makes ballot measures relatively easy and the legislature actually passed ranked-choice last year only to get blocked by Jerry Brown. Minnesota and Oregon also have some county-level referendums on the process.
Bill: I really dont know whats coming up next in that regard. I think California is a possibility. I dont know where things stand in Minnesota, but FairVote Minnesota is probably the strongest state organization affiliated with FairVote and then I just found out yesterday about Massachusetts where there apparently is an effort. And I think Massachusetts, I could be wrong, but I thought Richard Winger once told me on a per capita basis Massachusetts may have the easiest initiative laws to get something on the ballot. I think things are slowly but surely, and things could snowball if we get a few states and a whole bunch more counties on board with ranked choice voting. But then at some point its going to have to progress to something different. One other thing, theres all this talk now about redistricting reform. Obama brought this up in his farewell speech the other night weve got to draw districts differently. We need to make them multi-member districts and thats something people need to talk about. We could have districts with five representatives instead of one representative and that would make things a lot more interesting and give people a lot more effective choices. I also hope the Libertarian Party gets more involved in electoral reform and the electoral reform movement in the United States. There is a reticence among libertarians, I have a good friend who thinks the Libertarian Party should not be involved in any electoral reform moves. I dont understand that. I dont understand why someone would be involved in a minor party in the United States and not be in favor of proportional representation and an initiative system. It would make for a better democracy in my opinion and there is nothing wrong with supporting reforms that would help your organization. Electoral reform could be the key to making the Libertarian Party a real presence in US politics.
Charles: So, just closing this up, in 2020 we have Donald Trump running for reelection. Donald Trump has a 37% approval rating
Bill: Maybe [hell run], but lets accept that premise.
Charles: Lets say theres a good chance. Maybe not. The Democrats have a very weak field. It seems like Corey Booker is trying to be like the good nice moderate, Liz Warren is trying to be Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders is trying to also consider running assuming he lives that long, it looks like the Democrats have a week field and the Republicans might have a candidate with a 25% approval rating whose ego wont let him not run. The Libertarian Party, weve managed to get 3% this time, I think with a stronger campaign we could have broken 10% or hey if we made the debates we could have possibly pulled the biggest upset in history do you think in 2020 were gonna have a chance at doing this again and could you picture any candidate being able to break the mold, get past the 15%, get into the debates, raise 50-100 million dollars, and maybe win this thing?
Bill: Well I dont know. I know of nobody who has said theyre seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. With respect to Donald Trump I would be very surprised if he isnt primaried in his own party in 2020 and that assumes hes not impeached and removed from office before then. Im serious, I think that things are so crazy in what weve seen here that I wouldnt be surprised if Donald Trump is impeached from office before the end of his first term. Well see what goes there. If hes got a 20-25% approval rating, you can bet your bottom dollar hes gonna get primaried in the Republican Party.
Charles: Im positive hell get primaried and even if he has a 20% approval rating, so long as those people who showed up in the primary do show up again he could still get the nomination again. Its going to be very tough to take down an incumbent president.
Bill: It would be tough but not impossible and if enough people realize that they were buffaloed by him the first time around, I could see a situation where its going to be very tough for him to retain blue-collar America if things dont materially improve for them over the next 3 years. Well see, but I dont know really who would seek the nomination for President in 2020 and really be a credible candidate to get 15+ percent.
Charles: I could see Ted Cruz trying in the primary with a slogan like wheres the wall 2020.
Bill: I dont know and Im not all that interested. On the Democratic side, here in Virginia Mark Warner, I dont know if hed be all that interested, but I could see a Democrat sort of in the mold of Mark Warner who positions himself quite successfully as a centrist Democrat being a strong candidate to face Donald Trump or any Republican in 2020. I dont know if hed do that or not, but he would be up for reelection to the US Senate in 2020 and I dont know whether he could run for both or whether hed want to. I could see where the Democrats, of course the partys gone left, but you never know they could say hey weve got to suck it up and nominate someone whos electable.
Charles: Okay. Overall Bill thank you for joining us, weve had a great time, and we look forward to the next 2-4 years of the liberty movement and see where it gets us.
Bill: I think were moving forward but weve got to try to move forward faster and do everything we can to capitalize on our progress so far.
Charles: And keep our clothes on.
Bill: That too.
Jacob: Alright Bill, its been great to have you here with us.
Bill: Same to you Charles and Jacob. Thank you for having me.
This has been the second of two parts of BeingLibertarian.coms interview with former LNC Bill Redpath. Click here for part 1.
DISCLAIMER: This interview has been edited for reduction of stuttering, repetition, and vocalized pauses as well as succinctness.
Jacob Linker is a Campus Coordinator with Students For Liberty and the State Chair of Young Americans for Liberty in his state.
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