PART THREE OF FOUR ...
LIBERTARIAN CONVENTION ENDS IN UNITY DESPITE CONTROVERSIES
by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.
[June 24, 2004]
* Libertarians for Christ
Christ and liberty go together,
says D. Eric Schansberg, author of Turn
Neither to the Left Nor to the Right.
Speaking to an audience off
the convention floor, Schansberg chided both the Christian Right and Christian
Left for using state power to advance their agendas, a practice he finds
contrary to Christianity's pro-liberty essence.
"Free will is given by God,"
said Schansberg, "because He wants us to choose Him freely, not under threat
of force." He added that Christians should focus on "changing hearts,
behavior," because the latter can only come after the former.
believes that asking "What would Jesus do?" leads to libertarian
answers, because Christianity promotes private ethics, not state force. While many fault the Christian Right for wanting to regulate people's bedrooms,
Schansberg also critisized the Christian Left for promoting state socialism,
saying that as a Christian, "I need to put my money up there first before
I can take your money."
should also reject statism because the Bible forbids idolatry, yet those
seeking government solutions to problems become "idolatrous toward government,"
said Schansberg, citing Galatian
5:1. Ancient Israel relied on God, not government.
are serious about doing good, they must also be practical, avoiding "solutions"
that don't work. "If the War on Drugs, or War on Poverty, causes
more damage than it helps, then don't do it," said Schansberg. But
the Christian Right is impractical, because it focuses on "specs" (such
as other people's sexual behavior) while ignoring the planks of more
serious wrongs. The Christian Left is impractical because it ignores
reality," as they worship government as an idol.
also found fault with evolutionary theory, saying that the "problem of
evolution is lack of selective choice."
Asked by the Investigator
how Christianity's "turn the other cheek" ethic applied to the wars on
terror and Iraq, Schansberg replied that while Christians were required
forgive wrongdoers, they need not stand idle if they saw someone else being
attacked. It's OK to fight in self-defense or intervene altruistically
to defend others, but not for revenge or profit.
Neither to the Left Nor to the Right was available during the convention
at the Alertness Books booth.
and his publisher were not the only organized Christian presence at the
Jean F. Douglas of Perfect
Grace Ministries distributed FREE BOOKS, including works by Martin
Zender and the Concordant Literal
Testament, while working the table with his friends, Tom and Charles.
"Tom and I consider ourselves
libertarian," said Douglas exclusively to
the Investigator. "Actually, Tom was converted as a result of the
convention! He didn't know much about Libertarians prior to the event. Charles still considers himself a Republican.
all sorts of people [at the convention] with numerous persuasions," said
Douglas, "Folks asked what we had to do with Libertarianism. I regret not having material on why Believers in Christ should vote Libertarian
-- it may have caught some eyes!
fellowship around the country. I usually take videotapes that I produce,
and books and such. We're not part of any denomination. Some
people call us "Concordant" since we use the Concordant
version of the scriptures. We tend to be studious, and weed through
all the traditional Christian bull.
Libertarian convention, we were thinking, might be a good place to offer
our material. Our friends have come from many denominations, because
they are thinkers and tired of brainless garbage. Most Libertarians
are thinkers too, having come from other parties -- namely the Democratic
and Republican parties."
* Just a Heartbeat Away
the "major parties" defer to their presidential candidates' for the choice
of running mate, in the Libertarian Party delegates select the VP candidate,
their presidential candidate having but no control over the decision.
Of the three contenders
for the LP's vice presidential slot participating in a Saturday night debate,
Iowan university instructor Richard
V. Campagna was regarded as the the most smooth-talking, media-savvy,
and optimistic, his style likened to that of Nolan.
Campagna ran on his résumé,
emphasizing his world travels, distinguished contacts, multi-lingual skills,
and university-honed experience talking to young people.
like a résumé, his campaign literature promoted his:
"B.A., M.A., J.D., PhD.,
... Experienced in international business affairs and government ... Visited,
resided in, worked in, conducted journalistic research or taught classes
in over 150 countries on every continent of this world [even
in Antarctica? - ed.] Most traveled and worldly candidate
for national office in American history [!!!]
... Utilizes libertarian/existential principles and approaches in managing
and leading private organizations and associations to new heights and achievement
levels ... Has built an elaborate network of previously untapped constituencies
(nationwide) as well as a unique set of contacts with print media, talk
radio and university publications ... Has particular affinity with youth,
college age voters, women, first time voters."
Nolan stressed his optimistic message to the Investigator, Campagna's résumé
described him as the "only candidate seeking national office involved in
bringing an optimistic personal life style and philosophy into political
was indeed optimistic during the convention, repeatedly saying he'd be
"very surprised and disappointed" if the Libertarian Party presidential
candidate did not achieve "at least a million votes" in 2004, always adding
that "two million votes is a realistic possibility."
Campagna was regarded as the "party establishment" candidate, and both
Nolan and Badnarik delegates praised Campagna in the days leading up to
the selection. By contrast, Russo had called Campagna a "chickenshit"
because he'd not endorsed anyone for president (according to Carol Moore).
Missouri activist and vp
contender Tamara Millay was
no chickenshit -- she endorsed Russo! Rumor was that Millay hoped
for a return endorsement, but to no avail. Russo did not endorse
any of the vp candidates.
Unlike the "respectable"
Campagna, Millay promoted herself as an anti-establishment activist, having
participated in "tax protests, NORML events, and antiwar rallies," her
flyers touting her as a "civil disobedience arrestee."
During the debate, Millay
offered an in-your-face libertarianism, without trying to make it "less
scary" for non-libertarian ears.
about environmental problems and the Kyoto treaty, the other candidates
expressed concern for clean oceans or suggested free market solutions,
whereas Millay retorted that it was not for her to assume power over other
people's property. Of the three candidates, Millay's message was
the least apologetic, coming closest to the infamous libertarian
her uncompromising libertarianism (which would include an individualist
opposition to quotas and affirmative action), some suspected that Millay
was trying to gain advantage from her gender. Her campaign flyer
said: "Sometimes the best man for the job ... is a woman."
in the audience suggested that Millay might be the tactically best candidate
for vice president because of her gender, Campagna said, "It seems kind
of weird and insulting to everybody to suggest putting a woman on the ticket
[just for being a woman]. I don't think that way, in terms of picking
people by gender or skin color or religion. It seems very bizarre
to even ask to put a woman on the ticket [just because she's a woman]."
material aside, Millay herself voiced no such suggestion.
Because Campanga appeared
to have the backing of the LP establishment, plus the Nolan and Badnarik
delegates, and Millay was favored by many activists and Russo supporters,
the dark horse in the debate was Scott
Jameson tried to run on experience,
saying he'd learned many valuable lessons from his past mistakes running
for office. Yet despite offering many examples of past failures (his
ignorance of press dealings; his problems producing a video reel on short
notice) his pitch failed to sell his candidacy.
Jameson was a poor speaker,
uncomfortable on stage, his talk of experience sabotaged by looking much
younger than his 37 years.
high point in the debate came when he drew laughter and applause from delegates
by calling Vice President Dick Cheney "creepy,"
likening Cheney to a "king of the underworld" who "heads from shadow to
stage presence worsened on Sunday when he addressed the entire convention
floor. He appeared to be suffering as increasing numbers of delegates
wandered about, talking during his speech. This was a repeated problem
through many of the "slow periods," such that LP
Neale had to request that delegates try and keep it quiet, so that
the C-SPAN audience might hear the
delegates chose Badnarik for their presidential candidate, it came time
for the vice presidential pick, whereupon a delegate raised a Constitutional
question: As both Badnarik and Jameson were from Texas, and an elector
can't vote for two people from the same state, would this disqualify Jameson
from the ticket?
delegate quipped that Jameson "can always pull a Dick Cheney and move to
Wyoming," a statement that elicited much laughter among delegates.
resolved that the U.S. Constitution did not bar the LP from nominating
two national candidates from the same state, that it would only become
a problem in the (unlikely) event that the LP carried Texas in 2004. (In which case, each LP elector could only vote for either Badnarik or
this potential problem was avoided. Campagna won on the first ballot
by a wide margin. Millay posted a distant second, Jameson a very
distant fourth. (Third place finisher Hayes did not participate in
the Satruday debate.)
vote: Campagna 353, Millay 220, Hayes 36, Jameson 7. Jameson received
only one vote from his own Texas delegation, presumably his own.
END OF PART THREE. GO TO PART ONE,
PART TWO, PART FOUR.
Copyright 2004 by HollywoodInvestigator.com
Tell Us What YOU Think! -- On Our Message