Sunday, May 07, 2006

When you wish upon the Star

For some reason or reasons, Libertarians have recently incurred the literary wrath of a couple of Indianapolis Star columnists. Matthew Tully is distressed that Libertarians would like to be included in Star’s political coverage.

Dan Carpenter feels that the Libertarians, a party with “negligible policy impact”, should somehow share it’s ballot access with the Green Party. I’m not sure how that could be accomplished, but if Mr. Carpenter comes up with a plan, I’m all for it.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that I am a Libertarian, and I’m running for office on the Libertarian ticket. And I’m not “whining” about the lack of media coverage we receive. Most of the newspapers located in east central Indiana have been quite fair in the coverage they have afforded us. What I would like to address is Mr. Tully and Mr. Carpenter’s concerns as to the relevance of the Libertarians.

Admittedly, our progress statewide and in some of the metropolitan areas is not progressing as rapidly as we would prefer, but progress is being made. In my county, Wayne, it is not uncommon for Libertarians to garner 25 to 30% of the votes. While that may not constitute a win, it is a move in a positive direction, and certainly recognizes more voter support than the 2 or 3% Mr. Tully refers too.

In Hagerstown, the Libertarian candidate for Town Court Judge defeated the seated Republican in a heads up race. In a county dominated by Republicans, this was considered no small accomplishment, and while it might not carry the weight of a win at the state level, it does demonstrate possibilities beyond expected outcomes.

Concerning policy impact, Wayne County also has Libertarians on two town plan commissions. Citizens can depend on Libertarians on these commissions to support private property rights every time. Even if it inconveniences the town fathers, and even when members from other parties think that the desires of the town out weigh the rights of individuals.

And Wayne County is not alone in its efforts to protect your rights. All across Indiana, the Libertarian Party steps up whenever the government feels its interests trump the rights of property owners.

From Laporte County, to Hamilton County, to Floyd County, people can depend on the Libertarians to be the only party that will consistently oppose forced annexations and smoking bans on private property. The Libertarians are the only party that consistently and honestly calls for an end to property taxes, and they are the only party that consistently calls for reducing the size, scope and cost of government.

Is there a place in our political system for a party that is uncompromising in it’s quest for limited government and individual freedom? Is there a place in that system for a party that is unapologetic in its support for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? I think there is. I think there has to be. I also think it will be a sad day in our history when there isn’t.

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