Some Thoughts on Running for Office

by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

Last week my bid for mayor of Charlotte, NC ended on election day. While I fell short in my candidacy, I don’t consider the effort a failure. I got to meet some great people, and I learned a lot. I want to share a bit of that here, and hopefully someone will find it helpful or illuminating, and be motivated to run as well.

I know many people have run before me in NC (respect), so I suspect some of this will be familiar fare. Even so, we need people to run and continue running, so I am hoping that my insight will further that objective.

The first thing to think about when considering what a successful campaign looks like is how important it is to have money. I ran under the $1000 limit, but just the filing fee ate up half of that on day one. Then you need a website, cards, flyers, banners, yard signs, potential media buys on radio, tv, or social, and that’s just the starter pack. You need money to hold events, you need money for tabling, you need money to hold fundraisers to raise more money.

You need money for mailers, money for volunteers, money for phone banking, money for text messages… Sometimes, you need money to rent an airplane to take a jab at your opponent. I’m not making that up, either.

In Charlotte's hotly contested District 6, Democrat Stephanie Hand challenged Republican incumbent Tariq Bokhari, ultimately losing by 352 votes, which is nearly identical to the 357-vote margin of victory for Bokhari over Hand in 2022. How much were those five votes worth? Nearly a million dollars, by several estimates. Counting money spent directly by each campaign and the money from outside groups and State parties, total expenditure on a section of the city with a population around 120,000 with only 23,044 votes cast for the city council seat was a staggering $750,000, apparently the most expensive municipal race in North Carolina history.

One of Bokhari’s expenses was $5,700 on a private plane to pull a banner over the district on election day that read “Want the plane truth? Vote Bokhari.” in reference to claims Hand had previously made that she had run an airport. All of this for a job that pays around $40,000 a year.

Granted, this is an extreme example, but its not as far out there as it might seem at first glance. North Carolina had one of the most expensive Senate races in history last year. Billions are poured into campaigns at every level. Special interests do not like taking chances on who gets elected, and they use their deep pockets to secure their candidates. Competing with this requires money.

The next thing that really jumped out at me during this election cycle was how frustrated people are with the current state of affairs. Granted, we have not quite yet hit the inflection point where a critical mass abandons their “teams” and casts votes outside the uniparty, but we are getting close. The dissatisfaction with the current state of things was palpable, and people are starting to question the system.

I connected with people from the entire political spectrum and then some. Connecting with people, one-on-one, instead of leading with partisan politics, really showed me how exasperated people are. Inflation is hurting family budgets, and they are asking why government is raising taxes to fund failing schools or militarize police departments when violent crime is increasing. Political affiliations mattered less when people are hurting and they see things failing around them.

Most encouraging, though, is that I saw Libertarian messaging work, in real time. We face substantial hurdles in getting our message out more broadly, without a doubt. But the message itself works.

A lot of people didn’t know what a Libertarian was. I told them, “It’s simple. Don’t hurt people, don’t take their stuff. Everything builds from that.” That’s an easy message to convey.

When people inquired further, we discussed decentralization, self-ownership, government accountability, and the deliberate nature of polarization by uniparty politicians. No one disagreed. Some still have hope for the party where they came up, and I’m sympathetic. It’s hard to realize that you have been sold a massive lie by your anointed leaders your entire life. It’s even harder to stop seeing the other side as an enemy and embrace different ideas while rejecting partisanship. I’m confident we’ll get there.

Finally, I learned that we can win. It’s a long road, though. We need candidates who relish the rigors of campaigning, we need money to support them, and we need to get our message out consistently, targeted properly, and unapologetically but with empathy. The other two parties don’t see people as human, they see people as votes, and they turn people against each other to get those votes. We need to do the opposite. We need to show people we are the pro-human party, and that we want to win them over so they vote for us, not against someone else.

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Counterfeit Laws are for You, Not Uncle Sam

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

A North Carolina man and woman were recently accused of counterfeiting $100 bills made from bleached $1 bills.

The small team, with two additional co-conspirators, traveled through a few cities in North Carolina and into West Virginia spending their counterfeit hundreds. They were finally caught in West Virginia and prosecuted federally.

Do you see the irony in this example of private counterfeiting?

Working in concert, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury have effectively done the same thing over the past 110 years of the Fed’s existence.

They have printed trillions of "dollars" that aren't worth what dollars are supposed to be in their original, Constitutional sense.

Except when these central planners do it, no one goes to jail.

Aside from the obvious act of fraud, counterfeiting money – whether it be done by public officials or private persons – is detrimental to economies in multiple ways.

The businesses that the counterfeiter deals with first – along with the counterfeiter himself – benefit most from the production prompted by the money received. As long as they can pass that money along without restriction, the greatest losses will be absorbed by others.

This continued counterfeit process tends toward price inflation because the circulating bills are diminishing in value, even as this process occurs largely undetected.

As socialist economist John Maynard Keynes stated:

“Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing society [Capitalist System] than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

In 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 which made the holding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates illegal within the United States. This also ended the U.S. Mint’s production of gold coins.

This executive order stayed in effect until 1974.

As the debasement of America’s currency has accelerated, U.S. government debt has grown and fiat dollars have been spent increasingly on entitlements, military, and global aid.

Accordingly, fiat money enables the U.S. government to overpromise, overextend, and overspend at home and abroad.

Today, we are seeing a mass deterioration in the standard of living and the decay of the Federal Reserve note dollar’s purchasing power while the U.S. national debt is swiftly reaching $34 trillion.

The debasement of U.S. currency allows for greater spending and the generating of new bills (or the electronic equivalent) with no stable value associated with them, and the result is felt in the symptoms of price inflation.

Sadly, $20 purchasing power in 1932 is now equivalent to around $450 according to government-admitted inflation statistics, which is over 2145% inflation. An ounce of gold, roughly the amount found in a 1932 $20 face value Double Eagle gold coin, is now almost $2,000. That reflects a 99% devaluation of the dollar.

While federal prosecutors may punish private counterfeiters of the paper currency, the federal government itself engages in a similar process, except on a much larger scale.

This article originally appeared on Money Metals Exchange.

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (

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OpEd: I Hope You Said "Happy Columbus Day!"

by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

Christopher Columbus was a genocidal maniac, murdering, raping, pillaging, enslaving, and wiping out entire populations. Everything we learned in school, starting with “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” and ending with Columbus discovering the new world, is completely wrong. We should not rest until every single statue of him is torn down, and anyone who does not eschew Columbus Day and give land acknowledgments to displaced tribes is a demon.

Unless Columbus was actually a great man, loathed solely because he personifies Western culture. He was a brave explorer who selflessly and courageously sought a trade route by sea to East Asia. His morals were his guide, as he was a dedicated Christian and man of God, concerned first with serving the Lord and his fellow man. And he should be venerated with a day in his dedication and anyone who disagrees deserves to be expelled from the country in shame.

That about sums up the two current perspectives on Christopher Columbus, neither of which matter at all until we get to Columbus Day, aka Indigenous People Day. Then everyone has to virtue signal as loudly as they can for a day, making sure the whole world knows which side of the fence they fall on, respectively.

I am here to tell you this is stupid, and you should be supporting Columbus Day. It doesn’t matter what you think of Christopher Columbus. In fact Chris the Conqueror has almost nothing to do with the day bearing his namesake except that he happens to be Italian.

The White House gets it:

The first celebration of Columbus Day, or at least a holiday to mark his arrival in the Americas, was in 1792, hosted by the Columbian Order of New York, commemorating the 300th anniversary of his arrival. Over the next 100 years, the holiday was celebrated haphazardly – and unofficially – until 1892, when President Benjamin Harrison held the first national Columbus Day celebration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his landing in the Americas.

Harrison made this an official holiday for a particularly harrowing reason. In 1891, the prior year, eleven Sicilian immigrants were murdered in a savage lynching in New Orleans at the height of anti-Italian sentiment in the country. The details of the attack are too gruesome to put into a distinguished family publication like the Tar Heel, but rest assured, they are atrocious. It actually created a diplomatic crisis with Italy. The attack was so supported by politicians, blinded by hatred for Italians, that the conspirators were said to operate essentially out in the open with no fear of reprisal. Essentially, the government signed off on it.

Over the next 50 years, Columbus Day remained a haphazardly celebrated holiday until WWII, when Italians were designated “enemy aliens.” Again, the government went after Italians for being Italian, despite the numerous contributions and commitments they had made, broadly, to the growth of the United States (including their role in ending prohibition).

FDR again made Columbus Day a federal holiday as a mea culpa, this time for the government’s racist stereotyping of an entire people for who they were. This was done annually but not permanently until 1972, when Nixon established the modern holiday by presidential proclamation.

So before you go trashing Columbus Day, remember that it exists far less to honor the man himself, a controversial and complicated figure with a nuanced history, some of it awful and some of it magnificent, all wrapped up in the context of the time 600 years ago, a setting none of us can truly imagine. Instead, think of it as a holiday that stands as a testament to the egregious acts of the government against Italians in the United States, and make sure to wish someone a “Happy Columbus Day!”

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Liberty in North Carolina - A History

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

If we, as the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, wish to see a return to liberty in North Carolina, it is a good idea to understand the historical and philosophical approaches to Liberty that have enabled that Liberty to thrive in the past. 

Liberty in North Carolina was an essential element of what made North Carolina unique at the founding of the United States of America. There are three specific North Carolina contributions to Liberty that should be given more consideration today in the state and across the United States of America. 

North Carolina provided constitutional protections for individual sovereignty and Liberty, freedom from nonrepresentative government overreach or tyranny, and the pursuit of sound money policies to safeguard those Liberties. 

John Locke and the North Carolina Constitution

The earliest models of North Carolina’s constitution were directly influenced by the work of philosopher John Locke. It was Locke's work titled Essay on the Human Understanding that led to The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, also known as the "Grand Model."

This colonial constitution aimed to protect proprietary interests and abandon pursuits of democratization. This first NC constitution was implemented from 1669 to 1698 and was adopted by the eight Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina. Technically, this constitution covered North and South Carolina, as the district colonies did not separate until 1712.

Unfortunately, this constitution led to temporary government-protected feudalism and aristocracy, as it was still paying some respects to the United Kingdom and King Charles I. Carolina is from the Latin name Carolus, which is the origin of the name Charles in English. 

However, this Carolina constitution also provided a voice for freemen in the colony's government and established greater property rights as protected by the state government. The early constitution even went as far as to provide greater religious freedom and provided secret voting ballots for freemen. 

The lessons learned from this constitution helped inspire further changes that inspired the Revolutionary War and American Independence.   

North Carolina was First in Freedom

North Carolina is widely considered among the first colonies to declare independence from British rule with the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (allegedly May 20, 1775), the Mecklenburg Resolves (May 31, 1775), and the Halifax Resolves (April 12, 1776). 

There is serious speculation that the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was a hoax. Even Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Stephen B. Weeks, John Spencer Bassett, and R.D.W. Connor contended it was a fake. Nonetheless, John McKnitt Alexander, Macon Alexander, William Alexander, William Polk, Thomas Polk, and William Henry Hoyt defended its genuineness. Whether or not it was a real document, it was this genuine spirit of Liberty and independence that inspired the actual signing of other documents that led to the American Revolution including the Mecklenburg Resolves and the Halifax Resolves. 

The Mecklenburg Resolves rejected the authority of Parliament over the colonies while investing that power into the hands of the Provincial Congress. The Halifax Resolves voted for colony independence from the British. The signing of these documents directly led to American Independence. 

The North Carolina Gold Rush

Widely considered the first gold rush in history, the North Carolina Gold Rush lasted from 1799 to 1849. Beginning in 1799, a boy named Conrad Reed was fishing in Cabarrus County, which is northeast of Mecklenburg County, and found a 17-pound gold nugget that he used as a doorstop for a few years until he realized what this yellow rock was that he had found. This eventually led to the establishment of the famous Reed Gold Mine, and more and more gold was being discovered. 

In fact, all gold coins produced by the U.S. Mint from 1804 to 1828 were coined from gold found in North Carolina. This prompted the U.S. to open the Charlotte Mint which minted gold, silver, and copper coinage from 1837 to 1861. 

The fading of the North Carolina gold rush was driven by the California Gold Rush which lasted from around 1848 to 1855, and the fading of the California Gold Rush was brought about by the Australian Gold Rush from 1851 to 1914. 

The approach to making money from precious metals like gold or silver was well-established by the bimetallism supported by the Coinage Act of 1792, and this reflected the economic and monetary philosophy of sound money. 

Sound money made from a widely traded commodity such as gold and silver creates greater stability and purchasing power, reduces transaction costs, provides checks and balances against government overreach through monetary inflation or debasement schemes, and perpetuates honesty and other morals or ethics among people that use this medium of exchange. 

North Carolina helped spearhead the sound money movement in the United States by leading the way for gold mining and the use of gold in the coining money. 

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (

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Why Libertarians should be supporting Vivek Ramaswamy and RFK Jr

by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

So often, we confuse being principled with gate keeping, and the party suffers for it. When people are succeeding in politics on Liberty messages, we should own that. We can do so without betraying who we are. We just need to understand how and when to do it.

Being a Libertarian is not a choice. Call it being red-pilled or black-pilled (or some other catchy thing), it means that you are aware of things of which you can no longer be unaware. Once you see it, there’s no amount of bourbon in our ABC-tyranny-ridden state that can erase that memory. Trust me on that one.

A downside of this is that we have incredible distrust of institutions, with more distrust reserved for larger organizations, especially as they drift further from being subject to moderating market forces, making government institutions those that are the least worthy of trust. This extends to representatives of the government, from unelected bureaucrats to celebrity candidates, and everyone in between.

This perspective makes it very difficult for us to really support candidates from the uniparty. On a local level, it probably matters less in specific cases, as we can hold individual’s feet to the fire in their commitment to Liberty, regardless of the letter before their respective names.

But at higher levels, federal especially, giving credit to any politician who comes with an R or a D is a different pill, one that we generally have more trouble swallowing than John Fetterman has forming a complete sentence.

We do this to our detriment, and we are doing it currently. And I hope you will bear with me as I explain why, but right now, we should be fully supporting Vivek Ramaswamy and RFK Jr.

I will respectfully pause while a number of you yell at the screen, or curse my name, or disavow me and all my future generations. I get it. One of our favorite things to say is that someone isn’t a “real Libertarian” because of some belief that doesn’t align with our own. I think that this sensitivity comes from the huge number of people who really aren’t Libertarian but love to say that they are, like it’s some flex, and then turn around and support the Iraq War, or corrupt cops, or imprisoning people for smoking pot, or banning gas stoves, or asserting the right of the state to make medical decisions for a child, and so on.

And we’ve been burned. False ambassadors who market themselves as Libertarian while bowing at the altar of the almighty state, proving themselves beholden to their political careers and not Liberty through actions grossly at odds with individual freedom. See Jared Polis, Bill Richardson, Bill Weld, and Paul LePage. All four of them deserve our contempt and nothing more.

So, when some new political figure garners national attention, riding on Liberty messages, and members of our party began to support that person, our collective recoil is justified. We don’t want scarce financial and volunteer resources to be redirected from actual Libertarians to support some random republicrat because that person said taxes are too high (or something like that). Sometimes, things even go as far as endorsements, and the blowback is warranted.

Before I explain why it’s different here with Vivek and RFK, there is one point I have to establish. I am firmly convinced that our primary goal is to spread Liberty, not to get politicians elected. If we lived in a country that respected the NAP and individual Liberty, but a bunch of uniparty narcissists wanted to play “government” while leaving us alone, I can’t imagine caring. Unfortunately, we have ceded so much of our power and freedom to the government, though, that getting Libertarians elected is by far the biggest way to advance Liberty, so I don’t see advancing Liberty and electing officials as mutually exclusive.

What it means is that we have to be aware of the moment, and take advantage of every opportunity given us. This is where Vivek and RFK come in.

I am well aware of the policies they have proposed that should be antithetical to every single person in this party (honestly, if you support any of these, then you really aren’t a Libertarian). Vivek wants a massive estate tax, he’s staunchly anti-immigration with no hint of irony, he weaponizes the culture war to drive support, and he has proposed invading Mexico. RFK loves celebrity rep AOC’s Green New Deal, he’s called for his political opponents to be jailed in a way that makes the Biden administration jealous, he’s advocated for wealth redistribution plans, he has stated that fraudulent speech (i.e., “misinformation”) is not protected speech, and he is historically anti-2A with only a tepid backtracking in recent months.

To these things I say, so what.

Vivek and RFK Jr. have captured the attention of much of the nation, and they have done it not based on those policies listed above, but on a message of Liberty. At a moment in time when it appears we are careening toward another shameful election battle between an incontinent dementia patient who heads a crime family and a megalomaniac sociopath who also heads a crime family (think this is hyperbolic? I bet you know exactly who each one is…), it is foolish and counterproductive to not embrace the zeitgeist around these two and the Liberty message that is propelling them.

This is not an argument that we should abandon our candidates. We have a few intriguing Libertarians who have entered the race. In particular, Lars Mapstead has set a goal of winning one electoral vote, and has the strategy and finances to make it a real possibility. Not two weeks ago, Lars registered over a percentage point on a WSJ poll, and we are more than a year from the election.  

But that’s the important context. We are, in fact, more than a year from the election. Lots is going to happen, and lots is going to change. (He who shall not be named) D*n@ld Tr*mp could run from a prison cell. Prez Joey B could actually dissolve into dust while wandering off stage to the sound of an ice cream truck. We are likely facing a significant economic crash – it’s more a matter of when and how bad it is. So look at the situation right now.

Vivek wants to abolish the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, and the Department of Education, among ten total departments he would eliminate, he wants to crush the Fed down to almost nothing, he wants to implement national constitutional carry, he wants to pardon Snowden and Assange, and he wants to aggressively roll back and limit the bureaucratic state. RFK Jr. has made a career challenging the revolving door between industry and regulators, and he wants to destroy the FDA and the CDC, and hold mass murderer Mr. Anthony Fauci accountable for his blood money crimes, as well as abolishing the CIA. Both of them are virulently opposed to Central Bank Digital Currencies, want to pursue a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war, and generally oppose foreign military intervention and imperialistic policies.

All of those are squarely Libertarian policy positions (except the Fed thing doesn’t go far enough #AbolishtheFed). And it is messaging specifically for those policies that is behind the messengers’ surge in popularity. How is it possible that we are losing ideological ground to a Republican on military intervention or to a Democrat on regulator overreach?

So understand the moment, be aware of the context, and react accordingly. Right now, we should unapologetically be supporting Vivek and RFK Jr. Not completely, not through defending their awful policies, and certainly not with money or volunteering. But we need to be aggressively owning the messaging that is driving their popularity, and right now, we do that by supporting them in a way that drives productive conversations. Back Vivek or RFK Jr. and point out to their non-Libertarian supporters how much they love those two candidates’ Libertarian messaging.

Then, when the zombies who somehow get to vote on my freedom inevitably put us back into a fever dream reality show where we are expected to choose between, on one hand, a soulless, racist, rapist career politician who turned his first wife’s death into a campaign opportunity and leveraged his position to enrich himself and his family only to finally become president when the beta amyloids in his brain took over, and, on the other hand, a soulless, racist, rapist stay-puffed marshmallow man with weird orange hair who uses lawsuits to never honor contracts and eats steak well done with ketchup, we can say, “there’s another choice…”

Instead of choosing between these two poor facsimiles for human beings, we can tout the great, principled, moral, pro-human defenders of Liberty we have in our party. And we can do so in a way that resonates with people, supported by the fact that we backed their candidates previously based on Libertarian messaging. The only difference is the person saying it.

Since the founding of our party more than 50 years ago, there has never been a moment like right now. The country hates the uniparty, but they don’t see another option. People are so afraid if they don’t vote for their side, then the other side will win and hell will be unleashed on earth. In reality, it doesn’t matter who wins, the government still gets in, and we lose more incremental rights.

If someone asks me what I think of Vivek, I am going to say, “I love him. He is great on eliminating useless agencies, pardons for Snowden and Assange, and second amendment protections. You know what’s even better? You should check out our platform.” And if someone asks what I think of RFK Jr., same thing. I will say, “He’s fantastic. He’s especially good on exposing the racket that we are told is regulatory oversight of big Pharma. As long as there is incentive, there will be regulatory capture, but market forces can fix this. Let me explain.”

So stop with the natural recoil when someone mentions Vivek and RFK Jr. Instead, support them, but be clear why you are doing it. Stick with it. Keep at it. Transition the discussion from the person to the message. Then show people there is a better way. This is how we win votes, and, ultimately advance Liberty.

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Policing in America - A Libertarian Perspective

by: Trevor Miles, LPNC

Criminal justice, and related reform, has been a divisive, hot-button topic in the United States for more than a century. From corrupt cops getting rich with tyrannical prohibition enforcement, to racially disparate law enforcement, into Rodney King through Georg Floyd, and so many others who have suffered under the crushing yoke of qualified immunity and prosecutorial discretion, the conversation about restricting violations of life, Liberty, and property by the police has always been subject to the balance of a populace that wants to live in a safe environment, free from violent crime. I believe the conversation would be aided by the opinion of someone who has both worn the badge, like myself, who also believes that the system is in need of substantial improvement. I intend to provide that opinion in this article.

First, to understand the heart of the issue, one needs to understand the beginnings of policing in the United States. In colonial America, up to the 1800s, policing was placed in the hands of magistrates, sheriff, and citizens, in the form of temporary deputization, night watchman, and slave patrols (and sometimes angry mobs). The first professional police force was the Boston Police, formed in 1838, followed shortly thereafter by New York and Philadelphia. From the very beginning, policing in the United States was used to harass the minorities of this country, from African Americans to poor people to Eastern European and Catholic immigrants. I only point this out because, unfortunately, the state has seen fit to continue this tradition into the 21st century. To be clear, that isn’t to say that all police are discriminatory, nor that all police actions are unnecessary. I would wager that most police don’t even realize the laws they enforce have the consequence of targeting both the poor and ethnic minorities of this country, or that they’re unconstitutional.

However, in order for there to be any substantive change in the way policing is done in this country, we must enact several key reforms to the criminal justice system overall. The first reform is stated above. We need to repeal all unconstitutional laws. This includes immigration laws, gun laws, and all laws which create victimless crimes, including drug laws. This will have the instant effect of reducing negative police contact with the public, which will in turn reduce police uses of force and consequently, excessive force. It will also keep more cops safe. Secondly, we need to end this concept of qualified immunity for all levels of law enforcement. It has no no legitimate legal basis in either statutory law or common law, and is actually in contradiction with both Section 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and Section 1983 of 42 U.S.C, as it effectively prevents citizens from exercising their legal right to bring a civil action against a government agent who violates their rights. By removing this legal protection, and forcing law enforcement to carry liability insurance, we would essentially render uninsurable all cops who continue to violate rights unconstitutionally, which would force them out of the law enforcement field entirely.

We also need to end the militarization of the police, which would require ending the war on drugs, the original impetus for the militarization of police, as well as ending the 1033 Program, which permits the transfer of supplies and material from the DOD to civilian law enforcement agencies. We also need to restrict the involvement of police in non-law enforcement issues. The reality is that police should exist to enforce laws, not serve as counselors and social workers. Other, non-law enforcement, community-run programs could easily supplement this.

Now, to inspire more trust from the public, it would behoove law enforcement to do three things immediately. One, provide better access to police records to the public, including body camera footage and disciplinary records, which would enable everyone to observe the enforcement patterns by law enforcement agencies. Two, require all officers to use body-worn cameras anytime they interact with the public, and make it a crime to fail to do so for any reason. Three, transition all unelected law enforcement leadership positions into elected positions. The leaders of all law enforcement agencies in this country need to be accountable to the general public, not a gaggle of bureaucrats and politicians.

Finally, we fundamentally need to change the way police are trained. When I was trained, an “Us vs. Them” mentality was taught, with them being anyone who isn’t a police officer. This is unacceptable. The police are not a standing army. As a matter of fact, the legal precedent in the United States firmly places the military and law enforcement in two distinctly separate camps, as they should be.

Having explained the reforms that I feel are necessary, I now want to take a moment and clear the air. I don’t hate the police, I do consider their job as necessary, and I don’t regret my time wearing the badge. I also appreciate the knowledge that was bestowed to me by my FTOs and instructors, and the friends that I made through that season of my life. It is this appreciation of law enforcement that makes me want to advocate for reforms in the way policing is done, and I won’t stop until I draw my last breath.

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Big Moves for Liberty in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

North Carolina has a long history of autocratic control, especially regarding individual liberty. Whether that be freely pursuing the career one wants, building where one would like, or consuming what one wishes, North Carolina is not known for its freedom. When it comes to indulging in marijuana, North Carolina has been notoriously despotic. 

Marijuana, which is hemp especially prized for its nonlethal psychoactive properties, has been controlled since 1937. Democrat U.S. Congressman Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina was at the forefront of spearheading an aggressive campaign against Liberty and the consumption of marijuana at the state level as well as the federal level. Doughton’s program was known as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which was only one year after the propaganda film Reefer Madness (1936). With the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, came the heavy prohibitory taxation and destruction of the marijuana and hemp industry in the United States. 

In 1971, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon (R), who was a graduate of Duke Law class of 1937, began one of the most aggressive campaigns against Liberty and the consumption of marijuana in United States history. Nixon’s notorious War on Drugs has actively criminalized anyone who grows, buys, sells, transports, or consumes marijuana-related products. Some have speculated over the years that Nixon’s outright criminalization of marijuana and other drugs was directly targeting African Americans, Mexican Americans, and "hippies" who had a culture of consuming marijuana and butting against the overreaching government.

Over the past 10 years, many states have begun resisting federal government laws to control marijuana with Colorado being among the first states to legalize it in 2012 (#BecomeUngovernable). Since then, a total of 23 states across the country have legalized marijuana for recreational use and 38 states have legalized it for medical use. Even the states that have not completely legalized have turned a blind eye to small quantities of marijuana possession or consumption, including the state of North Carolina.

In 2023, North Carolina was presented with an opportunity to legalize marijuana for medical use. However, the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 3) was turned down. Perhaps the wording, intent, or another aspect of the bill were why it was rejected, but North Carolina went another year without even medically approved marijuana.

Just weeks after that bill was turned down, as of September 7, 2023, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) have stepped up and approved growing, selling, buying, consuming, and distributing marijuana-related products on their reservation, regardless of tribal status or affiliation (with some exceptions and steps required). Notably, the EBCI is the only Native American group to have been an LP affiliate. 

This is fantastic news for those who wish to consume marijuana products and a small win for liberty in the region. Furthermore, it is a win for medical freedom, because where the state of North Carolina only wishes death and misery upon the good citizens, the Cherokee Native American tribe of the Carolinas is here for the rescue. 

Marijuana has been used to aid in pain relief while not having the risks that come with opioids and opiates, reducing the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures, assisting those wanting to stop consuming alcohol, used as a form of stress and anxiety reduction, to relieve insomnia, creating a sense of hunger and reduced nausea for those on chemotherapy, reducing inflammation, and more. And, to this day, no one has been reported as having died from consuming marijuana-related products. 

In fact, the federal government is finally coming around to possibly reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I (associated with heroin and meth) to a Schedule III (associated with anabolic steroids and ketamine). 

All while Republican U.S. Congressman Chuck Edwards of North Carolina wants to push to continue having marijuana illegal at the state and federal level with his proposed Stop Pot Act. It is doubtful that Edwards’ Act will get very far, but it is frustrating and disheartening to see yet another North Carolinian politician stomp on the Liberty and autonomy of peaceful individuals. 

While Liberty is being attacked by authoritarian politicians like Doughton, Nixon, or Edwards, people find ways to circumvent the overreach of a draconian state. If there is one thing that prohibitions of all sorts have shown us throughout history it's that freedom will prevail. Whether that freedom is for the recreational imbibing of a joint with loved ones, or a cancer patient suffering through pain and the detrimental effects of chemotherapy in need of medicinal properties from marijuana, peaceful Liberty will overcome the state’s death grip.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have taken the right step to legalize marijuana on their reservations. This will help their own people, as well as those in the North Carolina and Tennesee area that connects to the Cherokee, North Carolina, area. This could encourage business development in the region, as well as help save or ease the lives of millions in the region. This was a win for the Cherokee and the people of North Carolina, and a small win for liberty in North Carolina. 

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (

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Reflections on a Year (part 3)


by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

In the last two months, I have shared some of my broad observations after serving as your Communications Director for a year. This month, in the final part, I try to tie my last two observations together in a way that some people might find useful going forward.

A suggestion on how to put things into action

In the last two parts of this series, I first looked at some truths about human psychology that explain some of the more troubling outcomes of human behavior in a way that might present some solutions. Next, I tried to make a case that Libertarians quite literally have our own language, even though we’re all speaking, mostly, English.

This month, I want to take that further, and make the case that we actually have an entire ecosystem which we have sealed more hermetically than we might be aware. If we understand why people do certain things, and then look at how we might appear to those people, we are in a much better place to respond to their words and actions in a way that is at least informed.

Before I get into it, though, I want to make one thing crystal #*^% clear. I don’t think what I am writing here is particularly controversial, though I suspect some could read it as such. That’s certainly not my intent. I am, however, extremely concerned about one specific possible misinterpretation of what I am saying, so I want to make one point, up front and unambiguously. I am not, in any capacity, at any level, advocating for us to violate our principles in any way. In fact, I don’t think my idea works if we operate counter to our principles.

What I am suggesting, though, is that we completely reframe the way we communicate with non-Libertarians when in a political capacity. I have argued that we have our own language, and now I am stating that we have our own subculture. That observation, alone, is roughly as interesting or insightful as the Harris / Pence debate. Libertarian subculture is as obvious as any other passionate subculture, apparent to all of us.

Where I hope to provide some novel insight is in my observations on how our subculture is perceived by those not immersed in it. If we understand that, we can communicate in a way that plants a seed of Liberty and fosters it until we have another new member who has abandoned the uniparty.

In the first part of this series, I talked about how powerful and determinative for behavior the human fight-or-flight response really is. Combined with the instinct most people possess to avoid solitude, people unconsciously see a bad email from a boss, or a newscast with sensational language packaged as “Breaking News,” as a mortal threat like a tiger attacking. They are then easily polarized into what amounts to teams.

Pushed to the extreme, these teams become gangs, and politicians take advantage of this to get votes, painting the other party as a blood feud enemies, and making nothing more important than preventing the other side from getting elected. Then, when elected, they quite literally ignore every single thing they said during the campaign, and pass laws that suit the fancies of their various donors.

The important thing to note here is that almost everyone is aware this is going on. They will acknowledge it readily at a macro level, but then immediately shut down any hint of open-mindedness as soon as they hear a suggestion that their party, specifically, bears responsibility. Democrats agree that the system is corrupt all around, but Joe Biden did absolutely nothing suspicious ever in any of his and Hunter’s international dealings. And Republicans "love" the soldiers and pretend-hate the military industrial complex, and they swear Donald Trump is the only one who can drain the swamp, his first term and his war crimes be damned.

Essentially, there is not enough cognitive dissonance between what they know to be true confirmed by their own observations and their desperate and innate loyalty to the side they choose. Democrat and Republican is an identity and point of pride. Loyalty is important to both and dissent is not tolerated much, and even less so lately. For someone to abandon the comfort of that team, we need to give them the confidence that we can reply a soft landing place.

One thing more incumbent to the Libertarian subculture than almost all other elements combined is our delight in argument. We debate, fight, troll, and critique. Occasionally, it goes too far, but overwhelmingly we do it in good faith and good spirits, a fact that we can obfuscate when we get intense. If we are perceived as continually in conflict, as incorrect as that might be, why would someone leave the comfort of their team to get away from conflict?

Now, I am not a complete idiot, so I am not suggesting that we should stop our debate and philosophical fracas. Nor would I want to; we do it because we like it. It’s one of my favorite parts of being Libertarian. I have a few debates that have been going for years (my slack name is “intellectual property stan,” and I confidently maintain that position).

What I am suggesting, though, is that we not approach political disagreements with non-Libertarians, especially those who are committed to their own set of principles, with a “win/lose” mentality. We can learn a lot of we approach every discussion like this with the assumption that we have something to learn. Not that we’re wrong (I am confident we are right, and I am notoriously way too cocky in general. If I can reframe that mentality, I promise that you can.), but that we approach these interactions as if we are learning something.

It gets difficult when we hear the same tired and readily debunked arguments we have heard so very many times before, but just as we aren’t inclined to hear those arguments, again, the people making those arguments are committed to them, and their core identity is based on that. To change someone’s mind who is that engrossed, you have to first earn that person’s trust. When they trust you, they will listen to you, and then our job is easy, we have better ideas.

But when you immediately tell someone why his/her argument is absurd and has been disproved countless times, you do nothing to gain that person’s trust. You signal, unconsciously, that you are part of the enemy class, and that person becomes nearly incapable of relaxing and opening his/her mind.

If I am not convincing you, I would strongly suggest watching these three videos, showing in horrifying clarity and simplicity, how easily this aspect of human psychology is manipulated.

We don’t generally get a lot of positive press, and this gets more true at higher levels. Libertarians in the news, with a very few exceptions, have generally done something that can be spun as crazy, phobic or -ist of some sort, extremist, dumb, uncaring and callous, dangerous, or even immoral. To be fair, that spin is often true, though the mainstream narrative around Libertarians tends to eschew nuance and reinforce polarizing tropes.

Which is exactly why, when we act in a way that someone has been programmed to believe confirms that we fit those tropes, we lose any real chance of changing that person’s heart and mind. We don’t have to actually do anything extreme or subversive, simply appearing adversarial is enough to drive subconscious confirmation to people that we are an enemy.

It’s more important now than ever to effectively fight for the cause of Liberty. The rise of social media amplified unimaginably by the covid lockdown tyranny, has created a country that is more polarized than anytime since the Civil War, with both sides equally committed to taking our Liberty away and shaping an authoritarian state in their respective image and likeness.

The prior two major conflicts that have taken place on this land since the founding of the modern United States have been for Liberty. Even when our response fell short, we have always been a country with no tolerance for involuntary servitude, and we were willing to shed blood to prove it. This conflict is similar in scope and stakes, but the battlefield is far different.

I hope that violence doesn’t erupt. I don’t think it will, not on a massive scale, at least, but I do think it’s possible. But conflict has started, in earnest, and forces are in play to drive that conflict. To win that battle, we need to play a different game. We have 14 Libertarians running for office this year. If everyone who reads this got involved, we could realistically get ten or eleven of them elected, maybe more.

We are all ambassadors of the Libertarian Party, whether we asked for that responsibility or not. There are a few ways out of our current mess, and most of them are less than desirable. If we decide to be good ambassadors, and active stewards of Liberty, we get to the other side by creating a free state, and we watch everyone prosper equally.

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Libertarian Solutions in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

“The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.” -Ludwig von Mises


Liberty in North Carolina is under constant threat from the political left, right, and everyone in between. There are a plethora of issues plaguing freedom, and human rights, in the state that claims “First in Freedom.” The good news is that there is a Libertarian solution.

North Carolina is widely considered a purple-voting state, meaning there is greater active political crossover between the Democratic blue and the Republican red, with more registered Independents than other political parties. Where we find agreement and disagreement between Democrats and Republicans, where issues are painted purple, we can likely find Libertarian gold.

There are four key areas of concern we can hyperfocus on to help protect Liberty while promoting the North Carolina Libertarian Party's solutions to common problems in the state of North Carolina.

  • Housing Regulations

  • Healthcare Regulations

  • Occupational Licensing

  • Alcohol Policy

In this article, I will go over the following:

  • An opportunity for promoting Liberty and solutions by the Libertarian Party throughout North Carolina.

  • This applies to anyone moving to or already living in North Carolina, and those that wish to conduct business in North Carolina or with North Carolinians.

  • I’ll explain what Liberty means, why Liberty is an important measure for economic and social prosperity, explain how to find Liberty-winning solutions, and provide 4 suggestions for improving Liberty in North Carolina.

What is Liberty, and Why Does it Matter in North Carolina?

Depending on a person’s philosophy, you can generally expect slightly different definitions of what Liberty means. Without being overly philosophical, the North Carolina Libertarian Party offers a general definition.

Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views; freedom from arbitrary and unreasonable restraint upon an individual; the quality or state of being free; state of freedom; the absence of obstacles, barriers, or constraints to act freely; the state of being free from unfair rules and restrictions imposed by government or other authority on one's way of life; and, the freedom to live as you wish and go where you want.

Without Liberty, people are subjected to the arbitrary directions of other people. In a heterogeneous society, with more people moving from other states, regions, and countries, people have mixed ideas as to how to live.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to a top-down approach. In a mixed culture, people need the freedom to act independently in their pursuits. Without Liberty, everyone is put into a restricted box telling them how to act, what to think, how to conduct business, and how to live their peaceful lives.

A centralized, rigid, government approach to problem-solving creates new problems at higher costs with restricted elasticity and slower mobility for workarounds.

If North Carolinians do not protect Liberty, not only will we be living in perpetual contradiction with our North Carolina license plate slogan and the state motto, but we are also at risk of higher prices, restricted market options, less affordable housing, costly and limited healthcare, fewer jobs, and reduced happiness or flourishing overall.

How to Find Liberty-Winning Solutions

North Carolina has more registered independent voters than registered Democrat or Republican voters. Some of this has been a generational transition from yesteryear when almost everyone was registered as Democrat in North Carolina and now find themselves agreeing more with Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians than the DNC.

Independent voting is also seeing an increase since the Covid-19 era (2019-2022), and people’s frustrations with government “solutions.” Tons of businesses and people were harmed because of the real problems caused by government intervention, mandates, laws, and restrictions. Neither of the mainstream parties did much to help protect Liberty in that period, and this incited people to leave their party affiliations.

North Carolina is now considered a purple voting state, with the crossing of colors red and blue. This creates an opportunity for Libertarians to find common ground with those that have frustratedly abandoned their Democrat or Republican status. Seek the gold lining in a mine of purple amethyst; find the commonality, and use the art of persuasion to find a solution that promotes each person’s individual liberty to act without encroaching on the freedom of others.

Liberty-Solution Formula:

  1. Find the problem

  2. Find common ground

  3. Creatively cooperate to find private or volunteer-based solutions

Now, let’s take a look at 4 problems threatening Liberty in North Carolina.

Housing Regulations

North Carolina is going through record growth with people moving from other states and countries. Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte (NC) have especially seen significant growth over the past few years. With more people arriving and fewer leaving, there are quickly becoming housing issues. Some of those housing issues include affordable housing options, zoning restrictions, building codes, and state and county development/building regulations.

Democrats are concerned with low-income families not having the appropriate housing they need. Republicans are concerned with retirees needing affordable housing options to not become reliant on the state. These each impact employment, business development, tax revenues, and population density.

Libertarians want reduced red tape and fewer regulations for housing. By showing successful models of reduced government intervention in housing and development around the country such as that in Houston, Texas, are a great step in the right direction. Also offering solutions such as private communities or cities, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), and forward-thinking construction options can really help bridge the political gaps while offering a Libertarian solution in North Carolina.

Healthcare Regulations

North Carolina is one of the most expensive states when it comes to healthcare costs. This is caused by several reasons including Direct Primary Care, Certificate of Need laws, limitations on nurse practitioners, and more. As more people come to NC, it is extremely important that their diverse medical needs are met.

Democrats are concerned with low-cost healthcare options to the point that they will force everyone to pay for it or share the cost through taxes. Republicans want doctors and healthcare providers to benefit without pushing them out of the state.

Libertarians want to provide unhampered market solutions to healthcare and insurance. By demonstrating that fewer healthcare regulations do not necessitate a lack of humanity or governance, Libertarians have a chance to offer a win-win solution. With a freer market approach to healthcare, people can receive lower-cost healthcare while providing a market that entices doctors and healthcare providers to come and stay in North Carolina.

Occupational Licensing

North Carolina has continued to fall in ranking on polls and surveys across the country when it comes to occupational licensing issues. With occupational licensing, the state creates a monopolistic barrier to entry for people of lower income, necessarily restricts market competition, and effectively reduces the happiness and flourishing of peaceful people in North Carolina.

Democrats claim to be worried about the poor and destitute, yet there are active restrictions in place preventing people from getting themselves out of the harms of poverty. Republicans claim a freer market approach enables individuals to enrich their lives and “pick themselves up by their bootstraps,” yet occupational licensing with its fees and bureaucratic red tape stifles growth and wounds individuals, families, and communities all for the privilege of a relative few.

Libertarians want reduced government interference in markets and the private lives of people. Libertarians tend to hold entrepreneurship as one of the noblest achievements a person can do for themselves, as entrepreneurship is an act of freedom and creates a sense of freedom in and of itself. Libertarians also believe an unhampered market approach will enable people to make more money, improves lives, and creates more happiness and flourishing for the aggregate. North Carolina needs a Libertarian solution to occupational licensing to allow less barrier to entry, improve market competition, and improve happiness and flourishing for the state and region.

Alcohol Policy

North Carolina is one of only 17 states that have strict laws on alcoholic beverages in the United States (U.S.), which is known as being an alcohol control state or an alcoholic beverage control state. In NC, this is controlled top-down by the state government in the form of nepotism and cronyism under the guise of state protectionism. This department is known as the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, locally known as The ABC or The ABC Control System. This horde of plunderers controls the manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and sales of all alcoholic beverages to varying degrees in the state of North Carolina.

Democrats tend to want people to enjoy their personal lives as they see fit, no matter the substance or preference, as long as it does not harm others. Republicans are usually laissez-faire these days when it comes to personal consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially if a successful business model can be created representing North Carolina in the state and Southern region.

Libertarians want an unhampered market approach to alcoholic beverages that allows individuals the opportunity to responsibly consume what they wish while also freeing people to create business models that serve public demand and needs. A Liberty-based solution enables people to act autonomously while holding them accountable for wrongs. Allowing the private market to compete in alcohol will reduce prices, and create more product variety, while also spurring economic growth via manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and sales of alcoholic beverages. Libertarians understand that a divergence between state ethics and the public’s ethics creates unnecessary tension while it also restricts Liberty, happiness, and growth.

Liberty in North Carolina

If we desire to protect Liberty and promote Liberty in North Carolina, we must be actively searching for solutions that bring people together as opposed to merely telling everyone they are wrong. We cannot win in the short or long term if our only response to government infringement on Liberty is our mere objection to every suggested intervention.

Libertarians are philosophical skeptics, not cynics. A skeptic questions things, while a cynic always says, “No.” We can universally reject government intervention, but our wins will only come when we also offer viable free-market solutions to very real problems in North Carolina.

Our solutions can involve Democrats and Republicans, we can help create Liberty-based solutions while answering their respective concerns in the purple state. The Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC) has a golden opportunity to protect Liberty in North Carolina while increasing the number of people who register as Libertarian in NC.

Joshua D. Glawson is a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (

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Reflections on a Year (part 2)

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

Last month I shared some of my broad observations after serving as your Communications Director for a year. This month, in part 2, I have a few more-concentrated things that I want to share, and I hope to spark some further conversations. There is one final part to this, coming next month.

Some specific observations on communication

Perhaps the biggest specific thing I've noticed over the last year in observing interaction between Liberty-minded folk and those who aren’t wired quite the same is that we aren't speaking the same language. Same alphabet, same words, sure. Even the same definitions (though not always). But not the same meaning, and this is crucial.

"Woke," "racist," "fascist," "groomer," and a whole host of other "verboten" words, are leveled in accusations of the greatest sin the accuser can imagine. Repeatedly, words are used to dehumanize those who don't share our perspective exactly. Pure (in their own minds) morality is the reward as these words provide absolution when a friendly cohort hears you say them, like a religious chant. And so they are beaten into the ground with misappropriation, overuse, and weaponization, until they are worthy of nothing more than an eye roll, maybe, in objective reality.

Yet these words and others like them hold substantial power in certain places where they are still uttered like a medieval curse at the heretics who dare not share the same religious convictions. Libertarians should not bend to these words that carry only the weight of the reactions they cause that we are willing accept, nor should we acquiesce to the demands of the missionaries who wield them.

However, we are foolish if we ignore the power some words have in the right place. We are prone to confusing being principled with speaking someone else’s language, and this makes it extra difficult to build inroads.

See, to get to that beautiful place where politicians are so inconsequential that no one wants to pay for their campaigns, we will need to change a lot of hearts and minds. And we can, if we work for it. We have the better message and application of our philosophy leads to better outcomes for everyone. Our Achilles heel is willingness to message to the audience. We have long been willing to respect and fight for everyone’s rights to have differing viewpoints. No we need to embrace the people who have those viewpoints, even as we categorically reject their current philosophy, and trust that we will win them over in the end.

If you want to find sympathetic ears to spread our message, you have to put aside all ego, ignore your argumentative impulses (something else I learned about Libertarians – wow, do we love to argue!), and revive the art of communication. Gaining someone's trust, deservedly, leads to more engaging conversations where the best ideas flourish on their own merit. I like our chances in that setting.

Our approaches to communicating and sharing our language have not led to anywhere near the level of effectiveness that we need to drive any sort of meaningful changes over time. To me, this clearly means we need to change our approach, dramatically.

Maybe a little bit of sympathetic understanding, or even undeserved compassion and forgiveness would itself present such a stark, but positive, contrast with how the other two parties operate that fear of reprisal would dissipate and more people would start speaking or language fluently. You don’t have to affirm actions you find wrong, or even pretend to like people. You just have to give them the benefit of the doubt, even when they might not seem to deserve your faith.

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