OpEd: The Powder Keg of the 21st Century

by: Trevor Miles

The Middle East. Just mentioning it in political circles creates tied tongues and a list of opinions longer then the number of years the United States has had troops deployed there.

An economic and energy powerhouse, an area of deep history and powerful religious dedication, a region shaped by substantial external meddling and imperialism, and the graveyard of countless American youths since the early 2000s; the Middle East is everything except simple. Being only 27 years old, I’ve never truly known a United States at peace, and at the rate the current global geopolitical situation is deteriorating, I fear I never will. Now, even after we have left Afghanistan, at least for the moment, we find ourselves once again threatened with a Middle Eastern conflict, this time sparked by the ever-present issues presented by the United States’ entangling alliance with Israel. 

Since coming to have some understanding of global geopolitics, I can’t help but wonder why we the people continue to tolerate the government supporting a country who is clearly able to defend itself (see the multiple full-scale conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors). Perhaps it’s because the conservatives feel some theological need to protect the Holy Land (even though we are not a Christian nation, and never have been), or maybe because the warhawk democrats feel the need to ensure control over a constant supply of oil to line their pockets with lobbying money. 

Understand, I am not defending any of the actions of Hamas, nor am I taking a side in this conflict. Rather, I am saying that, in my political opinion, the U.S. needs to exit the Middle East entirely. The people of the Middle East have suffered from centuries of imperialism by the Europeans and Americans. The first step to ending the American empire and restoring our country to the Shining City on the Hill - a beacon of freedom and peace for the whole world - is to stop distracting ourselves with pointless conflicts in the sandbox. Israel has proven itself capable of its own defense. Let them be the ones to bury their sons and daughters in defense of their nation, as it should be with all foreign conflicts, instead of bleeding us dry and shattering another generation of American youth with the horrors of war that can never be won.

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Christmas as an Act of Defiance

by: Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

In just over a week, many of us in the LPNC, around our state, in the U.S., and across the globe will come together in any one of a beautifully diverse set of traditions for the single most celebrated holiday in the world, marking the day we observe and celebrate the birth of a child some two millennia ago.

Suspend for a moment, if you will, all considerations of the religious aspect of Christmas, and ignore historical accuracy questions about Jesus' birth date and adopted pagan holiday dates. Instead, examine the actual story of the birth of Jesus, the message he brought, how the state at the time responded to it, and how those lessons remained true throughout history and still apply today.

Simply as a result of being born, before he was a day old, Jesus faced mortal danger from King Herod, who, responding to a prophecy, decided he would rather kill a baby than chance the emergence of someone who could challenge his power. In early chapters of both Luke and Matthew, the wise men of the nativity story, who met Herod on the way to Bethlehem while following a star, take a different route home after seeing the baby Jesus so they could avoid Herod as they learned of his plans to kill the baby. But, as we know all too well, one recalcitrant collaborator is was not enough to deter the state, driven by its insatiable hunger for power. Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt to protect their newborn, which so enraged Herod at his inability to kill this infant that... well, this is how Mathew tells it:

Matthew 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

The CIA or KGB assassinating political opponents is just the latest version of a tactic that dates back to biblical times. Of course, Herod didn’t have Epstein's client list or similar leverage more appropriate to the time, and so he failed to kill Jesus and eventually died himself, leaving Jesus to grow up and become the protagonist in the most influential tale in known human history.

You need be neither Christian nor even religious to appreciate the gospels. Jesus lived by a code that sounds strangely familiar. Don’t hurt people (Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.), don’t take people’s stuff (John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy), and don’t initiate violence (Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.). We even have an idea of how he might have viewed the Fed, when he overturned the money changers’ tables and called them a den of thieves for making money their religion.

In fact, Jesus specifically called out the abuses of power inherent to the state, and instead advocated for lives of service as an act of resistance. Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. This must not be so with you. Instead, whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your servant."

We all know how the story ends, of course, when the state had reached a point where it could no longer tolerate the threat to its power posed by the existence of someone who had the audacity to promote peace and harmony over violence and coercion. To put an end to Jesus' revolution of love, the state paid 30 silver pieces in blood money to Judas Iscariot, the first of so many Judas Iscariots who have killed innocent people on behalf of the state since. Even facing death, Jesus was defiant in his refusal to acknowledge the false charges he faced, and the state was forced to spread a little (very) old fashioned misinformation, stirring up the people to call for the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus to ensure the assassination they desired.

There are any number of other examples of Jesus committing great acts of revolutionary defiance by simply being peaceful, but I am not here to give a lesson on the Bible (nor am I qualified to do so). Instead, I want to fast forward about 1850 years and ponder, for a moment, if the state would tolerate the return of Jesus any better than it did his first stint on earth. In other words, have we learned anything? Fortunately, someone far smarter than I makes a solid case. In The Grand Inquisitor, a standalone chapter (and arguably the greatest single piece of literature in history) in the novel The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky wrestles with this problem in a profound way.

Two of the titular brothers are talking, and one has composed a prose poem imagining the return of Jesus during the fifteenth century, at the peak of the Inquisition. Accused heretics, condemned for even being suspected of challenging the state's proclaimed orthodoxy, are burned in droves daily. Amidst this, Jesus simply appears, in Spain, walking among the actual ashes of the bodies. People are immediately drawn to him, as he radiates peace and love. A blind man is given sight, sick are healed, and pain is no more for the crowd around him.

The people, broken and conditioned to a state of fear and subservience, flock and rejoice. By his presence alone, Jesus gives them freedom, the first time they have experienced freedom, and they revel in the joy it brings. His very existence is an act of resistance, founded in love, even as he does nothing but walk among the crowd, except when he says two words, “Talitha cumi,” which is Aramaic for “Little girl, I say to you, arise,” and brings a little girl back from the dead (This is the same thing he says in Mark 5:41 when he brings Jairus’s daughter back from the dead.).

Drawn out by the commotion, the Grand Cardinal Inquisitor comes with his guards, and the people fall instantly and instinctively back into their fearful obedience, begging for the blessing of the highest official in the state. As the state does to those who worship it, as long as they are useful, he blesses the re-subservient crowd and has Jesus arrested and placed in a solitary jail cell, which he enters alone. At first, the Inquisitor questions if it really is Jesus, but quickly turns to berating him. He is furious that Jesus would dare return and threaten what he calls the "freedom" that the world has been granted through obedience and fear, built carefully over fifteen centuries. He says to Jesus:

"For fifteen hundred years we have been at pains over this freedom, but now it is finished, and well finished. You do not believe that it is well finished? You look at me meekly and do not deign even to be indignant with me. Know, then, that now, precisely now, these people are more certain than ever before that they are completely free, and at the same time they themselves have brought us their freedom and obediently laid it at our feet."

The Grand Inquisitor continues his rant, admonishing Jesus for his actions described in the Bible passage where the Devil tempts Jesus three times in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13). The Inquisitor is furious that Jesus did not accept the Devil’s offers, as mankind would never have suffered what the Inquisitor sees as the unbearable burden of freedom, and would thus have been happy. He tells Jesus how they, the elites of the world, have worked for centuries to undo the choice Jesus made, working diligently to take away humanity's freedom and instead give the happiness of obedience.

"And if it is a mystery, then we, too, had the right to preach mystery and to teach them that it is not the free choice of the heart that matters, and not love, but the mystery, which they must blindly obey, even setting aside their own conscience. And so we did. We corrected your deed and based it on miracle, mystery, and authority. And mankind rejoiced that they were once more led like sheep, and that at last such a terrible gift, which had brought them so much suffering, had been taken from their hearts."

The Inquisitor tells Jesus the work is not yet complete, but it will be. He promises Jesus that eventually all of humankind, save the elite few rulers, will know the happiness only possible in the absence of freedom, and the elites shall suffer the great burden of freedom as they rule over everyone else.

"With us everyone will be happy, and they will no longer rebel or destroy each other, as in your freedom, everywhere. Oh, we shall convince them that they will only become free when they resign their freedom to us, and submit to us."

I encourage you to read it yourself and see how it ends, but we know how it ends in real life. Malcolm X was not assassinated until he started preaching peace and unity. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have suffered unimaginably not for any harm they did to anyone else, but for exposing the crimes of the state, crimes which the government codified and even extended just recently. Malala Yousafzai was nearly assassinated for seeking the freedom of education. LSD and psilocybin were proven highly effective for treating alcoholism in the 1950s until they were associated with Timothy Leary and counterculture, which threatened the state, and thus made so illegal that even research was forbidden. People present at the capital on January 6 have received prison sentences that are many times longer than the sentences given to child rapists, because of the willingness to defy the state they represent, reckless though they may have been. Even journalists there in that capacity have been found guilty, like North Carolina’s own Stephen Horn.

Of course, as influential as some of those people are, none of them redefined human history for the last two millennia. Again, completely separate from the religious implications, the joy associated with Christmas and the birth of a child is because of the freedom that child represents. It is the pure and profound freedom, inherent and gifted to every human on the planet, from which our natural rights are derived. And it is a freedom that does not ask permission, which is something the state – whether it manifests as a religious tyrant, a military tyrant, an elected tyrant, or any other authoritarian tyrant – cannot abide.

The choice we have, the real choice, is whether we will submit to the tyranny and accept the reprisals of a state terrified of a free people, or if we will live freely and accept the consequences as the state inevitably asserts its monopoly on violence and tries to regain control and obedience. I know what I choose. Merry Christmas. Be Free.

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It's Time to Win Some Elections

Buckle up, the 2024 Campaigns have Begun

When the 2024 filing window closed at noon on Friday, December 15, the LPNC had an incredible 46 candidates file for 44 races. In total, we will have candidates running in four Council of State races, four federal congressional races, 13 NC Senate races, 16 NC House races, and seven local municipal races. We also currently have ten candidates to consider for our presidential preference poll (the nominee is chosen at national convention).

While some candidates have been campaigning for a while now, most will begin to ramp things up in the next few weeks. Libertarians can mark their calendars for the primary day vote on March 5, when Mike Ross and Shannon Bray will see who made the better case to NC voters for the governor candidacy, and House District 44 voters will select either Christina Aragues or Angel Yaklin to be their candidate. Primaries are relatively uncommon for the LPNC, especially two in one year, but this just marks one example of a growing surge of excitement that is translating into action.

Political and Policy Director, and Lieutenant Governor candidate, Dee Watson agreed with this sentiment. "First and foremost, thank you to all our amazing candidates who filed. They are giving voters in NC the only real choice for freedom in the state. It is impossible to quantify the personal investments our candidates have made so far, but the total amount they spent on their filing fees surpasses the state party's budget on operational items. They donate their time and treasure and do it to give voters a true freedom option. I am in awe of them.

"This year I really concentrated on helping candidates across the state file for office. In the 2022 election cycle I was on the Wake EC and worked with the great Brad Hessel and watched how he recruited and placed candidates. In the 2022 first filing there were 19 candidates from Wake and only 11 from the 99 other counties. After I became the LPNC Pollical & Policy Director, I really wanted to expand the Wake apparatus for candidate recruitment to the rest of the state. This year, as always, Wake did an amazing job. They ran more state legislature candidates than the Republicans.

"But the story this time is that a lot of counties are stepping up. This year, the other 99 counties ran 32 candidates, nearly tripling the prior year's total! Wake still sets the standard, and I haven’t managed to approach their success, but this huge improvement is encouraging, and show Liberty spreading across the state. I want to give a special shoutout to Cumberland and Durham counties who worked to recruit candidates and now have similar candidate/registered Libertarians numbers as Wake County.

"There are two people who went above and beyond. Ryan Brown, the state chair, created the website for the candidates, helped me organize the board of elections download, and found the candidates in non-partisan races. He is an incredible asset to the LPNC, and he does so much for candidates for which I am so grateful. Christina Aragues, our Candidate's Coordinator, has an unmatched passion for Liberty candidates. She brings much needed insight and energy to the team in a way that no one else does.

"We obviously have lots of work to do, getting people to file is just the first step. Next, we plan to get candidates on our web page, help them with social media, get them connected in MatterMost and introduce them to the rest of the Libertarians in NC."

There are a number of intriguing candidates and races this election cycle. Steve Feldman is a first-time candidate running for U.S. Congressional District 10. While he will be competing with some recognizable names in NC politics, they will have to focus on the primary first, giving him the opportunity to make his case to the unaffiliated voters who now dominate NC registrations. Steve plans to run a campaign based on aggressive civility and a commitment to principle. "I became a Libertarian because our ideals resonate with me. I think the electorate is ready for a breath of fresh air to replace the stale politics of polarization that set people against each other. I’m confident that, like us, our opponents truly want what’s best for people, and I refuse to demonize them as we debate what policies will best achieve that. I greatly appreciate the support of our state party and the enthusiasm and guidance they’ve given me in this quest," Steve told the Tar Heel.

Another race worth watching at the federal level is U.S. Congressional District 3, where Gheorghe Cormos is the Libertarian candidate. Gheorghe, who previously ran for Town of Cape Carteret Commissioner, will go head-to-head with Republican Greg Murphy, as the Democrats did not field a candidate in that race. Murphy has skeletons in his closet, even by politician standards. He has a voting history that aligns with support for big government and more regulation. He is chair, vice-chair, or member on eight state legislative committees, including the ABC Committee, completely intertwined with a political machine his party claims to want to restrain. He also has a series of controversies in his past, including a tweet (which he later deleted) implying that woman could not be raped because they actually want it. He also raised significant objection to Davidson College removing a requirement that its president and trustees generally be Christians.

The Tar Heel will profile all our candidates in the coming months, and will also provide details on how you can support campaigns, attend events, volunteer, and vote. Additionally, information on all the candidates will be posted to the LPNC website over the next couple weeks, and updated throughout the year. We will include websites, social media, videos, and much more. We will be contacting all the candidates over the next week to help you get started with the resources available from the state party.

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Freedom, Personality, and Diversity in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

One of the nicest parts of driving around the United States is getting to experience different views of diverse terrain. From the serene Outer Banks of North Carolina to the golden sands of California, the memorable panoramic aesthetics are worth the drive. 

Along with differences in landscape, there are diverse cultural differences that include tasty and exotic cuisine, music, fashion, language, and norms. Experiencing a wide array of civilizations within the U.S. can enrich a person’s happiness and life trajectory, while it can also teach how to interact with a variety of personalities and effectively deal with cultural differences. 

North Carolina has some common cultural traits that are blatantly visible to domestic and foreign migrants flocking to the state. The positive traits found in North Carolina include family-orientedness, classical education, Carolina BBQ, Appalachian Bluegrass, and a communally shared sense of unique accomplishments that help set North Carolina apart and above the other states in the region. Some of the more common negative traits found in North Carolina include a pseudo-attachment to freedom, cantankerous and imperious personalities, and an ongoing embrace of nativism. 

This article will highlight these negative traits to help the North Carolina Liberty Movement avoid and overcome these potential downfalls. Just as most North Carolinians are proud of the uniqueness that encompasses the state, the North Carolina Libertarian Party should also actively work toward setting itself apart from and above the common masses. 


Although North Carolina has a rich history of celebrating freedom, there is frequently more lip service than actionable measures taken. For starters, there is serious speculation that North Carolina was not the “First In Freedom” as the state so often likes to claim. According to the Cato Institute’s State Freedom Index, North Carolina has dropped in overall freedom rankings from 20/50 to 24/50. 

Additionally, as many North Carolinians are well aware, the state authorities continue to micro-dictate almost every act of freedom, including the Alcoholic Beverage Control system (ABC), exorbitant barriers to entry for a wide range of careers and industries, and Certificate of Need regulations which effectively prevent healthy competition and service regarding healthcare provisions. It is as though the North Carolina state slogan “First In Freedom” is in direct conflict with the North Carolina state motto “Esse Quam Videri” (i.e. “To Be Rather Than To Seem”). 


One common characteristic found in North Carolinians is a pugnacious personality that exalts derision and then calls upon the strong arm of the state to enforce their will upon others. This disdainful attitude is intensified towards those viewed as social pariahs of the state, which typically hyperfocuses non-natives. 

One place these behaviors are witnessed is on highways. In North Carolina, it is the norm to be in the left lane of a two-lane road going well under the speed limit - although there are people behind trying to get around and the lane is clear ahead. They speed up when trying to pass, and utilize the slower right lane to their advantage of not allowing others to pass although they are going under the speed limit itself. It is as though ensuring that others are not allowed to move freely, and enforcement of laws by the common citizen, are the higher values for many North Carolinians. Then, when accidents occur, they often cry to the state for protection for themselves and the punishment of others, as they wait in the middle of the road for the police to arrive causing further traffic and frustration. 


North Carolina has been notoriously cynical and critical of perceived outsiders since the state’s early beginnings. This has been seen through laws of the past that included anti-Black laws, anti-Catholic laws, policies and laws against civil liberties, anti-Hispanic sentiments, hostility toward those from India, and the general disdain for those who do not speak English. These approaches, among many others, have created an environment that is unwelcoming to foreign and domestic immigrants moving to the state. Tactics such as these facilitate a static economic environment that is not conducive to variety, change, improvement, or flourishing. Furthermore, it instills a sense of heteronomous authority as opposed to autonomous individuality. Such approaches can have detrimental effects on the populous and the state itself. 

If the Libertarian Party of North Carolina wishes to make ground toward achieving greater liberty in the state of North Carolina, we have some work to do. We must work together to resist adhering to false narratives of liberty, and live our individual lives that reflect the non-aggression principle in every facet of life while encouraging tolerance and welcoming diversity.

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 (joshuadglawson.com)

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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 (joshuadglawson.com)

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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 (joshuadglawson.com)

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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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