February 2024 - From the Chair

Today, the extra day granted once every four years, and a week away from the state-mandated time change – significant increase in heart attacks be damned – we are faced with the overwhelming intrusion of the government into every aspect of our lives. But there is something else important about today – we have a chance to fight back in a very tangible way.

Tuesday, March 5, is election day for the North Carolina primary. Early voting has been going for weeks. We have two candidates in a primary for governor for the first time in decades, and we have a significant opportunity to send a message that we are sick of the uniparty fighting over which side gets to take our rights. But we can only send this message if you all show up and vote.

We also have the most substantial slate of presidential candidates, and you have the chance to opine on which you would prefer represent the Libertarian Party in the national election. Again, if you don’t exercise your right to vote, then your voice will not be represented as we make this crucial decision that sets the path for the party’s future, not just this year, but for the next several years.

We have provided polling places for early and day of voting in this edition of the Tar Heel, and we have given you all the material you need to review the candidates and make your decision. Now it’s up to y'all.

The LPNC is doing all it can to fight for Liberty in our great state, and we held our annual state convention earlier this month. The event was an overwhelming success, and I am so thankful to the volunteers and party members who came out and made our convention not just possible, but so successful.

In particular, I want to thank Zac Lentz and Dee Watson for their tireless work on all the details of the convention, making sure everything went smoothly from end-to-end. I want to thank Angela Humphries for all her work helping to raise money and set up the auctions. I want to thank Eric Rowell and Michael Gibson for giving extraordinary talks about their roles in the Liberty movement – and how we can emulate their successes. I want to thank Barbara Howe, Shannon Bray, and Mike Ross for the governor grilling. I want to thank Dan Smotz and all the presidential candidates for the Sunday morning presidential debate. And I want to thank the Village Inn for again being top notch hosts for our annual convention.

I am keeping it short this week, as there is plenty for you all to read below, and I don’t want to take one extra second that you could be using to get to your local polling station. Things are picking up for the LPNC this year, but it starts with you. Please, get out there and vote.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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January 2024 - From the Chair

Every election, we hear the same thing. "This is the most important election of our lifetimes!" It is repeated, ad nauseum, trumpeted by both sides who warn vociferously, but deadly serious, how life as we know it will come to an end if you don't support the person they do.

Whether it is the end of democracy, or climate disaster, infiltration by terrorists or immigrants, death by communism or death by fascism, there is always a new boogieman to rally support, trying to drum up enough votes to hoard more power through the perceived legitimacy of the ballot box. 

But what if every election really is the most important election, not for massive existential reasons, but because that is the election right in front of us, right now. What if the next election is the one where the tide turns, in some small way, and the long, gradual slide into tyranny stops. What if the next election is the one where we choose Liberty?

If we don't, I am not going to fear-monger and tell you the world will end because of it (though we should be aware of the war hawks circling around federal office and what that might entail). I will tell you that, without Liberty, we will continue the slide into muddling mediocrity, stagnation, and ruin. Without Liberty, innovation will stifle and suffocate, and will be replaced by government mandates, formed at the direction of corporate profit margins. 

This month's episode looks at these issues. We have two articles on how the government has deliberately and willfully destroyed the value of your money and made it much more difficult for you to accrue assets that hold their value or use those assets to participate in the financial system. We have another article that looks at how the politics of fear is used to take ever more of our rights, all in the name of an ultimately illusory safety. 

Instead of fear, I want to push back with hope. We have a slate of incredible candidates running for office right here in North Carolina, and this is the year, with your help, that we get them elected! We have allies, and people willing to push back against the overreach of the state. Just in the next few weeks, we have two governor candidate debates, one including three other parties. The Liberty message is spreading.

We have our annual convention right around the corner, and our keynote speaker wrote a book about how government schools have killed innovation and progress, and so he and his partners found a way to break the system. 

We have so many reasons to be hopeful, and I am optimistic. However, we can't do any of it without help. If you are reading this, reach out. Give your time or your money. We don't need hundreds of dollars or hours upon hours. Just a little here and there makes a huge difference, especially if everyone reading this got involved.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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December 2023 - From the Chair

I will keep my message short this month, because our accomplishments speak for themselves, and anything I say I am worried might only take away from what we have achieved. 

First of all, Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and joyful tidings of peace to everyone, no matter what or how you celebrate, we wish you well. We are the party of peace, but that does not make us the party of weakness, and it certainly does not make us passive. We proved how dedicated we are on Friday when filing closed, and I am so proud of everyone, I really can't say it enough. Rob has written a deep article reflecting on the meaning of the holidays and how embracing peace and non-aggression is actually an act of rebellion.

Speaking of rebellion, we have our convention theme, "Cheers to Rebellion!" If you haven't registered yet, I don't know what you're waiting for, but all the details are included below, including our keynote speaker, who we are really excited will be hosting the gala and after.

The whole newsletter this month is worth checking out, even more than normal, with a bunch of good articles, lots of information about what has happened, what comes next, and how you can help, and a few different places where you can find the perfect gift for that picky Libertarian in your life.

Everyone likes receiving gifts, and I am no exception. But the gift that you all have given me this year is one for which I will never be able to truly say thank you enough, never repay, never fully acknowledge or address. You have given the gift of sacrifice, of your time and your money, of moments with family and friends that you spent instead working on helping build and advance the party, of sleepless nights and painful next days at work. I see how much you have sacrificed, and it is a gift I do not take lightly. I promise, I will do all I can to make it worthwhile.

Mostly though, you have given the gift of your friendship, your compassion, and your commitment to Liberty. This is something that is beyond value, and it is why I am confident that we are going to win. 

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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November 2023 - From the Chair

We have accomplished so much this year, and we have so much left to do. I am in awe of the volunteers who work tirelessly to bring success to the LPNC. You all show up for events, for candidates, for protests, and more, driving our success, even when that success seems tiny compared to the machine we are up against.

Nevertheless, success breeds success, and our journey in Liberty is for our lifetime. It is something inherent to who we are, each of us. We are the ones who can’t hold our tongue when we see injustice, who can’t ignore tyranny, who can’t turn off our minds when we see victims of authoritarianism, and who can’t sit back and do nothing as life and Liberty are casualties in the State’s insatiable lust for power.

I know that this is a calling for most of you, and that you are exactly where you want to be. That doesn’t take away from the time you dedicate, the money you give, or the sacrifices you make, though. So, in the spirit of this month, I want to take some time to say thank you.

First of all, coming off the 2023 election cycle, I want to thank all the candidates who ran for office. Ultimately, the biggest opportunity we have to drive change is through elections, and the biggest opportunity to win elections is at the local level. That doesn’t mean that running is easy. We had some wins, and we had some campaigns not end up how we wanted, but I am proud of all of you. I am proud to be the Chair of the party you represented and I am thankful for everything you did. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

I want to thank the rest of the Executive Committee for giving your time to help keep the party functioning. You all show up week in and week out, keeping me on point and making sure the LPNC is heading in the right direction. I know it takes time and energy, and you all have other things you could be doing, and I appreciate it.

I especially want to thank Dee, Christina, Brad, and Daniel for the work you did with the candidates, not just for this cycle, but in considering how we will approach elections in the future. Your help and advice are invaluable to me, and I want to make sure you know that you have my gratitude.

To all of our affiliates, and the people making them work, thank you and thank you again. As Libertarians, we recognize the value of cohesion around ideas and decentralized applications, and you are proving us right. While I want you to hold me to the highest standard of making sure you have what you need to flourish, I am constantly reminded of how much gets done on the ground, organized and implemented by you all. Without you, there is no LPNC. Thank you.

We had a big year in 2023, and we have a huge year in 2024, which we discuss more in this newsletter and will cover next month as well. We have state and national convention, presidential and gubernatorial elections, platform changes to consider, strategy to refine, successes to build on, opportunities to learn from misses, and work to be done in so many different places.

Today, though, I am pausing for a moment to say thank you to all of you. Thank you to each volunteer who gave time, thank you to each donor who gave money, thank you to each voter who made sure to show up at the polls. Thank you to all of you who make up this party. Without you, we are nothing. Together, we are going to change the world.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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October 2023 - From the Chair

Every so often, events occur that remind me why I am Libertarian. Obviously, things like the authoritarian lockdown during the covid tyranny reaffirm my philosophy, but I mean things like what we saw this weekend.

Libertarians are pro-human. We defend life and Liberty, and we are opposed to any aggression against someone else’s life and Liberty. This includes all acts of war and terrorism.

Like most of you, I was sickened to see the videos of terrorists from Hamas wantonly attacking and killing Israeli civilians. I am similarly sickened when I see images of Palestinian children maimed from an air strike. Or Yemeni children as thin as skeletons from malnutrition caused by bombings and sanctions. Or children from Ukraine, or Syria, or South Africa, or Venezuela, or anywhere else in the world where violence, ultimately perpetrated by the State, the world’s monopoly on violence, is inflicted on children.

Where innocents suffer from the aggression of psychopathic power-mongers, this is where we need to stand strong in our principles, and let the light of Liberty shine bright. We must be the beacon of hope that leads people away from millennia of seething hatred. We must be the paragons of hope.

It is hard to write about things in North Carolina this close on the backs of those horrific images. But I remember that these atrocities are going on around the world. And, while I call for peace in Israel, Gaza, the Middle East, and everywhere people live, I also remember that where we can make a difference, really drive change, is right here, in our beautiful home state.

Then, when Liberty in North Carolina rings clarion and true across the whole world, maybe we can be the source of change that spreads and lasts. At the very least, we can make sure we, in our state, never have to face the kind of violence and the uncertainty that comes with it, like we saw this weekend.

So, on that note, I have to mention the candidates we have running all across the state. This is the last time I will get to address you in the newsletter before the 2023 elections. By the November Tar Heel, I hope to share with you the good news of elected Libertarians. To get there, we need your help.

JJ Campbell, Justin Herbe, Mitch Bridges, and Andrew Kinzie all have non-partisan elections today, winnowing down the fields in each of their races. JJ and Andrew were the guests on this week’s Liberty iNC, just released. Check them out, make a donation, volunteer to help. For us, a little goes a really long way.

Mostly though, considering everything that just happened, I want you all to know how much I appreciate you, every one of you. From the volunteers who show up day in and day out to keep us growing, to all of our donors, to the people fighting to spread Liberty in everything. I see you, I appreciate you, and I thank you. I remember what we are fighting for, and why you are in this. And I promise, the best is yet to come.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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September 2023 - From the Chair

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I doubt Dickens had North Carolina in September of 2023 in mind when he wrote those iconic words, but they fit.

On one hand, we see NC’s own authoritarian export Mandy Cohen promoted to fill the criminal shoes of Mr. Fauci with mask mandates beginning to pop back up and distancing being discussed, a prominent reminder that we are not even a year removed from the covid dictatorship in our country, and no one has been held accountable.

Runaway inflation and poor employment prospects have crushed the economic situation of the average American family. This reality hurts even more in a state like ours, where much of the economy is people who actually produce things, like farmers and manufacturers, crippled under the weight of increasing cost of goods on top of extortion in the form of taxes.

Everything a politician doesn’t like is now an “emergency” or “crisis” and officials use that manufactured nonsense to ignore Constitutional rights. Our feckless tyrant governor is no exception with his ridiculous declaration of an “emergency” around public schools over education policies that have failed our children for decades.

Infrastructure is crumbling while property taxes increase, crime in the state is going up while police violate rights over victimless crimes with increasing impunity, and attention-whore politicians with no soul turn a tragic targeted killing into a “mass shooter” event to drive sentiment intended to chip away at our second amendment rights.

And yet, I am here to tell you, it is the best of times, and I have hope!

We have a slate of candidates running for local offices in 2023, all of whom are inspiring, principled Libertarians, drawn to run to defend our rights. Many of them have a real chance of winning, and they are running campaigns to make that a reality. And we have more in the pipeline for 2024. We’ll hear from them in the podcast at the start of next week.

While coward politicians cowed before their NRA masters when it came to Constitutional Carry, we did get a repeal of the racist pistol permit restrictions. Tyrant sheriff departments that hid behind arcane and poorly defined background check requirements are facing lawsuits over their feet dragging when it came to granting concealed carry licenses, and the tides are beginning to turn.

Push back against ridiculous eyesore coastal wind farms, which reliably kill dolphins instead of generating power, is gaining traction. So is support for clean, efficient, reliable, and affordable nuclear power expansion.

Education reform remains far too stagnant, with power concentrated in the hands of state-loyalist bureaucrats, but we have seen significant legislative movement toward taking power away from these unelected, unaccountable monsters and back in the hands of the families who love and support their children.

But mostly, I have hope because of you all. Our overall numbers are up over 50,000, growing every day. Donations are increasing, volunteer numbers are growing and the hours and diversity of skillsets of our volunteers is increasing dramatically.

But make no mistake, we have a long way to go, and, like in the Empire Strikes Back, we can expect the state to defend its hegemonic control aggressively and decisively. We need all of you. As we get back to school and as we are reminded of the beauty of North Carolina in autumn, I am asking you to join us, even if you can only do a little. Help a campaign – we need it. Give five bucks a month – we need it. Volunteer to phone bank for an hour – we need it. Or go to the next event at your nearest local affiliate, volunteer to table, or just reach out to active Libertarians near you. I promise, we appreciate it so much, your actions will go so far, and you will meet like-minded people who will become lifelong friends.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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August 2023 - From the Chair

North Carolina in the late summer… From the beach, to the mountains, and the entire area in between, it is hot and humid. The colors of NC this time of year are vibrant greens, ocean blue against faded Atlantic sand. It’s the colors of our farmers and their fields nearing harvest, and deep blue daytime skies with stars bright through the evening (when Canada isn’t ruining our air).

It’s the sounds of children out of school and thunder crashing in our legendary summer storms. It’s the smells of the best barbeque in the world and the fresh air of freedom that we are lucky enough to breath.

I love this state, all times of the year, which is why I am truly proud of the 14 candidates who have stepped up to run for political office in the 2023 elections. We have a wide-ranging group; both in the offices we are pursuing and the people who are pursuing them, and every single on e of them reminds my why I am a Libertarian, and activist, and Chair of the LPNC. I am here to help them win, so we can advance Liberty in NC.

Of course, winning races is difficult, even at local levels, and we need help. We are a long way away from competing with the war chests the uniparty has at its disposal, as we won’t put our souls up for sale, and so we need to compete in other ways. We need to be better strategically, target our races for wins or advancement, and grow from there, and we need you, the defenders of Liberty in North Carolina, to help move our cause forward.

In today’s newsletter, we have highlighted some of the candidates. We will highlight more in each of the next two issues before the election, but you can check all of them out on our website. We need donors, phone banking, door knocking, emailing, and just a ton of general support. If you can only give an hour a week or $5 a month, that’s incredible and we appreciate it. If a thousand people reading this gave an hour a week or $5 a month, we change the world, so please, give what you can.

Not that anyone in the LPNC needs a reminder why we fight this battle for Liberty, but the state is again looking for sneaky ways to take away your rights, attacking the second amendment brazenly again. Justin Hinckley, 2A Coordinator, gives the details in this issue.

We also have insight from Strategic Communications Advisor Joshua Glawson and Communication Director Rob Yates, reflecting on Liberty in North Carolina. We talk to Jennifer Bias, Chair of Brunswick County, and we hear from Mike Ross about the incredibly successful gubernatorial debate early last month. I want to thank both candidates, their campaigns, Rob Yates for setting it up, and Steven DiFiore – Chair of LPMeck – for doing an excellent job moderating.

We try to bring you all sorts of Liberty in every way we can, through the newsletter, through events like the debate and others in which we participate, and through our podcast, Liberty iNC. We launched our third season recently, and we are now on our 11th episode this season, with guests ranging from local heroes and activists, to members of other parties where we remind everyone that civil debate is still possible, to potential LP presidential nominees, and so many more. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend that you tune in and give some feedback, as we are looking to create a product that is perfectly suited to Libertarians in North Carolina.

Finally, on a personal note, I want to thank Kim Acer for her service on the Affiliates team for the last few years. Everyone who gives time and energy in service of Liberty has my support and respect. Kim, thank you.

For everyone else, if you aren’t involved, what’s the holdup? No better time than North Carolina summer, to go to the beach or to fight for Liberty. We can’t wait to get you involved.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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July 2023 - From the Chair

Recently, a member of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina shared some historical issues of the Tar Heel Libertarian from 1976. In the Tar Heel I would normally give a personal message myself, but in this month’s issue I would like to republish one of the messages from the Editor of the Tar Heel Libertarian. The message really touches on what it means to be a Libertarian, what Libertarian affiliates need to do, and how the LPNC affiliates can run candidates. The Affiliates, and the candidates they run, are the lifeblood of the LPNC. If you are willing and able, please consider running for office this year. Filing is currently open until July 21st and we would love to support LPNC members in their campaigns. If you are interested, please email [email protected].

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

Of Nuts And Bolts … And Ballot Boxes (Tar Heel Libertarian August 1976)

Some important changes were made in the LPNC Constitution at the recent state convention. The delegates recognized that the state party (state officers and executive committee) can effectively do little more than provide assistance and coordination to the various local organizations. It is at the grass roots level that the Libertarian Party will find success or failure. A political party is built from the bottom up—not from the top down. Without organized community support, no number of national or state candidates will make this party succeed.

The state executive committee has the task of fostering a district organization in each of North Carolina’s eleven Congressional Districts. Chairmen Pro-Tem have been appointed in seven districts pending formal requests for affiliation. Delegates placed the specific responsibility for the building of strong districtwide organizations, and the starting of affiliated parties in each county, with the respective district committees.

This was a wise decision on the part of the convention. It will be the responsibility of each district, of each county, of each individual to give substance to the label...Libertarian Party. A political party is not a group of individuals across the state calling themselves such, nor is it newsletters or discussion groups. In itself, it is not the state board of elections recognizing you and permitting a ticket to appear on the ballot.

A Libertarian political party is dozens of individual groups spread across North Carolina, each entering into the political arena, attacking government regulation of our lives and offering specific proposals for change; it is each Iccal party building its credibility in the community as THE viable alternative to collectivist “politics as usual’’; it is Libertarian candidates running regularly (and successfully) in local elections; it is politicians and bureaucrats having to take Libertarian opposition into account when formulating new schemes to ‘‘save us from ourselves.”

The Libertarian Party is going to have to stand up in the defense of liberty and individual rights, whenever and wherever politicians seek to regulate our lives and appropriate our wealth.

The American people are fed up with government by edict. They are frustrated at watching their individual Liberties eroded away, and feeling powerless to stop it. The citizen wants the leech of bureaucracy pulled off his back and out of his pocket. It is the task of the Libertarian Party to articulate these frustrations, to win the support of the voter and to produce results.

The Libertarian Party is not setting out on a picnic, The future holds long hours, hard work, and a personal investment of time and money with no guarantee of immediate returns. The right of each of us to live our lives as we choose is what is at stake. That is a right worth fighting for, and worth fighting for hard enough to win.

The Libertarian Party is not setting out on a picnic, The future holds long hours, hard work, and a personal investment of time and money with no guarantee of immediate returns. The right of each of us to live our lives as we choose is what is at stake. That is a right worth fighting for, and worth fighting for hard enough to win.

-Thomas Ball of Chapel Hill, Tar Heel Libertarian August 1976.

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June 2023 - From the Chair

It's time to fight back against oppressive central authority, and petty politicians with little man complexes. We need your help to do so! Today, I am asking you to join us, and telling you how. 

We are all in this together, and so one of the most important responsibilities I see myself as having, as your Chair, is to communicate with you honestly, without spin, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Of course, I prefer sharing good news with the state, and I imagine people prefer it as well, but I am not naïve. I know things will go wrong, because of our missteps and because of things outside of our control. If we are not honest about what happened, we have no hope of fixing it.

Occasionally, though, something happens that supersedes all pretense of rational response, and we are reminded that we are fighting a machine with near limitless power that has learned and evolved for decades, perfecting the cruel art of subjugating anyone who stands in its way.

If you have not heard already from Mike Ross, it is from a position of equal parts rage and sadness that I want to tell you all that the City of Gastonia has hit Pastor Moses Colbert with fines of over sixty thousand dollars. This is in addition to all the fines and citations he has been forced to endure over the last three years.

If you need a refresher, Pastor Moses runs an entire ministry dedicated to helping those in greatest need. He feeds and shelters the homeless. In fact, for three years of Pastor Moses operating his shelter, there had not been a single homeless death from exposure.

But then Pastor Moses had the audacity to speak out against the two Gastonia police officers who assaulted, tased, and falsely arrested homeless veteran Joshua Rohrer, and also tased his service dog, Sunshine, who was killed the next day as a direct result of police negligence.

For this grave sin of giving a voice to those without one, Pastor Moses was punished by the city (who swear it was totally unrelated), and his meager shelter shut down because of fire code violations found during a surprise inspection shortly after he came to Joshua’s defense publicly.

The entire saga is long, horrific, and ongoing; we have covered it extensively if you are interested in learning more. At the beginning of this year, members of the LPNC worked with You Are the Power and Pastor Moses to get two shipping containers that could be used as a shelter that passes inspection. And we all thought, at least on that front, the city was quieting down. Apparently, we underestimated their propensity for heartless cruelty and evil.

There is no such thing as a “bad cop,” there are only criminals who masquerade as cops. Public servants are here to serve. Yet it seems that every time the administration and the law enforcement sides of our state apparatus join forces, the results are bleak.

Look at the unresolved case of Monica Ussery, arrested to settle a score for protesting. Or the case of Jada Johnson, who was shot 17 times, but the cop was exonerated by a grand jury and we are forbidden from seeing the body camera footage. Or Jason Kloepfer, a disabled man who was awakened by a SWAT team ordering him outside, and then shot as soon as he opened the door. The police were laughing and joking until they realized he had it all on his video camera, and they couldn’t control that.

But we will not sit back idly and accept this oppression and tyranny. We have several plans to push back, starting with this Saturday, June 17. We will gather at noon at Pastor Moses’ Faith, Hope and Love Ministry for a rally and a march. We need you there.

We do this because it matters, and because it is the right thing to do. But our task is daunting, our challenges massive. We need everyone reading this to do what you can. Call the City of Gastonia and let them know what you think. Join the LPNC, or your local affiliate. Make a donation. Come to one of our rallies. Don’t get discouraged by the enormity of what we face; those who pull the levers are counting on you getting disheartened.

Starting by showing up this Saturday.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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May 2023 - From the Chair

We are in the midst of a flurry of legislative activity, and the Libertarian Party of North Carolina has everything you need to understand what is going on. We have sent out calls to action when we had a chance to influence important legislation concerning your rights, and you all responded in force. I am deeply thankful for that.

Not that things are finished, and we are here to get you through it. We showed up to push for constitutional carry to be the standard in NC. We will see where that goes over the next few days and weeks. Our Communications Director, Rob Yates, sat down for an interview with Grass Roots North Carolina's Andy Stephens to look into it in detail.

School choice is on the docket, and one of our at-large Executive Committee members, Angela Humphries, has been a stalwart voice fighting for our children's education in NC for a long time. She has some specifics here, and I chime in on the issue as well.

Other issues around children are in the legislature, regarding sports participation and drag shows, as well as appropriation bills, criminal justice bills, and so much more. If you want to be involved with the Party reading, examining, or identifying legislation that we should speak to, please reach out. While we are past the crossover date already, there will be plenty of opportunity to lobby the General Assembly in order to get Libertarian results.

We are excited to announce that we will be launching the third season of our Liberty iNC podcast this month, and we will look at all this legislative activity with LPNC members who are engaged on the front lines. Keep an eye out for further announcements around that.

We are also putting out a call for candidates. This year is a great time for the LPNC to pick up some local offices, and we have resources that we want to share with those of you interested in making the commitment and sacrifice to put yourself out there and run for office.

I am excited to see things materializing. All the hard work from so many Liberty warriors is coming to fruition, and it is hugely gratifying. But it's by no means the destination. We are just getting started.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

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