by Thomas Hill
"Libertarians are different because we believe that all rights are individual rights, given to every human being by virtue of their existence, and not dependent on any written document or government favor. We're different because we believe that two people, two hundred people, or two million people don't have any more rights than one person. We are different because we realize that when it comes to rights, there is no number greater than one." - Lee Wrights (1958 - 2017) Past LPNC Vice-Chair and 2012 LP Presidential Nominee Runner-Up to Governor Gary Johnson
It was an honor and a privilege to manage the Lee Wrights' 2012 presidential campaign. Spending 23 months traveling across the country with one of my best friends was an adventure I will never forget. I put nearly 40,000 miles on my 1999 Nissan Maxima, visiting over 20 state LP conventions. Lee was a hit on the debate circuit. He often stole the show with his southern charm, quick wit, and solid understanding of the history of our party, our philosophy, and our nation.
During his presidential campaign, Lee published an opinion piece entitled, "Libertarians Can Make A Difference By Being Different". In his unique way, he reminded his party peers that all it takes to make a difference is to simply be ourselves.
"Libertarians are different because we believe that the Golden Rule, an idea shared by people and cultures all over the world and throughout history, not only applies to one-on-one relationships but to all human relationships and to relationships among nations. We are different because we mind our own business. We're different because we insist on leaving people alone."
As Libertarians, we believe that our philosophy of self-ownership and non-aggression, when soundly understood and properly applied, maximizes our human potential to prosper by creating a space for individual freedom to flourish.
The iconic proto-libertarian novelist and political theorist, Rose Wilder Lane, once said, "Freedom is self-control. Nothing more. Nothing less." When we give up control of our thoughts, emotions, and choices, we give tyranny the fertile soil it requires to grow as it steadily consumes our self-worth and dignity
Humans too often idealize celebrities, politicians, and institutions. In doing so, they give up their spiritual gold, their sacred source of self-empowerment and self-worth. This only enables and emboldens tyranny and the further decay of individual liberty and self-determination in our communities and our nation as a whole.
"Libertarians are different because we believe in the radical idea that individuals have the right – and the responsibility — to live their lives as they see fit. To make decisions about their lives, their families, and their safety without unwanted hindrance or interference from any one or any government. We're different because we actually believe what our nation's founders believed: that government's only legitimate role in society is restricted to protecting the individual rights of citizens."
In this age of greed, envy, and entitlement, Libertarians are different because we circumscribe our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the principles of generosity, respect, and compassion. We believe in giving our neighbors a hand up instead of a handout. We respect our neighbor's peaceful choices and have empathy for their problems and life struggles.
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