“A world without dialogue is a universe of darkness." -Erik Pevernagie

Volume 3, Issue 20 | June 2024

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." -Milton Friedman

In this issue…

 

 

From the Chair

Hello North Carolina, and happy end of June.

If you think similarly to me in any way, you watched that debate this week in disbelief that these two are the best our country can do for major party candidates. Barring some unforeseen and major event, one of those two will be the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, and responsible for the nuclear codes… again.

In the face of this sad reality, and against the backdrop of a Congress that seems determined to one-up itself for which party can strip your rights more quickly and aggressively, it can be difficult to keep up the energy and the momentum on an individual level. Especially as we get into the long, hot days of North Carolina summers, I understand that the staggering weight of the uniparty can weigh on our shoulders and discourage even the most ardent Liberty warriors.

I am here to empathize, and then to tell you that we are winning. Look at the big wins just this week at a federal level. We saw Julian Assange finally freed. While I suspect most of us would have preferred a full pardon to the plea deal, an innocent journalist who exposed war crimes is now able to see his family again.

The Supreme Court has reversed its authoritarian Chevron doctrine, a terrible miscarriage of justice that gave the administrative state potentially unlimited power within the context of certain regulation. Now, al the problems that we have failed to solve because unelected bureaucrats overstepped their knowledge and ability to make and enforce rules that cost money and stifled innovation.

And locally, we are seeing progress. As noted in the newsletter below, local elections have opened up, a number of which will be uncontested.

The State Board of Elections does not provide a list of all the available positions but your county board of elections website should tell you what races are available to you. Just go to your local, county, city, or town website to see what might be available, and we are here to help you with your run. A bit of diligence on the part of everyone reading this over the next four-year election cycle could lead to dozens or even hundreds of Libertarians elected to local positions, where the greatest opportunity to drive change lies.

The LPNC is working relentlessly to fight for the cause of Liberty, but our organization is the sum of its parts, and you all are the power behind this engine. Thank you for everything you do, and for everything you will do. Our brightest days remain in front of us.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

Call for Candidates

A number of local races are open, some with filing deadlines this week. Several of them will be completely open seats or uncontested incumbents or newcomers. These races present a fantastic opportunity for Libertarians to get elected to local seats, where we have the most opportunity to make a real difference. It also gives you a chance to get experience running for office, whether you want to continue to run, help work on a campaign in the future, or just get a taste of what it takes to run and to win. The state Board of Elections does not release a list of these races, so check with your local town, city, or county BoE to see what is available. If you are interested in running, please, reach out at [email protected] and we can provide you guidance, resources, and any other assistance you might need.

Vote the LOTE?

by Dr. Mike Munger
Duke Professor of Political Science, former LPNC Governor Candidate, and current LPNC Candidate

Reprinted from Fusion

I am a Libertarian. Capital "L," member of the Party, frequent candidate, activist, and contributor of campaign funds.

Some of my economist friends mock voting, since "it doesn’t matter." Another topic, for another time; let's suppose we agree that I am going to vote. There is still a question: for whom? Many folks feel strongly that I should "vote the LOTE."

LOTE is "the lesser of two evils." In an election between an awful candidate, and a once-in-a generation, apocalyptically terrible candidate, one should vote for the candidate who is merely awful. Anthony Downs called this the "net candidate differential," and thought it was a key to explaining election turnout and vote decisions.

I disagree. It seems to me that if you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are endorsing evil. The cliché answer is always that "this election is the most important of our lifetime!" Sure, because you sheep keep voting for evil. I understand that my binary "evil/not evil" is not very helpful, when there are degrees of evil. But we have greater moral obligations than simply passively accepting whatever garbage the electoral system serves up.

Look: We "live in a two-party system" because of First Past the Post voting, and Duverger's Law. I put that in quotes because, despite teaching political science at universities for 40 years I’m often told that we "live in a two-party system," as if that has some moral significance. I understand that if you have never studied any formal political science—perhaps you are an economist, but you have "done a lot of reading on Reddit" - that this argument feels persuasive to you.

We do not have a two-party system. What we have is a system that is likely to have two effective parties, in any given election, because people don’t want to "waste their vote" on a candidate who has little chance of winning. But there is a world of difference between the following two situations:

  1. After surviving strong competition, from free entry, the two best and most representative parties contest elections, and most people vote for the candidates who run under those two-party banners; and after finding contested elections, with new points of view and candidates who criticize the status quo, to be inconvenient, lazy intellectuals simply dictate that only two parties are allowed to run. That is, voters are free to vote for the candidate of their choice, but we will tell them what their choices are.
  2. The second situation represents the current U.S. system. Only the two remarkably corrupt state-sponsored parties are allowed to participate. Neither of them could survive actual competition, and neither of them is capable of advancing a candidate that would have a chance of beating a roadkill possum if elections were actually open.

In January, Gallup released a poll on Presidential preferences that was, frankly, remarkable. To make sure I won't be accused of misrepresenting, here is the money quote describing the findings: "Less than a third of Americans say they would be willing to vote for someone nominated by their party who is over the age of 80 or has been charged with a felony or convicted of a felony by a jury."

That's great news, because it means that neither party can win a majority in November! Neither of these two corrupt clowns can win!

Not so fast, Chester. Lazy intellectuals on both the left and the right find actually persuading people to be tedious, and frankly beneath their august persons. We’ll simply have "rules" that limit the allowable votes to two parties. I understand that these intellectual economists and other scholars, who have no understanding of political institutions, think that they own my vote. Unfair? They accuse my party, the Libertarians, of "stealing" votes from their favored candidates (the superannuated drug warrior and the unrepentant felon, the very people that Gallup found people don't want to vote for, remember!). Votes don’t belong to voters, they belong to parties! Who knew?

That's nonsense, of course. The truth is that the very fact people are willing to vote for Chase Oliver, the Libertarian nominee for President, means that they are dissatisfied with the "take it or leave it!" tactics of the state-sponsored duopoly. The corruption of the state-sponsored machines is so grotesque that I no longer see any important difference between them. Sure, the particular catastrophe that will ensue is different if Biden wins, compared to if Trump wins, but both outcomes are catastrophes.

But suppose you don’t buy my claim that the two candidates represent different, but equally calamitous, outcomes. Suppose you think one candidate is much, much worse than the other. For example, my friends on the right, even people who until recently pretended to value liberty, tell me is that Joe Biden is an existential threat, and that I (and my Libertarian allies) "must" vote for Trump.

I have two responses: First, my vote will not determine the outcome. If you want my "emergency" vote, you’ll need to provide a candidate who sucks less.

Second, it is possible that Libertarian votes as a group will determine the outcome (I certainly hope so!). Early polling shows that third party candidates will take three times as many votes from Biden than from Trump. I'm not a Trump fan, but I’m okay with Oliver causing Trump to win, because if the Democrats want my "emergency" vote they will need to suck less, also. But the point is that having a Libertarian candidate, and having Chase actively campaign, in many states, may end up helping Trump.

Two-thirds of Americans said they didn’t want to vote for a dotard or a convict. Telling me I have to vote for one of those debauched caitiffs doesn’t pass the laugh test. It’s my vote, my only precious tool for protesting this disastrous forced choice.

Mike Munger is a Professor of Political Science, and Director of the PPE Certificate Program, at Duke University. Munger's most recent book, The Sharing Economy, was published in 2021 by the Institute for Economic Affairs.

OpEd: Some Thoughts on Immigration

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

The immigration debate has reached a fever pitch lately, and promises to be a key issue in the upcoming election on a federal, state, and local level.

Statistics show that immigrants tend to commit slightly less crime than native born Americans, although that research can go several ways depending on who conducts it and how the statistics are interpreted. There have also been some heinous crimes committed by undocumented people in the United States lately, a few of the most high-profile committed by criminals set free by overzealous DAs or judges.

The problem we face when confronting the issue of immigration is the immediate tendency by many having the discussion to group all immigrants together. This sort of collectivist thought is, admittedly, the root of so many of our disagreements and unaddressed social problems, but it is particularly misleading in the immigration debate, as there are as many varied people trying to come into the United States as there are living here. Not all immigrants are violent criminals, nor are all immigrants future studious pillars of society.

None of this should matter, and a free market would provide answers to this question, but we are far from that rational approach. In the meantime, we see how the fear mongering leads to people willing to weaponize the state against peaceful individuals.

Just recently, someone posted on X / Twitter that s/he saw a woman selling flowers on the side of the road and called the police after ascertaining (according to the post) that the woman selling flowers was an "illegal" immigrant (picture on the left). Someone else followed up in response to the two brilliant tweets (posted below) by the Wake County LP, seeking my thoughts, which I provided online, but wanted to expand on here.

The person who followed up does not appear to be anti-immigrant, but does appear to favor relatively strict border controls, and made an interested argument about private property rights and how they are analogous to sovereign border rights. Specifically, he noted that it would be a significant violation of one's property rights if someone else planted crops, harvested them, and sold the goods on private property without the permission of the owner of that property.

In my response, I noted that I am for mostly open borders. I believe we first need to eliminate the welfare state entirely, so anyone who comes here must make it on his/her own. I recognize and respect the Radicals' "No Particular Order" position. However, I find it counterproductive and potentially dangerous to grant huge additional incentives, in the form of the welfare state, for people to immigrate beyond the opportunity that our country provides (or at least used to provide before the last two jackasses in office sent us into a hyperinflationary economic environment). The backlash from significantly open border policies in conjunction with the enticement of American welfare, I think, would do long-lasting harm to the push to make peaceful exchange between all willing parties the norm. 

Further, it's ridiculous to take money from people like you and me, who are working hard to earn it and suffering from the economic malfeasance of the last 20 (well, really the last 111) years, and give it to people for simply coming here. That's theft, and those politicians should be in jail. We need to remove those incentives so that all immigrants, and everyone else, are operating from a roughly level playing field.

At that point, I support the "Ellis Island" solution. Let's know who's coming in and work to keep out the bad people. I believe that one of the few proper roles of the state is to protect the borders from aggressors and malign actors. Beyond that, if I, for example, want to invite someone to come stay at my house from another country, the government should have virtually zero insight or input into that decision (though they know all about it now because traitor Republicans and traitor Democrats like Greg Murphy and Jeff Jackson - there's no difference between the two, it's time to #FiretheUniparty - voted for warrantless spying in FISA 702).

Certainly, it would be a gross violation of my property rights for someone else to plant crops on my land without my permission. Further, I respect and agree with - to an extent - the argument about sovereign borders as an analogy. But my property, with defined borders and clear ownership, should not change without voluntary exchange for me to either gain more property or grant someone else ownership (though, as an aside, we need to completely eliminate property tax and eminent domain, and actually enforce the 4th amendment against cops to make this a reality).

On the flipside, who "owns" the territory inside a sovereign border changes depending on how you look at it, and there are levels of implied ownership. Do you "own" the United States if you're a citizen? What if you aren't, but you're here "legally" and you pay taxes? What if you aren't "legal" but you pay taxes? What if you are an expat, but still a tax-paying citizen?

The issue is complicated. There's a line somewhere, and the left has crossed it in what I see as a virtue signal to their poorly informed "anti-colonizer" contingent. Leftist judges and prosecutors letting violent criminals walk is abhorrent, and another argument for getting rid of qualified immunity.

But the right has crossed its own Rubicon when it comes to aggressive anti-immigrant sentiment and violent reactions to peaceful people. I mean, seriously, going after a peaceful person for selling flowers? Calling the cops on that person... That action implies that the state is morally justified to exert its monopoly on violence over peaceful, voluntary commerce. If that person is existing without hurting anyone or taking their stuff, it's no one else's concern what that person is doing. The person selling flowers wasn't damaging any property. And if I choose to spend my money in a voluntary exchange for those flowers, that's also no one else's concern.

The person who called the cops in this case had the same energy as people who call the cops on kids selling lemonade. But I honestly don't blame this person, Karen-ish behavior and all. I blame a political environment that embraces fear-mongering and hatred, and seeks to turn us against each other and place our reliance on a political class that promises to protect us from the horrors of immigrants, or gays, or guns, or Christians, or whatever boogeyman has been selected to drive fear and lead the country to abandon the principles of Liberty and embrace the violence of the state.

We are a nation of immigrants. There are good among us, and there are those who commit evil, just as is the case with every group of humans. Instead of turning our fear and violence against people who mostly come to the United States seeking the same promise and opportunity that we enjoy, let's look to the political class that takes away this promise with every move they make.

More Voices, More Choices Rally

Written Statements of Speakers - Friday, June 14, 2024

Watch the video here

Travis Groo, Moderator - Chair, Libertarian Party of Wake County  

It’s an honor to moderate the More Voices, More Choices rally downtown Raleigh. We all know that the two-party system is not resonating with more than half of all voters in North Carolina. We have more than a binary system and it’s time for the people of North Carolina to see more choices on their ballot.

For far too long, the Republicans and Democrats have had a stronghold on our election process, but the voice of the people is rising up. They want to be heard and they will be heard.

Thank you to all the organizers who put the rally together, and the multiple parties involved. As a libertarian, I believe we can work together in a peaceful manner to achieve our goals, without the initiation of force, fraud and coercion.

 

Wayne Turner - Candidate for Governor, Green Party

In 1998, the linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky observed, "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."

He saw the spectrum of acceptable opinion limited by a self-censoring commercial media and a two-party system more responsive to wealth than the public good. It is to the advantage of the major parties to limit competition in the political arena, because it brings them money and power. Consequently, we have an antiquated electoral system resistant to change, built on a constitution written to limit political control as much as possible to the privileged in service of wealth.

The public, including those present today, do not go before our elected officials as free individuals participating in a democratic society. Instead, we go before them as supplicants, hat in hand, asking for an audience for our views and ideas. If our ideas happen to align closely enough with theirs, we may find some acceptance. If not, our ideas die with their preferences and biases, and are not subject to public debate. Two primary factors have led to this broken system, which disintegrates further daily.

The first contributor is the single-seat, single-district nature of our offices, combined with plurality voting, which routinely devolves into a system of two parties competing for votes in a divided electorate, leading to polarization and ugly, money-fueled negative campaigns. Winners use legislated gerrymandering and oppressive law to cement power and control. Losers have no expectation of consideration in any regard.

Second is the fact that the major parties determine eligibility for competition. An obvious conflict of interest, this creates an inconsistent collection of state laws across the US, a further barrier to entry into the national political system.

We need a comprehensive re-imagination of electoral politics in the US. But there are changes that, if widely adopted, would reduce many of the harmful effects in the current system.

  1. Stop letting the two major parties decide who is or isn’t worthy to share space with them.

  2. Stop the new charade of non-partisan primaries. It presents an illusion of choice while preserving the influence of the major parties.

  3. Move to proportional representation and eliminate single-seat districts. This means legislative bodies must be larger than they are today, and rightly so given our increased population without a proportionate increase in representatives.

  4. Institute ranked choice voting in cases where a single seat is contested.

To the state of North Carolina, I say that the time has come to end the two-party system. It buries the future of the state in ideologically driven public policy that favors profit over people, and it has left us contemplating the total loss of democracy as each party seeks to dominate the other at all costs.

Stop this charade, open the political system to all, and see that your ideas are far from the only possibilities for a brighter future. Your exclusivity is not a viable path forward.

 

Brad Hessel - Candidate for NC Senate District 18, Libertarian Party

Being a libertarian is really easy. There are just two rules:

  • Don’t hurt folks

  • Don’t steal their stuff

Is there anyone here who doesn’t agree with those two rules?

Nope? Great! Congratulations: you’re all Libertarian!

Another thing we likely all agree on is our frustration with the two-party duopoly that produces office holders who seem interested mainly in posting schoolyard insults on X/Twitter to stoke their base and gerrymandering to accentuate and preserve their electoral advantage. Responsibly addressing public policy concerns is way down the list.

Accordingly, electoral reform is a top priority for me. I want to draw your attention to one particular proposal that is gaining me a lot of traction: implementing instant runoff voting—also known as ranked-choice voting—as an option for municipal and county elections.

We use plurality voting in North Carolina which works fine in two-candidate races, the kind that the duopoly prefers... But if you have three or more candidates, it’s possible for a candidate to be elected with less than a majority, which is fundamentally undemocratic. And occasionally, the system mandates a runoff, which not only doubles the cost of that election, but turnout is notoriously terrible… you can have the winner getting fewer votes in the runoff than the loser got in the original election. Not exactly a mandate!

Instant runoff voting (or "IRV") addresses both these problems. You rank the candidates in order of preference, and if no candidate gets a majority, the last-place candidate is eliminated and the votes for her or him are redistributed to each voter’s second choice. If there’s still no winner, the process is repeated until someone gets a majority. Never a need for a runoff, and never a winner with less than a majority.

And bonus: no wasted votes! If your favorite candidate is eliminated before the election is decided, you still get a say in the outcome, presuming you picked a second choice.

But the best thing of all is that IRV incentivizes candidates to build consensus rather than being divisive because candidates who work to attract second- and third-choice votes have an advantage over candidates who only speak to their base and antagonize other voters.

You may ask, if IRV is so great, why am I only advocating it for county and municipal elections?

Pure political practicality. IRV can’t be used anywhere without North Carolina General Assembly approval. And the powers that be at the NCGA are not about to consider IRV for themselves or statewide races; they are too happy with the status quo to risk rocking the boat. But it’s no skin off their nose if a locality uses it.

My hope is that once North Carolinians see the advantages of IRV over plurality voting in local elections, demand for implementing it statewide will grow, both outside and inside of the general assembly.

So, as you guys representing other third parties attain ballot access and get to the point of running state and local candidates, please consider putting instant runoff voting at the top of your electoral reform priorities.

 

Matthew Hoh - Former US Senate Candidate (2022), Green Party

Thank you for inviting me here today.

We here today represent political choice, political imagination and political independence.

These state, corporate media and political elites that locked arms to prevent and deny political choice, political imagination and political independence for me and the Green Party are continuing today to protect and advance their own selfish, greedy and petty concerns and interests.

We see this in their grossly obscene and all too obvious undemocratic actions against the Kennedy, Stein and West campaigns both in this state and nationwide. We see it in their unjust and specious obstruction of the Constitution Party here in North Carolina. We see it in the untold numbers of citizens in every election cycle who realize politics is closed to them unless they possess great wealth or a mindless and slavish disposition to serve those with such wealth.

And, we see it in the millions who don't vote, not because they are lazy or apathetic, but because they know ours is a rigged and corrupt political system that doesn't want, let alone reward, their participation.

Yet, as the elites that control power unite to keep that power, we unite to oppose them. We have no choice but to remember who they are and, despite our differences, who we are. To abdicate to them, to leave them the political space to determine our lives and our futures, is cowardly and treacherous to any of us possessed of the hearts, minds and souls of free men and women.

To give up our self-determination through constitutional and natural rights passed on to us by men and women, ranging from Thomas Paine to Angela Davis, is a diminishment and meanness that none of us here will ever accept.

They will not stop fighting us because political independence is an existential threat to them. Their tactics and strategies will broaden and grow more tyrannical and criminal, and that is ultimately what we want them to do: expose themselves for who they are and who they represent. Faced with such an adversary, knowing the increased oppression that is coming, we will remain steadfast. We will pursue democracy, we will keep to the freedoms as articulated in our Constitution, we will advance and advocate for the rights of all, and we will not surrender our political independence, whether to the state, to corporations or to the elites' failed, noxious and grotesque political parties.

Our fight for political independence will only grow harder and may never get easier, but capitulation is not possible. As the earth and the people the elites have debased, harmed and stolen from erode, devolve and loom heavy with apocalyptic risks, we are left with no choice. Our metaphysical need for political independence is coupled with a bodily danger from a collapsing economic, societal, and military order that endangers us all. I cannot overstate the connection between the need for political choice, imagination and freedom and the consequences the established political elites will bring upon us if we allow their political theater to continue.

Continue our fight for political independence. There is no other option.

 

Vinny Smith - Treasurer, Constitution Party - Candidate, Governor

During our petition drive for ballot access, I've had the opportunity to speak with thousands of registered voters. You shared with me that you believe there are better third party candidates running for office than those of the uniparty. We thank the thousands of North Carolinians who signed our petition.>

When you signed our petition, that was your voice saying you believe a third party, the Constitution Party of NC, should have ballot access and take part in the electoral process.

Well I am here to tell you today that the State Board of Elections is trying to silence your voice and they are doing all they can to deny us ballot access. On April 1, the Constitution Party of NC turned in all of the petitions we had on hand to the State Board of Elections for the certification process. At that time, the State Board of Elections Petition Tracking Website showed we had more than 1,100 valid signatures above the required threshold. On April 12, the State Board of Elections notified us that there was an error in their online reporting system and they deducted over 2,000 signatures leaving us roughly 1,300 signatures below the requirement.

We immediately began petitioning again and on April 30 we went over the threshold requirement for the second time. Despite being 630 valid signatures over the threshold, we received an email from the State Board of Elections on June 7 stating that we were only 9 signatures over the threshold. Yesterday, June 13, after 4:00pm, the Constitution Party of NC received an email from the State Board of Elections saying that they are going to conduct an audit on 1,050 of our signatures.

These are the games the State Board of Elections is playing, but we are not going to stand for it.

We demanded that the State Board of Elections put the Constitution Party of NC’s Petition for Ballot Access on their agenda during their meeting Monday, June 17. They did not, and unfortunately, we will have to look at legal action if our petition validation continues to be stalled. The Constitution Party of NC has won two court cases against the State Board of Elections over the past few years and we will win this one also.

The Constitution Party of NC will ensure that the voice of North Carolinians is heard and that you have another third-party option.

 

Myia Hall - Founder and Vice Chair, Forward Party

I joined the Forward Party after my college best friend gave me Andrew Yang's book, Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy. It opened my eyes to the structural issues within our democracy that have often taken a backseat to social issues. I realized that under Democratic and Republican leadership, the shape of our lives has been determined by significant gaps in our government infrastructure.

We watched our parents lose houses in 2008, experienced tyranny in my first voting experience, and faced a pandemic as I entered the workforce after graduation. The world stopped, and I followed the rules—working hard, studying, getting good grades, and securing a job—but the path that allowed previous generations to buy new homes on a modest salary no longer exists for us.

I felt the need to see people like myself in politics—people with new ideas, not part of the old guard, and willing to work for the changes I wanted to see. When my best friend from undergrad asked me to help build a new political party, I was initially at a loss. My education in biology hadn't prepared me for political activism. I understood the central dogma of biology (DNA makes RNA, RNA makes protein) and could trace the pathway of blood through the heart, but I was clueless about engaging with lawyers, judges, legislators, senators, and the chair of my own national party. My only certainty was a growing fear as I watched the country's temperature rise, igniting small fires in the lives of those around me.>

Fortunately, the leaders I approached were receptive and eager to engage. Many shared my fears, though they masked them better, articulating their concerns eloquently in suits rather than cargo pants and a bandana. I soon realized that beneath the party lines lay a network of individuals united in their struggle. It became clear that the nature of our fight had evolved in recent years. The prevailing sentiment was that we needed a fresh approach because the status quo ensured no one truly won. Politics was tearing families apart, leaving people like me feeling stagnant as social issues took precedence. My generation faces the grim prospect of unaffordable housing.

Despite these pressing issues, social discourse often takes precedence, and I say this as a member of several marginalized communities. The struggles that plague the LGBT community, such as homelessness, early death, and human trafficking, are replaced by blog pieces asking whether Santa Claus should be androgynous. These are problems that plague all youths in our society. 

Performance has taken the place of common-sense actions and solutions, and fear of exile from your political party makes you betray your beliefs. Everyone should be able to disagree with their parties without fear of alienation, but this is not possible with our current system. I'm done falling for the trap and am committed to fighting for the change I want to see. I will work with anyone from both sides of the aisle committed to listening to others, whether we agree or not. This is how we move our country forward together.

 

Ryan Rabah - Vice Chair, We the People Party

Thank you all for being here.

First, let me say I love that we are all here together, united in speaking out against the systems that silence third parties in this state. Can you imagine the Duopoly parties standing shoulder to shoulder and having a civil political discourse about anything? I can't.

To paraphrase George Orwell, the final thing the Party will tell you is to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. My friends, that day has arrived. The duopoly wants us to believe there are no alternatives, that we should not believe our eyes and ears.

They use our money on forever wars and tell us it's peace; they feed our children poison and tell us it's food; they suffocate our constitutional rights and tell us that is how democracy breathes. And they continue to feed us lies.

But Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s revolutionary approach to politics is to just tell the truth. We The People built our foundation on that very same maxim. Truth to power: we need environmental stewardship, access to safe food, transparency in politics, protection of free speech, medical freedom, and a break from the corporate-captured duopoly. It wasn't always easy, but We the People did the work.

  • We were there at the community college when it was literally below freezing, and our hands were shaking so much we didn't know if the signatures would count.

  • We were there in Freedom Park when it was so hot that a bead of sweat fell on the petition, so we asked the person to re-sign to make sure it would count.

  • We were there at all the county boards where official after official praised the quality of our signatures.

  • We were there almost three weeks ago, right up the street, when we proudly handed in our thousands of petitions to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

And now we hear about potential acts of sabotage: groups calling and harassing our petition signers, groups trying to pressure and coerce the board to not certify us. These are the same groups that, in order to "save democracy," are willing to eviscerate democracy.

Because of that, I stand before you calling for the State Board to certify We The People as an official political party in our state. We have followed all the rules, we have followed all the statutes, and we deserve to be certified immediately.

The people of North Carolina have spoken; they started this job. The We The People volunteers went out and got their signatures; we did our job. The 100 county boards across our state verified all those signatures; they did their job. Now, we humbly ask the State Board of Elections to follow suit and finish the job. We need our certification so that we can get to the actual job of working for the great people of this state.

 

Sean Haugh - Vice Chair, Libertarian Party - Candidate, NC Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Libertarian Party has been through this struggle for decades. While we have secured our own ballot access already, it is very important to us to show support for absolutely anyone who wants to participate in electoral politics and run as a candidate to offer themselves up for public service here in North Carolina. Anybody who is here to help us fire the uniparty, you are my friend and my ally and I am happy to support you today.

The Libertarian Party had to petition several times to get on the ballot every four years. One thing we never had to put up with in all of our petitioning struggles was any question about the number of valid signatures that we had submitted.

The statutes in North Carolina are very clear. The county boards of elections examine the signatures that third party and unaffiliated candidates have collected. They verify them, and once the counties have certified that there are enough petition signatures to meet the requirement, that's it. The State Board of Elections has no statutory authority whatsoever to ask questions or investigate beyond that point.

They have no statutory authority to listen to people, like Democrats, who want to complain and keep the ballot just to themselves. So yes, we urge the North Carolina State Board of Elections to do their duty and certify these parties and independent candidates who want to be on the ballot and to reject any of these frivolous complaints against them from people who just want to have their own party on the ballot and no one else.

What is the value of having as many candidates on the ballot as possible? It’s so a voter can walk into the voting booth and vote FOR somebody they want. The more options that are on the ballot, the more likely a voter will show up. And just as important, that voter will be excited about voting for what they believe. They won’t be voting against what they fear the most. 

This is what will revitalize our democracy and this is what we need.

Candidate Spotlight

Matthew Kordon - candidate for NC House District 11

Reflections on Addressing Environmental Problems

SUMMARY

  • The evidence for a variety of environmental problems facing North Carolina is insurmountable.
  • Insofar as plants, animals, and humans have rights concerning their ecosystems and treatment, those rights must be upheld.
  • Solving these problems is already underway thanks to the willfulness and power of private North Carolinians, but the government must contribute to the solution in reserved, unbiased, cautious ways.

Climate Problems are Real and Multifaceted

If left unchecked, climate problems have the potential to cause serious harm. One hundred and fifty years of close study and observation have revealed the ways in which our planet is in flux. The weather, biomes, animals, plants, and even people have and will continue to experience anthropogenic change at a pace some life cannot adapt to. At present, North Carolina’s contribution to these problems meets or even surpass the global average. Much needs to be done so that popular animals will be kept from going extinct, our pollution will be brought under control, and weather conditions normalize.

We Have a Unique and Principled Stance on Government's Role

This issue is nuanced, so the response must be too. The accumulative action of individuals and organizations has more power to aid the environment than the slow-moving bureaucracy of the government machine beholden to special interests, lobbyists, and donors. Some mixture of governing action, freedom, and nativity got us into this problem but freedom and knowledge can easily get us out. For morality and efficiency alike, government must stay out of the way of its citizens.

Freedom will Save the Earth if People Trust One Another and Act

Human nature is such that self-interest and empathy always surpass force, and in that way, a deliberate base of citizens is more than capable of taking the actions necessary to improve our world. Corporate pollution can be stopped by class action lawsuits if suing is strengthened. Wildlife can thrive in captivity if commercial ownership is permitted. An awareness and appeal to reduce, reuse, and recycle can infiltrate households through civil liberties and free-form education. Unshackled markets will create the efficient, effective means to achieve those ends. Humanity unchained has never met a challenge it could not prepare for.

State Government's Use of Force

The use of force ought to be reserved for a narrow list of causes such as justice. Murder is unjust for its destruction of a valuable being. Because the killing of endangered species is a similar affront to a valuable being’s right to life and has consequences up and down its food chain, I support strengthening laws to punish and hold accountable killers of endangered animals.

State Government's Land Ownership

The public land owned collectively by the people of North Carolina and in the trust of the government is an opportunity to aid conservation efforts. The administration of the parks of North Carolina is among the most crucial, rightful responsibilities of the government. The multitude of vegetation on government property contributes significantly to the balancing of atmospheric chemistry and the healthy sustenance of human and all life on our planet. Although conservation is a rare example of a responsibility government performs well, North Carolina should, through an approval process, sell land to private parks and preservation companies. Nevertheless, the parks are an opportunity for our state government to engage in commerce and in that regard can mimic corporations to both fund the upkeep of the land and have a natural measurement of the public’s approval of the service provided.

State Government's Interaction with Culture through Information Dispersion

The government claims the authority to participate in the culture of its people and therein inherits a moral obligation to prioritize caution and objectivity. Those priorities should guild public education’s open conversation with its pupils about the research into environmental issues. All the same, public education must permit parents to be part of that open conversation. Ultimately, the best ideas will succeed, and people will be incentivized to take steps to preserve our natural world.

State Government's Support of Innovation through Higher Education

Because universities are inevitably going to fund academic research, it is in our best interest if our public universities set aside a portion of funding for research and development into climate solutions, even ones involving nonrenewable energy sources. Those universities should encourage entrepreneurship robustly to inform students of higher education their ability to innovate, bring about important solutions, and generate prosperity. The modernization and use of nuclear power is especially important which is likely to be noticed by students if we educate them on the subject. The next generation will produce numerous helpful inventions backed by capital, thus a Free Market rather than university research will bring about the most change. For those residents who do innovate, I propose a medal and cash prize be awarded to said innovators.

Government Needs not Do Much Because its Best Solutions Involve Getting Out of Your Way

  • Protect endangered species and important ecosystems through harsher legislation.
  • Reduce the operations of the state government and military substantially so that, among other reasons, each have a radically smaller footprint.
  • Have public university research and development environmental solutions.
  • Enable and reward rather than inhibit environmental innovators.
  • Leverage our vast ownership of land for revenue-generating nature conservation.
  • Fight pollution using a reformed legal system, soil and water upkeep, and modest regulations.
  • Stabilize temperatures and weather through worldwide and local collaboration alike.
  • Offer hope and encourage a culture of taking willful action and self-responsibility.
  • Inform the public the reassuring and exciting facts about modern nuclear power.

Mises Club Carolinas

Sugar Mountain Event - August 9-11

The Mises Club Carolinas, affiliated with the Mises Institute, is united by the principles of Austrian economics. Not just a club, they're catalysts for market-led solutions. Be the movement, Lead the Change!

While writing this my thermometer reads 97F in the hazy, hot and humid summer of Seven Lakes, North Carolina. But it's a delightful 79F in Sugar Mountain, where we hope to see you and your family on August 9-11.

As in 2023, your organizers are striving to make this a low-cost, fact- and fun-filled event in a great part of the Carolinas. Treat yourself and your family to an end-of-summer weekend with your Austrian friends in the cool Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina! (Details on meals is coming soon!)

The cost to our club for the three-day use of the world-class Sugar Mountain Resort venue is $2000, a reasonable charge compared to other private event centers and not much more than the fee charged us for two days in a smaller room last year. (Mises Club member Bob Luddy generously covered the fee for us in 2023.)

All donations to defray these costs would be appreciated.

Register now by sending an email to [email protected] with the number in your party.

Paul Cwik, Professor of Economics at the University of Mount Olive, has kindly offered to lead a Mises Book Club discussion at the nearby Grandfather Vineyard and Winery at lunch time on Saturday, August 10th. We'll discuss Ludwig von Mises' booklet from 1979, "Economic Policy," also known as the "Six Lessons" mentioned recently by Brazilian wrestler Renato Moicano. It may be read online at this link, or purchased from the Mises Bookstore for a mere $8, a real bargain. It is a small booklet of about 100 pages, and can be read in a few hours. If you plan on joining us, please start reading now!

A few questions have arisen we'd like to address:

Q - What is the fee to attend?
A - Nothing. The only cost is for what you consume at meals during the event.

Q - Where is the lodging?
A - That is up to attendees to decide. Many options abound, see links to accommodations in the event details below.

Q - What will be served at meals?
A - We are working on this now and hope people will be pleased with the menu and the cost.

Q - Must participants pay for all meals?
A - If you do not like what is being served, bring your own. If you can only attend part of the event, that is fine, also. Meal tickets will be sold online prior to the event as last year.

Q - Is camping available?
A - Yes, at many area campgrounds, from backpack tent camping to RV camping with all the frills. Search online for what suits you best, and see the links to accommodations in the event details below.

Q - May my children attend with me?
A - Absolutely! But they may be bored during some of the talks. Just outside the meeting room door however is an entire mountain to explore, the base of the ski slopes with many hiking paths. Bring some outdoor toys (Frisbees, balls, gliders, etc.) to share with other young Miseseans.

Q - May we use the facilities at Wildcat Lake?
A - Yes. Part of the Lees-McRae campus, Wildcat Lake features a sandy beach ideal for small children, canoes for paddling, a fishing pier, a nice playground, and picnic tables. It is located only a few minutes away from the Sugar Mountain Resort where we'll be meeting. There is no cost to Mises Club members for use of Wildcat Lake.

Q - How can I sign up for the Saturday tour of the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center?
A - Details on the time and group size for this are still being worked out with the center's director, Nina Fischesser. Stay tuned for details.

Q - Can I bring my mountain bike?
A - Sure! The nearby Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk has a nationally-ranked cycling program for both road racing and mountain biking. Mountain bike trails may be found in the area. Sugar Mountain holds mountain biking events throughout the year and even has bikes for rent. You can even take your bike up to the top of the mountain on the chair lift and then let gravity bring you back down.

Q - I have never been to Sugar Mountain. How far away are area attractions?
A - The simple map shown here provides some answers. Nearly everything is within a half hour of Sugar Mountain, from Linville Falls to Boone.

Q - Won't this event conflict with Mises University or College Move-in at Lees-McRae or ASU?
A - No! This date was chosen to avoid conflicts with both Mises U (July 28th - August 3rd) and college move-in (the week after Sugar Mountain).

Q - What is the weather like in early August in Sugar Mountain?
A - Splendid. Air conditioners are rare up there, for a good reason. Bring a sweater for the cool nights, ideal for star-gazing.

Register now by sending an email to [email protected] with the number in your party.

Liberty Babes

Liberty Babes (@LibertyBabesX) is using the power of AI to create Liberty warriors and spread freedom messaging. Now, with Tar Heel exclusives:

"Liberation is the relentless pursuit of individual freedom, the unwavering belief that every person has the inherent right to chart their own course, and the courage to stand against the encroachments of the state. It is a beacon of hope, a call to arms, and a declaration that in the battle for liberty, we are the architects of our own destiny." - @LibertyBabesX

David Hoesly's Letter to the Editor

David has been a Liberty warrior for more than 50 years. He submitted the below to the Gaston Gazette, for publication on Wednesday.

by David Hoesly

LPNC and Gaston County LP

As we celebrate another Independence Day, it's an appropriate time to ponder its deeper meaning. Independence means not being dependent on others--having the freedom to chart your own course, so long as you don't harm others or take their stuff.

Our country is presently embroiled in a presidential race among several candidates, two of which are wildly unpopular--with different people.

It seems appropriate to support a candidate--or a cause--that reflects one's own values, and polls show that the majority of people support fiscal prudence and social freedom--melding the best ideas of conservatives and progressives.

Neither of the candidates of the uniparty (Democrats and Republicans) support either. They talk a good game, sure, but let's judge them by their actions!

Fiscal irresponsibility has been the order of the day, with government spending skyrocketing under the last two administrations, a burden that will be foisted on our children and grandchildren--who had no say in accepting that debt burden.

Fixing the immigration crisis would allow people who are escaping horrific regimes to settle here after being vetted by a streamlined immigration policy, each of those people using one brain and two hands to create goods and services--and thus wealth--for all of us.

And ending the ill-fated War On Drugs (which is really a war on people who choose to ingest what politicians and bureaucrats forbid) would free up police resources to fight crimes that actually have victims. It's encouraging that more and more states are liberalizing their restrictions on marijuana--a baby step in the right direction.

So if you truly support fiscal responsibility and social freedom, you should support the Libertarian Party candidates for offices at the local, state and federal levels. Declare your independence!

National Scholarship Backed by Gold to Provide College Funding for Exceptional Students

by Money Metals Exchange

(Charlotte, North Carolina – May 21, 2024) – For the ninth straight year, a national precious metals dealer is teaming up with the nation’s preeminent sound money policy group to help students pay for the ever-increasing costs associated with continuing education. Money Metals Exchange has partnered with the Sound Money Defense League to present the 2024 Sound Money Scholarship -- the first gold-backed scholarship of the modern era.

Starting in 2016, these organizations have set aside 100 ounces of physical gold (currently worth more than $240,000) to reward outstanding students who display a thorough understanding of economics, monetary policy, and sound money. The Sound Money Scholarship is open to high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students with an interest in economics: specifically the free-market tradition. Applicants do not have to be economics majors to be eligible to receive this scholarship. Money Metals Exchange and the Sound Money Defense League also announced this year’s blue-ribbon panel of judges: Jerry Kirkpatrick, PhD is Professor Emeritus of International Business and Marketing at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (aka Cal Poly Pomona).

Sen. Eric Brakey* serves as the Executive Director of the Free State Project. Brakey began his political journey as the Maine State Director for the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign and became the youngest state senator in America two years later. Over three non-consecutive terms in public office, Senator Eric Brakey has been a leading critic of inflationary policies and an advocate for sound money, championing legislation to remove taxes and restore legal tender status for gold and silver.

Ken Silva is a reporter for Headline USA and a contributor to The Libertarian Institute. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, covering topics such as FBI corruption, offshore finance, and extremist politics. His favorite reporter is the late JD Cash. Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. He previously served for 21 years as President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan (1987-2008). He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

Last year, the Sound Money Scholarship received entries from students attending more than 150 different schools across 44 states, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., six countries, and three continents, and nine exceptional students were awarded $13,500 in scholarship money. Articles found to be written by AI will be automatically disqualified from consideration.

The deadline to submit applications is October 31, 2024.

For more information, please visit moneymetals.com/scholarship or email [email protected].

*Editor's Note: Sen. Eric Brakey is the featured guest on the upcoming Liberty iNC. 

LP in NC

Help Wanted

The LPNC is seeking passionate and dedicated volunteers to join our team and play pivotal roles in advancing the cause of Liberty across North Carolina. Currently, we are looking for someone who would like to join the Executive Committee as Secretary and we are hiring a paid intern for the Communications team   

As the LPNC Secretary, you will play a crucial role in managing the financial affairs of the party at the state level. Your responsibilities will include overseeing the budget, managing accounts, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Maintain accurate records of meetings and decisions, including preparing meetings agendas and meeting minutes.
  • Coordinate communication and schedules for the Executive Committee.
  • Support the executive team in implementing strategic initiatives.

There are no requirements for this job in terms of background. Strong writing skills and attention to detail are a benefit, but we will train you in everything you need to know.

We're also seeking a dynamic and motivated Communications Intern to join our team. Are you passionate about liberty, individual rights, and free-market principles? This paid internship offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the world of libertarian advocacy. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Assist in creating and distributing compelling content across various platforms. 
  • Support media outreach efforts and cultivate relationships with journalists. 
  • Assist with production and editing of newsletters, press releases, emails campaigns, regular outreach, and podcast.   
  • Help manage our social media presence and engage with our community. 
  • Conduct research on current events and Libertarian policy issues. 
  • Collaborate with our team on special projects and campaigns. 

Qualifications: 

  • Strong writing and communication skills. 
  • Familiarity with Libertarian principles and a passion for promoting them. 
  • Proactive, detail-oriented, and able to work independently. 
  • Experience with social media and digital marketing is a plus. 

What We Offer: 

  • Competitive pay and flexible hours. 
  • Opportunity to work with a passionate and dedicated team. 
  • Valuable experience in advocacy, communications, and policy research. 
  • Networking opportunities within the North Carolina Libertarian and political community.

Apply now and help us advance the cause of liberty! Send your resume and a brief cover letter explaining your interest to [email protected]

Additionally, the Communications team is seeking content submissions and regular writers, artists, editors, and support staff for the newsletter, the podcast, and several other ambitious plans for 2024. We can use an hour a week, or 40; as long as you are fighting for Liberty there is a place to make your voice heard. We can't do it without you!

To learn more about these positions and other exciting volunteer opportunities, please visit our staff page at https://www.lpnc.org/staff. Your involvement can make a significant impact on the success of the LPNC, and we welcome individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds to join us in championing liberty in North Carolina.

Take the next step in your commitment to liberty by becoming a vital part of the LPNC team. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

If you are interested in filling one of these positions, please email why you would be a good fit to Ryan Brown at [email protected].

Remember to Check Out Our Store

Check out the latest LPNC merch to get ready for summer weather!

The LPNC store has it all, from clothes and hats, to buttons and stickers, tumblers, mugs, glasses, and more. Stop in and grab something!

Meme of the Week

By Stephen Sumner, LPNC Judiciary Committee

This month, Debate Extravaganza!

 

Liberty iNC

Your source for all things Liberty in our great Tar Heel state. 

Your rights, all the time. Nothing more, nothing less, no exceptions. Simple as that.

Season 4 is in full swing, and we have had some great guests so far, including:

  • Joshua Smith
  • Lou Perez
  • Cassie Clark
  • Christopher Sessions and Matthew Kordon
  • Shelane Etchison
  • Feena Bonoan and Mike Scott
  • Leigh Thomas Brown and Jon Warren.

Plus, Dub Dub and Groo talk sports!

If you want to assist with the show, be a guest, suggest a guest, or have any other comments or feedback, please, reach out to [email protected].

Support Your Fellow Libertarians

Port City Firearms

Our very own Justin Hinckley, 2A Issues Coordinator, has opened an online store, and you don't want to miss it!

Port City Firearms and Training 

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Non Crappy Crafts

Angela Humphries is a free-spirited watercolor artist who lives by the calm, colorful waters of New Bern, North Carolina. With her loose, expressive strokes, she works to impress the magic of flora and fauna onto her canvases. Her lighthearted, whimsical mark making, infused with the inspiration of her surroundings, invites admirers to walk in nature to enjoy it’s beauty and magnificence.

Angela is a member of the North Carolina Watercolor Society and enjoys working in the privacy of her small home studio. She shares more of her work in the digital realm on her greeting card creations. Her work may be discovered in New Bern, NC at the local Bank of the Arts Gallery, as well as the Nautical Star Coffee Shop and finally her online store via Etsy.

Angela's Etsy shop

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Dr. Dan's Freedom Forum Radio

"The right to own private property that cannot be arbitrarily regulated or confiscated by the government is the moral and constitutional basis for individual freedom"

Listen Live: Freedom Forum Radio 

Podcast: Freedom Forum Radio Podcast Index 

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Libertarian Owned, Heritage Breed Pastured Pork

Nothing says "Freedom" like a freezer full of quality meat! Fox Knob Farm near Elkin, NC raises heritage breed pastured pork the old-fashioned way, no medications, and nothing toxic. Reserve your whole or half pork share today and select how you'd like your pork custom processed. If you haven't started building your locally-sourced food network yet, we can help get you started! Learn more at foxknobfarm.com and contact us at [email protected].

 

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Whiskey and Wisdom Podcast

Check out New Hanover Affiliate member Tyler Yaw and his co-host Chris Kellum in their exploration of the world, its people, and its spirits. They smartly and succinctly cover a truly eclectic array of engaging topics, all while enjoying the quintessential American libation.

Discussing life's most fascinating topics over a good glass of whiskey.

Managing Editor - Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

Staff Writer - Joshua D. Glawson, LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

2A Editor - Justin Hinckley, LPNC Second Amendment Issues Coordinator

See the source imageSee the source image