Silver Rights

News, thoughts and comments on civil rights and related issues.

Sunday, July 18, 2004  

Libertarian candidate puts big 'L' in loony

I am not really pleased with either of the two major political parties. The Democrats are too often spineless. The GOP can be just plain evil. But, third party candidates tend to make the annointed of the major parties look good in comparison. It is the old trick of standing a really homely person next to the one of average visage, I guess. The plain Jane suddenly becomes Halle Berry. I'm thinking about third party candidates because I've been doing some defensive reading in regard to Libertarians. I mean Big L libertarians, the ones who are actually members of a party. A neo-Confederate sympathizer who considers himself a libertarian brought my attention to Michael Badnarik. I am not the only observer amazed and baffled by the party's choice. Kevin Drum, one of my old blog buddies before he went big time, discussed Badnarik (pictured) at the Washington Monthly. The Calpundit is amused.

LIBERTARIAN LOONIES....Via Hit & Run, R. W. Bradford writes in Liberty Magazine about Michael Badnarik, the dark horse winner of the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination:

Badnarik believes that the federal income tax has no legal authority and that people are justified in refusing to file a tax return until such time as the IRS provides them with an explanation of its authority to collect the tax. He hadn't filed income tax returns for several years. He moved from California to Texas because of Texas' more liberal gun laws, but he refused to obtain a Texas driver's license because the state requires drivers to provide their fingerprints and Social Security numbers. He has been ticketed several times for driving without a license; sometimes he has gotten off for various technical legal reasons, but on three occasions he has been convicted and paid a fine. He also refused to use postal ZIP codes, seeing them as "federal territories."

Badnarik also has a plan to educate Congress.

. . .I would announce a special one-week session of Congress where all 535 members would be required to sit through a special version of my Constitution class. Once I was convinced that every member of Congress understood my interpretation of their very limited powers, I would insist that they restate their oath of office while being videotaped.

It is not clear how the videotaping of the oath taking would enhance government. Perhaps Badnarik just likes cameras.

The writer at Liberty is generous.

One assumes, although one cannot prove, that none of this is an exercise in irony. At any rate, these opinions were removed from the website shortly after he won the nomination, and they didn't come up when he visited state party conventions. Nor did his refusal to file tax returns, thereby risking federal indictment and felony arrest. While many of his closest supporters were aware of these issues, they were unknown to most LP members.

I am not at all sure that members of the Libertarian Party don't know the man's views. Having happened across some of them in the blogosphere, I believe the problem is not lack of knowledge. It is that persons attracted to the LP are very much like Badnarik -- holders of a mix of boilerplate conservative and unorthodox views. His stated plan to blow up the United Nations does not sound weird to them. To the LP boys (they're mainly men) fantasizing about running the world and things that go boom is fun. In fact, they may have ideas that make that one appear moderate.

Drum ends his entry by telling it like it is.

Man, that's some crazy stuff. He refuses to use ZIP codes?

Read the whole story when you have a few spare minutes and need a laugh. And a note to libertarians: this is why everyone thinks you're a bunch of loons. What else would you expect them to think?

I don't know why third party candidates in the United States tend to be embarrassments to themselves and others. However, like most people, I've effected by that reality. As disappointed as I am with the major parties, it is them I take seriously.

Reasonably related

If you are not already a reader of the Calpundit's blog at Washington Monthly, Political Animal, you should be.

posted by J. | 11:45 PM