Tag Archive | libertarian

Email your Elected Officials Today!

By Jay Polk

To my elected officials from the state of Tennessee: As Americans celebrate Independence Day I often think about the hardships that those who fought underwent. They all essentially committed treason to the British crown to stand up and fight for our God-given rights. They valued Freedom above any benefit they received from the British government. To them, Freedom was worth more than roads, schools, and security. It was the Freedom to choose how to live their life, raise their children, how to spend all their money, and how, or whom, to worship.

My mind then turns to our current circumstances. How many among us would once again stand up and fight for our rights? We have a government that has taken over many of the most basic functions of our lives. We are told what we can and cannot ingest. We are told whom we can and cannot love. We are told what our children are to learn. We are told how much of our hard-earned money we can keep. Sirs, this is not the America I want my child to grow up in.

I am writing you today in hopes that you too will think about what Freedom really means. It doesn’t mean the government is free to declare anything it wishes to be illegal and then prosecute those who violate their arbitrary laws. On the contrary, Freedom only exists when citizens are free to operate without legislators’ intervention.

To that end I would like to request the following:

1. Get the government completely out of our wallets
2. Get the government completely out of our bedrooms
3. Keep the government from deciding what we can and cannot ingest
4. Get the government out of the healthcare industry
5. Defend the sovereignty of the great state of Tennessee against the Federal government
6. Repeal minimum wage laws
7. Pass legislation to allow Tennesseans to “opt out” of Social Security
8. Reduce the size, scope, and power of the government and allow the free market to find better, and more efficient, solutions to our current problems.

Keep in mind I’m only asking you to sponsor and promote legislation. The founders of this country were asked to sacrifice their lives and livelihoods.

I will leave you with this quote, “God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!”
“And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.” – Frederic Bastiat, The Law

My Final Answer

By Jay Polk

Over the years I’ve heard the argument that, “This election is too important to vote for the Libertarian candidate”. So I’ve been working on formulating a response. Here is my final answer: Those who tell us to “Vote for the lesser evil” are the same ones who believe that Liberty isn’t worth fighting for. They’re the ones who complain about people not getting involved yet they themselves choose to sit on the sidelines and pick from the despicable establishment candidates. They try to break the spirit of those of us who stand on our principles when we vote by saying we “Don’t have a chance of winning” or that we are “Splitting the vote”.

In 1775, a handful of men gathered together and decided that instead of choosing “the lesser evil” of the British Empire, they would choose instead to be free men. They left behind their homes, their livelihoods, and their families to stand for the Liberties endowed to them by their Creator. Many defended them with their lives. Now we are told to support the candidate that will harm our Liberties the least instead of the libertarian candidate that will not harm our Liberties at all. I sacrifice time with my family and friends (and countless hours of sleep) educating people about which candidates will restore Freedom and about the libertarian philosophy of peace and love for our fellow man. What if we all sacrificed just a few hours a week to do this? Think of what a difference we could make! If 14,000 colonists could take on, and defeat, the most powerful army in the world, what is our excuse?

Where would we be if George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams had prescribed to the “lesser evil” view? And seeing as how only 1/3 of the American colonists favored revolution I’m sure there were antagonists among their own countrymen telling them that if only they stayed their passion for Liberty, carried with indignity their chains, and accepted with silence their fate, all would be well.

Forgive me if this sounds rude, but the argument that “If we don’t vote for candidate X, then political party Y will win and that will be the end of America” is intellectually lazy. It’s the same tired, old argument that’s trotted out every election year by those who have neither the fortitude to stand for principles nor the courage to defend Freedom in the face of adversity. It is indeed the mantra repeated by cowards and compromisers which, by no coincidence, are directly to blame for delivering America her current fate. The goal should not be to defeat the incumbent; the goal should be good government.

We were told in 2000 that unless we voted for George Bush, Al Gore would destroy America. 4 years passed and we were left with an increase in the size of government by $616 Billion, the introduction of the Homeland Security Department (Patriot Act and the TSA), No Child Left Behind, the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit ($70 Billion/year), McCain-Feingold, suspension of habeas corpus, and Billions of dollars of earmarks.

Then we were told in 2004 that if we didn’t vote for Bush, John Kerry would destroy America. 4 years later and we had the $800 Billion bailout of wealthy CEOs (TARP), federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, non-defense federal outlays increased by 18%, an overall increase in the federal government’s budget by 44% (Clinton increased it by 0.1%), and more war.

Say what you will about Obama, who has certainly presided over some very bad policies, but do you now tell me that you trust your Liberty with the political party of George W. Bush?

To those who are still satisfied with compromising the Liberties of our future generations, I leave you with this:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of Freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” –Samuel Adams

I choose good over all shades of evil. I choose Peace. I choose Liberty. I am a libertarian. Who is with me?

Big Government Republicans and You

Here we are, another year older and another year wiser. In 2011 we learned that Republicans are not serious about cutting spending. We learned that Republicans are willing to increase taxes in order to cover their horrible spending addiction. We also learned that Republicans like bigger government. Will 2012 be any different? Let’s find out!

The first item of the New Year involved…creating more government! The Tourism Authority would track tourism dollars with the Blount County, City of Alcoa, and City of Maryville governments being involved. This is not a new agency, simply an expansion of an existing one (Folts voted No). By 19 Republicans approving this, the Blount County commission has “…authorized to levy a privilege tax upon the privilege of occupancy in any hotel…not to exceed 5%”. Any business owner not reporting the tax will be charged $50. This agency will not be answerable to the commission and therefore not answerable to the citizens. This, of course, presumes the commission believes itself answerable to its constituents.

The next items were authorizing a $55,000 Debt Service Fund increase (All voted yes), a $19,000 Schools Adult Education budget increase (All voted yes), and a $62,000 General County Visitor Center budget increase (Folts and Hasty voted No). More spending!

And what month would be complete without more grant money? The (20) commissioners who were present voted to apply for The Institute of Museum and Library Services grant. According to the resolution, “…the grant requires no matching money and would be fully funded.” What do they mean it “…would be fully funded?” Do these people not understand that grant money is just money taken from taxpayers? Whatever the government gives, it must first take away.

One of the final items was the adoption of a debt policy that would, “…establish a set of parameters by which debt obligations will be undertaken by the Blount County Government.” Why don’t our commissioners adopt a “No More Spending” Debt Policy? Oh yeah, I forgot, Republicans love big government!

And, in a move that left most of us scratching our heads, Mayor Mitchell appointed ex-Mayor Jerry Cunningham to the Public Building Authority. This is the agency that got us into the million-dollar toxic asset game. Under Jerry Cunningham’s watch, Blount County’s debt went from $60 Million to $250 Million. And this is a guy you want back in government? And despite the fact that our past budget committee has overseen Millions of dollars in spending and recommended little, if any, budget cuts, Mayor Mitchell re-appointed the same folks to this year’s committee. It would appear that Mayor Mitchell is part of the problem.

So, while we may be older and wiser, we can at least rest easy in the fact that we are a year closer to voting these irresponsible commissioners out of office!

Here is the grading scale:

A – Participated in the discussion and voted to uphold the libertarian values of fiscal responsibility and/or personal liberty

B – Did not participate, but voted to uphold libertarian values

C – Participated in the discussion and voted against libertarian values

F – Did not participate and voted against libertarian values

Here are the grades for January: Folts: C; The rest: F.

Silence is Golden

I want everyone reading this and every single Blount County voter to remember July 21, 2011. This is the day that the Blount County commission decided it will allow you to practice your Freedom of Speech. What a wonderful gesture! Aren’t we so lucky to have a commission that is dedicated to permitting us to exercise our God-given Rights? The big issue at July’s commission meeting concerned a couple of additions to the rules about citizen input. The major rule change stated, “Actions which disrupt or delay the orderly transaction of business are prohibited, including but not limited to…public applause or other interruption except that applause and public support is appropriate during the consent calendar portion of the meeting when citizens or organizations are recognized…any persons violating this rule are subject to removal…at the sound discretion of the Chairman.” So essentially if you’re a good citizen, you’ll do what the government says and only participate in “Government-Approved” applause. If not, out you go! Several citizens stood and spoke in opposition to this specific rule change. And when it came time to vote, the commissioners remained silent. Therefore the rule change failed for the lack of a motion.

Keep in mind, however, that even though this motion failed, that at the Agenda meeting the previous week, thirten of the commissioners voted “Yes” to send this to the full commission. The commissioners who thought that the exercise of your Free Speech should be voted on were: Burkhalter, Caylor, Farmer, Harrison, Hasty, Helton, Kirby, Lail, Lambert, Lewis, Melton, Moon, and Wright. Commissioners French and Samples abstained (Why not vote “No”?). While this vote isn’t included in calculating their grades this month, it should be noted that these commissioners are enemies of your Rights.

Remember this post from back in January? Back then 19 of 21 commissioners found your applause “offensive” (Folts and Murrell were the only ones to speak up in opposition). Despite the lack of this rule passing, it is clear the Blount County government holds nothing but contempt for anyone who speaks out against them and their actions.

In other business the first agenda items involved, you guessed it, more spending! Last month the Commission approved a $162 Million budget along with a property tax increase. Well, this month one of the items was to give the Highway Department a $1 Million advance on the anticipated revenue generated by the Republican tax increase (All voted “yes”, Highway Department employee Harrison abstained). They just can’t WAIT to spend your money! And when they do get it, they just can’t seem to get enough! How do I know? The next items involved spending $2,794.56/yr. on more copiers for the Circuit Court and Highway Departments (Folts voted “No”). Shouldn’t these items have been included in the budgets that were just passed?

During last year’s campaign season I heard some candidates refer to themselves as being fiscally responsible. It’s just unfortunate that those candidates weren’t elected.

Here is the grading scale:

A – Participated in the discussion and voted to uphold the libertarian values of fiscal responsibility and/or personal liberty
B – Did not participate, but voted to uphold libertarian values
C – Participated in the discussion and voted against libertarian values
F – Did not particpate and voted against libertarian values

Here are the grades for July: Folts: B, All others: F (Caylor was absent)

What is Freedom to a libertarian?

From Jay Polk, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee:

Freedom is having the ability to succeed and show others the way. It is having the ability to make bad decisions, fail, and try again. It is having the ability to earn as much money as you want without the government taking it away. It is having the ability to associate with whomever you choose. It is having the ability to study and learn and pass on to future generations the lessons you have learned. It is having the ability to defend yourself, or your nation, against those who would take your Freedom away. It is having the ability to create a better life for you and your family. It is having the ability to learn how to love, whom to love, and when to sacrifice. In short, Freedom is Life. 

From the time that man was created, he has had the right to Life and Freedom. No one person, or group of persons, has the right to forcibly take these away or alter them. The Founders of the United States of America sought to establish limits on government so that our human dignity and Freedom would not be infringed. The Libertarian Party is made up of people who revere Freedom and want it for themselves and for their neighbors. Libertarians do not make choices for other people, but want Freedom for people to make their own choices. Constitutionally-limited government should protect our Freedom, it should not define it. And whatever government does, it must remain smaller than the human ability to discover its own limits. 

Libertarians are people who are devoted to the principle of protected Freedom. This is expressed in the rights of Choice, Responsibility, and Love.

Stated in the platform of the Libertarian Party: “We…hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual; namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.” (www.lp.org)

Since only the truth can set you free, libertarians share in educating others with the truth about Freedom. When people understand their Freedom, they express it by selecting people who share their vision of Freedom. And this is what has made the Libertarian Party the third largest party in America. (For more information, go to www.lptn.org)