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DAVID NOLAN COMMENTS ON
Nolan was far more gentle on Root than most of Root's critics.
Nevertheless his message was clear regarding Root and other
more interested in winning power than in advancing liberty.
more than ever before, the Libertarian Party must offer a coherent and
compelling alternative to the stale policies of statism. People are
ready to hear our message -- if that message is stated clearly
and boldly. The success of Ron Paul's 2008 campaign and its outgrowth,
show that millions of Americans are hungry for real change.
And there is an
important lesson to be learned from the success of the Paul campaign
and the C4L. That lesson is that it pays to be bold. Notice that the grassroots
uprising sparked by the Ron Paul campaign calls itself the Ron Paul
REVOLUTION. Not the "Ron Paul gradual reform movement." They're calling
for ending the Federal personal income
tax, not just mouthing empty platitudes about "lower taxes" or "more
freedom." (Compared to what? What we have now? Obama's proposals?) And
they are gaining adherents far more rapidly than the Libertarian Party
is; the C4L currently has five to ten times as many members as we do!
As I see it, the
Libertarian Party has gone far astray from its original mission.
Somewhere along the way, our commitment to being The Party of Principle
was replaced by a shallow, opportunistic goal of "winning elections
now" -- any election, anywhere. Principles be damned, according to the
proponents of this vision. We should back off from "scary" positions,
tone down our rhetoric, find out "what voters want," and tailor our
message to what they want to hear.
of this mindset was reached in a "Monday Message" dated March 9, 2009.
It carried the heading "The most important principle is winning."
I would be
hard-put to come up with a statement more antithetical to our beliefs
and purpose. Just for starters, "winning" is not a principle at all; it
might be a goal, or a strategy for achieving our goals, but it's not a
principle. And if it were, it's not our
principle. This is pure opportunistic rubbish -- exactly what you'd
expect from a Republican or Democratic party hack.
No, the most important principle, for libertarians, is
the principle of self-ownership, as set forth in the Preamble
to our Platform, and our Statement
of Principles. These are the standards by which every policy
statement and every campaign must be judged. Anyone who is
uncomfortable with this yardstick probably ought to be in another party -- one
where "the most important principle is winning."
My fellow Libertarians, our party is at a crossroads. Either we stand
up boldly for liberty, or we lose all relevance. The voters who want
real, meaningful, substantive change will direct their energies
elsewhere, while opportunists who seek short-term electoral victories
will support the Republican and Democratic politicians who offer a far
better chance of "winning now."
I urge each of you to bear these thoughts in mind during your upcoming
Yours in Liberty,
David F. Nolan
July 17, 2009
Nolan included the Preamble to the Libertarian Party Platform and the Libertarian Party Statement of Principles
11-12, 2010 on David Nolan on Wayne Root's Facebook
as a long-time Libertarian who has run for Congress twice (and is
running for US Senate this year) I have to say that the LP's stance
regarding Israel almost NEVER comes up as a reason for not supporting
our party or its candidates. Maybe in NY City, but rarely elsewhere.
Common objections I've heard raised include our (relatively)
open-borders position, our opposition to government-run education,
concern that poor people will starve w/o welfare, and occasionally our
opposition to the War on Drugs. But Israel? Almost never. I have spoken
before thousands of people and talked to hundreds one-on-one. Perhaps
three people out of all those hundreds have ever even mentioned Israel.
June 11, (2010), 2:28 pm
do not recall making any statements about Israel that could even
remotely be called "hateful." I have, however, spoken out clearly
against sending American troops or tax dollars to that country ... or
any other. That's the Libertarian position. June
12 (2010) 1:01 AM
June 22, 2010 David
Nolan Comments on "Role of LNC Members" Resolution (Independent
Regarding Nolan's LNC resolution reading:
CLARIFYING THE ROLE OF LNC MEMBERS IN THEIR ROLE AS REPRESENTATIVES TO
WHEREAS members of
the Libertarian National Committee are viewed by the voting public as
representatives of the Libertarian Party, its principles, and its
policy stands, and
WHEREAS the principles and policy stands of the Libertarian Party are
clearly spelled out in our national platform,
THEREFORE the Libertarian National Committee hereby instructs its
members to adhere as closely as possible to the national platform when
stating “the Libertarian position” on issues – especially when being
interviewed by news media, civic groups, and others who have the
ability to influence public opinion. LNC members should always clearly
distinguish between their own personal views and the Libertarian
Party’s stands whenever the two are not congruent.
Robert@79 – “I
trust the LNC would also respond with that sort of wisdom when an
individual obviously represented a grave threat to the party’s
And therein lies the rub. Some members (not yet a majority, but a
substantial minority) already believe that WAR poses just such a
threat. Right now, I do not agree with them. But he really needs to
curb his tendencies to make personal pronouncements that create
misimpressions. If he’d follow his own advice and talk ONLY about the
“five key issues” he identifies, that would be a good start. It’s his
observations on foreign policy and social issues that cause many
Libertarians to tear their hair out.
Nobody that I know of is trying to “muzzle” anyone
else, or “force” them to take positions they are uncomfortable with.
The resolution which I am submitting to the LNC (@38) simply requires
LNC members to clearly distinguish between their own personal views and
the party’s platform. Is that so hard to grasp? If someone on the LNC
thinks we should deport all gay people to Iran and then bomb the place,
then we can’t stop them. But we can require that they make it clear
that this is a personal view, and not the party’s position.
Wayne Root is not the enemy. He has an unfortunate
tendency to backslide into the Republican Zone — “Ooh, I can be on a
stage with SARAH PALIN!” — but he’s not the enemy, in that sense that
Obama is (and Bush was). Like Glenn Beck, he’s a work in progress. He’s
still a bit too fond of mucking around in other nations’ business, and
a bit reticent about coming out for “scary” positions, but he’s not the
enemy. (At this point, I’m more inclined to think that Phillies is the
enemy, but that’s another whole topic.)
November 2010 David Nolan
"Libertarian Principles" Resolution (Independent
Libertarian Party can grow only by attracting new members and
libertarianism is a unique political philosophy, distinct from both
contemporary liberalism and contemporary conservatism, and
need the support of both former liberals and former conservatives who
have come to realize that libertarianism and the Libertarian Party
offer a better path to achieving a just, humane and prosperous society
Libertarian National Committee hereby resolves that our party, its
representatives and staff should always state clearly and unequivocally
that we welcome individuals from across the political spectrum who now
accept the libertarian principles of self-ownership and non-aggression.”
IPR article continues: Although
no particular person or incident is mentioned in the resolution, the
speculation has been that it was, like the recently passed Florida LP
resolution to boot Wayne Root off the LNC and LNCC, precipitated by
statements Mr. Root made in an interview with a Las Vegas magazine,
such as: “I’m kind of re-creating libertarianism. I’m just not going to
follow the traditional roots. I’m a Ronald Reagan libertarian.
Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal.”
On November 21
Nolan had a stroke while driving
and died, the day the LNC meeting voted to support a slightly amended version of the resolution. They were unaware of his death at the time.