I, and my “big L” Libertarian friends, have no interest in controlling the Cobb Republican Party. While freedom is increasingly popular, and my phone is ringing off the hook with interested individuals seeking a party that represents them, there are a few Republicans who have yet to realize the Republican Party is not the vehicle for advancing the liberty and freedom envisioned by our Founders. They continue to work within the two-party system to change the rhetoric of their adopted platforms and speeches into the reality of their actions in office. I cannot blame them, because I know how trying it can be to be on the outside of the two-party stranglehold on American politics.
I can say with authority that Gregory and Oleg Ivutin (who ran unsuccessfully for Cobb GOP chair) are not members of the Libertarian Party, as others have claimed, but what I know about each gentleman tells me that they are friends in the liberty movement and chose a different path. I can respect that. There are many independents, Republicans and Democrats that hold “libertarian” beliefs, but are not “Libertarians,” in that they are not members of the Libertarian Party. In fact, many Republicans are libertarian in their support of economic freedom, and many Democrats are libertarian in their support of personal liberty. Neither of the old parties “gets” the whole package, while Libertarians believe that liberty is indivisible.
Our Founders severed colonial ties with Great Britain to be free of the monarchy that President Thomas Jefferson noted as limiting the inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” He did not segregate “types” of liberty, nor did President James Madison as he penned the Bill of Rights as a single document amending the Constitution. To me, it appears that only the Libertarian Party supports all 10 of those amendments, for all of the people, all of the time.
Oddly, Hines focused a great deal on Ayn Rand in his column and I object to his desire to brand Rand, an objectivist, as a Libertarian Party leader. Her ideology was a philosophical one, not a political one. While there are many Libertarians who read “Atlas Shrugged,” when I went to see the second film adaptation of that novel, the majority of my fellow moviegoers departed the parking lot in “Romney/Ryan” stickered vehicles.
I appreciate Hines’ question about party viability, echoing the sentiments of what I read from Mr. Dendy as he “spiked the football” after his victory at the county convention. As a former state legislator, Hines should know about his party’s conservation of a 70-year-old law passed by Democrats concerning who can and who cannot run for office in this state. He should know that despite rhetoric that calls for “competition” and “free markets,” the heavily Republican legislature has stifled any legislation that would engender competition and free markets on the ballot. By keeping the choices to only two, Republicans can scare their base into voting against the “socialists” that Mr. Hines himself tied to the Democratic Party.
As I noted, freedom is popular. It is especially popular among the “the young guys” and “this generation.” It will take some time, but I welcome anyone willing to join the Freedom Train. The ride is more interesting, and when we reach the level of freedom with which you are comfortable, no one will force you to stay onboard.
The Libertarian Party welcomes all who wish to see less government intrusion into our lives, fewer and lower taxes eating into our personal budgets, and more individual freedom leading our society to join us in those endeavors. For those who remain steadfast in their belief that another vehicle is the way to do it, we will leave the light of liberty on for you.
Brett C. Bittner chairs the Libertarian Party of Cobb County. He also serves on the Marietta School Board.