What's in a Name?

From time to time a question is submitted for my consideration. Answers are not always forthcoming in a timely manner as I do have a life outside of writing, politics and my vivid imagination of global conquest. Recently I was asked if I would consider changing my political affiliation over to the Republican Party. After all, it was surmised, my political “ambitions” would never be fulfilled with an “L” behind my name. Where do I begin?

Let me be very clear on this, or at least as clear as my abilities may convey. My ambitions do not lie with politics. What I may or may not wish to achieve in this lifetime are quite basic and mundane to say the least. Obviously I wish to provide for my family. Outside of that, I wish to retire before 60 and acquire 100 acres in order to build my small ranch home, raise livestock, grow a garden, hunt and fish. I want to ride horses and in a pickup truck, not a limousine. I want outside dogs, not inside ankle-biters. I want forest and streams, not phone poles, bayous and mosquitoes that can carry small children away. I can do without the sailboat if I can have a greenhouse and live off the grid. I wish to return hither from which I came. That pretty much sums it up.

My ingress into the political arena was not a result of ambition. It was a result of desiring to keep my children free. One in my age group or older would be hard pressed to consider the modern era even remotely similar to the country of our youth. And while I loved my grandparents very much, I am sometimes grateful that they did not see the nation that we have become.

Where once stood the shining beacon of natural rights and natural law, envied and respected by all, now stands a fortress of contempt, shallow in comparison to the lofty ideals of our predecessors. Where schools once taught that “rights” preceded government and as such government’s purpose was to protect said rights, our institutions of learning now teach that rights are provided by government and they do so “through” the constitution and via legislation. Whereas communists were once our mortal enemy, our elected officials now bestow praises and accolades on this hideous despotic institution for their economic “success.” Pardon the hell out of me if I still remember Tiananmen.

So the question remains, why Libertarian? Why am I not a Republican, or a Democrat? Why? Because libertarians just “get it.” They not only understand the purpose of government, they also understand the constitution. They know history and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone better with which to debate philosophy. If I talk about “enumerated powers” they know what I am talking about.

So many of my detractors have claimed that libertarians are “anarchists, unrealistic" and "heartless," yet this is simply misdirection. While it is true that the Libertarian Party does host perhaps the largest contingent of anarchist as a political force, it is absolutely false that collectively we are all of this persuasion. It would be just as false to claim that “all” Democrats are communists or that “all” Republicans are fascists (to name but a couple of epitaphs used by the opposing factions).

There are two major factions within the Libertarian Party. One faction is the "radical caucus" which is primarily composed of anarchists. These anarchists are not of the "black-shirt Molotov cocktail" wielding variety that we see displayed on the news so often. These "anarchists" adhere to a principle known as the NAP (Non Aggression Principle) or ZAP (Zero Aggression Principle) depending on which company you find yourself. They certainly do not throw stones, except at their own (figuratively). The other faction is the "reform caucus" which consists of constitutionalists and pragmatists.

Are we heartless? Considering that I have personally donated to the USSO, the Navy Relief Society, the Vietnam Veterans Foundation, Haitian relief efforts and various local schools, this claim is equally false. The difference is that we believe that YOU should decide WHO you wish to assist. Contrast this with the government forcing you to assist someone, or some cause which you may find morally repugnant.

Sure, we have our eccentrics. However, the last time I looked, the Democrats hosted Lyndon LaRouche and the Republicans hosted the likes of Pat Robertson. Both of these wing-nuts shouldn’t even be allowed to roam the streets endangering the public, much less influencing the public policies promoted by their respective political parties. Yes Libertarians despise the “war on drugs” (please show me the authorization for such endeavors under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution) but that doesn’t mean we condone the utilization of such substances. And hey, at least our members aren't calling for the nationalization of banking and housing (LaRouche) or assassinating a foreign dignitary and claiming that Haitians made a pact with Satan and were struck by an earthquake as a result (Roberston).

Our position on spending tax dollars is strictly constitutional. If it doesn’t exist under Article I Section 8, there is no constitutional authorization to expend tax dollars on whatever project, no matter how noble the purpose. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to providing government with limitless power which it will use,and abuse with impunity.

I realize the likes of Bill O’Reilly, as a matter of routine, will prop up someone they found off the street and declare them to be a typical “libertarian.” I suspect that such persons are likely street urchins whom they simply dressed for the occasion of being on television. However, Bill O’Reilly is a liar and his positions are easily refuted along with the positions of a host of other talking-head television and radio personalities. They will say, and do, anything in order to raise their ratings. They will say, and do, anything in order to advance their party’s (the GOP) interest. If one must prevaricate in lieu of utilizing facts to advance one’s cause, then that person is a scoundrel, most likely waving a flag and hiding behind a veil of feigned patriotism in the process.

Here is a fine example

LP National Chair
Bill Redpath

LP National
Executive Director
Wes Benedict

LP State Chair
Pat Dixon


Boy, don't these guys look like heartless, gun toting, crazed radicals? Now I ask you, have you EVER seen any of these guys on the O'Reilly, Hannity or Beck shows? Of course not. To do so would be to lend credibility to the LP and the attempts at marginalization would come crumbling down.

So what is in a name? What is it that we stand for? To be a libertarian is to advance the cause of individual liberty, while minimizing the size and scope of the state to carry out essential duties, one of which includes protecting the rights of the individual against usurpation by foreign or domestic threats. Now, ask yourself what it means to be a Republican or a Democrat. From my perspective, and using history as my guide, both would appear to mean rob the taxpayers, restrict their rights, steal their property and enrich political benefactors as much as possible before someone else takes your place….the Constitution be damned. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. There are obviously exceptions such as Ron Paul, but they are few and far between.

I know there are good people in both of the corporate, tax-funded political parties currently in power. However, the nominating process always produces the most extreme right-wing / left-wing ideologues available that represent but a fraction of the American public as a whole. Therefore the American public is left with the choice (or so it is proclaimed by the media) of two diametrically opposed extremists. Why they (the voters) would vote for people that despise their very existence is beyond my comprehension. They think they are better than you. They think that you are incapable of making your own decisions. They desire for you to be silent, and offer up the fruits of your labor without dissent or complaint. God help you if you are ever so bold as to question their motives.

When I, as a candidate, took an oath to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas, I actually meant it. Can you say the same about the "Republicrat" who routinely votes for expending funds outside his or her constitutional authorization, enacts legislation that criminalizes your behavior or extols the virtues of "limited government" while expanding its very size and scope? I can't state that my affiliation would never change. I have learned never to say never. I can state that I am more than comfortable right where I am, giving heartburn to the abusers of the taxpayers.

There is a war going on in America. It is a war against the middle class by those who would rule, as opposed to govern. When will you say enough is enough and remove the blinders which you were programmed to wear? There is no “two party system” in this nation. There is only oligarchy, those who support it and those who suffer at its hand.

If you like it, Digg it.


I truly hope this is not an epitaph for our society, nor the end of a "work in progress" as Alexis de Tocqueville put it mid 19th century. Let us hope we can turn the tide of corpocracy in our country and reset the clock before it is too late. Sadly greed as a prime motivator leads many would be patriots to seek shelter and cower from this challenge. We see this from the lowest elected levels on HOA boards and small city councils, all the way up to the white house. We must continue to confront the special interest usurpation of our constitution with the help of many in our current government.

Hopefully Mr. Tunstall can be one of those influences that works to save the republic from a government vendor feeding mentality. We can always hope!

That was a great article at just the right time. A group from the local Republocrat came to me saying that our candidate would syphon off their votes.
I pointed out that they were coopting Libertarian votes by trying to hyjack the Tea Pertiers and the quest of small government.
I wish I had read your article first - I would have been more polite and elequent.

I'm less concerned with party affiliation then I am with more competition for ideas. I think sites like these serve a valuable purpose to creating what the founding fathers thought was so important to all of us. A market place of ideas.


Right on target!

Maybe someday we can find a big enough government vendor to buy back our government. Na, that wouldn't work. Other vendors would get jealous.