Just as I was beginning to feel nostalgic, and question my 20-year abstention from Libertarian Party politics, along came Nancy Neale, chief organizer of the LP's 2004 national convention, to remind me of why I left the LP all those years ago and vowed never to return. Her insistence that Bush shill and war-promoter Neal Boortz, a minor league talk-radio ranter, be a featured speaker at the party's convention has provoked a storm of protest, on account of Boortz's vehement support for the invasion and conquest of Iraq. Not only does Boortz support the war, he also supports an effort by the FBI to spy on the antiwar movement.
Since many LP members are involved in the antiwar movement, this means that Boortz wants the government to spy on his hosts.
While the LP may not be adhering to its own platform – which calls for a strict policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other nations – they sure are holding firm on the Boortz Question. Here is Ms. Neale writing in the December Libertarian Party News:
"Yes, Neal Boortz is set to be one of our speakers. (He is based in Atlanta, after all.) I noted he doesn't agree with the LP platform 100%. (I've not been living under a rock; I know he favors the war in Iraq, so I don't need any more e-mails 'informing' me he's a 'warmonger'! He remains a staunch opponent of the War on Drugs and pro-most LP issues.)
"Since I'd been told he might not be available after Friday, I reported he would be giving a talk that afternoon. I've since learned he plans to be available the whole weekend, so we now have more options for how to 'utilize' him. But we do feel he would be an asset."
As long as Boortz "remains a staunch opponent of the War on Drugs" who cares whether he's one of the most vocal and enthusiastic cheerleaders for a real shooting war in Iraq? In the weird, wild, and downright wacky world of Nancy Neale, and all too many LP members, this is what passes for "libertarianism." So what if we're giving up our old republic, and becoming an empire – oh, and don't bogart that bong, dude!
And they wonder why no one takes them seriously.
Yeah, Boortz sure would be an "asset," alright – to those LP members who are all-too-eager to neutralize and reverse the LP's anti-interventionist position on the war, and make it look as though the LP endorses Boortz's views on the one subject he spends the most air time on: defending Bush from war critics.
It seems almost incredible to have to explain this, but surely someone in the LP must recognize the danger of the public conflating Boortz's well-known views on Iraq with those of the party – especially when, for some reason, the LP hasn't invited a single prominent anti-war speaker. Which means that the money, time, and organizational efforts of Libertarian Party employees and members will be expended on behalf of ideas that LP members oppose.
Talk about "the sanction of the victim"!
How does the national LP leadership have the nerve to try to pull this one over on their members? After all, that's a pretty dangerous course for a party to take – especially one that just endured a major financial scandal, and has only just now begun to emerge from near bankruptcy due to the generosity and loyalty of its members and supporters.
A group of concerned LP members has mounted a petition campaign directed at the Libertarian Party National Committee, which you can sign by going here. But "Libertarians for a Boortz-free National Convention" doesn't go far enough.
Of course, it's just a coincidence that Ms. Neale is the wife of the current LP national chair, Geoff Neale: she assures us that, "No, I don't have this position because I'm married to that national chair guy" and that she's waaaay qualified for the job. But she's in danger, here, of giving nepotism a bad name – having already alienated the majority of LP activists nationwide over six months before the convention.
It's time for LP members and supporters to play a little hardball. If the Libertarian Party is going to subsidize and promote warmongering fools like Boortz, then they are going to pay the price in reduced contributions and financial assistance.
I urge party members to withhold contributions to the national LP, and to reconsider whatever pledges they have made.
Isn't it bad enough that our own government is coercing us into financially supporting this immoral and unnecessary act of aggression against the people of Iraq – will you now have your voluntary contributions to the LP turned to the same sinister purpose?
Are we to be spared nothing?
Justin Raimondo is Editorial Director of Antiwar.com.
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