Where is Gary Johnson?

Gary JohnsonThe second Presidential Debate is going on about now, or so I’d guess. I’m not watching. My guy wasn’t invited … again.

Gary Johnson.

Live Free. Live free, my friends. Live free.

As of this moment Gary Johnson will not become President of the United States. Libertarian candidates in general will not win many elections for Senator, Governor, Congressman, or much of anything else at a national or state level.

The world is approaching a crisis and a great man once told a nation that the only thing they had to fear was fear itself. The closer we get to this crisis the more fear paralyzes us into inaction.

Are you afraid of Obama? Are you afraid of Romney? Are you afraid of Iran getting nuclear weapons? Are you afraid for Social Security? Is your fear driving your vote?

Are you willing to sacrifice your freedom for the illusion of safety?

Are you afraid of “throwing your vote away”?

Are you absolutely certain you’re right? Are you sure the other guy is wrong? Do you skip listening and reading other points of view?

If so, then we don’t want you now, but we hope you’ll give up on fear and join us.

We want people who know that a vote a Gary Johnson is a vote for Gary Johnson. We want people who understand that hardship is part of life. We want people who think it’s not wrong to help those who are suffering. We want people who are willing to work with those who don’t agree with them. We want people who listen to the other side of an argument. We want people who know it’s easy to make a mistake, who are willing to admit a mistake, who are willing to forgive someone else for making a mistake. We want people who know there are no easy answers and anyone trying to sell them is a charlatan.

If you are afraid; then you should feel right at home in the United States of America, the land where fear mongering wins elections and reasonable compromise is forgotten.

We can change everything. Every election we get that opportunity. We might not make change this time, or next time, but we’re here, and we’re not giving up.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Hammer of Fire
Upcoming Release: The Sword of Water

Paul Ryan and the Marathon – The Little Lie versus the Big Lie

Compulsive LiarThe recent lie by Congressman Paul Ryan about his marathon time sort of struck me in an unusual way. I’m pretty accustomed to politicians lying about their record, their accomplishments, who they slept or didn’t sleep with, and things of this nature but this ridiculous little lie really bothers me. Certainly President Obama, Mr. Romney, Vice President Biden, and Congressman Ryan have had Fact Checker reveal many of their falsehoods in virtually every speech they give.

President Clinton lied about having an affair which I can understand in a way. That’s an important thing when it comes to the wife and family. When running for office the politicians lie about their own records and their opponent’s record on a daily basis in order to sway votes. Certainly deplorable but with a relatively important goal in mind. But, to lie about the time it took  you to run a marathon? That seems … egregious. I know several runners and the best time they achieved in races are ingrained in their minds. They know them literally to the second.

To lie about a personal accomplishment that has no bearing on anything? I mean, really, what won’t a person who tells that whopper, lie about? Then to lie in such a completely unrealistic way? That seems like self-destruction to me. I want you to know that I’m a liar so I’ll lie really, really badly about something that is easily checked. Either that or he is a compulsive liar. I knew a pathological liar once. He was incapable of telling the truth, he believed his lies when they were easily and demonstrably refutable. He was a strange, strange bird. He lived in a weird sort of fantasy world. I would not vote for him. Frankly, I’d vote for his opponent in any election if he ever chose to run for office.

I wasn’t going to vote for Mr. Romney and Congressman Ryan in any case, go Gary Johnson.

I just have to say that I wouldn’t want Congressman Ryan as a friend. Someone that lies that easily about something so silly is not a person I’d trust in any situation.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
New Release: The Hammer of Fire

Throwing my Vote Away

Throwing Vote AwayI was out and about being social last night which is unusual for me (thanks AU). While out I happened to be speaking with a pair of Republican leaning friends although the conversation would have been virtually the same with friends leaning towards Democratic candidates. I was told, once again, that I’m throwing away my vote when I cast it for Independents like Gary Johnson.

I’m not and I’ll tell you why.

The argument that I’m throwing away my vote goes pretty much like this. You’re (me) voting for someone who has no chance of winning and therefore your vote doesn’t really count.

First: all votes count as one vote regardless of who wins or loses. The winning vote doesn’t count more than the losing vote nor does the vote for a candidate who wins by a huge margin. They all count the same.

Second: I think that when I vote for Independent candidates I’m voting for the person I want to win, not the lesser of two evils.

Third:  If independent candidates start to get enough votes then they will eventually become viable candidates. If I simply vote for the lesser of the evils; evil wins and independents never gain a foothold.

Fourth (and most importantly): If you vote for President Obama or Governor Romney you are voting to destroy the United States of America. Yep. You heard me right. You are voting for a candidate who will tell you what you want to hear and continue to drive this once great country to ruin all the while.

So, don’t tell me I’m throwing my vote away because I choose to vote to return this country to glory while you choose to vote for its destruction.

I think I’ve made my point. Tell me if you agree or think I’m a pompous jerk in the comments!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
New Release:The Hammer of Fire

We the People

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Great SealIn 1912 an amendment to the Constitution of the United States proposed that Senators be directly elected by the population of each state rather than be appointed by the legislatures of said states. It was ratified within a year by 31 of the 48 states and became law on May 31, 1913.

In my experience I find that most people are unaware of a time when Senators were not directly elected so I’m going to go back in time and try to explain the original concept of the Founding Fathers.

Put on your time travel hats and come with me on a journey … journey … journey.

During the Philadelphia or Constitutional Convention the founding fathers gathered to write the new constitution. There were a number of factions each with their own plan but one of the main issues rested on how officials to the new government would get their jobs. I’m going to generalize here pretty broadly and I’d suggest a perusal of the article for better details.

Anti-federalist largely wanted there to be one representative per state so as each state would have equal power and the federal government would be weaker. Federalists largely wanted direct, proportional elections so that larger states had more power and the federal government would be stronger. They ended up with the Connecticut Compromise. Direct, proportional election of the House of Representatives, two Senators per state appointed by state legislatures, and an executive elected by the Electoral College.

The effect of this was as follows: The house of representatives with their two year terms were beholden to the people of their states, more subject to the whims of the moment, and the larger states had significantly more say. The senators with their six year term were beholden directly to the state representatives and not the people of the state which gave state legislatures, big and small, an equal say in federal policies.

The reasons suggested for the new amendment were that some senators engaged in direct and indirect bribery of state legislatures to get their job. Also, when a state failed to elect a senator because of gridlock the senate went unfilled.

These reasons gained so much momentum that 31 state legislatures proposed making the change. This galvanized the federal government into proposing the amendment before the states themselves engaged in a “runaway convention” and took matters into their own hands.

In my opinion the federal government was correct to propose the change at the time because it was the will of the state legislatures and their ratification of the amendment demonstrates this fact. However, we’ve had a hundred years to see its effect and it is time we reexamine an amendment as has been done before.

Its effect has been profound and I’ll site one dramatic example. In 1994 the Republican Party took control of the Senate with 52 of the 100 seats. Had the 17th amendment not been passed Democrats would have had a filibuster-proof super-majority of 70 seats.

Now, as to the less dramatic effects of the new amendment. Essentially the Senators are no longer beholden to the state legislature and that removes power from the states. Some argue that it also helped pave the way for special interest groups and lobbyist to influence the now unburdened Senators. Essentially lobbyist used to focus on their own state legislatures but now gather in ever growing flocks in Washington D.C. Before lobbyist had to spread their attention to multiple people in each state legislature but now only have to influence two senators.

Now, as to my opinion, finally.

I think the weakening of state power has only increased the corruption that was largely the motivator in making the change in the first place. Certainly there was corruption in the Senate appointment process but that corruption has simply gone up the ladder to the federal level while at the same time depriving states of their primary weapon in this great Union. As individual states lose their power, and the federal government gains it, the concentration of power draws in more and more corruption. As the federal government becomes directly responsible to the people and not the state legislatures we slide towards democracy rather than representative republic. I detail why this is a bad thing here.

I’m not suggesting that repealing the 17th amendment will fix the woes of the country but I think it’s one step necessary in the process.

Like, Tweet, Comment, Stumble, Digg, and otherwise spread the word if you think this post might be of interest to your friends and family. As always, feel free to disagree in the comments!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist

Teaser – the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Great Seal of United StatesTomorrow I leave the heady world of sports and take on a topic which might not provoke quite as much interest but is of worthy of exploration. The 17th Amendment to the constitution of the United States changed the way senators are chosen. Prior to May 31, 1913, senators were appointed to their position by state legislatures. Afterwards they were directly elected by popular vote.

There are a number of arguments both for and against the amendment but there is no doubt its implementation has had a profound effect on the United States.

Stay tuned for details!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist