Speech at Fundraiser for Barr / Root 2008

San Francisco: Pacific Rod and Gun Club

Good evening, it's great to be here tonight. And tonight is an especially good night to be here because we've had two big victories for Liberty in the news lately and I'm excited. Of course I'm referring to the California Supreme Court deciding that same sex couples can marry, and the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the D.C. gun ban. Only the Libertarian party has consistently supported both of these positions. And only in the Libertarian party does a good ole boy sit down with a drag queen and, though they may have nothing in common, they can both agree they shouldn't have to justify themselves to anyone. This is good news, and we should be happy.

But it's not all good news. Just last week, Congress amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. Most of the controversy has been on granting immunity to the phone companies for helping the government's previous illegal spying. But even if retroactive immunity for illegal actions wasn't part of it, we shouldn't forget that the entire purpose of the bill is to make it easier for the government to monitor your telephone and email.

Once upon a time, we thought we could count on Democrats to protect our civil liberties, but we've been proven wrong. Once upon a time, we thought we could count on Republicans to keep the size of the government under control, but we've been proven wrong there as well.

Neither the democrats nor the republicans can be counted on. The democrats got elected in 2006 by promising an end to the war. Well, it's 2008 and I don't see the war over. Now I'm not anti-war or anti-military. I served in the Marines myself because I think one of the sole legitimate purposes of the federal government is to be ready to defend us from outside aggression.

I'm not anti-war. But I am most certainly anti- this war.

This war is hurting our economy, it is wasting the lives of our youth who should be at home getting an education, starting their careers, caring for their families. It is giving the government an excuse to trod on every civil right they find inconvenient in the name of “terrorism”. We cannot be a beacon of liberty to the world when we do not even have freedom at home. This war is turning those who should be our friends into our enemies. We cannot gain the respect and admiration of our friends overseas when our foreign policy is based on whichever industry has the best lobbyists.

If you agree with me, I'm going to ask something of you. I'm going to ask you to vote Libertarian, yes. But I'm also asking something more. I'm going to ask you to spread the word. When the conversation turns towards politics, make your views know. Let them know that freedom is an option, let them know that there is a party the believes in freedom, and wants to shrink government down to what the constitution calls for. Let them know that you don't have to choose between the lesser of the two evils. If every person in this room can spread that message, that's what it will take to win in November.